VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 9

Hanoi spends USD304.34 million on road investment

VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 9

Hanoi has spent around VND7 trillion (USD304.34 million) of the municipal budget on building and upgrading roads per year.

Vu Ha, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Transport, said that over past years, Hanoi has constructed Nhat Tan Bridge and expressways linking Hanoi and Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Haiphong and Hoa Binh.   

Ha added that the city uses roughly VND7 trillion of the annual budget on building and upgrading roads, including VND2.5 trillion for suburban areas.

Hanoi’s planned road density is 4-6.5 km per square metre, but the current level is 1.7 km per square metre.

At present, the city’s budget only meets 20% of road project demand, while the remainder is from official development assistance (ODA) and public-private partnership (PPP) sources.

“The capital shortage is one of the causes of slow transport infrastructure projects in Hanoi,” Ha added.

To improve the situation, the city will hold land auctions, have mechanisms to speed up site clearance and simplify administrative procedures in order to create more favourable conditions for project implementation.

Credit growth expected to accelerate in final quarter

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) expects credit growth to expand significantly in the remaining months of this year as the country has successfully contained the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy was expected to return to a recovery path.

The central bank’s updates late last week showed credit had expanded 6.09 per cent in the first nine months of this year compared with the end of 2019.

The highest pace was recorded in services, at 6.32 per cent, followed by construction (5.89 per cent), and agro-forestry-fishery (5.09 per cent), according to the central bank.

Credit has boosted a number of industries that drive the national economy like the production and distribution of electricity, gas, hot water and air conditioners, water supply, waste and wastewater management and treatment; construction, wholesale and retail, and the maintenance of cars, motorbikes and other motor vehicles.

Amidst economic difficulties, the SBV pledged to fully meet the capital needs of the economy and create the best liquidity for commercial banks to cut interest rates to support their clients.

SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said credit growth would reach 8-10 per cent this year if the COVID-19 pandemic was well controlled and export and production bounced back.

The central bank from the beginning of this month cut the benchmark interest rate to support the national economy amid the pandemic. Accordingly, the refinancing rate was cut to 4 per cent per annum from 4.5 per cent while the rediscount rate went down to 2.5 per cent from three per cent.

Cuts by 0.5 percentage points were also given to the overnight electronic interbank rate, rate of loans to offset the capital shortage in clearance between the SBV and credit institutions and rate of bids of valuable papers through open market operations.

This was the third rate cut from the beginning of this year.

A recent report by HSBC said that support in terms of monetary policies was necessary as the pandemic was putting deflation pressure on the economy.

Viet Nam’s success in containing the reoccurrence of the virus helped the economy to come back to the recovery path though at a slower-than-expected speed. 

Brokerage firms record US$71.8 million in trading profit

Securities companies earned a profit of VND1.66 trillion (US$71.8 million) from selling local equities in the January-September period.

In January-September, securities firms bought in a total of 1.1 billion shares and fund certificates, worth VND27 trillion.

They offloaded 1.26 billion shares and certificates, worth more than VND28.6 trillion.

Securities firms, through their proprietary trading units, recorded five months of net selling and four months of net buying this year.

In April, they offloaded a net value of VND1.9 trillion. In September, securities firms sold a net value of VND726 billion.

A popular target for proprietary trading teams was fund certificates of the domestic exchange-traded fund E1VFVN30 ETF, which they net-bought a total of VND362.4 billion in nine months.

Other stocks that were also on the must-buy list included Vietcombank (VCB), Viglacera (VGC) and Phu Nhuan Jewellery JSC (PNJ).

On the other hand, the must-sell list contained fund certificates of FUEFVND ETF, animal feed producer Dabaco JSC (DBC), petrol firm Petrolimex (PLX), consumer company Masan (MSN), Military Bank (MBB) and dairy group Vinamilk (VNM).

The harsh condition of the stock market not only forced securities firms to net-sell local assets but also triggered prolonged selling among foreign investors.

Foreign investors in the first three quarters sold a total net value of VND2.4 trillion worth of shares and fund certificates.

The benchmark VN-Index has fallen 5.31 per cent since the beginning of the year.

On the contrary, the minor HNX-Index has gained nearly a third in the same period and the UPCoM-Index has increased by 10.2 per cent.

PV Gas to sell stake in gas trading firm 
     
PetroVietnam Gas Corporation JSC (PV Gas) has decided it would sell its stake in the Southern Gas Trading JSC (PV Gas South).

PV Gas is now the biggest shareholder at the Southern Gas Trading with a 35.26 per cent stake.

Southern Gas Trading is listing 50 million shares on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) with code PGS.

