BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/12
Binh Duong’s industrial development index sees slight drop



The industry development index of the southern province of Binh Duong stood at 10.1 percent in 2016, down 0.2 percent year-on-year, reported the provincial Department of Industry and Trade. 

Amid difficulties and challenges, local enterprises had to work hard and actively organised trade promotion activities to maintain business and stable growth. 

In 2016, owners of industrial parks (IP) invested over 300 billion VND (13.2 million USD) in building technical infrastructure systems, the department said, adding that local IPs attracted over 1.6 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI), accounting for 85.8 percent of the total investment flow in the province.

The export value of enterprises operating in IPs and industrial clusters reached 11.8 billion USD, while their revenues hit 20 billion USD.

Sectors recorded the highest growth rates included water supply and wastewater treatment with 17.3 percent; electricity production and distribution, 13.3 percent; and mining industry, 10.4 percent. 

Meanwhile, the province’s key export staples such as electric equipment, leather products, and garment-textiles maintained stable growth rates, with respective rises of 18.8 percent, 8.6 percent and 6.7 percent. 

The local authorities approved projects to expand the Bau Bang and Cay Truong IPs, which are hoped to lure more investment and promote service and urban development in the locality.

Binh Duong is striving to increase its GDP growth rate to 13.3 percent in 2020 and turning itself into a key industrial centre, which will focus on developing the supporting industries, generating jobs for about 45,000 labourers. 

In 2017, the province will boost export to developing and regional countries along with expanding spearhead industrial sectors such electricity, electronics, telecommunications, mechanical engineering, chemical and processing industry, the department said. 

Binh Duong will give priority to producing high-tech and environmentally friendly products and those with high-added value.

Binh Duong’s export earnings reach 24.3 billion USD

The southern province of Binh Duong earned more than 24.3 billion USD from exports in 2016, up 16.4 percent from the previous year and making up 99.3 percent of the annual target.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Commerce, domestic enterprises brought home 4.4 billion USD (up 11.2 percent) from exports, while foreign-invested firms raked in over 19.9 billion USD (up 17.6 percent).

The province’s staples, such as wooden products, textiles and garments, leather and footwear, have maintained their export growth, while rubber latex has bounced back in the last months of this year.

Nine out of 23 product groups have enjoyed rises of 10 percent upwards in export turnover. Meanwhile, export earnings of coffee and agricultural products, which dropped in 2015, have increased by 7 percent this year.

Binh Duong has successfully maintained its traditional export markets such as the US, the UK, Japan and ASEAN, with export orders going up by 5 – 10 percent as compared to 2015.

In 2017, Binh Duong expects to record a year-on-year growth rate of 15.7 percent in its export value by increasing trade promotions, expanding markets and offering incentives to businesses while diversifying export goods.

Experts welcome shift in credit policy for hi-tech agriculture

Experts have welcomed a shift in credit policy for hi-tech agriculture to include farmers and enterprises instead of focusing on hi-tech agricultural parks.

However, they warn that without detailed implementation instructions, the move will not be effective.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has set aside a credit package of 50-60 trillion VND (2.2-2.6 billion USD) to encourage local farmers and enterprises to develop hi-tech agriculture.

Several experts and representatives of enterprises spoke to the Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Today Countryside) newspaper this week about the new policy.

Do Ha Nam, General Director of Intimex Import-Export Joint Stock Company in HCM City, said agriculture firms need significant working capital, but accessing this has proved difficult.

“There must be large credit packages with easy, simple borrowing conditions so that agriculture firms like Intimex are able to use them,” he said.

“Vietnamese agriculture must be treated on par with other industries,” he said.

To ensure efficiency, performance conditions can be set, he said.

For instance, individuals or units should be able to create production values of at least 50 million VND per hectare to get permission to invest in the sector, he added.

Tran Ba Duong, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of the Truong Hai Automobile Company, which is interested in agriculture, said the sector cannot grow without applying the “industry in agriculture” model.

Capital access, organizational and management skills are needed for hi-tech agriculture to grow, he said.

“Harvesting, transportation and post-harvest processes currently suffer huge losses and low quality of Vietnamese farm produce,” Duong said, suggesting that a post-harvest industrial complex be set for rice production.

