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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MAY 26

Vietnam’s April tuna exports skyrocket

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Employees process tuna at a local facility. Vietnam's tuna exports reached US$74 million in April, up a staggering 50% against the same period last year – PHOTO: VASEP



Vietnam exported tuna products worth US$74 million in April, up a staggering 50% against the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

During the first four months of this year, the country’s tuna export revenue reached US$226 million, inching up 15% versus last year’s figure.

Vietnam has shipped tuna products to 63 markets around the world, down 27 markets compared to last year’s figure. The country recorded positive growth in tuna export revenues from the EU, the United States, Israel and member economies of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Specifically, the United States remains Vietnam’s biggest tuna buyer, accounting for 41% of Vietnam’s tuna export volume, equivalent to 7,000 tons being shipped annually. Last month, Vietnam’s tuna exports to the United States soared 56% versus the 2020 figure. Further, the export of fresh and frozen tuna products increased, while that of canned items declined.

In the EU and CPTPP markets, Vietnam’s tuna exports expanded from 31% and 42% in March to 37% and 47% in April, respectively.

VASEP forecast that Vietnam’s tuna exports to these markets will continue to rise in the upcoming period thanks to tariff incentives buoyed by free trade agreements.

BRG Retail hosts New Zealand Apple Week

BRG Retail Co., Ltd is currently hosting New Zealand Apple Week, with the event running from May 22 to May 30 at 75 supermarkets and Minimarts under the BRG Mart chain throughout Hanoi, and some Vietnamese localities.

The promotion comes following the company recently importing 40 tonnes of apples from New Zealand, with all of the organic apples being grown by Bostock New Zealand in Hawke Bay, which is widely considered to be one of the cleanest, freshest, and purest in the world.

Most notably, the special week sees Organic Premier Star apples introduced for the first time at the BRG Mart chain in the nation.

Jane Maclean, sales manager in charge of the Vietnamese market for BRG Mart, revealed that the company is keen for their customers to experience high-quality organic Gala and Premier Star apples grown in line with Bigro standards. This means that they have not used any chemicals or pesticides during the cultivation process in order to enhance their taste.

All of imported apples on sale have sufficient phytosanitary certificates, along with a certificate of food hygiene and safety and a certificate of origin relating to each shipment, she noted.

Throughout this period, consumers will have the opportunity to sample organic apples from New Zealand at a low price, only VND69,900 per kilo for standard apples and VND89,000 per kilo for organic apples.

BRG Mart will also accept orders through its online shopping app, hotline, and fan page, whilst also offering home delivery to customers.

Thanh Ha lychees listed on popular e-commerce platform Sendo

Thanh Ha lychees originating from the northern province of Hai Duong have been officially put on sale on Sendo, one of the nation’s leading online marketplaces, from May 24 to May 27.

The purpose of the move is to assist farmers in gaining greater access to e-commerce platforms, whilst simultaneously creating additional stable consumption channels for regional specialty products and satisfying the demands of domestic consumers.

The sale will see Sendo striving to introduce the image of lychees to potential customers through social networking sites in order to allow Thanh Ha lychees to reach the largest amount of users as possible.

Sendo plans to help local farmers sell up to 12 tonnes of their lychees during this promotion drive.

At present, Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) has co-ordinated efforts with e-commerce platforms as they open booths within the framework of the National Program on Trade Promotion to provide technical assistance and instructions aimed at helping businesses and cooperatives join e-commerce platforms.

As Vietrade has recently developed a traceability system to help local firms to tighten control over quality and fight against the wave of counterfeit goods, all Thanh Ha lychees have been stamped to ensure traceability.

Guidelines for development of public investment plan for 2021-2025 period

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed Directive No. 13/CT-TTg clarifying the major guidelines for development of medium-term public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period.

As investment demand for infrastructure, environmental protection, national disaster prevention and control, and climate change adaptation is high and urgent, it is necessary to develop and implement effectively the medium-term (five-year) investment plan to further spur the nation’s production capacity and socio-economic development both in medium- and long-terms.

