VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 18

Digital transformation plays a vital role in agricultural development
 

To achieve ambitions to become a modern-oriented industrialised nation by 2030 and a developed country with high income by 2045, Viet Nam must succeed in the digital transformation process, in which agriculture is one of the priority areas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said.

Minister Son gave the statement at the Vietnam Agricultural Digital Transformation International Forum 2021, themed “Keeping up with market trends, ensuring the pivotal role of the economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.” which was held virtually on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), and e-newspaper VnExpress.

The forum is a place for dialogue and public-private policy activities between the Government, private sector and stakeholders. It was also an activity within the framework of the Vietnam International Agricultural Exhibition 2021 (AgriTech Expo 2021).

Son said the Vietnamese Government attaches great importance to accelerating digital transformation, considering it a breakthrough and an opportunity to boost socio-economic development. Minister Son said the COVID-19 pandemic poses major challenges to Viet Nam’s agriculture and it’s important to promote digital transformation in agricultural development.

"To prepare for Viet Nam’s economic growth post-pandemic, MOFA will work closely with relevant ministries, sectors, localities and businesses and expand international cooperation. We aim to boost digital transformation in agriculture," said Minister Son.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said over the years, the agriculture sector has been instrumental in supporting economic growth during difficult times.

At present, the agriculture sector makes up 14 per cent of the country’s GDP and employs 40 per cent of the total workforce. He said the labour productivity and output in the sector have reached their limits in terms of technology, affected by depleted natural resources and negative impacts from climate change.

Hoan said it was essential for the sector to change the mindset from agricultural production to the agricultural economy.

Hoan pledged to offer all resources and the most favourable policies for businesses wishing to bring added value to Vietnamese agricultural products and improve their trademarks.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) would strongly support the digital transformation process and replace agricultural technology models because the Vietnamese agricultural sector is not only the “backbone” of the economy in difficult times, but was also a measurement of sustainability of the country, he said.

Truong Gia Binh, president of the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association told participants that a strong push for digitalisation is needed, especially in e-commerce, e-payment, logistics, and production that could turn Viet Nam into a global power in agriculture production.

Binh added favourable weather conditions in Viet Nam mean farmers could work all year round, even in winter, not to mention two-thirds of the population live in rural areas.

Delivering a speech at the forum, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said Viet Nam, given its starting point as an agricultural country, had banked on the sector to grow both in the past and at present.

During the pandemic, the role of the sector was increasingly important to ensure society’s survival, said Dung.

Lack of resources, digital infrastructure, and financial preparation were key barriers to the digitalisation process in Vietnamese agriculture, he said.

"Furthermore, farmers play an important role in agricultural digital transformation, but it is not easy for them to approach and adapt to new technologies. So, more training and support are needed to equip farmers with the necessary digital tools."

Commenting on this problem, Kohei Sakata, head of Digital Farming Solution Incubator of Asia-Pacific region at Bayer Corporation, said there were many digital farming solutions on the market but they were not designed for smallholder farming. Most of these solutions focused on commercial farming with large acres and high affordability. When it came to the pain points of the smallholder farmer segment in Viet Nam, the biggest challenge was that the value chain was broken and farmers could not capture the value they created due to this value chain inefficiency.

The forum consisted of two discussions that focus on policy orientations and the theme “Shaping Viet Nam’s digital agriculture until 2035” with presentations by 20 speakers representing local authorities and leaders of businesses and corporations.

Participants at the event also shared scenarios of Viet Nam’s agricultural digital transformation by 2035, key issues in Viet Nam’s agricultural development strategies towards digitalisation given complicated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruption and climate change. 

Craft villages in Hanoi resume production

As social distancing measures have been eased in Hanoi since September 15, production facilities in local craft villages have begun preparing for the restoration of production after being standstill for a long period. However, craft villages still face many difficulties and need more support from local authorities and relevant agencies.

Bui Hong Luyen, Chairman of the People's Committee of Phu Tuc Commune, Phu Xuyen district, which is famous for grass weaving production, said upon being informed that they can resume production, a bustling atmosphere has been restored in the commune. Many orders are being completed.

