VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 30

Time for securities firms to raise charter capital

Many securities companies are planning to raise capital through forms such as dividend payment, purchase rights and private offerings to meet the growth of the stock market.

The Board of Directors of SSI Securities Corporation (SSI) has just issued a resolution to submit to the General Meeting of Shareholders a plan to increase charter capital to nearly 15 trillion VND (661.4 million USD) through share offerings to existing shareholders.

Accordingly, the securities firm plans to offer about 497.4 million new shares to existing shareholders, with a ratio of 2:1 and offering price of 15,000 VND per share. The total offering value at maximum par value is approximately 4.97 trillion VND. Existing shareholders have the right to transfer their rights to buy shares to others within a specified time.

In September, SSI issued nearly 218.3 million shares to increase capital from owner's equity and offered more than 109.55 million shares to existing shareholders. Thereby, the company’s charter capital rose to nearly 9.85 trillion VND.

With the new resolution, if the issuance is completed, its charter capital will reach nearly 15 trillion VND, continuing to maintain SSI's position as the largest securities company in Vietnam.

A representative of SSI said that the rise in charter capital is to supplement business capital, improve underwriting capacity, investment capacity and margin lending capacity. During the time when there are no margin lending transactions, the money will be used to invest in bonds and certificates of deposit to ensure efficient use of capital.

Also during the period, Yuanta Securities Vietnam Company Limited (YSVN) has just been approved by the State Securities Commission (SSC) to increase its charter capital from 1.5 trillion VND to 2 trillion VND.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, general director of YSVN, said that higher charter capital will help YSVN increase its capacity to provide more margin loans. It will also increase investment in technology, upgrade systems, improve processes, hire more employees, conduct domestic and foreign training and develop new products to bring the best experience to customers.

The document expected to be submitted to the 2021 Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders next month of VNDirect Securities Corporation also said that its Board of Directors will submit to the General Meeting of Shareholders for approval an offering plan of nearly 435 million shares to existing shareholders with a ratio of 1:1 and the offering price equal to the par value of 10,000 VND share.

According to the plan, VNDirect will use 40 percent of the fund to supplement capital for margin lending activities, while the rest is for investment in valuable papers, underwriting securities activities, supplementing capital for issuance and distribution of covered warrants.

VNDirect's Board of Directors will also submit a plan to issue nearly 348 million shares to increase capital from equity sources (bonus shares) with the expected rate of 80 percent, meaning shareholders with 100 shares will be entitled to receive 80 new shares.

With these two issuances, the charter capital of VNDirect can edge to more than 12 trillion VND. The execution time is in 2021 or 2022.

Many other securities companies also have significant capital increase plans at this time.

Preliminary statistics showed that more than 30 securities companies have plans to raise capital in 2021, mainly through forms like paying dividends, purchase rights, and private offerings.

YSVN said that the stock market is witnessing a historic boom in both liquidity and trading value, becoming the most wanted investment channel. Just in the first ten months of 2021, there were more than one million new brokerage accounts opened, which was the highest figure in history.

The rapid increase in the number of accounts and positive movements of the market has boosted demand for margin loans.

However, due to tight capital sources and regulations on the ceiling of outstanding loans for the activity, many securities companies have not been able to meet investors' demand.

Therefore, YSVN believes that these raising charter capital plans are made at the right time, helping companies to increase margin lending, serving the rising capital demand.

Abundant capital will also improve the profit outlook of securities companies.

In the first nine months of this year, income from margin lending, brokerage and proprietary trading of securities companies climbed dramatically compared to the same period last year, helping many securities companies reach their profit plans for the whole year of 2021 three months ahead of scheduled./.

Economic forum to help Gov’t develop recovery measures

The Vietnam Economic Forum 2021 is scheduled to take place on December 5 to help the Government design a package of fiscal and monetary solutions to shore up the economy.

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue presided over a meeting in Hanoi on November 30 with standing members of the NA’s Committee for Economic Affairs and a group of experts and researchers on financial and monetary policies assisting the implementation of the socio-economic recovery and development programme.

He said the forum will be organised by the NA’s Committee for Economic Affairs, the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.

The event will take place both in person and via videoconference and gather domestic and foreign scholars, experts, and researchers. It aims to help clarify scientific and practical grounds to help the Government design a package of fiscal and monetary solutions.

Hue said it is necessary to have in-depth assessment since the global economy has changed constantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts; as well as to identify the extent of damage and recovery capacity of the economy, determine sectors needing more support to recover and develop, and find out potential areas for accelerating recovery to fuel growth of the economy.

Short-term solutions also need to take into account long-term issues, macro-economic stability, and sustainable development, the Chairman said, adding that the policies helping with economic recovery in the short term should not cause macro-economic instability in the long term, according to the top legislator.

The Government has built a plan to develop fiscal and monetary mechanisms and policies for assisting the implementation of the general socio-economic recovery and development programme./.

AmCham Chairwoman: Foreign companies believe in Viet Nam’s long-term growth potential

Many foreign companies have stayed committed to Viet Nam despite the pandemic situation back in the first half of 2021 because they believe in the country’s long-term growth potential.

Ms. Virginia Foote, Chairwoman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam (AmCham) made the above statement in a recent interview with VGP.

Regarding the Government’s efforts in fostering economic recovery over the last few months, Virginia said: “The Vietnamese government had done great work to encourage and fostering economic recovery before the Delta variant hit, and of course new challenges emerged after. During the high-ranking official working trips to U.S and to Europe, we can see that the government is being proactive in engaging with foreign companies to encourage businesses in Viet Nam, and many MoU have been signed with the witnessing of the State President and the Prime Minister with American and European companies.”

Additionally, in Viet Nam, the Prime Minister has held meetings with most major foreign Chamber of Commerce such as AmCham, EuroCham and KorCham to listening to the Foreign Invested Enterprises’ (FIE) challenges and problems during the pandemic in Viet Nam, especially under the delta variant period.

The Prime Minister not only acknowledged foreign enterprises’ problems, he also direct relevant ministries/ministerial-level addressing those problem and promises to improve the investment environment for FIE in the upcoming time.

All member of Amcham was very grateful for the productive meeting with the PM and it greatly reaffirms Viet Nam’s position as a reliable investment destination with the FIE communities.

Ms. Virginia expressed her belief that Viet Nam still has huge potential to develop under the new normal policy. Many foreign companies have stayed committed to Viet Nam despite the pandemic situation back in the first half of 2021 because they believe in the country’s long-term growth potential. Naturally, they will utilize the new policy to resume production as soon as possible.

With the potential of CTPPP became effective on beginning of next year and the existing EVFTA, RCEP, these FTA would open more opportunities for new FDI and expand the Vietnamese market, but ease of cross border travel will need to come with it for vaccinated expats.  

In additional, the Government is very active in attracting more new investment with many favorable policies and the signing of many MoUs in their foreign trips such as those by the Prime Minister, the Sate President, the Chairman of the National Assembly and Ministers. 

Thus if Viet Nam government continues to create globally harmonized policies on digital economy, tax, clean energy, and clean environment, the future is bright.

Questioned about how Viet Nam should address labor shortage and supply chain disruption, Virginia said the problem of labor shortage and supply chain disruption is not only Viet Nam problem but the world problem post-pandemic age.

The Vietnamese Government and business can learn from other countries’ cross border and cross provincial policies but adapt them to fit in the situation of Viet Nam at the moment.

For in the short term, the Government and business have to offer some such as provide free transportation, free Covid test, housing aids for those who temporary cannot find accommodation after return, monthly aids or other benefits to encourage workers to return to the city to work.

The Government should also listen to factories, production and logistics companies to know their issues and concern and address them accordingly in the policies supporting these businesses.

In the long run, Viet Nam should shift to greater use of the digital economy, and focus on training and developing skilled labor workforce to allow a broader range of workers skill sets in the future.

Vietnamese and FDI companies can work together to identify strengths and weaknesses in the domestic and international supply chairs to come up with appropriate and flexible strategies going forward.

Referring to measures AmCham should take to promote investment and trade ties between enterprises of Viet Nam and the U.S., Virginia said: With work between the U.S. Chamber in Washington and AmCham Viet Nam Ha Noi, we expect US$1 million of covid related medical equipment will be donated to Viet Nam in the near term.

AmCham Viet Nam Ha Noi members have donated millions more in equipment generally to Viet Nam and support for their workers in particular. 

Between December 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, AmCham intended to jointly-organized a few investment/trade promotion events to attract more American as well as other foreign investors into Viet Nam, along with two additional programs set for early 2022.

AmCham is also working with provinces to help them attract FDI and host trade shows and events.

AmCham is trying to working with the Government to come up with more incentives or create more favorable conditions for our member to increase their investment in Viet Nam./.

Bac Giang city strives to become green urban area

Bac Giang city in the northern province of the same name will mobilise all resources to develop in the direction of green and smart urban area, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Dang Dinh Hoan has said.

To realise the target, the city has set to basically fulfil criteria for the first-tier urban area by 2025 and be recognised as one by 2030.

It aims to raise per capita income of local residents to 8,500-9,000 USD a year and call for more than 100 trillion VND (4.41 trillion USD) in social sources for development.

Bac Giang city will invest in and build two or three green and smart urban areas, two to four three- and five-star hotels, two to three nightlife economy zones and a 100-ha park.

It aims to be among top 10 provincial cities of the country in terms of smart urban area index; and raise the digital economy's share in the gross regional domestic product to about 30 percent and at least 20 percent in each sector.

The city will work to put power lines underground, build more parks, recreation sites and garbage depots in the city, and invest in a waste-to-energy plant.

It is set to bolster management and supervision over the quality of water in rivers and lakes, as well as the collection and treatment of wastewater at urban areas, industrial parks and clusters. Due attention will be paid to firms’ discharge activities and environmental pollution treatment at craft villages, and safety and order in urban areas.

The application of new technologies in agricultural production will be promoted and a smart urban management centre will be set up to help with management work.

A security camera system will be installed in the city's central area, key traffic spots and public places. Digitalisation in archive is due to be carried out across all fields, together with e-government applications.

In the coming time, Bac Giang city will mobilise all resources to take the lead in digital transformation, particularly in information technology (IT) and communications to meet demand for the building of the digital government and the city’s socio-economic development.

Priorities will be given to investment in and development of sectors that generate high added value like production of hardware and software, and support services of IT and communication, with an aim to create a smart urban foundation for Bac Giang city.

The city, spanning 66.77 sq.m, has 16 administrative units of communal level. It is the political, economic and cultural hub of Bac Giang province.