Future investment capital must be steered into key sectors, regions, and key national-level projects as well as urgent and important projects of localities in a bid to increase efficiency of public investment.

Public investment should also be given to projects on natural disaster and disease prevention and control, climate change adaption, and social security and welfare.

The Government determines to overcome scattered and inefficient investment and timely remove investment barriers, especially those related to institutions, administrative procedures, and site clearance.

Regarding the role of public investment, the Government clarifies that public investment will play a central role in stimulating investment from private sector in the socio-economic development process, especially in infrastructure development.

The Government ordered ministries, agencies and localities to promptly review all projects scheduled for investment in the next five years and cut those which are not truly necessary and ineffective.

The total number of projects included in the medium-term public investment plan must be reduced to around 5,000.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall strengthen inspection and supervision of observation of public investment disciplines, strictly control the efficiency of public investment, and ensure openness and transparency in mobilizing, managing and using loans./.

Vietnam gov’t to tighten supervision of public projects 

The effective realization of the five-year public investment plan stays central in further improving Vietnam’s socio-economic development in short-, medium- and long-term, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said.
Leaders of each province/city are requested to review all public projects, especially new ones, in terms of necessity and efficiency.

Total projects financed by state funds during the 2021-2025 period should be around 5,000, around half the figure in the past five years.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the view clear in a directive No.13/CT-TTg on speeding up the construction progress and enhancing quality of projects under the public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period.

While the global and domestic economies continue to be under serious impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam is under huge pressure to push for further infrastructure development, environmental protection and boosting resilience against climate change, Chinh said in the directive.

“The effective realization of the five-year public investment plan stays central in further improving Vietnam’s socio-economic development in short-, medium- and long-term,” he added.

To ensure greater efficiency in public spending, Chinh urged local authorities to focus on projects in key fields or economic zones, of national priority and with high spillover effects to different economic sectors.

“A part of state budget should also be allocated to efforts to prevent natural disasters, diseases, climate change, in turn ensuring social welfare and improving people’s living standards,” the PM continued.

“It is imperative to fight off corruption and “ask-give” mechanism during the process of state budget allocation.”

According to Chinh, as local authorities are given more power to make their own decision, this should come with heightened supervision from higher-level agencies.

“Public funds should be seen as a pull factor for social resources to follow and serve socio-economic development objectives, especially in transportation projects under the public-private partnership financing mechanism,” he added.

The Vietnamese government allocated VND2,000 trillion (US$87 billion) for public projects in the 2016-2020 period, while the average disbursement rate was estimated at 83.4%.

In the first four months of this year, disbursement rate of public funds rose by 16.3% year-on-year to VND98.7 trillion (US$4.26 billion), or 21.5% of the year’s estimate.

Termite mushrooms scarce after first fall rain

As normal, the best time to go out and find mushrooms is after the first fall rain; however, termite mushroom has become scare in the Mekong Delta though it is now the best time to collect the mushroom after the first fall rain.

Trader Truong Hong An in Chau Thanh District of Ben Tre Province said: "It is now the season of termite mushrooms which is crowned the king of all mushrooms, but it is very scarce despite the high price of VND1.2- VND1.4 million per kilogram.

When the rain persists over several days, this species of termite secretes an enzyme around their nest. Once the sun comes out, the mushrooms shoot up from this area in patches that are sometimes several meters long.

The fungus grows naturally, so traders of the vegetable are not sure of its yield. From the beginning of the crop until now, An has only collected 0.5kg of mushrooms. Normally, the termite mushroom season will end in the 6th lunar month, the price of termite mushroom will drop to VND600,000- VND700,000 a kilogram or even VND200,000- VND300,000 a kilogram at the end of the rainy season.

A termite mushroom season is about three months, on average, people can harvest as much as 2-4kg a day, mainly in high mounds of Giong Trom, Cho Lach, Mo Cay Nam and Mo Cay Bac districts.

Currently, some people can grow termites, but the taste is not as good as natural mushrooms.

