VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 12
EVN puts 96 power transmission projects into use in 10 months
The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) put 96 power transmission projects ranging from 110-500kV into operation in the first 10 months of 2021 despite difficulties brought about by COVID-19.
The projects comprise six 500kV, 19 220kV and 71 110kV transmission grids.
In October, the group's electricity output reached 20.28 billion kWh, down 0.3 percent year on year, bringing total output in the first 10 months of the year to 212.65 billion kWh, a rise of 3.1 percent over the same period last year. Of the total, hydropower contributed 29.9 percent, coal-fuelled power 47.4 percent, gas-fuelled 10.6 percent and renewable energy 11.3 percent. Electricity imports accounted for 0.6 percent.
As of the end of October, 77.99 percent of total EVN customers used cashless payment methods to pay power bills./.
Seminar seeks ways to boost export of agricultural products to China
Measures to boost the export of agricultural and aquatic products to China were discussed at a seminar organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on November 11.
Participants at the seminar, which was held in both in-person and virtual forms, included officials from 36 localities across the country, Vietnam's representative missions in China, and relevant agencies of the MOFA and MARD.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to China Pham Sao Mai, the Trade Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in China and the Consuls General of Vietnam in Kunming and Nanning said a strong recovery of China's economy and its policy to increase agricultural imports are advantages for Vietnam to further boost exports in the coming time.
At the same time, they emphasised that China is adopting more and more requirements relating to quality and technical barriers for agricultural and aquatic products, which requires Vietnamese businesses to quickly reform their production method and diversify key export items.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said that the most important thing now is to grasp information about the demand of the Chinese market and Chinese consumers' habits as well as about countries which export similar products to China.
He asked Vietnam's representative offices abroad to assist in gathering information, thereby helping domestic agencies develop an effective strategy for trade promotion of agricultural products./.
Shrimp industry strives to remain big foreign currency earner
Over the past one month, the shrimp industry in the Mekong Delta has been exerting every effort to sustain operations and fulfill the signed export contracts while there is not much time left in 2021 and many new COVID-19 infections continue to be recorded in the region.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said its shrimp committee has discussed the resumption of activities at shrimp processing businesses, especially material- and market-related issues, with the pandemic safety taken into account.
Consumers in many markets still prefer processed food - a strength of Vietnam’s shrimp industry as factories boast modern equipment meeting strict food safety standards and skilled workers, VASEP noted.
Shrimp exports topped 3 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2021, down 1.07 percent year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
VASEP blamed the decline on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced processors and exporters to reduce operations to practice social distancing.
It held that given the current COVID-19 situation in the Mekong Delta, the largest agricultural and aquacultural hub in Vietnam, it is not easy to achieve this year’s shrimp export target of 3.8 - 4 billion USD.
However, businesses in the industry are also moving to seize opportunities, especially the high demand for food to welcome year-end festivals in the US and Europe, the association added.
Many insiders shared the view that as the shrimp stockpile in many major markets is not much, their import demand will increase by the end of the year while the global shrimp supply is forecast to decrease. Therefore, shrimp prices will go up, and this is a chance for the industry to achieve the set target./.
Solutions needed to stabilise prices at year-end
Shopping habits tended to focus only on essential goods amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has therefore become necessary to identify solutions to effectively stabilise prices to stimulate consumer spending.
Like many people, Ms. Pham Ngoc Hue, a Hanoi resident, plans to cut her shopping budget for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday which falls on early February 2022. She will only focus on buying essential goods for her family.
“I will cut down my spending this year because of the pandemic, and will think twice when selecting which goods to buy for my family,” Hue said.
According to economists, consumer spending power is expected to decline in the remaining months of the year due to the lingering pandemic destabilising jobs and incomes. People will tend to focus only on essentials.
“Prices need to be effectively controlled. The supply of goods to major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City must be ensured,” economist Vu Vinh Phu said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade and localities have implemented a range of promotional programs, connecting supply and demand and sending Vietnamese goods to rural, mountainous, and island areas.
Strengthening inspections and control over the market to fight smuggling and trade fraud and ensure food safety are among the solutions identified to develop the domestic market effectively and sustainably./.