Situated on an artery road linking Hanoi with Lang Son, and the Huu Nghi international border gate, the city has a favourable location on an economic corridor running through the four localities of Lang Son, Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh. 

Bac Giang city has made strides over the years, with an average annual economic growth rate in the 2011-20 period hitting 11.7 percent. Meanwhile, budget collection surged 38 percent against the estimates. Urban planning and management have improved as infrastructure has been upgraded and rural area given a facelift.

Many major constructions and projects have been completed and helped improve urban quality and landscape in the city, notably the Hanoi-Bac Giang and Bac Giang-Lang Son expressways, the Dong Son bridge and the southern urban area, among others.

A number of big investors such as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have channeled investment into the city. Bac Giang is now home to about 100 cooperatives and more than 4,000 firms, of them 1,670 are newly established ones with registered capital worth 7.54 trillion VND. There are 40 foreign direct investment projects totalling over 236 million USD.

Bac Giang city has to date earned 71.27 out of 100 points to become first-tier urban area./.

Wood exports unable to meet yearly target

The severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, wood and wooden products were still export items with a growth rate of 21.4 percent in the last ten months of 2021, reaching US$11.890 bn.

This number represents a ten-month increase, but it is actually an increase from residuals of last year.

Since the outbreak of the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, after reaching the peak of $1.5 bn in June and July, it was down to $1.3 bn through August, September, and October, dropping far below the level of $1 bn per month.

This decline is seen in most of the top categories of items such as furniture, seats, and plywood. The decline in most key markets such as the US, South Korea, UK, and Canada is about 20 percent per month. The decline was almost uniform, from large-scale enterprises to craft villages and households. If November and December do not see a breakthrough, the target of $14 bn for the whole year will be hard to achieve.

For a long time, the production of wooden furniture, especially wooden products for export, have depended on imported wood sources.

This situation is deepening because domestic wood sources are increasingly becoming rare now while using foreign wood is suitable and avoids being declassified on its origin. Since the Delta variant of the Covid-19 pandemic broke out again, the supply was immediately disrupted until recent months, affecting the production and timely delivery of the right quantity, mainly of logs and planks.

The most common practice for furniture manufacturing enterprises to respond in the current pandemic situation is to either shut down completely or operate moderately, maintaining 20 percent to 50 percent capacity as it is impossible to immediately reach 100 percent capacity. According to a mid-October study, many enterprises have cleaned up their workshops.

At the end of October, some enterprises restarted and their productivity reached 50 percent to 55 percent, by the end of November it reached 60 percent to 65 percent, by the end of December it was 70 percent to 75 percent, and this momentum is expected to stay until the end of January 2022. It is forecast that by the end of February 2022, productivity will reach over 80 percent.

Workers who have returned to their hometowns to avoid the pandemic will find it difficult to immediately return back to factories, while recruiting new workers who do not know their jobs will not be favorable in the restarting process. It is known that some enterprises have overcome this situation by overtime allowances and attractive incomes, but this can only be a temporary solution.

Support from fiscal policies such tax payment extensions, loan interest rate reduction, and debt repayment term extensions can benefit only healthy businesses, while other businesses that have stopped production, and are not exporting and not subject to tax, will not be able to borrow.

Gasoline prices too increased suddenly on 10 November. This is the fifth sharp price increase since the beginning of September. Petrol is the input of most industries, production, and life itself, and sooner or later it affects the cost of goods, especially export of goods.

Export prices cannot immediately increase in proportion to the increase of domestic costs. European and American customers can understand the situation but will still find it difficult to adjust. It is believed though, that most exporters have already adjusted their price upto early 2022.

Vietnam voices concerns over multifaceted crises in Lebanon

Vietnam expressed concerns over the ongoing crises in Lebanon and called on the country to redouble efforts to surmount challenges during a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on November 29.

The event was attended by UN Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operation Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka and UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Force Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Gol, who briefed the UNSC on the situation in Lebanon, UNIFIL operation and the implementation of Resolution 1701 (2006).

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, welcomed the establishment of a government in Lebanon but voiced concerns over the country’s multifaceted crises despite the new government’s efforts.

If Lebanon’s current diplomatic row with Gulf states cannot be solved soon, it would worsen the challenges the country is facing and negatively affecting the regional situation, Quy said, urging regional states and organisations to help ease the way for Lebanon to surmount its difficulties.

He called on Lebanon to put forth reforms and well prepare for the National Assembly election as planned in 2022.

The Vietnamese diplomat also showed worry about the lack of progress made towards the implementation of Resolution 1701, urging all stakeholders to strictly observe the resolution, respect the UNIFIL’s right to freedom of movement and facilitate its full and timely access to areas of interest.

Adopted in August 2006, Resolution 1701 calls for the full cessation of hostilities, the deployment of Lebanese forces to Southern Lebanon, parallel withdrawal of Israeli forces behind the Blue Line, strengthening the UNIFIL to facilitate the entry of Lebanese forces in the region and the establishment of a demilitarised zone between the Blue Line and the Litani River./.

65 million USD poured into hi-tech agricultural complex in Kon Tum

Hung Nhon Group and Netherlands-based De Heus Group have signed a memorandum of understanding with the People's Committee of Kon Tum province on investment cooperation in a complex of hi-tech agricultural zones in Dak Lak.

Under the MoU, the two groups will engage in developing a pig breeding farm which will cover 200ha and has a total investment of 65 million USD. It will apply advanced technology to produce high quality agricultural products following a closed chain meeting European standards, as well as organic cattle feed and fertiliser.

Once completed and put into operation, the project will create jobs for 250-300 local labourers, contributing to the economic development of the province.

On this occasion, Hung Nhon Group and De Heus Group have donated six monitors and 4,000 test kits worth 1 billion VND (44,120 USD) to the province’s COVID-19 prevention and control fund./.

Pressure on to develop feed materials

Struggling with the sharp increase in the price of animal feed materials, the husbandry industry has a headache figuring out solutions for long-term, sustainable development.

Since 2020, the animal feed price in the country has already been adjusted nine times, significantly affecting the production of farmers, especially while the selling prices of poultry and live hogs are falling.

In the context of accelerating the recovery of production and livestock, relying too much on imported raw materials will keep the price of animal feed high. In the government’s Resolution No.128/NQ-CP on interim regulations on safe and flexible adaption to the pandemic released last month, the government highlighted that the agricultural industry should seek local material resources for the production of animal feed and mitigate the dependence on imports.

Instead of using industrial feed, Doai Phuong Cooperative in Hanoi’s Son Tay town has fed 80,000 chickens with feed cooked in the cooperative. This not only reduces livestock costs but also improves quality. “Proactively controlling the supply of animal feed, we are managing the process more easily and accounting for the costs for every stage,” said Nguyen Huy Ba, director of Doai Phuong Cooperative.

Using available raw materials from domestic crop and livestock, this cooperative has been producing self-mixed animal feed and save costs for animal feed by 20 per cent.

Strengthening production in biosecurity to reduce production costs has been promoted by some localities in recent times. However, this may be the best solution for short-term and small- and medium-sized farms only.

“Certainly, we believe there are certain raw materials that are suitable for Vietnam’s climate. One example is corn, a key raw material in animal feed that local supply cannot meet the demand yet,” Johan van den Ban, general director of De Heus Vietnam and Cambodia, told VIR. “Vietnam can consider moving low-productivity rice areas to grow corn, which will be very beneficial for feed producers to reduce dependency on imports.”

However, corn productivity in Vietnam in general is lower than worldwide (at about 80 per cent). “It is not necessarily something negative for Vietnam to be dependent on imports for certain raw materials that are produced more efficiently in other parts of the world, as long as Vietnam can utilise its resources optimally,” said van den Ban.

He added this is already happening with agri-food products such as basa fillet, shrimp, and other seafood, as well as other important products like coffee, fruit, and vegetables.

Pham Thi Huan, CEO of Ba Huan JSC, said that for Vietnam’s livestock industry to overcome difficulties and develop sustainably, the industry must pay attention to self-growing corn, reducing or even removing dependence on imports. “Vietnam is a top rice producer, so it can afford to use cheaper rice when used as a raw material for animal feed production,” she said.

Meanwhile, the cost of fuel and raw materials still shows no sign of decline. Animal feed producers around the world are importing minerals and vitamins from China, but these ingredients’ factories have had operations halted in many areas due to sharp energy cost increases.

Van den Ban explained, “Therefore, we do expect the price of these key materials to eventually come down. But right now, this is a challenge for feed companies and farmers in controlling production prices while adapting to the slow recovery of animal protein demand.”

Despite being one of the leading countries in producing and exporting agricultural food, Vietnam depends heavily on imported materials for animal feed at about 20 million tonnes imported every year, mainly made up of soybeans, corn, and wheat.

Vice chairman of the Vietnam Animal Feed Association, Nguyen Xuan Duong, said that Vietnam needs an additional 8 million tonnes of biomass corn to make feed materials for buffaloes and cows. “This is a space for localities to take advantage of and develop biomass maize, reducing the volume of imported materials,” said Duong.

On average, the country has nearly 157 million tonnes of agricultural by-products each year. In the coming time, it is necessary to have more policies to encourage enterprises to invest in technology to turn by-products into a source of feed for livestock.

“We should facilitate all organisations and individuals to apply science and technology to make good use of agricultural by-products,” said Tong Xuan Chinh, deputy director-general of the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In addition, experts also held that more supportive policies are needed to form large raw material production areas and value chains in the animal feed industry.

Along with the growth of the livestock industry, the animal feed industry is growing at an average of 13-15 per cent per year, so the pressure to develop input materials is relatively large. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, as of October 15, Vietnam imported 13.54 million tonnes of wheat, corn, and soybeans, worth $4.328 billion, up 2.42 per cent in volume. Every year, the agricultural sector can only provide a maximum of 13 million tonnes of corn, rice bran, and cassava for animal feed production, while the annual demand stands at up to 27 million tonnes.

“Companies processing industrial animal feed are not interested in collecting materials that are too small. The price of local raw materials is up to 20 per cent higher than imported ones. Thousands of tonnes of materials are imported at the same time and of the same quality,” said Duong.

Manufacturing and processing driving Thai Nguyen

Thanks to the efforts of the leadership, the business community, and local residents in implementing the government’s targets on pandemic containment and socioeconomic development, the northern province of Thai Nguyen has posted upbeat achievements in the year to date.

