BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/11

Vietnamese firm builds housing project in US

HQC USA LLC, a member of Vietnamese property developer Hoang Quan Group, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 40 million USD mixed-use development project at Tacoma city, Washington.

The seven-storey HQC Tacoma is the first overseas project of the Hoang Quan Group.

Covering more than 3,000sq.m on 1210 Tacoma Avenue South, HQC Tacoma has two basement floors for parking with 214 lots, ground-level retail amenities and 166 apartments with area ranging from 41.8sq.m to 95.2sq.m, of which 20 percent will be affordable units.

The News Tribune reported last month that in exchange for providing lower priced apartments, HQC will receive an exemption from property taxes for 12 years on the improved value of the land used for the residential units.

The project is set for completion in the second quarter of 2019.

Hoang Quan Group is developing 36 projects, including 22 social housing projects.

APEC 2017: Vietnam’s joining TPP to benefit export firms

Vietnam’s engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will benefit her export businesses, President and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Foundation Stewart Beck said.

He described Vietnam as a big exporter of farm produce, aquatics, garment-textile, and processed products in an interview with Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Da Nang.

Beck advised Vietnamese firms to build proper strategies to make better access to different markets as well as study their culture and prices.

Trade ministers from 11 member countries of the TPP agreed on core elements of the pact, which is from now on called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), at their meeting within the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang on November 6-11.

They agreed not to make amendments to the original text but freeze the implementation of some clauses to ensure balance and the quality of the document in the new context.

The CPTPP is a comprehensive and high-standard agreement on the basis of balancing interests of its member countries, with regard to their development levels, they said.

The trade pact was officially inked on February 4, 2016 among 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. TPP is a new-generation free trade agreement with high level of commitment covering trade and non-trade issues.

However, after taking the office in January, 2017, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw his country from the pact. The remaining TPP countries are working toward a new deal that can move forward without the US.-

Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK


Vietnamese firm builds housing project in US, Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK, Singapore’s businesses pour 41.7 billion USD into Vietnam, Online Friday 2017 to return in December



Vietnam has so far this year exported 243.2 million USD worth of shrimp to the Republic of Korea (RoK), a surge of 29.8 percent year on year, reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

The RoK is currently the fifth largest market of Vietnamese shrimp after the EU, Japan, China and the US.

In 2007-2016, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the RoK enjoyed strong growth, with the country a stable market where shrimp are sold at a high price.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development views the RoK as a promising market with opportunities for domestic shrimp exporters amidst difficulties in traditional markets such as the US and the EU.

VNPT launches community-based project

The Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) on November 6 launched a community-based business model called Freedoo.

Bui Trung Kien, head of the Freedoo project, said that Freedoo will create a new, dynamic and creative working environment, opening chances for people to earn money when taking part in VNPT’s products and services distribution channels. People will work for VNPT as collaborators.

To join VNPT’s business network, people can access the website, http://freedo.vnpt.vn, and register as collaborators. The collaborators will choose sales promotion programmes on VNPT’s links and share them on their personal pages such as Facebook and Google.

Collaborators will receive a commission for each successful transaction, when customers click on the links they share, Kien said.

People who can apply to be VNPT’s collaborators are diversified, such as office staff, students and anyone who is interested in technology and wants to earn money from mobile devices and computers.

VNPT has designed many products and services with suitable charge packages, and customers can pay via Internet Banking services or using a QR code.

Collaborators can also contribute their opinions on products and services development to receive rewards from VNPT.

Hanoi attractive to investors

Hanoi plans to grant investment licences to several large projects throughout the rest of this year, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

The projects include a 220 million USD solid waste treatment project in Ta Thanh Oai, a 319 million USD waste-to-power plant in Soc Son and a 420 million USD horse racing track.

To be more attractive to investors, the capital city has employed measures to improve its investment and business environment, while talking with enterprises to remove their difficulties.

At the same time, the city has enhanced the use of information technology in business registration and tax payment processes, creating optimal conditions for enterprises. So far, 98 percent of local firms have used online tax declaration.

At an October meeting of the municipal People’s Committee, Chairman of the committee Nguyen Duc Chung asked the Department of Information and Communications to work with the Department of Home Affairs to review administrative reform to simplify all processes and provide online public services.

So far, the city has received 128 projects in public-private partnership, eight of which have been finished worth 13.68 trillion VND and 12 underway ones worth 28.5 billion VND.

