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Fast-growing Binh Duong appeals to local, foreign investors


Binh Duong New City, where the 2019 Horasis Asia Meeting takes place from November 24 to 26, is a 45-minute drive from HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat airport. — Photo courtesy of Becamex IDC Corp



As one of the fastest-growing provinces in the southern key economic zone and among Viet Nam’s hottest investment destinations, Binh Duong is opening its doors to investors in a diverse range of fields.

Tran Thanh Liem, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said: “Binh Duong Province has all the conditions needed to become one of Asia’s most attractive investment destinations. With its modern infrastructure, it has become one of the leading localities in attracting FDI (foreign direct investment) in Viet Nam.”

As Viet Nam’s emerging gateway for technology, trade and services, the province is well positioned to serve as a commercial hub for Southeast Asian economies, he added.

The province is the most vibrant business region in the country, with a growth rate 1.5 times faster than the country as a whole, according to Liem.

Investment in a wide range of fields, including industry, trade and services, education, and human resources, is now being sought.

Just two decades ago, Binh Duong was an agricultural area with modest infrastructure, but now is the third largest FDI destination in the country, behind only HCM City and Ha Noi.

More than 3,700 FDI projects from 64 countries and territories operate in the province.

“Investment priorities are in the high-tech industry, supporting industry, IT, precision engineering, trade, and services,” Liem said.

“Binh Duong is proud to host the Horasis again this year as the country aims to become an export economy that is growing rapidly and providing more high-paying jobs,” he said.

Binh Duong New City, where the event opens today, is a 45-minute drive from HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat international airport.

Many CEOs and investors from Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, India and other parts of the world have been invited to Binh Duong to look at the huge FDI opportunities there.

Horasis Chairman and Founder Frank-Jürgen Richter said that Binh Duong had sufficient “hard” infrastructure but now would need “soft infrastructure” such as more high quality human resources, and would need to continue to catch up with more developed countries in Asia and other regions.

Nguyen Van Hung, chairman of Becamex IDC, noted that Horasis was one of the most important events which Binh Duong was proud to host and would be vital to the smart-city plan of Binh Duong.

According to Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital, besides good infrastructure development, competitive labour costs, and good training facilities, Binh Duong is known for its proactive and pro-business authorities.

Binh Duong jumped from 14th in 2017 to sixth nationwide in 2018 in the 2018 Provincial Competitiveness Index from the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the southeast region, Binh Duong has surpassed HCM City and is now in first place, with a score of 66.09 points on a scale of 100 in 2018.

“The time is ripe for us to talk about Binh Duong’s potential to attract investors and investment,” Lam said.

Binh Duong Smart City is part of the Binh Duong Smart Zone project that includes fast-growing localities such as Thu Dau Mot City, Di An Town, Thuan An Town, Tan Uyen Town, and Ben Cat Town.

Launched in 2016, the smart city scheme is a major part of the province’s “breakthrough” development programmes. Its core mission is to build interaction between the state, scientists and entrepreneurs.

To execute the project, the province has coordinated with Eindhoven City in the Netherlands, as well as the South Korean city of Daejon and the World Technopolis Association.

Under the smart city scheme, Binh Duong aims to strengthen workers’ skills and education; expand R&D activities and build a start-up eco-system; attract more FDI in high-tech manufacturing; and improve transport, the ICT infrastructure, the business climate and people’s living conditions.

Binh Duong New City will be the centre of the smart province and house the most important urban areas, and research and educational institutions, as well as industrial zones.

Binh Duong Smart City is home to a growing number of Techlabs and Fablabs located in schools, universities and vocational colleges around the province. The labs collaborate closely with industrial partners and the province’s Department of Science and Technology.

Techlabs offer practical education in the latest technology, including equipment provided by industry partners. They also provide a space for joint research projects between universities and local employers.

Binh Duong’s Techlabs include a lighting lab at Eastern International University, a mechanical electrical lab at Viet Nam-Singapore Vocational College and an ICT lab at Thu Dau Mot University, with a robotics and intelligent systems lab, a power electronics system lab, and a data analysis and artificial intelligence lab in the works.

Binh Duong also aims to join the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) before 2021, which will allow it to link up with a network of 160 smart provinces and cities around the world.

Local agencies have been told to prioritise projects related to semiconductors and LED lighting projects, and e-government. Provincial agencies will seek more partnerships with neighbouring cities and provinces, as well as businesses and local and international experts, to help with the project.

Binh Duong was the only area in Viet Nam named as one of the world’s Smart21 communities of 2018 by the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum, a non-profit policy research organisation focused on job creation and economic development in the broadband economy.