Mediocre human resource quality in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is determined to regain its position as a major economic hub of Southeast Asia, with enhanced finance, trade, and travel services. To be able to do so, Ho Chi Minh City now needs a labor force of world class quality.

However, for many decades, the human resource factor here has only seen mediocre development, which could possibly take another fifteen to twenty years to improve in quality.

Human resource factor

Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous metropolis in the country, but compared to other big cities in Asia such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Shanghai, the quality of population calibre is average. This means that Ho Chi Minh City may be densely populated but it is still not strong enough to become a knowledge city of international standards. The City is still mainly based on broad-based labor intensive industry, occupying large premises and using low-skilled labor and outdated technology, supported by large investment and low productivity, and dependent on outsourcing of raw material from other countries. If the population calibre is low, it is difficult for a City to develop quickly and sustainably.

A populous metropolis is made up of many different groups and communities, but not all groups play the same role in the development process. There are groups that play a lead role, there are groups who are motivators and supporters, and there are groups that are only dependents. The quality of the population in a large metropolis such as Ho Chi Minh City can be explained in a pyramid like graph as follows:

On the top of the pyramid is the Elite Group. Studies show that this group plays a lead role in society, and includes experts, senior leaders, and big businessmen. This group is not too large, but consists of smart and intelligent people who are experts in their fields, who orient, create trends, and influence and attract people to follow their model lifestyle. Any city with a large, strong, and united elitist class will always progress the fastest.

On the second rung of the pyramid comes the respond group. This group is quite large, plays a crucial role in the development process, and is the main driving force that also promotes the society and culture of the place. This segment is the middle class, is economically well off, educated, and very capable and talented. In developed societies, the middle class always makes up the majority, possibly upto 40% to 50% of the entire city population.

The last group at the bottom rung of the pyramid follows default social trends. This group is very large, has potential power if mobilized well, but is less active. These three groups all must focus towards improving in quality, which will then easily lead to a high consensus and success. The lessons of Singapore and European countries are living proof of such development and growth. However, among all the three groups, it is the elitist that is the most important and prominent in society.

Shortfalls and inadequacies

Looking from the outside and very objectively, Ho Chi Minh City does not have a strong group of intellectuals and experts, or a strong international research base in various fields. Many of its scientific research products are of poor quality and low applicability, with too few products commercialized domestically and having almost no influence outside its borders. Along with this, public officials serving the people lack professionalism, skills and the ability to communicate with foreign visitors.

In particular, Ho Chi Minh City lacks a good indepth advisory group. Survey results show that grassroots officials do not meet necessary requirements, with only 28% having university degrees. Among these, only 25% have been trained in urban areas; only 9% know a foreign language; and just 13.6% are proficient in office computing. Many cadre officers were transferred from either Women's Union, Civil Defence or Fatherland Front, and only five out of 58 officials in charge of the culture of 58 suburban communes are trained in culture in schools, while the rest are rotated back and forth from different positions.

According to a report by the Center for Forecasting Manpower Demand and Labor Market Information in Ho Chi Minh City, upto 28% of the labor force in Ho Chi Minh City has not been trained, and only 26% has received just preliminary training.

The business community in Ho Chi Minh City is small in size, and its influence is still weak and not of an international level. Ho Chi Minh City lacks economic giants such as Samsung, LG, and Honda. The business giants are mainly in the real estate sector, getting richer from difference in land rent, unfamiliar with market economy, and relying mainly on officials. These giants cannot guide society in terms of techniques, technology, organization, or image. If Ho Chi Minh City wants to have 500,000 businesses, it must have 50 to 100 leading people running both small and micro-enterprises.

Ho Chi Minh City lacks teams of modern industrial workers called blue-collar workers, in the true sense of the word. Workers here are just unskilled laborers with low education and living a poor economic life, while not forming a social class like in developed countries. Industrial products are also mainly outsourced to foreign countries, and handicraft products are monotonous with little innovation. This is reflected not only in production but also in areas such as literary and artistic products for tourism that are few and outdated, and poor in variety and design.

