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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MAY 27

Vietnam to have 184 fishing ports by 2050: draft plan
Vietnam to have 184 fishing ports by 2050: draft plan hinh anh 1
The second-class Tam Quan Fishing Port in Binh Dinh. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam will have a total of 184 fishing ports, capable of handling approximately 3 million tonnes of fish annually, and 160 typhoon shelters for boats by 2050 under a plan drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

By 2030, there will also be 160 storm shelters, comprising 30 regional and 130 provincial ones, capable of accommodating some 90,600 fishing vessels.

These ports and shelters will cover about 1,038ha of land area and 5,079ha of water surface in total.

Between 2021 and 2030, Vietnam plans to construct five first-class fishing ports for fishery hubs across the country, namely Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Kien Giang. It will also prioritise developing infrastructure and logistics services at fishing ports and storm shelters.

Some 60.37 trillion VND (2.6 billion USD) will be earmarked for infrastructure development at the fishing ports and storm shelters.

Out of the 125 fishing ports across Vietnam, 68 are currently operational, including three first-class, 54 second-class and 11 third-class ones. The remainders are under construction or not eligible to open. There are also 74 active typhoon shelters, with a total capacity of 50,885 vessels, approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

2% interest rate aid package worth VND40 trillion launched

The Government has issued a decree on a relief package worth VND40 trillion offering an interest rate of 2% for loans to enterprises, cooperatives and business households.

Enterprises that want to access the package must meet loan conditions in accordance with current laws on lending activities of credit institutions and foreign bank branches to customers.

In addition, loans under this interest rate support program are signed and disbursed between January 11, 2022, and December 31, 2023, only used for prescribed purposes and have not been supported by interest rates from the state budget under other policies.

According to the decree, the beneficiaries of such interest rate support are borrowers from the following sectors: aviation, transportation and warehousing; tourism; accommodation and food services; education and training; agriculture, forestry and fishery; manufacturing and processing; software publishing; computer programming and related operations; and information services.

The beneficiaries also include business sectors that carry out construction activities directly serving the above-mentioned economic sectors but excluding construction activities for real estate businesses. However, social housing projects, housing projects for workers and the renovation of old apartment buildings on the list compiled and announced by the Ministry of Construction are also applicable to the program.

Loans with an overdue principal balance and/or late payment interest balance are not eligible for interest support. The loans can only continue to receive interest support for the next interest payment terms after the customers have fully paid the overdue principal balance and/or the late payment interest balance. Besides, loans whose repayment term is rescheduled will not get any interest rate support for such extended periods.

The interest rate support is applied for interest repayment periods from the effective date of the Decree, May 20, 2022, to December 31, 2023. Commercial banks will stop providing interest rate support after December 31, 2023, or when the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance announce that the total interest rate support has exceeded the budget (interest rate support limit), whichever comes first.

The decree stated that commercial banks must provide interest rate support in compliance with the law and regulations and bring benefits to customers. The support program must ensure publicity, transparency, suitable subjects, the right purposes and avoid policy profiteering.

The interest rate support package worth up to VND40 trillion is part of the economic and social recovery and development program approved earlier this year, worth up to VND350 trillion, with several solutions and aid covering a variety of sectors.

Vietnam remains attractive to int'l investors: HSBC

Up to 21 percent of Indian firms operating or intending to operate in Southeast Asia plan to expand their business in Vietnam in the next two years, and the ratio is 26 percent among Chinese enterprises, according to a HSBC survey covering more than 1,500 companies from six of the world’s largest economies – all of which have operations in Southeast Asia.

Regarding advantages of Vietnam, three out of 10 surveyed companies pointed to skilled workforce, while 27 percent cited competitive wage prices and proven economic resilience in response to the pandemic.

Currently, 39 percent of Indian companies stated they were attracted by Vietnam’s infrastructure, while 39 percent of US firms said that they are keen on opportunities to develop and test new products/solutions in the market.

Particularly, 49 percent of surveyed firms, mostly from China, India and the US, said that they hope to make use of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to strengthen and support their trade activities in the region.

At the same time, 33 percent said that they have to face challenges in supply sources due to impacts of COVID-19 in Vietnam.

Cultural issues were also a major concern for  31 percent of enterprises.

Some 31 percent of respondent companies operating in Vietnam worried that new regulations and rules on carbon reduction could impact them. Meanwhile, 36 percent flagged the difficulty of hiring employees who possessed the correct sustainability credentials and knowledge.

Ample room for Vietnamese plastic exports to Australia

Room for growth is ample for Vietnamese plastic exports, as Australian demand has risen steadily in recent years.

The Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia (VTOA) reported that Vietnamese plastic exports to the country grew by over 11 percent between 2017 and 2021. In 2021, Vietnam took revenue of nearly 87 million USD in plastic trade with Australia, up 28.5 percent year-on-year.

Since the changing consumption habits in Australia are associated with a greater preference for convenience and ready-to-eat foods, the demand for plastic bags used in the food industry is expected to hold steady, creating more room for Vietnamese plastic.

Additionally, Australian agricultural and food exports are forecast to continue to climb in the short term thanks to free trade agreements, raising the demand for plastic bags in packaging. Vietnamese plastic is believed to benefit significantly from this upward trend.

Notably, Australian states have planned to ban single-use plastic products by 2025. That means Vietnamese environment-friendly plastic will become more appealing to the country in the coming years, another good news for plastic exporters. 

ASEAN, IFRC sign MoU to strengthen community resilience in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have inked a memoradum of understanding(MoU) to promote and develop their engagement in disaster management.

The document aims to strengthen community resilience at regional, national and local levels in the ASEAN region, encompassing such areas as disaster management, disaster risk reduction, disaster law, health in emergencies, disaster relief and emergency response, gender, youth, and climate change.

It also marks a significant milestone in ASEAN’s longstanding cooperation with the IFRC which has supported the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) in the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and its work programmes. 

The MoU was signed by Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN and Mr Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC, on the sidelines of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) in Bali, Indonesia, in the presence of the representatives of ACDM and the Southeast Asia representatives of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  

Deputy PM works with WTO deputy director-general in Geneva

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai visited the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva and worked with its Deputy Director-General Zhang Xiangchen on May 25 afternoon (local time).

Khai said that after 15 years of WTO membership, Vietnam has gained numerous achievements in socio-economic development, successfully implemented sustainable development goals, and become one of the world’s largest commodity economies in 2021.

He affirmed Vietnam treasures the organisation’s central role in promoting an open, transparent, rules-based multilateral trading system; and hopes that WTO continues upholding its coordinating role to boost the global trade in an inclusive and equal manner, thus contributing to economic recovery and growth.

The Deputy PM suggested that the WTO reform process should ensure a balance of rights and obligations, be suitable to the development and implementation capacity of its members, especially developing ones.

For his part, Zhang welcomed Vietnam’s active engagement in and contributions to global economic growth.

Also on the day, Deputy PM Khai visited the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva.

7th Corporate Sustainability Index programme launched

The Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) Programme 2022, the 7th of its kind so far, was launched on May 26, aiming to not only assess enterprises’ sustainability but also encourage them to adopt sustainable practices.

The set of CSI criteria is not only an assessment tool in the programme but also useful to Vietnam’s small- and medium-sized enterprises to improve their corporate governance towards sustainability, Vinh added.

Elaborating on the CSI Programme 2022, Director of the Office for Business Sustainable Development Nguyen Tien Huy said this year’s CSI criteria feature 130 sub-indexes, 68 percent of which are related to legal compliance and the rest to corporate sustainability initiatives.

The programme will receive entries from enterprises of all sizes and sectors via the internet, which will help ensure transparency and objectivity.

Aside from announcing the 100 companies in the CSI list, the programme will also honour the firms with outstanding achievements in implementing the circular economy model, responding to climate change, empowering women, promoting gender equality in workplaces, and adopting responsible business practices in terms of human rights and children’s rights.

IPEF discussion should aim at cooperation for people’s benefits: PM

The discussion of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) should aim at a framework that brings practical benefits to the people, stated Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the launch ceremony of the IPEF on May 23.

Participating virtually at the hybrid event held in Tokyo, Chinh said it should be an open, inclusive, and balanced process in line with international law and meeting the lawful and legitimate interests of parties involved.

The leader affirmed that Vietnam will work with other ASEAN member countries and relevant partners to continue discussing and clarifying the content of IPEF pillars, bringing about a positive, effective, and feasible economic agenda for the region and for each nation; as well as for peace, stability, cooperation, development and prosperity in the region ang the world at large.

Chinh highlighted the need to adjust the growth model and economic linkage to be more sustainable and more self-resilient to make the most of internal power and external resources.

It is also necessary to uphold multilateralism and strengthen international solidarity on the basis of sincerity, trust and responsibility, he added.

The launch of the framework will kickstart a serious discussion to exchange ideas towards jointly addressing critical regional and global issues, such as supply chains diversification and resilience, technological innovation, digital transformation, e-commerce, climate change response, emission reduction, green growth, taxation issues and anti-corruption, among many others, the Vietnamese Government leader said.

The launch of the framework will kickstart a serious discussion to exchange ideas towards jointly addressing critical regional and global issues, such as supply chains diversification and resilience, technological innovation, digital transformation, e-commerce, climate change response, emission reduction, green growth, taxation issues and anti-corruption, among many others, the Vietnamese Government leader said.