Vietnam-Spain ties stand good chance to thrive further: Ambassador
Vietnam and Spain are standing a good chance to further develop ties, given that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect from August and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVPIA) has already ratified by Vietnam and is pending ratification in the EU, Vietnamese Ambassador to Spain Hoang Xuan Hai has said.
Hai made the statement at a forum on new business and investment opportunities in Vietnam for Spanish companies co-held by the Embassy of Vietnam and the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Andalusia (CEA) as part of his visit to the city of Sevilla, Spain’s Andalusia on November 8–9.
The ambassador highly valued the 44-year diplomatic relation and 12-year Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Spain which has seen progress in multiple areas, particularly economics. He highlighted that bilateral economic ties have grown remarkably, with two-way trade expanding to 3.25 billion USD in 2019 from 650 million USD in 2009.
Despite COVID-19 impacts, the bilateral trade reached 2.3 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, he emphasized, adding that Spain is running 82 investment projects, worth over 134 million USD, in Vietnam.
In a meeting with CEA President Javier Gonzalez de Lara y Sarria, Hai said he wants to cooperate with the CEA to help Spanish firms explore opportunities in the Vietnamese market, especially in hi-tech agriculture. His host, meanwhile, said it is the first economic forum on Vietnam ever held by the CEA, describing it as a landmark milestone in the bilateral trade relations.
The Vietnamese ambassador also had a meeting with José Enrique Millo Rocher, Secretary General of Foreign Action of Andalusia, during he held that the economic ties between Vietnam and Spain, though growing, are yet to match both countries’ potential and advantages.
Vietnam treasures relations with Spain generally and Andalusia particularly so it has appointed an honorary consul at Sevilla, he stated.
The Spanish side highlighted that the EVFTA offers an opportunity for boosting the bilateral trade and investment and agreed to further bolster the ties in the coming time when the pandemic is brought under control./.
Reference exchange rate up 10 VND
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,115 VND/USD on November 12, up 10 VND from the previous day.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,808 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,422 VND/USD.
On the contrary, the opening-hour rates at commercial banks all dropped.
At 8:30am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,515 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,745 VND/USD, both down 10 VND from November 11.
BIDV cut both rates by 15 VND, listing the buying rate at 22,545 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,745 VND/USD.
During the week from November 8-12, the reference exchange rate followed a downward trend in the first three days, then turned around to go up on Thursday and went down again on Friday. It ended the week 8 VND lower than the rate on Monday./.
Vietnam seeks ways to forge cooperation with Africa, Middle East post COVID-19
Participants at an international conference in Hanoi on November 11 proposed cooperation orientations between Vietnam and Africa and the Middle East post COVID-19.
The conference was held by the Institute of African and Middle East Studies at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) in coordination with partners.
In his opening remarks, VASS Vice Chairman Prof. Nguyen Duc Minh said the conference offers a chance for Vietnam and countries in Africa and the Middle East to consolidate and beef up partnerships, while seeking new cooperation opportunities post COVID-19.
It is expected to contribute to the implementation of the Vietnamese Government’s strategy on developing relations with these countries during the 2016-2025 period, he added.
Dr. Le Quy Kha, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam - Africa Economic Cooperation Alliance (VAECA), said trade and investment ties between Vietnam and African and Middle East nations have not yet matched their potential.
Therefore, it is very important to optimise opportunities and advantages to enhance the cooperation, he stressed, suggesting the Vietnamese Government work to meet technological requirements of Africa, and open Vietnamese banks, both State and private ones, in Africa and vice versa.
Vietnam should open more representative offices of embassies in the countries that are interested in cooperating with Vietnam, and intensify information sharing with Africa through multiple channels, he said.
Dr. Kieu Thanh Nga, deputy head of the Institute of African and Middle East Studies, pointed out great opportunities for foreign investors in Vietnam as the country boasts abundant human resources, young workforce and growing middle class.
Echoing Kha’s views, she said economic and trade relations between Vietnam and Africa have remained modest, and suggested the two sides further enhance their political and diplomatic ties.
Vietnam would establish cooperation forums and mechanisms, and devise incentives to encourage businesses, universities and private organisations to actively engage in financial organisations, the official said.