The manufacturing and processing sector continues to drive local industrial development. Thai Nguyen’s index of industrial production (IIP) expanded 8.4 per cent in October compared to September, and up 7.6 per cent on-year. That of the manufacturing and processing industry grew 8.4 per cent over the previous month and up 7.76 per cent on-year. Generally, the province’s IIP rose 7.41 per cent in the first 10 months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

According to Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade, in October many of its key industrial products reported on-year growth, such as steel and iron products reaching 132,200 tonnes, up 2.6 per cent; television cameras amounted 6.5 million items, up 11.4 per cent; motorised vehicles’ accessories reached 5.8 million items, up by the same amount; and commercial power output came to 490 million kWh, equal to a 16.5 per cent jump on-year.

To lay a firm foundation for socioeconomic development, Thai Nguyen has set industry as the spearhead. In light of this, the resolution of Thai Nguyen’s latest Party Congress has envisaged turning the province into one of the more modernity-oriented economic and industrial centres in the northern region by 2030.

The province has set forth the target of reaching 9 per cent growth in annual local gross industrial production, equal to $3.13 billion a year, with an ever-increasing proportion of the industry-construction sector striving to reach 61 per cent of the local economic structure by 2025.

Towards this goal, Thai Nguyen People’s Committee has crafted and enacted an action programme to realise the resolution and approved the province’s industry and handicraft development programme for 2021-2025, as well as devised growth scenarios focusing on the tasks to push up industrial production.

Simultaneously, the province has presented a raft of measures laying the bedrock to boost industrial development, such as presenting specific mechanisms and policies for investment attraction, with priority given to attracting investment into local industrial zones (IZs) and clusters as well as prioritising the sectors and products with high tech application and creating high added value, aside with export production.

Thai Nguyen is now home to seven IZs and 35 clusters bringing together potential sectors for development including electrical and electronics, mechanical manufacturing, mineral processing, and agro-forestry attached to environmental protection, among others.

Trinh Viet Hung, Chairman of Thai Nguyen People’s Committee, said that as the pandemic has left adverse impacts on business performance, the government has presented many policies and mechanisms to support people and businesses.

The province has made efforts for effective implementation of set resolutions and decisions in order best support firms, such as taking the initiative to get a grip of the impediments facing firms to be able to present timely remedies, or giving priority to human resource training based on firms’ demands, particularly big foreign investors based in IZs to ensure efficient use of labour, Hung explained.

According to Nguyen Ba Chinh, director of Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade, the department along with other sectors and counterparts have made efforts towards administrative procedure simplification. The top target is that all administrative procedures at the department will reach level 4 in the near future to best serve individuals and businesses.

Dong Thap tourism model gets upgrade

Businesses in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap are actively promoting tourism services and agricultural products on e-commerce platforms to adapt to changing needs.

To ensure supply of necessities to customers, Dong Thap Department of Information and Communications (DIC) has coordinated with relevant units to support local businesses to list the key products on e-commerce platforms like Postmart and Voso. Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 1,500 tonnes of agricultural products have been sold online with over 400 farmer households engaging in e-commerce platforms.

Dong Thap has gained some achievements in supporting farmer households to join e-commerce platforms, thereby contributing to the development of the digital economy in the agricultural and rural sectors in recent times. Riding on this success, the DIC has proposed the provincial people’s committee to issue incentives for tourism service providers to participate on e-commerce platforms. The goal is to promote the development of the local tourism industry along with the consumption of local agricultural products through postal and delivery services.

The province will assist local organisations and individuals in doing business in tourism, including attractions, agencies, and accommodation establishments. They will receive support to participate on e-commerce platforms to introduce and advertise products and services to both domestic and international markets (see box).

Under the “One Commune, One Product” programme, the province will connect all of its communes to promote agricultural products and specialities to tourists, contributing to promoting its delivery services. Other measures include boosting advertisements and business efficiency of both organisations and individuals offering tourism services on such platforms. To replicate this relatively new model, the DIC has coordinated with relevant units to pilot the scheme in Sa Dec city. The department has organised training on digital skills for farming households and tourism service providers.

Through training sessions, the participants can gain basic skills to participate in the digital world. They will learn how to register an account to list tourism products and services on e-commerce platforms as well as open online payment accounts serving e-commerce transactions.

The department will implement promotion and connection campaigns to facilitate tourism service providers to buy and sell products and services on the e-commerce platforms and, after training, the representative of tourism service providers can set up their own accounts, create online booths, and update products.

Homestay owner Thanh Hung expressed excitement that The Frog Flower House is the first tourist facility to join the Postmart and Voso platforms. He said that he will fully update the information and images of the services at the facility to promote his homestay to attract more tourists. At the same time, he will register for an online payment account for convenience and efficiency.

Nguyen Lam Thanh Thuy, deputy director of DIC, said that the initiative not only aims to promote local tourism products online so that tourists can quickly access the latest information – local companies can also expand their scope. In addition, the province is also promoting the consumption of local specialities through these delivery services at a time when the pandemic has greatly affected production and business activities in the province. Dong Thap will replicate the model across communes in the locality.

By the end of 2021, Dong Thap will boast at least 20 tourism service providers participating in e-commerce platforms and, next year, the province aims to support at least 50 tourism service providers to join.

All tourism service providers will be trained to set up their accounts on e-commerce platforms. They will not only have online payment accounts but also learn how to promote their tourism services online.

Dong Thap wants to see half of all tourism service providers receiving online orders via e-commerce platforms during the peak tourism season. Tourists will get frequent updates and useful information about Dong Thap’s tourism promotion campaigns and packages via these platforms and mobile apps. The information will cover travel itineraries, tourist attractions, accommodation facilities, restaurants, hotels, food and beverages, shopping, and entertainment zones.

Seamless transport in Long An sights

Aside from gearing efforts towards administrative procedure reform and business support, the Mekong Delta province of Long An has focused on developing a seamless transport infrastructure system in recent years, particularly that connecting industrial zones and clusters with Long An International Port.

Through five years of implementation, many projects have been put into operation, contributing a great deal to improving the rural transport infrastructure system in Long An’s key economic zone and strengthening links with different industrial zones (IZs) and clusters (ICs). These have laid the foundation for investment attraction, gearing local economic structure towards increased proportion of industry and services with lower agriculture percentage, supplementing income sources for local budget, and pushing up the province’s socioeconomic development.

Back in 2015, breakthrough programmes and several major works were put into the pipeline for the province, mostly in transport infrastructure development. Accordingly, the programmes on mobilising all resources into building transport infrastructure featured a list of 14 arterial roads in diverse provincial districts such as Ben Luc, Duc Hoa, Can Giuoc, and Can Duoc that connect to different IZs and ICs, and particularly to Long An International Port and transport routes to Ho Chi Minh City.

The key works included the Provincial Road No.830 (the Duc Hoa-Tan Tap section), the National Highway No.50, Tan An city’s ring road; and an urban transport axis connecting to Ho Chi Minh City.

Leveraging these achievements, the Party Congress resolution for the province covering 2020 towards 2025 has highlighted the need to invest further in three more key transport infrastructure works: Tan An city’s ring road and a bridge crossing Vam Co Tay River (remaining section); the Provincial Road No.827E site clearance (section from beginning of the road to Vam Co Dong River); and the Provincial Road 830E (section from the T-junction to the Provincial Road No.830 in Can Duoc district).

The ring road and bridge crossing Vam Co Tay River is being carried forward from the previous development period.

Efforts are meanwhile underway to build a section from Thu Thua to the National Highway No.1 through the headquarters of Tan An People’s Committee and using World Bank funding; and a section from the National Highway No.1 to the Provincial Road No.827A with Long An Department of Transport acting as the developer, with capital sourcing from the local budget. The next step involves completion of site clearance, building a bridge crossing Vam Co Tay River and a remaining road section. The project to build the Provincial Road No.830E involves building over 32km of road reaching urban highway standards. Construction consists of different phases, in which phase 1 involves building the 9km four-lane road section.

The Provincial Road No.827E involves building over 35km of road crossing the province. The road begins at Long Hau commune in Can Giuoc district and ends at Hiep Thanh commune in Chau Thanh district. The project consists of four components, of which three involve site clearance at different road sections and one involves on investment construction.

In light of Long An’s Party Congress Resolution, during 2021-2025 efforts will be focused on site clearance and building the road section from Tan Kim T-junction to Vam Co Dong River.

The total capital investment for site clearance work of these three key projects comes to around $630.3 million, in which $10.86 million goes to Tan An city’s ring road, $96.5 million is allocated to the Provincial Road No.830E, and the remainder is for the Provincial Road No.827E.

The investment value for the construction part of these three projects is estimated at $135.4 million, in which about $32.8 million goes to building Tan An city’s ring road and $504.3 million goes to the Provincial Road No.830E scheme. The remaining sum is for building the Provincial Road No.827E’s section from the starting point in Can Giuoc district to Vam Co Dong River. For the remaining parts, investment capital would be raised from other sources.

According to Long An People’s Committee, the province would scale up efforts to ensure sufficient capital sources for key transport infrastructure projects along with the venture progress. Efforts are also being made on assigning concrete tasks to each department, section, and the people’s committees in relevant locations.

These key projects, once completed and put into use, will create a seamless transport infrastructure system for the province, ensuring smoother connection between different areas in the province and with other localities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, helping the province to further allure investors.

Significantly, the Provincial Road No.827E connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Long An with Tien Giang is of strategic importance. Once completed, the road will not only create transport breakthroughs and help ramp up investment attraction in industry-trade and services development in relevant districts of the province, but will also greatly facilitate goods transportation in the southwestern coastal provinces of Ca Mau, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, and Ben Tre.

Part of the southern key economic zone, Long An enjoys a strategic position as a gateway from Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern region to cities and provinces across the Mekong Delta. The province has a border to Cambodia and is also home to Long An International Port, which is accessible to 70,000DWT ships. The province has abundant material resources favourable for the development of agricultural products and food processing industries provided by agricultural production areas in the province and other localities in the neighbourhood, with the delta being the country’s most important agricultural production region.

In addition, Long An features a vast land fund for industrial development, accommodating 62 ICs covering over 3,100ha in total area. Some 35 IZs spanning nearly 12,000ha in total were added to the national IZ development planning. These zones are positioned in a 30-40km radius from Ho Chi Minh City, with ready-to-serve infrastructure that will suit investors.

Contiguous to Ho Chi Minh City, Long An also accommodates many arterial roads of regional and national significance such as the national highways No.1 and No.50, Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong and Ben Luc-Long Thanh expressways, among others.

FDI inflows at a very slight rise in first 11 months

Newly- and additionally-registered foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first 11 months reported increases of 3.76 and 26.7 per cent on-year.