Vo Quan Huy, Director of the Huy Long An Company in Long An Province, said one of the biggest difficulties faced by the Vietnamese farmer is mortgage. They are unable to mortgage their produce, factories and farms as collateral, according to the regulation, he said, adding that the amount of money they can borrow is a fraction of real demand.

“In terms of the 50 trillion VND credit package for agriculture, the State Bank of Vietnam must ‘open its arms’ to enterprises and help them with easier access to larger loans.”

The State Bank of Vietnam has lowered interest rates for agriculture loans over the past several years.

Accordingly, the rate dropped from 20 percent per year in 2011, to 12 percent per year in 2013. This year the rate stands at the lowest ever - 6.5 to 8 percent per year.

Since last month, the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (Agribank) has been preparing 50 trillion VND to serve individuals, households, collectives and enterprises producing hygienic, safe food.

Such individuals and other entities can get loans at interest rates of zero to 1.5 per cent per year.

The aim is to develop a green agriculture sector that provides consumers with high-quality, safe farm produce for consumers.

Three years ago, the State Bank of Vietnam assigned Agribank to lend loans on a pilot basis to enterprises applying advanced technology in agriculture. So far 28 enterprises with 31 projects in more than 22 provinces and cities have been selected to participate in the programme.

Agribank general director Tiet Van Thanh said that the bank has implemented seven credit policies and one national programme for developing new rural areas. Farmers get priority for loans at lower interest rates, he said.

A representative of the Bac A Joint Stock Commercial Bank said that hi-tech agriculture projects need huge capital over prolonged implementation periods, recouping investment takes a long time, profits can be low and there are various risks involved.

“Very few enterprises will be ready to invest in agriculture if there are no supportive mechanisms like more flexible capital policies,” he said.

He said that banks should raise lending to agriculture from the current 18-20 percent to over 30 percent of their credit portfolio.

He also suggested stepping up co-operation among commercial banks in offering loans for big agriculture projects, especially hi-tech ones.

150 businesses join industry-agro-trade fair in Binh Thuan

As many as 150 domestic businesses are displaying various products at over 300 pavilions of at an industry-agriculture-trade fair which opened in the central province of Binh Thuan on December 24.

Most of the enterprises came from Dong Nai, Binh Dinh, Ninh Thuan, Tay Ninh and Khanh Hoa provinces and Ho Chi Minh City.

Visitors to the fair can buy foods, processing foodstuffs, garments, jewelry, cosmetics, footwear, household utensils, electronic commodities, home decorations, and ornamental plants.

A number of promotion programmes are launched to help customers buy products at the best prices.

The trade fair, which will run until January 1 next year, offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to introduce new products and promote Vietnamese brand names.

It also enables participants to seek trade partners and expand markets.

Other activities include art exchanges and games.

SOE divestment returns $300 million to State coffer
     
State-owned groups and enterprises have brought back VND6.84 trillion (US$301 million) to the State coffer during their divestment process in 2016, according to the Finance Ministry.

State-owned economic groups and corporation withdrew investment worth VND450 billion in five sensitive fields, while other SOEs collected VND2.27 trillion. The remainder came from the sale of State capital in enterprises.

The ministry also reported that 56 SOEs received approval for their equitisation plans in the year. They had total capitalisation value of more than VND34 trillion ($1.5 billion), including VND24.4 trillion of State capital.

Dang Quyet Tien, deputy director of the Ministry’s Department of Corporate Finance, said State-owned economic groups, corporations and enterprises have actively implemented the scheme on SOEs restructuring in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 929/QD-TTg.

This was a positive development in the context that many new policies have been put into practice this year although businesses have struggled in the more competitive environment, Tien said.

He added there are regulations requiring equitised enterprises to list on the stock market and the Government has recently issued Decree No. 145, under which sanctions can be imposed on firms violating the rule.

According to the new rule, enterprises who do not register trading or listing of their shares within the prescribed time or delay this process will be fined from VND10 million to VND400 million depending on the duration of the delay. 

Minister urges Vinatex towards better efficiency in 2017
     
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung has urged the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) to improve its value chain and operate more efficiently in 2017.

