Coffee farmers fall short of tree replacement target

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Đắk Lắk Province, the country largest coffee producer, planned to replace 4,259 ha of old coffee trees with new ones in the rainy season,  but farmers have reached only 50 per cent of the target, mostly due to lower prices for coffee beans, according to Việt Nam News Agency.

With the current price of VNĐ32,500 – 32,700 (US$1.4) a kilo, farmers are not making a profit, so they decided to keep their trees that are more than 20 years old.  

Nguyễn Phi Long, who has 3ha of coffee trees more than 22 years old in Cư M’sgar District, planned to replace the trees during the rainy season but the prices have been too low.

His old coffee trees have a very low yield of 1.5 tonnes per hectare.

The rainy season in the province is between May and October.

Y Vong Niê in Krông Búk District cut down his 1.5ha of old coffee trees and switched to  avocado and durian, both of which are more lucrative.

In recent years, many coffee farmers in Đắk Lắk have intercropped other trees in coffee orchards to increase income.

The Central Highlands province had 185,071ha of coffee last year. Of the figure, 39,077ha were intercropped with pepper, avocado, durian, cashew and other plants, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The model of intercropping other plants in coffee orchards has yielded profits 3-4 times higher than that from coffee.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Western Highlands Agro-Forestry Scientific and Technical Institute, and other agencies have instructed farmers to use new Robusta coffee varieties TR4, TR9, TR 11, TR12 and TR 13 to replace old coffee trees.

The varieties have high yield and quality and are resistant to coffee leaf rust, a fungus which can lead to loss of leaves and ability to produce beans.

The cost of replacing coffee trees is about VNĐ100 – 150 million ($4,200 – 6,300) per ha.

Under the province’s policy, farmers who replace old coffee trees can borrow a loan worth up to 80 per cent of the replanting costs.

Between 2011 and 2017, the province’s farmers replaced 20,541 ha of old coffee trees with new ones.

In recent years, the province has used new advanced farming techniques and machines, as well as water-efficient irrigation equipment, and has invested in irrigation systems for coffee planting areas.  

The province aims to have irrigation systems in 75 – 80 per cent of its coffee planting areas by 2020.

The province’s red basalt soil is good for planting coffee trees, and coffee yield in the province is the country’s highest.

Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi, Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance, Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon, HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises

Hanoi Textile & Garment Industry Expo 2018 opens

The Vietnam Hanoi Textile & Garment Industry Expo (HanoiTex) 2018 opened in the capital city on September 19, attracting nearly 120 exhibitors from 12 countries and territories. 

Co-hosted by the Hong Kong’s CP Exhibition Company and the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, the event lured firms from China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, China (Taiwan), Thailand and Vietnam on a site of over 6,000 sq.m. 

On display are patterned, dyed, high-tech and micro-fibre fabrics, anti-dry weaving materials, and machinery used in sewing, weaving, embroidery, dyeing chemicals and many other materials. 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said this year, the Vietnamese textile and garment sector shifts production from cut-make-trim (CMT) to free on board (FOB), original design manufacture (ODM) and original brand manufacture (OBM) with the aim of bringing higher added value to supply chain. 

He urged firms to renovate technology; increase training for technical, marketing and order management staff amid the fourth industrial revolution. 

HanoiTex 2018 will help firms learn about new technologies, thus increasing the rate of locally-made materials and meeting foreign clients’ demand. 

It also provides a platform for businesses in the field of finance, investment, manufacturing to meet partners, expand markets and work out long-term business strategies.

On the sidelines of the event, seminars on building fiber – textile - weaving connectivity chain and improving workforce quality in the field to meet demand of the fourth industrial revolution will also be held. 

The event is due to last till September 21.

Cutting-edge medical equipment on display at HCM City Expo

The 13th International Exhibition on Products and Supplies for Medical, Pharmaceutical, Hospital and Rehabilitation (Pharmed and Healthcare Vietnam 2018) kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on September 19, showcasing cutting-edge and hi-tech medical products and equipment.

Covering a total display area of 10,000sq.m, Pharmed and Healthcare Vietnam includes 600 booths featuring a wide range of pharmaceutical products, drug manufacturing and packaging machinery, diagnostic equipment, healthcare and rehabilitation equipment, surgical instruments, beauty care equipment and products, among others.

