BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/9

Australia extends VN’s wind towers investigation     


The Anti-Dumping Commission of Australia (ADC) has issued an announcement to extend the deadline of publishing the Statement of Essential Facts (SEF) and the final report in the dumping investigation of wind towers imported from Viet Nam.

To further examine the role of various parties involved in the production and export of the goods to Australia as well as to verify the information that has been provided by interested parties, ADC has decided to extend the deadline to publish the SEF to November 5, 2017.

Interested parties are invited to make submissions in response to the SEF within 20 days of the SEF being placed on public record.

A final report on the ADC’s recommendations will be submitted to the parliamentary secretary no later than December 20, 2017. The secretary will make a decision within 30 days of receiving the report.

Prior to this, ADC initiated an investigation into the alleged dumping of certain wind towers exported to Australia from Viet Nam on June 8, 2017.

The investigation follows an application lodged by Australian wind tower manufacturers Keppel Prince Engineering Pty Ltd and Ottoway Fabrication Pty Ltd.

The investigation examines transactions that took place from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016, with ADC estimating a dumping margin of 15.7 per cent on Viet Nam’s wind towers.

ADC plans to publish the SEF by September 26, 2017 and the final report by November 10, 2017.

On August 7, 2017, ADC temporarily decided not to apply anti-dumping duties on wind towers imported from Viet Nam. 

Tra Vinh will support private economic development     

This southern province will support the development of 15,000 private enterprises by 2030, officials have said.

The province strives to have 4,000 private firms by 2020 and 7,500 private firms by 2025, according to the provincial development plan for the private economic sector for the 2011-20 period.

Under the plan, the private economic sector will contribute VND12 trillion (US$533 million) to the provincial State budget during the 2016-20 period, 3.3 times higher than its contribution in the 2011-15 period.

Tra Vinh has built many solutions to achieve targets, including the creation of favourable investment and business environments for enterprises, the improvement of enterprises’ ability to enter the market and the promotion of the private economic sector’s fair competition.

The province will have solutions in place to help the private economic sector renew production technology and develop human resources, improve labour capacity and increase the efficiency of State management.

The province has invested in the infrastructure of Dinh An Economic Zone and the Co Chien and Cau Quan industrial parks.

Departments have implemented the electronic one-stop-shop model and provided online public services, especially online tax declaration and payment. This action will encourage individual households to convert to private enterprises.

Son Thi Anh Hong, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Tra Vinh, said that in the 2011-15 period, the provincial private economic sector contributed over VND3.625 trillion to its State budget. Tra Vinh currently has more than 1,900 enterprises and more than 60,000 individual business households. However, some 98 per cent of them are small and medium enterprises.

In the 2012-16 period, the province established 1,192 new businesses but also dissolved 499 enterprises due to ineffective operation. 

Ben Tre to up industrial investment     

The southern province of Ben Tre will promote investment to provide value addition to key industrial products and increase the capacity of industrial production.

This is being done according to the provincial development plan of the industrial sector in the period between 2016 and 2020, and upto 2030.

Phan Thi Han, deputy director of Ben Tre Province’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that after one year of implementing the plan, the province had attracted VND580 billion to 33 investment projects in the key and priority industrial products.

Thanks to those projects, the production value of the key industrial products increased significantly and accounted for higher percentage in the total provincial production value.

In addition to this, the projects have developed new industrial products and clean energy, while many projects on producing wind power and solar power were scheduled to be developed in the future.

To gain high efficiency in the plan, Ben Tre has focussed on investment in the infrastructure development of industrial parks and complex, the creation of favourable conditions for inviting investment and the increase of industrial production capacity. The province will also invite investment in key and prioritised industrial products, and products that have high added value and use modern technology to reduce environmental pollution.

Ben Tre has identified two key industries, including the seafood processing industry and the coconut processing industry. Other seven prioritised industrial products include the support industry for the garment industry; production of livestock feed; chemical industry; mechanical industry; electronics, telecommunications, information technology and software industry; livestock processing industry; and the industry producing new energy.

Truong Duy Hai, Vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Ben Tre, said that to promote industrial development and contribute to economic growth and restructure, the province will adjust preferential policies for investment to infrastructure in industrial zones and complexes. It will also amend support policies for start-up businesses to mobilise economic sectors to participate in industrial development.

The province will lure investment in agricultural and fishery processing projects, especially shrimp processing, livestock processing, support industry and clean energy, he said.

The province will continue to improve the investment environment, enhance dialogue and meet business to remove difficulties in production and business, he said. It will reform further administrative procedures and update regulations relating to production and business.

At the same time, Ben Tre will improve quality and efficiency in the activities of trade promotion, market forecast, support for enterprises in using e-commerce and market expansion.

Ben Tre has currently had two industrial parks, Giao Long and An Hiep, with 47 projects in total. It has completed the plans to develop three other industrial parks and called for investment in their infrastructure. They are Giao Hoa, Thanh Tan and Phuoc Long industrial parks. 

Automobile sales dips 6 percent in eight months

Members of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) sold more than 177,000 cars in the first eight months of the year, down 6 percent from the same time last year.

Sales of tourist, commercial and specialised cars experienced respective year-on-year declines of 4 percent, 7 percent and 12 percent.

Vietnamese car buyers preferred imported cars to locally assembled vehicles as the domestically built units in the reviewed time faced a drop of 11 percent to 126,984 whilst those purchased from foreign countries surged 10 percent to 50,053 cars.

In August alone, automobile sales reached 22,099 cars. Local carmarker Truong Hai Automobile JSC (Thaco) led the market with 6,228 units, occupying 30 percent of the market share. Toyota Motor Vietnam was in the second with 5,794 cars, owning 27.9 percent of the market share, followed by Ford Vietnam, which sold 2,292 units.