Nguyen Huy Khiem, Director of the Phuc Loc Wooden House company in Chang Son Carpentry village, Thach That district, said 80 percent of its employees have returned to work.  Most production facilities in the locality are operating at least at 40 percent of their capacity, he said,  adding that they all followed the requirement on pandemic prevention and control.

In recent years, craft villages have made a significant contribution to the local economic structure. Their revenue, production, and export value have increased over the years. 

There are about 100 craft villages with a turnover of 10-20 billion VND per village per year, nearly 70 villages with 20-50 billion VND per year, and about 20 with over 50 billion VND per year, contributing significantly to the local budget. 

The stagnant production during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, seriously affected revenue, budget contributions and employments for employees. Therefore, when the city eases the restrictions, the villagers are very excited and focus on their production.

However, craft villages are facing many difficulties such as limited income and obstacles in investing in reproduction. For craft villages that sell their products mainly on the domestic market, it was impossible to make a breakthrough in consumption during this period.

Vu Quoc Thuong, Chairman of the People's Committee of Chuyen My commune, Phu Xuyen district, said a lack of new orders was the main reason behind the fact that many production establishments in the locality have yet to restore operation, adding that the production at craft villages wouldn’t be resumed soon.

Besides, many households are operating on a small scale and haven’t completed business registration or tax registration. 

Although many households had to stop working during the social distancing period, it was difficult for them to receive support under the Government's resolution. Thus, representatives of facilities in craft villages want to access preferential loans so that they can gradually restore production./.

Government issues resolution to support businesses amid COVID-19

The Government has issued a resolution on supporting enterprises, co-operatives and household businesses given the COVID-19 pandemic, with four groups of solutions.

The resolution, issued on September 9, requires drastically fighting against the pandemic and at the same time creating favourable conditions for enterprises, co-operatives and business households to recover, maintain and develop production and business.

Along with further allocating COVID-19 vaccines to priority groups, the Government asks the Ministry of Health to issue a document this month guiding the purchase of biological products and testing equipment to perform self-testing; study and develop mechanisms; and facilitate and encourage enterprises to import vaccines.

According to the resolution, the State will also carry out quality inspection, license, preserve and organise free vaccinations.

Secondly, the resolution requires ensuring stable production, smooth, efficient and safe circulation of goods, and overcoming supply chain disruptions.

In particular, the Ministry of Transport will guide localities to uniformly implement the "green channel" of road and waterway transport nationwide, inter-provincially and inter-regionally to transport goods smoothly, quickly and conveniently.

No additional conditions or permits are required, to ensure circulation of goods, especially essential goods, both for daily life and production.

Thirdly, the resolution asks to cut costs, as well as remove financial difficulties and cash flow for businesses, co-operatives and business households.

The fourth solution is to create favourable conditions for labourers and experts.

This month, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs directed localities to relax a number of regulations and conditions on granting, extending and certifying permits for foreign workers to work in the country./.

Vietnam has substantial potential for offshore wind power: report

Vietnam has substantial potential for offshore wind power: report hinh anh 1

Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam’s offshore wind power has technical potential of about 160 GW, according to a national report on maritime and insular environment for 2016-2020.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been implementing big wind power projects, including ThangLong Wind in the south-central province of Binh Thuan with a capacity of up to 3,400 MW and total investment amounting to 11.9 billion USD.

These projects are expected to contribute to ensuring energy security and protecting the environment, and mark steps forward for Vietnam’s wind power.  

Dr. Du Van Toan, from the Institute of Seas and Islands, pointed out Vietnam’s great potential for offshore wind power, and suggested the country put forth targets and suitable policy frameworks to optimise the potential.

Another released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on July 22 finds that Vietnam is facing a crucial crossroads in its energy system planning, and has the opportunity to act now to accelerate deployment of offshore wind in this decade.

Localities that boast huge wind power potential include Quang Ninh with 11 GW; Ha Tinh, 4.4 GW; Ninh Thuan, 25 GW; Binh Thuan, 42 GW; and Tra Vinh; 20 GW.

The offshore wind power sector has substantial potential and is expected to further develop as it generates clean energy in the context of global climate change./.

