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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 1

Cabinet meeting looks into major transport projects

 

HCM City’s export turnover grows 5.9 percent in first two months hinh anh 1

 

 

Infrastructure development, including transport infrastructure, is a strategic breakthrough of the Party and the State, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at a meeting between the Government and localities on March 1.

The virtual meeting looked into pre-feasibility reports of five major transport projects – Belt Road 4 in Hanoi, Belt Road 3 in Ho Chi Minh City, Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang Expressway, Khanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot Expressway, and Bien Hoa-Vung Tau Expressway.

The projects connect big economic hubs and key routes in regions, cities and provinces, the leader noted, asking relevant sides to draw lessons in the construction of the previous expressways to implement the above-said projects.

The PM agreed that half of the investment capital is sourced from the central budget and the remainder comes from localities.

He asked Deputy PMs Le Minh Khai and Le Van Thanh to instruct ministries, agencies and localities in the allocation of capital, ensuring the progress of the projects.

Another increase seen in fuel prices

Petrol prices continued to rise in the latest adjustment by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance on March 1, marking the fifth consecutive increase since December 25, 2021 with a total amount of around 4,000 VND.

Accordingly, the retail price of RON95 bio-fuel rose by 547 VND to a maximum of 26,834 VND (1.18 USD) per litre, while that of E5RON92 rose 545 VND to no more than 26,077 VND per litre.

The prices of diesel 0.05S, kerosene and mazut went up to a maximum of 21,310 VND per litre, 19,978 VND per litre and 18,468 VND per kilogram, up 509 VND, 469 VND and 536 VND, respectively.

The two ministries decided to use the petrol price stabilisation fund at a rate of 250 VND per litre for E5RON 92, and 220 VND per litre for RON 95, and 300 VND per litre for diesel.

Prime Minister talks business facilitation with Adidas CEO

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talked over the phone with CEO of Adidas Kasper Rorsted on March 1 to discuss measures for promoting the German sportwear firm’s operations in Vietnam.

He expressed his belief that Adidas will reap even greater successes and continue expanding its production and business activities in the country, including creating conditions for Vietnamese firms to further engage in its global supply chain.

The leader also called on the group to keep upholding its social responsibility and ensuring welfare and good working conditions for local workers.

Noting the Vietnamese Government’s priority given to green growth and greenhouse gas emission reduction, Chinh spoke highly of Adidas’s commitment to sustainable business, environmental protection, and efficient energy use.

VinFast, LeasePlan ink deal on car rental services in Europe

Vietnamese automaker VinFast announced its signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LeasePlan, one of the world's leading car-as-a-service companies, on February 28 at the Mobile World Congress 2022 (MWC 2022) – the most influential technology and mobile exhibition in the world that runs from February 28 to March 3 in Barcelona, Spain.

According to the MOU, Lease Plan will provide Vinfast's products and services to business and individual customers in European countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands. LeasePlan will become the preferred partner of VinFast to provide operational leasing, fleet management and remarketing to B2C and B2B customers.

This collaboration will help VinFast expand its access to major markets, helping it quickly establish its brand in Europe, which is a key market in the company's global strategy.

Ministry asks for intensifying market supervision amid COVID-19, Ukraine conflict

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has urged the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance and its provincial/municipal chapters to strengthen market supervision and monitoring in the face of COVID-19 and armed conflict in Ukraine.

The complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country coupled with global uncertainties caused by the armed conflict in Ukraine are considerably impacting on the Vietnamese market, raising prices of necessary commodities, such as food, fuel, and medical supplies, the ministry said in an official document sent to the directorate on March 1.

The directorate and its local chapters are assigned to keep a close watch on the market developments of the necessities, increase market surveillance and get tough with individuals and organisations profiteering from the current situation.

Poor-performing State firms – focus of restructuring: PM

The restructuring of State-owned enterprises should focus on poor-performing and loss-making firms, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested.

A notice dated February 28 issued by the Government’s Office regarding the PM’s conclusions at a Cabinet meeting on the project on restructuring State businesses for 2021-2025 further said that at the meeting, the leader stressed the need to consolidate institutions, mechanisms and policies to ensure that State enterprises play a key role in the national economy.

The restructuring does not mean the equitisation of businesses, the PM said, adding that more efforts are needed to reform administrative procedures in order to accelerate the process, divestment and restructuring of enterprises.

He also ordered improving business administration, taking solutions to effectively allocate State resources, utilising such resources as capital, land and brands at businesses, closely managing capital and assets of the State and enterprises in line with legal regulations.

