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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 30

Vietnam sees more chances for coffee exports to the US
Vietnam sees more chances for coffee exports to the US hinh anh 1
Vietnam is seeing a surge in the price of its coffee exported to the US and is expected to gain more opportunities in this market.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department, in the first five months of 2022, Vietnam shipped 50,580 tonnes of coffee to the US for 124.95 million USD, down 2.9% in volume, but up 23.6% in value year-on-year.

In the period, Vietnam earned 2,470 USD per tonne, up 27.2% compared to that in the same period last year.

Experts forecast that in the 2020 - 2025 period, the US coffee market will grow at an average rate of 4.8%. The main factors driving the growth of the market are increasingly hectic lifestyle and long working hours, which make coffee chains in the country more popular among consumers.

The opportunity is big, the Import-Export Department stressed, however, advising exporters to pay attention to the US’s production standards, including Fairtrade USDA, Organic, Rainforest Alliance/UTZ Certified, Bird Friendly, Carbon Neutral, Organic và Direct Trade.

HSBC: Viet Nam turns itself into rising star in global supply chains

Viet Nam has turned itself into a rising star in global supply chains, gaining substantial global market share in such sectors like textiles, footwear and consumer electronics, according to a report released by the HSBC.

Since Viet Nam's Doi Moi reforms in 1986, industrial parks have been set up across the country, attracting investors with preferential tax incentives and an abundance of relatively cheap and productive labor, the HSBC noted. 

New FDI has been flowing into the country since the 2010s, with the lion's share concentrated in the manufacturing sector, consistently accounting for 4-6 percent of GDP.

Much of the investment initially entered the low value-add textile and footwear space; however, Viet Nam has climbed up the value chain over the years, growing into a key manufacturing hub for electronics products in the last two decades. 

According to the HSBC, electronics exports reached a record high of US$100 billion in 2021, accounting for over 30 percent of Viet Nam's total exports. Just 20 years ago, the share was only 5 percent.

Much of the success in tech is thanks to Samsung's multi-year FDI in Viet Nam, which started in the late 2000s. 

With an investment of around US$18 billion over the years, Samsung now has eight factories and one R&D center in Viet Nam, including two smartphone factories, producing half of the company's smartphones and tablets. The success of Samsung has led to other tech giants, such as Google and LG, shifting their supply chains to Viet Nam. 

Even though the process was partially disrupted by COVID-19, FDI inflows have remained remarkably resilient, in particular related to Apple-connected production. 

For example, two Apple suppliers, Pegatron and Foxconn, and two assemblers, Luxshare and Goertek, have all announced substantial investment plans to ramp up production capacity in Viet Nam.

HSBC believes Viet Nam's competitive FDI regime and sound macro fundamentals should continue to attract quality FDI, which is key in helping the economy move up the value chain. 

Its tech ambition is far from just being a low-end manufacturing hub, however, which means more reforms, including upskillingthe workforce and improving infrastructure quality, are need to grasp the opportunities.

The HSBC underscored that, total FDI to ASEAN-6 including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Philippines has average nearly US$127 billion per year since 2010, approximately three times more than the average over the previous decade. 

Adani Group to pour $10 billion into Lien Chieu Port

Indian investor Adani Group will cooperate with Anh Phat Investment Construction and Trading JSC to develop the Lien Chieu Port with the total investment capital of $10 billion.

In the framework of the seminar on spurring Danang’s development as a place to come and live, which was organised on June 27, the leader of Danang People’s Committee granted an investment certificate to the joint venture.

The infrastructure of the port will combine a harbour area, a container yard, a warehouse complex, piers, waterways, and a transport system, among others.

This project is expected to handle ships with a capacity of 100,000DWT and container ships of up to 8,000TEU. The total cargo going through these harbours would be 3.5-5 million tonnes per year.

NA Chairman receives leaders of British enterprises in London

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue received leaders of some enterprises of the UK in London on June 29 (local time), part of his official visit to the European country.

Talking to Prudential Chairwoman Shriti Vadera, the NA leader congratulated the firm on its successes in the world as well as in Vietnam, expressing his hope that it will continue operating successfully in the country and fulfill its social responsibility.

He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government and NA are ready to consider and deal with the problems facing businesses, including those from the UK, when operating in Vietnam.