Automakers continued their big promotion to trigger car sales in August. Honda Vietnam cut the prices of its Civic, Accord and CR-V models by nearly 200 million VND (8,800 USD). Thaco reduced tens of millions of VND for its Mazda, even for best sellers Kia Morning and Cerato. Meanwhile, Huyndai Thanh Cong offered discounts of 40-70 million VND (1,760- 3,080 USD), depending on versions.

Domestic gold prices fall sharply

Gold prices slumped in the Vietnamese market on September 12 morning. On the Hanoi market, selling price of one tael, or 1.205 ounces, of State-owned SJC’s gold declined by 190,000 VND (8.3 USD) to 36.75 million USD. 

On the buying side, the price of each tael also fell 160,000 VND, trading at 36.53 million VND.

In HCM City and Can Tho city in the south and the central city of Da Nang, one tael of SJC’s gold declined 250,000 VND during selling, trading at 36.73 million VND. Meanwhile, one tael was being bought at 36.53 million VND.

Bao Tin Minh Chau Gold Jewellery Company and Doji Gold and Jewellery Corporation (DOJI) listed their selling prices at 36.68 million VND and 36.70 million VND, respectively. Buying rates of their gold were listed at 36.62 million VND and 36.60 million VND, respectively.

On the Asian market, gold is trading at some 1,325 USD per ounce, equivalent to 36.36 million VND per tael.

On global gold trading website Kitco.com, the price of gold slipped 1.2 per cent per ounce to end at 1,330.24 USD per ounce, the largest drop since July 3. On September 8, global gold price hit a yearly peak of 1,357.54 USD per ounce.

Thus, the price of one tael of gold in Vietnam is some 410,000 VND higher than that on the world market.

Global gold prices declined due to an upward trend in the dollar rate following an uptick in risk appetite fuelled by relief that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not test-fire missiles or conduct nuclear tests over the weekend as some had feared, Reuters reported.

Assets traded primarily in dollars, such as gold, are very sensitive to currency fluctuations. An increase in the dollar rate will lead to gold becoming more expensive compared with other currencies and the demand for gold also decreases, the website said.

Meanwhile, the worst-case scenario due to Hurricane Irma’s impact, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, looked to have been avoided, easing concerns of investors about the negative impact of the storm on the US economy.

Vietnamese products introduced at World Food Moscow 2017

Eight Vietnamese businesses are showcasing their products such as spices, tea, coffee, fruits and dairy products at the World Food Moscow 2017, which kicked off at the Expocentre in Moscow, Russia, on September 11.

According to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, the participating Vietnamese businesses aim to seek partners and study the taste of local consumers.

The exhibition takes place one year after the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to which Russia is also a signatory took effect. 

Nguyen Mai Oanh, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Pepper Association, described the event as an important playground for the Vietnamese enterprises to make the best use of the agreement to export spices, including pepper. 

Besides, Vietnamese firms have favourable conditions to seek Eastern European customers in the context that Western European countries are facing barriers when shipping products to Russia and Eastern Europe, she said. 

The exhibition will last until September 14.

FDI inflow into HCM City soars in eight months

More than 3.23 billion USD of foreign direct investment (FDI) was poured into Ho Chi Minh City in the first eight months of 2017, up 1.57 times from the same period last year.

According to the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, major FDI projects registered in the period included Saigon Silicon project worth some 40 million USD. 

This project is being invested by the Saigon Silicon City Park Joint Stock Company, which inked a cooperation memorandum on the project implementation with the US’s World Trade Centre Utah.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea’s CJ Cau Tre Foods Joint Stock Company was licensed to invest in a 53.3 million USD project in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park.

To attract more FDI in the remaining months of 2017, HCM City is deploying measures to develop four key industries, namely manufacturing engineering, electronics, chemical-rubber-plastics industry, and food processing.

Foreigners hail business opportunities in Vietnam

Many international delegates at the freshly-ended APEC Start-ups Forum held in Ho Chi Minh City have said that there are a lot of business, trade and investment opportunities in Vietnam.

Professor, Dr. Lou E. Pelton, North Texas University, the US, told Vietnam News Agency’s reporters on the sidelines of the forum that Vietnam offers an exceptional source of people with strong mind and strong will.

The economic opportunities in Vietnam are so great that many foreign companies want to explore the market, he added.

He said some of the most attractive industries in Vietnam have yet to be fully utilised, naming several fields that have fantastic opportunities to leverage such as medical tourism, technology-based innovation in data analytics, and craftsmanship.

Director of Trade & Investment Facilitation of the Mekong Institution Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, who has almost eight years working in Vietnam, said what attracts foreign investors in the Southeast Asian country is infrastructure.

“Vietnam has already developed the basic infrastructure for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). And that is one of the questions for investors to come and put up bussinesses here”, he said.

He noted that the agro-based industry has a promising future in Vietnam since the country is well blessed with climate conditions, agriculture and support system.

The Vietnamese government also supports the agro-based industry apart from other industries, he added.

Director of the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada Vilupti Lok Barrineau suggested Vietnamese startups develop agri-tech projects since “Vietnam is a leader in agriculture in the region and food security is extremely important not only in this country but around the world.”

“Vietnam could play a leading role in driving agri-tech,” she said, adding that she recognised a lot of opportunities for Canada to collaborate with Vietnam in this field.

“Vietnam is very strong on the tech side and you have many brilliant students that are coming out of your fantastic universities and I think that on the engineering side anything to do with technology, Vietnam can really play a leading role,” she said.

Exports to Algeria up 26 percent

Exports to Algeria earned Vietnam 227,86 million USD this year to early September, up 26 percent on a yearly basis, according to the Vietnamese trade mission in the African country. 

