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Ministry of Finance seeks to drop fuel price stabilization fund

The Ministry of Finance said it was high time to consider eliminating the fuel price stabilization fund to let market supply and demand to decide gasoline prices.

In the draft amended Law on Prices, the Ministry of Finance proposed dropping the regulation on the establishment and usage of the fuel price stabilization fund, as it is no longer in line with the current price management and regulatory practices.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the fuel price stabilization fund is a special fund that was established before the Law on Prices came out. However, with an increasing number of firms operating in the distribution system, the domestic fuel market has seen positive developments, which have in turn boosted efficiency and fostered competition. In addition, the consumer behavior has gradually acclimated to fluctuations in global gasoline prices.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade stated that it will examine the proposal further. The fuel price stabilization fund, according to the ministry, has played a significant role in controlling and regulating domestic gasoline prices. 

The Ministry of Finance said that the updated measures would ensure price stability in practice when commodities and services face volatility owing to the cost-push inflation and a supply-demand imbalance.

The Vietnam Petroleum Association urged against implementing the wholesale price declaration to the petroleum business and against declaring the costs of oil and gasoline from foreign producers as well as the grounds for adjusting selling prices between declarations.

Hai Phong develops science, technology to serve sea-based economy
Hai Phong develops science, technology to serve sea-based economy hinh anh 1
The northern port city of Hai Phong will become Vietnam’s centre for marine science and technology development, as set in the Politburo’s Resolution No.45 on building and developing the city by 2030, with a vision to 2045.

To achieve this goal, Hai Phong has set out a number of orientations for science and technology development, with focus on the research, transfer and application of technologies relevant to the city's development strategy.

Three economic development pillars identified by Hai Phong are high-tech industry, seaports and logistics, and tourism and commerce, which are all based on the strengths of a coastal locality.

The city’s efforts in the research, application and development of science and technology have made important contributions to the general growth. Specifically, in the high-tech industry, the proportion of high-tech products in the city's total industrial production value has increased year after year, reaching 39.5% in 2019 and 40.12% in 2021. The share of high-tech industrial products in the processing and manufacturing sector rose rapidly from 16.4% in 2015 to 50% in 2021.

In the field of agriculture and fisheries, the city has stepped up the research and application of science and technology in association with the new-style rural area building programme. The application of advanced technology in agricultural production and post-harvest preservation has resulted in drastic changes in the yield and quality of crop products. The value of crop and aquatic products per hectare of land in Hai Phong increased from 72.95 million VND (3,100 USD) per year in 2008 to 169.1 million VND last year.

Hue seeks to attract direct flights from Thailand

Thua Thien Hue Province has come up with a plan to attract Thai tourists to Hue City via charter flights and contribute to retaining Thailand among the top 10 source markets.

As per the plan, the province is expected to arrange two return flights this September for diplomacy, connection and promotion of the Thua Thien Hue tourism market in Thailand and vice versa.

The Thai delegation will visit and survey tourism products and services in the province with the participation of representatives from Thai tourism associations, companies and the media. The delegation is being organized by the Heritage Empire Travel Joint Stock Company in collaboration with the Thai Tourist Association and Thai Vietjet Airlines JSC.

Following that, there will be a flight from Hue to Thailand for diplomacy, connection and promotion of the Thua Thien Hue tourism market in Thailand. This will see the participation of representatives of Hue City and guests experiencing the Hue-Bangkok tour program of promoting Thua Thien Hue’s tourism in Thailand organized and managed by the major tourism companies in the province.

If the plan succeeds, the related parties will consider other plans to welcome guests through charter flights and flights connecting the ancient capitals such as Ayutthaya (Thailand) – Hue, Hue – Luang Prabang (Laos) and Hue – Siem Reap (Campuchia).

Cam Ranh Bay urban area gets green light

Vinhomes JSC has received the nod from the Khanh Hoa Province government to carry out investment procedures for its urban area project, worth around VND26.68 trillion, along Cam Ranh Bay in Cam Ranh City.

Provincial chairman Nguyen Tan Tuan has approved in principle the Khanh Hoa Department of Investment and Planning’s proposal to conduct investment procedures for the project.

The department was told to coordinate with the relevant agencies to complete documents seeking approval for the project, then report them to the provincial authorities before submitting them to the Ministry of Planning and Investment for appraisal and to the prime minister for consideration.

The provincial investment and planning department said it received a proposal from Vinhomes on August 3 to develop the urban area project, which will cover an area of over 1,250 hectares. The project is aimed at building a modern urban area in the Cam Ranh Bay area, contributing to the socioeconomic growth of the coastal city and neighboring areas.