Craft villages in Hanoi resume production

As social distancing measures have been eased in Hanoi since September 15, production facilities in local craft villages have begun preparing for the restoration of production after being standstill for a long period. However, craft villages still face many difficulties and need more support from local authorities and relevant agencies.

Bui Hong Luyen, Chairman of the People's Committee of Phu Tuc Commune, Phu Xuyen district, which is famous for grass weaving production, said upon being informed that they can resume production, a bustling atmosphere has been restored in the commune. Many orders are being completed.

Nguyen Huy Khiem, Director of the Phuc Loc Wooden House company in Chang Son Carpentry village, Thach That district, said 80 percent of its employees have returned to work.  Most production facilities in the locality are operating at least at 40 percent of their capacity, he said,  adding that they all followed the requirement on pandemic prevention and control.

In recent years, craft villages have made a significant contribution to the local economic structure. Their revenue, production, and export value have increased over the years. 

There are about 100 craft villages with a turnover of 10-20 billion VND per village per year, nearly 70 villages with 20-50 billion VND per year, and about 20 with over 50 billion VND per year, contributing significantly to the local budget. 

The stagnant production during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, seriously affected revenue, budget contributions and employments for employees. Therefore, when the city eases the restrictions, the villagers are very excited and focus on their production.

However, craft villages are facing many difficulties such as limited income and obstacles in investing in reproduction. For craft villages that sell their products mainly on the domestic market, it was impossible to make a breakthrough in consumption during this period.

Vu Quoc Thuong, Chairman of the People's Committee of Chuyen My commune, Phu Xuyen district, said a lack of new orders was the main reason behind the fact that many production establishments in the locality have yet to restore operation, adding that the production at craft villages wouldn’t be resumed soon.

Besides, many households are operating on a small scale and haven’t completed business registration or tax registration. 

Although many households had to stop working during the social distancing period, it was difficult for them to receive support under the Government's resolution. Thus, representatives of facilities in craft villages want to access preferential loans so that they can gradually restore production./.

Vietnam becomes largest tuna exporter of Israel

The export value of Vietnamese tuna exports to the Israeli market by mid-August jumped by 34 percent to nearly 25 million USD compared to the same period last year, or accounted for 5.6 percent of the total tuna export value, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The export value of Vietnamese tuna exports to the Israeli market by mid-August jumped by 34 percent to nearly 25 million USD compared to the same period last year, or accounted for 5.6 percent of the total tuna export value, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Israel continues to be Vietnam’s third-largest single tuna export market, behind the US and Italy.

According to VASEP, tuna export turnover was estimated at over 410 million USD in seven months of this year, up 21 percent annually. Vietnam’s major importers include the US, Europe, Israel, Canada and Japan. The US was the largest importer with a value of over 170 million USD.

Despite experiencing a decline in 2019, since the end of 2020, tuna exports to the market have consistently bounced back, with the average export price in the market hovering at 5,464 USD per tonne.

Most notably, Vietnamese frozen tuna fillets coded HS03048700 remain the key export product in the market, accounting for 47 percent of the total export value.

According to statistics released by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the first half of the year saw Vietnam surpass Thailand to become the largest tuna supplier to Israel, accounting for roughly 31 percent of their overall import value.

Furthermore, Israel simultaneously reduced tuna imports from other countries, while also increasing imports from the Vietnamese market.

At present, there are eight local enterprises, including Tuna Vietnam, Bidifisco, and Havuco which are actively involved in exporting tuna to the Israeli market./.

EU set to increase seafood imports from Vietnamese market

The EU's import demand for seafood is anticipated to increase in volume in the near future compared to the same period from 2020, with the Vietnamese seafood market share set to grow due to local seafood exporters taking advantage of the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

According to the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, there are currently 109 markets from outside the EU which supply seafood to the bloc.

Most notably, the nation makes up the eighth largest seafood supplier to the EU in terms of value, accounting for 3.38% in volume and 3.27% in value, reaching a total of 58.9 thousand tonnes worth EUR236.9 million, equivalent to US$279.7 million.

The Import-Export Department also pointed out the criteria for selecting seafood products for consumption within the EU, with priority given to seafood products originating in Europe that have clear information about product origin. In addition, they typically prefer eco-friendly and ease-to-use items.