The expo attracts leading Vietnamese brands such as Armepharco, Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC, Pymepharco, Savipharm, Tien Tuan, Vikomed, Vietmed, Tan Mai Thanh, Tai Phat, Ultrasun, Bimed and PPL.

More than 100 foreign exhibitors from 25 countries and territories such as Belgium, Germany, France, Canada, the Republic of Korea, the Czech Republic, China, Singapore and Malaysia are also participating in the show.

The exhibition also features a series of conferences and seminars chaired by national and international technology experts.

After 12 times of organisation, the exhibition has become a trusted venue for producers and distributors of medical products and equipment, while offering a good chance for domestic firms to meet foreign partners and helping foreign exhibitors seek distributors and business partners.

This year’s event, which will last until September 22 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, is expected to welcome 15,000 visitors, of which over 8,000 are trade visitors.

Measures sought to develop market for organic products

Measures to expand market for clean agricultural products were discussed at the Vietnam Agricultural Policy Forum in Hanoi on September 19.

President of the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association Ha Phuc Mich said that organic agriculture combines traditional cultivation methods and advanced technologies to bring about benefits to the environment and improve the living conditions of all parties involved.

Organic agriculture was first known in Vietnam in early 1990 when foreign non-governmental organisations visited Vietnam to study and invest in the field, such as an organic tea project in Tuc Tranh commune, Phu Luong district, the northern province of Thai Nguyen, and a safe vegetable project in Hanoi.

These projects helped pave the way for other projects in Lao Cai, Tuyen Quang and Hoa Binh provinces.

Farmers and officials participating in the projects have been provided with knowledge and skills on organic farming.

However, to date, many domestic consumers lack understanding on organic agriculture and products, which hampers the development of organic product consumption market.

Supporting services such as certification, trade promotion and investment mechanisms remain limited, Mich said.

To develop market for clean farm produce, delegates stressed the need for local People’s Committees to soon implement Decree 109/2018/ND-CP on organic agriculture.

The localities can issue their own priority policies for organic farming development, and have projects and resolutions dedicated to this work, they said, suggesting the localities take the initiative in developing organic agriculture such as producing organic fertiliser.

Individuals and organisations participating in the production and consumption chain were advised to learn about the market, standards and requirements on food safety and hygiene, as each market has its own standards and requirements.

The forum was jointly held by the Vietnam Agriculture Coalition and the Oxfam Organisation.

Vietnam’s agro-aquatic products strive to penetrate Russian market

Vietnamese businesses are striving to promote agricultural and aquatic products in the Russia market at an international food fair and trade connection activities being held in Moscow, Russia.

The 27th International Food Exhibition (WorldFood Moscow 2018) is now underway until September 20, with the participation of more than 1,500 firms from 62 countries and territories worldwide. 

With the support of the Trade Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnamese Trade Office in Russia, Vietnamese firms including Dakao Agricultural Produce Export and Production Company (Dakao Vietnam), Nam Viet Foods & Beverage, Tan Phat Foods Corporation, Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), Trung Nguyen Group and TH Group, have been attending the event.

A wide range of Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic products are introduced at the exhibition such as cashew nuts, tea, coffee, fruits and canned fish. 

Within the framework of WorldFood Moscow 2018, a trade promotion conference designed to connect Vietnamese and Russian firms was held on September 18. At the event, Vietnamese businesses introduced their products and discussed measures of cooperation with their Russian partners.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Acting Director of the Agro-Product Processing and Market Development under MARD, said WorldFood Moscow 2018 is a large-scale international fair attended by many major brands.

The Russian market holds huge potential for Vietnamese businesses, he noted, adding that Vietnam needs to take advantage of the free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the time ahead.

Nguyen Van Trien, Director of the Tan Phat Foods Corporation, said the company wants to seek partners to export canned tuna to Russia, hoping that the country will become its major market. 

Sharing the view, Do Tat Thang, CEO of the Dakao Agricultural Produce Export and Production Company, said Dakao is paying heed to expanding its markets and it expected that Russia would become one of the company’s major markets in the future.