As for the progress of the project, legal procedures could be completed in the second quarter of this year, while the project’s investor would be chosen via bidding in the fourth quarter. Following this, a zoning plan with a scale of 1/500 will be mapped out and approved in the first quarter of next year. Site clearance and compensation work will take place from the first quarter of 2023 to the second quarter of 2024. Work on the project is expected to start from late 2023 to late 2025.

Solutions to be sought to develop post-pandemic labour market

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is scheduled to chair a national conference on August 20 to examine solutions for developing the national labour market moving into the post-pandemic period.

The conference will be held at the Government Office in Hanoi and connected to all localities across the country. It will be attended by ministers in charge of labour, investment, justice, communication, trade, rural development, education, tourism, along with executives of leading economic groups.

Earlier reports show the local employment market has recovered considerably from the COVID-19 pandemic following the resumption of production and business services. However, developing the market steadily in the context of global uncertainty requires consistent solutions from relevant ministries and sectors.

Vietnamese coconut coir exports to Australia record surge of over 270%

Vietnamese coconut coir exports to Australia during the opening five months of the year increased sharply by 272%, according to statistics compiled by the International Trade Center (ITC).

Several foreign brands including Harris farm, a major agricultural supermarket have been seeking ways to import Vietnamese coconut water into the largest supermarkets in Australia.

At present, Australian consumers can find local brands such as Vico fresh, Cocosoul organic, RawC, and Chef's choice with the label "Product of Vietnam" on the package. In particular, Vietnamese Cocoxim canned coconut water is highly appreciated by distributors.

According to ITC's latest statistics, Vietnamese coconut oil exports to Australia during the opening five months of the year increased sharply by 51%.

Market slumps over slides in agricultural stocks
The market closed lower on Thursday as strong selling forces depressed indices.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index started off the afternoon with a steady rise. It hit a peak at around 2pm and then fell off to the baseline. The index rose again at 2:15pm and reached half the previous peak. It held steady for about 15 minutes and suddenly suffered a free fall in the last minutes to 1,273.66 points, roughly 1.62 points (0.13 per cent) below the baseline. The southern exchange was overrun by decliners whose number reached 243. Advancers' head count, meanwhile, was just 94. Three stocks hit ceiling prices whereas two sat at the other end.

Thursday was a busy day for HoSE as investors traded 558 million shares on the exchange, equivalent to about VND14 trillion (US$600 million).

The VN30-Index echoed the VN-Index pattern but with a slighter loss. It lost just 0.47 points (0.04 per cent) to reach 1,299.93 points. In the basket, 11 stocks climbed, four stayed flat and 15 slid.

No Va Land (NVL) was leading the market's fall with a loss of 1.54 per cent. Other stocks behind the bearish trend include BIDV (BID), VietinBank (CTG), Investment and Industrial Development (BCM) and Vinhomes (VHM).

Agricultural firms were the main catalyst for the slump with a sector-wide drop of 1.76 per cent. In the sector, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agricultural JSC (HNG) lost 2.68 per cent, followed by Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG) and Sao Mai Group (ASM).

E-Equipment was the next sector contributing to the slump as it ended lower over slides in GELEX Group (GEX) and SAM Holdings (SAM). Rangdong (RAL) was a bright spot with a slight rise of 0.3 per cent.

The HNX-Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) lost 1.4 points (0.46 per cent) to reach 301.19 points.

Foreign investors poured money into the market by net-purchasing a total of around VND134.74 billion worth of shares on the two exchanges. Of which, they net bought VND120.56 billion on HoSE and VND14.18 billion on HNX.

Personal income tax collection almost hits year’s goal

In the January-July period, the total personal income revenue topped VND106,385 billion, equivalent to 90.1% of the full-year goal.

Personal income tax amount accounted for roughly 9.8% of total budget revenues collected by the tax sector and 15.7% of the total domestic tax revenue, according to the General Department of Taxation.

In the seven months, the overall budget income totaled VND1,093.5 trillion, a rise of 18.1% year-on-year and equal to 77.5% of the year’s target.

Revenue from housing and land hit 95.1% of the year’s target, mining rights 93.4%, and personal income tax 90.1%.

This year, the Government expects to collect VND118,075 billion in personal income tax.

According to the General Department of Taxation, the major sources of personal income tax revenue include employee salaries and wages, followed by earnings from real estate transfers, inheritance, gifts, stock transfers and individual businesses.

The recent rise in personal income tax collection has also been attributed to the growing real estate and stock markets.

HCM City to host Vietnam-Taiwan textile-garment industry show

A Vietnam-Taiwan textile and garment industry exhibition will open on August 23 in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Around 60 Vietnamese garment makers and exporters and 13 Taiwanese textile producers, including those already operating factories in Vietnam, will participate in the event.

Vietnamese enterprises hope to seek suppliers capable to meet their needs for quality fabric in making garment for the domestic market and export at the event.

There will be nearly 150 B2B meetings in the framework of the exhibition.