Lao Cai to welcome 4 million tourists in 2022

The northern mountainous province of Lao Cai is working to host some 4 million visitors and get more than 15 trillion VND (657.6 million USD) from tourism in 2022, according to its freshly issued culture-tourism development plan for 2020 – 2025.

To realise the goal, the province will to focus on developing tourism infrastructure, products, human resources; stepping up promotion activities; and building suitable plans, mechanisms, and policies.

Lao Cai is mobilising capital and completing procedures to accelerate the progress of big projects like the Sa Pa airport and a road connecting the Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway and Sa Pa, a popular holiday town which has long been among the country’s leading destinations.

Cashew exporters set 3.8 billion USD target for this year

The cashew export target this year is 3.8 billion, USD only slightly up from 2021, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association.

Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, exports topped 3.66 billion USD last year, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent and higher than the exports of any other farm produce like cashew, fruits and vegetables, rice, coffee, or pepper.

Vietnam accounted for a whopping 80 percent of the entire global cashew exports.

The exports went to over 100 countries and territories, with the US, China, the Netherlands, and Germany being the largest markets.

But Vietnam remains a big importer of raw cashew to process for exports since domestic supply is inadequate, he said.

Vietnamese rice, spices, fruit gain firm foothold in int'l markets

Vietnamese rice, spices, and fruit have been increasing their presence in demanding markets worldwide as local businesses are taking advantage of free trade agreements.

According to statistics of the General Department of Customs, in January, rice export reached 505,741 tonnes worth 246.02 million USD, sharp increases of 45.4 percent and 28.2 percent against last year, respectively.

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) forecast that Vietnam would ensure its 2022 overseas rice shipments at between 6 and 6.2 million tonnes, similar to the amount recorded in 2020 and 2021, for a revenue of over 3.2 billion USD.

Rice exports this year is likely to maintain a good rank, as the local rice industry is increasingly improving in quality and large domestic enterprises such as Loc Troi, Tan Long, Intimex, and Trung An have sealed large orders of high value.

In addition to the traditional key export earner, investment in new products such as spices is also very promising.

HCM City’s CPI edges up 0.86 percent in February

Ho Chi Minh City’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in February picked up 0.86 percent from the previous month and 1.09 percent from the same period last year, data from the municipal statistics office shows.

Most of the commodity and service groups, except for post and telecommunications, recorded hikes in prices compared to January.

Prices of food and catering services and those of beverage and tobacco increased 0.44 percent and 0.73 percent, respectively, month-on-month on account of surging demand during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Prices of housing, water supply, electricity, fuels and construction materials advanced 1.71 percent month-on-month largely due to a 1-percent raise in housing rental rates, as well as 23.3 percent and 8.39 percent increases in water supply and kerosene, respectively.

Rates of transport services posted the highest growth of 2.51 percent on the back of rising fuel prices and public transport fares.

By contrast, prices of post and telecom commodities and services edged down 0.23 percent because of slight decline in prices of mobile phones and phone repair services.

Tien Giang to spend over 200 billion VND upgrading power system

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang will pour 207.7 billion VND (9.1 million USD) into upgrading its power system this year in order to ensure a sufficient and stable supply for people’s production and daily activities, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Accordingly, the province will upgrade and develop 87.2km of medium-voltage and 357km of low-voltage lines, along with 88 substations with a total capacity of over 8,552kVA.

The power industry is requested to promptly implement projects that were yet completed last year, including 323km of medium-voltage and 832km of low-voltage, and transformer stations having a combined capacity of 124,000 kVA, with a total investment capital of more than 504 billion VND.

Hanoi: CPI expands 1.16 percent in February

Hanoi’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in February grew 2.06 percent year-on-year and 1.16 percent compared to the previous month, announced the municipal Statistics Office.

In the first two months of 2021, the capital’s CPI expanded 2.39 percent against the same period last year.

Compared to the previous month, price hikes were seen in most groups of goods, particularly transport (up 2.17 percent); food and restaurant services (2.02 percent); culture-entertainment-tourism (1.78 percent); and housing, electricity, water, fuel and construction materials (1.12 percent).

The group of household equipment and appliances alone saw its price remain unchanged.

In February, the city experienced higher petrol and oil prices; higher demand for food during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday; and the reopening of cinemas and relic and religious sites after a long hiatus due to COVID-19.

Hanoi: disbursement of public investment up 6.2 percent in February

Hanoi disbursed some 2.2 trillion VND (96.44 million USD) worth of investment sourced from the State budget in February, equivalent to 66.5 percent of last month’s figure, but an increase of 6.2 percent year-on-year, the municipal Statistics Office reported.