Main export items include coffee beans with 38,667 tonnes and 84,32 million USD, down 17 percent in volume but up 8 percent in value; phones and phone parts with 58.77 million USD, down 3 percent; and rice with 29,311 tonnes and 11.53 million USD, both up four fold. 

Other items posting increases in revenues are pepper, steel products, seafood, computer, electronic goods and parts, machinery, equipment and tools. 

Algeria is the fourth largest market in Africa of Vietnamese goods, behind South Africa, Ghana and Egypt. 

As Vietnam and Algeria mark the 55th year of their diplomatic relationship this year, the Vietnamese trade mission has organized a range of trade promotion activities including business seminars and fair attendance. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also sent delegations to Algeria to discuss measures to increase bilateral ties.

French firms learn about investment chances in Da Nang’s hi-tech park

Representatives from about 30 French enterprises participated in a seminar introducing investment opportunities in the hi-tech park in the central city of Da Nang held by the French Business Federation (MEDEF) in Paris on September 11.

The event was part of the Da Nang Hi-Tech Park (DHTP) Management Board’s investment promotion activities in Europe.

At the seminar, Director General of the board Phung Tan Viet informed the participants of the park’s construction process and development plans.

Participating businesses were also briefed on Da Nang’s preferential policies and projects which need investment in the DHTP.

With a total area of more than 1,100ha, the DHTP is one of Vietnam’s three hi-tech parks, connecting industrial and economic zones in the key economic region in central Vietnam.

The park welcomes enterprises to visit and invest in its projects, Viet added.

Michel Jonqueres, President of the MEDEF’s International Commission, said that Da Nang and the DHTP’s clear administrative procedures are an advantage that encourages investment.

He also expressed optimism about the two sides’ cooperation opportunities, especially with Da Nang hosting the APEC Leaders’ Week 2017 in November and drawing leaders of 21 APEC economies and thousands of official delegates and heads of the world’s leading enterprises.

At present, the DHTP has more than 300ha of land available for investment projects. In the first half of 2017, it attracted seven projects worth 158 million USD.-

Conference connects Japanese, Mekong Delta firms in environment business

A conference was held in Can Tho City on September 12 to boost ties among enterprises operating in environment treatment in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region and Hiroshima prefecture of Japan.

The event drew 60 local government officials and representatives of more than 80 firms from 13 Mekong Delta localities and eight Japanese firms specialised in waste and wastewater treatment, irrigation, aquatic farming, agriculture, husbandry and chemicals.

Kawaguchi Kazunari, head of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Hiroshima, said the locality has enjoyed sound cooperation in environmental protection with Ho Chi Minh and Soc Trang in the past four years.

He expressed his belief that the conference will help state agencies and enterprises of both sides become partners. 

Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung said that the event is a chance for local firms to learn new Japanese technology in environmental treatment, and seek the best solutions for the region’s environmental issues.

On the occasion, Hiroshima prefecture, Can Tho city and Soc Trang province signed memoranda of understanding on cooperation in environment-related business.

APEC SMEs Working Group’s meeting opens in HCM City

The 45th meeting of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Working Group kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on September 13.

The two-day meeting is part of the 24th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) scheduled for September 15 in the southern hub. 

Speaking at the event, Dang Huy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, highlighted the role of SMEs, saying the enterprises account for 98 percent of total firms and have been playing an important part of economic development and employment generation. 

SMEs are a significant source of innovation, and the engine for economic growth in the Asia Pacific region, he added.

“Through APEC forums, SMEs have gained much knowledge, legislation in line with international economic practices. However, many SMEs are still struggling weak competitiveness. Therefore, APEC economies and SMEs jointly promote with their own internal strengths through enhancing effective governance, facilitate technological innovation in priority access to finance, opening up new market opportunities meanwhile ensuring an enabling environment for doing business,” he said.

Participants will focus their discussions on finding good examples of entrepreneurship, innovation and access to finance, business ecosystems and market access for SMEs development. 

They will also discuss potential for practical cooperation, and most importantly, identify prioritised areas to strengthen SMEs competitiveness throughout the APEC region.

Established in 1989, APEC is now the largest economic trade cooperation group in the Asia-Pacific region. It includes 21 member economies and accounts for 40 percent of the global population, 55 percent of GDP and 44 percent of world trade.

Vietnam joined APEC in 1998. SMEs employ more than 50 percent of the workforce and contribute over 40 percent of the GDP in Vietnam.

Conference connects Japanese, Mekong Delta firms in environment business

A conference was held in Can Tho City on September 12 to boost ties among enterprises operating in environment treatment in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region and Hiroshima prefecture of Japan.

The event drew 60 local government officials and representatives of more than 80 firms from 13 Mekong Delta localities and eight Japanese firms specialised in waste and wastewater treatment, irrigation, aquatic farming, agriculture, husbandry and chemicals.

Kawaguchi Kazunari, head of the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Hiroshima, said the locality has enjoyed sound cooperation in environmental protection with Ho Chi Minh and Soc Trang in the past four years.

He expressed his belief that the conference will help state agencies and enterprises of both sides become partners. 

Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung said that the event is a chance for local firms to learn new Japanese technology in environmental treatment, and seek the best solutions for the region’s environmental issues.

On the occasion, Hiroshima prefecture, Can Tho city and Soc Trang province signed memoranda of understanding on cooperation in environment-related business.

BOT investors must build ETC system before October 3

The implementation of the new electronic toll collection (ETC) system, designed to reduce delays on the nation’s roads, has become controversial as private investors operating the roads say they feel pressured to sign a contract with a single ETC builder-- the only one the Government has approved.