At a recent conference held to review Vinatex’s business results in 2016, Hung said the group should promote research and development activities and apply technology in garment production to offer value-added products, at the same time ensuring that there are no negative effects on the environment.

Tran Quang Nghi, chairman of Vinatex, said the group would focus on expanding its market base next year and would keep a close watch on the global raw materials market in order to take advantage of the free trade agreements.

In 2017, Vinatex expects a rise of 12 per cent in export revenue, 15 per cent in industrial production and 6 per cent in profits.

The group made pre-tax profit of VND1.43 trillion (US$63.8 million) in 2016, a rise of 9 per cent over the previous year. Its industrial production value totalled VND37.7 trillion, which is 103 per cent over 2015, and its export value touched VND2.477 trillion, a 4 per cent rise. The incomes of Vinatex’s employees averaged VND6.7 million per month, up by 8 per cent. This year, the group also invested in 41 projects, worth a total of VND5.5 trillion.

On December 23, the Ha Noi Stock Exchange approved Vinatex trading on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) under the code VGT, making it the first state-owned group to be traded on UPCoM.

Vinatex has a charter capital of VND5 trillion, with the state holding 53.49 per cent stake.

Phu Thinh-Nha Be Garment to halt production, sell shares
     
Phu Thinh-Nha Be Garment Joint Stock Company’s management board has agreed to halt its apparel manufacturing business from early next year, as well as to de-list all its 2.2 million shares on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange.

This decision is sought to overhaul its operations which have been declining since 2012.

Net profits of the HCM City-based garment company dropped from VND7.5 billion (US$333,000) in 2012 to an estimated loss of over VND2 billion in 2016. This year is the first time this company has reported a loss.

Its sales decreased 21.5 per cent year-on-year to VND33 billion this year.

At its annual shareholders’ meeting earlier this year, the company approved the targets of nearly VND49 billion in net revenues and VND3.3 billion in net profits, as well as a 10-per-cent dividend.

In its extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Saturday, the garment company decided to stop manufacturing apparel from January 12 next year, citing unstable material sources, rising costs and a shortage of labour which have resulted in ineffective operations.

The garment company will also seek investors to offload its entire holding of 19 per cent of capital, equivalent to VND5.7 billion, in Nha Be Real Estate Development JSC, as well as sell stakes worth a combined VND2 billion in Viet Thang Garment JSC and NBC Communications and Tourism JSC.

To focus on restructuring, the company will also leave the stock exchange but provided no specific timetable.

Phu Thinh-Nha Be Garment turned into a joint stock company in January 2004 and debuted shares on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange in December 2006 under the stock code of NPS.

Its share prices climbed 151 per cent since its debut to around VND12,000 per share. However, prices hit the floor prices in the last two sessions, to VND10,200 each after the information on delisting was announced.

Kien Giang needs $3.5 billion for agricultural
     
The southern Kien Giang Province needs VND77.5 trillion (US$3.5 billion) to restructure its agricultural, forestry and fishery sector by 2020, its provincial department of agriculture and rural development has said.

The capital is expected to be raised from the state budget, credits and private investments.

The province will spend 42 per cent of the amount to boost agricultural production and 57 per cent on fisheries; the remaining 1 per cent will go to forestry.

Investments will be made in large-scale paddy field programmes, in research and development of new farming techniques, for building the value chain and infrastructure as well as for trade promotions to expand markets and build brands.

Mai Anh Nhin, deputy chairman of Kien Giang Province’s People’s Committee, said the aim is to develop a modern, sustainable and efficient agricultural production that will produce better value-added products, while keeping in mind the increasingly complex climate change.

The province will focus on producing rice, shrimp, fish and livestock, and will use modern technology to develop quality products that can compete in the global market, Nhin said.

Kien Giang is expected to produce 5 million tonnes of rice, 755,500 tonnes of fishery products, 423,000 tonnes of vegetables and develop 7,000 hectares of coconut, 1,200 hectares of pepper and 5,000 hectares of sugarcane by 2020.

VN firms urged to develop farm brands
     
Vietnamese businesses must focus on developing brands for their farm produce to become competitive both at home and abroad, a seminar heard in HCM City last Saturday.

