VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS OCTOBER 9

Four scenarios for Vietnam’s cloud computing market

The Ministry of Information and Communications is collecting feedback on a draft master plan on information and communications (ICT) infrastructure for 2021-2030 with a vision to 2050, which outlines four scenarios for the growth of the market.

In the first scenario, the market will keep growing with a total revenue of 653 million USD by 2025. Vietnam will be among the top 50 countries globally in terms of the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). With nearly 46,600 racks that need to be installed by 2025, it is necessary to have at least 17,000 Gbps for domestic broadband connection.

Under the second scenario, digital applications will become popular in the entire population and industries. In terms of the sector’s contribution to the GDP, Vietnam will be one of the top 30 countries worldwide. By 2025, the total revenue from cloud computing services will reach 1.1 billion USD and about 80,000 racks need to the installed, thus requiring at least 22,000 Gbps for domestic broadband connection.

With digital applications widely used in all sectors and thriving digital transformation, Vietnam is expected to be among 10 countries worldwide in the contribution of the cloud computing market to the GDP in the third scenario. By 2025, the total revenue is estimated at 4.3 billion USD while 327,000 racks need at least 62,000 Gbps.

According to the fourth scenario, Vietnam will strive to become a digital hub in the region and earn 4.7 billion USD by 2025. With about 335,000 racks, the demand for domestic broadband connection is equivalent to that in the third scenario.

Statistics showed that Vietnam’s cloud computing market was worth about 200 million USD in late 2020 with a growth of 20.67 percent during the 2016-2020 period./. 

Vietnam Motor Show 2021 likely to be delayed till 2022

Vietnam Motor Show 2021 (VMS 2021) is likely to be postponed until next year due to the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VMS 2021 was originally scheduled to take place in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2021 by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) and the Vehicles Importers Vietnam Association (VIVA). It is likely that the show will be canceled until an appropriate time in 2022 due to COVID-19, sources say.

Last year, the motor show, the largest of its kind in Vietnam, was postponed amid COVID-19 fears.

The latest auto show was held in 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City that attracted 15 car brands that such as Audi, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes -Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, VinFast, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Unlike the world’s auto shows which introduce new models and new technologies, Vietnam Motor Show is considered as a market where car manufacturers introduce and sell their products.

India’s Adani Group seeks to expand investment in Vietnam

Asia’s second richest billionaire, Gautam Adani, expressed his desire to expand investment in Vietnam during his recent meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau.

The billionaire said his Adani Group wants to invest in Vietnam’s seaports, airports and thermal power plants in the form of new development joint ventures or existing projects in the near future.

Ambassador Chau said the embassy will soon establish an Ad hoc group and work with Vietnamese ministries and agencies in order to realize the Indian group’s ideas. If these projects are successful, India will soon become one of the top 10 foreign investors in Vietnam.

Adani Group has invested in a wind power project and a solar power project in Ninh Thuan province.

Forbes has ranked Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group, as the 24th richest billionaire in the world and second in Asia, with a total fortune of about US$74 billion.

The Indian billionaire is said to control almost a quarter of aviation operations in India. His main source of wealth comes from power generation, renewable energy and transportation.

Established in 1988, Adani Group originally got involved in import-export activities. Over the years, the multinational group has positioned itself to be the market leader in its transport logistics and energy utility portfolio businesses focusing on large scale infrastructure development in India.

The group is now present in more than 70 countries and territories around the world with annual revenue of more than US$15 billion.

Philippines drops probes on safeguard measures for some imported steel products

The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced that it will suspend three safeguard investigations on some imported steel products, according to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam (TRAV) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The DTI on June 15 last year initiated three safeguard investigations on steel products, namely galvanised steel, galvanized aluminum alloy steel, and  metallic-coated galvanised steel products, imported into the country, including those from Vietnam, after domestic manufacturers filed a lawsuit alleging that the sudden increase in imports from other countries causing serious damage to the country’s industry, the TRAV said.

The authority emphasised that steel exporters can continue their export activities without the concern about the imposition of safeguard duties on these products from the Philippines.

As of 2020, the Philippines had investigated 13 trade remedy cases against Vietnamese exports, including an anti-dumping investigation and 12 safeguard investigations. The Philippines initiated investigations into four trade remedy cases against Vietnamese exports last year. The items investigated by the Philippines were mainly steel products.