The frustration of investors, who manage roads under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme, came to the fore at a meeting on Monday to discuss progress on the ETC system.

The investors say they are effectively forced to sign contracts with VETC Ltd.Com to implement the new electronic fee collection at 29 toll booths.

Nguyễn Văn Huyên, General Director of Việt Nam Road Administration, said the investors have the right to choose a builder for the ETC system, but that all builders must meet Ministry of Transport requirements.

"However, the supplier must pass the ministry’s examination and be approved by the ministry," he said.

The only currently approved supplier is VETC. If the investors don’t build their ETC systems by the deadline of October 30, they will be forced to stop collecting tolls, the official said, leaving BOT investors little choice but to continue negotiating with the company.

ETC aims to eliminate delays on toll roads by collecting tolls electronically. The technology determines whether passing cars are enrolled in the program, alerts enforcers for those that are not, and electronically debits the accounts of registered car owners without requiring them to stop.

Từ Minh Nguyệt, a representative of Cần Thơ-Phụng Hiệp BOT Ltd.Com, the investor in the Cần Thơ-Phụng Hiệp section of Highway No1, said the new technology would certainly make driving more convenient for road users. But how to best implement it remained an open question, she said.

She said her company had negotiated seven times with VETC on the terms to build an ETC system, but had still failed to reach an agreement.

Nguyệt said she thought the Government should assign VETC to supply and install software devices and then immediately sell the technology to BOT investors, rather than allowing VETC to operate the new electronic systems for extended periods of time.    

She said BOT investors could manage toll collection through the ETC system on their own. Nguyệt said the prospect of VETC managing tolls on roads operated by BOT investors could obscure the public’s understanding of who exactly is in charge of fee collection.  

She questioned the fairness of a system in which 29 toll booths nation-wide are building ETC systems, but only VETC has been allowed to supply service.

Nguyễn Văn Ngợi, deputy director of Construction and Investment No.194 Joint-stock Company, which is the investor in the section of Highway No.1 across Khánh Hòa central province, said that after several rounds of negotiations, it still hadn’t received the service-price list from VETC.

According to Ngợi, VETC has demanded contracts that stipulate it will supply the ETC service for five years. But the BOT investors would prefer two-year contracts because the quality of services must be re-evaluated after every year.

According to the Government’s policy, service suppliers will be responsible for monitoring the toll collection, and then all data will be transmitted to the Việt Nam Road Administration.

In a previous meeting on the ETC system, the Transport Minister had asked BOT investors to sign service-supply contracts with VETC before July 15. VETC was to finish the installation of the ETC system at toll booths before August 15. The disputes between VETC and BOT investors led those deadlines to be missed at many toll booths.

Outlook on Techcombank revised to stable     

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has revised its rating outlook on Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) to stable from negative.

It also affirmed the bank’s ’BB-’ long-term and ’B’ short-term issuer credit ratings.

“We revised the rating outlook on Techcombank to stable because we believe the bank can sustain its above-average profitability over the next 12 months despite competition,” S&P said.

According to S&P, Techcombank has adopted a balanced approach toward profit enhancement and risk-taking. The bank is pursuing a retail-focused strategy, particularly among the mass affluent, while downsizing its chunky corporate exposures to enhance yields. It is also considering downsizing its real estate and construction exposure to de-risk its loan book.

Techcombank’s asset quality has been improving since 2013, reflecting the bank’s efforts to clean up its legacy weak loans through increased provisions and rehabilitation and recovery of bad loans. Techcombank’s gross non-performing loan ratio declined to 1.6 per cent in 2016, from a peak of 3.7 per cent in 2013. Its restructured loans also fell to 0.5 per cent from 9.7 per cent over the same period.

“We expect Techcombank to maintain its capitalisation and liquidity over the next 12 months,” S&P said, adding that the bank has a history of retaining profits with zero dividend payout to preserve capital to support growth. Techcombank’s stable deposit base is backed by a sizable contribution from the retail segment, which underpins its funding profile.

The stable outlook on Techcombank reflects S&P’s view that the bank will maintain its status as a leading privately owned bank in Viet Nam over the next 12 months with an entrenched retail franchise and above-average profitability.

However, S&P noted, it may lower the rating if Techcombank’s business position suffers due to strategic missteps or if its pre-diversification risk-adjusted capital ratio falls below 3 per cent.

Vietinbank becomes Diners Club card issuer     

Viet Nam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) on Monday signed a partnership agreement to become the only issuer of Diners Club (DC) cards in Viet Nam.

The agreement helps to expand Vietinbank’s existing acquisition relationship with Diners Club International Ltd, a business unit and wholly-owned subsidiary of Discover Financial Services and a part of the Discover Global Network.

“Our partnership with Diners Club International will help us accelerate our product mix in the market and provide more choice to our customers in Viet Nam. Diners Club will allow us to boost our credit card line-up and enhance our services to our clients by providing global access and solutions that make business and international travel more efficient,” said Phung Duy Khuong, director of retail banking at Vietinbank.

The DC cards have the same issuance process and method of use as international credit and debit cards. In addition to the functions of international credit cards, such as internet payments, point of sale payments, withdrawals and accessing transaction history, cardholders also enjoy many discounts across more than 30 countries at restaurants, hotels and shopping centres.

Diners Club also offers VietinBank and its cardholders, particularly international and business travelers from Viet Nam, a comprehensive new suite of products and features such as access to more than 800 airport lounges and worldwide acceptance.

“Viet Nam is a fast-growing market that is critically important for Diners Club International to further expand our presence in Asia," said Joe Hurley, senior vice president and head of global business development for Discover.

"We are excited to open up the vast Discover Global Network to Vietnamese travelers when they are using their VietinBank Diners Club card while abroad,” Joe added.

