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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS AUGUST 12

Vietnam to host Mekong Tourism Forum in October
Vietnam to host Mekong Tourism Forum in October hinh anh 1

Vietnam is scheduled to host the 2022 Mekong Tourism Forum, themed “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”, from October 9 – 14, the first in-person meeting of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) destinations since the pandemic began in 2019.

Gathering public- and private-sector tourism leaders and experts, the GMS signature forum is set to focus on regional efforts and cross-sectoral collaboration to foster real action toward rebuilding a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable tourism industry.

Trends affecting the sector’s recovery will be discussed, with speakers touching post-pandemic recovery, digital transformation, localisation of supply chain, and the social enterprise business model, among other matters.

The event will also feature an exhibition on green tourism in Vietnam and other GMS nations. It is expected to showcase responsible tourism products and services, offer visitors hands-on experiences to learn about local cultures, and connect sides involved in the tourism industry.

HCM City to host Int'l Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition

The 20th version of the Vietnam Int'l Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition (VTG 2022) is expected to get underway from September 21 to September 24 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC).

The expo is anticipated to attract more than 200 international brands from 14 countries and territories worldwide, including China, Germany, Hong Kong (China), India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan (China), Thailand, the UK, and Vietnam

The leading enterprises in the garment and textile field will introduce a series of cutting-edge automatic production machines at the exhibition, including famous brands such as Juki, Pegasus and Siruba, Cosma, YYC, Winda, and Bok

A series of seminars will therefore be held during the exhibition as speakers from large associations will share experiences and expertise in the field.

Na San airport to be built under PPP format

The Na San airport project in the northern mountainous province of Son La will be developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) format.

The existing Na San airport is severely aging, thus all infrastructure facilities serving civil flight operations at the airport will have to be rebuilt, including a runway measuring 2,600 meters long and 45 meters wide, taxiways, an apron accommodating five aircraft at a time, a signal light system, a 3,000-square-meter passenger terminal, a flight management center, among others.

The project will require more than VND3 trillion in investment, with VND2.5 trillion used for the first phase. The capital will be arranged via the PPP format and backed by the State budget and the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM).

The northern upland province pledged around VND450 billion for the project, with VND250 billion for site clearance, about VND24 billion for relocating taxiways and a military airport apron, and some VND176 billion for building infrastructure facilities.

As for VATM, it planned to spend VND180 billion on building the air traffic controller. The project’s investor will tap its own budget and take out bank loans to provide VND1.93 trillion for the project.

Economic recovery to drive hiring in H2: survey

Employers in Vietnam are expecting hiring to increase in the last two quarters of 2022, following positive growth rates in various sectors, according to the Vietnam Employment Outlook Survey Q3 & Q4 2022 conducted by the ManpowerGroup Vietnam.

Over 70% of the surveyed companies said they have recovered from the pandemic, with 50% or more having actively recovered and 12% seeing their business operations significantly affected.

A positive economic outlook gives employers in Vietnam the confidence to increase recruitment in the second half of the year, though not as high as the last six months.

Among the surveyed companies, 88% plan to increase or at least maintain the current headcount, compared to 95% of the equivalent index in the first half of the year.

The strongest recruitment intentions were reported in manufacturing and processing, wholesale, retail and trading, banking and finance, professional consulting services, construction, food and beverage and hospitality-accommodation, and real estate.

The recruitment needs of the surveyed enterprises focus mainly on the mid-career ladder. Nearly 50% of enterprises plan to recruit executive positions with at least six months of experience. Some one-fourth (24%) are in need of blue-collar workers.

Seafood exports expected to reach $3b in Q3
     
Viet Nam's seafood export value is expected to slow growth to US$3 million in the third quarter due to a lack of raw materials and disadvantages in the market in the second half.

At the beginning of the year, farmers released shrimp due to the forecast that the weather would not be too cold. They have expected to early harvest raw shrimp. However, diseases and the quality of shrimp seeds have affected farming results.

After a substantial increase of 39-62 per cent in the first four months of this year, the seafood exports showed signs of cooling from May with a growth rate of 34 per cent. In June, it only increased by 18 per cent.

In July, the growth rate of seafood exports continued to slow down to 14 per cent on the year, earning $970 million. It was down 4 per cent compared to June 2022, according to Hang.

The slowdown in exports from May was due to rain earlier every year, causing diseases in farmed shrimp. This decreased shrimp output, while the shrimp in reserve last year was also exhausted.