Vietnam's exports to the Philippines market in 2020 reached more than 3.5 billion USD, accounting for 1.26 percent of Vietnam's total export turnover. Of which, the turnover affected by trade remedy-related lawsuits initiated or reviewed in 2020 is about 2 million USD./.

Plenty of room for Vietnamese products to enter Mexico

There are bright prospects ahead for exporting Vietnamese goods to Mexico by taking full advantage of tariff incentives set out within the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), according to industry insiders.

Luu Van Khang, the Vietnamese trade counselor in Mexico, revealed that Mexico is a potential market for Vietnamese seafood, as the Central American country imports frozen fish worth approximately US$351 million annually.

Following the enforcement of the CPTPP, Mexico is committed to eliminating 77% of tariff lines as of January 14, 2018. Due to this change Vietnamese seafood exporters are striving to make positive use of tariff incentives from the terms of the trade deal.

Most notably, seafood exports to Mexico during the opening eight months of the year soared by 77% to over US$59 million, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Along with seafood products, rice, textiles and leather shoes have also seen a wealth of opportunities to penetrate deep into this market, Khang said.

Nguyen Son Tra, deputy head of the WTO and Trade Negotiation Division at the Multilateral Trade Policy Department, advised local businesses to better grasp consumer tastes and select suitable products to export to this market.

She also emphasised the need to become increasingly proactive in gaining greater insights into the trade pact’s preferential import duties, and use e-commerce platforms in a bid to strengthen connectivity with Mexican businesses amid the complex nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Vietnam’s trade surplus with Mexico has been maintained over the years as the Central American country is one of the few markets in the region that has recorded a trade surplus of more than US$2 billion annually.

Bilateral trade turnover during the first eight months of the year reached US$3.24 billion, up 36.08% against the same period from last year, making Mexico the second largest Vietnamese trading partner in Latin America and the fourth biggest in the Americas, behind only the United States, Canada, and Brazil.

At present, Vietnam’s market share in this market accounts for only 1.3% of the total.

Vietnam works towards responsible, sustainable fishery sector

Vietnam’s fishermen, businesses and government have joined hands in implementing fishing regulations, in a bid to have the European Commission (EC)’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing “yellow card” removed.

According to the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the EC has lauded Vietnam’s efforts in fighting IUU fishing over the past four years, saying the country has made progress in implementing domestic regulations and laws in this regard.

Vietnam’s legal framework has basically matched international regulations, thus facilitating the building of a sustainable, responsible fishery sector with international integration.

The implementation of relevant regulations in the Law on Fisheries 2017 and documents guiding the enforcement of the law has borne fruits.

More than 87 percent of fishing boats measuring at least 15m in length have been equipped with journey monitoring devices, and all fishing boats with a length of 24m and above have completed the installation of the devices.

Forty-nine fishing ports in 28 coastal cities and provinces have traced the origin of caught products. Exports to the European markets have undergone thorough inspections.

Moreover, the IUU Committee of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has intensified communications among the business community.

For the Government, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has issued Decision No. 339/QD-TTg dated March 11, 2021 approving the fishery development strategy to 2030 and a vision to 2045.

He asked relevant ministries and agencies and People’s Committees of the 28 coastal cities and provinces to raise the sense of responsibility to complete key tasks and solutions.

Accordingly, the domestic fishery sector aims to reduce the exploitation volume from 3.8 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes.

Ministries, agencies, sectors and localities were requested to synchronously carry out solutions to combat IUU fishing, towards a sustainable fishery sector./.

Measures suggested to boost GDP growth amid COVID-19

The General Statistics Office (GSO) has proposed the Government prioritise effective pandemic prevention and control, and continue aid packages for enterprises in a bid to boost GDP growth given difficulties caused by COVID-19.

GSO Director General Nguyen Thi Huong advised domestic firms to closely work with multinational foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses like Samsung and Toyota to seek material suppliers in Vietnam capable of fulfilling their needs in both short and long terms.

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 6.17 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the sharpest drop since the country began announcing its quarterly GDP figures in 2000.

However, the overall GDP expanded by 1.42 percent in the first nine months of 2021 from the same period last year, marking a great success of the country in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining production and business amid the prolonged period of social distancing in many provinces and cities.

