VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JANUARY 12
Tra fish exports predicted to hit 1.7 billion USD this year
Revenue from tra fish exports is expected to reach 1.7 billion USD thanks to adaptation efforts of businesses and effective support from the State, Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), has said.
The official held that tra fish production in 2022 will be similar to that of 2021 at about 1.5 million tonnes, of which about 1 million tonnes will be exported.
He said he hopes the Chinese market will be stable again in 2022, contributing to increasing exports of tra fish. The VASEP representative predicted that there will hardly be any exceptional growth in US market, the same as the EU and UK markets. Meanwhile, continuous growth is predicted for the markets of Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Russia and Egypt.
Over 11,000 tons of rice shipped to S.Korea in early 2022
A Dong Hong cargo ship arrived in HCMC to transport over 11,000 tons of rice to South Korea in early 2022.
Pham Thai Binh, director of Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, the supplier of the rice shipment, told The Saigon Times on January 10 that the firm won a bid to export 11,111 tons of brown rice at US$574 per ton to the Northeast Asian country.
The handover of rice on the first days of 2022 showed positive signs and boosted Vietnam’s exports of high-quality rice to the choosy market this year, said Binh.
In the first half of December 2021, Vietnam exported over 215,400 tons of rice worth US$111.1 million, up 1.9% in volume and 2.9% in value year-on-year, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association. From January to mid-December 2021, the country’s rice export amounted to 5.9 million tons valued at US$3.1 billion, up 0.8% in volume and 6.8% in value year-on-year.
The United States Department of Agriculture forecast that Vietnam’s rice export will reach 6.4 million tons in 2022.
Start-ups beginning to attract investment but long way to go
Speaking at a seminar on investment prospects in the innovative start-up market in HCM City on January 10, Huynh Kim Tuoc, CEO of Saigon Innovation Hub, said despite the hit the economy took from COVID-19 in 2021, investment in start-ups increased four-fold as some US$1.3 billion was invested in 142 companies.
However, of 3,800 start-ups in the country only 100 a year on average are able to raise funds though there are 200 funds in the country, he said. He called on incubators and accelerators to study and understand what investors need.
Pham Hong Quat, head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, said most of the funding start-ups get is from foreign investors, and called on local funds to invest more.
Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong, chairman of Yeah1 Group Corporation, which has invested more than VND1 trillion in innovation in the past three years, said in the context of globalisation firms have no choice but to innovate if they want to go global.
Business association to work for more Vietnamese investment in Laos
The Vietnamese Business Association in Northern Laos held the first congress in Luang Prabang city on January 10.
The newly-elected chairman of the association, Phi Van Mai, pledged that the organisation will actively create favourable conditions for its members to explore the market and minimise risks, connect small- and medium-sized firms in northern Lao provinces with those in the Vietnamese twin localities, and enhance relations among businesses and the two sides’ provinces so as to promote trade and tourism links.
Established on December 13, 2020, the Vietnamese Business Association in Northern Laos consists of more than 60 members which are operating in eight northern Lao provinces. It is also a member of the Vietnam Business Association for Cooperation and Investment in Laos.
Rice pest identification app first piloted in An Giang
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Protection Department and the An Giang provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on January 11 piloted an app that helps identify rice pests and diseases on smart phones.
It is the first technology adopted in Vietnam to enhance the management of pests and use of plant protection substances on crops and rice in particular. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and online interaction between experts and users.
After piloting first in An Giang to collect farmers’ feedback and improve the accuracy of AI, the app will be put into use nationwide, said deputy head of the Plant Protection Department Huynh Tan Dat.
AmCham Vietnam gets new chair
Winnie Wong, Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at Mastercard, has been elected as the new 2022 chairwoman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam). Wong replaced her predecessor, Chad Ovel, General Director of Mekong Capital.
At a meeting of AmCham Vietnam’s Board of Directors on January 6, Jahanzeb Khan, CEO and General Director of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam, and Hang Nguyen, Partner of Baker McKenzie, were also elected as two vice chairs.