Last year the province hosted the World Technopolis Association Summit 2018, attracting around 100 members from the World Technopolis Association from nearly 50 countries and territories.

Construction on Quang Tri 1 thermal power plant kicks off

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held to kiick off the construction of the 1,320-megawatt Quang Tri 1 thermal power plant.

The project, located in the central province of Quang Tri, is undertaken by Thailand’s EGAT International Company Limited under a build-operate-transfer contract.

The coal-fired plant using supercritical technology will have two turbines, with a capacity of 660 megawatts each.

It is expected to generate 7,200 billion kWh of electricity and pre-tax revenue of VND12.5 trillion (over $538 million) per year.

With a total investment of VND55.1 trillion ($2.4 billion), the Quang Tri 1 power plant is the largest project ever invested in Quang Tri Province.

On the occasion, the Quang Tri Economic Zone Management inaugurated a 23.5-kilometre road connecting the Quang Tri Southeastern Industrial Park with Cua Viet Port, which was built at a cost of VND700 billion.

KPC opens education center in Việt Nam

The Korean Productivity Center opened its education centre KPC-QTC in the capital city on Friday.

The centre will provide vocational training services, qualifications and certifications for Korean firms to boost productiveness in Viet Nam.

Roh Kyu Sung, chairman of the Korea Productivity Center, said: "Việt Nam is a country with high economic growth and is among the key countries in Korea’s Southern Policy so the centre would not only improve the productivity of Korean companies, but also to improve the same thing in Vietnamese firms by enhancing human resources and promote the competitiveness of Korean businesses and enterprises in Viet Nam."

Kim Han Yong, chairman of the Korean Business Association in Vietnam (Korcham) said: "The number of Korean firms in Việt Nam increased sharply, reaching 8,700 now and more in the future.”

Korcham’s president said with the role of capacity building and productivity development, KPC-QTC can help promote Korean training, sharing and transferring knowledge to Vietnamese partners, especially capacity building for staff in charge of productivity improvement.

Prior to opening the centre in Việt Nam, the Korea Productivity Center opened an education centre in Indonesia and expected to open one in the US in March next year.

Earlier this month, local media reported South Korea remains Việt Nam’s top investor with 8,190 projects with combined registered capital of US$65.7 billion, making significant contributions to Việt Nam’s core economic sectors such as electronics, energy, automobile, construction, services, among others.

Additionally, South Korea is also one of Việt Nam’s major trade partners with bilateral trade turnover of US$65.8 billion in 2018, and $44 billion in the first eight months of 2019.

Vietnam Airlines takes off with digital transformation

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has won the 2019 ICT Award from the Asian-Oceania Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO) for its outstanding achievements and important contributions to the development and application of information technology in operation and services.

The carrier was the only Vietnamese enterprise to be honoured at the ASOCIO ICT Awards, which were presented at the ASOCIO-PIKOM Digital Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week.

The ASOCIO ICT Awards are leading prestigious information technology awards, with great influence in the region of 24 member economies. This year marks continuous efforts by Vietnam Airlines to become a digital airline.

In order to become a digital airline, Vietnam Airlines has continuously promoted the application of information technology in its operation and business activities, enhancing the customer experience and perfecting four-star services, while proceeding to five star.

CEO of Vietnam Airlines Duong Tri Thanh said the ICT infrastructure in Vietnam had witnessed a lot of positive changes in recent years, which helped the carrier digitalise flight management documents, apply artificial intelligence (AI) and use Big Data in business, operations and fleet management, enhancing automation and customisation to enhance the customer experience.

“Vietnam Airlines has been co-operating with many information technology giants to improve its infrastructure and make comprehensive transformations, helping it to become a digital airline in 2020,” Thanh said.

Thanh said Vietnam Airlines was the first Vietnamese airline to have completed phase 1 of the Skywise open data platform developed by Airbus and its Big Data partner Palantir.

“Skywise is considered the ‘heart’ of the digital revolution in the aviation industry,” Thanh said.

Skywise is the first-of-its-kind open data platform developed by Airbus for the aviation industry. By making the right information available at the right time, Skywise provides invaluable insights from the massive amounts of data that was previously locked in corporate and functional silos.

In terms of market research, Vietnam Airlines has been applying cloud computing designed by Oracle, which deploys flight analysis systems effectively, and a data analysis system on the Salesforce’s cloud platform to make market analysis and trade reporting.