In the first two months of this year, disbursed investment was over 5.5 trillion VND, up 4.7 percent from the same period last year and completing 10.8 percent of the yearly target.

It licensed eight new FDI projects this month with total registered capital of 1.2 million USD. Another 10 projects also increased their investment by 2.2 million USD. Meanwhile, foreign investors’ capital contribution and stake purchase were valued at 1.2 million USD.

In February, the city counted 1,487 newly-established firms, a year-on-year rise of 26 percent, with combined capital reaching 30 trillion VND, up 87 percent.

Meanwhile, 309 enterprises dissolved, up 19 percent, and 1,752 others registered for temporary suspension, a 3.3-fold increase, and 1,063 resumed their operations, a 3.2-fold rise.

Working group established to operate free trade agreement portal

An inter-ministerial working group has been established to operate and upgrade the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement Portal (FTAP) for 2021-2025 with a vision towards 2035.

According a decision by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) dated December 10, 2021, the group is staffed by 29 members from relevant ministries and agencies. It will be based at the MoIT.

The portal, the first of its kind in Vietnam, has been developed by the ministry and the World Bank, with support from the Government of Australia, since February 2019.

It provides a smart online look-up tool for enterprises and others who wish to explore various FTA commitments regarding import duties, rules of origin, and services and investment. It also offers information and knowledge essential to foreign traders, such as market updates and local regulations on imports and exports as well as sustainable development.

Room remains for Vietnam’s coffee exports to Algeria

There is large room for Vietnam to promote coffee exports to Algeria, said the Vietnam Trade Office in the African country.

According to the office, Algeria has to import completely coffee to serve its domestic demand. The country spends 300 million USD on importing about 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans every year.

Vietnam is one of the main coffee suppliers for Algeria, along with Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy and Uganda.

Last year, Vietnam shipped over 56,000 tonnes of coffee worth nearly 99.7 million USD to Algeria, down 6.8 percent in volume but up 6.3 percent in value year-on-year.

Coffee still remains Vietnam's main exports to Algeria, marking up 65 percent of the total export value to the market.

The office said Vietnamese exporters can promote the export of processed and instant coffee with higher added value to Algeria beside coffee beans.

International arrivals to Vietnam surge in first two months

Vietnam welcomed 49,200 foreign tourists in the first two months of 2022, representing a year-on-year surge of 71.7 percent, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported on February 28.

The majority of international holiday-makers arrived in Vietnam by air, accounting for 87.8 percent of the total foreign arrivals, the office said.

In February alone, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam increased by 49.6 percent month-on-month, and 196.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

This year, the sector is expected to serve 65 million holiday-makers, including 5 million foreigners, and earn 440 trillion VND (19.2 billion USD).

VIETNAM EXPO 2022 expects 350 exhibitors

The 31st Vietnam International Trade Fair (VIETNAM EXPO) will take place from April 13-16 in Hanoi, expecting to draw nearly 350 businesses.

According to the Vinexad, the organiser of the event, the exhibition will cover 3,200 sq.m, with areas for national brands and export products; equipment and support industries; digital technology, e-commerce; and food and beverage.

The event drew 21,500 visitors in 2019 and 10,250 in 2021.

A representative from the Vinexad, the organising board has received registration from foreign businesses from many countries, including the Republic of Korea, Belarus, Russia, Japan, the US, Cuba, Malaysia, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Bamboo Airways to launch direct HCM City-Sydney flight

Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways announced on February 28 that it will launch its direct service connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Sydney city of Australia.

Initially, there will be two weekly return flights on Tuesdays and Fridays starting from March 29, and the number will be increased to four a week later this year.

The direct service will help cut travel time between the two cities to eight hours, down by half compared to transit flights. The modern wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will be used for this route with utmost fuel efficiency and superb amenities and services.

Export-import turnover up 13 percent in first two months

Vietnam’s export-import turnover hit an estimated over 108.5 billion USD in the first two months of 2022, up 13 percent compared to the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported on February 28.

Of the figure, the export revenue posted an increase of 10.2 percent to 53.79 billion USD.

In Jan-February, there were nine export commodities recording turnover of at least 1 billion USD, accounting for 71.6 percent of the total export value.

The US remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese commodities in the last two months, with an estimated value of 18.3 billion USD.

Meanwhile, the country’s import turnover was up 15.9 percent during this period, with 13 types of goods valued at over 1 billion USD. Vietnam mainly imported goods from China, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and ASEAN countries.