She also suggested building a policy framework for Vietnam-Africa cooperation through a free trade agreement.
The participating experts also exchanged experience in handling and removing difficulties to collaboration between Vietnam and Africa./.
Vietnam calls for foreign investment in 6 new railway projects
The Vietnam Railway Authority has just submitted to the Ministry of Transport a proposal on the list of 6 new projects that need foreign investment.
According to the railway authority, the six projects aim to build railways in or among some cities and provinces such as Hai Phong, Bien Hoa - Vung Tau, Dong Nai – HCM City, Hanoi, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh.
Foreign investors can participate in these projects by various ways, such as providing capital, offering technology transfer, setting up joint ventures, or buying shares, among others.
Vietnam has a total of around 3,160 km of railways, including over 2,700 km connecting the north and south. In addition to upgrading the old routes, the country is planning to expand new ones worth billion USD./.
Symposium looks to bolster Vietnam’s agricultural cooperation with Japan's Kyushu
A symposium on agriculture and its future development in Vietnam and Japan’s Kyushu took place on November 11.
The event, the first scientific symposium on agriculture between Vietnam and a Japanese region, was jointly held by the General Consulate of Vietnam in Fukuoka, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and the Kyushu University.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam Nguyen Hoang Hiep said that Vietnam holds in high regards the contributions by universities and research institutes in Kyushu, particularly the Kyushu University, to Vietnam’s agricultural sector.
He emphasised a need to regularly hold similar symposiums to bolster the practical and effective cooperation between the two countries, especially in agriculture.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam said that Kyushu, as one of the leading agricultural regions in Japan, has great importance for the Vietnam-Japan friendship as it was the origin of the two countries’ trade over 400 years ago.
There are many Vietnamese trainees in the agricultural sector in Kyushu. They account for more than half of a total of 3,400 foreign ones in the agricultural sector of Kyushu’s Kumamoto prefecture, according to Governor of Kumamoto Kabashima Ikuo.
He voiced his belief that the trainees will contribute to agricultural development in particular and the Vietnamese economy at large in the time to come.
At the symposium, agricultural scientists and agri-firms of Vietnam and Japan discussed measures to improve added values for foodstuff, promote the application of information technology in the sector and boost aquatic resources development.
Concluding the event, Vietnamese Consul General in Fukuoka Vu Binh said he believes the symposium will open up new chances in bilateral cooperation not only in agriculture but also other fields, especially in the backdrop of COVID-19 and current challenges posed by climate change./.
Binh Duong sets up business support centre
A ceremony to announce the establishment of a business support centre in the southern province of Binh Duong was held on November 11.
At the event, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Trinh Hoang Tuan Anh said the centre is expected to improve quality and efficiency of consultation, support, training and development of firms, as well as promote investment, upgrade business and investment climate in Binh Duong, thereby raising competitive edge and access to resources for organisations and firms.
The centre will also provide the provincial Department of Planning and Investment with consultations in State management of firms, he added.
Binh Duong currently has about 50,000 businesses with more than 1.2 million workers from almost all localities nationwide.
Over the time, particularly during waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, local authorities have promptly carried out policies aiding firms and curbing the spread of the pandemic.
The establishment of the centre is also hoped to improve Binh Duong's provincial competitiveness index (PCI).
On the occasion, the centre signed cooperation agreements with various partners, including those at the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Industry and Trade, in a bid to realise objectives and cooperation fields./.
ASEAN fintech startups attract record funding
Funding for financial technology (fintech) startups in ASEAN more than tripled to hit a record of 3.5 billion USD in the first nine months of 2021, according to a report.
The report, titled FinTech in ASEAN 2021, was released on November 10 by the Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB), PwC Singapore, and the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA).
It showed that 167 deals, including 13 mega-rounds or funding rounds of over 100 million USD, accounted for 2 billion USD or 57.1 percent of total funding.
The payment sector saw the highest amount of funding as digital payment adoption spiked in the region, with investors placing more confidence in the segment. The sector saw a 244 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 1.9 billion USD in 2021, from 562 million USD in 2020.