During the period, the agro-forestry-fishery sector posted an expansion rate of 2.74 percent, contributing 23.52 percent to the overall growth; with the figures for industry and construction being 3.57 percent and 98.53 percent, respectively.

Huong said a number of sectors could recover in the fourth quarter if COVID-19 is brought under control, public investment disbursement is accelerated, and financial aid packages are promptly implemented.

Notably, when the world demand in the last months of the year tends to increase, Vietnam will have the conditions to strive for the highest possible growth amid its combat against the epidemic, the official noted./.

Singapore becomes leading investor in Vietnamese manufacturing sector

By September 2021 Singaporean financiers have injected US$23.5 billion across 690 projects in Vietnam’s processing and manufacturing industry, accounting for nearly 40% of Singapore’s total investment capital in the country, according to the Foreign Investment Agency.

Despite complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore poured US$6.28 billion worth of investment into Vietnam over the past nine months, making up nearly one third of total FDI and becoming the largest foreign investor in the country.

Ho Chi Minh City topped 50 provinces and cities attracting FDI from Singapore with 1,445 projects capitalised at US$11.55 billion, followed by Hanoi in the north and Binh Duong in the south.

Prominent large-scale Singaporean projects included Bac Lieu liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant which has a total registered capital of up to US$4 billion, South Hoi An Resort with total investment of US$4 billion, and Long An liquefied natural gas power plant worth US$3.1 billion.

According to economic experts, Vietnam boasts bright prospects for attracting FDI from Singapore, particularly following the launch of the Singapore-Vietnam Business Council in July 2019, which has contributed to enhancing trade and investment promotion between the two countries.

To woo further Singaporean investment, the experts suggest that Vietnam simplify administrative procedures for existing financiers and facilitate investment in advantageous Singaporean fields such as infrastructure development, logistics, finance, banking, education, health care, tourism, the marine industry, aerospace, and startups.

The Foreign Investment Agency reports that Singapore has had 2,769 valid FDI projects valued at US$62.61 billion in Vietnam, ranking third among 141 countries and territories investing in the country.

Geographical indication of Binh Thuan dragon fruit protected in Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on October 7 granted a Geographical Indication (GI) certification for dragon fruit grown in the south central province of Binh Thuan of Vietnam after three years the Binh Thuan Dragon Fruit Association had submitted the application for the status in Japan.

The protected status is hoped to be a "passport" for the trademark “Binh Thuan dragon fruit” to make inroads into the Japanese market, and at the same time affirms the prestige of the product.

It is also expected to offer new opportunities to Binh Thuan to promote export of dragon fruit to other markets, especially choosy markets such as Europe, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.

Dinh Huu Phi, General Director of the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology, emphasised that the GI certification for Binh Thuan dragon fruit has contributed to increasing the value, competitiveness and export advantage for Vietnamese products.

According to Phi, the GI certification allows Binh Thuan’s dragon fruit to gain a stronger foothold in the Japan market. This is also an important milestone, paving the way for the promotion of appying for the protected status for other Vietnam’s agricultural products in this fastidious market.

Binh Thuan is among the provinces producing the most dragon fruit in Vietnam with an annual output of nearly 700,000 tonnes.

Many dragon fruit co-operatives in the locality, such as Thuan Tien, Hoa Le, Hong Son, and Ham Tinh, were granted Collective Trademark by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

Earlier, Thieu lychee grown in Luc Ngan district in the northern province of Bac Giang was granted a GI certificate from the MAFF./.

Seafood exports in September down, recovery slow

Vietnam’s seafood exports continued falling 23 percent in September, following a significant decline of 36 percent in August, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The association attributed the decrease to shrinking production as the southern localities had to impose social distancing measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, in the first half of September, most of the southern localities applied social distancing under the Prime Minister’s Directive 16, many processing factories suspended operations, leading to a decrease of 31 percent in the nation’s total seafood export turnover. In the second half of the month, several localities began loosening social distancing, which helped restore some production activities. Seafood export turnover in the whole month reached over 628 million USD, down 23 percent over the same period in 2020.

In the month, seafood exports to the US recovered with a slight increase of 3 percent year-on-year to 159 million USD, while those to other markets continued to decline, with China seeing the biggest drop (nearly 50 percent), and Japan, Canada, the UK and Australia also experiencing decreases of between 35 and 45 percent.