PGS soared 5.3 per cent to end Monday at VND15,900 apiece following the news. At that price, the stake of PV Gas at the Southern Gas Trading JSC is worth VND280 billion.

The company’s share price has fallen nearly a half from its one-year high of VND32,000 apiece reached in October 2019.

PV Gas shares, listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange as GAS, edged up 0.8 per cent to VND72,500 apiece at the end of Monday.

PV Gas’ divestment plant was determined after the company previously failed to increase its stake in the Southern Gas Trading JSC.

In October 2019, PGS planned to sell 16.1 million shares for VND23,409 per share, valuing the deal at VND377 billion, to PV Gas to raise funding for its production and trading activities.

If the deal had been done, PV Gas would have upped its ownership in the Southern Gas Trading to 51.03 per cent or 33.7 million shares.

PV Gas then could have been the parent company. But the deal was rejected by the Southern Gas Trading’s shareholders at the annual meeting on October 29, 2019.

PGS sells liquefied and compressed natural gas (LPG and CNG). The company takes a 35 per cent market share in selling LPG in the South and Southern Central Region.

The company has recently acquired the Viet Nam Gas Tank Co, which now produces a total of 379,000 tanks a year.

PGS also supplies CNG for the southern region with a wide range of customers working in different sectors, including materials and consumer segments.

In 2019, PV Gas South earned a total VND6.38 trillion worth of revenue, fulfilling 97 per cent of the year’s plan. Pre-tax profit in 2019 was VND93 billion, equal to 90 per cent of the year’s plan.

In the first half of 2020, the spread of coronavirus around the globe made PV Gas South suffer a post-tax loss of VND20 billion.

First Vietnamese bank allows transactions in South Korea for local card holders

TPBank has become the first bank in Viet Nam to allow all domestic cardholders to make payment and withdrawal transactions in South Korea in addition to international debit cards or credit cards.

TPBank, the National Payment Corporation of Viet Nam (NAPAS) and BC Card – the largest credit card network in South Korea with more than a quarter market share – successfully implemented the project to connect trans-international payment services.

Accordingly, all TPBank’s ATM cardholders can immediately implement payment and withdrawal transactions at some three million locations accepting card payments and nearly 40,000 ATMs in South Korea.

With the service, TPBank has helped customers completely eliminate worries of having to buy foreign currency in time to open an international debit card or credit card for travelling, business trips or transferring money to their children to study in South Korea. Moreover, keeping a local card in their wallet for direct payments via POS machines or withdrawing an amount of spending money at an ATM when needed will be much safer than carrying a large amount of foreign currency.

Nguyen Hung, TPBank’s general director, said: “Through this project, TPBank hopes to bring the best services and experiences to Vietnamese customers who have been living, working, studying and travelling in Korea as well as contribute to promoting the Viet Nam - Korea strategic co-operation partnership.”

Hung added that with the dynamism, enthusiasm and the forefront in applying new technologies, TPBank is expected to join State agencies to expand this feature in other countries such as Thailand, China and Japan to give customers the best experience when using their bank's services.

In recent years, South Korea has become one of the most popular destinations for Vietnamese to travel, work and study. The Korea Tourism Board said that in 2019 there were more than half a million Vietnamese travelling in South Korea, representing a 22 per cent year-on-year increase. The number of Vietnamese students studying in the country has reached 37,426 people, an increase of more than 10,000 compared to 2018.

In 2020, tourism activities from Viet Nam to South Korea were interrupted due to COVID-19. However, when the pandemic is controlled, the number of Vietnamese tourists travelling to the country will increase again. Korea has also implemented many policies to support Vietnamese students.

According to statistics from the Payment Department under the State Bank of Viet Nam, by the end of the second quarter of 2020, the total number of cards in circulation in Viet Nam reached more than 106 million, of which the number of domestic cards accounted for more than 90 million, nearly six times the number of credit cards. At TPBank, the growth rate of cards is always very high, at 50 per cent a year compared to the market. 

Vinh Phuc – a magnet for Japanese investors

VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 9

With significant investment in building transport and industrial infrastructure as well as favourable mechanisms and policies in support of investors, Vinh Phuc is emerging as an attractive destination for Japanese businessmen.

Japan is currently one of the top two foreign investors in the northern province, with 48 valid projects and nearly 1.2 billion USD worth of total investment.

Japanese conglomerates such as Honda, Toyota, Nissin, Exedy, and Sumitomo have selected the province to build their plants focusing on the production of automobile, electronic components, and spare parts.

Most of Japanese projects in the locality, particularly those of Honda and Toyota, have been implemented in line with schedules, operated effectively, thus contributing significantly to the provincial budget and creating jobs for locals.