For aircraft maintenance, the carrier has digitised and applied the management of materials, equipment, and aircraft maintenance and repair according to international standards (Best Practice), especially for new-generation aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

“Besides, the flight exploitation area has made great strides when applying electronic documents and e-flight folders for flight attendants since 2016, helping crews easily access information about meteorology, weather, technology and fuel with just a tablet, no need to bring a whole folder of paper documents as before,” Thanh said.

This year, Vietnam Airlines also launched a completely new version of its mobile application with many modern features, enabling passengers to quickly search for flights and itineraries, book tickets online, and use digital map positioning at nine domestic airports and 58 international airports.

Vietnam Airlines has recently applied onboard wifi on a number of A350 aircraft flights, becoming the first airline in Vietnam to offer wifi to passengers.

This is an exciting step for the flag carrier towards embedding digital technology in its products and services to enhance customer experience, reaching closer towards international 5-star quality standards while becoming a digital airline.

“With the goal of becoming a digital airline, Vietnam Airlines continues to take the lead in adopting information technology to bring customers added services. By providing the first in-flight wifi service in Vietnam, we hope to bring passengers a brand-new experience and convenience by allowing internet access during flights,” said Executive Vice President of Vietnam Airlines Le Hong Ha.

“Vietnam Airlines will continue to expedite upgrades to its services on other flights, as well as further invest in advanced technologies and the development of high-quality products and services, all to provide the most enjoyable experience possible for passengers,” Ha added./.

Vietjet named Asia Pacific's low cost airline of the year

Vietjet has been recognised as the Asia Pacific low cost airline of the year by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

The CAPA awards aims to annually acknowledge the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically, established itself as a leader, and has been the biggest innovator, providing a benchmark for others to follow during the year in the regional aviation industry.

The award honoured Vietjet for the airline's strong expansion of its international network. This is a highly attractive position given Vietnam’s favourable economic prospects and fast-growing market.

“Vietjet continues to break the mould for a traditional low cost airline,” said CAPA Chairman Emeritus Peter Harbison. “The company has a solid financial foundation and a game plan to formidably challenge some of largest operators in Asia Pacific for decades to come.”

Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said Vietjet’s mission is to make breakthrough changes in the aviation industry’s services. The airline has brought flying opportunities to nearly 100 million passengers while creating positive values for the aviation industry’s community and partners.

CAPA is the leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis and data services covering worldwide developments. Established in 1990, CAPA’s platforms help the aviation sector and supplier businesses stay informed, remain connected to industry leaders and fuel inspiration to drive change.

Regarded as the preeminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation, CAPA first established the awards in 2003 to recognise successful airlines and airports within the Asia Pacific region./.

First Vietnamese factory inaugurated in Cuba

Thai Binh investment trading group has inaugurated a plant making baby diapers and sanitary napkins at the Mariel special development zone in Cuba.

This is the first Vietnamese factory in Cuba.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony on November 19, Chairman of the group Tran Thanh Tu said the plant was built on 10,000 square metres, with the initial investment of 9.3 million USD.

It is designed with two production lines using advanced technology and able to produce 120 million diapers and 240 million sanitary napkins per year, meeting about 70 percent of demand for the products in Cuba.

Tu said his group has had 20 years of development in Cuba and it is one of the important suppliers of consumer products for the market.

He added that the group aims to export products to other markets in the Caribbean in the second phase of the project and plans to build a washing powder factory with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year in Cuba.

Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Nguyen Trung Thanh said the inauguration of the plant is an important milestone in the bilateral investment ties, and a new area in the bilateral economic cooperation.

For his part, deputy director of the Mariel special development zone Yanet Vázquez Valdés, highlighted the important role of Vietnamese projects in the zone.

He affirmed that the management board of the zone always welcomes and is ready to create the best possible conditions for Vietnamese businesses.

On this occasion, Thai Binh group presented 200,000 baby diapers to Havana’s education department, to be distributed to orphan care centres in the Cuban capital./.

Annual furniture fair targets domestic market

The 2019 Vietnam Furniture and Home Furnishing Fair (VIFA Home 2019) will be held in HCM City from November 28 to December 1 to promote locally made wooden furniture, home decor and handicrafts.

The expo will have 600 booths set up by 120 firms to showcase outdoor and indoor furniture, handicrafts, and household appliances.

Huynh Van Hanh, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA), told a press briefing in HCM City on November 19 that in addition to a number of large domestic furniture retailers such as Chilai, Home'Furni, Toan Phu Furniture, VietmayHome, and Duy Tan, the fair this year has also attracted prestigious export brands such as Scancia Pacific, Savimex, Donata, Lê Tran, Viet Can, and Sadaco Binh Dương.

“These firms will bring their products to VIFA Home this year for domestic customers. This is a good sign for the domestic market, which has high demand for export products,” Hanh said.