Change economic structure

Ho Chi Minh City needs to change its economic structure quickly and become an international center for finance, health and education services. Tourism must be of a high level, by training young educated people. The solution to restructuring the economic space is to reduce the labor force of medium and low-skilled workers or unskilled workers, and not develop low-level processing factories, but develop industrial parks, high-tech parks, software zones, and biotech zones. It is important to promote industrial development in the central and western provinces also so that workers do not have to move to Ho Chi Minh City.

Forming a class of residents that play a lead role in society, and attract high-quality talent and experts from all over the country and abroad, is an issue that Ho Chi Minh City needs to address with great urgency.

Masan owns 20% of Phuc Long tea & coffee store chain

The Sherpa Company, a subsidiary of Masan Group Corporation (MSN), today, May 24, announced that it had acquired a 20% stake in Phuc Long Heritage Company, the owner of the Phuc Long tea and coffee store chain, for US$15 million.

Phuc Long Heritage was established three days ago, operating in the tea and coffee business. Its charter capital is VND260 billion. Of the amount, Lam Boi Minh, who founded the Phuc Long tea and coffee chain, owns a 94.5% stake and acts as the general director, reported VnExpress.

As part of the deal, VinCommerce, another subsidiary of Masan Group, will cooperate with Phuc Long to develop Phuc Long kiosks at over 2,200 VinMart+ convenience stores nationwide to bring Phuc Long-branded tea and coffee drinks to more consumers.

According to VinCommerce, the tea and coffee market value in Vietnam reaches an estimated US$2.3 billion and is expected to grow over 10% every year. Branded tea and coffee retail chains only account for 25% of the market, including major brands such as Highlands Coffee with over 300 stores, The Coffee House with over 150 stores and Starbucks with just over 70 stores.

Given a young consumer base and the demand for experiencing new services among young people, Masan and Phuc Long believe that branded tea and coffee chains would grow strongly in the next decade.

Danny Le, general director of Masan Group, said that four Phuc Long kiosks had been opened on a trial basis at VinMart+ stores in Thu Duc City. Masan and Phuc Long are set to open 1,000 similar kiosks in the next 12 months.

By 2025, the food and drink chain under this deal is expected to contribute revenue of US$500 million to The CrownX, a member company of Masan, he added.

Also, as part of the deal, the kiosks will share 20% of its revenue with VinMart+. Based on the business results of the piloted kiosks, Masan predicted that the deal will see the profit margin of all VinMart+ stores rising over 4% against the current level.

HCMC Trade Dept asked to research locations for three major logistics centers

The HCMC government has told the municipal Department of Industry and Trade to propose the locations for three projected logistics centers in the 2021-2025 period to gradually establish a logistics hub in the city.

The municipal government has approved a plan to develop service infrastructure in HCMC for the 2020-2025 period, with a vision toward 2040, including building the Cat Lai, Linh Trung and Cu Chi logistics centers.

The HCMC Department of Transport was tasked with working with the Thu Duc City government and some districts which are ineligible for the scale and location of wharves to review and arrange the land fund for the establishment and report the results in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The municipal government also asked the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture to complete the city’s general planning adjustments until 2040, Phap Luat Online reported.

In addition, the city told the competent agencies to review and make a list of land lots planned for cultural and sporting centers in the city.

Vietnam posts US$530 million of trade surplus in auto accessories in Jan-Apr

Vietnam’s imports and exports of auto parts and accessories in the first four months of 2021 were US$1.67 billion and US$2.2 billion, respectively, leading to a trade surplus of some US$530 million.

Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that the country’s imports of auto parts and accessories from January to April rose 44.8% year-on-year to US$1.67 billion. In April alone, Vietnam imported US$452 million of these products, declining 8% month-on-month.

On the other hand, exports of auto parts and accessories in the first four months reached US$2.2 billion, rising 30% compared with the same period last year. Vietnam’s biggest importers were countries with developed automobile industries such as Japan, the United States, South Korea and Thailand.

The surging exports of auto parts and accessories were better than expected as many automakers in Vietnam have complained that the underdeveloped supporting industries in the country have reduced the competency of locally made autos against imported completely-built-up (CBU) ones.