During January-September, the export of aquatic products hit 6.2 billion USD, up 3 percent year-on-year. Notably, shrimp exports reached 2.76 billion USD, up 2.6 percent, the exports of tra fish and tuna rose by 3.2 percent and 9 percent to 1 billion USD and 520 million USD, respectively.

VASEP said that the best outlook for seafood exports this year is to be equal to that of 2020, or 8.4 billion USD./.

Central bank proposes new law on bad debt settlement

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has proposed to issue a separate law on bad debt settlement.

The new law would be based on the provisions of Resolution 42/2017/QH14 to ease the work of settling bad debts.

In a recent report sent to the National Assembly, the SBV said existing policies on bad debt settlement of credit institutions are currently regulated in many different legal documents.

Resolution 42 piloting the bad debt settlement of credit institutions, which was approved by the National Assembly in 2017, will also expire next year.

The SBV, therefore, has proposed to legislate the policies specified in Resolution 42 into a new law to continually enable the banking industry to settle bad debts of credit institutions. The issuance of a new law on bad debt handling will help maintain the settlement of bad debts after the expiry of Resolution 42, helping credit institutions accelerate the handling of bad debts to avoid potential risks for the economy.

Experts also suggested streamlining Resolution 42 to better deal with bad debts.

According to banking expert Can Van Luc, one of the major problems when dealing with bad debts currently is the handling of collateral. The right to seize security assets of a credit institution is one of the key contents in Resolution 42, but it does not specify regulations when the borrowers do not cooperate. Therefore, as Resolution 42 will expire next year, Luc said it is necessary to have a law on bad debt settlement with a stronger legal framework.

Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, director of ANVI Law Firm, said Resolution 42 has a good effect in dealing with bad debts, however, the policy still needs to be further streamlined to improve the handling of bad debts of the banking industry.

Though the banking industry has still actively taken measures to handle bad debts and limit newly arising bad debts, the debts tended to increase in the first months of the year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of June 2021, the bad debt ratio was 1.73 percent against 1.69 percent at the end of 2020.

Banks handled 78.86 trillion VND in the first six months of 2021 through provisions and debt sales.

From August 15, 2017 to June 30, 2021, 359.41 trillion VND of bad debt was recovered according to Resolution 42.

The results are positive, but many warnings showed bad debt will continue to rise again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the SBV’s statistics, banks restructured loans worth about VNĐ350 trillion for COVID-19-affected borrowers. Industry insiders estimated if half of the loans became bad loans, the bad debt ratio of the banking system would increase to more than 3 percent by the end of this year./.

Retail sales to increase 3-4% by the year-end, says MoIT

The retail sale of consumer goods and services is likely to increase by 3-4 per cent by the end of this year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has forecast.

According to the MoIT, growth will however be lower than the 8 per cent target set earlier in this year, reported the online newspaper Kinh te & Do thi.

From now until the end of the year, the ministry said it would focus on removing difficulties for manufacturing enterprises, especially for larger businesses operating in industrial zones, allowing them to resume production in time for the expected increase in demand at the end of the year. It is hoped that this increase will offset the economic decline caused by months of COVID-19 restrictions.

The ministry will utilise opportunities created by free trade agreements and focus on removing obstacles to penetrate new markets. It will also closely monitor supply and demand and the prices of essential commodities to draw up regulatory measures, as well as ensuring sufficient distribution of essential goods among regions, especially in pandemic-affected areas.

Top priority will be given to bettering market inspection and supervision in the remaining months of this year, promptly detecting violations relating to speculation, smuggling, counterfeit and poor quality goods, to facilitate the presence of Vietnamese goods in the domestic market.

Importance will also be placed on the gradual reopening markets, trade centres, supermarkets and convenience stores which have ensured pandemic prevention and control measures, and implementing price-stabilisation programmes and promotional events for the upcoming Tet holiday (which falls on Feburary 1, 2022).

The ministry will also help businesses participate in online trade promotion programmes and business matching events, both at home and abroad. The utilisation of digital platforms will help increase the consumption of goods in the last months of the year, and next year as well.

According to the MoIT, total retail from consumer goods and services in September increased 65.5 per cent against August, as production, business and services resumed in some localities.