As of November 20, total FDI inflows into Vietnam were up 0.1 per cent on-year at $26.46 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency, with newly- and additionally-registered capital both rising against the year previous.

Specifically, $14.1 billion was poured into 1,577 newly-licensed projects, a decrease of 31.8 per cent in number but a rise of 3.76 per cent in value. Besides this, $8 billion was added into 877 projects currently underway, a decrease of 16.6 per cent in the number of projects and a rise of 26.7 per cent in value. Foreign investors also poured $4.4 billion into share purchase deals, down 33 per cent on-year.

The sharp decline in the latter category almost countered increases in the other two sectors, with total FDI inflows only up 0.1 per cent on-year.

However, capital disbursement was down 4.2 per cent on-year to $17.1 billion.

Among the 18 sectors receiving investment from foreign investors in the first 11 months, processing and manufacturing took the lead with $14 billion, accounting for 53 per cent of the total FDI. It was followed by power production and distribution with over $5.7 billion, making up 21.6 per cent, followed by real estate, wholesale, and retail.

Singapore led the 100 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with a total investment capital of nearly $7.6 billion, followed by South Korea ($4.36 billion), and Japan ($3.7 billion).

The Mekong Delta province of Long An attracted the highest amount of FDI during the period with over $3.76 billion, including $3.1 billion in a big energy projects. Ho Chi Minh City was second with $3.43 billion, followed by the northern port city of Haiphong with $2.8 billion.

The export turnover of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) continued to increase in the first 11 months, however, on-year growth for the period was lower than for the first 10 months with $220.2 billion (including crude oil), up 19.7 per cent on-year, or $218.5 billion (excluding crude oil), up 19.8 per cent.

FIEs' import turnover was estimated at $195.5 billion, an increase of 29.5 per cent on-year. Generally, in the first 11 months, the trade surplus of the FDI sector was about $24.6 billion (including crude oil), or $23 billion (excluding crude oil), while the trade deficit of local enterprises was $24.3 billion. 

US businesses optimistic about Vietnamese economic rebound

Approximately 80% of businesses from the United States remain bullish on Vietnamese prospects in both the medium and long term, according to a survey conducted by AmCham Vietnam.

Of the total, 29% of the respondents said they were planning to expand operations, while 49% said they would stay and increase the size of their investment. In addition, 18% said they would stay, although they may target new investments elsewhere, and 3% will stay but will move to shift some of their production elsewhere.

The survey was conducted between Nov. 15 and 17, attracting the participation of more than 550 member companies and 2,000 personal representatives of AmCham Vietnam, including the Da Nang branch.

Of those surveyed, 25% of enterprises expect to get back to normal by the end of the year, while 37%, 29%, and 6% expect to resume normal operations in the first quarter of 2022, the second quarter of 2022, and the second half of 2022, respectively.

The Vietnamese market boasts favourable conditions to both reopen and recover its economy due to the effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide, said Mary Tarnowka, executive director of AmCham Vietnam.

In contrast, international travel restrictions, supply chain disruptions, domestic travel restrictions, and labour shortages continue to be the key factors limiting operations of US businesses in Vietnam.

Survey respondents said they were facing labour shortages, as many workers left Ho Chi minh City and several other localities that are home to industrial park complexes for hometowns following the easing of travel restrictions. Many workers were struggling with managing work virtually and their children’s online learning due to school closures

To solve the problems, four fifths of US businesses suggested that local authorities speed up COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure workers are fully vaccinated. In addition, 61% of respondents suggested streamlining procedures for the travel of foreign experts, reopening schools and offering transportation for workers back from their hometowns.

Furthermore, roughly 80% of US businesses expressed their concern about inconsistencies in anti-pandemic policies among localities which they said need to be addressed soon.

The majority of American businesses thought consistent policies throughout the country and herd immunity could be key to economic recovery in Vietnam.

Car imports surge

According to Vietnam Customs, the number of imported cars in Vietnam rose 61 percent to nearly 130,000 units in the first 10 months this year. Passenger vehicles saw a rise of 50 percent to more than 90,000 units.

Industry insiders said the rise came as customs activities resumed after months of social distancing.

Companies were also importing more vehicles to prepare for the end-of-year shopping season.

Vietnam also imported more than 4 billion USD worth of car parts and equipment in the first 10 months, up 33.5 percent year-on-year.

Sales of imported, completely-built units rose 24 percent year-on-year to more than 97,000 in the first 10 months, according to Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association./. 

DEEP C, Bamboo Capital, Sojitz cooperate to develop IP in Vietnam

Hong Duc Industry JSC, part of DEEP C Industrial Zones, Bamboo Capital Group and Sojitz Corporation on November 25 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop an industrial park project and ancillary infrastructure services with expected total investment capital of approximately 250 million USD.

The signing was under the framework of the Investment Promotion Conference held in Japan, under the witness of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Under the agreement, DEEP C Industrial Zones together with Bamboo Capital Group and the Sojitz Corporation will cooperate to develop an industrial park project and rooftop solar power as well as ancillary infrastructure services in the northern region of Vietnam.

DEEP C is a cluster of industrial parks and seaports developed and operated by the investment holding Infra Asia Investment Hong Kong (IAI, majorly owned by Belgian company Ackermans van Haaren), in Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province - the most dynamic development area of north Vietnam.

Over 24 years of establishment and development, DEEP C has established its position as one of the most prestigious industrial zone developers in Vietnam. Up until now, DEEP C has attracted over 140 secondary investors in various manufacturing and logistics services, with total registered capital of 4 billion USD. DEEP C is now operating five industrial zone projects with a total area of 3,400 hectares, supported by a synchronised infrastructure network and reliable utilities and services. The potential to develop a rooftop solar network in factories and workshops in DEEP C Industrial Zones is very promising and part of the sustainability vision developed by the company.

Bamboo Capital (BCG) is a Vietnamese multi-industry corporation, with a strong focus on the field of renewable energy. BCG Energy, a subsidiary of BCG, is one of the pioneers in the development of renewable energy in Vietnam. Today, BCG Energy owns over 500 MW in solar energy capacity and aims to reach 1.5 GW generation capacity in 2023.

The third partner joining DEEP C and BCG is Sojitz Corporation (Japan). Sojitz is one of the largest multi-industry corporations in Japan and appears on the Forbes Global 2000 list. With nearly 440 subsidiaries and branches across Japan and 50 countries and regions globally, Sojitz focuses on the field of automobiles, manufacture of machinery and equipment; metal, energy; chemicals and industrial infrastructure, as well as the fields of agriculture - forestry - fishery and consumer goods. Sojitz Corporation is one of the Japanese pioneers investing in the Vietnamese market since 1986, as well as the first foreign independent power producer with the Phu My 3 Power Plant project in Ba Ria – Vung Tau. In addition, Sojitz has a number of investment projects in industrial park infrastructure, afforestation and timber production and trading in Vietnam.

The three-party agreement between DEEP C, BCG and Sojitz will create synergy from each party’s strengths, aiming to develop together with the Industrial Park project and ancillary infrastructure services, including rooftop solar systems, as well as to conduct research into other types of green energy and storage, so as to ensure the supply of clean and stable electricity for the Industrial Zones operated by DEEP C.

All three parties, DEEP C, BCG and Sojitz, have set a target to develop the first industrial zone in Vietnam that is fully energy independent, enhancing the generation and consumption of renewable energy. This collaboration will not only bring economic benefits to DEEP C, BCG and Sojitz but also contribute to reducing emissions, moving towards carbon neutrality and sustainable development of Vietnam in the future./.

There remains room for stronger Vietnam-Switzerland economic, trade ties: Officials

Economic and trade ties between Vietnam and Switzerland have developed strongly and effectively across spheres, and would grow further in the time ahead.

The view was shared by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch during their working session on November 26, as part of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s ongoing official visit to Switzerland.

Dien expressed his belief that economic and trade cooperation will be the centre and main momentum of the relations between the two countries, and suggested Switzerland work together with Vietnam to successfully build up new cooperative foundations in the time ahead.

Both officials lauded efforts of the two countries’ negotiators during the talks on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). They held that after 16 rounds of official negotiations and various online meetings since 2012, it is time to conclude the talks.

Dien proposed Switzerland, with its great role and prestige in the EFTA, urge other members to take a more practical approach, especially in the fields where differences still remain like trade in goods, public procurement, and intellectual property, to wrap up the talks at an early date.

The two sides consented to work harder to speed up the negotiations, considering this a priority task to create a firm legal foundation for Vietnamese and Swiss enterprises to run long-term business.

They highlighted support to small-and medium-enterprises in export, the development of fundamental industries and technology transfer to Vietnam.

On this occasion, Dien invited the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs to lead a delegation of Swiss enterprises to visit Vietnam as soon as possible.

The same day, Dien attended the Vietnam - Switzerland Business Forum co-chaired by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin.

At the forum, Dien reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, as presented at the at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), held in Glasgow, the UK.

Vietnam will implement a programme on energy transformation from now, he affirmed.

With its commitment and the pledge of the international community to help the country achieve the target, Vietnam needs cooperation in technology, governance and financial resources from partner countries and investors, he said.

Vietnam welcomes investors from Switzerland, Europe and developed countries in general to come to the country to boost cooperation in these priority spheres, the minister stressed./.

Vietnam boats advantages in foreign investment attraction

Vietnam is assessed to have plenty of room to compete for foreign direct investment (FDI) against major competitors in the current global production shift, said Nguyen Bich Lam, former Director General of the General Statistics Office.

In an inclusive interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Lam cited the 2021 investment report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which said in 2020, Vietnam attracted 16 billion USD of FDI, entering the top 20 countries in the world in terms of FDI attraction for the first time.

Despite COVID-19, in the first ten months, 23.74 billion USD worth of FDI were poured into 18 sectors in Vietnam, with processing and manufacturing obtaining the lion’s share of the sum, at 53.7 percent or 12.74 billion USD. This meant that foreign investors are placing great trust in Vietnam as part of the global supply chain.

Also in the period, 7.09 billion USD were added to existing FDI projects in the nation, up 24.2 percent year-on-year, while foreign capital contribution and share purchase reached 3.63 billion USD.

In the ten months, Vietnam reeled in 267.93 billion USD worth of export turnover, up 28.2 percent annually. Of the sum, the FDI sector contributed more than 196.7 billion USD, an annual increase of 20.3 percent. The foreign-invested sector’s import value, meanwhile, reached nearly 176.9 billion USD, up 31.3 percent over the same period last year and accounting for 65.7 percent of the country’s total.