It has also issued business licences to 25,160 companies worth 240 trillion VND, up 11 percent and 4 percent respectively, raising the total number of firms in the city to 231,922.

Bac Ninh: A spotlight in drawing FDI

The northern province of Bac Ninh had attracted 1,102 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects by the end of October with total registered capital of 15.8 billion USD, sixth among the 63 cities and provinces nationwide in FDI attraction.

According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Bac Ninh recorded impressive growth in drawing foreign investment with 145 new projects and 103 existing ones with increased capital.

The province came second nationwide after the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City with total newly registered and additional capital of 3.19 billion USD.

Deputy Director of the department Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said major groups such as Samsung from the Republic of Korea, Nokia from Finland, and ABB from Switzerland have invested in the locality.

Among them, Samsung is the biggest overseas investor in Bac Ninh. The company was granted an investment license in 2014 and has increased its capital to 6.5 billion USD, she noted.

The FDI sector made positive contributions to local export growth, budget collection, and employment, Thao said, adding that foreign firms have generated jobs for more than 169,000 workers.

Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Vu Van Chung said Bac Ninh recognised the local achievements in FDI attraction; however, adding that the outcomes have yet to match potential.

He called on local authorities to map out long-term strategies to lure foreign capital while improving the investment climate, administrative procedures, and infrastructure in addition to reforming investment promotion activities and developing high-quality human resources.

Singapore’s businesses pour 41.7 billion USD into Vietnam

Vietnam attracted more than 1,900 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from Singaporean businesses in January-October, which were valued at 41.7 billion USD.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, a Singaporean project has average capital of 21.6 million USD, above the foreign project average in Vietnam of 12.9 million USD.

Singapore is investing in 18 out of the 21 economic sectors in Vietnam, including the manufacturing and processing industry with 548 projects worth nearly 18 billion USD, making up 44 percent of the country’s total investment in Vietnam.

Singapore has also invested in 48 out of the 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam. The southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City drew the biggest number of Singaporean projects (992) with total registered capital of 10.3 billion USD, followed by Hanoi capital (310 projects).

Speaking at a recent ministerial meeting on connecting Vietnam and Singapore’s economy, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said one of the highlights of Singapore’s FDI in Vietnam is the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP).

So far, the VSIP Group has invested in eight projects in Vietnam, including three in the southern province of Binh Duong, three in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Hai Phong and Hai Duong, and two in the central provinces of Quang Ngai and Nghe An.

With the hope of expanding the VSIP model, Singapore’s Sembcorp Development group is preparing to build a similar industrial park in the north-central province of Quang Tri.

The Vietnamese Government has approved the project and directed the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the provincial People’s Committee to work with the Singaporean group to carry out the project.

VSIPs in Vietnam have lured more than 720 investors from 30 countries and territories with total investment of nearly 10 billion USD. Businesses at VSIPs also earned 32 billion USD from exports and generated jobs for about 200,000 workers.

Vietnam’s exports likely to hit 210 billion USD this year

Vietnam’s exports are likely to hit 210 billion USD this year, up 18.9 percent, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast. 

Exports hit 19.4 billion USD in October, up 0.3 percent month-on-month, of which 5.2 billion USD was contributed by the domestic economic sector, up 2.4 percent while the remaining was from the foreign-invested sector, down 0.4 percent. 

Ten-month export revenue soared 20.7 percent annually to 173.7 billion USD, surpassing the MoIT’s forecast and raising the trade surplus to 1.23 billion USD. 

A representative from the MoIT’s Export-Import Agency attributed the growth to manufacturing expansion in the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, notably Samsung Display project. 

Statistics from the agency showed that FDI enterprises, including crude oil, brought home 125.5 billion USD in ten months this year, a 22.1 percent rise. Meanwhile, domestic businesses raked in 48.2 billion USD, up 17.2 percent. 

Up to 5.05 million tonnes of rice were shipped abroad in the period, earning 2.25 billion USD, up 22.3 percent in volume and 21.1 percent in value. Vietnam also signed a number of rice export contracts in the Philippines, China and Bangladesh. 

Apart from agro-forestry-fisheries, exports of minerals and processed industrial products also hiked 29.7 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively. 

Ten-month imports increased by 22 percent year-on-year to 172.5 billion USD.