In terms of spikes in 2021 CAGR, investment tech led the way, recording a 493 percent surge to 457 million USD, from 77 million USD in 2020. Cryptocurrencies come second at 424 percent to 356 million USD, from 68 million USD last year.
Singapore continues to take the lead in ASEAN in this regard, securing 1.6 billion USD, or 49 percent of the 167 deals. It is followed by Indonesia with 904 million USD funding secured, and Vietnam with 375 million USD of funding secured./.
Honda Vietnam sees sharp increases in auto and motorbike sales last month
Honda Vietnam said its retail sales of motorbikes and automobiles experienced sharp rises last month compared to September.
In the motorbike segment, the company sold 168,857 units of all models in October, a month-on-month increase of 69.4 percent.
Wave Alpha was Honda’s best-selling manual model of the month with 32,214 units, accounting for 19.1 percent of the total. Meanwhile, Vision led the automatic models with 40,806 units, or 24.2 percent.
During the month, it also exported 14,026 motorbikes to foreign markets
Honda’s auto sales reached 1,318 units in October, up 123.4 percent against the previous month. Among all models, Honda City was the bestseller with 691 units delivered to customers, presenting 52.4 percent of the total sales./.
Ministry plans to launch 67 construction projects for 2021-2025
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) plans to launch 67 new construction projects as part of the 2021-2025 mid-term public investment plan, including six of national significance, 10 in group A and 51 in groups B and C.
So far, the Prime Minister has approved three projects in group A while the MoT ratified 35 others in groups B and C.
The MoT asked relevant units to speed up the completion of investment procedures and allocate capital for the approved projects.
Investors and management boards of projects will be responsible for a list of projects eligible for mid-term public investment to report to the PM and Government, before submitting to the NA Standing Committee.
They were also asked to make pre-feasibility reports on projects of national significance and those in group A to submit to competent authorities, thus ensuring that each project will meet schedule.
The MoT also assigned its Department of Planning and Investment and the Department of Public-Private Partnership to accelerate the approval of projects in groups B and C, as well as complete pre-feasibility reports on projects of national significance and those in group A to submit to authorities./.
VinFast to bring “the future of mobility” to LA auto show this November
VinFast, the emerging global smart electric vehicle (EV) firm from Vietnam, has unveiled "The Future of Mobility" concept for its upcoming global premiere at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.
The VinFast EV Global Premiere press conference is to be livestreamed globally on November 17 via VinFast's Facebook and YouTube pages.
The company’s premiere concept stems from its vision of "driving the movement of the global smart EV revolution." VinFast said it is fully committed to making a more sustainable future for transportation, allowing people to enjoy intelligent, safe, exciting, and environmentally friendly mobility.
The concept will be reflected in every detail of VinFast's booth covering more than 8,500 square feet, along with an introduction of its two newest EV models, VF e35 and VF e36.
Michael Lohscheller, the Global CEO of VinFast, said the firm considers the show “a perfect stage to demonstrate its commitment to promoting the global trend of green transportation and encouraging electrification.”
Lisa Kaz, the President and CEO of the LA Auto Show, said “The LA Auto Show is excited to welcome EV automakers to our show, including VinFast, where our visitors will be able to discover Vietnam's first-ever automaker and its all-new EVs.”/.
Plenty of room for electronics industry to boost exports this year
With positive export growth recorded over the past 10 months, Vietnam’s electronics industry is anticipated to rake in US$50 billion from exports this year, a 13.5% rise from last year, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
MoIT statistics show that 10-month export turnover of computers, electronic products, and components surged by 13% annually to reach US$41.16 billion, while phone and component exports also grossed US$46.22 billion, an increase of 9.6%.
Throughout the 2016 to 2020 period, exports of electronics, computers, and components grew by an average of 23.8%, making Vietnam the third largest electronic exporter in Southeast Asia.
Last year, despite an array of COVID-19 challenges, the domestic electronic sector earned US$44.6 billion from exports, representing a year-on-year rise of 22.8% and accounting for 15.8% of the total export turnover.
These figures outstripped garment exports in terms of value, growth rate, and proportion.
The export structure of electronic products also changed positively, with an increase in the proportion of Complete Built-Up (CBU) and semi-finished products.