Vietnam is committed to pursuing and is making all efforts towards an independent, self-reliant economy in association with extensive and substantive international integration, Chinh continued.

Vietnam is also participating in various initiatives on international connectivity, and is making active and responsible contributions to the joint efforts to accelerate economic recovery and sustainable development in the region and the world, he stated.

Vietnam seeks to expand economic cooperation with Algeria

Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Algeria Hoang Duc Nhuan has attended the Annaba Economic Forum in Annaba city on May 25-26 to introduce Vietnam's potential and strengths as well as seek ways to expand cooperation between Vietnamese enterprises and Algerian localities. 

The forum drew the participation of hundreds of Algerian economists, businessmen and investors as well as representatives of economic organisations and embassies of African and European countries.

Addressing the event, he said the forum is a good opportunity for Vietnam to explore the trade and investment potential of Annaba province and strengthen economic cooperation between Algeria and Vietnam in general.

The official emphasised the potential and strengths of Vietnam with a vast market of nearly 100 million people and an open economy. Despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country recorded economic growth of 2.58 percent, which is expected to reach 6.5 percent this year.

Vietnam is benefiting from free trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement opens up an opportunity for Vietnamese companies to collaborate with Algerian operators and access this huge market of 1.3 billion people.

Vietnam Airlines Group to offer 7.1 mln seats during summer

All airline members of Vietnam Airlines Group – Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and VASO – will offer more than 7.1 million seats on both domestic and international routes during the peak summer travel season.

It is estimated that a total of over 36,000 flights will be made available for summer travellers from June 1 to August 15.

The three carriers will provide nearly 6.3 million seats on more than 32,400 domestic flights, up 10 percent compared to the same period of 2019 before the COVID-19 broke out. The busiest routes are those among major cities of Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City with close to 160 flights per day.

Hundreds of flights will be also operated to fly vacationers to popular tourist destinations across Vietnam, including Phu Quoc, Cam Ranh, Da Lat, Hue, Quy Nhon, Dong Hoi, Tuy Hoa and Con Dao.

Vietnam Airlines Group plans to operate approximately 430 domestic flights daily during the summer.

More than 852,000 seats will be offered on international routes, down 40 percent from 2019 because cross-border travel demand is yet to fully recover.

Vietnamese export increases in both quantity, quality

Taking advantage of free trade agreements and flexibly adapting to world unstable development, Vietnam’s spearhead economies such as fisheries, garment and textiles and wood production are accelerating exports to increase turnover.

According to statistics of the Vietnam Customs, as of May 15, export turnover reached 135 billion USD, up 15.5 percent year-on-year.

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) forecasts that the sector could enjoy an export turnover of 42-43.5 billion USD this year.

The wood processing sector is also full of orders till the fourth quarter of 2022. Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Handicraft and Woodworking Association (HAWA) Nguyen Chanh Phuong said that if the average export turnover is about 1.5 billion USD per month as it is now, the industry's target of around 16.5 billion USD in export value by the end of 2022 is completely feasible.

The fisheries sector enjoyed a record export value in the first five months of this year with 3.65 billion USD, up nearly 47 percent against the same period of last year.

Talking about opportunities to boost exports of the wood industry, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Centre for WTO and Integration under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Vietnam's wood processing and export industry is enjoying an important advantage from free trade agreements (FTAs). The FTAs help businesses increase their competitiveness and market share in not only traditional markets such as China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, but also in markets that are not familiar with Vietnamese furniture such as ASEAN or Oceania.

VITAS President Vu Duc Giang stated that currently, most fashion brands in the US, Japan, Europe, and even China are more demanding on garment products.

Minister requires stricter control of transportation costs

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The on May 26 requested units under the ministry to strengthen inspection and control of transportation costs and traffic safety in transportation activities.

Speaking at the ministry’s online meeting, Acting Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) Nguyen Dinh Viet said that in the first five months of this year, the throughput of Vietnam's seaports is estimated at more than 304 million tonnes, up 1 percent year-on-year. The container throughput also reported a year-on-year rise of 1 percent to 10.5 million TEUs.

Minister The requested the Vinamarine to pay more attention to import and export activities at seaports, and to have a plan to check and work with businesses to grasp the situation of transportation costs so as not to let prices escalate to reduce the quantity of goods, and affect the trading process and economic development.

As the number of fatalities in traffic accidents in the five months saw a modest decrease, at only 1 percent, the minister stressed the need to take more drastic and concerted measures to significantly bring down the number of traffic accidents and the casualty.

Minister The also requested stricter punishment of overloading vehicles.