Online Friday 2017 to return in December

Online Friday, the biggest annual event for e-commerce businesses and consumers, will return on the first Friday of December this year with a series of huge discounts. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency said consumers will be able to shop and interact with enterprises via online and offline events. 

Outstanding exhibitors include Adayroi, Lazada, Shopee, Nagakawa, Sunhouse, FPT, Anbico, Sendo, Badasa, Leflair. Banks and delivery firms will also be a part of the event. 

The organising board will build strict registration process and enhance inspections to ensure product quality. 

Last year, the event featured more than 3,000 businesses with 200,000 discounted products.

Lazada launches online shopping promotion

Giant online shopping platform Lazada.vn said it would start its “online shopping revolution” on November 9.

Organised in the country for the sixth consecutive year, the event this year is called “Mua Sao Bang” (A Meteor Shower of Sales) with huge discounts on the peak sales days of November 9, 10 and 11.

On these three days, Lazada will be applying free delivery policies nationwide, the company said.

Under the programme, the company will co-operate with many famous brands like Samsung, Abbott, Huggies, Philips, Comet, Rohto, Unilever, Biti’s, Kangaroo and Bosch to offer discounts of up to 50 percent.

Alexandre Dardy, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, said the company had decided to choose many leading brands since the quality of products for all sales in the online revolution would be given priority.

The online revolution is one of the biggest shopping online events in Southeast Asia. It has been organised since 2012.

This year, the event will be organised in six countries where Lazada is operating, bringing millions of products ranging from fashion to electronic products.

The event is also a chance for merchants to increase their sales at the year-end shopping season. Last year in Vietnam, the event received two million orders on the first day.

Int’l water, energy exhibitions open in HCM City

Vietnam’s leading international water supply, sanitation, water resources and purification event, Vietwater, and Vietnam's leading renewable energy and energy efficiency exhibition, RE & EE Vietnam, opened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8.

More than 480 companies from 38 countries and territories specialising in the water and the energy industry are showcasing their latest technologies, solutions and innovations at the combined events.

According to the organising board, the sequence of events will open opportunities to exchange and bolster collaboration among experts, investors, managers, international enterprises and local partners.

Eliane van Doorn, Business Development Director (ASEAN Business), UBM Asia, the organiser of Vietwater, said: “We continue to build an international business platform for 14,000 participants to connect, exchange and share their industry expertise.

“The exhibition features 14 international pavilions, displaying the latest technological updates in the water industry.”

Vietwater features a “Water Innovation” gallery with the latest technologies and solutions to assist the development of water technologies in Vietnam.

Within the framework of the exhibitions, to last until November 10, there will be several seminars to address the industries’ issues, especially pragmatic solutions in the Mekong Delta, the Central region and the Central Highlands which are all affected by climate change.

Huynh Kinh Tuoc, Director of the Energy Conservation Centre in Ho Chi Minh City said Vietnam has devised its renewable energy development strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2050, which affirms the development and use of renewable energy sources will contribute to realising durable environmental and green economic development targets. 

He added Vietnam is a potential market for local and foreign enterprises to invest and develop renewable energy and energy saving.

AIIB wants to help Da Nang develop infrastructure

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) wants to boost cooperation in infrastructure investment with Da Nang so as to help promote the development of the central city of Vietnam, AIIB President Jin Liqun told local officials on November 8.

Talking to Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia, the AIIB leader, who was in Da Nang to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, said rapid urbanisation and strong development in many aspects have required infrastructure to be expanded in Da Nang.

Compared to many other localities, Da Nang’s infrastructure has been built in a relatively methodological and synchronous manner. However, problems will soon arise and local advantages and beauty will be affected if infrastructure is not further upgraded, he said.

Jin noted that AIIB is interested in major projects of Da Nang because of their feasibility and the city’s sound management of previous loans.

Aside from big transport projects, the bank is also ready to invest in electricity and water supply projects and developing the western area of Da Nang if the city has demand, he added.

Introducing local achievements, Secretary Nghia highlighted the synchronous construction of infrastructure, rapid urbanization and socio-economic development of Da Nang over the last two decades.

He thanked the AIIB President’s attention to local infrastructure projects, noting that Da Nang will soon provide information about those projects so as to enhance development cooperation.

On November 7, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Huynh Duc Tho met with World Economic Forum (WEF) Managing Director Philipp Rösler, who was also taking part in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the city.

Rösler said he is impressed with Da Nang’s accomplishments, especially in infrastructure development and tourism growth, congratulating the city on being chosen as the venue for the Week.