The Japanese-based consultation company Nikken Sekkei has helped Vinh Phuc complete its urban planning by 2030 with a vision to 2050.

Most recently, in September, Toto Vietnam, a subsidiary of the Toto Group which produces construction materials, had asked local authorities for favourable conditions for its implementation of a 100 million USD project at the Thang Long Vinh Phuc industrial park.

TOTO Vietnam has invested in the country since 2002 with two factories established in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district and two others in nearby Hung Yen province.

The results were attributable to local authorities’ active work in building a favourable business climate via in-place investment promotion and prompt resolution of hurdles facing investors.

Aiming at markets with strengths in science and technology like Japan, local projects open for investment have been concentrated on the sectors of support industry, tourism services, high-tech agriculture, and socio-economic infrastructure development.

Vinh Phuc has also stepped up communication activities to promote local business climate, policies, potentials and opportunities in a creative, effective and practical manner.

The province established twin relations with Japan’s Akita prefecture. Annually, Vinh Phuc sends trade promotion delegations to the locality to boost its image among Japanese investors.

Meanwhile, the provincial People’s Committee and competent agencies have proactively taken part in conferences, forums and business matching events targeting Japanese investors held by different ministries, considering them an opportunity to introduce the local investment environment. Local authorities have also fostered good links with Japanese organisations, including the Japan Business Association in Vietnam (JCCI), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), in a bid to attract foreign capital and cooperation in organising promotion activities overseas.

As part of its investment attraction efforts, Vinh Phuc has been building its online portal to offer updated information to investors.

In 2018, the Vinh Phuc People’s Committee, the Sumitomo Group of Japan, and the local Thang Long Industrial Park Co., Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing an agency for promoting investment and supporting Japanese enterprises in investing in the province (Japan Desk Vinh Phuc).

According to Nguyen Tien Hanh, Director of the provincial Public Administrative Centre, the Japan Desk Vinh Phuc makes it easy for the province to introduce its investment and business climate, and for Japanese firms to seek partners and ask for approval for their investment projects in the locality.

Sumitomo is one of the five largest financial groups in Japan with experience in global-scale production and business sectors such as metal, means of transport, construction machines, infrastructure development, minerals, energy, chemicals and electronics. In Vietnam, the group has succeeded in developing, operating and managing industrial parks (IPs), including Thang Long I and II IPs, and Thang Long Vinh Phuc IP.

Sumitomo is responsible for seeking potential companies in Japan which intend to expand their business in Vinh Phuc, while assisting support industries in the locality.

Vinh Phuc attracts 21 new projects in nine months

The management board of industrial parks in northern Vinh Phuc province granted investment licences to 57 projects in the first nine months of this year.

They included 21 new projects and 36 existing ones that want to adjust their investment.

The province now accommodates 371 valid projects in industrial parks, including 65 domestic direct investment (DDI) projects with total investment capital of more than 15.19 trillion VND (656.8 million USD), and 306 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects valued at over 4.27 billion USD.

The board said it will step up investment promotion activities, targeting both traditional markets like Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, and Taiwan; promising markets such as the US and the EU; and countries that are members of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The locality expects to attract 550 million USD in FDI this year. As of August, it licensed 20 new FDI projects with combined capital amounting to 110.89 million USD, and 35 existing projects with additional capital of 191.82 million USD.

By the end of August, the province counted 402 valid FDI projects worth more than 5 billion USD.

From now till the end of this year, apart from containing COVID-19, Vinh Phuc will continue with measures to improve its investment environment, remove difficulties facing businesses, and step up the compensation and land clearance work.

Vinh Phuc has been a destination of choice for investors, both domestic and foreign, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives from the province’s Department of Planning and Investment said factors that help draw investors to the locality include the availability of clean infrastructure, convenient transport and reasonable land lease prices.

Many global groups have made their presence in Vinh Phuc, such as Toyota, Honda, Sumitomo from Japan, Piaggio from Italy, De Heus from the Netherlands, Daewoo, Haesung Vina, Partron Vina, Cammsys from the Republic of Korea, Prime Group from Thailand and Weldex from the US.

Officials from the Department of Planning and Investment said the provincial authorities will continue to push forward with administrative reform, focusing on streamlining administrative procedures to reduce time and costs for enterprises.

Vinh Phuc will promote the application of information technology (IT) in administrative procedures with the goal of creating the best possible environment for production and business, thus enhancing the attraction of FDI and investment from society.