He added that with the message ‘Furniture banquet’, VIFA Home this year will underline its status as the biggest furniture fair in the country, enabling consumers to find complete packages for their living spaces.

According to Hanh, with a population of nearly 100 million, increasing incomes, and rapid development of the property market, the Vietnamese market is a promising one for the furniture industry.

Domestic furniture consumption has increased significantly in recent years, and is expected to reach 5 billion USD this year, nearly equal to exports, he said.

Thai Le Huong, marketing manager at Cozy Living Company, which distributes furniture, said its domestic sales were growing by more than 30 percent a year mainly driven by demand from apartments.

Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of HAWA Corporation, said Vietnamese are paying more attention to creating beautiful living spaces.

“They prefer customised furniture, which is the strength of small and medium-sized enterprises,” he added.

Organised by HAWA and HAWA Corporation, the fair will also feature seminars, game shows, art performances, and lucky draws.

The ASEAN Furniture Industries Council delegation with more than 50 representatives of Southeast Asian furniture associations and businesses will visit the fair to explore business opportunities.

Over the last 10 years the annual expo has acted as a bridge connecting wooden furniture producers, traders, distributors, and retailers./.

Vietnam’s export of squid, octopus to US surges in 2019

Vietnam’s export of squid and octopus to the US market saw a strong rise of 63.7 percent in the first nine months of 2019 to reach 11.4 million USD, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Main export items were dried squid, marinated squid, frozen squid, frozen whole octopus and frozen processed octopus.

The US is now the sixth largest importer of Vietnam’s squid and octopus, accounting for 2.7 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total export of those products.

As the US-China trade tension escalates, the US raises tariffs on some Chinese squid and octopus products by 30 percent, which has brought opportunities for similar products of Vietnam./.

Vietbuild Hanoi int’l exhibition 2019 to kick off

The Vietbuild Hanoi International Exhibition 2019, themed “Real Estate – Interior, Exterior Décor – Architecture – Construction – Construction Materials”, will be underway from November 27 – December 1, with nearly 1,600 stalls by over 40 firms from 22 countries and territories taking part.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on November 22, Chairman of the Vietnam National Real Estate Association and head of the exhibition’s organising board Nguyen Tran Nam said construction materials see positive signs thanks to growing demand for housing, real estate and infrastructure.

Thematic seminars will also be held to encourage firms to manufacture new products, adopt modern and eco-friendly technology to meet domestic and foreign demand.

Contacts between manufacturers and consumers are also planned for./.

Due attention hasn’t been paid to collective economy: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said although the collective economy had achieved substantial development, due attention hadn’t been paid to the sector.

He made the statement during a conference in Hanoi on November 20 to review a resolution designed to renew, develop and improve the efficiency of the collective economy.

The resolution was adopted at the fifth plenum of the 9th Party Central Committee in 2004.

Hue said despite challenges, the collective economy had escaped from a prolonged slump. About 57 percent of cooperatives in the agricultural sector are operating effectively, creating jobs and enhancing incomes for their members and labourers, he said.

However, the Deputy PM said shortcomings in the operation of cooperatives and State management of the collective economy remained weak.

“Some provinces, including Ha Giang and Son La, still face many difficulties despite having collective economies and cooperatives,” he said.

Hue pointed out that the effectiveness of a collective economy should not be assessed by the number of cooperatives and their assets and revenue, but should also take into account their contributions to the country’s GDP.

Le Son Hai, deputy head of National Assembly’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs, agreed, saying although the Government had decided on the 15-year implementation of the resolution on the collective economy, many provinces had not reviewed their performance or carefully analysed the situation and made recommendations for the future.

A representative from the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission said the difference between a cooperative economy and enterprises was that cooperatives helped connect and strengthen the household economy.

In order to evaluate the performance of cooperatives, the Commission asked ministries and sectors to provide specific data on the contributions of the collective economy to market chains and dominance, as well as community development indicators./.

Vietnamese firms attend Asia Pacific food expo in Singapore

Four farm produce and food processing businesses of Vietnam are participating in the Asia Pacific Food Expo (APFE) 2019, which is underway in Singapore until November 24.

These firms have successfully entered the Singaporean market and want to expand their presence to other markets in Asia Pacific.

Notably, Vietnam’s dairy products and organic beverages have been displayed at the expo for the first time.

At the opening ceremony, L’Earth, a Vietnamese start-up specialised in healthy drinks and fruit jelly, was honoured with the Food Innovation Product Award 2019 presented by the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association.