In addition, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of American Indochina Management Mark Gillin and General Director of Procter & Gamble Vietnam Sai Ponugoti hold the roles of secretary and treasurer at AmCham Vietnam, respectively.
Founded in 1998, AmCham Vietnam is one of the largest foreign business associations in Vietnam, with over 650 member businesses and 2,500 individual business representatives.
Eco-tourism site to be built in Con Dao National Park
An eco-tourism site will be developed in Con Dao National Park in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau by Con Dao Resort Travel Joint Stock Company.
Covering 120ha, the project aims to exploit the eco-tourism potential of the Con Dao National Park while helping to preserve the sustainable development of Con Dao district’s natural resources.
The Con Dao Resort Travel JSC signed a contract on forestland leasing with the Con Dao National Park Management Board on January 11.
According to Nguyen Khac Pho, director of the board, the Con Dao National Park has 20 sites with over 900 hectares of land for leasing. Investors have the obligation to coordinate with the park to protect the forest, ensuring forest fire prevention and fighting during the project implementation, he said.
Reference exchange rate up 5 VND on January 12
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,110 VND/USD on January 12, up 5 VND from the previous day.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,803 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,507 VND/USD.
Quang Ninh sees clearance of nearly 200 trucks via border gates with China
Close to 200 trucks carrying goods were cleared to cross the border on January 10, after China’s Guangxi province officially resumed customs clearance at border gates and border crossings in its Dongxing city bordering Mong Cai city of Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province.
The resumption came after a hiatus of nearly 20 days, according to the Mong Cai customs sub-department. Of the trucks, 44 transported fresh seafood for export and 51 served the import of different types of products, with most of the remaining trucks being those trapped during the hiatus.
The sub-department said as of 1pm on January 10, there were more than 1,300 trucks, mostly transporting frozen and fresh seafood and fresh fruit, left to be cleared.
Hai Duong ships abroad first 250 tonnes of carrots in 2022
Firms in the northern province of Hai Duong on January 11 shipped nearly 250 tonnes of carrots to the Republic of Korea (RoK), the first overseas shipment of the vegetable this year. Another batch of around 375 tonnes is scheduled to be sent to the RoK on January 12.
According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has about 1,500ha of carrot during the 2021-2022 winter crop with an estimated output of approximately 65,000 tonnes, up over 7 percent from 2020. Its prices are now 4,000 – 5,000 VND per kg higher than that last year.
The province’s 2020-2021 winter crop value reached 4.55 trillion VND (197.8 million USD), up 397 billion VND year-on-year. About 80 percent of carrot output were exported.
Petrol prices rise for first time this year
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade revised up petrol prices on January 11 afternoon.
The prices of RON 95, E5 RON 92, and diesel 0.05S went up 581 VND, 609 VND and 660 VND per litre, respectively, to 23,876 VND, 23,159 VND, and 18,239 VND.
It is the first hike of petrol prices this year and the second in a row.
The two ministries also decided to use the petrol price stabilisation fund at a rate of 100 VND per litre for E5 RON 92, and 450 VND per litre for RON 95, and 100 VND per litre for diesel, to support business operations and people’s daily activities.
Tourism firms suggest maintaining “flexibly, safely adapting to pandemic” motto
The business community hopes the Government will maintain Resolution 128 on flexibly and safely adapting to and effectively controlling COVID-19, and keep its motto unchanged even when adjusting or upgrading it, according to a proposal on measures to support tourism sector's post-pandemic recovery.
In the proposal, submitted by the Private Sector Development Committee (Committee IV) and the Tourism Advisory Board to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, businesses suggested that the Government direct localities to stay coherent in applying pandemic control measures when opening to tourists.
They proposed that the Government focus on speeding up digital transformation in tourism to ensure connections among State agencies, businesses and localities during the recovery process and assist the tourism digital marketing.
They also suggested the strengthening of the public-private dialogue to build tourism recovery plans and scenarios.
Vietnam’s frozen avocado enters Australian market
Three tonnes of frozen avocado from Vietnam’s Central Highlands arrived in Australia on January 11, marking a new stride in building brand and seeking markets for the fruit.