During the period of social distancing to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies in Vinh Phuc still maintained their connections with investors through many channels, providing them with consultations and latest information. The province has also intensified online investment promotion activities, so as to attract investors after the pandemic is put under control.

Vinh Phuc has designated 18 industrial parks with total area of 5,228 ha in a master plan to 2020 approved by the Prime Minister. By now nine industrial parks have received investment certificates. Industrial parks in Vinh Phuc have good technical infrastructure and professional management, thus contributing to attracting investors to the province. They reported an average occupancy rate of nearly 62 percent.

Thanks to the province’s endeavours to complete infrastructure in industrial parks and a transport system connecting them, as well as efforts to improve the business environment and reform administrative procedures, Vinh Phuc has become more popular among foreign investors.

The province reported total industrial production value of 11 trillion VND in the first six months of this year, down 9 percent year on year, which it attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The output of most main products declines, such as automobile down 24.8 percent, motorbike 14.4 percent, and electronic parts 7.7 percent./.

Lazada asked to remove stores selling fake books

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has just asked the Alibaba-owned online marketplace Lazada to remove some online stores that are selling fake books.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has just asked the Alibaba-owned online marketplace Lazada to remove some online stores that are selling fake books.

The request was made following a conclusion from the Ministry of Information and Communications and complaints from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tri Viet Publishing House about many 'fake versions' of its books with poor quality and errors being sold on website Lazada.vn.

MoIT has asked the Recess Company who is operating the website Lazada.vn to investigate and remove all online stores which are selling counterfeit books on its platform.

"Recess Company has so far removed eight stores including An Binh, Cao Bang, Hanoi Moi, Khai Tam, Tam An, Thanh Binh, Anh Dung, and Sachngophuong," MoIT said, adding that more stores are being investigated.

Earlier on September 4, Tri Viet Publishing House, registered as First News Co. Ltd, submitted to the People’s Court of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City a copyright lawsuit against Lazada for the latter’s failure to handle vendors selling counterfeit books on its platform.

According to Tri Viet, many 'fake versions' of its books with poor quality and errors have been sold on Lazada since the beginning of 2019.

The publishing house said that they had repeatedly sent official letters to Lazada to ask the firm to investigate and stop the sale of fake books on its platform, but the situation has not been curbed.

LG to set up R&D centre for vehicle component solutions in Da Nang

The Republic of Korea’s conglomerate LG will establish a centre for research and development (R&D) on vehicle components in the central city of Da Nang.

This is part of a memorandum of understanding signed between the city’s Da Nang Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) and the Vehicle Component Solutions – Development Centre (LG VS) of LG Electronics Vietnam Hai Phong Co. Ltd. on October 6.

Under the MoU, the IPA will coordinate with relevant agencies to help LG with carrying out procedures for setting up the centre, as well as supporting the conglomerate’s member companies, research and development centres, satellite manufacturers, and subsidiary manufacturers to survey and invest in Da Nang.

On the other way, the LG VS will admit IT students from the Vietnamese city to work at its premises and give a priority to the coastal city when it has demand for business expansion.

Director of the Vehicle Component Solutions – Development Centre Jung Seung-min said that the centre hopes to create a new face for Da Nang in electronic R&D.

As of September 15, RoK investors had run 232 projects in Da Nang with a total investment of over 390 million USD, ranking fifth among foreign investors in the city. Most of the projects are in services and real estate./.

Dong Nai basically completes ground clearance for first phase of Long Thanh airport

The southern province of Dong Nai has basically completed ground clearance work to the first phase of Long Thanh International Airport, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

A total of 1,800 ha of land are needed for the construction of first phase of the airport, of which 1,200 ha are rubber plantations owned by enterprises and the remainder belong to more than 1,000 households.

So far the province has paid out 1.3 trillion VND in compensation to over 600 households, and the remaining 400 households will receive compensation during October.

The province plans to hand over all the 1,800 ha of land to the airport’s investor on October 20.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Tien Dung said the province is facing difficulties in building the Loc An-Binh Son resettlement area due to unfavourable weather. It is now the peak of the rainy season in Dong Nai, which impedes construction work in the area.

The provincial authorities are looking for solutions with the aim of handing over land in the resettlement areas to relocated people in October.

Covering more than 5,580 ha, the Long Thanh International Airport has an investment of more than 336 trillion VND (14.6 billion USD). It will be located in six communes in Long Thanh district in Dong Nai.

The project includes three investment phases with the ultimate goal of making the airport capable of serving 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of freight each year.

In the first phase, a runway and one passenger terminal along with other support works will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year. It is expected to be completed by 2025./.