Le Van Banh, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said Việt Nam is among the largest exporters of many agricultural products like coffee, pepper, cashew, and fruits and vegetables.

But 80 per cent of it is exported without brand names and sold in foreign markets under foreign brands, which is a big disadvantage for Vietnamese farm produce, he said.

Bui Thị Thanh An, deputy director of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, said, “We export a lot of coffee and tea, but few consumers know they are using products from Viet Nam.”

Instead of supplying just raw materials, many firms have invested in modern production technologies to make products of good quality and with high value addition, but developing brands remains a big challenge for them, she said.

Many foreign customers thought for a long time that Vietnamese products were low in price and quality, which greatly affected the country’s exports, she said.

To promote exports, Viet Nam should continue to improve quality and promote its good things globally, she said.

In recent years the Government, industries and businesses have tried to build and protect Vietnamese agricultural brands, delegates said.

But the lack of a master plan and co-operation between various stakeholders means the results have been poor, they said.

Luu Duc Thanh of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam said the number of applications for the protection of collective or certified or geographical indications brands is increasing every year.

“We [have] granted 649 collective brand certifications.”

Besides, 52 geographical indications are protected in Viet Nam, he said.

But a majority of the brands have not been managed effectively, with very few certified brands available in the market, he said.

Only a few geographical indications have been promoted well, like Phu Quoc fish sauce, Buon Ma Thuot coffee, Binh Thuan dragon fruit, Hung Yen longan and Hoa Loc mango.

To ensure the quality and protect the reputation of their specialties, producers and traders in each locality should form a collective organisation (like association) to consolidate their strength and come up with strategies to develop brands, he said.

Banh said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is implementing a plan to develop brands for key agricultural products with an initial focus on mango, dragon fruit, tea, coffee and tra fish.

His ministry has recommended that the Government should offer small and medium-sized enterprises and co-operatives preferential policies in terms of credit, land and others and create a legal framework for brands and other related aspects, he said.

Dang Hoang Giang, deputy chairman and general secretary of the Viet Nam Cashew Association, said, “We should focus on building brands for farm produce that have good demand and pay more attention to quality than quantity.”

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said to create a brand for a product three conditions should be met: its production is large and steady, its quality meets food safety and hygiene standards and is competitively priced, and it has a good distribution system.

Building a national brand for Vietnamese farm produce is a unavoidable task, but it is a long process and requires combined efforts by relevant ministries, agencies and industries, especially the business community, he said.

Disbanded enterprises increase this year
     
Nearly 12,500 enterprises completed disband procedures this year, an increase of more than 3,000 enterprises from the previous year.

Of these, the number of disbanded enterprises in the fourth quarter was 4,113 enterprises, increasing by nearly 44 per cent compared with the last quarter and 64 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the number of dissolved one-member limited companies this year was 4,901, accounting for 39.3 per cent; 3,768 limited liability company with two members, accounting for 30.2 per cent; 2,174 private enterprises, accounting for 17.42 per cent; 1,632 joint stock companies; and three partnership enterprises.

Disband enterprises mostly have registered capital under VNĐ10 billion (nearly US$440,000) — this year the number was 11,611, accounting for 93 per cent of total disbanded enterprises nationwide, 31 per cent higher than 2015.

Some 400 enterprises in the information and telecommunications sector were closed down this year, decreasing by 13 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, other sectors witnessed an increase in the number of dissolved companies, including agro-aqua-forestry 107.1 per cent, medicine and social supporting activities 90.9 per cent, property 69.6 per cent and mining 61.5 per cent.

Tax authority promotes national online tax refund
     
The General Department of Taxation is hastening the implementation of online tax refunds on a national scale, a part of the tax reform effort, to create favourable conditions for businesses.

This is a critical issue as tax reimbursement procedures remained burdensome to firms while the country was striving to improve the business climate following the Government’s Resolution 19.

A pilot implementation of online tax refunds was underway in 13 provinces and cities, which was expected to be expanded nationwide within the first quarter of next year.

The tax authorities targeted that at least 90 per cent of filings for tax refunds would be conducted online.