Vadera said Prudential is delighted to be part of the country’s development, and it can help with this process by issuing long-term bonds.

The insurer pledges to cooperate with the Vietnamese Government in green investment, insurance technology, and development of Ho Chi Minh City into an international financial centre, she noted, affirming that it will concurrently develop its business and fulfill social responsibility.

At the meeting with Chairman of Standard Chartered Jose Vinals, Hue thanked the enterprise for helping the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance and Government improve the national credit rating.

Stressing cooperation in finance - banking holds an important role in economic - trade - investment ties between Vietnam and the UK, he asked Standard Chartered to continue assisting Vietnam to develop enterprise credit rating services and the corporate bond market, mobilise capital for green growth to help the country realise commitments on climate change at COP26, and share experience to build HCM City into a financial centre.

Vinals said it is his company’s honour to help Vietnam improve the national credit rating, and that Standard Chartered will keep the cooperation to help the country achieve a credit rating it can and need to obtain in the future.

He noted Standard Chartered pledges to make long-term investment in Vietnam while assisting the country to attract foreign financial investment in a sustainable manner and realise the commitments made at COP26, including providing about 8.5 billion USD in green finance and sustainable credit and helping promote the formation of a voluntary carbon market in Vietnam.

At another meeting, President of Pacific Land Partrick McKillen said being present in Vietnam for 30 years, his firm is highly interested in infrastructure development and always invests the revenue earned from its operations in Vietnam back in the country.

He asked authorities in Vietnam to support Pacific Land’s high biotechnology park in Hanoi (HaBiotech), adding that the company vows to use the best technologies for this project so as to build a regional and world-level biotechnology park.

Chairman Hue said Vietnam is assessed as a successful country in FDI attraction, but it is switching the focus of its strategy to the investors who have financial strength, apply high technology, and pay attention to industrial real estate.

He welcomed the HaBiotech project and added he will directly discuss with Hanoi authorities to remove obstacles to and accelerate this project.

Receiving Chris Cuddihy - Director for UK & International Government Relations at Pearson, the top legislator applauded the group’s recent signing of a cooperation deal with a Vietnamese partner, EMG Education, during his visit.

In the Vietnam - UK strategic partnership, education - training is always one of the highly fruitful cooperation areas. Vietnam views education – training as a leading priority and wishes to enhance ties in this field with other countries, especially those with developed education like the UK, he noted.

Hue welcomed Pearson’s activities in Vietnam, voicing his belief that it will effectively work with Vietnamese partners and bring practical benefits to learners.

Cuddihy said Pearson is one of the oldest education groups in the world. Through the strategic partnership with EMG Education, it has made practical and meaningful contributions to Vietnam’s educational development.

Through the freshly signed memorandum, Pearson and EMG Education have continued showing their determination to give learners in Vietnam the most effective and advanced educational solutions, thereby helping the country develop a highly competitive workforce.

Also on June 29, Hue received Chairman of Enteprize Energy Ian Hatton, welcoming the group and other British businesses’ enhancement of trade and investment ties with Vietnam.

He spoke highly of the firm’s oil and gas investment in Asia and called on it to continue using the services supplied by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group.

As Vietnam is working to increase the proportion of renewable energy like wind and solar power in its total energy supply in order to carry out the commitments at COP26, he asked Enteprize Energy to transfer research outcomes and new technologies in this area to the country.

Hatton noted his firm is implementing Thang Long Wind, a 3.4GW offshore wind power project worth 11.9 billion USD, and Thang Long Wind 2, a 2GW hydrogen production project, in Binh Thuan province. These projects will help turn Vietnam into one of the leading countries in this sphere in Asia.

He expressed his belief that Enteprize Energy will successfully carry out all projects in Vietnam, especially those helping realise the commitments at COP26, adding it is ready to share renewable energy technology with the country.

Travel promotion “Rediscover Vietnam” held in Australia

The Government of Vietnam has reopened its borders to welcome travellers from Australia, New Zealand and other countries to Vietnam, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh told a trade and travel promotion conference in Australia on June 28.

Called “Rediscover Vietnam”, the event was co-held by Thien Minh Group and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, with more than 80 travel firms and tour operators across Australia in attendance.