However, the country’s total retail sales and services revenue saw a year-on-year slump of 7.1 per cent to VND3.336 quadrillion (US$148 billion) in the first nine months of this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retail sales of goods in the period was estimated at over VND2.77 quadrillion, accounting for 82.54 per cent of total retail sales of goods and services, and a decline of 3.38 per cent compared with last year’s figure.

Revenue from accommodation and catering services reached VND279.4 trillion, down 22.14 per cent year-on-year. Revenue from tourism and other services reached VND4.63 trillion and VND303.97 trillion, falling 64 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively compared with the same period last year.

Domestic trade’s proportion of the country’s GDP is expected to rise to 15 -15.5 per cent in the next 10 years, under an approved strategy for developing domestic trade between 2021 and 2030.

 

By 2030, domestic trade via e-commerce will likely increase by about 20-21 per cent annually to account for 10.5-11 per cent of total retail sales of goods and consumer service revenue. The percentage of small and medium-sized enterprises involved in trading activities is hoped to surpass 40-45 per cent.

The strategy looks to achieve fast and sustainable growth of domestic trade, build brands for Vietnamese goods, and protect the interests of consumers, businesses, and the national economy.

Among the main orientations to develop domestic trade, authorities are set to press on with improving the investment and business climate, form a market order adaptable to the new operating conditions, develop domestic trade stably and sustainably, keep domestic trade’s growth faster than GDP growth, and develop e-commerce into the main form of trading.

Vietnam leaves impression at M-Tech Osaka 2021

A Vietnamese stall at the Mechanical Components & Materials Technology Expo (M-Tech) in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture has attracted numerous visitors who sought cooperation opportunities.

The stall introduced products made by the Viet Au Engineering Joint Stock Company. This year, due to COVID-19, a large number of Vietnamese firms could not attend the annual event – one of the largest of its kind in Japan. The M-Tech concluded on October 8.

Ta Minh Duc from the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan said in recent times, with support from the Vietnamese trade office in Japan, many Vietnamese companies have had the chance to join expos, introducing their products and seeking partnerships.

In 2020, Vietnam's export turnover of supporting industry products to Japan reached 1.1 billion USD, accounting for about 5 percent of Vietnam's total value of exports to this country./.

 Dong Nai Province factories reopen but face labour shortage

Thousands of workers in the southern province of Dong Nai returned to work on Tuesday after a three-month furlough due to COVID-19.

The Dong Nai Industrial Zones Authority has allowed 11 companies with more than 17,500 workers to resume production without requiring them to live on-site.

Twenty one enterprises that had workers to live on-site now allow them to commute from home.

Pousung Viet Nam Co., Ltd in Bau Xeo Industrial Park on Tuesday did COVID rapid tests that provide results within minutes of more than 5,500 workers before resuming operations.

But Le Nhat Truong, chairman of its trade union, said the company is struggling with a labour shortage with only 20 per cent of workers turning up.

It hopes the number would gradually increase, but that depends on the vaccination rate, he said.

Only workers living in COVID low-risk areas are allowed to come to work, making it difficult for enterprises, he said.

Most enterprises in the province have urged the administration to give priority to fully vaccinating workers in the manufacturing sector to ramp up production, Le Van Danh, deputy head of the Dong Nai Industrial ZonesAuthority, told a meeting on Monday.

They also want the Government to partly subsidise the cost of rapid tests since it puts a large financial burden on them, he said.

More than 1,254 enterprises in the province followed the so-called ‘three on-site’ model that required workers to stay at the workplace and not go home during the pandemic, while 600 remained closed, he said.

The industrial zones authority has urged provincial authorities to set up quarantine and health centres at industrial parks in preparation for a possible spike in new cases as movement restrictions are lifted.

The province, a manufacturing hub, has 31 industrial parks with 630,000 workers.

Cao Tien Dung, chairman of the province People’s Committee, said support for workers would be stepped up to stop their exodus to their hometowns.

The People’s Committee has instructed industrial zones to allow enterprises with safety plans to reopen soon. 

Numerous Japanese firms consider moving part of their production chains to Vietnam

A number of Japanese companies are in the process of considering plans to move part of their production chains to the nation in the near future, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan.

M-Tech Osaka, Japan's largest trade show for mechanical components and materials technology, opened in Osaka Prefecture on October 6, with the event featuring the participation of big brand manufacturers from global industrial powers such as the UK, France, Germany, the US, the Republic of Korea, and China.