Firms would not have to travel back and forward between tax departments, Le Thi Duyen Hai, deputy director of the Department for Tax Declaration and Accounting, said, adding that it would help save time and effort as well as reducing difficulties in tax reimbursement.

Tax watchdogs, however, said that the tax reimbursements must be put under tight management because the refunds were taken from the State budget.

Dinh Cong Khuong, chairman of Khuong Mai Steel Service Trading Co., Ltd, said that tax refund procedures remained complicated and time-consuming, adding that slow reimbursements affected business operations.

The General Department of Taxation is also pushing online tax filing and payment.

Statistics showed that as of November, 96.7 per cent of around 550,000 businesses nationwide registered to pay tax online and 93.7 per cent of them registered to conduct online tax payments with banks.

The tax revenues collected online totaled more than VND404.6 trillion (US$18 billion) with 2 million transactions conducted through 43 banks.

The Government’s Resolution 19 about improving the business climate and enhancing national competitiveness set a goal that at least 95 per cent of firms would pay tax online by the end of 2016 by three criteria including the number of firms registering to pay tax online, the number of online tax payment receipts and the value of tax collection.

As of November, eight provincial departments fulfilled the goal.

Solum Vina Company inaugurates factory in Vinh Phuc
     
South Korean Solum Vina Company officially inaugurated its factory at the Ba Thien II Industrial Park (IPs) in northern Vinh Phuc Province’s Binh Xuyen District on Monday.

The wholly foreign-invested company began construction in April. Covering an area of 40,000sq.m., the US$20 million project produces and outsources electronic spare parts for TVs, computer screens, mobile phones and electronic parts for large companies, such as SamSung, Appo, Panasonic and Sony.

The factory has total capacity of 10 million products per month.

In August, the company completed the factory’s construction and became operational. It has created jobs for some 1,500 people.

Solum Vina Company is expected to reach a turnover of $300 million, contributing $1.5 million to the State budget in 2017. Vinh Phuc’s IPs management board said the province attracted 159 FDI projects from 13 countries and territories with total registered capital of $2.9 billion in 2016.

South Korea took the lead among foreign investors in the province, with 70 projects and $974.9 million worth total investment. The inflow from South Korean firms into Vinh Phuc’s IPs has significantly contributed to the province’s socio-economic development over the past few years.

Last week, Fuhua Co Ltd of Taiwan (mainland China) also commenced construction of 17 workshops for rent in the Binh Xuyen 2 IP. 

VietABank contributes to hi-tech agriculture development

VietABank has offered a preferential loan totalling 500 billion VND (22 million USD) to support businesses in hi-tech agriculture.

Companies, households and agricultural production units could be given loans to invest in agricultural machines and equipment, expand production scale, buy fertilisers or spend on irrigation, harvesting and plant protection products.

Preferential credit will be applied in the 2017-20 period.

VietABank has also offered a 1.5 trillion VND preferential loan to startups including firms in hi-tech agriculture.

With the two loan packages of 2 trillion VND, the bank is expected to share businesses’ difficulties and support the Government in promoting startup activities.

Earlier, the bank also introduced its preferential policies for companies entering the agricultural sector.

Local enterprises have faced difficulties relating to land funding, technology and capital.

Statistics showed that the number of businesses in agriculture has been modest, with only 4,000 out of 600,000 firms operating in the sector.

Le Xuan Vu, VietABank’s general director, said the bank had focused on developing agricultural value and technological value chains.

In addition, the bank introduced many loans with preferential interest rates over a period of several years to support businesses.

The bank would build many suitable products and programmes to strengthen its commitment to further support firms. 

Deputy PM calls for continued support to female entrepreneurs

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue called for support to women to start their business during a forum held in Hanoi on December 26. 

Speaking at a forum co-organised by the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) and the SNV Netherland Development Organisation, Hue hailed women for maintaining the stable growth of their businesses. 

Out of nearly 500,000 enterprises nationwide, more than 100,000 led by women have contributed to the national economic stability. Up to 25 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women have generated jobs to over 1.63 million workers and added 32.4 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) to the State budget, equivalent to 3.9 percent of the total, he said. 

He suggested the VWU Central Committee continue developing micro-finance organisations in support of female entrepreneurs along the way. 