Shrimp exports in June decreased by 1 per cent on the year. In July, the exports plunged by nearly 13 per cent to reach $385 million.

In the first seven months, shrimp exports reached $2.65 billion, up 22 per cent over the same period last year.

Domestic shrimp production and world shrimp demand are forecast to not be positive in the second half of the year.

The shrimp supply from producing countries increased sharply in the first half of this year. The import volume of major markets, such as the US and EU, also increased in the first half, leading to an increase in inventories. Therefore, there was a slowdown in demand in the second half.

Meanwhile, domestic shrimp production is facing difficulties due to weather and high costs, so that raw shrimp will be in short supply in the year's second half.

Meanwhile, pangasius exports slowed down in the second quarter of 2022. But in July, pangasius exports surged by 56 per cent to $197 million.

The total pangasius exports in the first seven months of this year reached $1.6 billion, up 79 per cent.

Air passengers reach record number, delays and cancellations increase

The number of air passengers reached nearly 12 million, an increase of more than 40 per cent in July compared to pre-COVID, said the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV).

Along with a sharp increase in the number of passengers, flight cancellations and delays also increased rapidly, partly due to subjective errors from airlines, adding the local airports served, of which domestic passengers flew more than 10.5 million times, an increase of nearly 6 per cent compared to June.

CAAV said flight delays and cancellations in the past month had increased dramatically many times, causing frustration in public and affecting the quality of aviation services.

The matter was partly due to many bottlenecks in the airport infrastructure and unusual weather, said CAAV.

In the past month, the proportion of delayed flights accounted for more than 18 per cent of the total number of licensed flights or more than 6,000 flights, an increase of 16 per cent over the same period last year and equivalent to June.

During the month, 41 flights were cancelled due to technical factors and late flights. In July, the on-time rate of flights was only 81 per cent out of the total of more than 33,200 flights.

Thanks to the sharp increase in the number of air passengers during the summer peak this year, the business results of Vietnamese airlines have gradually improved.

Vietjet said that in the second quarter of this year, the airline's revenue from domestic passengers increased by more than 30 per cent compared to the period in 2019, so it achieved a consolidated profit after tax of VND181 billion (US$7.86 million). In the first six months of this year, Vietjet achieved a consolidated profit after tax of VND426 billion.

Although Vietnam Airlines' business results in the second quarter and first half of this year still suffered losses, the losses were reduced by more than 40 per cent compared to the same period last year and in the first quarter.

In the second quarter of 2022, the airline had consolidated losses of VND2.5 trillion. In the year's first half, the total loss was more than VND4.6 trillion.

Logistics Competitiveness Index Project launched

The Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) has joined hands with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to launch the Logistics Competitiveness Index (LCI) project at the provincial level this year.

LCI is a benchmarking tool created to assess and give an overview of the country’s growth rate, quality, infrastructure, and provincial and municipal policies in the logistics sector, thereby cutting logistics costs, promoting production and export, and attracting foreign investment.

The LCI report is designed to highlight and explain the differences between provinces and cities in their performance on trade and import-export logistics and, as a result, help domestic and international businesses determine where to expand their businesses.

Along with the voice of the business community, LCI could be used to engage in policymaking with local authorities to improve and develop the sector.

Vietnam’s export to American market sees sharp rebound

Post-pandemic robust rebound in the American market has ushered in multiple opportunities for Vietnam to expand its export of key products, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam’s export to the American market jumped by nearly 22% to nearly 77 billion USD in the first seven months of 2022. Of which, shipment to the US was a bright spot, reaching 66.7 billion USD, up 23.7% year-on-year.

In 2021, Vietnam made a hallmark in exporting its goods to the American market in the context of the global COVID-9 crisis, earning 114 billion in total export value, representing a year-on-year increase of 27%. It enjoyed a trade surplus of 89 billion USD with the market in the year.

Exports to the US surpassed 96 billion USD last year, 21 billion USD higher than that reported in 2020, placing the US in the leading position among Vietnam’s importers with export turnover far exceeding that to other markets like China, the EU, ASEAN, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

Many new markets that signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with Vietnam in America such as Canada and Mexico have also increased imports from the Southeast Asian nation.

In January – July, Vietnam’s export turnover to Canada and Mexico hit 3.23 billion USD and 2.4 billion USD, up 31.5% and 14.2 percent, respectively.

HSBC arranges VND900 billion bilateral green loan to REE Corporation

HSBC Vietnam on August 9 signed a deal to arrange a green loan of VND900 billion for the Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE Corporation) to help the latter complete E-Town 6, a high-rise office building that has earned the LEED Platinum certification for its sustainable design.