Nine-month agro-forestry-aquatic product exports hit 30.05 bln USD

Vietnam raked in 30.05 billion USD from exporting agro-forestry-aquatic products in the first three quarters of 2020 and the value is hoped to hit over 40 billion USD for the whole year, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

Speaking at a regular press conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on October 6, Tien said since the European Union (EU)-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into effect, Vietnam's agro-forestry-aquatic product exports to the EU market have reached 766.3 million USD.

The export turnover in August increased by 11.5 percent compared to July, while that in September surged over 30 percent against July, he noted.

 

Commodity sectors need to pay attention to standardizing seed, production process, transportation, and processing, to fully tap the agreement towards realizing the set goal, he said.

Reports presented at the press conference showed that although the area of food crops has slightly decreased this year due to crop conversion, the food production output is forecast to reach at least 43 million tonnes.

The livestock industry has recorded stable development as the diseases on cattle and poultry have been controlled basically. The Ministry has coordinated with other ministries, sectors, localities and businesses to implement many solutions to ensure food supplies for domestic consumption and export.

As a result, the livestock sector recorded the highest growth in production value in the third quarter, reaching 9.67 percent.

Meanwhile, the value of fishery production in the third quarter was up 2.5 percent over the same period last year, resulting in a year-on-year rise of 2.48 percent in the first nine months.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, wood processing businesses have been facing difficulties as many wood export orders were cancelled or delayed.

A total of 1.42 trillion VND of forest environment service fees were collected in the reviewed period, reaching 50 percent of the set plan in 2020 and equal to 76 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Tien said that the industry is focusing on measures to restore the production, processing and export of forest products.

It is expected that the forest coverage rate will reach 42 percent, while the export turnover of forest products will definitely hit over 12 billion USD this year, he added./.

Singapore prepares to open up to the world

Singapore is stepping up measures to ensure safety once its border is reopened, including the establishment of a COVID-19 testing lab at Changi airport.

In his ministerial statement before the Parliament on October 6, new Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that a dedicated Covid-19 testing laboratory will be set up in the next several months to support the old one which can offer rapid testing for 10,000 passengers a day.

In addition, Singapore will negotiate Air Travel Bubbles with safe countries or regions - an arrangement meant for general travellers that does not require a controlled itinerary.

These two-way travel bubbles are different from reciprocal green lane arrangements meant for business and official travellers.

Singapore unilaterally opened its borders to travellers from Brunei and New Zealand last month, and more recently to those from Vietnam and Australia - excluding the state of Victoria.

“Such unilateral opening is still meaningful, because it is like a standing invitation. Although the other countries are not ready to lift their restrictions now, Singapore can be top of mind when they are ready eventually,” he added.

Compared to pre-COVID-19, Changi Airport is serving 1.5 percent of its usual passenger volume, and 6 percent of the usual number of passenger flights. If cargo flights are included, that goes up to 17 percent. Changi fell from the seventh busiest airport in the world to the 58th./.

Indonesia seeks way to cut down salt imports

The Indonesian government has unveiled its strategies to cut down the dependence on imported salt in an attempt to protect local salt farmers.

According to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, local salt farmers still struggle to meet manufacturing industries' standards, which requires a sodium chloride level of 97 percent, 7 percent higher than the average sodium chloride level at present.

Indonesia needs at least 4 million tonnes of salt a year, but it can only produce only 2 million tonnes annually.

Speaking at a virtual limited meeting on salt absorption on October 5, Widodo stressed that the country’s salt production is still low and this is why it search for the easiest way out by importing salt.

Indonesian Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro revealed the total industrial salt import reaches 2.9 million tonnes per year, with 2.3 million tonnes of which are used for Chlor-alkali plants or glass factories.

Around 540,000 tonnes of imported salt go to the miscellaneous food industry, while the mining and pharmaceutical industries consume the remainder of the imported salt./.

HCM City customs sector helping companies abide by EVFTA

The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has been implementing a number of measures to help the local business community optimise the benefits to be had from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and boost import-export activities.

Speaking at a seminar held jointly by the department and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) on October 6, head of the department Dinh Ngoc Thang said the customs sector views the trade agreement as being able to create breakthroughs in export activities and expand supply chains between Vietnam and the EU.

The department has therefore introduced a host of measures to support local enterprises. Prior to the deal coming into force, for example, it held intensive training for businesses and dialogue with UK and EU businesses in Vietnam, to help resolve any and all difficulties.

It has also given focus to improving the capacity of its staff and stepped up the application of information technology to meet the more stringent requirements, Thang said.

He affirmed that the department is willing to hear from businesses regarding import-export management policies, tax policies, and customs procedures, so as to promptly handle any difficulties facing businesses and create a fair and transparent business and investment climate.