The three-day event is running from October 6 to October 8 and offers Vietnamese enterprises an ideal opportunity to introduce various products, seek greater co-operation opportunities, and fully engage in the global value chain, while simultaneously gaining access to advanced and modern production technologies.

An issue this year is Vietnamese businesses finding it challenging to attend the latest version of the trade show and deal directly with foreign partners due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with the support from the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, Vietnam-Europe Mechanical Joint Stock Company managed to successfully register for a booth at the exhibition, with the function drawing the attention of visitors who are keen to learn and seek greater co-operation opportunities with the firm.

According to statistics, the export value of products relating to the support industry between the country and Japan in 2020 reached US$1.1 billion, thereby accounting for 5% of total Vietnamese export turnover to the Far East nation.

This is therefore considered a remarkable result coming from the efforts of the two Governments to promote bilateral co-operation in this field.

Of the six priority sectors of the industrialisation strategy within the framework of joint co-operation, three relate to the support industry, including electronics, agricultural machinery, and automobile manufacturing.

The initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 served to severely disrupt and break some parts of the supply chain, thereby causing a wave of Japanese businesses to shift their supply chains from China to neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, including the Vietnamese market and Thailand.

According to information given by the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, the Vietnamese support industry, as well as businesses in this field, must remain active to seize new opportunities for investment attraction and business co-operation.

Businesses in HCM City welcome back workers

Enterprises based in industrial parks, export processing, and high-tech zones have fully met the requirements according to Ho Chi Minh City's set of criteria for disease prevention when welcoming staff back to work.

Since early October a number of enterprises located in industrial parks, export processing, and high-tech processing zones in the southern metropolis have begun the process of welcoming back workers to resume production and business activities.

In total, 18 industrial parks, export processing, and high-tech zones have roughly 1,500 enterprises with approximately 288,000 employees between them, in which, over 650 firms with 51,000 workers are running under the "three on-site" option.

According to Nguyen Van Be, chairman of the Business Association in industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City, these businesses now fully met the southern city's requirements relating to COVID-19 prevention and control.

Most notably, in addition to 110 out of 170 factories with 6,000 employees in Hiep Phuoc industrial park of Nha Be district, a total of 40 further factories have resumed operation since early October, with roughly 30 businesses resuming operations in Linh Trung export processing zone of Thu Duc City.

Furthermore, in the Tan Thuan export processing zone, several industrial parks, including Cat Lai II, Le Minh Xuan, Binh Chieu, and An Ha, 80% of office department employees are working at their company' headquarters.

Moreover, vaccinated workers in provinces bordering Ho Chi Minh City, such as Long An, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong, are also set to start work in the near future.

“Businesses must meet all requirements for disease prevention when re-operating. The Management Board is responsible for appraisal and post-inspection. Currently, businesses are also preparing machinery and hygiene safety to welcome workers back in accordance with regulations. Workers who have received 1 or 2 doses of vaccines must undergo testing before getting to work," Be added.

Viettel to invest in 16 potential solutions, products of Viet Solutions Contest

Viettel Group will partner with businesses whose the best solutions and projects are selected from the ongoing third Viet Solutions Contest 2021.

Co-organised by Viettel and the Ministry of Information and Communications from June 10, the contest looks for technological ideas and products in the fields of healthcare, education, finance-banking, agriculture, transport - logistics, energy, natural resources - environment, industrial production, entertainment solutions - utilities, and business management.

It attracted 257 entries from eight countries around the world after three months, and 16 potential solutions and products have been selected so far.

The organisers said products and solutions for health, education, entertainment and utilities accounted for more than 40 percent of the total, while entries related to technology in business management made up 26 percent.

The 32 best teams in the preliminary round competed in Pitch Day, which took place on October 5 and 6, to select the ten most potential teams for the final round of the competition on October 16.

The contest’s winner will receive a cash prize of 300 million VND (12,000 USD), meanwhile winners of the second and third prize will be awarded 200 million VND and 150 million VND, respectively.

Besides, winning teams will have the chance to sign contracts with Viettel to implement their ideas./. 