Regarding Vietnam's advantages in attracting foreign investment, Lam said the macro environment and politics are stable, the economy is dynamic, and the consumption market is expanding with abundant supply sources. He also listed consistent policies for foreign investment attraction and improving business climate.

In addition, Vietnam is a member of many large-scale multilateral and bilateral trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA); and Vietnam’s several bilateral trade agreements with the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the UK.

Lam noted that in order to effectively attract and maintain foreign investment in Vietnam, the Government and relevant ministries, sectors, and localities need to implement a number of solutions. Specifically, in the coming time, the Government should to review and promptly adjust foreign investment policies to keep up with fluctuations of the global economy and changes in FDI attraction strategies of other countries.

He also stressed the necessity to build and maintain such competitive advantages as open investment conditions and transparent legal system; to consolidate the stable macro foundation; and to have the right strategy in handling the COVID-19 epidemic and speed up the vaccination process./.

Reference exchange rate down 4 VND

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,139 VND/USD on November 30, 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 23,823 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,436 VND/USD.

The opening-hour rate at commercial banks saw increases.

At 8:30am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,560 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,790 VND/USD, both up 15 VND from November 29.

BIDV also raised both rates by 40 VND, listing the buying rate at 22,595 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,755 VND/USD./.

Digital transformation helps Viettel Store achieve 40 percent growth

Revenue of the Viettel Store system under Viettel Group posted a 40 percent year-on-year increase, more than triple the average level of the telecom market and marking record growth after 15 years of operation.

The results were thanks to its digital transformation and customer-centric strategy. It is expected that its revenue this year would reach 7.4 trillion VND (326.4 million USD), increasing 56 percent from the previous year.

 

Its data system at over 700 agents and 7,000 transaction branches nationwide was synchronised to improve customer care.

As one of the four pillars in its development strategy, logistics and e-commerce invested by Viettel to take the lead in retail trends in the new normal period, including omni-channel store model; restructuring operations from physical stores; and enhancing the digital experience at stores and supermarkets.

Viettel Store system has been one of the retail chains with the highest sales in the high-end segment in the market. It has been ranked in the Top 10 most prestigious retail brands in Vietnam voted by Vietnam Report and Vietnamnet online newspaper./.

Foreign capital flow in Vietnam tops 26 billion USD

Foreign direct investment registered in Vietnam reached 26.46 billion USD as of November 20, up 0.1 percent year on year.

Among 100 countries and territories having investment in Vietnam in the period, Singapore took lead with 7.6 billion USD, making up more than 28 percent of the total.

The Republic of Korea came second and Japan was the third largest investor.

Localities that attracted the most FDI were Long An, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong city./.

Vietnam, Australia promote trade ties

The total import-export turnover between Vietnam and Australia reached a record of 14 billion AUD (10 billion USD) in the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 50 percent over the same period last year.

The figure was revealed by Nguyen Dang Thang, Vietnamese Consul General in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland while addressing a business forum held by South Australia-Vietnam Business Council on November 29. It aimed at introducing opportunities and potential for trade with Vietnam to the Australian business community as well as promoting bilateral investment.

Thang attributed the above-mentioned result to the great efforts of businesses of both sides, adding that the bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Australia continue to grow even in the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called on Vietnamese and Australian enterprises to make full use of the potential and available opportunities to raise bilateral trade turnover to a new height in the context that the pandemic has been better controlled.

He said that the two-way investment turnover between the two countries has increased significantly, worth about 2.5 billion USD.

However, according to Thang, this number is still modest compared to the potential of the two countries. He believed that investment between Australia and Vietnam will mark a new milestone, doubling two-way investment as set by the goal of the strategy to strengthen the economic integration of two sides if opportunities were utilised.

The Consult General affirmed that he will support the South Australia - Vietnam Business Council and Australian businesses wishing to learn about the Vietnamese market.

Participants at the forum held that Vietnam is one of the most potential markets for investment and trade. The cohesion between the two countries, accompanied by advantages that new-generation multilateral trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has increased the interest of Australian businesses in the Vietnamese market.

John Ellis, Director of International Markets at the South Australian Trade and Investment Authority, said Vietnam's investment environment is open and the Vietnamese government always creates favourable conditions for foreign investors.

The promotion of investment cooperation will bring benefits not only to Australia but also to Vietnam, he said, noting that the two countries need to further expand market for each other's goods.

Echoing his view, Ly Hoang Duy, director of 4 Ways Fresh Company, an enterprise specialising in the field of trade and agricultural production in Australia and an importer of fresh agricultural products from Vietnam, expressed his wish to be able to import more fruits from Vietnam to Australia. Duy suggested the two governments should speed up discussion, further promote commitments and increase import licencing in order to expand the market to each other./.

Volume of goods through seaports up 2 percent in 11 months

Vietnam’s seaports handled over 647 million tonnes of goods in the first 11 months of this year, representing a year-on-year rise of 2 percent, according to the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA).

Of the figure, the volume of exports was estimated to hit over 168 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), rising 4 percent, and that of domestic goods 278 million TEUs, up 6 percent.

The total volume of container cargo going through seaports rose 8 percent compared to the same period last year to more than 22 million TEUs.

As COVID-19 was brought under control in October and social distancing measures eased, business activities gradually resumed, prompting a slight increase in the volume of export products.

According to the VMA, some seaport areas posting positive growth in the volume of goods in the period included Quang Ngai with an increase of 37 percent and Quy Nhon 16 percent.

The volume of container goods that went through seaports in Vung Tau, Hai Phong and Dong Nai expanded 15 percent, 14 percent and 6 percent./.

Vietnam's foreign trade up 22.3 percent in 11 months

Vietnam’s foreign trade surged 22.3 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of this year to exceed 599.1 billion USD, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The figure reached 59.7 billion USD in November, up 8.5 percent month-on-month and 19.7 percent year-on-year, the GSO announced on November 29.

The country exported 29.9 billion USD worth of commodities in November, up 3.6 percent month-on-month and 18.5 percent year-on-year. It raised the 11-month export turnover to close to 299.7 billion USD, up 17.5 percent from a year earlier, with the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) contributing 73.6 percent of the total, or 220.68 billion USD, up 20 percent year-on-year.

Thirty-four commodity items earned export revenue of 1 billion USD upwards during the period, which together made up 93.5 percent of the total. Industrial and processing products were the biggest currency earners, with revenue accounting for 89 percent of the total exports, or 266.75 billion USD, up 18 percent.

The US remained the biggest buyer of Vietnamese products, importing 84.8 billion USD worth of goods from the Southeast Asian country in the period, a year-on-year increase of 22.2 percent. It was followed by China (50.5 billion USD), the EU (35.7 billion USD), ASEAN (25.9 billion USD), the Republic of Korea (20 billion USD), and Japan (18 billion USD).

In November, Vietnam spent 29.8 billion USD on imports, up 14 percent month-on-month and 20.8 percent year-on-year. The 11-month import revenue rose by 27.5 percent year-on-year to 299.45 billion USD, 93.6 percent of which were spent on purchasing inputs for production.

China was the largest supplier of products for Vietnam, exporting to the Southeast Asian country 98.5 billion USD worth of goods, up 32 percent from the same period last year. It was followed by the Republic of Korea (50.3 billion USD), ASEAN (37 billion USD), Japan (20.3 billion USD), the EU (15.5 billion USD), and the US (14.2 billion USD).

The country posted a trade surplus of 225 million USD from January to November, compared to 20.19 billion USD in the same period last year./. 

Positive outlook for local rice exports by year-end

There are bright prospects ahead for Vietnamese rice exports in the remaining months of the year due to higher export prices coupled with a rising demand globally.

Vietnam exported over 5.183 million tonnes of rice worth US$2.738 billion during the opening 10 months of the year, representing an annual fall of 3.1% in volume but a rise of 3.7% in value, according to figures given by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

October alone saw the country ship 618,162 tonnes of rice abroad worth US$322 million, an increase of 4.1% in volume and 9.8% year on year.

With social distancing measures eased in southern localities, recent times have seen rice exports enjoy positive signs of growth.

Notably, Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has won a bid to export 15,000 tonnes to the Republic of Korea (RoK). The shipment is expected to arrive at the RoK’s Port of Gwangyang between March and June, 2022. This year sees the RoK implement a 50,000-tonne quota for rice imports from the Vietnamese market.

As the largest local rice exporter, Loc Troi Group took the lead in terms of exporting rice to the European Union during the opening nine months of the year, accounting for approximately 70% of rice export volume to the demanding market.

According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), there will be high demand for rice imports from a number of major markets, such as the Philippines, China, and the EU, ahead in the remaining months of the year.

Along with the resumption of logistics and production activities, the local rice sector is anticipated to achieve the export volume target of between 6 - 6.2 million tonnes this year.

The enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), coupled with the EU’s rising demand for rice is predicted to create a wealth of opportunities in order to boost exports to the fastidious market this year.

However, experts have advised local enterprises to pay special attention to meeting the EU’s stringent regulations in terms of product quality, origin traceability, labelling, and packaging.

The issuance of stricter regulations regarding quality, food safety, hygiene, traceability, and packaging by several markets, including China, is anticipated to pose a number of challenges for local businesses moving forward.

Exports witness robust growth amid positive signs for FDI attraction

There were optimistic signs recorded in exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in the opening 11 months of the year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said on November 29 announcing Vietnam’s major socio-economic indicators for November and 11 months.

The GSO revealed that the country shipped US$299.67 billion worth of goods overseas in 11 months, representing a year-on-year rise of 17.5%.

As many as 34 products recorded an export value of over US$1 billion each, with seven items fetching over US$10 billion in turnover each.

November alone witnessed export turnover reach US$29.9 billion, marking a rise of 3.6% from the previous month and 18.5% against the same period from last year.

The United States remained Vietnam’s largest export market throughout the reviewed period, followed by China, the European Union, ASEAN, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and Japan.

Meanwhile, Vietnam imported goods worth US$299.45 billion during the 11-month period, up 27.5% year on year, with 43 imported items grossing over US$1 billion in value each.

China retained its position as the country’s largest import market spending US$98.5 billion, followed by the RoK, ASEAN, Japan, the EU, and the US.

Vietnam also enjoyed a trade surplus of US$100 million in November, thereby bringing the 11-month trade surplus to US$225 million.

Most notably, there were positive signs in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Vietnam, demonstrating foreign investors’ strong trust in the Vietnamese investment environment despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDI inflows into the country during the 11-month period surged by 0.1% to reach US$26.46 billion against the same period from last year, while Vietnamese investment overseas totaled US$677.3 million, a year-on-year rise of 38.1%.