It was the last of a series of travel promotion events held in multiple countries, including the UK, Germany, France, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Thanh said the number of Australian arrivals in Vietnam and vice versa hit a record high of 600,000 in 2019 before the COVID-19 broke out globally. Given that the two countries established a Strategic Partnership in 2018 and bilateral ties continued to grow despite the pandemic, travel between Vietnam and Australia will be on a rise and surpass pre-pandemic records in the coming years, he said.

The Vietnamese diplomat pledged to provide all possible conditions for Australian travellers and travel agencies to gain access to the Vietnamese market and explore the Southeast Asian country.

According to Truong Tran Ngoc Hung from Vietnam Airlines, shortly after Vietnam reopened the borders, the carrier has resumed regular flights to 15 international destinations, including Australia.

The airline is operating seven direct flights connecting Vietnam and Australia weekly. The number of flights will be increased to 11 in July and 16 in October, he added.

He noted that the travel demand between the two countries has risen quickly with seat occupancy at around 87% on average, 8% higher than pre-COVID-19.

Rebecca George, Market Manager Australia at SLC Representation, said Australia has seen surging searches for tours to Vietnam. Australian travellers have been increasingly interested in Vietnam and want to make it their next destination.

Ho Chi Minh City record strong FDI inflows in H1

Ho Chi Minh City attracted 2.18 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first six months of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 60.07%, according to the municipal Department of Planning and Investment.

From January to June, 291 new projects were granted investment certificates, up 5.43% compared to the same period last year, with total registered capital of 223.75 million USD, down 1.28% against last year.

In addition, 68 projects applied to adjust their investment capital, a decline of 2.86% over the same period, with total additional registered capital reaching 1.37 billion USD, up 205.19% compared to the same period last year.

There were also 1,105 approved transactions in the form of capital contribution and share purchases by foreign investors in the first half, a year-on-year rise of 9.62%, with the total value of contributed capital reaching over 583.11 million USD, down 15.12% year-on-year.

Between January and June, the southern province of Dong Nai lured more than 321 million USD in FDI, equal to 42% of the amount in the same period last year. 

Of which, 99 million USD was poured into 12 new projects and an additional 222.4 million USD in 34 existing projects.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, investment in new projects mainly came from the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Japan and China.

Currently, the province has 1,549 valid FDI projects with total registered capital of nearly 32.5 billion USD./.

Vietnam’s economy lures New Zealand exporters

Vietnam is emerging as a good option for Kiwi exporters looking to diversify where they sell their goods, said New Zealand’s new site 1news.co.nz in a recent article.

The article cited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand’s report prepared by the Embassy in Hanoi as saying between 2016 and 2021, Vietnam led ASEAN in terms of growth per capita. This growth rate is higher than that of other major ASEAN markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, or the Philippines

Trade Commissioner Joseph Nelson said Vietnam is a "frontier market" presenting new opportunities, and challenges, to Kiwi exporters looking to diversify.

"As Vietnam has come out of its COVID waves, we are seeing a really strong bounce back in the economy. GDP is expected to be between 6.5% to 7.5% next year," he said as quoted by the article. "All the markets in Southeast Asia are bouncing back quite strongly, but Vietnam definitely is the best performing market at this point."

Comments by Chairman and CEO of the KPMG Vietnam Warrick Cleine was also cited as saying since the free trade agreements were set up between New Zealand and Vietnam, their two-way trade value has grown significantly to about 2 billion USD this year.

He said there are three key things in the Vietnamese market that will be attractive to New Zealand businesses, namely the local consumer market, a safe geo-political position, and a great free-trade network.

At present, food and beverage products make up almost two-thirds of New Zealand exports to Vietnam. And there's appetite for more, as consumers there have become more health conscious post COVID.

Vietnam’s CPI up 2.44% in six months

Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in the January – June period rose by 2.44% year-on-year while its core inflation edged up 1.25%, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported at a press conference on June 29.

The CPI was up 2.96% in the second quarter, and 3.37% in June alone, compared to the same periods last year.

GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong attributed the CPI hike to the increase in prices of essential consumer goods and services, materials for production and transportation costs.

According to the GSO, the world commodity market in the January – June period continued to witness many fluctuations and was influenced by economic and political factors.