Honda Vietnam motorcycle sales fall slightly in fiscal year 2022

Honda Vietnam sold more than 2 million motorcycles in the 2022 fiscal year from April 2021 to March 2022, down 2.7% compared to the previous fiscal year, the company said in its annual report announced recently.

Despite its slight decrease in sales, Honda’s local market share still increased by 2%, reaching about 80% in the context of market difficulties.

However, Honda Vietnam forecast that it is likely to experience a decrease in the output of some models of domestically produced scooters from April 2022. It is expected that the output of some models of locally produced scooters for May and June would decrease by nearly half compared to the original plan.

The company is trying to optimize production capacity to meet market demand at the earliest possible time, Honda Vietnam said in its report.

Also in the 2022 fiscal year, Honda Vietnam exported 207,000 completely built units (CBU), up 25.5% year on year. It is projected to ship 225,000 CBUs abroad in the 2023 fiscal year, a year-on-year rise of 9%.

Due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Honda Vietnam sold just over 24,000 cars in the 2022 fiscal year, down nearly 7% compared to the previous year.

Vietnamese goods introduced in Algerian market

A photo exhibition highlighting the landscapes and culture of both Algeria and Vietnam, as well as a fair displaying Vietnamese handicraft products, were launched in the Algerian capital of Algiers on May 26.

The May 26-28 events have been organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries which began on October 28, 1962.

In his welcoming remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Nguyen Thanh Vinh reviewed major milestones in the Vietnam – Algeria relations, noting that over the past six decades bilateral relations have been developed and expanded in various areas, from politics to economics and culture.

Coming to the exhibition and the fair, visitors will gain a better understanding of the friendship that exists between the two countries, as well as the beauty of Algeria and Vietnam, he said.

The photos on show taken by photographers and journalists feature the beautiful landscapes and people of Vietnam and Algeria in the cause of national development and construction of their respective countries.

A fair displaying traditional Vietnamese goods and handicraft products also opened at the main entrance of Bab Ezzouar, one of the largest commercial centres in Algeria.

The events also include a Vietnamese martial arts (Vovinam) performances and a booth introducing popular traditional Vietnamese dishes to international friends.

Vietnam puts gasoline database system into operation to avoid violations

The Ministry of Industry and Trade collaborated with the Ministry of Information and Communications to build the database system to update and publicize  gasoline business activities, upload the newest information related to world gasoline prices, retail prices, costs, and information about gasoline production enterprises, wholesalers, distributors and so on to effectively regulate the market and prevent violations.

The Office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade this morning informed that gasoline, an essential goods, directly affecting the production activities of enterprises as well as people’s livelihoods.  The gasoline price hugely affects the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which impacts the whole country’s macroeconomy. 

From the beginning of the year up to now, the local and international gasoline markets have been uncertain affecting the fuel supply and prices in the local market. 

Currently, the whole country has 38 wholesalers of gasoline, 329 gasoline distributors and nearly 17,000 retail gas stations.

By May 20, the first phase of the national petroleum management and administration database system for wholesalers and distributing merchants has been operated via http://quanlyxangdau.moit.gov.vn

Transport businesses surge ticket fares

HCMC-based Mien Dong (Eastern) Coach Station reportedly received the dossiers and documents of 66 transport firms on ticket fare adjustment on 100 routes from the beginning of March to now, surging as much as 24 percent. 

A representative of Mien Tay (Eastern) Coach Station in HCMC also said that from March to now, it has received dossiers and documents of 60 out of 130 transport businesses on declaring ticket surge from 10 percent to 20 percent following several times of gasoline price increase.

HCM City, Lao capital step up cooperation

A visiting high-level delegation from Ho Chi Minh City on May 26 held talks with a delegation of the Lao capital Vientiane, headed by Chairman of the municipal People’s Council Anouphap Tounalom.

The sides informed each other on their localities’ respective socio-economic and Party building situations. They were both delighted by the fact that the cities, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, signed their memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation for 2021-2025 in October last year.

HCM City head delegate Nguyen Van Nen, who is a Poliburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, thanked Vientiane’s assistance for his city’s pandemic prevention and control works.

Both delegations agreed to soon identify specific solutions to realise their MoU which covered the promotion of economic exchanges, business facilitation, and tourism activities.

Exchanges of delegations at all levels and training of young people on the countries’ history and special friendship are also important, they said.

The HCM City side said it will continue to grant scholarships for Lao students, and create favourable conditions for public personnel from Vientiane to join studies and share experiences in education, high-tech agriculture, finance, tax, administrative reform, e-government building, and digital transformation.

Concluding the event, HCM City presented 10 sets of equipment serving virtual meetings and 40 graduate and postgraduate scholarships to the Lao side.

The Vietnamese delegation is paying a working visit to Laos from May 25 – 29.

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

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