Indochina Kajima builds Wink Hotel in Hai Phong city

Indochina Kajima Development Company, a joint venture between Vietnam's Indochina Capital and Japan’s Kajima Corporation, on August 18 began the construction of a Wink Hotel, a revolutionary new hospitality brand, in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

The 22-storey building that covers some 16,000 sq.m comprises 203 hotel rooms and 77 service apartments with modern designs.

The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and the central province of Phu Yen are also home to two Wink Hotels, expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2024.

Following the hotel in Hai Phong, Indochina Kajima will build more Wind Hotels in Hanoi and the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Hanoi and HCM City will have second Wink Hotels after that.

Visa announces winners of She’s Next grant programme in Vietnam

Visa on August 18 announced the winners of its inaugural She’s Next Grant Programme in Vietnam. 

This is the first time the programme, created to boost and empower women entrepreneurship, has been conducted in Vietnam.

Three women business owners from across Vietnam received a grant of 10,000 USD and one-year business coaching through IFundWomen to support, grow and expand their businesses.

The winners are Equo Vietnam founded by Marina Tran Vu which produces 100% plastic-free solutions for everyday single-use products, Palmania JSC co-founded by Chau Ngoc Diu which aims to revive the traditional craft of palmyra nectar production of the indigenous Khmer people, and Tubudd JSC co-founded by Annie Vu which is a platform connecting travelers with local experts to supercharge their holidays and business trips.

Mexico becomes bright spot for Vietnam’s tra fish exports

Mexico has risen from the fourth in 2021 to become the 3rd largest tra fish export market of Vietnam, only after China and the US.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first seven months of this year, tra fish exports to Mexico grew by 73%, reaching 73.5 million USD and accounting for 4.5% of Vietnam's total turnover. Over 90% of tra fish shipped to the market were frozen fillets.

In July alone, the country spent more than 11 million USD on the Vietnamese product, doubling that of the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, 30 Vietnamese seafood enterprises exported tra fish to Mexico. Many processing enterprises in the Mekong Delta localities of Dong Thap, An Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Vinh Long are also increasing their shipments to the market.

VASEP forecast that tra fish exports will rake in some 125 million USD from Mexico in 2022, up 80% year on year.

RoK seminar on investment in Vietnam

An international seminar on trend of investment in Vietnam in the new normal context took place in Seoul on August 18, with over 150 Korean investors and enterprises in different areas taking part. It was one of the first investment promotion seminars held in the RoK following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tung stressed the country as the biggest FDI partner to Vietnam with nearly 10,000 projects worth 80 billion USD. Two-way trade hit 78.1 billion USD in 2021 and is likely to reach 90 billion USD.

The Embassy commits to standing side by side with Korean firms in business operations in Vietnam, stays ready to connect with and realise business opportunities in the country, he said.

Participants at the event heard reports on the trend of investment in Vietnam the in new normal, Vietnam’s investment policy, and Vietnamese economy and foreign currency market.

IV Board calls for favourable policies to ease private firms' woes
The Private Sector Development Research Board (IV Board) has recently submitted a report on private firms' post-pandemic woes to the Government, calling for favourable policies.

Accordingly to the board, private firms are in urgent need of governmental support after two years of pandemic. Many firms find themselves in dire situations since they have to service bank loans and incur high overhead costs while having insufficient working capital to keep running. Mounting input costs, coupled with falling demand overseas and supply chain disruptions, fuel the situation by further eroding their profitability.

The appreciation of Vietnamese dong against other currencies, such as the yen or euro, adds to their woes by putting Vietnamese exports at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, bank loans are becoming more difficult to take out. Many small- and medium-sized firms also face unstable cash flow and lack assets to offer as collateral. Even though some firms are up to standard financially, that would not necessarily guarantee access to bank loans because the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has been tightening credit growth.

The board underscored bank loans as a catalyst for the firms' survival because they cannot keep their employees on the payroll and reboot their operations without external finances.

The board urged the Government to manage inflation more flexibly to allow sufficient credit for firms. Otherwise, some firms are likely to fold up next year, triggering economic recession, a scenario much worse than high inflation. The board also called on the Government to maintain their favourable policies on taxes and fees to ease firms' financial burden.

It also called for a quicker disbursement of the preferential interest rate package of VND40 trillion and the infrastructure investment package of VND113 trillion to step up economic recovery. Lastly, the board recommended the SBV raise the credit growth ceiling to facilitate the flow of bank money into key sectors, such as tourism, exports and agro-forestry-fishery, and at the same time, keep a close watch on cash flows to real estate and securities. 

UKFTA promotes cooperation in digital transformation, energy transition as VN strives for a sustainable future
The UK – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKFTA) is opening significant opportunities for enterprises from both sides to enhance cooperation in green energy transition and digital transformation as the Southeast Asian country strives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and embrace new drivers for economic growth.