The global economic recovery, the increasing demand for raw materials and fuel for production, and the disruption in supply chains are main reasons behind the sharp surge of commodity prices on the international market.

The GSO said prices of petrol and gas in the second quarter increased by 54.92% and 30.99% over the same period last year, causing the overall CPI to rise by 1.98 and 0.45 percentage points, respectively.

Meanwhile, prices of pork dropped 18.56% percent year-on-year, causing the overall CPI to fall by 0.63 percentage point, it said. The prices of education services and housing rental, which declined by 2.86% and 12.33%, respectively, also pushed the CPI down.

HCM City apartment supply surges in Q2
     
The HCM City apartment market went through a supply boom in the second quarter of 2022 compared to a lacklustre first quarter, and is expected to completely recover from by 2023, according to global real estate consultancy CBRE Viet Nam.

Speaking at a conference in HCM City Tuesday, Vo Huynh Tuan Kiet, director of CBRE’s housing department, said after a big drop in supply year-on-year in the first quarter, primary market supply has shot past 12,000 apartments.

In the first quarter there were only around 1,000 apartments on sale, he said.

The supply in the first half of this year has been nearly equal to that of the entire 2021, he said.

High-class apartments have accounted for around 70 per cent of the supply since 2020.

The average price of primary stocks has been rising over the years due to an increase in high-class and luxury apartments, he said.

“In 2020 – 21 the COVID pandemic hindered many real estate projects’ development and negatively affected the market. But now new supply and sales will begin to recover in 2022, and completely recover by 2023.”

The townhouse and villa segments have been modest in terms of new supply, with only around 600 new units entering the market during the first half.

Prices have risen by more than 40 per cent year-on-year, the highest rate in the last three years.

The next six months are expected to be promising due to major infrastructure projects such as the Thu Thiem 2 bridge connecting Thu Duc City with downtown and Long Thanh Airport in Dong Nai Province set to finish in October.

Foreign investors are returning to the market after the pandemic to look for investment opportunities, he said.

Supply of new apartments in 2022 is expected to be up to 24,000.

Ring road plan to transform market

Concerns are being raised over how to ensure efficiency and improve real estate prospects, as projects to set up Ring Road 4 in Hanoi and Ring Road 3 in Ho Chi Minh City are proposed.

The government has asked the National Assembly (NA) to consider and decide on the policy for investing in the ring roads to be located in the country’s two biggest cities.

One of the issues discussed by NA delegates and experts is how to exploit the land fund around the two ring roads, which will soar in value. Already in many places, the price of land in the area has increased dozens of times over.

On June 16, the NA approved the investment schemes of Ring Road 3 in Ho Chi Minh City at more than $3.2 billion and Ring Road 4 in the capital at more than $3.7 billion, via the state budget and contributions under the form of public-private partnerships and build-operate-transfer.

Ring Road 4 in Hanoi will be divided into seven projects and have a total length of about 112.8km passing through Hanoi, Hung Yen, and Bac Ninh; while Ring Road 3 in Ho Chi Minh City has a total length of 76.3km, passing through Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Long An.

Vietnam Internet centre registers national domain name ".vn"

The Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications on June 29 officially announced the change of its brand identity on the Internet with the Vietnamese national domain name '.vn'.

The presence of brand names and digital services is the key to helping local businesses and business households build brands for products and services and develop their online business in in a professional, sustainable, reliable manner.

It is listed among the 10 country-code domain names with the largest number of registered users in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranked 44th globally.

The change of the VNNIC’s domain name aims to meet requirements of universalisation of domain names associated with the implementation of digital citizen and business scheme.

The domain name has affirmed its advantages in aspects of brand recognition, reliability and safety, he said.

Along with the trend of digital transformation in connection with the development of digital economy and society, and digital government, the need for a reliable online presence of people and businesses has become increasingly important, he noted.

The centre has set a target to universalise the domain name ".vn" to the entire population, promote the digital transformation community to use the domain name and Make-in-Vietnam digital products and services for digital economic and society activities, Thang went on.

The number of '.vn' domain names registered in Vietnam is expected to reach at least 1 million by 2025, he said.

HCMC’s CPI rises 0.91% in June

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in HCMC this month has inched up 0.91% month-on-month, according to the city’s Statistics Office.