Ministry works to implement SME support law effectively

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) held a workshop in Hanoi on September 19 to provide updates on the Law on Support for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises and its enforcement in order to solve some of the issues that have arisen during its implementation. 

MPI Deputy Minister Vu Dai Thang said that about 98 percent of the over 700,000 businesses in Vietnam are small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They play an important role in creating jobs, improving worker incomes, reducing poverty, and contributing to the state budget and economic growth. They are the main force tapping into niche markets and capitalising on the social resources available to serve economic development.

He noted that the Law on Support for SMEs, to take effect in 2018, is a practical solution to boosting the development of local businesses and the economy. Its general role is to support SMEs in a timely manner since they are set up, pushing to achieve the goal of 1 million businesses operating effectively in the country by 2020. 

According to Deputy Director of the MPI’s Enterprise Development Agency Nguyen Hoa Cuong, the private economic sector – of which SMEs make up the majority – contributes about 48 percent to the country’s GDP and creates over 50 percent of total jobs.

The MPI and other ministries and sectors have stepped up their capacity in disseminating the law, highlighting the effects and benefits that businesses could gain from it. It has helped to improve the relevant legal system and better the investment and business environment of Vietnam, he said.

He added that the establishment of new companies has increased over the last couple of years, gradually creating a widespread influx of startups. During the first eight months of 2018, more than 87,000 new firms were founded.

The MPI affirmed that the new law pays special attention to encouraging innovative startups in order to fuel economic growth towards sustainable development. The support provided will focus on practical aspects like fee and tax reduction; providing legal aid and advice on intellectual property and copyrighting; and manpower training.

Cuong said some enterprises wish authorised agencies to clarify the criteria for innovative startups and create mechanisms and chances for the public and businesses to monitor and assess the law’s enforcement.

The ministry said to ensure that SMEs will benefit more from this law, it will continue to review and assess the law’s implementation so as to assist companies in a more substantive and effective fashion.

In particular, the MPI will submit a draft decree on the organisation and operation of the fund for SME development to the Government. It will also accelerate the drafting of circulars guiding the implementation of this law to complete the legal framework in this regard. 

Vietnam Airlines to launch Da Nang-Osaka route

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National-flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced that it will launch a new air route linking the central city of Da Nang to Japan’s Osaka city on October 26.

The airline will operate seven flights per week using Airbus A321s with services meeting four-star standards.

The flights will take a total of four hours and a half, departing at 00:20 from Da Nang and 9:30 from Osaka.

This will be the 11th air route to Japan that Vietnam Airlines operates, along with those from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

For the opening occasion, the airline will launch a ticket promotion programme from September 30, offering fares from 5.89 million VND (249 USD) for flights between October 28 to December 31, as well as adding reward points for its loyal customers.

Vietnam Airlines is currently the largest carrier amongst those operating routes between Vietnam and Japan, with 70 flights per week on average.

Since the first direct flight on the Vietnam-Japan route took off in 1994, Vietnam Airlines has carried 11.3 million passengers between the two countries, accounting for 65 percent of the market share.

New competition law to better manage economic concentration

The new competition law will create a legal framework to better manage economic concentration, experts said.

Tran Phuong Lan from the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Protection Authority said at a recent workshop to disseminate the Law on Competition 2018 that the law enables antitrust investigations, even for economic concentration deals conducted overseas that impact the market.

The old Law on Competition 2004 has limited ability to investigate overseas deals.

The new law would also help better control economic concentration deals which resulted in unreasonable increases in marine transport fees or medicine prices, for example, according to Lan.

Regarding Grab’s acquisition of Uber in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Lan said that the antitrust investigation will be carried out until mid-November.

This case will be handled following the Law on Competition 2018 if the investigation is still ongoing on July 1, 2019 when the new law comes into effect.

In the 2004 law, an enterprise or group of enterprises with a market share of 30 percent or more was considered dominant and restricting competition. However, the new law says that market share of 30 percent or more does not always mean the antitrust regulations are violated if the dominant enterprises do not have significant impacts on the market.

In a document sent to the competition authority, Grab said that its market share after acquiring Uber in Vietnam was below 30 percent but the ride-hailing firm did not provide detailed evidence for the figure.

Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan, acting Director of the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Protection Authority, urged firms to study the new competition law carefully to avoid violations because there were many new points.