The trend of EU seafood consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in fresh, high-value aquatic products with average prices, such as frozen, easy-to-cook, and canned seafood. These items have recorded a sharp increase in demand thanks to their convenience amid the enforcement of social distancing due to COVID-19.

These are prominent factors in the EU's seafood import and consumption trends while the COVID-19 pandemic remains complicated.

The pandemic has yet to fundamentally change the view of seafood consumption and imports in the bloc, but it has made some difference in product value and convenience.

However, the EU's seafood consumption and import trends may change in the near future when the COVID-19 pandemic is fully controlled by mass vaccination.

Simultaneously, the EU's seafood consumption and import trend may gradually return to the way it was before, with the bloc’s seafood imports set to increase, leading to a rise in the market share of Vietnamese seafood.

Going digital vital for development of tourist sector

Technology has helped people who love to travel satisfy their desire to explore the world in the context of staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As for travel firms, digital transformation enables them to access new potential customers, solving problems relating to human resources, operating costs, and duration time. It also effectively supports the introduction and promotion of tourism products. Digital transformation is considered as the future of the "smokeless industry" and Vietnam is no exception.

The country has quickly applied technology into tourism development, creating virtual products to attract tourists, including Son Doong tour.

Last year, Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh has been named among 10 of the best virtual tours of natural wonders by British newspaper The Guardian.

Also last year, a virtual tour was made for the first time in the northwest. A set of 360-degree photos and virtual reality (VR) about Moc Chau tourist attractions, service facilities at the Moc Chau national tourist site have offered a panoramic view to visitors.

Recently, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum has rolled out a brand-new 3D virtual tour in both Vietnamese and English which is integrated on the museum's website (vnfam.vn). The launch of the tour is expected to allow art lovers to enjoy the museum’s various collections of national treasures, paintings and sculptures anywhere and anytime, using their Internet-connected smartphones or computers.

According to a report by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), domestic tourists in the first eight months of this year reached 31.2 million, down 5.5 percent over the same period last year.

Vietnam has yet to open its doors to international tourists since April last year. Total revenue from tourists is estimated at 136,520 billion VND (nearly 6 billion USD), a decline of 36.5 percent over last year’s figure. 

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet suggested that the VNAT should focus on completing the assigned tasks in the remaining months of the year. 

In addition to devising scenarios to welcome tourists back and restore the tourism industry when the pandemic is under control, Viet said that it is necessary to promote digital transformation activities towards strengthening the public-private partnership.

Despite facing many difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the VNAT has still paid attention to digital transformation. The administration has focused on taking advantage of such social media channels as YouTube, Zalo, and Facebook to popularise Vietnam's tourism with diverse and updated content.

According to the Institute of Tourism Research and Development, smart tourism software are also developed in key tourism sites to support tourists. The application of technology is also promoted at involved enterprises.

Ha Van Sieu, Deputy General Director of the VNAT, said that the digital transformation process required the drastic participation of all levels, with the same sense, responsibility, and efforts from businesses, organisations, and local authorities./.

Minister suggests support for firms to invest in Cuba

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien has committed close collaboration with the Cuban Embassy in Vietnam to effectively carry out bilateral cooperation activities, contributing to deepening Vietnam – Cuba economic and trade ties.

During a reception in Hanoi on September 17 for Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolas Hernandez Guillen, Dien wished that Cuba would continue tackling difficulties faced by Vietnamese firms when exporting to and investing in the Caribbean country.

He suggested that the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Cuban Embassy in Vietnam should continue working closely together to bolster bilateral economic, trade and investment ties, so as to match long-standing political relations.

Both sides should further strive to help their business communities fully tap the Vietnam – Cuba trade agreement that took effect on April 1, 2020, the first of its kind that Cuba signed with an Asian nation.

The host proposed Cuba offer preferential policies to create favourable conditions for foreign enterprises and those from Vietnam in particular to invest in the country.

 

The Ambassador, for his part, emphasised Cuba’s attention to boosting collaboration with Vietnam in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, which are strength of Cuba for many years.

He also wished to learn from Vietnam’s experience in developing solar energy and using advanced technologies in industrial development.