Chairman Tho asked the WEF Managing Director to connect international businesses who are interested in investing in the city’s prioritised areas like information technology, high technology, health care, education, tourism and logistics.

He proposed his guest consider choosing his city to hold the upcoming WEF on East Asia.

Rösler valued the proposal, noting that he and the WEF managing board will consider this idea with reference to the Vietnamese Government. He added Da Nang is suitable for organising this important event.

Vietnamese, Chinese deals hit 60 billion VND at int’l trade fair

The Vietnam – China international trade fair in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son from November 2-8 attracted nearly 8,000 visitors per day and earned over 50 billion VND (2.17 million USD). 

About 60 Vietnamese and foreign exhibitors formed networking and introduced products, and half of them signed deals worth roughly 60 billion VND. 

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade and deputy head of the organising board Nguyen Quoc Hai said it is the largest-ever fair of its kind with the best quality products on display. 

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee and head of the organising board Nguyen Cong Truong said the annual event is held alternately in Lang Son and China’s Guangxi province. 

The fair featured more than 320 stalls, 30 of which were by foreign and Chinese exhibitors. 

The organising board also arranged two stalls showcasing fake and genuine products, making it easier for consumers to differentiate between them. 

The event is expected to raise mutual understanding and tighten friendship between businesses and people from Vietnam and China, and from Lang Son and Guangxi in particular.

VPBank posts 246.8 million USD pre-tax profit

Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) posted a pre-tax profit of 5.6 trillion VND (246.8 million USD) in the first nine months of the year, a 79 percent year-on-year increase and reaching the top three of country’s banks following Vietcombank and Vietinbank.

VPBank’s third-quarter business results included impressive growth in profit, total assets, equity, and capital adequacy ratio, showing that the bank is likely to reach its ambitious 7.2 trillion VND (317 million USD) profit target by year’s end.

Its profits have been mainly generated from total operating income, which increased by 48 percent compared with the same period last year and reached 17.5 trillion VND (771 million USD). Net interest and similar income in the first nine months was 14.9 trillion VND (656 million USD), up 41 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, operating expenses grew at a rate of only 33 percent, much below the growth rate of total operating income. The non-performing loans ratio of the bank remained at 2.6 percent.

Vietnam Airlines wins regional award

Vietnam Airlines was awarded the prestigious “CAPA Asia Pacific Airline of the Year” at the 2017 CAPA Asia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit held in Singapore on November 8.

This is the first time the national carrier has won the award for its rapid growth, high level of profitability and successful partial privatisation.

The award is given to the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically during the year, had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry and provided a benchmark for others to follow.

The airline's profit reached 114 million USD in 2016 and exceeded 100 million USD in the first three quarters of 2017.

Vietnam Airlines completed listing shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange under stock code HVN in January 2017, becoming one of the first and largest State-owned airlines in Vietnam to be partially equitised.

In addition to the public float, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Holdings acquired 8.77 percent stake in Vietnam Airlines in 2016 as part of a new strategic partnership.

Malaysian firm to partner with Vietnam

MPOS Vietnam Technology Joint Stock Company and Malaysia’s payment service provider GHL Systems Berhad  signed a strategic cooperation agreement on electronic payments in Hanoi on November 8.

The agreement will open up opportunities for vigorous development of electronic payments in Vietnam and Southeast Asia for MPOS. It also marked GHL’s first step to enter the Vietnamese market.

Nguyen Huu Tuat, general director of MPOS Vietnam, said as the only mobile payment service provider in Vietnam, he strongly believes in the potential of this strategic partnership.

Through GHL, MPOS will expand its business activities in all other markets in the region, exporting payment technology developed by the Vietnamese people, aiming to become the "Square” of Southeast Asia, he added.

Shimon Loh, GHL Systems Berhad’s vice chairman, said GHL believes Vietnam has key factors for the explosive growth of electronic payments.

The strengths of both companies will enhance MPOS’s position in the field of electronic payment in Vietnam and ASEAN, he noted.

This strategic partnership is complemented by ACTIS, a 13 billion USD investment fund in Fintech and also the largest shareholder in GHL, he said.

Vietnam’s electronic payment market is growing significantly with more than 112 million cards issued by 40 financial institutions, however, there are only some 300,000 devices accepting payment.