Banks improve credit growth in last months of 2021

Credit growth by the end of September 2021 reached 7.17 percent, much higher than the level of 4.99 percent in the same period last year. However, in September, due to the impact of the pandemic and social distancing, the total outstanding balance of the whole economy decreased by VND23 trillion.

Although credit growth in the past nine months remained optimistic, especially in the context of complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to the end of August, credit in September recorded a negative growth when the outstanding balance of the whole economy fell by VND23 trillion.

In Ho Chi Minh City alone, nine-month credit increased by about 6.41 percent compared to the end of last year, but much lower than the growth rate of the whole industry while it was always higher. In the third quarter of this year alone, credit in HCMC only increased by 0.76 percent compared to the second quarter of this year and the lowest compared to the previous two quarters.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)-HCMC Branch, explained that the pandemic had caused all production and business activities in the area to stall. Many factories had had to reduce capacity or halt production to fight the pandemic, so it had a significant impact on the credit activities of banks. Moreover, banking operations also encountered difficulties and obstacles related to travel restrictions, making access to the disbursement of new loans grueling, thereby affecting credit growth.

According to the SBV-HCMC Branch, with the Covid-19 pandemic gradually being controlled, along with the plan to reopen the economy, credit growth in HCMC is forecasted to recover in the fourth quarter. At present, some districts in HCMC, namely District 7, Can Gio District, and Cu Chi District, have controlled the pandemic and are on a roadmap to restore production and business activities.

This trend will expand when the pandemic situation is improved, and herd immunity is achieved, as the ratio of people in HCMC getting the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is on the increase. Under such conditions, capital demand will rise again.

Mr. Nguyen Hoang Minh also said that this agency would direct commercial banks to deploy the program to connect banks and businesses to best meet the capital needs to restore and develop production and business activities in the new normal state.

At the same time, it would promote business support programs under the direction of the Government, the SBV, and the People's Committee of HCMC to contribute to the economic recovery of the city.

Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, Director of the SBV Department for Credit for Economic Sectors, forecasted that the credit scenario would recover strongly from October and the last two months of 2021.

The SBV will have an interest rate compensation package of VND3 trillion, equivalent to an outstanding balance of more than VND100 trillion, to be pumped into the economy in the near future to support people and businesses.

“The credit target of this year is 12 percent, but it is flexible. If necessary, it can still be expanded to create the most favorable conditions for businesses to borrow capital," said Mr. Anh.

Mr. Dao Minh Tu, Standing Deputy Governor of the SBV, said that he would consider and adjust the credit room for commercial banks to ensure sufficient capital supply for enterprises to resume production and business activities.

However, he emphasized that this expansion of the credit growth room relies on the basis that commercial banks must balance capital sources, evaluate the effectiveness of loan plans, and take responsibility for credit grant decisions.

Therefore, the SBV has recently required commercial banks to strictly control the growth rate of credit balance and credit quality for sectors with potential risks or seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially outstanding loans in the real estate sector for personal use purposes.

It prioritizes and focuses on giving loans to industries and sectors that encourage and serve production, import-export, and international payment to create conditions for businesses and people to access credit sources to recover production and business activities after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analysts of SSI Securities Company assessed that the SBV would continue to maintain the loose monetary policy in the coming time. And one of the main measures is to increase the credit room to facilitate commercial banks to cut lending interest rates further. Lately, it is recorded that many commercial banks have been granted additional credit rooms by the SBV.

Specifically, Techcombank and TPBank have just been granted the highest credit room at over 17 percent. Some other commercial banks, such as MSB, MBBank, and ACB, are also allowed to increase their credit room to 9.5-15 percent. SBV’s permission will help commercial banks have more room to finance businesses to restore production and business activities.

The leader of a commercial bank in HCMC said that the bank's credit room remained available, so it would consider giving loans to businesses that need and qualify for loans according to regulations. Credit growth may recover in the last three months of the year. However, it will not make a breakthrough like in previous years because credit growth depends heavily on Covid-19 control and the capital absorption capacity of the economy.

HCMC, provinces enjoy smooth transportation thanks to ease of Covid restrictions

The transport connection between HCMC and provinces, including Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Lam Dong, Long An and Tien Giang has become more convenient, comfortable and accessible in these days. There are still a few Covid-19 checkpoints at gateways to localities.

Functional units establish lanes and organize traffic flow on main roads running through Binh Duong Province, including National Highway 13 and DT 743.