The APFE 2019 features nearly 200 pavilions of 10 countries and territories which boast strength in agro-forestry-fishery and food processing, including China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The annual expo, one of the largest food events in the region, offers chances for firms to introduce their products and study consumers’ taste, as well as seek business partners.

This year, it is expected to attract about 400,000 visitors./.

Vietnam Medipharm Expo 2019 to open in Hanoi next month

The 26th Vietnam International Medical, Hospital and Pharmaceutical Exhibition (Vietnam Medipharm Expo) will take place from December 5-7 in Hanoi, attracting 180 domestic and foreign exhibitors.

Among firms participating are those from India, Poland, Belarus, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, China and Japan, the US, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine, according to the event’s organising board – the Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Co (Vinexad).

They will showcase pharmaceuticals, herbs, functional foods; food processing and packing machinery; hospital services and medical tourism; beauty care, aesthetics; dental products, ophthalmic products; medical equipment; laboratory equipment and chemicals at 220 booths, it said.

The company described the upcoming event as an opportunity for organisations and businesses to promote products, exchange experiences, seize investment opportunities, expand markets, and promote co-operation to improve efficiency in production and business.

A seminar on introducing and updating new policies and regulations in manufacturing and trading of pharmaceutical products and medical equipment in Vietnam will be held on the sidelines of the event.

Other activities such as a programme that will connect domestic and foreign businesses (Business matching); a special customer purchase programme (VIPs Buyer) and a business meeting between Vietnamese and Russian businesses will be also included./.

Southern firms taking cybersecurity seriously

More and more businesses and organisations in southern Vietnam are focusing on cybersecurity, but there are still limitations such as inadequate procedures and visibility of risks, according to a report tabled at Vietnam Information Security Day in Ho Chi Minh City on November 21.

Trinh Ngoc Minh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Information Security Association's southern branch, said a higher percentage of surveyed businesses and organisations are seeking outside professional experts compared to last year -- up from 69 percent to 84 percent -- while around 42 percent utilise both their own workforce and outside help.

Organised crime is the biggest threat to cybersecurity (56 percent) followed by hacking and industrial espionage, and the report described this as surprising since last year’s report had said businesses were most worried about former and current employees.

Network segmentation, firewall and online anti-virus programmes are the three most used security measures.

Only around 33 percent use cloud systems compared to last year's 50 percent.

The report speculated that the reason for the drop could be a shortage of trustworthy solutions and regulations regarding information stored internally.

Businesses are also not focusing enough on visibility in the context of information security. Not many pay attention to log systems and analysis, 24 percent of businesses said they are unsure if they could detect attacks and 34 percent said they lack the ability to do so.

Most of the respondents lack procedures to deal with incidents or their staff are ignorant of the procedures.

Cyber-security drills to evaluate readiness and skill training are rarely done, and many businesses are unaware of international and Vietnamese cybersecurity standards.

Businesses need to invest adequately in cybersecurity and consider using domestic tools together with foreign solutions to be more self-sufficient in terms of technology.

Vietnam Information Security Day was organised by the association and the city Department of Information and Communications.

It also featured an exhibition on information technology and security products, technology demonstrations and conferences to discuss how to improve cybersecurity.

The national report will be released in Hanoi on November 29./.

Vietnam needs to push digital transformation

The proportion of Vietnamese enterprises that have not adopted digital transformation is about 1.5 times higher than the global average.

The biggest problem for businesses was that they did not know where to start the transformation, said Nguyen Khoa, FPT director general, speaking at the FPT Techday 2019.

He said if businesses failed to get moving, they would be left behind.

FPT Techday 2019 under the theme “Smart Start” was held in Hanoi on November 21.

The event attracted more than 3,000 attendees, including 500 senior leaders of large enterprises and banks, and technology experts.

Digital transformation had no other purpose than to help businesses change, increase their competitiveness and promote development, said Hoang Viet Anh, FPT deputy director general.

“In order to effectively implement a digital transformation, FPT believes that it is necessary to think big, start smart, and increase scale quickly,” he said.

“The smart start is to identify and focus on the essentials for the business; select highly feasible projects, and select simple projects during the pilot process," he added.

"Our enterprise carried out its digital transformation with the motto “thinking big"", said Dinh Toan Thang, deputy head of the research and development board at the Vietnam Post Corporation (VNPost).

VNPost was a State-owned enterprise that had been operating for over a century under an outdated labour structure, he said.

Realising core areas such as postage and retail had become more competitive thanks to the wave of fintech and e-banking, the board decided to adopt a digital transformation strategy based on foreign frameworks, putting new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) into operation, said Thang.

As a result, the company achieved revenue of 1 billion USD last year, with profit pushing to 400 million USD.