The local input materials and components for coaches in Vietnam account for only 10-15% of the entire products, while that of Indonesia and Thailand amount to over 70%. According to automakers, the low localization rate has increased the prices of domestically made autos 15-20% higher than that of CBU autos imported from other Southeast Asian countries.

Some market observers said the country’s achievements in the production and export of auto parts and accessories mainly rely on foreign invested companies, especially those from Japan and Taiwan such as Furukawa, Okaya, Nagata, Sanyo Seisakusho, Pronics, Cobal Yamada, MTEX, FAPV, Nissei and Nidec Tosok.

These companies have invested in export processing zones in HCMC such as Tan Thuan and Linh Trung, from where they export their products to other markets around the world.

Vietnam has also attracted manufacturers from Germany and South Korea. For example, Bosch Powertrain Solutions’ factory in the southern province of Dong Nai is producing continuously variable transmission push belts for automakers in the Asia-Pacific and North America.

In 2020, Vietnam imported US$4.2 billion of auto parts and accessories and exported over US$5.6 billion of these products.

Some automakers said the country’s advantages include the high-quality human resources and low labor costs. However, the production of auto parts and accessories still relies on imported raw materials.

South Korean payment processor BC Card acquires 100 per cent stake of Wirecard Vietnam

South Korean credit card issuer BC Card has reportedly wholly acquired Vietnamese terminal firm Wirecard Vietnam as part of its Southeast Asian expansion strategy.

South Korea's biggest payment processing company and local brand network, BC Card provides various forms of digital payment services to respond to the fast-paced payments market.

BC Card provides end-to-end payment services primarily to financial institutions as well as to merchants through its subsidiaries. Its major shareholders include KT Corporation – South Korea's largest telecommunications company – and Woori Bank.

Meanwhile, Wirecard Vietnam – a local subsidiary of Wirecard Singapore Pte., Ltd. – is the largest POS system provider in the country.

With the advancement of technology, boundaries of financial services are blurring and competition among payments service providers is intensifying with a rapid digital payments market growth.

“As Wirecard Vietnam has software development units under its wing, it can offer tailored payment systems to its customers, which serves as a differentiating factor from local competitors,” BC Card noted.

“BC Card has decided to take over the stake of Wirecard Vietnam to directly run a business in the local market and to increase its presence there,” said BC Card CEO Choi Won-seok. “BC Card will work to advance the Vietnamese subsidiary’s services and develop terminals compatible with various payment solutions.”

“Following an international bidding process, Wirecard Singapore Pte., Ltd., the subsidiary of Wirecard Sales International Holding GmbH, divests its shareholding in Wirecard Vietnam to South Korean credit card company BC Card. The transaction is still subject to certain conditions, in particular, approval by the local merger control authority,” Wirecard said in a statement.

Accordingly, Wirecard Vietnam has a market-leading position in the field of payment services solutions in Vietnam and is offering its customers one-stop-shop solutions starting from back-end software to front-end hardware.

Among the customers are major state banks as well as numerous financial institutions, such as National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS), LienVietPostBank, and Sacombank.

Newswire KoreaHerald revealed that the stake transferring process will be completed by the third quarter this year after the South Korean firm pays for the acquisition. BC Card, however, declined to disclose the size of the deal.

The Germany-backed parent corporation Wirecard last year filed for insolvency after the once high-flying payments were stuck in the mud with a series of accounting scandals, after the Financial Times published documents which cast further doubt on Wirecard's accounting practices.

The sale of Wirecard Vietnam has followed the footsteps of other extensive international bidding processes, which have been reached on the sale of several subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region.

In April, Wirecard announced its subsidiaries in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Thailand have been sold.

Vietnam seeks trade, investment opportunities in Africa via AFIC7

Vietnamese products, including various farm produce, were on display at the 7th African Investment and Trade Forum (AFIC7) held in the Algerian capital city of Algiers on May 24 – 25.