Tan said that the Ministry of Industry was speeding up the compilation and issuance of decrees to instruct the implementation of the Law on Competition 2018.

The law was expected to create a healthy competition environment to promote economic development, Tan said.

The Law on Competition 2018 was passed on June 12.

4.2 trillion VND mobilised from G-bonds

The State Treasury of Vietnam raised an additional 4.2 trillion VND (180.6 million USD) by auctioning off Government bonds at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) this week.

The auction aimed to sell 5 trillion VND (215 million USD) worth of G-bonds with 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 15-year and 20-year maturity.

Bonds with 10-year maturity raised 1.8 trillion VND (77.4 million USD) with an annual interest rate of 4.75 percent, 0.04 percent higher than the previous auction on September 12. A sub-session sale of the 10-year bonds drew 600 billion VND (25.8 million USD) with a yield of 4.75 percent per year.

Six bidders bought 1.2 trillion VND (51.6 million USD) worth of 15-year bonds with an annual yield rate of 5.02 percent, up 0.05 percent from that of the September 12 auction. Some 600 billion VND (25.8 million USD) was mobilised from the sub-session, with an interest rate of 5.02 percent.

There were no successful bids for 5-year and 7-year bonds.

So far this year, the State Treasury of Vietnam has collected more than 117.9 trillion VND (5.07 billion USD) from auctions through the HNX.

Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi, Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance, Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon, HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises

Symposium discusses prospect of eco-industrial parks in Vietnam

Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi, Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance, Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon, HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises

A symposium held in northern Hai Phong city on September 19 looked into the global trend of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) and their prospects in Vietnam.

According to the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), EIPs have been opened in many countries which do not see industrial parks as separate entities but inter-connected systems. In these parks, waste in industrial production is gradually eliminated towards zero emissions.

The industrial waste management through the EIP model is considered an effective approach that generates economic and environmental benefits and is feasible in Vietnam. However, this necessitates synchronous policies from planning to infrastructure development and financial support to expand EIPs, the ISPONRE said.

This model features industrial symbiosis, which means businesses cooperate with others in the same industrial park or other parks to optimise input and output factors like materials, waste, energy, waste and scrap during their production and business process. Through this cooperation, they form a network for exchanging production serving factors, sharing infrastructure and services and improving operations.

In Vietnam, a study has been conducted to consider applying the EIP model in Bien Hoa 1 and 2 industrial parks in southern Dong Nai province. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the UN Industrial Development Organisation have also carried out an EIP initiative towards a sustainable industrial park model, the institute said.

Pham Van Moi, head of the Hai Phong Economic Zone Authority, said local industrial parks and economic zones have attracted projects from major businesses of the Republic of Korea, Japan, the US and Hong Kong (China). They have applied modern equipment and technologies that are environmentally friendly, save energy and manufacture products with high-added value.

He added industrial parks in the city have complied with regulations on environmental protection and waste treatment, ensuring industrial waste meets Vietnamese standards before being released into the environment.

To turn Hai Phong into a green civilized and modern city, it is working to build new EIPs and transform existing parks like the Dinh Vu, Nam Dinh Vu, or the one of the Hai Phong International Gateway Port into EIPs, the official noted.

E-procurement must ensure quality

The building of a Government e-procurement platform needs strict regulations on management procedures and product quality.

It was necessary to develop an e-marketplace to develop online procurement for the Government, said experts at a workshop held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment on September 19, adding that focus must be placed on ensuring product quality.

Tran Phu Cuong from the Hai Phong City Department of Planning and Investment, said public procurement via an e-marketplace entailed a high level of responsibility, thus ensuring product quality of suppliers was an important issue.

“An e-marketplace must pay attention to quality control and management of suppliers,” Cuong said.

Cuong added that regulations were needed in cases where advertised products did not meet quality standards and expectations.

Hoang Minh Hieu, Director of the Central Power Corporation, said that a rating function should be integrated into the platform to rate suppliers and products.

Low-rated suppliers and products could be eliminated from the platform.

A representative from the Department of Planning and Investment of the central province of Ha Tinh said the ministry should issue detailed instructions for procurement on e-Marketplace.