Nguyen Anh Nguyen, deputy director general of information technology at Masan Group, said in order to develop, there was no other way but to change and improve.

For Masan, branding was the most important. “Brand means money,” he said.

The group had undergone three digital transformations since 2013, he said.

Nguyen Hung, director general of TPBank, said that a leader must be a digital leader in the digital era.

The bank has applied Industry 4.0 technology to nearly all its activities, including Big Data, biometrics and an open communication gateway.

Big Data had successfully helped the bank analyse customer behavior and store structured and unstructured data, he said. The technology had been applied by TPBank in behaviour analysis to review and approve loans.

Meanwhile, the biometric application had helped the bank authenticate customers and keep customer information confidential, said the director.

"Using this technology, we avoid the risk of fraud for our customers," he added.

“A smart start is very important to the banking industry”, he said.

"We have seen many benefits from this step. The digital experience is now part of TPBank," the director emphasised./.

HCM City welcomes Austrian investors in major development projects

Ho Chi Minh City welcomes foreign investors, including those from Austria, to engage in major development projects, a municipal official has said.

At a reception for Mariana Kühnel, Deputy Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, on November 22, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen highlighted the strong developments of Vietnam-Austria economic ties.

Currently, Austria ranks 30th among 106 countries and territories investing in HCM City, he said, adding that the investment value, however, has yet to match the strength and potential of both sides.

The official urged the Austrian chamber to cooperate and share its experience with HCM City in technological solutions, the improvement of living standards of people, high-tech medicine, flood control and water supply.

He spoke highly of Austria’s projects providing medical equipment and technologies for Cho Ray Hospital.

HCM City will create favourable conditions for Austrian businesses to study economic opportunities and turn cooperation potential of the southern hub and Austria into projects, Tuyen pledged

The city will also facilitate the survey and design of a cable car project by Austrian enterprises, he said, adding that the city hopes to step up tourism cooperation with Austria to utilise great potential of both sides in this regard.

For her part, Kühnel said her visit is expected to contribute to promoting investment and trade collaboration between businesses of Austria and HCM City.

Austrian firms are interested in and want to join hands with the Vietnamese southern metropolis in smart city building, environmental protection and urban infrastructure construction, she said.

The guest lauded HCM City’s friendly business environment and expressed her hope for enhanced delegation exchanges between the two sides.

She described the opening of the Austria’s trade office last May in HCM City as one of the favourable conditions for enterprises of both sides to step up their partnerships, especially in water supply, waste water treatment, firefighting and urban transport./.

Hanoi, Seoul seek to foster investment cooperation

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has called on companies of the Republic of Korea to increase their investment in Hanoi in the time to come.

During a meeting on November 20 with Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon as part of his working visit to the RoK, Chung said Hanoi hopes RoK firms to pour more investments into support industry, satellite, smart and eco-urban areas, transport infrastructure, and high-quality human resources development serving startups.

The two sides highlighted multi-faceted cooperation achievements between Vietnam and the RoK in general and between Hanoi and Seoul in particular, saying that the culture similarity is one of advantages for investment and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The RoK is the second largest foreign investor in Hanoi, and ranks third in the number of foreign tourists to the Vietnamese capital city.

As many as 70,000 Koreans are living, working and studying in Hanoi, forming a strong community in the capital city.

On the same day, Chung and his entourage visited the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Services Centre (Seoul TOPIS), during which they were introduced Seoul’s experience in applying IT in transport management, security and order.

The delegation had also a working session with representative of the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ).

Chairman of KBIZ Kim Ki-mun highly value the efficiency of cooperation between RoK firms and Vietnamese partners in general and those from Hanoi in particular, saying that Korean companies want to seek investment opportunities in Hanoi.

Chung said the Hanoi authority has built numerous policies to facilitate foreign investors, including those from the RoK.

On the occasion, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation, which is hoped to create a favourable foundation for Korean firms to boost investment in Hanoi in the future./.

Vietnam-Korea business association’s southern chapter makes debut

The Vietnam-Korea Businessmen and Investment Association (VKBIA) launched its southern chapter at a ceremony in Busan on November 21.

The chapter’s establishment aims to create a favourable environment to collect and attract Vietnamese and Korean businesses and entrepreneurs in Busan – Gyeongsangnamdo and adjacent areas, thus promoting investment opportunities and cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

The VKBIA is to enhance support for its chapters towards building a strongly connected community.

Vice President of VKBIA Steve Bui said the new chapter is part of the association’s plan to expand its network.

He expressed his hope for continued support from authorities in the two countries, helping the VKBIA and its chapters develop strongly in the future.