The event, via both video teleconference (VTC) and in-person form, was organized under the patronage of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. The Vietnamese delegation to the forum was led by Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Vinh.

The forum featured an exhibition, seminars and business-to-business meetings in the fields of food industry, agriculture, technology, tourism, services, renewable energy, and others.

The Embassy and Trade Office of Vietnam in Algeria set up a booth, among a total of 70, at the event which showcased a number of Vietnamese flagship agricultural products, such as coffee, tea, rice, pepper, milk, “banh trang” (rice paper wrappers) and cassava powder, and materials promoting Vietnam’s culture and tourism.

Around 20 domestic enterprises also joined the event virtually from Vietnam.

Speaking at the forum, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor Hoang Duc Nhuan briefed audience on Vietnam’s economic development; the relations in trade, investment and agriculture between Vietnam and African countries; and the two sides’ potential cooperation in the coming time.

He also announced Vietnam plans to host an international conference on Vietnam-Africa partnership in agriculture at the end of this year via VTC and in-person meetings.

AFIC 7 was attended by numerous international and global organisations, embassies, trade offices, and more than 600 enterprises from 35 countries worldwide who are seeking export and investment opportunities in Africa.

Trade between Vietnam and Africa totalled 7.4 billion USD in 2019, with Vietnam’s shipments worth 3.4 billion USD, an increase of 17 percent from the previous year.

Vietnam’s main export items to Africa include mobile phones and parts, computers and parts, textile and garment, footwear, rice, coffee, pepper, cashew nut and fisheries products. Imports, meanwhile, comprise raw cashew nut, cotton, wood, copper, cattle feed and liquefied natural gas.

Some 20 African countries and territories have poured a total 2.35 billion USD worth of investment into Vietnam, mostly in processing, retailing and wholesaling, lodging services and consultation. Vietnam has invested close to 3 billion USD in 12 African countries in the areas of oil and gas exploration and production, telecommunications, hydropower, and manufacturing of cement and wood, among others./.

VN-Index hits all-time high on large cap stocks

The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) rose 7.12 points to a new peak of 1,305.1 points on May 25 morning as several large-cap stocks made significant gains.

More than 403.3 million shares were traded for over 12.61 trillion VND (549 million USD).

The market breadth stayed positive with 204 stocks rising. There were 195 stocks sliding and 46 ending flat.

The pick-up of the index was boosted by gains from large-cap stocks such as HPG (2.9 percent), BVH (2 percent), MSN (1.8 percent), POW (1.3 percent), VRE (1.1 percent), TPB (3.6 percent), VCB (2.4 percent), STB (2.1 percent), TCB (1.8 percent), and CTG (1 percent).

Green also dominated real estate, construction and oil and gas stocks, including CII, CTD, DIG, DXG, FCN, IJC, KBC, NTL, NLG, G36, GAS, PVD, PVB, PVS, PVC, PVT, BSR and POW.

Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, home to mid and small caps, fell slightly 0.02 point to 300.31 points. Over 66.2 million shares were trade, worth over 1.45 trillion VND.

The UPCOM-Index for the Unlisted Public Companies Market added 0.21 points to 82.84 points, with more than 1.14 trillion VND injected into the market, equivalent to over 75.3 million shares traded.

In this morning trading session, foreign players net sold nearly 60 billion VND on HOSE, while net buying 5.2 billion VND on HNX and 10.44 billion VND on UPCOM./.

Over 3,600 tonnes of fresh lychees shipped to China via Lao Cai’s int’l border gate

More than 3,600 tonnes of fresh lychees from the northern provinces of Hai Duong, Bac Giang and Vinh Phuc were exported to China via Lao Cai province’s Kim Thanh II international border gate from May 8 to 24.

According to the customs department of the northern province of Lao Cai, between 200 and 250 tonnes of the fruit worth close to 2.1 million USD were shipped to China on a daily basis during the period.

Several measures, including COVID-19 prevention work, have been implemented to ensure quick and safe customs clearance for the goods. Drivers of exported batches ought to make health declarations, have their temperatures checked, and meet other pandemic prevention requirements at the border gate.