As a result, the country experienced a trade deficit of 937 million USD in the period.

64 Vietnamese enterprises win at Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards

Sixty-four business leaders and enterprises have received the Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA) 2021 for their entrepreneurial and business excellence amidst the pandemic.

The award’s recipients were selected from 260 nominees through a stringent evaluation and judging process.

Themed “Build Back Better”, 2021 marks the award's 15th year and the 5th edition of the APEA in Vietnam.

The award has recognised entrepreneurial trailblazers within various business industries since 2007, honouring remarkable achievements in four categories (Master Entrepreneur, Fast Enterprise, Inspirational Brand, and Corporate Excellence).

The award provides a platform for companies and governments to recognise entrepreneurial excellence, spurring greater innovation, fair business practices and growth in entrepreneurship.

The programme has grown to encompass 14 countries/regions and markets all over Asia. 

HCM City’s export turnover grows 5.9 percent in first two months

Ho Chi Minh City exported 7.38 billion USD worth of goods in the first two months of 2022, posting a year-on-year increase of 5.9 percent.

The State economic sector earned 343.7 million USD from exports, up 22.8 percent against the same period last year, and the non-State one, 2.28 billion USD, surging 33.7 percent. The foreign-invested sector raked in 4.27 billion USD, a decrease of 3 percent.

The export value of industrial products witnessed a year-on-year growth of nearly 43 percent, surpassing 5.3 billion USD and holding a lion’s share of 77 percent. Of the number, the export of computer, electronic products and components earned 2.6 billion USD; garment-textile 797.6 million USD, up 20.2 percent and 88.2 percent, respectively.

Farm produce recorded an export value of 695.3 million USD, expanding 63.3 percent and holding 10 percent of the total.

China remained one of the biggest importers of HCM City goods in the first two months. It bought 1.32 billion USD worth of commodities in the reviewed period, slipping 16.4 percent year on year and making up 19.2 percent of the city’s exports, followed by the US.

Vietnam enjoys 87 percent growth in agricultural trade surplus

Foreign trade of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products reached 14.2 billion USD in the first two months of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 15.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

So far this year, Vietnam has enjoyed 1.8 billion USD in trade surplus in agriculture, forestry and fishery, 86.7 percent higher than last year’s figure.

From January-February, shipments of key agricultural products totalled over 3.2 billion USD, up 10.2 percent. Aquatic exports saw a significant surge of 47.2 percent to 1.5 billion USD. Forestry exports also increased 17 percent to nearly 2.9 billion USD during the period. Animal products, meanwhile, slid 3.5 percent to just 54.1 million USD.

Exports posting high growth included coffee (36 percent), rice (22 percent), pepper (44 percent), tra fish (83 percent), shrimp (34 percent), and wood and timber products (15.5 percent).

The US remained Vietnam’s biggest buyer, purchasing over 2.3 billion USD worth of the products, or 28.2 percent of the total. Some 70 percent of exports to the US were wood and timber products.

It was followed by China in the second and Japan in the third place. China imported nearly 1.3 billion USD (16.2 percent) from Vietnam, some 33.3 percent of which was rubber.

Shipments to Japan stood at 586 million USD (7.3 percent), 44.8 percent of which was wood and timber products.

Bac Ninh leads in FDI attraction in two months

The northern province of Bac Ninh raked in more than 1.3 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first two months of this year, making it the country’s largest FDI recipient during the period, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency.

FDI flows into Bac Ninh accounted for 26.5 percent of the country’s total and was 7.6 times that of the same period last year.

So far this year, the province has licenced 16 new FDI projects with combined registered capital exceeding 33.8 million USD, said Nguyen Quang Thanh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment. The province has also authorised 22 existing projects to add over 1.25 billion USD to their investment, he added.

Bac Ninh is currently home to 1,727 valid FDI projects with total registered investment reaching nearly 22.54 billion USD.

Room remains for Vietnam’s coffee exports to Algeria

There is large room for Vietnam to promote coffee exports to Algeria, said the Vietnam Trade Office in the African country.

According to the office, Algeria has to import completely coffee to serve its domestic demand. The country spends 300 million USD on importing about 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans every year.

Vietnam is one of the main coffee suppliers for Algeria, along with Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy and Uganda.

Last year, Vietnam shipped over 56,000 tonnes of coffee worth nearly 99.7 million USD to Algeria, down 6.8 percent in volume but up 6.3 percent in value year-on-year.

Coffee still remains Vietnam's main exports to Algeria, marking up 65 percent of the total export value to the market.

Source: VNA/VOV/SGT/VIR

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