Standing Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Le Thanh Liem, said the EU is one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners.

Amid COVID-19, the EVFTA will open up more cooperation opportunities between the two sides and serve as a new driver helping them overcome difficulties brought about by global economic changes.

EuroCham Vice President Jean Jacques Bouflet hailed the efforts made by the HCM City Customs Department to facilitate bilateral trade and support the enforcement of the EVFTA.

He said EuroCham considers the customs sector to be its biggest partner in boosting bilateral trade, as more than half of all goods shipped between the EU and Vietnam currently pass through HCM City border gates and ports./.

Hanoi hosts Vietbuild international exhibition 2020

The Vietbuild Hanoi International Exhibition 2020 opened on October 6 at the National Palace for Architecture, Construction, and Planning Exhibition, showcasing a series of products, technologies and services.

In his opening speech, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh said the activity aims to support the implementation of the State's policies on construction and real estate, trade promotion, and technology transfer, towards strengthening international economic integration.

The five-day exhibition, which brings together a large number of domestic and foreign organisations and individuals, are featuring many new products for the construction industry at 1,400 booths.

Trade promotion activities, business-matching events, seminars, conferences, a business forum, and other activities to introduce achievements and development of the construction industry, will be held in the framework of the event./.

Public investment contributes to Vietnam’s economic recovery: JICA official

The implementation of projects funded by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amid the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to Vietnam’s economic recovery, an official from the agency has said.

Addressing a press conference on October 6 in Hanoi, Shimizu Akira, Chief Representative of JICA in Vietnam, said that in accordance with the Vietnamese Government’s instructions to maintain the construction of public works amid the pandemic, JICA has continued to carry out Japanese ODA projects even during the social distancing period and these have helped sustain employment for Vietnamese engineers.

There are also about 2,000 workers involved in the project on building HCM City’s urban railway line.

Newly-signed loan projects are in decline, as is the disbursement rate of ODA capital, but the early disbursement of public investment could be a catalyst that has contributed to economic recovery and development in Vietnam, he noted.

The Vietnamese Government and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc have paid significant attention to and adopted specific plans to promote the disbursement of public investment capital, he said, expressing his hope that this effort would help JICA accelerate the progress of projects in Vietnam.

JICA has provided financial support worth 77.4 billion JPY (over 733 million USD) in loan projects and technical cooperation projects for Vietnam’s healthcare sector.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will promote medical cooperation with Vietnam on the basis of putting experience collected in the country to use, he said.

Commenting on global supply chain shifts, Akira said the trend gives Vietnam new opportunities but the country needs to improve human resources quality and develop high-quality infrastructure to attract foreign investment.

Regarding support in attracting foreign investment, JICA is implementing a technical cooperation project to strengthen Vietnam’s capacity for improving equity and transparency in its stock market and promoting transparent information disclosure in corporate financial accounting, towards the application of international financial reporting standards.

In the time to come, he affirmed, JICA will continue to support Vietnam in developing infrastructure and will enhance its technical cooperation with the country, contributing to Vietnam’s development./.

EVNHCMC to complete installation of electronic meters next year

The HCM City Power Corporation (EVNHCMC) plans to complete the installation of electronic meters connected to a remote data collection system for all customers in the city next year.

Under the Government's direction on the use of information technology, EVNHCMC is installing smart meters for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) with the aim of having an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

As of September, the corporation had installed nearly 1.5 million electronic meters with the function of transmitting telemetry data, accounting for 56.7 percent of the total number of customers.

Bui Trung Kien, deputy general director of the corporation, said the free replacement of existing meters aims to improve the quality of infrastructure and customer services.

The electronic meters provide higher accuracy and can help monitor power consumption, resulting in power savings. They are also integrated with communication technologies to support remote automatic meter reading.

Data collection by this method helps to monitor the operation status of substations and cables, and improves grid safety.

“It will also improve labour productivity and reduce labour costs and risks of human errors,” Kien said. Workers' accidents on the job are also expected to be reduced.

Nguyen Thi Hong Lien, a customer in District 10, said she now pays her electricity bill through customer service software on mobile phones.

“It's convenient because my husband and I are really busy with work, and often go abroad for a long time, so no one is at home to make direct payments to EVNHCMC employees,” she said.

Trinh Minh Long, a customer in Tan Phu district, said: “Through online payment, I can directly pay my electricity bills through internet banking."

All electronic meters were bought by EVNHCMC through competitive bidding and are in compliance with current bidding regulations, according to Kien.