The government has submitted a draft law to the National Assembly to assist SMEs, devised incentives targeting micro businesses and start-ups in combination with developing a start-up ecological system, he said. 

VWU Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thu Ha said the VWU and the SNV Netherland Development Organisation are offering support to female entrepreneurs in localities within their 2016-2020 agreement framework. 

At the event, participants shared view that the implementation of policies in support of female workers and firms employing many women lack necessary guidance. 

Women’s involvement in business management remains modest, and women-owned firms account for 26.8 percent of SMEs, mostly operating in services, they said. 

They underscored the role of increased women’s economic empowerment in promoting gender equality, thereby offering men and women equal chances to access opportunities and resources.

Duyen Hai power plant produces 5.9 billion kWh of electricity

The Duyen Hai Thermal Power Plant 1 under the Duyen Hai Electricity Centre in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has supplied nearly 5.9 billion kWh of electricity to the national grid since January this year, 2 percent higher than the set target. 

Nguyen Huu Phien, Director of the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Company, a subsidiary of the Power Generation Corporation 1 and the investor of the project, said his company has paid 348.5 billion VND (over 15.3 million USD) in tax this year. 

The first turbine of the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Plant 3 has been put into trial operation. 

The Duyen Hai Electricity Centre is hoped to serve as a stable and reliable electricity supply source for the national grid, contributing to solving a serious power shortage in the southern region. 

Covering an area of 879 ha, the Duyen Hai Electricity Centre was constructed with a total investment of 5 billion USD as part of the national power development plan in the 2011-2020, with a vision to 2030. It includes four coal-fueled thermal power plants and the Mekong Delta’s largest coal port. 

From 2019, the Duyen Hai thermal power plants managed by the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Company are expected to contribute about 1 trillion VND (44 million USD) to the State budget each year. 

In recent time, the Duyen Hai Thermal Power Company has been active in supporting the local authorities in building infrastructure facilities. 

It provided 30 billion VND (1.32 million USD) for the upgrading of a road in Duyen Hai town, and 22 billion VND (968,000 USD) to build houses for social policy beneficiaries, present scholarships to disadvantaged students, and gifts to poor locals and families of martyrs and wounded soldiers in the locality.

Aquatic product exports fetch 7 billion USD in 2016

Vietnam’s export turnover of aquatic products reached 7 billion USD in 2016, an increase of 6.6 percent over 2015, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the Directorate of Fisheries, in the first half of this year, drought and saltwater intrusion in south central provinces and the Mekong Delta region, as well as the maritime environmental incident in four central provinces have caused severe impacts on aquaculture and seafood catching. However, thanks to the drastic instructions of administrations at all levels, the sector saw improvements in the second half.

In 2016, the total output of aquatic products exceeded 6.7 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 2.5 percent. It included 3.1 million tonnes from fishing, and 3.6 million tonnes from aquaculture, up 1.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. The total farming area reached 1.3 million hectares.

In 2016, the total area of tra farming was 5,050 hectares, producing 1.15 million tonnes, fulfilling the annual target.

Meanwhile, the tilapia breeding area was 25,000 hectares, churning out 200,000 tonnes. The major importers of the product were the US, Spain and Colombia.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the tilapia export value hit 45 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 32 percent.

In 2017, the sector strives to produce 6.85 million tonnes, including 3.05 million tonnes from fishing and 3.8 million tonnes from farming, and earn 7.3 billion USD from exports.

Indonesia files trade complaint against Vietnam steel

Indonesian steel mills have filed a complaint with governmental regulators against Vietnamese steel exporters, accusing them of conspiring with Chinese millers to dump color-coated steel sheets.

The big Indonesian steelmakers are seeking an anti-dumping investigation as well as the imposition of tariffs on steel imports from both Vietnam and China, reported the Vietnam Competition Authority.

PT NS BlueScope Indonesia brought the complaint, said the Authority, alleging the repeated illegal trade practices have devastated production and employment and are causing irreparable harm to the Indonesian steel industry.

On December 26, Indonesia’s Anti-Dumping Committee advised they have initiated an investigation of pertinent steel imports from China and Vietnam for the period July 2015 through June 2016.