The shipments were sold out to local distributors and will soon hit the shelves in Australia, said Uu Dam Vietnam company, the exporter.
The exportation of the fruit to Australia has been studied and bolstered by the Vietnam Trade Office in the Oceania country since 2020.
However, Australia has yet to open its door to fresh avocado from Vietnam.
Shares plunge on increased profit-taking pressure
On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the market benchmark dropped 0.76 per cent, to 1,492.31 points. The market's breadth was negative with only 122 gainers and 346 losers.
During the session, over 1.25 billion shares were traded on the southern bourse, worth nearly VND36 trillion (US$1.59 billion).
The benchmark's downtrend was due to losses of many large-cap stocks, especially in the securities sector.
The VN30-Index, which tracks the 30 biggest stocks on HoSE, fell 0.99 per cent, to 1,499.74 points.
Of the VN30 basket, 22 stocks slid, while only six inched higher and two ended flat.
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), meanwhile, the HNX-Index lost 0.27 per cent to end at 481.61 points.
During the trading session, investors poured nearly VND3.9 trillion into the bourse, equivalent to a trading volume of more than 138 million shares.
ETF cash flows expected to return in 2022: SSI Research
Even though capital flows from exchange traded funds (ETFs) were not active in December, they are expected to return to the market in 2022, said SSI Research.
For the whole 2021, ETFs still recorded positive capital flows with a net value of VND13.46 trillion, up 130 per cent compared to 2020.
In general, active ETFs net bought a value of VND86 billion in December after nearly one year of continuous net selling.
SSI Research said that 2021 was not an active trading year for active ETFs with a total net outflow of VND6.9 trillion.
In 2022, as there is a divergence between Viet Nam and the world’s monetary policies, the Vietnamese stock market outlook is still bright. Therefore, experts expect capital flows from investment funds, especially ETFs, to return.
The implementation of T+0 and the central counterparty clearing house (CCP) are expected to be the main factors driving the market this year.In a positive scenario, the implementation of T+0 and CCP can support the ability to upgrade Viet Nam to an emerging market according to the assessment of the FTSE Russell Index.
HCMC to reclaim 20% of commercial housing projects’ area for social houses
HCMC Vice Chairman Le Hoa Binh has directed the municipal Department of Construction to take back 20% of the area of commercial housing projects right from early this year to develop social houses for low-income workers.
Binh said the prime minister had ordered the redemption of a land fund equivalent to 20% of the area of commercial housing projects, Thanh Nien newspaper reported. In fact, many commercial housing project owners have earlier been ordered to set aside 20% of their areas to develop social houses for low-income earners as a licensing condition.
The city will strive to build an additional eight million square meters of homes and raise the average housing area per person to 21.04 square meters per person.
Earlier, the municipal government had formulated a plan to develop one million low-cost homes for workers and low-income people.
Auction of land along Ring Road No. 3 proposed
The HCMC Department of Transport has proposed putting up land lots along the Ring Road No. 3 project for auction to raise funds for the project.
In a report on the execution of the project that the department sent to the HCMC government and the HCMC delegation of National Assembly deputies, the department stated that the first phase of the Ring Road No. 3 project would require an estimated VND83.29 trillion, including over VND46.97 trillion for site clearance. The road is designed to have four lanes, together with two parallel roads.
The road will pass through four localities — HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An, all of which have agreed that the project should be developed in the 2021-2025 period. These localities will review and complete the prefeasibility study for the project and submit it to the prime minister next month.
Tien Giang to spend VND3.3 trillion on riverside road
The Tien Giang government has approved an environmental impact assessment report for a VND3.3 trillion project to develop Provincial Road 846, which runs along the Tien River.
Of the total capital, VND1.2 trillion will be sourced from the State budget, while the remainder will come from the provincial budget and other sources, according to the Tien Giang Department of Transport.
The 111.2-kilometer-long riverside road will be developed by the Transportation Works Construction Investment Project Management Authority of Tien Giang Province.
The project will develop 13 bridges and upgrade several sections of national highways and roads. The riverside road project will be carried out in two phases from 2022 to 2027.