Experts point out that Vietnam’s electronic products have stood firm in traditional markets and are making inroads into new markets.
At present, Vietnam has exported computer products and electronic components to over 100 markets globally, including China, the United States, ASEAN, Japan, the Republic of Korea, as well as the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Finland and others in the European Union.
The MoIT says the electronics industry is projected to enjoy robust growth this year thanks to the increasing demand for these products and factory closures from COVID-19 restrictions globally.
Czech Republic – Vietnam Business Roundtable seeks to make most of EVFTA
The “Czech Republic – Vietnam Business Roundtable” was held by the Vietnamese Embassy and the Czech Management Association (CMA) in Prague on November 10 to introduce potential for cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries and exchange information about their market and business climate.
The event took place in the context that the two countries are seeking ways to make the most of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVPIA) is in the process of domestic ratification.
The event also aimed to explore challenges and ways to deal with them in order to boost the bilateral trade and investment, and share the Czech Republic’s experience in COVID-19 response to revive the economy.
It brought together policymakers and business leaders from both nations.
At the event, speakers focused their presentations on analysing impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy, including Vietnam and the Czech Republic, and how the EVFTA and EVIPA provide great opportunities to market access and trade of goods between Vietnam and the Czech Republic, a member of the EU.
The Czech Republic has acted as a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter the EU market. Additionally, thanks to the EVFTA, the Vietnam-Czech Republic trade has steadily grown despite COVID-19 impacts, one of which has been disruptions in the global supply chain. The two-way trade reached 1.5 billion USD last year, up 22 percent from the previous year. It rose 28 percent year on year in the first half of 2021 to worth 936 million USD.
A number of Czech business leaders highly spoke of potential in trade and investment between the two countries, saying they want to explore trade opportunities with Vietnam, particularly in the areas which the Southeast Asian nation holds advantages of, including agriculture and fisheries products, garment and textile, and footwear.
The Czech side also showed interest in stepping up bilateral partnership in civil aviation, suggesting Vietnam and the Czech Republic should work together to train Vietnamese pilots and open more direct flights between the two countries./.
MoIT expects strong growth for electronics industry
The electronics industry will continue posting strong growth this year thanks to the strong demand for devices for communications and remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast.
The electronics industry will continue posting strong growth this year thanks to the strong demand for devices for communications and remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast.
The expansion is also attributed to the closure of computer and electronics factories around the world as a result of the pandemic, the MoIT said, predicting the country's electronics exports at about 50 billion USD in 2021, up 13.5 percent from last year.
The MoIT said Vietnam is selling computers and electronic components to more than 100 markets, mainly to China, the US, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
The country is strongly promoting shipments to EU markets such as the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Finland, and expanding its market shares in new and potential ones like India and those in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
In the first 10 months of this year, computers, electronic products and components brought home 41.16 billion USD while mobile phones and accessories raked in 46.22 billion USD, respectively rising 13 percent and 9.6 percent year on year.
During 2016 - 2020, electronics exports grew by 23.8 percent on average, helping Vietnam move from the 47th position in 2001 to the 12th place in the world and the third in ASEAN in this regard, according to the MoIT./.
Local gold prices hit VND60 million/tael
Domestic gold prices continued to soar on November 11, reaching a historic high of VND60 million per tael.
The Saigon Gold and Jewelry Company at 4:11 p.m. on November 11 listed each tael of SJC gold at VND59.3 million (buying) and VND60 million (selling) per tael in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, up VND350,000 per tael compared to morning transactions.
Elsewhere, Doji Group rated gold at VND59.25 million – VND59.8 million per tael for buying – selling, marking an increase of VND350,000-200,000 per tael compared to the rates recorded in the morning.
Elsewhere, Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company listed each tael of SJC gold at VND59.2 million – VND59.9 million, for buying – selling.
As a result of these changes, local gold prices are approaching historical highs of VND63 million per tael set in early August, 2020.
In the global market, gold prices duly reached US$1,847.8 an ounce on November 11 morning, hitting the highest level since June 15.
Meanwhile, in the local forex market, the State Bank of Vietnam also moved to adjust the exchange rate of major foreign currencies, with US$1 being exchanged for VND23,105.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan
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