Currently, Diners Club International has over 26 million merchant acceptance locations and 1.9 million ATM and cash access locations across 185 countries and territories.

Established in 1988, Vietinbank now provides a nationwide network of 155 branches scattered across 63 provinces and cities in Viet Nam, as well as two branches in the Federal Republic of Germany and one subsidiary bank in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. 

G-bond capital reaches $6.34b but only $108m disbursed     

Capital mobilised from the issue of G-bonds in the first eight months of this year was very positive, however, it was quite a contrast to the disbursement of the capital source.

According to the Ministry of Finance, total capital mobilised from G-bonds in the first eight months of this year reached nearly VND144.1 trillion (US$6.34 billion).

The amount was equal to 78.6 per cent of the annual plan.

However, unlike the success of the G-bond mobilisation, the disbursement of the capital source in the period was very slow. Just VND2.46 trillion ($108.37 million) was disbursed, equal to only 4.9 per cent of the plan.

Due to the slow disbursement of public investment, including G-bond capital, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had to ask authorities to take more drastic measures to rectify the late disbursement of investment capital for public projects.

Thirty ministries and provinces reported the slow disbursement of public investment, mainly due to the lack of proper direction by heads of ministries and localities, in addition to inadequacies of related procedures, slow land clearance and limited capacity of project contractors.

The PM noted that slow disbursement of public investment leads to a bottleneck in national economic growth and rising public debt.

Seminar to bring together sellers, buyers of ICT services

     

The Viet Nam Information and Communication Technology Outlook seminar to be held in HCM City on September 20 will discuss IT use by businesses in the context of Industry 4.0, opportunities and challenges in investment in IT, agriculture 4.0 and other topics.

Vu Anh Tuan, general secretary of the HCM City Computer Association (HCA), said Industry 4.0 would offer opportunities but also challenges for businesses.

Businesses and workers need to be ready to adopt new technologies and transform their mindset and business infrastructure, and enterprises also need to learn about factors related to artificial intelligence and innovation and develop human resources for the future, he said.

Under the theme Businesses and Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenge, the seminar will also feature an exhibition on IT solutions for businesses, he said.

The seminar would be a good opportunity to connect IT services providers with businesses and boost the IT services application market.

Another highlight of the Viet Nam ICT Outlook this year would be a conference titled Smart City 360 Degrees to be held on September 19 by the HCA and the Institute for Computational Science and Technology.

Dr Doan Xuan Huy Minh of the institute said the conference would discuss the difficulties in developing a smart city and solutions and share experiences in creating smart cities.

The 2017 Top ICT Viet Nam awards will be given away at a ceremony on September 19 to honour and encourage ICT companies to enhance their operations and improve their competitiveness to help turn their industry into a key one in Viet Nam and HCM City.

The seminar, to be held at Gem Centre, is expected to attract 1,500 participants, including information and communications officials from HCM City and other cities and provinces, local and foreign ICT experts and business executives. 

Made-in-Việt Nam giant cranes exported to India

The second batch of made-in-Việt Nam ship-to-shore cargo container cranes is headed to India.

Doosan Heavy Industries Việt Nam (Doosan Vina) has shipped three Rail Mounted Quayside Cranes (RMQC) to India as part of its contract to supply 12 RMQC cranes to Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited (BMCTPL).

Yeon In Jung, CEO and general director of Doosan Vina, said this is a historic achievement for Việt Nam and Doosan Vina because these are the largest among the 68 cranes that have been produced in Việt Nam and are also some of the largest cranes made anywhere in the world.

The newly shipped cranes will move to the Jawaharlal Port area of the Port of Nehru, Mumbai, India within two weeks. In June, the first three such cranes were exported to India by Doosan Vina.

The Quảng Ngãi-based company has manufactured and shipped 71 giant cargo container cranes to customers around the world since 2009.

Doosan Vina has been a reliable supplier of power plant boilers for projects such as Mông Dương 2, Vĩnh Tân 4, Sông Hậu 1, Vĩnh Tân 4 Extension and has played an important role in localising the mechanical industry in Việt Nam.

The company employs 2,500 workers at its plants in Dung Quất Economic Zone in Bình Sơn District, and another 2,500 workers at different projects in nationwide.

The company exported goods worth US$300 million in 2015.

Nha Trang welcomes almost 1.2 million foreign visitors in 7 months

More than 1.13 million foreign visitors arrived in the south-central city of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province in the first seven months of this year, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.

China and Russia have the highest number of visitors to NhaTrang (more than 671,000 visitors from China, up 244% and 263,000 others from Russia, up 220% against the same period last year).

According to the Khanh Hoa Relics Preservation Centre, two destinations in Nha Trang City Centre, Ponagar Tower Complex and Hon Chong welcome thousands of visitors every day.

The Department of Tourism reported that tourist arrivals from traditional markets like France, the UK, Germany, Australia, the US and Canada dropped by 8-30% compared to the same period last year.

The number of foreign arrivals, particularly Chinese, to Nha Trang in August slightly reduced compared to June and July.

To cope with the decrease, Tran Son Hai, vice chairman of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee, has directed the Department of Tourism and Tourism Association to take proper measures to recover these markets and attract more visitors from new markets.

The two agencies are completing necessary procedures to open direct flights from Cam Ranh Airport to cities in the Republic of Korea and Japan.

VNR and VNPost shake hands on logistics cooperation

Vietnam Railways (VNR) and Vietnam Post Corporation (VNPost) signed a cooperation agreement on logistics services yesterday. 

Accordingly, the two sides agreed to cooperate in transportation services, postal services, as well as delivery, finance, insurance, goods distribution, and marketing and advertisement services.