Viet Nam was making strong efforts towards the goal of becoming a high-income country by 2045, to which digital transformation and energy transition are considered launch pads for the economy.

During a visit to the UK from August 10 to 15, Politburo Member and Head of the Party Central Committees Economic Commission Tran Tuan Anh said that Viet Nam had set strategic goals in digital transformation, digital economy and green energy conversion to achieve rapid, sustainable and inclusive growth and net zero carbon emissions as well as adaptation to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

The two countries had established a solid relationship framework, especially with the UKFTA which came into force more than a year ago, he said, emphasising many similarities in priority development goals.

According to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the UKFTA not only liberalised trade in goods and services but also integrated many other important factors, many of which were geared towards ensuring green growth and sustainable development in the cooperation between the two countries.

International exhibition on fire safety, rescue, smart building opens in HCM City
The Fire Safety & Rescue Vietnam-Secutech Vietnam-SMAbuilding 2022 international exhibition opened in HCM City’s Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre on August 18 with 320 booths set up by over 250 exhibitors.

The exhibitors are from 21 countries and territories, including the UK, India, Australia, China, Taiwan, Germany, Korea, the US, Japan, Italy and Viet Nam.

Organised by the Viet Nam Advertisement and Fair Exhibition JSC and Messe Frankfurt Group, the event showcases products and technologies used in fire prevention and rescue, security and smart building and smart houses.

To run until August 20, it will feature an international workshop on digital transformation in and technological solutions for fire prevention and fighting in super high-rise buildings and constructions, a seminar on smart security, business matching, outdoor demonstrations of fire safety and disaster prevention, and others.

Gov’t directs to speed up interest rate support programme
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai on Wednesday ordered agencies to solve problems arising during the implementation of the Government’s 2-per-cent interest rate support programme so as to speed up the policy.

The move was made after authorities reported the disbursement of the VND40 trillion programme has remained limited after nearly three months of implementation.

During a meeting on Wednesday, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reported commercial banks lent nearly VND4.1 trillion to nearly 550 customers under the programme, of which VND1.1 trillion was interest rate aid.

Commercial banks attributed the limited disbursement to a number of difficulties, such as determining beneficiaries of the programme. The banks explained many production and business households borrow bank loans but do not register as business households, so they are not eligible for the support.

To speed up the programme’s disbursement to support businesses in accordance with the law, at the meeting, the Deputy PM asked the SBV, ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment, and Justice, as well as the Government’s Office to review regulations related to industries, beneficiaries and lending conditions of the programme to promptly adjust or propose more feasible and effective measures to competent authorities.

He assigned the SBV to organise a conference with the participation of commercial banks next week to receive feedback from them. Other relevant ministries, including Planning and Investment, Finance and Justice, will also have to send officials to attend the event to guide and explain the programme’s regulations to commercial banks.

Wood exports to U.S. decline due to inflation

Wood exports to the U.S are declining due to inflation, hindering the growth of the wood industry in the second half of this year.

The United States was the biggest buyer of Vietnam’s wood products in the first half of the year. The value of wood exports to this market accounted for 60.8% of the nation’s total figure, according to data from the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products Association (VIFORES). However, the proportion of wood exports to the U.S. declined by 3.9%, compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, the U.S. imported wood products from Vietnam with a total value of more than US$4.86 billion, down 3.7% over the same period last year, according to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs. The total value of wood exports to the U.S. market accounted for 58% of Vietnam’s export value of these products, lower than the figure in the previous two months (60%).

Furniture was the major group of export products in the first six months of this year, with a turnover of US$5.5 billion. It was mainly exported to the U.S. (accounting for 80.6%), with the export value reaching US$4.4 billion, down 5.7%.

Despite the decrease in wood exports to the U.S., Vietnam is still one of the U.S.’ largest suppliers of wooden furniture, according to the International Trade Centre.

Over VND90 trillion to be spent on two rail lines in southern Vietnam

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has urged the Ministry of Transport to work with relevant ministries and southern provinces to reach a consensus on a plan to develop the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau and Thu Thiem-Long Thanh rail roads, with a total investment of over VND90 trillion.

The governments of Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and HCMC will be responsible for the projects, according to a dispatch issued by the Government Office on August 16.

The 65-kilometer-long Bien Hoa-Vung Tau rail line will start from the Trang Bom station in Dong Nai Province’s Trang Bom District to the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port terminal in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. This railway will cost over VND50.8 trillion and be executed under the public-private partnership (PPP) format.

The Thu Thiem-Long Thanh rail route, with a length of some 37.5 kilometers, will connect the Thu Thiem new urban area in HCMC with the under-construction Long Thanh International Airport in neighboring Dong Nai Province. The rail route project will be developed under the PPP format, with a total cost of VND40.6 trillion, the local media reported.

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


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