Seeking solutions to improve cooperatives economic efficiency

The key role of the collective in Việt Nam's socialist-orientated market economy has been reinforced through the success of cooperatives up and down the country, though their further potential remains untapped.

The development of cooperatives was a key target of localities. In order to promote the local economy and overcome the ineffective operations of the current cooperatives, provinces focused on training workforces, mobilising financial sources and fostering administrative qualifications and management methods.

According to a report by the Việt Nam Cooperative Alliance, by June 2021 there were over 26,000 cooperatives nationwide, of which more than 17,000 were agricultural cooperatives, over 7,000 were non-agricultural cooperatives and 1,100 were people's credit fund cooperatives with over 6.8 million members, creating jobs for over 2.4 million employees.

It is clear that the cooperatives have been participating in the One Commune, One Product (OCOP) programme, a national programme for Hunger Eradication and Poverty Reduction and the Programme of New Rural Development.

Many provinces have seen progress in the expansion of cooperatives.

Currently, Bình Thuận Province has 201 cooperatives engaging in all economic sectors and fields with total capital of over VNĐ3 trillion (US$132 million) and over 50,000 members.

In the agricultural production field, more than 30 cooperatives are participating in linkage chains to organise production associated with the value chains, to create a larger volume of quality agricultural products and higher economic value.

Many products of these cooperatives have been recognised by the OCOP programme as provincial-level three and four-star products.

In particular, 25 people's credit funds, which are present in all communes and districts in the province, have played important role in actively supporting cooperative members in production and business activities, as well as contributing to the government to repel black credits.

However, Hồ Công Dương, chairman of the Bình Thuận Province’s Co-operative Alliance, said that most cooperatives are small-scale with little capital and outdated equipment, and have not yet built a sustainable basis for operations.

Some cooperatives had not yet connected their members with the market, Dương said.

This leads to a very loose bond between the members and cooperatives, he said.

These are inherent limitations that the alliance had noticed and was looking for solutions to remove the shortcomings, Dương added.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc, director of Supporting Centre of Co-operative Alliance of Lâm Đồng Province, said that product consumption was one of the most important service activities of the co-operatives in order to help members overcome the situation of 'good harvest, low prices', while alliances between cooperatives play an important role in supporting product consumption.

“The coordination between the departments, agencies, the alliance and the cooperatives is very important in bringing efficiency in the promotion, advertisement and consumption of products,” Ngọc said.

“In addition, the cooperatives and their members needed to realise the importance of linking members together and organising production and consumption of the value chain as well as helping members produce with co-operatives’ development drive,” she said.

According to Ngọc, the alliance should further promote co-operatives’ products via fairs, seminars and exhibitions.

Võ Thị Ánh Hồng, chairwoman of the Co-operative Alliance of Tây Ninh Province, said that the alliance needed to take advantage of capital from the National Target Programme on Building a New Countryside to coordinate with relevant agencies to build a new-style cooperative that promoted production associating with value chains and high technology application.

According to Thích Đức Thiện, National Assembly (NA) delegate of Điện Biên Province, for Việt Nam's economy, in terms of size and the relationship between the production groups, the development of cooperatives is vital to solving the basic development issues of rural areas.

Developing the local economy and cooperatives is an effective lever to assisting the central economy, including the state's key economic groups, Thiện said.

This was even more evident during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“When the cooperatives paid attention to developing, they create a driving force for the country’s agriculture, including the development of organic agriculture, OCOP programme and hi-tech agriculture,” the NA delegate said.

The cooperative model is very suitable in rural areas and will promote the efforts and creativity of farming households, who are the owners of agricultural production activities.

These farming households will also receive effective support from cooperatives and thereby receive maximum support from the State via the National Target Programmes, Sustainable Poverty Reduction Programme, National Programme of New Rural Development and Socio-economic Development Programme in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas, as well as being able to promote links with businesses and fully meet the requirements of international trade and economic integration.

However, there are also some shortcomings in developing cooperatives.

Most cooperatives operate on a small scale with little capital and poor management. This leads to weaknesses in setting up production and business strategies, especially in the period of international integration.

Therefore, fostering human and financial resources and updating management methods need support and investment from the State.

Nguyễn Thành Nam, an NA delegate for Phú Thọ, said that it is necessary to promote collective economic development with various forms of cooperation, though success should be built around cooperatives based on members' and collective ownership, and widely linking households to promote production and business to adapt to the new situation.

In order for the cooperatives to properly develop their role and promote the development of the household economy, the Government, both ministries and branches, should continue to pay attention to this area, including effectively implementing promulgated policies, especially those related to improving human resources for co-operatives, application of scientific and technology in production, investment, infrastructure development in agricultural production, and sustainable product consumption, Nam said. 

CPI increases by just 1.84 per cent in 11 months

CPI increased by just 1.84 per cent in 11 months of 2021 from the same period last year, making it the smallest increase since 2016, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The main contributor to an increased CPI was rising petrol prices. Since November 2020, petrol prices increased by 30.32 per cent, which resulted in an increase of 1.09 per cent in CPI.

In addition, gas price has been on the rise. Since November 2020, it has increased by 25.34 per cent and contributed to a 0.37 per cent increase in CPI.

Rice price has increased in anticipation of the upcoming Tet holiday and higher demand due to stockpiling during the recent lockdown. Construction materials including cement, steel and sand have also been reported to have seen an uptick in price.

Educational services in November have increased by 2.44 per cent year-on-year. However, this has been expected as the new government-mandated pricing started earlier this year. Gold price increased by 2.65 per cent.

On the other hand, foodstuff prices decreased by 0.52 per cent in November, notably pork (-9.62 per cent) and chicken (-0.51 per cent). Government support packages, which included discounts on electricity bills for residents under lockdown, were implemented during the second quarter of the year. Price for airline tickets decreased by 21.39 per cent year-on-year and tour packages by 2.42 per cent.

According to the GSO, inflation in November has seen an increase of 0.11 per cent from the previous month, bringing the year's average so far to a 0.82 per cent increase year-on-year, the lowest inflation recorded since 2011.

Nguyen Bich Lam, former head of the GSO, said price for petrol, rice and foodstuff will likely rise from now until the Tet holiday. As people tend to fix up their homes before Tet, construction materials will also be in high demand and likely see an increase in price, driving CPI slightly up. However, this year's CPI will likely top around 2 per cent, much lower than the 4 per cent target. 

Foreign capital flow in Viet Nam hits US$26.46 billion in 11 months

Foreign direct investment (FDI) registered in Viet Nam reached US$26.46 billion as of November 20, up 0.1 per cent year on year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Notably, the total additional registered capital stood at over $8 billion, an annual rise of 26.7 per cent.

During the period, $14.1 billion was poured into 1,577 newly-licensed projects, up 3.76 per cent in value but down 31.8 per cent in volume over the same period last year.

The remaining investment was used for capital contribution and share purchases in a total 3,466 transactions.

Foreign investors landed investments in 18 sectors, with processing and manufacturing absorbing the largest amount of capital (over $14 billion or 53 per cent), followed by power generation and distribution (over $5.7 billion), real estate ($2.41 billion), and wholesale and retail ($1.27 billion).

Among 100 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam in the period, Singapore took the lead with $7.6 billion, making up 28.7 per cent of the total. The Republic of Korea (RoK) came second with more than $4.36 billion, and Japan was the third largest investor with $3.7 billion.

Localities that attracted the most FDI were Long An ($3.76 billion), HCM City (nearly $3.43 billion), and Hai Phong City (over $2.8 billion).

Export turnover of the FDI sector (including crude oil) was estimated at nearly $220.2 billion, up 19.7 per cent over the same period and accounting for 73.6 per cent of Viet Nam’s total. The sector’s import value (excluding crude oil), meanwhile, exceeded $195.5 billion, an annual increase of 29.5 per cent and accounting for 65.5 per cent of the country’s total. 

First wind power plant in Ben Tre put into operation

The V1-3 Ben Tre wind power plant, the first of its kind in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, was put into operation on Sunday.

Construction of the 7-turbine wind power plant began in April 2020 with total investment of VND1.5 trillion (over US$66.1 million). It has a capacity of 30MW.

The plant is expected to generate an average output of 90 million kWh per year, and annually contribute VND20 billion (over $882,000) to the State budget in the first 14 years of its operation.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Ngoc Tam said the operation of the plant contributes to concretising the province’s goal of maritime economic development, including the development of clean energy, thus helping promote its socio-economic development.

He praised the investor, local authorities and sectors for their efforts and support for the project, while asking the provincial Department of Industry and Trade to coordinate with relevant agencies to remove difficulties and obstacles to speed up construction of other wind power plants in Ben Tre.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, in the 2015-20 period, Ben Tre Province was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop wind power projects with a total capacity of more than 1,000 MW.

Currently, 19 wind power projects are being implemented in the province. In 2022 and the following years, 17 other projects will be developed with a total capacity of more than 914 MW.

In addition, Ben Tre has proposed to add 26 projects with a total capacity of 6,400 MW. By 2025, power projects in the province are expected to generate an average power output of over 4.5 billion kWh with a total revenue of more than VND10 trillion per year. 

Credit room expected to be extended at year-end

As companies and manufacturers accelerate production after social distancing orders were lifted in most cities and provinces, especially in the south, demand for capital is on the rise, boosting banks’ credit growth in the last months of 2021.

The value of seafood exports bounced back in October after declining sharply for two months, said the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Accordingly, 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.

The positive result was mainly thanks to rising orders from key importing markets including the US and European Union (EU). Orders keep coming while production cannot keep up with export demand.

Other sectors like leather and footwear, and wood products also witnessed quick recovery after a long break due to the fourth outbreak of COVID-19.

With the normally busier than usual period at year-end with festivals and holidays, enterprises are speeding up production and expansion to meet strong demand, resulting in higher need for capital.

Phan Dinh Tue, Deputy General Director of Sacombank, said that after being affected by the pandemic in the third quarters, the bank's credit business has recovered since October.

Many businesses need to borrow capital to serve the recovery of production and business activities, while the bank also provides loan packages with preferential interest rates to accompany customers. Therefore many customers are more interested in credit capital.

Although banks have not lowered lending standards, they focus on supporting businesses under Circular 14/2021/TT-NHNN issued on September 7, amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 01/2020/TT-NHNN issued on March 13, 2020 on directing credit institutions and foreign bank branches to reschedule debt payments, waive or reduce borrowing interest and fees, and maintain debt groups to support customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tue added.