According to the MoIT, the two countries enjoyed two-digit growth in import-export turnover during 2015-2018. Two-way trade reached 335.3 million USD in 2018, up 43 percent from 2017. Vietnam is investing in four projects worth 51 million USD in Cuba.

The MoIT’s Department of European-American Markets reported that two-way trade hit 178.5 million USD last year. Of which, 175.6 million USD were Vietnam’s exports, mostly rice, coffee, chemicals, apparel, footwear, computers and accessories, construction materials, ceramics, machinery and spare parts. Its imports were vaccines and pharmaceuticals./.

Tetra Pak expands investment in Vietnam

Tetra Pak has announced an additional investment of five million EUR in its 120 million EUR packaging material factory in southern Binh Duong province.

The additional investment reaffirms its confidence in Vietnam's economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing commitment to support food and beverage producers in Vietnam.

“This additional investment of five million euros reflects our confidence in the strong recovery of Vietnam’s post-pandemic economy,” said Eliseo Barcas, Managing Director for Tetra Pak Vietnam. “This investment also enables us to better serve our customers by offering greater capacity, more exciting packaging innovation and reducing our environmental footprint.”

The new investment is expected to increase the factory’s annual output from the current 11.5 billion to 16.5 billion packages, thereby meeting the growing needs for aseptic packages in Vietnam and regional markets. In addition, it empowers the factory to produce premium carton packages to replace imports.

The upgrade will also include the installation of 2,300 solar panels on the factory’s roof. This effort is part of Tetra Pak’s ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the company’s operations by 2030.

“As the business environment is being surrounded by many challenges brought on by COVID-19, the expansion of Tetra Pak factory in Binh Duong province is indeed a refreshing highlight, reflecting the company’s leadership in the food packaging industry,” said Tran Quang Trung, President of the Vietnam Dairy Association.

“The expansion would surely give dairy producers peace of mind on the continuous supply and quality of the carton packaging, which has become very important in the context of the current disruptions in the global value chain. Sourcing packaging material from a local production as in Tetra Pak Binh Duong factory is, no doubt, a big advantage for not just dairy but other food and beverage manufacturers.”

With the investment, Tetra Pak continues to reinforce its strategic focus to protect food, people, and the planet, which is even more important during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has stressed the importance of safe and nutritious food in protecting people’s health. Working with local food manufacturers, we have delivered about seven billion units of liquid food packaged in cartons to Vietnamese people over the past nine months, an equivalent growth of almost 14 percent on a year-over-year basis,” Barcas said.

Put into operation in mid-2019, Binh Duong factory was Tetra Pak’s eighth facilities in the Asia Pacific region that is set to produce aseptic cartons for domestic and export markets in ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2020, Tetra Pak Binh Duong was certified with the most-demanding LEED Version 4 Gold, which helps the factory save 17.6 million litres of water, recycling or salvaging 65 percent of generated waste, and decreasing 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year./.

Vietnam-Cuba trade has ample room for growth

Vietnam and Cuba see ample room for trade growth as two-way trade is valued at just about 200 million USD annually.

Although bilateral trade saw a downward trend in the recent two years, Cuba remains among 10 countries with the highest trade turnover with Vietnam in America.

Of note, to support Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19, Cuba presented the Southeast Asian nation thousands of doses of Interferon Alfa 2B for treatment of COVID-19 patients and will cooperate with Vietnam in technology transfer of the medicine.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s Cuba visit on September 18-20 is expected to serve as a bridge to tighten the two countries’ relations, thereby facilitating the sustainable development of bilateral trade.

The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement was inked in Hanoi in November 2018 during an official visit to Vietnam by then President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba Miguel Diaz Canel.

However, the rate of capitalising on the trade agreement remains modest due to various reasons, including the prolonged pandemic and difficulties facing Cuban firms.

Bilateral trade hit 53.7 million USD in the first six months of this year, with Vietnam exporting goods worth 51.4 million USD to Cuba, statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)'s European-American Market Department showed.

Vietnam mainly ships rice, coffee, chemical products, garment-textile, footwear and computers and accessories; and imports vaccines and pharmaceutical products from the Latin American country.