Addressing the ceremony, Tran Van Sinh from the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee highly valued the VKBIA’s recent operations, saying that the establishment of the southern chapter will help foster collaboration between Vietnamese and Korean enterprises, contributing to promoting socio-economic development in both nations.

Nguyen Hoang Thu (Won Seo Yeong), who has been appointed head of the chapter, said she hopes the organisation will fully uphold its role in promoting connections between enterprises and entrepreneurs in Vietnam and the RoK./.

Deputy PM lauds Irish company’s investment in wind power

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has highly appreciated Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power’s interest in renewable energy in Vietnam, especially its investment in an offshore wind farm in the southern province of Soc Trang.

At a reception for Andy Kinsella, Chief Executive Officer of the company, in Hanoi on November 21, Dung said Vietnam has paid due heed to developing green energy.

The Vietnamese Government has issued specific mechanisms for the development of each kind of renewable energy, including the review of wind power price, he said, adding that the exploitation and use of renewable energy will help Vietnam diversify and control supply sources while protecting the environment and realising its commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Paris Agreement.

Regarding the wind farm in Soc Trang, the Deputy PM suggested the Irish company cooperate with domestic firms and use local products during the construction.

The project should align with the development of Vietnam’s power network, he stressed.

For his part, Kinsella said his company highly values the Vietnamese Government’s mechanisms and policies towards renewable energy and wind power in particular.

The company has completed technical preparations and is ready to begin the construction of the 2 billion USD project in mid-2020, he said, adding that the wind farm is set to be operational in 2023.

According to Kinsella, Mainstream Renewable Power has devised policies on cooperation with Vietnamese firms, as well as the use of local technologies and materials./.

Forum discusses HR requirements in digital age

A group of 21 CEOs and visionary thought leaders from leading local and regional organisations attended the 2019 Vietnam HR Awards Forum in HCM City on Thursday (November 21) to discuss breakthrough business strategies and emerging HR trends in the new era and building future-ready and digital-fit organisations.

With the theme 'Entering Tomorrow Today', the forum provided businesses with strategic visions, future-fit insights, and real-life strategies to steer on the right path towards the future.

Delegates said technology is advancing at a rapid rate but would never replace humans, but the need for an agile workforce has become important.

In this context, ensuring optimal performance by human resources is set to be one of the biggest challenges to managers, they said.

Raymund Chua, former managing director of Heraeus Asia Pacific, said: “It is very important to focus on the people because people are the unique resource you have. Machines and system you can buy, but you cannot buy people.

“You must continue growing your local talents at the organisational level and national level; do not depend too much on foreign human capital.”

Tieu Yen Trinh, CEO of Talentnet Corporation, the forum organiser, said: “There is no doubt that human capital is one of the most valuable components of any business, and investment in human resource becomes a necessary step ensuring business success and prosperity.

“Business leaders and HR professionals need to truly understand, support and accompany each other in the process of planning and managing human resource in order to create an engaging and transparent working environment.”

She also spoke about three factors in attracting and retaining talent: attractive salary, bonus and rewards; opportunity to develop their career in the company; and the company’s unique story or purpose that inspires employees to have a lifelong commitment to work for it.

The forum included discussion sessions delving into the insights and skill sets every leader needs to be future-ready and succeed in this age of disruption.

Winners of the 2018 Vietnam HR Awards spoke about how they are reinventing their business models and processes to take advantage of new possibilities and create an agile, thriving workforce to leap forward.

Nguyen Trung Chinh, acting editor-in-chief of the Lao dong va Xa hoi (Labour and Social Affairs) newspaper, said: “Thanks to multi-dimensional perspectives and success stories unearthed through the lens of visionary CEOs, I believe that business leaders, HR strategists and practitioners would definitely leave invigorated, inspired, ready to tackle any challenges, build a solid foundation for an agile workforce, and get a head-start on tomorrow.

Trinh from the Talentnet Corporation said: “Through the 2019 Vietnam HR Awards Forum, we look forward to promoting relationships between business leaders and HR and enhancing linkages between business strategies and people development, which adds to long-term corporate value and sustainable success.”

The forum was hosted by Talentnet in association with the Lao dong va Xa hoi newspaper.

VN, Czech Republic seek closer investment, trade ties

The Czech Republic seeks to boost co-operation with Viet Nam in a range of sectors like energy, infrastructure, transport, environment, medical equipment, and nano- and bio-technologies, its Environment Minister has said.

Speaking at the Czech-Vietnamese Business Forum in HCM City on November 21, Richard Brabec said he also sees great opportunities in mining, financial services, insurance, food processing, and information and communications technology.