Each bank also has its own incentive mechanism for customers.

“As long as customers meet the credit conditions, the bank will disburse normally, even if customers who have debt restructured according to Circular 14/2021/TT-NHNN need new capital to serve business, the bank will still approve them," Tue said.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) branch in HCM City, said that after the social distancing measures were loosened, the city recorded many new credit applications.

A recent report by SSI Securities Corporation (SSI) estimated that in October, an additional VND77.7 trillion (US$3.4 billion) of credit was injected into the economy, nearly double that of September. Of which, the trade and service sectors accounted for the highest proportion with about VND34.9 trillion of newly granted loans, followed by industry and construction with VND15.6 trillion.

As of October 29, credit growth was 8.72 per cent compared to the end of last year. "Credit growth is more positive than expected, showing the recovery of the economy after social distancing," said SSI.

However, based on its calculations, SSI said that by the end of the third quarter, most banks have reached their 2021 credit limit. Therefore, the securities firm expected that SBV will soon extend the credit limit for banks with good asset quality and safety indicators.

Can Van Luc, Director of BIDV Training School, said that as the country is trying to boost economic recovery, the state bank should consider increasing the credit limit for a number of banks, regardless of size.

“Of course SBV has to make sure it doesn't rise too much. I think somewhere around 12 – 13 per cent, even 14 per cent is perfectly appropriate,” Luc added.

In its recently released report, KB Securities Vietnam JSC (KBSV) said that the third quarter financial statements showed that the asset quality of commercial banks, although it takes a few more quarters to accurately assess, was not affected strongly by social distancing orders.

“This is the basis for SBV to soon grant more credit room to banks,” KBSV said in the report.

At a meeting with investors held in early November, Nguyen Hoang Linh, General Director of Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB), said that the bank expects to reach a credit limit of 25 per cent for the whole year, after credit grew nearly 16 per cent for the first nine months, higher than 10.6 per cent at the end of June.

MSB is a bank with good risk management, focusing on disbursement to sustainable development industries, actively participating in activities and policies of the State Bank. Therefore the bank is expected to get credit room extensions, based on the balance and allocation of the management agency, at the end of the year, Linh said.

Many other banks are also waiting for the credit room to be extended to meet businesses' capital needs at the end of the year.

On the interest rate front, experts said that although the interest rate level continued to remain low in the last two months of the year, it is difficult to see further declines, especially when other investment channels such as stocks and gold are attracting cash flow in the market. 

Experts suggest solutions to remove difficulties to real estate business

Experts in construction have been discussing solutions to the difficulties currently facing the industry in terms of housing development and the wider real estate market. The talks took place as part of a seminar that was held in Ha Noi last week.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh said the seminar aimed to cement Government policies and contribute to the completion of tasks assigned by the Government. Industry insiders learned about the opportunities and challenges facing the real estate market and were given the opportunity to outline recommendations for the stable development of the real estate market.

Sinh said his ministry has researched and submitted plans to the Prime Minister for the issuance of a National Strategy on Housing Development through 2030, as well as amendments to the Law on Housing and Law on Real Estate Trading.

He told participants that the ministry has introduced many policies to ease difficulties facing Viet Nam’s real estate market. They have encouraged and promoted the construction of social housing projects for workers and low-income earners while boosting the renovation and reconstruction of old buildings.

The Ministry of Construction recently proposed credit packages of social housing projects for workers.

In addition, the ministry will also closely monitor the issuance of real estate corporate bonds to control and revise its policies to create a healthy and stable real estate market. The ministry will also observe the source of finances poured into the real estate market to avoid the risk of loans earmarked for production being used in real estate development.

The Deputy Minister noted that cities and provinces needed to approve and promote the implementation of the housing development programme for 2021-2025 and the annual plans for housing development, in line with the Law on Housing.

Sinh also mentioned that localities must urgently review and shorten the time for consideration, approval and granting of housing and real estate development projects, providing they meet the requirements of the Construction Law. They are also asked to enhance the development and supply of social housing for low-income earners in urban areas and industrial parks, and commercial housing for middle-income earners as well.

Cities and provinces are required to take bold measures to manage and prevent the illegal allocation of land lots and strengthen control of real estate agencies and brokers who have caused disturbances in the real estate market, Sinh emphasised.

Also at the seminar was Nguyen Van Khoi, standing Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam National Real Estate Association (VNREA). Khoi said that Viet Nam’s real estate market has shown shortcomings and difficulties and they have been taking place for a long time. Real estate firms need to team up with industry insiders and the relevant ministries to help remove these obstacles to the development of the real estate market.

During the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government issued Resolution No.105/NQ-CP on supporting enterprises, cooperatives and business households, and Resolution 128/NQ-CP 2021 on Interim Regulation on safe and flexible adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Construction has outlined a specific action plan to support businesses in the construction and real estate sectors, to keep the real estate market stable.

Khoi also said that the most important task was synchronising the amendments to the Law on Housing and Law on Real Estate Trading because real estate firms need a clear legal framework for housing development.

Nguyen Quoc Hiep, Chairman of GP Invest, said the real estate and construction sectors are closely linked together. Construction firms are interested in how to lift difficulties for real estate development. He said much attention should be to Decree No.30/2021/ND-CP dated March 26, 2021, and Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP dated October 20, 2015.

Sharing Hiep’s view, Deputy General Secretary of VNREA, Nguyen Van Dinh, said that the Government should continue to review the laws to avoid conflicts and barriers to the development of construction projects.

Dinh said to stabilise the real estate transaction market, it was a need to publish information about approved projects, land use plans and real estate projects to be allowed trading.

Dinh emphasised that it is time to make credit risk assessments for real estate development due to the recent land fevers. 

VN-Index extends losses on bank stocks

The stock market ended mixed on Monday as some profit-taking activities on bank stocks weighed on sentiment.

The VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) edged 8.19 points, or 0.55 per cent, down to 1,484.84 points. The benchmark lost 0.52 per cent in the last trading session after breaching the historical peak of 1,500 points last Thursday.

The fall occurred after the new variant of coronavirus was found in South Africa, raising concerns over the slowdown of the global economy and disruptions in supply chains.

The market's breadth was negative as 187 stocks increased, while 293 stocks declined. The liquidity remained high but still fell slightly compared to the last session. Of which, the total trading value on HoSE dropped 8.4 per cent to VND30.03 trillion (US$1.3 billion).

The index was weighed by losses in most large-cap stocks, especially in banking, manufacturing and energy sectors.

The 30 biggest stocks tracker VN30-Index posted a loss of 13.51 points, or 0.86 per cent, to 1,553.04 points. Data compiled by vietstock.vn showed that only four stocks in the VN30 basket climbed yesterday, while 26 stocks slid.

Bank stocks led the market's downtrend with Vietcombank (VCB) posting the biggest losses of 3.71 per cent, followed by Techcombank (TCB), down 3.15 per cent.

The market's benchmark was also weighed by other stocks, including Masan Group (MSN), PetroVietnam Gas (PV Gas, GAS) and BIDV (BID). These stocks dropped in a range of 2.09 - 3.17 per cent.

The positive point of the market yesterday was the gains in the real estate sector. Two of the stocks in the trio Vin family, including Vingroup (VIC) and Vinhomes (VHM), recorded the biggest gains, with VIC hitting the maximum daily gain of 7 per cent.

However, on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index rose 1.95 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 460.58 points.

During the trading session, nearly 163.6 million shares were traded on the northern bourse, worth over VND4.8 trillion.

Meanwhile, foreign investors continued to be net sellers on both main exchanges, with a total value of VND562.03 billion. Of which, they net sold a value of VND352.41 billion on HoSE, and a value of VND209.62 billion on HNX.

National Assembly approves new mechanisms for breakthrough in Haiphong

The resolution allowing Haiphong to pilot a number of policies for development was passed by the National Assembly with high approval rate.

At its recent second session, the 15th National Assembly approved a resolution on piloting some mechanisms and policies for the development of Haiphong and three other localities to promote sustainable development and create a model for other localities to follow.

Deputy head of the National Assembly’s Delegation of Haiphong City La Thanh Tan said that the resolution has received a high approval rate.

Haiphong’s geographical advantage as the main gateway to the northern sea, plays an important role in the economic growth of Vietnam.

Haiphong has witnessed high growth pace and achieved financial self-sufficiency, with ample space for further development. The city remained stable despite COVID-19, reporting one of the highest annual economic growth rates in the country. The resolution promises to boost development with spillover effects for the entire region.

The development directs pushing up the pace of modernisation and industrialisation in Haiphong, along with living standard improvementto be on par with leading Asian cities.

Leveraging incentive merchanisms in finance, salary policy, land planning and management, Haiphong is expected to accelerate socio-economic development in the forthcoming years.

Regarding financial and budgetary policies, Haiphong would mobilise capital through local government bond issuances, loans from domestic financial and non-financial organisations, and foreign loans taken up by the government to relend to the city. The total balance will be a maximum 60 per cent of the city's budgetary revenue. The city’s total annual loan and budget deficit shall be decided by the National Assembly in accordance with the Law on State Budget.

Annually, target-based budget supplementto the city from the central budget would not exceed 70 per cent of the central budget revenue increase. This allocation will be made unless the central budget suffers a deficit. This budgetary supplement will be determined on the basis of total gross revenue.

The Haiphong People's Council is also allowed to decide on the collection of fees and charges excluded from the List attached to the Law on Fees and Charges as well as adjust the rate of collection of the fees and charges included in the above list. This particular policy does not apply to court fees and charges.

The city budget will be able to keep all the increased revenue from adjusting fees and charges for socioeconomic infrastructure investment. This increase is not used to determine the distribution rate of central and local budget revenues.

The resolution clearly states that the pilot policy on fees and charges should follow a roadmap, creating a favourable business and production environment for enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized ones. Implementation will have to be consistent with market mechanisms and not disrupt goods circulation while ensuring transparency and promoting state administrative reforms.

Civil servants’ income will also be subject to a special mechanism. If Haiphong can ensure a stable budget for salary reform and social security policies for the whole period, the People's Council is allowed to use the residual salary reform budget to increase the average income for cadres, civil servants, and public employees according to their work performance. The extra income must not exceed 0.8 times the salary level by title and position. The income level of experts, scientists, and special professionals talents shall be regulated by the People's Council.

Regarding land management, the City People's Council is allowed to decide on changing the land use purpose of rice crop areas under 500 hectares, in accordance with the master planning and land use plans approved by competent authorities. These activities must be public, voted by the residents in question, and comply with relevant regulations. The change order and procedures shall be prescribed by the prime minister.