In particular, VNPost will prioritise using VNR's railway transport services for its postal packages, while VNR will prioritise VNPost services, such as delivery of packages, documents, and goods at home and abroad in its network.  

The two groups will also consider cooperating in transportation of all-in packages for customers and transportation of goods by rail from Vietnam to China.

VNR chairman Vu Anh Minh emphasised that the cooperation will help the two companies increase their competitiveness. "VNR is making a comprehensive revamp, including investments in railway stations, warehouses, and inland container depots (ICDs), while at the same time developing post-transport services," he added.

VNR is striving to increase operational efficiency by strengthening cooperation with other state-owned corporations.

In July this year, VNR also signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) to strengthen cooperation in investment and business activities in the future.

In April, VNR inked a deal with Saigon Newport Corporation to build two inland container depots (ICDs) in Binh Duong province and Hanoi.

AmCham Vietnam organizes supply chain development event

AmCham Vietnam and its Manufacturing Committee is organizing the 4th Annual Supplier Day today, September 13, to support its manufacturing members and expand the list of qualified local suppliers in Vietnam.

Two hundred participants are expected to attend, including registered manufacturers and suppliers, with support coming from other chambers of commerce, business associations, industrial parks, and local organizations.

It is a great opportunity for both suppliers and manufacturers to build and foster relationships, matching enterprises and manufacturers with potential suppliers in one-on-one meetings to review products and discuss possible cooperation. Mr. Milton Hagler, Chairman of AmCham’s Manufacturing Committee, will also discuss “How to position your supply chain for sustainable success into the future”.

AmCham Vietnam Supply Chain Development is an integral part of support for a robust manufacturing industry for all enterprises. AmCham Supplier Day is expected to bring benefits to both domestic and foreign companies.

This year, it will be open for local suppliers who specialize in consumer goods and US companies who supply products and services to Vietnam.

AmCham previously organized a “Supplier Workshop” on August 4 at the Windsor Plaza hotel, with speakers from Walmart, Social Responsibility Operations Consulting, and Wahl Vietnam sharing their knowledge and experience, which was followed by a robust roundtable discussion between suppliers and customers.

Synnex buys 47% stake in FPT Trading

The FPT Corporation has signed an investment agreement with strategic partner the Synnex Technology International Corporation (Synnex), the largest value-added distribution group for IT, telecom and IC components in Asia and the third-largest in the world, under which Synnex will purchase a 47 per cent holding in FPT Trading.

The transaction puts FPT Trading’s value at over $80 million, with FPT receiving VND932 billion ($41 million) from the deal, including an amount paid by Synnex and FPT Trading’s retained earnings.

“This is the best way for Synnex to enter the lucrative consumer technology, telecom and IC component market in Vietnam,” said Mr. Evan Tu, CEO of Synnex. “FPT Trading is the best distribution company in the country and has a strong track record in building, managing, and operating an effective distribution network over the last 20 years. We are excited to become its strategic shareholder. With Synnex’s expertise and experience in enriching our partners’ product management, channel development, logistics and business operations, we can further advance FPT Trading’s business quality and performance.”

“Synnex is a leading global distribution company that has been a leader in many markets and that has an advanced distribution network,” said Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT Corporation. “We believe that with this investment from Synnex, FPT Trading will have a more effective development strategy going forward.”

FPT Corporation’s Board of Directors has also approved a resolution that allows the sale of a maximum of 5 per cent in FPT Trading’s charter capital to employees.

FPT Trading has more than 20 years of experience in distribution. Since the 1990s, when Vietnam’s ICT market was in its earliest stages, FPT Trading has been a leader in providing ICT products and solutions. It is currently the largest ICT - telecoms distributor in the country, with a network of 2,771 agents in all cities and provinces nationwide. It distributes products from nearly 40 globally-renowned brands to Vietnamese consumers.

Established in 1975, Synnex is a global distribution group with a footprint in 38 countries and territories and has more than 200 offices worldwide, with distribution channels reaching 60 per cent of the global population.

Italy offers grant to help study Vietnam’s railway infrastructure upgrade

The Italian Government will offer gratis aid of 295,000 euros for Vietnam to study the possibility of carrying out two railway infrastructure upgrade projects.

Italian ambassador to Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni announced the grant at a meeting on railway cooperation promotion with Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong in Hanoi on September 11. The diplomat said the amount is aimed to realize a memorandum of understanding on infrastructure and transport cooperation between the two countries signed in November last year.

In specifics, Italy will grant 198,000 euros to conduct a study for upgrading the railway, and another 97,000 euros for a study on the railway system development and modernization project.

The two projects will be implemented by the Italian Railway Corporation and Net Engineering Co Ltd.

A representative of the Italian Railway Corporation said the study would pave the way for promoting full cooperation with Vietnam’s railway sector in capital construction, operation and maintenance. Meanwhile, Net Engineering affirmed that it will propose technical and financial solutions suitable to the current conditions of Vietnam’s railways.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong at the meeting briefed the Italian guests on Vietnam’s 2017 Railway Law which will take effect from July next year, under which the State will be responsible for railway infrastructure development while enterprises are encouraged to provide railway transport services.

Italian contractors should learn about the new railway law to implement the projects successfully, Dong added.

Dong also said his ministry is responsible for finalizing a pre-feasibility study for the North-South express railway project to send to the Government and the National Assembly in 2018.

Vietnam’s railway sector is also supported by financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to enhance its capacity and build new railroads.

In related news, Vietnam and Brazil on September 11 inked a maritime transport agreement on the occasion of the Vietnam visit by Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations Aloysio Nunes Ferreira from September 9 to 12.