The technical specifications for the procurement of meters were determined in compliance with EVN requirements, international electrical technical standards IEC: 62052-11 and IEC: 62053-21, and Vietnam’s technical regulations on measurement management.

Before installation, the meters are approved based on qualified samples and inspected under procedures issued by the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“The electricity sector only installs meters with satisfactory testing results in order to ensure accurate operation and use,” Kien said.

Customers can directly call EVN’s customer care centre if they have questions. The centre will notify the power company and send employees to the customer's house to handle any failure within a day or less.

Customers can also monitor their power consumption anytime and anywhere through a customer care application installed on their phone or other digital devices. This can help customers adjust their power consumption.

“The electronic meters also improve data transparency and communication with customers,” Kien said.

Through online data tracking, the electricity sector will be able to promptly detect incidents and solve them as promptly as possible.

The Da Nang Power Company has installed electronic meters applying the remote data transmission system to all of its customers. The company was the first unit under EVN's Central Power Corporation (EVNCPC) to apply daily electricity data lookup software and provide a trial use for customers.

This system automatically sends alerts on power consumption through the telemetry system, and automatically sends alerts about consumption exceeding the threshold set by the customer, sending the information to the customer via email and SMS./.

Labour market posts signs of recovery in Q3

More jobs were created in the third quarter of this year on the back of the country’s economic resurgence, a press conference held by the General Statistics Office (GSO) on October 6 heard.

The workforce in the quarter totalled 54.6 million people aged 15 or above, an increase of 1.4 million against the second quarter but a decline of 1.1 million compared to the third quarter of 2019.

The number of employed labourers IN Q3 was up 1.5 million from Q2, with most new jobs in the informal economic sector.

Monthly incomes averaged 5.5 million VND (237.7 USD), up 258,000 VND against Q2 but down 115,000 VND against Q3 2019.

While the labour market showed signs of improvement after hitting record lows in the second quarter, more work must be done to create more jobs and achieve full employment, according to the GSO.

From January to September, 31.8 million people aged 15 and above were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, either becoming jobless or having their working hours and salaries seriously slashed.

The service sector was hardest hit, with 68.9 percent of workers clobbered by the outbreak, followed by industry and construction, with 66.4 percent of workers affected. The rate in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sector was 27 percent.

Director of the GSO’s Population and Labour Statistics Department, Vu Thi Thu Thuy, said the pandemic may have taken away the opportunity for some 1.8 million people to join the labour market./.

Section of Hanoi Belt Road No 3 spanning Linh Dam Lake opens

A section of Hanoi Belt Road No 3 spanning Linh Dam Lake and slip roads connecting the section with overpasses were opened to traffic on October 6.

Built with Japanese ODA, Belt Road No 3 from Thanh Tri Bridge to Mai Dich has been in operation for many years but the construction of the 600-metre span over Linh Dam Lake was postponed, causing delays for vehicles moving between adjoining sections.

The project to build the span and slip roads was approved in October 2018 and cost a total of 341 billion VND.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Director of the project management board Pham Hoang Tuan said that despite difficulties in site clearance and the impact of COVID-19, the project was completed ahead of schedule.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh said the project is significant in easing overloads at the Thanh Xuan and Phap Van traffic points and in dealing with congestion at the Nguyen Huu Tho - Giai Phong intersection.

He also lauded the efforts of relevant agencies in finishing the project ahead of schedule and ensuring quality and safety.

Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue and other delegates at the ceremony placed signs noting that the work was done on the occasion of 1010 years of Thang Long - Hanoi (1010-2020)./.

Dak Lak farmers to benefit from UN climate change response project

About 6,000 families in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak will benefit from a Green Climate Fund (GCF)-funded project on boosting farmers’ resilience amid water insecurity caused by climate change.

The figure was released at a meeting on October 6 between the provincial People’s Committee and a delegation from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to discuss the 33-million USD project on strengthening the resilience of smallholder agriculture to climate change-induced water insecurity in the Central Highlands and south-central coastal regions.

Small-scale farmers with plots of less than one hectare who are dependent upon one or two rain-fed crops a year are the most vulnerable to changes in water availability and its effect on agricultural productivity.

The six-year project (2020-2026) is expected to benefit over 222,400 residents, or 10 percent of the population of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Binh Thuan, and Ninh Thuan provinces, especially women and ethnic minority people.

It is designed to modernise irrigation systems, improve water security and livelihoods, provide knowledge on climate risk and climate resilient agriculture, and strengthen access to agro-climate information, credit, and markets.

Some 4.5 million USD of the funding will be invested in the implementation of the project in Dak Lak province's four districts of Ea Hleo, Cu Mgar, Ea Kar, and Krong Pac.