This is the first time HSBC has arranged a green loan for a Vietnamese firm to finance a real estate project.

To achieve this seven-year loan, REE Corporation, a Vietnamese leading multi-sector corporation, completed HSBC’s stringent credit approval and management process for sustainable financing.

The process was overseen by the HSBC Asia Pacific Sustainable Loans Committee, a dedicated body of the bank with rich experience in successfully arranging green financing in different fields around the world.

Government’s economic stimulation policies prove effective: Minister

The impressive economic growth in the first seven months of this year reflects the efficiency of the policies that have been applied recently, stated Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at the meeting between the Prime Minister and businesses that opened in Hanoi on August 11.

The minister said that international organisations have shown optimism about the Vietnamese economy, rating the country’s long-term credit as "stable" and "positive". Many economists held that the Vietnamese economic resilience is relatively good currently, he added.

The official cited a recent survey as showing that in the second quarter of this year, 70-80% of total businesses highly valued the effectiveness of the Government’s support to businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in taxation.

As of the end of July, the country had 871,000 companies, up nearly 13% over 2019.
In July alone, more than 130,000 firms joined and re-joined the market, a rise of 26.8% year on year, he said, adding that investment poured to the economy in the first seven months topped 3.3 quadrillion VND (141.11 billion USD), a year-on-year increase of 37%.

The market for a number of sectors, especially the domestic market, has recovered by 75-85% compared to the period before the pandemic broke out.

In the January-July period, the country’s export revenue was estimated at 216.35 billion USD, a rise of 16.1% year on year, with 30 products having export revenue of more than 1 billion USD.

Swift247 launches super-fast delivery service between RoK and Vietnam

Swift247, a subsidiary of low-cost airline Vietjet Air, has launched an international super-fast delivery service which will operate between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Vietnam based on digital technology platforms.

The debut of the express delivery service took place as part of ongoing co-operation programmes between Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company and numerous freight companies in the RoK, including Daejoo Air and Ilyang Logis.

This is the first time that Swift247 has gained entry to a foreign market, and the launch is anticipated to provide a basis for the service to further expand Asian markets in the future, said a representative of the company.

Feed producers seek alternative sources to save on costs

Many animal feed producers in Vietnam are snapping up domestic rice to replace imported equivalents, in the context of the rocketing increase in material prices and supply shortages.

Nguyen Quang Hoa, director of Duong Vu Co., Ltd., is busy collecting rice from localities, and even from across the land border in Cambodia, to meet the orders of animal feed producers.

Some orders of rice volume are much larger than those figures, and so the company is making efforts to meet the demand of producers, according to Hoa.

Japfa Comfeed, GreenFeed Vietnam Corporation, and New Hope Vina Co., Ltd. are also buying rice closer to home in order to offset the shortage of imported materials.

In the first six months of this year, Vietnam garnered nearly 8.5 million tonnes of materials for animal feed production, equalling $3.7 billion in value. These figures have dipped by 33 per cent in quantity and 8.9 per cent in value on-year.

The major suppliers of animal feed and raw materials to Vietnam are Argentina, the United States, Brazil, and the European Union. In the first six months of this year, Argentina was the largest import market with a total cost of nearly $550 million, equalling just over a quarter of the turnover of the whole sector and decreasing by 27.3 per cent on-year.

Le Van Long, head of animal feed at Japfa Comfeed’s northern branch, told VIR, “Using domestic rice to replace imported materials is just a temporary solution because the selling price of imported corn is much higher than domestic rice prices, due to the global uncertainties including the Russia-Ukraine clashes.”

Once the uncertain situation is resolved, according to Long, the selling price of imported materials will cool down, and imports will become lively again. “Animal feed producers, including ours, want to gather more domestic materials. However, to be honest, domestic products can’t compete with imported materials in terms of selling prices,” Long said.

Statistics from the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) showed that Vietnam currently has around 270 animal feed production facilities, 90 of which are foreign-invested enterprises. The country’s livestock industry needs over 33 million tonnes of feed. However, domestic supply sources just meet 40 per cent of the demand, equalling 13 million tonnes.

The dependence on imported raw materials leading to an unexpected impact on the domestic livestock industry is becoming a chronic issue. Meanwhile, Vietnam only produces rice bran and cassava, and has failed to develop plantation areas to grow feed inputs because of poor productivity.

In order to reduce the dependence on imported raw materials, the government has assigned the MARD and relevant authorities to study plans to develop the plantation areas.