The agreement is aimed at supporting cargo transport, thus promoting trade cooperation between the two countries.

Mekong Enterprise II lowers stake in MWG

Mekong Enterprise II Ltd has reduced its ownership at Mobile World Investment Group (MWG) after transferring three million shares at the electronics retail chain operator to other investors, cutting its stake to less than 3%.

According to a notice of the Vietnam Securities Depository, Mekong Enterprise II Ltd has sold MWG shares to a group of investors, including 903,300 shares to Aquila SPC Ltd, one million shares to Wareham Group Ltd, 356,700 shares to IDRIS Ltd, 640,000 shares to Vietnam Holding Limited and 100,000 shares to KB Vietnam Focus Balanced Fund. It has reduced its holding from 11 million shares to eight million shares, or a 2.6% stake.

Norges Bank and Amersham Industries Limited have also transferred around 74,000 and 275,000 shares of FPT Corporation (FPT) to Lloyd George Indian Ocean Master Fund, said the notice.

On the local market, MWG closed the September 11 session at VND111,500 a share, rising 0.9% versus last Friday, when the shares had been sold to Mekong Enterprise II Ltd at VND109,500 each. Mekong Capital, the operator of the fund, is expected to have raised VND328.5 billion from the transaction.

Early this month, Aquila SPC Ltd, Wareham Group Ltd, IDRIS Ltd, Vietnam Holding Limited and KB Vietnam Focus Balanced Fund acquired a total of 936,000 shares of MWG sold by The Genesis Emerging Markets Investment Company and Frontaura Global Frontier Fund LLC.

Launched in 2002 with total capital of US$18.5 million shares, Mekong Enterprise II Ltd is active in the Vietnamese market, focusing on unlisted private companies.

Coal-fired power projects should accompany renewable energy production

Coal-fired thermal power projects with a capacity of 1,000 MW should also be equipped with advanced technologies to generate at least 30MW of renewable energy, said Le Anh Kien, deputy director of the Institute for Tropical Environment.

At a seminar on Vietnam-Taiwan green technology held by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Support Center 2 (SMEDEC 2) in HCMC on September 11, Kien said Vietnam holds high potential to develop wind, solar and biomass power.

However, renewable energy generation has remained insignificant. Only 4 MW of solar power and 2.4 MW of waste-to-energy have been generated. In addition, the country can produce only 2,400 MW of hydropower, 187 MW of biomass energy and 159 MW of wind power compared to the respective potential capacities of 7,000 MW, 2,000 MW and 8,000 MW.

Kien told the Daily that coal-fired thermal power plants can still burn biomass material alongside coal to generate electricity, which has been applied in many other countries.

Vietnam should issue preferential policies to encourage investors to join in renewable energy development projects such as tax exemption for enterprises implementing such projects and for imported equipment. Besides, the Government should have policies to encourage the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) to purchase all power from renewable projects.

He also proposed increasing power prices as the current prices are too low to attract investors. Wind power is being sold at 7.8 U.S. cents per kWh, biomass energy at 5.8 cents, biogas energy 7.18 cents, waste-to-energy 10.05 cents and solar power 9.35 cents.

Samsung continues to look for Vietnam suppliers

The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade is calling on domestic enterprises to participate in an exhibition by Samsung Electronics, which is to take place in HCMC next month to seek suppliers.

Particularly, Samsung is looking for domestic suppliers for 59 kinds of components and accessories that fall into three groups, including motor, tuner and automaton equipment. Enterprises can visit the official website of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade at www.congthuonghcm.vn to download the list of those components.

This is Samsung’s annual activity to seek Vietnamese firms with the potential to become its suppliers. The company will send experts to factories of potential firms for direct inspections to select the most appropriate partners.

Interested enterprises should submit a registration form to the HCMC Center of Supporting Industries Development (CSID) before 4:00 p.m. on September 15, 2017. For further information, contact My Thinh on 0938.006.608 or email: thinhdtm@gmail.com, or Quang Trung on 0888.109.339 or email: csid.showroom@gmail.com.

Bac Ninh to invest VND570 billion in smart city project

The northern province of Bac Ninh is planning to invest VND570 billion (US$25.3 million) in a smart city data center, the provincial government said on its website.

The provincial Department of Information and Communications will serve as the owner of the project, which will be implemented by the National Institute of Information and Communications Strategy under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The investor will develop a data center, cloud computing, cyber security solutions, network and software systems.

The project is aimed at building information technology infrastructure as a platform to develop a smart city so that integrated data can be shared. The center is expected to provide necessary information to support the authorities in management and offer smart services for local people and enterprises.

Bac Ninh authorities have asked the Department of Information and Communications to carefully consider the project for its effective operation. The department will have to choose an appropriate investment form to avoid wastefulness and facilitate center users.

Work begins on second quay of Long An Port

Work on the second quay of Long An International Port commenced last week and is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2018.

The quay will be 210 meters long and capable of handling 50,000 DWT vessels, raising the total length of quays 1 and 2 to 420 meters.

In addition to the quay and a complete container yard, the port’s investor is improving infrastructure facilities and services to serve import and export of rice, fertilizer, animal feed, iron and steel and other commodities.

Long An International Port is located on the bank of the Soai Rap River in Long An Province’s Can Giuoc District. The project has seven phases with total investment capital of over VND9 trillion (some US$400 million) and will be fully in place in 2023.

The port is developed on an area of 147 hectares with seven quays having a combined length of 2.6 kilometers to handle vessels of 30,000 -70,000 DWT, and five domestic wharfs capable of receiving 2,000 DWT ships.

Phase one of the project is capable of handling 4.8 million tons of loose goods and 700,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) a year. The entire port after completion will have a total capacity of 15 million tons of goods and 3.5 million TEUs a year.