Speaking at the meeting, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam Sitara Syed urged local authorities to quickly set out a roadmap and complete necessary procedures for the implementation to begin before June 4, 2021.

Underscoring the importance of agriculture as a local economic driver, Chairman of the Dak Lak Provincial People’s Committee Pham Ngoc Nghi pledged to meet all project requirements so it can be carried out quickly./.

Agriculture contributes 0.13 percentage point to Vinh Phuc’s growth

Mechanisms and policies to support the local agro-forestry-fisheries sector have been broadly carried out around northern Vinh Phuc province since the beginning of the year, with a shift towards concentrated production based on value chains and market demand.

New technological advances are being applied effectively and infrastructure in service of agricultural production, especially irrigation systems, has been continually improved, raising the output of almost all major crops year-on-year.

Animal husbandry has been developing stably and the African swine fever was basically brought under control. Policies and mechanisms in support of agriculture restructuring, including animal husbandry, have been effectively implemented.

At the same time, prices for livestock products are relatively high, resulting in profits for local people and creating favourable conditions for production to develop.

In the first nine months of this year, poultry output rose over 7 percent, eggs more than 8 percent, and fresh cow milk over 36 percent, with annual growth of 3.47 percent recorded in animal husbandry.

Added value in the agro-forestry-fisheries sector reached 3.622 trillion VND (157.4 million USD) during the period, up 2.15 year-on-year, contributing 0.13 percentage point to the province’s growth.

As a developed industrial province, the land available for agriculture has been declining on an annual basis. In recent years, however, the economic value brought by the local agriculture sector has continued to grow. This stems from the province’s strategic vision to boost agricultural development to meet public demand, with hi-tech production models being a highlight in bringing in greater economic value.

High-tech agriculture has become more widespread in Vinh Phuc in recent times thanks to the undeniable benefits it provides.

Images of small, fragmented paddy fields are a thing of the past, replaced by expansive fields farmed by modern machinery. Farmers’ workloads have been cut, while the benefits heading their way are better than previously.

One example of change is Long Tri rice from Tam Duong district. Though well-known for a long period of time, Long Tri rice could not find its own place in the market because it had no trademark.

Only when the Long Tri rice cooperative was established and modern technology applied in production did its brand become better known and demand now exceed supply.

According to agriculture experts, the use of modern technology in production limits any waste of land and water resources and cuts the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. It also helps maintain the superiority of bio, gene, and organic technology and production automation.

With cost savings and increased productivity, production has become much more efficient, yielding high-quality products that meet demand.

A number of clean fruit and vegetable and herbal tree cultivation models in Vinh Phuc have reaped higher profits than conventional production methods.

Aware of this, the province has issued a number of policies and mechanisms to attract investors to hi-tech agriculture and meet growing consumer demand for safe and organic food.

Businesses have also been encouraged to build concentrated goods zones, while farmers have received instruction on how to grow short-time crops that meet VietGAP standards and bring high economic value.

Vinh Phuc has already established a number of concentrated production zones that meet VietGAP standards, as well as farm produce processing facilities and production-processing-consumption chains, thereby increasing the productivity and value of agricultural products and contributing to the sector’s growth.

The province is now home to over 1,300 farm produce processing facilities, from small to large. Since 2016, it has funded the purchase of nearly 2,000 pieces of agricultural machinery for farming households at a total cost of nearly 40 billion VND.

Amid global economic integration, demand for agricultural products has been constantly on the rise. Consumers in general and importers in particular, however, have high requirements in terms of quality, food safety and hygiene, sustainable development, and climate change.

There are major challenges facing the agriculture sector. The issues for hi-tech agriculture are primarily concerned with a lack of funding, investment, and preferential interest rates, detailed priority loans for hi-tech agriculture enterprises, and low market footholds that don’t encourage farmers to take an interest in safe cultivation.

In order to improve the efficiency of hi-tech agricultural production and therefore lay a foundation for sustainable agriculture development, Vinh Phuc will continue paying due regard to processing technology and post-harvest preservation to enhance production efficiency, diversify products, and encourage deep processing and the use of modern technology in production.

The province will also develop a support industry in service of agricultural production and mechanise all stages of the agricultural production value chain in a manner that suits conditions in each region and for each animal.

It will also deal with issues in production value chains, especially breeding technology, production and processing, and consumption.

Hi-tech agriculture will be developed to create breakthroughs in plant and animal productivity and quality, ensure food safety and hygiene, and improve competitiveness, while fully applying technical standards and processes in production and processing./.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/VIR/VOV/SGT/NDO/Dtinews  

 
 

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