Vi Hai Yen from the Quang Minh import-export company in Lao Cai said complicated COVID-19 developments have caused many difficulties for exports; however, customs units at the border gate have provided the best possible conditions for businesses involved.

She said they have gone to work early to get things done sooner and arranged spaces to disinfect the fruit, as its places of origin have been hit by the pandemic.

The turnover of goods imported and exported via Lao Cai’s border gates exceeded 579 million USD as of May 15. Of the total figure, close to 400 million USD was from the export of products like dragon fruit, mango, jackfruit and watermelon, among others./.

Tien Giang develops dragon fruit growing area for export

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, the country's largest fruit production region, has built a 7,400-ha dragon fruit growing area for export in Cho Giao district, according to Secretary of Cho Giao district’s Party Committee Ngo Huu The.

This is the largest specialised dragon fruit area in Tien Giang province, which is expected to produce 188,000 tonnes of products per year.

Dragon fruit, one of the province’s key specialty fruits, has competitive advantages and can adapt to climate change.

The district’s dragon fruit was awarded a collective brand name “Thanh long Cho Gao” (Cho Gao dragon fruit) by the National Office of Intellectual Property. This product has been exported to many markets, including the EU and the US.

To better the quality of its products, affirm the brand name of Cho Gao dragon fruit as well as promote competitiveness of the product in markets, the district authority is speeding transfer of agricultural technology and encouraging local farmers to growth the fruit under Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards, and in line with regulations on food safety, origin traceability, and environmental protection.

Last year, the locality granted VietGAP certificates for 1,118ha of dragon fruit in 14 communes and key dragon fruit growing areas of the district, taking the district’s total VietGAP dragon fruit area to 2,184 ha, up 9.2 percent of the target set for last year, and equivalent to 29.5 percent of the total area in the district.

In 2021, it plans to have an additional 500ha of dragon fruit granted VietGAP certificates, taking the district’s total VietGAP area to 2,684 ha by the end of this year.

The district will continue efforts to promote the transfer of cultivation technique to further improve the quality of the fruit, while forming more dragon fruit growing cooperatives and implementing cooperation projects in producing and consuming the product.

It aims to provide VietGAP standard farming techniques to about 1,800 farmers this year, and strengthen linkages between farmers and buyers.

Cho Gao district is home to nearly 9,400ha of various types of fruits, including dragon fruit, and green-skin and pink-flesh grapefruit./.

HNX’s net revenue surges 32 pct. in 2020

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX)’s net revenue rose 32 percent to more than 732 billion VND (31.86 million USD) last year, most of which came from securities trading services, its recently-released audited financial statement reveals.

Securities trading services generated over 637 billion VND in net revenue, or 87 percent, while it earned some 80 billion VND from bidding auctions and information services.

Its post-tax profit exceeded 399 billion VND, an increase of 28 percent against 2019.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), meanwhile, posted 553 billion VND in after-tax profit in 2020, a 46 percent increase year-on-year and a record high.

It earned 993 billion VND in net revenue last year, up 39 percent compared to 2019.

Revenue primarily came from stock trading services, which stood at 873.4 billion VND, up 45 percent.

Close to 370,000 securities accounts were opened in Vietnam during the first four months of 2021, bringing the total number to over 3.14 million./.

Total output at Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant hits 250 billion kWh

Electricity output at the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant hit 250 billion kWh at 2.05am on May 25, affirming its important role in ensuring the country’s energy security.

Work on the 1,920MW plant, one of the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, began in 1979 and it was put into full operation in 1994.

In the decades since, the plant has been seen as a symbol of not only the sustainable friendship between Vietnam and the former Soviet Union (now Russia) but also of the domestic electricity sector.

Covering an area of 99.62 ha in Hoa Binh city, the expanded project received investment from Vietnam Electricity (EVN) totalling over 9.22 trillion VND (398.9 million USD), 30 percent of which was arranged by EVN and the remainder from commercial loans without a government guarantee.