Bilateral trade is not commensurate with the potential, he said.

Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch, said the Czech Republic is a strategic export market for Vietnamese businesses.

Bilateral trade was worth over US$298 million last year after rising by 16 per cent, of which Viet Nam’s exports were worth nearly $156.5 million, he said.

Viet Nam’s main exports include mobile phones and accessories, footwear, seafood, garments, coffee, pepper, fruits, tea, rice, rubber, handicrafts and computer accessories, he said.

Its imports include chemicals, computers, electronic products, machinery, spare parts, plastic and glassware, he said.

In terms of investment, as of April this year, Czech enterprises had invested nearly $90.3 million in Viet Nam while Vietnamese firms have invested over $5 million in the Czech Republic, he said.

The two countries have also enhanced co-operation in sectors such as education and training, defence and labour, he said.

“The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of $1 billion in the coming time.”

Brabec said his country "wants to boost exports to Viet Nam to reduce the trade deficit", and expressed the belief that the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to take effect next year, would bring new trade opportunities.

A direct air service between Ha Noi and Prague expected to begin in 2020 would further promote trade and tourism ties between the countries, he said.

Viet Nam is seeking new technologies to underpin its economic growth, and this offers good opportunities to Czech firms, he said.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said Viet Nam has adopted policies for developing its economy sustainably.

In addition to the garment and textile, agricultural processing, auto, aviation, and pharmaceutical industries, the two countries also have great potential in innovating technologies for environmental protection and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Brabec said heads of large Czech businesses in various sectors and schools and research institutes accompanying him to Viet Nam are keen on the Vietnamese market.

The Czech Republic is a gateway to Europe for Vietnamese goods, while Viet Nam could help Czech goods access the 600-million Southeast Asian market, he added.

The forum was organised by the Czech embassy in Viet Nam, the Czech Federation of Industries, the VCCI, and Ton Duc Thang University.



Michelin Guide to announce first Vietnamese restaurant selections

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been selected by Michelin as the latest destinations joining the international selection, as compiled by the Michelin Guide.

Ministry to crack down on Internet ads violations

The Ministry of Information and Communications held a conference in Hanoi on November 30 to roll out Internet advertising management measures.

Seven-day Tet holiday fixed for State employees

Officials, civil servants, public employees and workers of State administrative and socio-political organisations will enjoy a seven-day Lunar New Year (Tet) and four-day National Day holidays next year.

Vietnam has opportunity for energy transition towards green growth

Vietnam boasts substantial potential for wind power, particularly offshore wind power, providing an opportunity for the country to fulfill its energy transition target towards green growth.

PM requests combined efforts to combat IUU fishing

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called for concerted efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing while chairing a teleconference with 28 coastal provinces and cities on December 1.

Disciplinary measures against a number of leading officials, Party organisations

The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission held its 23rd session in Hanoi on November 29-30, during which it proposed disciplinary actions be taken against some leading officials and party organisations.

Big bosses lose billions of dollars

Several businessmen have built a fortune over the last decade, but their ambition of obtaining growth at lightening speed has caused their assets to drop dramatically.

Vietnam Airlines operates special flight on first anniversary of VN-US direct flight

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the non-stop flight between Vietnam and the US, Vietnam Airlines  provided a special flight with surprises for passengers on the evening of November 26.

Industry in need of strategic links

With not everyone in Vietnam’s industrial landscape yet recovering from 2021’s troubles, many groups have no choice but to move from low-cost production to manufacturing higher-value products.

Cherry blossoms attract tourists to Sapa

Cherry blossoms have been in full bloom in the tourist town of Sapa, attracting lots of visitors.

President to pay State visit to RoK next week

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea from December 4-6.

Fansipan among five top destinations for mountain trekking at year-end

Renowned tourism website Women's Weekly of Singapore has named Fansipan among the leading five destinations to visit for mountain trekking at the end of the year, with the website noting the Vietnamese mountain’s impressive views.

Dortmund chiefs predict bright future for VN football

Although this was only a friendly game with many of the German stars absent from the starting eleven due to the Qatar World Cup, the victory gave the Bundesliga team food for thought about Vietnamese players.

International designers dazzle fashion fans in Hanoi

International designers left a deep impression on fans of fashion in Hanoi with hundreds of fascinating designs presented at the Aquafina VN International Fashion Week (AVIFW) Fall/Winter 2022.

Monthly Government meeting focuses on year-end key tasks

The Government has established working groups on liquidity and currency, the real estate market and corporate bonds led by deputy prime ministers to stabilise these markets.