The MoIT, over the years, has sent delegations to participate in the Havana International Fair (FIHAV), Cuba's most important biennial trade fair. The ministry also supports Cuba’s pavilions at trade fairs hosted by Vietnam.

Cuba sent a strong delegation of 30 corporations and firms across the fields of electrical mechanics, renewable energy, industry and biological products, among others, to attend the Vietnam Expo held in 2018.

At present, four projects of Vietnam are operating in the Latin American nation, including those at the Mariel Special Development Zone.

The two countries have nurtured a special traditional relationship which serves as a foundation for cooperation across all sectors, especially economy, trade and investment, experts affirmed.

The Vietnam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee cooperation mechanism and other legal frameworks have created a momentum for development of bilateral cooperation in all fields.

The bilateral trade agreement is viewed as an important legal framework to promote two-way trade in the coming time.

Vietnamese products hold huge potential in the 11.2 million-strong Cuban market, according to the MoIT’s European-American Market Department./.

HDBank gets 50 mln USD from French development agency to finance green projects

Proparco, the private sector financing branch of Agence Française de Developpement (AFD), has granted a 50 million USD loan to HDBank to finance green projects and promote sustainable development in Vietnam.

It marks the first collaboration between Proparco and HDBank.

A pioneer in green lending, HDBank has in past years helped foster Vietnam's economic development while minimising the impacts on the environment.

The loan will help the bank get closer to international standards in green credit.

All projects funded by HDBank satisfy green criteria such as reducing energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing pollution, and targeting sustainable growth.

Green projects promise to create more than 1,350 direct and indirect jobs.

They will contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Based on their common views on sustainable development, creating long-term values for the economy and community and society, the two sides promised to have more strategic cooperation in future.

Since 2018, HDBank has been financing green projects to support high-tech agriculture and renewable energy.

As of August 31 this year, its outstanding loans to green projects were worth nearly 13.5 trillion VND (593.2 million USD).

Through its green credit programme, the lender not only provides customers with the best financial solutions but also targets sustainable values, promotes renewable energy, ensures the national energy security, supports hi-tech agriculture, and contributes to environmental protection.

HDBank was the first member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to receive the Green Deal Award, a recognition for its notable achievements in green finance while participating in the ADB Trade Finance Programme.

It was also voted by readers of Vietnam Economic Times as the Best Bank for Green Credit Financing in 2019./.

Seminar promotes Vietnam – France trade cooperation

A seminar on the European Union (EU) – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took place in Mâcon city of France’s Saône-et-Loire province on September 16, attracting the participation of representatives of nearly 50 local enterprises.

The event was jointly held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Saône-et-Loire province, and the Vietnamese Embassy in France.

Addressing the event, Chairman of the CCI of Saône-et-Loire province Michel Suchaut said Vietnam is undergoing economic, industrial and social changes. Its consumption growth, along with the emergence of a middle class which is expected to account for about 50 percent of the country’s population by 2035, will create an increasingly strong demand for transport infrastructure, energy, environment and logistics.

For those reasons, Vietnam is a potential market for French importers and exporters, and businesses in general, and for those in Saône-et-Loire province in particular, he said.

Suchaut added that Vietnam has similarities with Saône-et-Loire to make their relationship develop well, noting that Vietnam is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, while Saône-et-Loire is also a strategic crossroads in the centre of Europe.

For his part, Ambassador Dinh Toan Thang highlighted the potential and opportunities for foreign investment and international trade activities in Vietnam.

Along with the EVFTA, the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), once officially approved, will create a framework for stable and long-term economic - trade - investment cooperation, and ensure the implementation of trade liberalization commitments between Vietnam and the EU in general, and France in particular, thus creating an impetus for strengthening and deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, he said.

Participants were updated on the investment and trade development environment in Vietnam, potential and opportunities that EVFTA brings to French companies, as well as regulations and issues that businesses need to pay attention to when promoting trade and investment activities in Vietnam.

Thibaut Giroux, President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCI France-Vietnam) pointed out the areas that Vietnam needs and also the strength of France, including food, wine, industrial products, machinery, healthcare, technology, energy, and banking.