Therefore, the next strategy of MPOS and GHL is strongly promoting the development of mobile and internet based payment methods, including QR-Code and NFC.

The cooperation between MPOS and GHL will open a new direction in the development strategy of the two sides, bringing more benefits to card accepting units and customers, promoting the market’s development for electronic payment not only in Vietnam, but throughout Southeast Asia.

Established in 2014, MPOS is currently the first and the only Vietnamese firm that is able to replace the traditional heavy-duty card acceptors with compact card readers connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth.

MPOS is cooperating with 3,000 business units at more than 7,000 points accepting payment cards, helping to increase sales and profits through the solution "interest-free installment payments."

Meanwhile, GHL Systems Berhad is a leading payment service provider in ASEAN, operating in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia markets. GHL manages more than 160,000 merchants in ASEAN accepting credit card and debit card payments, prepaid payments, electronic wallets, mobile top-ups as and fee-collecting services.

Vietjet Air offers half million tickets from 0 VND

Budget carrier Vietjet Air will offer half a million tickets from 0 VND, excluding taxes and fees, this November.

The promotional tickets will be available on the airline’s official website www.vietjetair.com from November 8-10 and November 14-16.

The special offers are applicable to all international flights connecting Vietnam and Seoul and Busan of the Republic of Korea; Hong Kong; Gaosyong, Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan of Taiwan (China); Singapore; Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai of Thailand; Yangon of Myanmar; and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap of Cambodia for travel from December 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.

The offers will be subject to travel from December 12 for the HCM City – Chiang Mai route and from December 15 for the HCM City – Phuket route.

Vietnam, China bolster trade ties

Vietnam’s trade balance with China is expected to improve after enterprises from the two nations inked investment contracts at a trade connection conference in Hanoi on November 8. 

The event, held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and China’s Foreign Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce, was attended by representatives from sectors, departments, associations and more than 100 import-export enterprises from the two countries.

Bui Huy Son, Head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, said that Vietnam-China trade ties have been growing and China is one of the biggest trade partners of Vietnam.

Breakthroughs have been made in two-way trade which surpassed targets set by leaders of both nations, he said, noting that with similarities in culture and geographical location, China is always a top market for Vietnam.

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, bilateral trade revenue reached 71.9 billion USD in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 percent. Vietnam exported 21.97 billion USD worth of products to China while spending 49.93 billion USD on Chinese goods.

By the end of September, Vietnam had earned 22.2 billion USD from exports to the neighbouring country, surging 62.2 percent from the same time last year. Its imports from China increased 15.9 percent to 41.7 billion USD.

Statistics from the China’s General Administration of Customs showed that Vietnam has risen to become largest trade partner of China in ASEAN and its ninth largest in the world.

Notably, with China’s foreign trade and imports from ASEAN falling this year, the value of the country’s purchases from Vietnam has continued to grow by double digits.

Zhi Luxun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade, said that both sides pose huge trade cooperation potential as they enjoy sound bilateral ties.

Visits made by high-ranking Vietnamese and Chinese leaders over the years together with joint statements and cooperative documents are evidence of the opportunities to bolster investment and business cooperation between the two countries.

First Africa-ASEAN Business Expo opens in South Africa

The first Africa – ASEAN Business Expo 2017 (AABE 2017) took place in Johannesburg city, South Africa from November 6-8, with hundreds of firms from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and African countries in attendance. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, South African Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said the event, initiated by the African Union and the ASEAN, is a step forward in promoting economic and trade integration between Africa and ASEAN. 

At the event, the Vietnamese embassy in South Africa opened a stall showcasing farm produce, apparel, handicrafts, food processing and household appliances. 

Also on the occasion, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted the Africa – ASEAN Business Forum (AABF). 

Speaking at the AABF, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung said with average growth of more than 6.6 percent from 1986-2016, Vietnam is a fast-growing economy. After 24 years of reforms and integration into the global economy, Vietnam became a middle-income country in 2016 when GDP per capita neared 2,000 USD. 

From 1995-2015, Vietnam’s trade value increased 30-fold, reaching 333.06 billion USD last year, up 6.4 percent year-on-year. Exports rose 8.5 percent to 167.83 billion USD while imports reached 165.23 billion USD, up 4.3 percent. 

Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa topped 1.2 billion USD last year. 

The second AABE is scheduled for 2018 in Singapore.