At the same time, based on the city's construction planning of functional and urban areas, the PM shall allow the city People's Committee to approve the adjustment of local general planning of functional and urban areas, ensuring the order and procedures regulated by the PM and report the results. This mechanism shall take effect from January 1, 2022 and would be implemented for five years.

At the meeting with voters in Hai An district this mid-November, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said that the newly approved specific mechanisms and policies promise to boost Haiphong's development, becoming a driving force not only of the region but also for the whole country.

According to the NA Chairman, the Politburo has enacted two thematic resolutions related to Haiphong which reflect a big change in its status and development goals, not only serving as a growth pole but also acting as a motivating force to spur the development of whole region and the whole country.

The development directs pushing up the pace of modernisation and industrialisation in Haiphong, along with living standard improvementto be on par with leading Asian cities. Simultaneously, turning Haiphong into a leading city regionally and internationally.

Setting the course for emissions cuts

While the necessary course for a greener and more sustainable future in global energy policies seems set, Vietnam’s energy transition faces budgetary and capacity challenges, both of which need to be overcome with suitable solutions.

Vietnam’s endeavour to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 may be one of the biggest challenges for current Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Hong Dien.

Tran Tuan Anh, his predecessor, once supported the extension of the feed-in tariff (FiT) mechanism for wind power projects. Meanwhile, Minister Dien wants to only apply the FiT mechanism for a certain period, to encourage only those projects that need investment.

The minister’s authority allows him to take several measures to reduce energy imports, strengthen the asynchronous energy infrastructure, and propose a mechanism for the development of new and renewable energy sources. Dien promised to do all this when he took his position.

However, “The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will not propose an extension for the FiT scheme for wind power projects after October 31,” Dien said at a discussion of the National Assembly (NA) on November 9. According to Dien, an extension would be “unreasonable” and that such a mechanism would hurt other projects’ implementation.

Input prices of materials and equipment within the wind power field have decreased as the support policy was promulgated and continued a strong downward trend. The extension of this policy, said the minister, would cause “legal consequences and economic damage” to the state and electricity users.

Instead, Dien’s biggest wish seems to soon complete the regulations on the development of wind and solar power projects under the Law on Investment, with a bidding and auction mechanism to select investors and determine electricity prices.

Investors would negotiate prices with Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) within a set price bracket issued by the MoIT. This, however, will need support from the government and the NA. Yet so far, “The MoIT has not received an agreement from relevant ministries and agencies,” Dien said.

The rapid reduction of emissions necessary to cope with climate change will have a huge impact on Vietnam’s energy industry, and is possibly closely linked to short-term policies to develop new and renewable energy sources, according to analysts.

In the past, the approach was to rely on hydroelectricity to cut coal power plants’ generating capacity. But now, cutting capacity from traditional sources and giving priority to solar and wind power may help the MoIT to achieve the environmental goals, albeit putting pressure on the system.

Firstly, the MoIT will have to remedy signs of imbalance in regulating power sources. Data from EVN shows that by the end of April, the total solar power capacity reached 17,000MW, exceeding the planned capacity of the plan by 2030 by 5,000MW and accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the system’s installed capacity.

Meanwhile, the market may continue to record a boom in wind power projects in the last months of the year, when about 5,400MW are added to the system.

However, this could bring the electricity price in danger of being disrupted when the cost of mobilised renewable energy is higher than the price of traditional power sources. For example, solar power has a selling price of 9.35 US cents per kWh, rooftop solar power costs 8.38 US cents per kWh, and onshore wind power is about 8.5 US cents per kWh.

Meanwhile, the average prices of gas-powered thermal plants like Nhon Trach, Ca Mau, and Phu My lies around 5.1-6.2 US cents per kWh. The maximisation of high-priced renewable energy sources and the reduction of gas-fired thermal power mobilisation has pushed up electricity prices, while the average commercial electricity price has remained unchanged since March 2019, standing at about 8.1 US cents per kWh. Also, the deep decline in the mobilisation of gas power sources is dragging the budget revenues from traditional energy sources to a lower level. For instance, the Ca Mau 1 and 2 thermal power plants only mobilised 3.5 billion kWh in the first eight months of this year.

With the current situation, it is expected that the total mobilised output in 2021 will be at 4.53 billion kWh for 2021, equal to about 65 per cent of the calculated capacity. Expected payments to the local state budget would then be equivalent to a mere 32 per cent of the annual average.

According to calculations by Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, if gas output does not increase, the total gas output in 2021 is expected to be about 7.9 billion cubic metres. However, the gas exploitation plan assigned by the government expected 9.7 billion cu.m, with expected losses amounting to around $365 million. In 2022, a continued sharp decrease in gas production to around 6.52 billion cu.m could affect the state’s revenues by another $675 million.

Another important point is that the uncertainty of renewable energy will cause great challenges in frequency and voltage regulation, as well as in ensuring stability for the power system.

Nguyen Duc Ninh, director of the National Load Dispatch Centre, said that with the rapid and large increase in renewable energy, traditional power sources must be flexible and regularly adjust the output.

According to Ninh, mechanisms to curtail renewable energy sources has been applied by many countries around the world when their ratios reached a certain level. “Considering such mechanisms is very important for the stable operation of Vietnam’s power system when renewable energy continues to increase,” Ninh said.

Vietnam has become the leading country in ASEAN in terms of installed solar and wind power capacity. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, by the end of 2020, Vietnam’s total solar capacity reached about 16,500MW, far exceeding the target of 850MW in that year and even close to the target of 18,600MW set for 2030.

According to Dr. Bui Huy Phung from the Vietnam Institute of Energy Sciences, “Minister Dien will need about two years to develop a suitable bidding mechanism. During this transition, we must be very careful to retain investors,” said Phung.

Phung, who has 40 years of research experience in energy, believed that Vietnam’s transition to renewable energy will not be smooth. “People have to be aware of the risks and drastic fluctuations associated with it. Nevertheless, the direction remains unchanged, and the world will use more renewable energy,” Phung said. 

All-in-one energy storage solution for renewable energy development in Vietnam

Recently, the workshop on the application of the energy storage systems and efficiency technology of the renewable energy (RE) projects in Vietnam" was grandly held by the Scientific Council of the Vietnam Energy at the Hanoi International Convention Center.

Hopewind and its Vietnamese partner RedFOX Investment Joint Stock Company were invited to participate in this workshop.

The workshop invited leading enterprises, experts and scholars from Vietnam’s State central management agencies, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), National Load Dispatching Center, Vietnam Energy Industry, to focus on Vietnam’s renewable energy market policies, investment risks, project problems, and solutions, and analyze the application of energy storage systems and technologies in renewable energy to improve the utilization efficiency of renewable energy projects in Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the ASEAN countries with the most abundant reserves of clean energy, such as wind and solar energy. In addition, the government has continuously issued a number of encouragement and incentive policies in recent years, making Vietnam the most potential wind power and photovoltaic new energy development market in Southeast Asia.

However, the large-scale and high proportion of new energy grid connection will inevitably bring great challenges to system planning, consumption, and safe and stable operation for a long time. As a key technology for energy structure transformation, energy storage technology can effectively solve the instability and intermittent problems of renewable energy power generation, smooth the output of new energy, and improve the stability of the power system. Therefore, reasonable application and technical investment of energy storage systems can improve the utilization efficiency of renewable energy projects in Vietnam faster and better, which has attracted great interest from new energy investors, managers and operators.

At the workshop, Hopewind made a thematic sharing of "All-in-one Energy Storage Solutions and Products", combined with the status quo of the development of the Vietnamese market, shared product advantages, typical project case sharing, and integration of solar and energy storage. Participants discussed the application of energy storage systems in Vietnam's renewable energy projects.

In addition to the carefully prepared special lectures, Hopewind also set up a product display area outside the venue to bring energy storage products and solutions to the guests. During the break of the conference, the exhibition area ushered in the visits of experts, investors, and operators in the new energy industry. The staff of Hopewind gave the guests a detailed and professional product technical explanation, which was widely favored. Among them, the outdoor energy storage integrated machine solution received particularly enthusiastic response.

Hopewind energy storage has an early layout and large shipments. Products cover PCS, EMS, energy storage integrated machines, off-grid controllers and other equipment. The application scenarios involve various sides, including power generation, power grid, users, and microgrid. With the leading system integration capability in the industry, the company won the 2021 Best New Energy Side Distribution Energy Storage Project Award, 2021 Best System Integration Solution Supplier Award, and other honors.

Looking forward to the future, Hopewind will continue to uphold the corporate mission of "promoting technological progress in the industry and creating a better life for mankind" and insist on innovation in energy storage technology to make electricity more valuable and make the system safer and more stable.

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

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 29

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 29

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WB forecasts Vietnam’s growth at 5.5 percent in 2022
BUSINESSicon  14/01/2022 

The World Bank (WB) has forecast that Vietnam’s economic recovery is likely to accelerate in 2022 as GDP growth is expected to rise to 5.5 percent from 2.6 percent in the year just ended.

Vietnam reconsiders electricity sources after making international energy commitments
Vietnam reconsiders electricity sources after making international energy commitments
FEATUREicon  14/01/2022 

Vietnam’s commitments at 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) will have a big impact on the country’s energy system. 

Vietnam’s economic growth forecast to rebound strongly in 2022
Vietnam’s economic growth forecast to rebound strongly in 2022
BUSINESSicon  13/01/2022 

Some foreign financial organisations have issued relatively positive predictions for Vietnam’s economy this year, with growth expected at 6.5 - 6.7 percent.

Three factors behind FDI attraction in Vietnam
Three factors behind FDI attraction in Vietnam
BUSINESSicon  13/01/2022 

Low labour costs, a geographical location close to Asian supply chains, and Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK)'s efforts to promote greater overseas investment are considered as three factors in boosting Vietnamese foreign direct investment (FDI).

Live streaming attracts young people to earn money
Live streaming attracts young people to earn money
BUSINESSicon  13/01/2022 

Making money on online platforms and social networks is increasingly popular in the labor market, streamer jobs have become popular keywords for many young people.

Ample room for Vietnam's aviation investment
Ample room for Vietnam's aviation investment
BUSINESSicon  16/01/2022 

Private investors will have more options to invest in aviation infrastructure, which has been dominated by state-owned enterprises. 

Power Development Plan VIII under revision again
Power Development Plan VIII under revision again
BUSINESSicon  13/01/2022 

The draft Power Development Plan VIII is being revised again and expected to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval in the first quarter of 2022.

 
 
 
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