He affirmed that Vietnam is an attractive market for foreign investors, adding that developing trade and investment relations with Vietnam also means expanding trade with Southeast Asia, a dynamic market that accounts for 10 percent of the world's population.

France is now the third largest EU investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of more than 3.6 billion USD, mainly in the field of industry, manufacturing and processing, and waste treatment and real estate.

It was the fifth biggest importer of Vietnam in the EU in 2020, with Vietnam’s total export turnover to the country hitting nearly 5.38 billion EUR (over 6.3 billion USD)./.

Seminar promotes Vietnam – France trade cooperation

A seminar on the European Union (EU) – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took place in Mâcon city of France’s Saône-et-Loire province on September 16, attracting the participation of representatives of nearly 50 local enterprises.

The event was jointly held by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Saône-et-Loire province, and the Vietnamese Embassy in France.

Addressing the event, Chairman of the CCI of Saône-et-Loire province Michel Suchaut said Vietnam is undergoing economic, industrial and social changes. Its consumption growth, along with the emergence of a middle class which is expected to account for about 50 percent of the country’s population by 2035, will create an increasingly strong demand for transport infrastructure, energy, environment and logistics.

For those reasons, Vietnam is a potential market for French importers and exporters, and businesses in general, and for those in Saône-et-Loire province in particular, he said.

Suchaut added that Vietnam has similarities with Saône-et-Loire to make their relationship develop well, noting that Vietnam is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, while Saône-et-Loire is also a strategic crossroads in the centre of Europe.

For his part, Ambassador Dinh Toan Thang highlighted the potential and opportunities for foreign investment and international trade activities in Vietnam.

Along with the EVFTA, the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), once officially approved, will create a framework for stable and long-term economic - trade - investment cooperation, and ensure the implementation of trade liberalization commitments between Vietnam and the EU in general, and France in particular, thus creating an impetus for strengthening and deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, he said.

Participants were updated on the investment and trade development environment in Vietnam, potential and opportunities that EVFTA brings to French companies, as well as regulations and issues that businesses need to pay attention to when promoting trade and investment activities in Vietnam.

Thibaut Giroux, President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCI France-Vietnam) pointed out the areas that Vietnam needs and also the strength of France, including food, wine, industrial products, machinery, healthcare, technology, energy, and banking.

He affirmed that Vietnam is an attractive market for foreign investors, adding that developing trade and investment relations with Vietnam also means expanding trade with Southeast Asia, a dynamic market that accounts for 10 percent of the world's population.

France is now the third largest EU investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of more than 3.6 billion USD, mainly in the field of industry, manufacturing and processing, and waste treatment and real estate.

It was the fifth biggest importer of Vietnam in the EU in 2020, with Vietnam’s total export turnover to the country hitting nearly 5.38 billion EUR (over 6.3 billion USD)./.

Vietnam pilots Internet speed measuring stations abroad

The Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC), in collaboration with NetNam JSC, has piloted two i-Speed Internet speed measuring stations in Singapore and Hong Kong (China) since September 5.

The move aims to support Internet users and service suppliers evaluate the quality of international Internet connections, especially in the current period when demand for Internet services for online working and studying are surging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 17, the centre released a report on measuring results at the two stations in the first week of operations, which showed that the average download speed was 38.76 Mbps, while the upload speed was 30.38 Mbps on the fixed broadband and 34.34 Mbps and 14.41 Mbps, respectively, on the wide broadband, lower than the average results measured in stations inside the country.

On the foundation of the results, the centre will launch officials measuring stations in regional and international Internet hubs.

The Internet speed measuring system via I-Speed app of the VNNIC was launched in January 2020, helping users check the speed of their Internet connections and quickly evaluate network service quality.

Recently, the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) has announced that it and Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully set up a 5G data transmission network with speed of over 4.7Gb per second, 40 times higher than the 4G network and two times higher than the existing 5G system. With the result, Viettel has become one of the telecommunications service suppliers with the highest 5G speed in Asia./.

Vietnam, China work to facilitate bilateral trade

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a Working Group on Vietnam-China Trade Facilitation and the bilateral cooperation plan in the 2021-2025 period.

The MoUs were signed with the aim of realising the outcomes of phone talks between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao and on the occasion of the 13th meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee on Bilateral Cooperation.