Long An International Port is part of the Long An Southeast Asia Port and Trading Center and Urban Area of Can Giuoc District with a total area of 1,935 hectares as approved under Decision No. 362/QD-UBND dated February 02, 2007 of Long An Province People’s Committee.

The whole project requires a total of US$1 billion and is a 50:50 joint venture between Dong Tam Group and VinaCapital Group.

HCMC suspends much-touted bus rapid transit project

The HCMC Department of Transport has announced to suspend the city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line which runs along Vo Van Kiet and Mai Chi Tho avenues and develop a high-quality bus route instead.

According to the department’s study on BRT line’s feasibility and efficiency that was submitted to the HCMC government in late August 2017, the BRT line will only be profitable if it goes through crowded residential areas.

The study shows that the number of passengers using BRT in the first year after completion should be some 17,700 a day, much lower than the previous forecast of 24,700. The number of BRT’s potential customers is not higher than that of ordinary bus routes, but a BRT line requires a huge VND3 trillion (nearly US$144 million).

Therefore, the HCMC Department of Transport proposed developing a high-quality bus route instead, which is more suitable to the city’s current infrastructure.

According to the department, a high-quality bus route requires less capital than a BRT line because it does not need an intelligent transport system (ITS), bus ticketing equipment, modern bus stops, hi-tech buses and other complex facilities.

Besides, a high-quality bus route project might be funded by official development assistance (ODA). With the same amount of capital, it would be more cost-effective to develop a high-quality bus route together with a large-scale operation management center than a costly BRT line.

At a meeting held to present the feasibility study of the BRT line, the Urban-Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority (UCCI) said it had conducted four studies and analyzed the efficiency of the BRT in Hanoi City as well as other cities in South America, Europe and Asia, and found that this transport mode is not suitable to the city’s current conditions.

Wrapping up the meeting, HCMC vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen approved the HCMC Department of Transport’s proposal to suspend the BRT project, and said a high-quality bus route would be more efficient and could be upgraded to a BRT line after 5-10 years.

According to the initial plan, the city’s first BRT line stretches 23 kilometers from An Lac Roundabout in Binh Chanh District through districts Binh Tan, 6, 5 and 1 before ending at Cat Lai Intersection in District 2.

The project is forecast to cost nearly US$144 million, with the World Bank lending US$123 million, and is scheduled to be up and running in late 2019.

Tokyo introduces tourism products in HCMC

Representatives of Tokyo, Japan on September 11 introduced new tourism products and services in entertainment, shopping and hotels, and supporting services to travel companies in HCMC.

In the past, tourists found it difficult to look for hotel rooms in Tokyo, so the city has built new hotels with an additional 5,000 guest rooms this year. The number will surge by 2020 as many hotels are under construction.

Tokyo authorities have also established multilingual call centers and tourism information centers so that visitors to the city can easily look for necessary information or book hotel rooms. Information signs are also set up outside to serve visitors.

Japan is among the most-visited destinations for Vietnamese tourists, especially Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of Vietnamese tourists to Japan hit 233,000 in 2016, four times higher than in 2012. In the first seven months of this year, Japan welcomed 181,900 Vietnamese arrivals, up 28.6% year-on-year.

At the end of March, the Japan Tourism Agency, JNTO and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism signed a memorandum of understanding on tourism promotion. Vietnam expects to welcome one million Japanese visitors by 2018 compared to more than 740,000 arrivals last year, and the number of Vietnamese visitors to Japan is expected to reach 500,000, doubling the number in 2016.

Vietnam-AV Show 2017 to be launched on Friday

Vietnam-AV Show 2017, an exhibition on audiovisual equipment, is set to take place from Friday to Sunday this week at the 272 Conference Center in HCMC.

The exhibition is expected to attract more than 25 distributors of high-end audio equipment, home theater systems, and audiovisual and electronics household appliances.

The three-day event features 23 audiovisual rooms which are designed to deliver audio and visual experience to participants. Besides, there are 10 booths displaying audio and visual products and accessories, according to the organizer, Nam Binh Advertising Co Ltd.

The retailer chain Mai Nguyen Luxury Mobile will team up with Japan’s Sony Corporation to set up soundbar home theaters at the event.

Anh Duy Audio, a distributor of audio equipment, will introduce the latest Callas Diva speakers of Opera, an Italian firm specializing in walnut loudspeakers, together with Denon PMA-2500NE amplifiers.

Paramax, another domestic audio brand, will establish standard karaoke rooms using Japan’s F-2000 series speakers which give participants an opportunity to sing songs with fresh effects.

A speaker distributor, Saigon Audiovisual Private Enterprise, will offer AIA Cinema’s 3D Ascendo Immersive Audio systems.

Culture week celebrates ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary in Mexico

A culture week celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off in Mexico on September 12.

The event was held by the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico and Embassies of ASEAN members in the country, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Victor Giorgana, Head of the Chamber of Deputies' Committee for External Affairs, hailed the significance of the event in boosting the two sides’ relations.

Developing cooperation with ASEAN, especially in trade and investment, is part of Mexico’s market diversification strategy, he added.

At a workshop held as part of the event, ambassadors of ASEAN member states briefed participants on the history of ASEAN, the ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the bloc’s development plans.

Vietnamese Ambassador Le Linh Lan highlighted the central role of ASEAN in the regional architecture in maintaining peace, stability, prosperity in Asia-Pacific.

The culture week also included art performances, a cuisine festival and a photo exhibition.

VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNEVET

Australia extends VN’s wind towers investigation, Tra Vinh will support private economic development, Domestic gold prices fall sharply, FDI inflow into HCM City soars in eight months
 
*
*
*
  Send