APEC 2017: Russia backs FTAAP establishment

Russia supports the formation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), President Vladimir Putin affirmed in an article posted on the Kremlin’s website on November 8 on the threshold of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang city. 

Russia believes that the FTAAP’s establishment represents an opportunity for the country to strengthen its position in rapidly growing markets in Asia-Pacific, Putin wrote.

He noted that over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia’s foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31 percent, and from 17 to 24 percent in exports.

According to him, the project to create the FTAAP should be “carried out with due account of the experience gained from implementing key integration formats in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia, including the Eurasian Economic Union, in which Russia cooperates with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan”.

This union has been developing dynamically, he affirmed, adding that it is eager to build relations with all countries and associations.

Vietnam, the host of this year’s forum, was the first state to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

With the title “The 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang: Together Towards Prosperity and Harmonious Development”, the Russian leader’s article also stressed the importance of effective cooperation to support innovation.

Putin suggested starting consultations within APEC on international information security and protection of computer software.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

The APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which runs in Da Nang city from November 10-11, is the most important external event of Vietnam this year, with the participation of leaders from the 21 member economies.

Ha Nam lures investment in industrial parks

The northern province of Ha Nam has so far this year attracted 25 investment projects, raising the total number of valid investment projects to 281, according to Head of the Ha Nam province Industrial Park (IP) Management Board Tran Xuan Duong.

They include 14 domestic and 11 foreign investment projects, with total newly-registered capital of nearly 1.98 trillion VND (87.12 million USD), and added capital of 144 million USD.

The province aims to lure between seven and ten additional projects in the rest of the year.

To lure more investment to IPs, the province has urged investors to accelerate land clearance and complete their facilities, activities which the provincial IP management board will assist them in performing.

The locality also helps investors complete administrative procedures quickly and recruit employees, while strengthening their management of environment, human resources and food safety.

The management board also reviews delayed and ineffective projects while holding events with trade promotion agencies, such as the Investment Promotion Centre – North Vietnam, the Japan External Trade Organization, and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency to lure more investors to local IPs.

By 2020, Ha Nam plans to develop eight concentrated IPs. Six of them are under construction, namely Dong Van I, Dong Van II, Chau Son, Hoa Mac, Dong Van III, and Dong Van IV, on a total area of nearly 1,212 hectares.

Expo showcases Korean cultural products in HCM City

More than 100 businesses from the Republic of Korea and other nations are displaying their products at the Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo (KBEE) that began in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8.

The event, part of activities to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties (December 22), is hosted by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

Several Vietnam-RoK trade promotion events will take place during the three-day event. Visitors  will have a chance to see modern cosmetic products and other household products.

Other activities promoting cultural, economic, education exchanges will be held, including a workshop on RoK-Vietnam education technology, a job fair, and art performances.

Addressing the opening ceremony, KOTRA Chairman and CEO Kim Jae Hong said the RoK is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam and the biggest foreign investor in the country, adding that cultural exchanges have enhanced mutual understanding between the two nations.

RoK enterprises want to seek Vietnamese partners during the exhibition, he said, expressing hope that the event help firms explore the ASEAN market.

The KBEE started in Thailand in 2010 and has been held in nations across the world, including France, the UK, Japan, and China. 

Mineral sector posts low growth rate

The growth rate of the mineral exploitation sector in the first 10 months of the year posted a decline of 7.4 per cent from the same period last year.

The information was revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry said there was no change in coal output in the January-October period. Coal output was estimated at 31.5 million tonnes, representing 0.4 per cent year-on-year reduction, of which output of the Việt Nam National Coal and Minerals Group (Vinacomin) was 26.9 million tonnes, reducing 1.2 per cent from the corresponding period last year.

The low growth rate of the coal sector was mainly because demand for coal for electricity and cement production sharply declined. It is expected that coal output for the whole year will be 39 million tonnes.

The ministry added that Vinacomin’s coal inventory by the end of last month was some nine million tonnes, reducing 800,000 tonnes from the previous month.

Over 200 businesses to join VietFood & Beverage – ProPack 2017 in Hanoi

More than 200 domestic and foreign businesses will participate in the VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines (VietFood & Beverage – ProPack) international exhibition 2017, which is scheduled to take place in Hanoi from November 8-11.

The annual event held by the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Joint Stock Company (Vinexad) offers a wide range of products such as vegetables, seafood, farm produce, materials for food, beverages and confectionary, alcoholic drinks, fruit juice, tea, coffee, food packaging and preserving equipment, among others.