It comprises two turbines with a total capacity of 480MW and electricity output of about 488.3 million kWh per year.

Director of the Hoa Binh Hydropower Company Nguyen Van Minh said the plant’s annual output was previously equal to its designed capacity of around 8.16 billion kWh, meeting demand in the northern region and part of the southern region’s demand and contributing to addressing power shortages in the latter at that time.

Since 2010, output has reached 10 billion kWh per year, 24.2 percent above the designed output, with a record set in 2017 of 11.25 billion kWh.

Along with ensuring energy security, in recent years the company has contributed 1-1.4 trillion VND (43.5-60.9 million USD) each year to Hoa Binh’s provincial budget and 300-450 billion VND in natural resources taxes to neighbouring Son La province./.

Vietnamese yarn faces anti-dumping complaint in Turkey

The Turkish Ministry of Trade has received an anti-dumping complaint against polyester flat yarn hailing from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea, the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam (TRAV) has said.

The export value of the product, coded HS 5402.47, from Vietnam to Turkey has been growing quickly over recent years, from about 1.69 million USD in 2018 to 4.65 million USD in 2019 and 11 million USD last year, figures from the International Trade Centre and the Vietnamese Trade Office in Turkey show.

TRAV said that according to Turkish procedures, after receiving a complaint and if an anti-dumping probe is officially launched, the investigation agency will make an announcement in the official gazette and send a summary of the case and investigative questions to related countries and exporters.

Given this, TRAV recommended that the Vietnam Cotton & Spinning Association as well as relevant manufacturers and exporters liaise and coordinate with the authority early on to prepare response plans in case an anti-dumping probe is indeed launched./.

Vietnam, China to faciliate bilateral export-import

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo agreed to facilitate bilateral export-import activities during their meeting in Hanoi on May 25.

Accordingly, both sides agreed to open the market for Vietnam’s farm produce, exempt Vietnam’s farm produce, aquatic products and frozen food from SARS-CoV-2 testing, reopen border gates and markets, and support business connectivity activities.

Minister Dien suggested China facilitate the import of Vietnamese fruits and farm produce, particularly lychee, longan and mango from Bac Giang, Hai Duong, Son La and other localities.

Expressing willingness to work closely with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Chinese ambassador said both sides should improve the quality of economic-trade cooperation and stabilise supply chains between the two economies in accordance with common perceptions reached by the two nations’ leaders

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, two-way trade between Vietnam and China reached 133.09 billion USD last year, up 13.82 percent from 2019. Of which, Vietnam's export to China rose by 17.95 percent to 48.9 billion USD while import from China hit 84.18 billion USD, up 11.55 percent.

China remained the largest trade partner, largest export market and the second largest importer of Vietnam.

In the first four months of this year, two-way trade hit 50.21 billion USD, up 43.04 percent. Of the figure, 16.29 billion USD was from Vietnam's exports, up 28.04 percent while the remaining was from imports, up 51.57 percent year-on-year./.

Exports of machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts to EU market soar

Machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts have become the main commodity group among key export products from early this year to mid-May that recorded impressive growth of 76.9% to US$13,34 billion.

Most notably, the United States and Germany made up the largest Vietnamese export markets for these products.

According to statistics released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the country exported goods worth approximately US$116.8 billion during the reviewed period, representing an increase of 30.9% compared the same period from last year.

With regard to the export items, phones and components raked in US$19.92 billion, up 21.4%, while the export value of computers, electronic products and components reached US$17.71 billion, a year-on-year increase of 30.2%.

Throughout the four-month period, the US became a major importer of Vietnamese machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts, with turnover of US$5.71 billion, representing a sharp rise of 157%, followed by the EU with US$1.61 billion, a boost of 76.5% against the same period from last year.

During the reviewed period, exports of machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts to Germany also enjoyed robust growth.

Specifically, Vietnamese export turnover to the EU nation rose by 6.8% on-year to reach US$2.34 billion. Of the figure, machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts soared by nearly 128% to US$452.4 million compared to last year’s corresponding period.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes

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