Once in place, the riverside road will start at National Highway 30 in Cai Be District and end at Tan Thanh Commune in Go Cong Dong District.
The road will play an important role in improving regional connectivity and boosting economic growth, according to the provincial department.
Trung Luong-My Thuan expy to open to traffic next week
The Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project is set to open to traffic on January 21, Nguyen Tan Dong, general director of the Trung Luong-My Thuan BOT JSC, the project’s developer said January 10.
After the expressway opens to traffic, vehicles will be allowed to use it ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday to ease the traffic overload facing the National Highway No. 1 section from HCMC to the Mekong Delta.
Specifically, from January 22 to 31, vehicles can travel on one side of the road from Trung Luong to My Thuan. Between February 1 and 15, vehicles can use the other side.
The project was earlier delayed for many years after investors were changed twice, capital adjusted three times and completion date rescheduled four times.
Tourism industry sees VND575 trillion evaporated due to Covid-19
Vietnam’s total tourism revenue dropped by VND575 trillion, from VND755 trillion in 2019 to only VND180 trillion in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
In 2020, the number of international and domestic tourists dropped to 3.7 million and 56 million, respectively, due to the closures of borders and travel restrictions to curb the spread of the pandemic. Tourism revenue fell 58.7% against 2019 to VND312.2 trillion.
The situation further worsened in 2021 after the fourth Covid wave began in late April. Vietnam served only 40 million domestic tourists and some 3,800 international tourists last year, and earned VND180 trillion from tourism, falling 42% year-on-year.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism expected the tourism industry to recover strongly in 2022 thanks to the relaxation of travel restrictions and high vaccination coverage.
Ministry directs to increase domestic consumption of agricultural products
The Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday issued a directive to increase the consumption of agricultural products in the domestic market to reduce export pressure amid the complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed the Domestic Market Department, the Trade Promotion Agency, the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency to support businesses and cooperatives to increase e-commerce applications to consume agricultural products.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will coordinate with industry associations to help businesses open more fixed and mobile market stalls in industrial parks, densely populated areas in districts to promptly serve consumers in Tet holidays ( the Lunar New Year).
ADB, TPB sign US$25 million loan to finance women-led SMES in Vietnam
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a US$25 million loan with Tien Phong Commercial Bank (TPB) to expand access to finance of women-owned and led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) in Vietnam.
The project is also co-financed by DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) for $25 million.
The loan is accompanied by a $750,000 technical assistance grant to help TPB better meet the needs of WSMEs. The grant will be used to build TPB’s capacity to lend to WSMEs, hire staff, and promote its services to female borrowers. It will also enable TPB to use digital systems to analyze the underserved WSME market. The grant is funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).
M&A in Vietnam’s technology sector to boom in 2022
Vietnam's technology sector is expected to lure great investment capital as well as the sharing of management capacity and advanced technology from tech investment funds and international tech enterprises.
By the end of October 2021, the number of M&A transactions in the technology sector nearly doubled and the value of deals more than tripled the total in 2020.
The main technology fields that have attracted a large amount of investment capital in recent years included e-commerce, Fintech, Ed-tech, Logistics and business automation.
In the fintech field, data is defined as the new oil and data analytics is forecast to have strong growth potential in the near future.
Ministry of Transport issues ultimatum for Dien Chau-Bai Vot section
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) asked the investors of the Dien Chau-Bai Vot section of the Eastern Cluster of the North-South Expressway to sign the credit contract before February 13.
The MoT has sent an ultimatum to the project management board – a joint venture between Hoa Hiep Co. Ltd, CIENCO4 Group JSC, Pink Mount Investment Co., Ltd, Truong Son Construction Corporation, VINA2 Investment and Construction JSC, and Phuc Thanh Hung JSC – to ensure the construction progress for the project.
The MoT asked the investor and relevant business to accelerate work with the bank to complete procedures for signing credit contracts, which is also meant to contribute to developing the project as committed.
In case the investor and relevant business do not complete the above mission, the MoT asks will urge the joint venture to cancel the construction contract.
Overseas remittances to Vietnam increase as Tet approaches