According to Pham Thy Hung, Director of the Public Procurement Agency, products on an e-marketplace would not be as diverse as those on normal e-commerce websites.

Hung said that suppliers would be selected carefully, adding that they must meet certain requirements to be allowed to join the e-marketplace.

“The selection of suppliers for the e-marketplace will include a strict process that considers their prestige and product quality,” he said, adding that punishments might be considered for violations.

The e-marketplace was proposed to be piloted for several products in the 2018-19 period.

Vietnam pursues open trade, investment environment: official

Vietnam is determined to build an open trade and investment environment and welcomes all European investors and entrepreneurs to do business in the country, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh has said.

The official made the statement in Brussels on September 18 at a high-level conference on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which was attended by nearly 100 delegates who are experts, entrepreneurs and representatives of organisations from the EU and Vietnam.

Speakers at the event provided participants with an insight into the agreement and the benefits it will bring to the two sides’ enterprises in fields ranging from services, trade, investment and intellectual property to e-commerce.

Peter Berz, Head of Unit in the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission responsible for trade relations with Southeast Asian nations, said the EVFTA and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA), once signed and brought into effect, will become a model for FTAs between Vietnam and other partners in the future.

Ambassador Vu Anh Quang, head of the Vietnam Delegation to the EU, stated Vietnam and the EU shared a common view on multilateralism in maintaining relations and international law.

He said the EVFTA will create a legal framework for free trade between the two sides and become part of the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA).

Axel Goethals, CEO of the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), said up to 99 percent of EU tariffs will be removed for Vietnamese products thanks to the EVFTA. 

Therefore, the agreement is expected to raise the volume of exports to the EU by a third, and open up a new chapter for bilateral trade, he added.

Deputy Minister Khanh stressed the Vietnamese Government is preparing a plan on the enforcement of the EVFTA, and is willing to work with the EU towards trade liberalisation.

He affirmed that the EU is a trusted partner of Vietnam.

Legal reviews for a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU started after negotiations on the deal concluded on December 2, 2015. However, the EU changed its regulations on the process of approving FTAs, with the division of contents related to investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement made into a separate deal called Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).

In April 2018, the agreement was successfully divided into the EVFTA and the IPA.

On June 25, 2018, the two sides finished the legal review process for the EVFTA and agreed on the investment protection deal

The EVFTA has now been finalised after a series of efforts to solve technical problems. It is being translated into the 24 official languages of the European Union (EU) and sent to member countries for consideration.

The EU is the third largest trade partner of Vietnam and one of the country’s two biggest export markets. Two-way trade grew 12 folds to 50.4 billion USD in 2017 from only 4.1 billion USD in 2000.

On September 18, representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade attended a press conference to introduce the benefits to be brought by the EVFTA to EU and Vietnamese businesses.

Deputy Minister Khanh affirmed that the agreement will help Vietnam have a firmer legal foundation, emphasising the country is willing to improve its policies and laws.

HDBank named Best Company to Work for in Vietnam

HDBank was recently named the best company to work for in Vietnam by HR Asia, a leading publication for human resources professionals.

The honour recognises the bank’s positive working environment, HR practices, employee engagement and job satisfaction.

The annual awards are held across the region, comprising companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan and Vietnam for the first time this year.

There are 26 Vietnamese firms on the HR Asia’s “Best Company to Work For” list. HR Asia interviewed more than 3,730 employees at 130 businesses to measure their satisfaction with the workplace environment.

In-depth interviews with managing executives and personnel managers were also conducted to better understand HR policies and strategies.

HDBank earned high scores for its ideal working conditions and attractive welfare measures for employees. HDBank staff take pride in their working environment, where they are respected, and understand job requirements and missions to develop the bank.

As of May 31, HDBank had more than 5,550 employees nationwide, 30 percent of whom have more than five years of working experience. 

The bank’s HR strategy focus on bringing long-lasting value to the workers through building an ideal working place, attracting talented labourers and creating favourable conditions for each employee to improve their capacity.

Workforce forecast to increase in third quarter

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It is forecast that Vietnam’s total workforce will near 54.26 million people in the third quarter of this year, up 0.44 percent from the previous quarter and 0.91 percent annually. 