Among the 11 groups of consumer goods and services in the basket of items used to calculate the CPI, two groups registered a decline in prices over the previous month. These two included postal and telecom services and cultural, entertainment, and tourism services.

Among the remaining nine groups, transport services posted the highest increase of 3.89%, as local fuel prices surged 7.18% and there were three upward adjustments in petrol and gasoline prices in June.

Food and catering services marked a month-on-month rise of 1.05%.

The price of the apparel-footwear-hat group edged up 0.05%. Housing and construction materials saw an increase of 0.92%, due mostly to the rise in rent, housing maintenance materials, and water prices.

As for the country’s CPI this month, it has jumped up 0.69% against the previous month, with nine groups marking a rise in prices and two reporting a fall.

The price of postal and telecom services dropped 0.16% and that of housing and construction materials slipped 0.01%.

Transport services recorded the highest rise of 3.62%, followed by food and catering services with a 0.8% increase; cultural, entertainment, and tourism services were up by 0.52%; beverages and tobacco increased by 0.35%; while household equipment and appliances saw a hike of 0.31%.

HCMC wants beltway and port connected

The HCMC government has proposed developing a six-kilometer road connecting the Cat Lai-Phu Huu Terminal in Thu Duc City with the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway and the Ring Road No. 3 project to ease traffic congestion in the terminal area.

In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Transport, HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai wrote that the road will be 60 meters wide with 12 lanes and allow a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour, the local media reported.

The road was designed to start at an intersection with Nguyen Thi Dinh Street, pass through Nguyen Thi Tu Street and Ba Cua and Ong Nhieu canals, and end at an intersection of the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway and the Ring Road No. 3 project.

SCG strives to promote circular economy and achieve net zero target at green forum

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) held the “Kick-off Conference to develop the Vietnam National Action Plan toward Circular Economy” on June 28, 2022.

The conference shared the insights of Government leaders, NGOs, and industry and academia experts toward a common goal to develop a Vietnamese sustainable economy for the generations to come based on the Circular Economy (CE) concept.

Circular Economy (CE) has been proven an effective concept to mitigate carbon emissions, slow down climate change and facilitate sustainable development goals.

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow  (COP26), Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has announced Vietnam’s strong commitments in responding to climate change by declaring the goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 with domestic resources. This kick-off conference is considered one of the practical moves to achieve that ambitious objective.

At the event, domestic and international partners shared inspiring case studies of global and local CE models. Those ideas are expected to become the inputs for a potential national action plan of CE tailor-made for the local context of Vietnam. Key topics of the discussion focused on promoting cooperation in CE through creating a network of partners to share knowledge; finance innovation and green technology in CE; current best practice CE models in Vietnam; and the ways to promote CE solutions in order to reduce the health impact of plastic pollution.

CE is already one of Vietnam’s roadmaps in future economic development, and this event is expected to speed up the implementation process.

Speaking at the conference, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha  said, “Article 142 of the Law on Environmental Protection, adopted by the National Assembly on November 17, 2020 clearly states that ministries, ministerial-level agencies, and provincial people’s committees shall incorporate circular economy immediately at the stage of formulating a development strategy, planning, plan, program, and project; managing, reusing and recycling waste.

HCMC proposes construction project of road linking Cat Lai port with expressway

The People’s Committee of HCMC on June 29 submitted a document on connecting Cat Lai and Phu Huu ports with HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway and the Ring Road No.3 in HCMC to the Ministry of Transport.

Under the traffic connection plan, Tan Cang - Cat Lai container terminal holds 85 percent of import and export container volume in the Southern region and 50 percent of import and export container volume in the country. The port is at risk of overload due to the high number of containers, heavy traffic congestion on the roads around the port.

As of present, HCMC has completed the construction project of a new road linking the port system of Cat Lai-Phu Huu with the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway and the Ring Road No.3. The street aims to serve for goods transportation and reduce traffic congestion on Nguyen Thi Dinh, Dong Van Cong and Nguyen Duy Trinh roads.

The 60-meter wide road with a design speed of 60km/h has 12 lanes and length of six kilometers, departing from Nguyen Thi Dinh, running through Ong Nhieu and Ba Cua canals and ending at the Ring Road No.3.

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

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