Vehicles owners are required to display negative test result for covid-19 that is taken once a week at provincial-transport checkpoints at Vinh Binh Bridge in Thu Duc City’s Hiep Binh Chanh Ward, Phu Long Bridge in District 12 in HCMC and roads in Binh Duong Province.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has also asked for strict control of truck drivers due to an increase in new Covid-19 cases related to drivers of lorries transporting goods.

In Long An Province, vehicles transporting commodities have to continuously register for the green lane while drivers and people on the vehicles must present a valid negative coronavirus test result.

The Department of Transport of Tien Giang Province has required traffic participants of vehicles carrying goods and agricultural products to stay at their temporary accommodation after returning to the province.

According to the Department of Transport of HCMC, transport operators must register for new identification paper with QR code at the website vantai.drvn.gov.vn for vehicles transporting goods between HCMC and provinces starting on October 10.

On the same day, the People’s Committee of Binh Duong Province has issued a document on agreeing with the HCMC’s traffic draft plan of picking up specialists and workers between the two localities and the use of personal vehicles in border areas among HCMC’s Thu Duc City and Thuan An and Di An cities in Binh Duong.

The People’s Committee of Dong Nai Province alson came to an agreement on HCMC’s plan of the use of automobile for carrying workers among the southern economic hub, provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and Tay Ninh.

ASEAN – major hub for India's global economic engagement: Minister

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the major hubs for India's global economic engagement, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar said on October 7.

Speaking at the Indo-ASEAN Business Summit, Jaishankar noted that India's ties with ASEAN are rooted in history, geography and culture.

What has energised them in recent years is a growing awareness of the potential they hold for mutual interests and development, he stated.

“From the prolonged crisis of the last two years, four areas have come into sharp focus for international business cooperation: resilient and reliable supply chains, health security, digital for development, and green and sustainable recovery,” he said.

The minister said India's economic resurgence is driven by reformations in several sectors including manufacturing, labour, agriculture, education, skills, and of course, improving the ease of doing business.

Ties between India and ASEAN have intensified during the past few years with attention to ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence, he added./.

More firms in Binh Duong register to resume operations

An increasing number of factories in the southern province of Binh Duong has registered to resume operations, according to the Binh Duong Industrial Park (IP) Authority.

In addition to enterprises working under “three-on-site” and “one route, two destinations” models, there are nearly 200 businesses that have signed up to reopen under the “three green” model.

Enterprises outside IPs have also begun to follow suit and each case will be thoroughly considered by local authorities in order to ensure safety.

The province’s employment centre said local enterprises need about 50,000 workers in the coming time.

Binh Duong has worked to administer the second COVID-19 jabs to its residents, with priority given to workers at IPs./.

Experts discuss tourism management at heritage sites

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Colombian Embassy in Vietnam on October 8 held a webinar discussing the role of central and local management agencies and enterprises in managing tourism at heritage sites.

The event, part of activities to realise the memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, attracted the participation of hundreds of experts and delegates from the two countries.

They shared information, policies and experience in the role of central and local management agencies and businesses in tourism management at the UNESCO-recognised heritage sites, including Vietnam’s Trang An Landscape Complex – a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site - in Ninh Binh province.

The delegates focused discussions on issues related to tourism management such as promoting the cultural and spiritual values of heritage sites, and preserving these values in a sustainable way.

Speaking at the webinar, deputy head of the VNAT Ha Van Sieu said that although the COVID-19 pandemic has had a heavy impact on the tourism industry, the world has the right to hope for the sector’s recovery and development in the near future.

This series of events will be the premise to clearly orient the recovery and development of the tourism industry of the two countries.

Director of the Ninh Binh Department of Tourism Bui Van Manh said that the title of world heritage has created an important highlight, making Ninh Binh a bright spot on the tourist map of Vietnam (top 10 localities with the highest number of visitors in Vietnam).

In order to actively respond to COVID-19 and prepare resources to develop tourism after the pandemic is put under control, the provincial Department of Tourism and the Management Board of the Trang An Landscape Complex have implemented many measures to stimulate tourism, including offering attractive products at preferential prices and ensuring service quality to attract domestic visitors.

The province is also developing new products to attract international tourists, especially those from regions that are not affected by the pandemic./.

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

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