Nearly all mid-level employees in Vietnam say jobs are stressful: survey

The survey has also found more than half in the group don't actually like what they are doing, despite good pay.

Despite their relatively high income, a majority of employees holding mid-level positions in Vietnam do not like their jobs and often face stressful situations at work, a new survey has found.

These positions mostly pay between VND10-50 million (US$440-2,200) per month, but in some cases up to VND100 million (US$4,400), according to the survey conducted by Navigos Search, a headhunter firm.

To put that into perspective, the average monthly income in Vietnam was US$175, according to the World Bank's data.

However, 58% of the mid-level employees said that they did not have or had little interest in their currents jobs. Nearly 90% experienced stress at different levels.

More than half of the total 1,100 respondents also said that their companies did not have feasible promotion plans to motivate them. Only 17% said they were rewarded for achievements while 58% seldom received bonuses.

Nguyen Phuong Mai, a senior executive at Navigos Search, said that the survey reveals why some mid-level employees are not happy and that employers need to make policy changes to prevent brain drain.

“Negative aspects that a talented individual sees in the company can force him or her to quit the job,” Mai said. “This will not only affect the enterprise’s work flow and productivity but also its reputation and competitive capacity in the market.”

Another survey from the employment website JobStreet of some 13,000 employees in the second quarter showed that 85 percent were not satisfied at work. The two main reasons were boring tasks and low salaries.

Vietnam textile firms need to up ties

Domestic textile enterprises and logistics service providers should work together to reduce costs and improve their competitiveness, according to experts.

Nguyen Tuong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Logistics Association, said the textile industry needs to import raw materials from abroad and export products to foreign markets.

Working together, many enterprises could purchase raw materials by combining their orders to create a large shipment, which will help significantly reduce transportation costs, he said.

The costs of logistics currently account for nearly one-third of the costs of each textile product exported, so the Vietnamese garment sector could save more than US$1 billion per year by reducing this cost.

Workers of the Nha Br Corporation produce clothes for export. Experts have called for closer co-operation between textile and logistics sectors to improve their competitiveness
Additionally, Truong Van Cam, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said most textile companies currently perform outsourcing jobs, causing them to depend on the supply of raw materials and transportation services of providers assigned by their partners.

Most of these providers are foreign companies, thus the market share for local logistics companies has been narrowed, Cầm said.

Further, high transportation costs are undermining the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods in international markets, he added.

Director of the Nam Viet Co Ltd, Nguyen Duc Chuong, said that during peak seasons, textile firms have to pay the container imbalance charge (CIC) – a kind of sea freight charge which a carrier requires to offset costs arising from the transfer of a large amount of empty containers from one place to another.

This charge is only affordable to enterprises with large-scale import-export orders, such as Nha Be Corporation or Viet Tien Garment Joint Stock Corporation, but is a heavy burden on small and medium-sized textile firms.

Meanwhile, there is a lack of confidence between the owners of goods and Vietnamese logistics service providers due to low-quality and high prices, said representative of the Đam San joint stock company, which specialises in producing fibers.

Located in the northern province of Thai Binh, the firm has to spend US$3 billion to US$4 billion every year on logistics costs.

To improve the quality of the supply chain and reduce logistics costs, many textile enterprises have turned towards "self-service".

A representative of the Nha Be Corporation said the corporation has established the NBC logistics company to carry and load goods, and to export and import procedures for its shipments.

To facilitate the transaction, NBC logistics firms also opened a representative office in China’s Shanghai, and many textile enterprises are seeking to hire it to perform export and import services.

So far, conducting self-logistics services for approximately 70% of their goods has helped the corporation save US$2 billion per year. Previously, it had to pay US$6 billion for import-export of goods annually.

However, self-service is still not a solution for small and medium-sized firms.

Therefore, business leaders in the two sectors agreed that it was necessary for the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Transport to assist the coordination and connection between shippers and the owners of goods.

VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR

SOE divestment returns $300 million to State coffer, Kien Giang needs $3.5 billion for agricultural, VN firms urged to develop farm brands, Disbanded enterprises increase this year, Tax authority promotes national online tax refund
 
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