According to the MARD, one of the key crops for the livestock industry is maize. But maize kernels’ domestic output can only meet one-fifth of the demand at the moment, while the remaining 80 per cent must rely on imports.

Post-pandemic staff headaches continuing for local hospitals

While local state-owned hospitals are facing a headache with health staffing, foreign-invested groups are performing well with qualified manpower.

According to Nguyen Thi Le Thu, director of Marketing and Business Development at FV Hospital, the hospital is going to build a new facility to meet the growing need for high-quality healthcare services in Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring areas.  The French-funded hospital now boasts over 130 doctors from many countries, including 116 full-time. The hospital receives more than 200,000 patients a year, most Vietnamese but also many expatriates.

Like FV, Hanoi French Hospital is hiring new medical and support staff to support its development plan.

While a good working environment and well-paid job are among the most important factors to help hospitals retain talents, many state-owned institutions are struggling with manpower shortfall as a massive number of health workers switch professions.

At least one senior doctor has left Dong Nai General Hospital after years of working there and previously being honoured by Dong Nai People’s Committee for his contributions during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reported that the main reason for quitting the high-profile role was due to the toll taken on him with long, harsh working hours during the country’s time of need.

According to local authorities in Dong Nai, 230 doctors, nursing staff, and technicians at state-run health facilities have left their job in the first half of 2022. This number is much higher than in previous years.

Meanwhile, Huynh Minh Chin, deputy director of Binh Duong Department of Health, said that about 300 staff at grassroots health facilities in the southern province have resigned because of low salaries, unreasonable working environment, work overload, and fewer opportunities to improve professional skills. The province is facing a lack of nearly 600 staff in the form of doctors and midwives, mostly for grassroots health facilities.

In addition, the 1,500-bed General Hospital, which is going to be put into operation in Binh Duong, is seeking new staff. 

According to Ministry of Health (MoH) statistics, nearly 900 health staff in Hanoi have resigned from their job in the past two years, with 250 quitting in Q1 of this year alone. In Ho Chi Minh City, the number was more than 1,000 in 2021, and nearly 400 in the first quarter of 2022.

The Vietnam National Union of Health Workers, which noted that over 9,300 health workers across the country have left their jobs over the past 18 months, saying that low salaries and allowances were the top of many reasons for getting out.

It explained that currently, the salary of a graduating doctor is around VND3.48 million ($150) a month before incentives. The average wages only partly help many doctors cover their daily expenses.

At recent meetings, including one in mid-July about human resources for the sector, the prime minister asked the MoH to work with ministries and agencies to study and amend Decree No.56/2011/ND-CP regulating preferential allowances for staff at state-owned health facilities, and supporting policies for those hit by the pandemic.

Vietnam to stop building new coal-fired power plants from 2030

Viet Nam will stop building new coal-fired power plants from 2030 as part of its roadmap to realize commitments at the COP26.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An made that above statement on Wednesday while attending the ASEAN High-level Policy Dialogue on Coal.

Viet Nam also aims to reduce the capacity of coal-fired power plants to 13.2 percent of the country's total power capacity by 2045 from the current 32 percent, Dang added.

By end of last year, the nation's total installed capacity of power plants reached over 78,120 MW, the highest among ASEAN Member States. 

According to the National Power Development Plan VIII currently being developed, coal-fired power output is expected to reach 37,476 MW, accounting for 25.7 percent of the total power capacity in the country. 

Vietnamese specialties displayed at Hong Kong Food Expo

The Vietnamese Consulate General and Vietnam Trade Office in Hong Kong (China) are introducing a variety of Vietnamese specialties at the Hong Kong Food Expo from August 11-15.

As one of the most important events of Hong Kong's food and beverage sector, the expo was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and drew exhibitors from Europe, the US, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China and Southeast Asian countries.

Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong Pham Binh Dam expressed his hope that from 2023, more Vietnamese agricultural companies and products will be introduced at the event.

Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Hong Kong Vu Thi Thuy hailed Hong Kong as a promising market for Vietnamese food and beverages as it imports almost consumer goods and food instead of producing them.

According to the official, both sides share similarities in consumption culture while Vietnamese products such as rice, seafood, spices, cashew nuts, pepper and coffee are popular in Hong Kong.

On the occasion, the Hong Kong International Tea Fair, the Home Delights Expo and Beauty & Wellness Expo are also held simultaneously.

Last year, the Hong Kong Food Expo attracted 545 exhibitors and 370,000 visitors.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes

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