Apart from products from traditional markets such as Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, and Indonesia, the exhibition will provide new products from European markets like Denmark, Bulgaria and Greece. 

The food and beverage market is expected to see potential for further development in the 2017-2018 period, according to the Vietnam Report Company (VNR).

The Business Monitor International (BMI) forecast that the growth rate of the sector would be at 10.9 percent in the 2017-2019 period thanks to people’s increasing income and a trend of using high value products.

The latest figures from the General Statistics Office showed that food production and processing in the first nine months of the year rose by 6.6 percent, while that of the beverage sector was 5 percent higher than the same period last year.

With a population of more than 90 million and an increasing number of tourists, the food and beverage industry has been getting the attention of both local and foreign investors.

In the time to come, the divestment of some leading State-owed enterprises in the sector such as Vinamilk, Sabeco and Habeco would offer opportunities for foreign businesses to enter the potential market, while creating fierce competition, VNR said.

Transport firms seek easier FC driver licensing

The HCMC Goods Transport Association has proposed the Ministry of Transport reduce the number of years of driving experience from three to one for drivers to take FC-class license tests due to a severe shortage of container truck drivers.

Bui Van Quan, chairman of the association, said trucking firms earlier sent their proposal to the ministry but their proposal was rejected. The ministry reasoned that it had issued 18,870 FC-class driving licenses while the number of registered container trucks is 17,315, meaning there are more licensed drivers than registered container trucks.

The association said these numbers did not reflect the reality as many FC-class drivers have quit their jobs and some others have moved to other cities and provinces. In addition, long-haul transport companies need two drivers for each container truck.

The association said the ministry could improve training programs and extend training time for drivers to take tests to get FC licenses.

10M agri-exports reach $29.76bn

Agri-product export turnover in the first ten months of this year reached $29.76 billion, an increase of 12.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

Vietnam also spent $22.9 billion importing agri-products during the period. It therefore recorded a surplus of $6.86 billion in the agriculture sector, contributing to a total trade surplus of $1.23 billion.

Seafood still leads the way, with $6.73 billion in export value, followed by wood and wooden products with $6.15 billion.

Cashew nuts followed, with $2.87 billion. Vegetables totaled $2.48 billion, coffee $2.69 billion, rice $2.25 billion, rubber $1.07 billion, and pepper $1.02 billion.

China remains the largest market of Vietnam’s agri-product exports, for example accounting for 39.3 per cent of its rice exports. Of total rubber export of $1.07 billion, over $1 billion went to China.    

China also accounts for 76 per cent of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports, with growth of 53 per cent. In products such as cashew nuts, seafood, and wood and wooden products, China receives between 9 and 14 per cent.

Input materials also depend on China. Vietnam imported $1.02 billion worth of fertilizer in the first ten months, nearly 40 per cent of which came from China, while it accounted for 54 per cent of pesticide imports worth $805 million.

Fruit and vegetables remain among the fastest-growing exports, with most others (excluding rubber) seeing growth of less than 20 per cent. Fruit and vegetable exports for the year as a whole are forecast to exceed the $3-billion mark for the first time. 

Exports of fruit and vegetables in the first half reached $1.67 billion, an increase of 44.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

FLC Faros expects to exceed 2017 profit targets

The FLC Faros Construction JSC (ROS) expects to exceed its 2017 profit target shortly and will pay a dividend of 10-12 per cent, according to its latest report.

The accounting of revenue and profit has irregular characters, according to the report, and depends on the implementation process. This is why ROS is upbeat about meeting its profit targets for 2017 ahead of schedule, even though it recorded after-tax profit of just VND208 billion ($9.15 million) in the first nine months of the year compared to the annual plan of VND580 billion ($25.7 million).

The value of contracts and projects the company has signed and carried out has reached VND20.11 trillion ($885.3 million). Among its large-scale deals are the Quang Binh golf, villa and high-end entertainment project worth VND5.58 trillion ($248 million), and the second phase of the FLC Vinh Phuc project worth VND1.41 trillion ($62.6 million).

The company expects to record revenue of a combined VND3.5 trillion ($155.5 million) from 12 major projects on which it is focused. It is speeding up handover at a wide range of projects in the 2017-2018 period, such as FLC Garden City, FLC Twin Towers, and the FLC Ha Long complex.