Under the MoUs, both sides reached consensus on promoting bilateral trade in a stable, balanced and sustainable manner. The formation of the working group aims to deal with arising issues and barriers in bilateral trade.

The two sides agreed to create optimal conditions for the customs clearance of goods through the Vietnam-China border, and support to businesses of both sides to strengthen their resilience and recover operations during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam and China will optimise the railway route between the two countries to promote bilateral trade, especially the transport of farm produce through the border.

The MoUs are important foundations for the effective implementation of bilateral cooperation programmes, helping to remove obstacles in trade between the two nations.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the 2010-2019 period, trade between Vietnam and China expanded 17.6 percent annually on average, higher than the growth in Vietnam’s trade with the rest of the world in the period.

Since COVID-19 broke out in early 2020, the ministry has worked closely with China’s Ministry of Commerce and relevant agencies to deal with difficulties and maintain growth in two-way trade, while creating favourable conditions for customs clearance of goods between the two countries.

Besides, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien held phone talks with Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao in April and June, while regularly exchanging official documents as part of efforts to settle arising problems in bilateral trade activities, and maintaining dialogue through the working group on bilateral economic and trade cooperation, with the ninth meeting of the group held online.

These efforts have contributed to maintaining trade exchange between the two sides and operations of supply chains serving production and export, and keeping the Vietnam-China trade growth at two digits./.

EVFTA promotes French business interests in Vietnam

After being in effect for almost one year, the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has been continuing to open up plenty of fresh opportunities for trade exchanges between the nation and France, thereby attracting French firms to do business in the Vietnamese market.

This comes following the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Saône-et-Loire province and the Vietnamese Embassy in France co-hosting a seminar on the EVFTA in Mâcon city in Saône-et-Loire province on September 16, with the event attracting the participation of representatives of nearly 50 local enterprises.  

Upon addressing the event, Michel Suchaut, chairman of the CCI of Saône-et-Loire province, said that Vietnam is currently undergoing economic, industrial, and social changes. Its consumption growth, along with the emergence of a middle class which is expected to account for about 50% of the population by 2035, will create an increasingly strong demand for firms operating in the fields of transport infrastructure, energy, environment, and logistics. 

For those reasons, the Vietnamese market has strong potential for French importers, exporters, and businesses in general, especially for those from Saône-et-Loire province, he said.

Suchaut added that the country has similarities with Saône-et-Loire which can contribute to developing the mutual relationship, adding that Vietnam is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, while Saône-et-Loire is also a strategic crossroads in the centre of Europe. 

In response, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang underscored the potential and opportunities for foreign investment and international trade activities in the nation. 

Along with the EVFTA, the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), once officially approved, will create a framework that will boost stable and long-term economic, trade, and investment co-operation. It will also ensure the implementation of trade liberalisation commitments between the country and the EU, particularly with France, thereby creating an impetus to boost the strategic partnership between the two sides, he said.

Participants were updated on the investment and trade development environment in the Vietnamese market, the potential and opportunities that the EVFTA brings to French companies, as well as regulations and issues that businesses must focus on when promoting trade and investment activities. 

Thibaut Giroux, president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCI France-Vietnam), noted areas which are in high demand in the Vietnamese market. This is in addition to sectors which can be considered French strengths, including food, wine, industrial products, machinery, healthcare, technology, energy, and banking. 

He went on to highlight the nation as an attractive market for foreign investors, adding that developing trade and investment relations with the country also means expanding trade with Southeast Asia, a dynamic market that accounts for 10% of the world's population. 

France now represents the third largest EU investor in the Vietnamese market with a total registered capital of over US$3.6 billion, primarily in the fields of industry, manufacturing, processing, waste treatment, and real estate.

It was the fifth biggest importer from the country in the EU last year, with total Vietnamese export turnover to the European nation reaching approximately EUR5.38 billion, equivalent to over US$ 6.3 billion.

During the event, Vietnamese trade and investment representatives also introduced in detail the areas of export strength that Vietnam can fully meet for French importers, such as electronic components, consumer goods as well as unique agricultural products.

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

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 17

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 17

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