FLC Faros is currently carrying out work at the GAMI Group-invested Hoi An Cultural Impression theme park, which boasts major facilities such as a three-story open-air theater with 3,400 seats, roads and infrastructure surrounding the island, service and office areas, parking lots, and a front gate. With proven experience and outstanding capacity, FLC Faros is confident it will finish construction in just nine months and hand it over within this year.

With such a large volume of contracts, FLC Faros says that it has already guaranteed orders for the next five years and can make full use of its existing resources.

After MV Index Solutions announced its review for the second quarter of 2017, ROS was acquired by the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF and became one of the biggest constituents of the fund’s portfolio.

The Market Vectors Vietnam ETF bought around 4.1 million shares in ROS between June 10 and 17 at an adjusted price of VND85,000 ($3.7) apiece on average. As at October 24, the investment had returned 124 per cent after four months.

Besides the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF, the db x-trackers FTSE Vietnam UCITS ETF has purchased over 3 million shares of ROS since its first-quarter review in March 2017 at an average price of VND156,000 ($6.9) each. The fund continued to buying ROS and lifted the holding during the two consequent quarterly reviews in June and September. In total, the fund is holding nearly 4 million ROS shares, acquired at an average price of VND131,000 ($5.8) each. The shares have returned 45.8 per cent.

Even before the FTSE Vietnam UCITS ETF, iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF - a fund that is investing in around 100 stocks in frontier markets across the globe with a combined value of $589 million - had added ROS to its basket, since February 10.

Southeast Asian developers growing rapidly on Google Play

Southeast Asian app developers have been growing their revenue by more than 150 per cent year-on-year on the Google Play platform, Google announced at the third annual invitation-only event for top app and games developers from Southeast Asia, Playtime South East Asia 2017, held in Singapore on November 2.

Over 250 partners registered to attend the event, where leading developers from across Southeast Asia met with Google Play leaders and learned of best practices for building global businesses on Android and Google Play.

A prominent app developer from Vietnam was at the Google PlayTime event. Amanotes is among the Top 15 Android app developers in the US, having the fifth-largest game apps in the US and leading in 92 other countries around the world. It uses mobile technology to give users the experience of playing a musical instrument and feeling the rhythm.

Mr. James Sanders, Regional Director, Google Play Asia Pacific, opened the media session at Playtime South East Asia. He gave an overview of Google’s commitment to growing the developer’s ecosystem in the region and how it is increasingly seeing leading games developers coming out of Southeast Asia and having an impact not only within their local economies but regionally and globally. “Southeast Asian developers’ revenues are now growing at a good speed of more than 150 per cent year-on-year, and we are really proud to see our partners thrive,” he said.

With consumers increasingly spending more time on apps, the desire for content grows, making the future bright for Southeast Asian developers. The region is rapidly expanding as a hotbed of digital innovation, and who better to talk about this than developers.

Mr. Kunal Soni, Head of Business Development at Google Play for South East Asia, moderated a panel of developers from across the region. Developers from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand joined him on stage to explain exactly how they are using Google Play tools to “Go Global” and build successful businesses.

Playtime South East Asia 2017 reinforces Google’s commitment to growing the developer ecosystem in the region. It was a great opportunity to celebrate developers, bring the community together, and let the world know the incredible innovations coming out of the region.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome, and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world.

Japanese snack producer makes Vietnam debut

Japanese snack food manufacturer Koike-yaInc has made its Vietnam debut by establishing a plant in the southern province of Dong Nai.

The plant at the Long Duc Industrial Parkis the first of Koike-ya abroad though its products are present in many foreign markets like China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada and the US.

A leader of Koike-ya said the plant costs US$8.7 million. Its products will be for local customers aged from 15 to 29 in the short run.

Vietnam is a fast-growing market, so Koike-ya decided to set up shop in the country. The snack producer aims for two billion yen in revenue after two years of operation.

Kenji Mikami, general director of Koike-ya Vietnam, said the plant will be equipped with modern production technology. It will bring out three main kinds of products made from potato, corn and shrimp.

Many snack manufacturers like the Republic of Korea’s Orion Confectionery Co Ltd, the Philippines’ Liwayway Holdings Co Ltd and the US’s PepsiCo have already set up shop in Vietnam.

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

Vietnamese firm builds housing project in US, Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK, Singapore’s businesses pour 41.7 billion USD into Vietnam, Online Friday 2017 to return in December
 
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