Several sectors need more workers, including beverages, weaving, printing, rubber, plastics and water drainage. 

Fewer labourers will be seen in agro-forestry-fisheries, crude oil and natural fuel, mining, automobiles and furniture manufacturing. 

During a seminar on the Vietnamese labour market held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) on September 18, Director of the MoLISA’s Institute of Labour and Social Affairs Dao Quang Vinh said in the second quarter, there were more than 54 million employees, up some 1 percent year-on-year. 

The biggest decrease in employment was seen in agro-forestry-fisheries with nearly 180,000 jobs gone, followed by manufacturing and processing, financial-banking, administrative and support services. Meanwhile, retail and wholesale, automobile repair, construction and education-training sectors hired more workers. 

The unemployment rate nationwide fell but that among youths rose considerably by more than 511,000 people. 

Vinh said the rate of young jobless people in Asia was 10 percent, or even 20-30 percent in several countries. In Vietnam, the rate was 7 percent, lower than the average. 

Also during the second quarter, income in almost sectors dropped slightly from the first quarter, except construction and entertainment. Mining and manufacturing and processing sectors offered lower salaries. 

Paid workers with bachelor’s degrees earned the most, about 7.87 million VND (342 USD) each month. 

Up to 16.5 percent of paid workers were in the low-income group, while 52.8 percent were manual labourers.

RoK’s polyester tyre cord fabrics plant inaugurated in Binh Duong

The Republic of Korea’s Kolon Industries Binh Duong Co. Ltd opened a plant in the southern province of Binh Duong on September 18 to manufacture polyester tyre cord fabrics. 

Built at a total cost of 220 million USD, the plant is currently able to produce 1,400 tonnes of fabrics each year. 

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Hung Dung said the plant suits the province’s policy of prioritising projects with high added value, modern and eco-friendly technology. 

He wished the plant would churn out quality products and pledged all possible support for the company and other investors to do business in the locality. 

Earlier, the provincial People’s Committee and Kolon Industries Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding on building a plant manufacturing car tyre belts and air bags worth 1 billion USD on a about 42ha at Bau Bang industrial park. 

Capital for the first stage from 2017-2018 will be 220 million USD while the second stage from 2018-2026 needs 600 million USD, and nearly 1 billion USD for the third stage. 

Founded in 1954, Kolon Industries Group is a multinational corporation focusing on high-tech products such as car tyre belts, air bags and materials used in electronics, electricity and fashion.

HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises

Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi, Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance, Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon, HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises

Ho Chi Minh City authorities pledged to continue to provide assistance to information technology, electronics and telecommunication (ICT) companies at a meeting held in the city on September 18.

More than 120 representatives from enterprises and associations attending the event heard about the most recent ICT guidelines and assistance from State agencies.

Speaking at the meeting between the city government and businesses, Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said: “The city is committed to having no monopoly in the ICT sector. Implementation of any ICT project must be based on bidding.”

“HCM City will try its best to offer specific assistance to enterprises. In return, enterprises must show specific ICT products, contributing to the city’s socio-economic development,” Tuyen told the media.

The city plans to continue e-Government and improve the effectiveness of state agencies’operation, while also continuing to issue policies and incentives to develop ICT infrastructure.

“HCM City will build national databases, including a database on population, land finance, insurance, business registration, and a database on the city’s development in the short and long term,” he noted.

In addition, he urged enterprises to improve training of ICT human resources from now to 2020.

“Human resources are a very important factor in promoting the development of science and technology, especially in the field of ICT,” he said. “By 2020, HCM City will gather all resources to support, train and develop human resources majoring in ICT and information security.”

In addition, the city plans to continue to issue policies and incentives to support start-ups, and completing a legal framework for start-ups, especially those in ICT. 

The city will also work on solutions to support start-ups through mass media to improve enterprises’ images and brands, creating favourable conditions for investments from domestic and international institutions.

To promote the entrepreneurial spirit, instead of general slogans, the city will ask enterprises to put forward concrete measures. 

In addition, the city is focusing on building a smart city which will apply hi-tech to develop creativity and innovation, according to Tuyen.

Tran Anh Tuan, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Computers Association, said the city has been at the forefront of economic transition, producing a large number of hi-tech products. 

ICT has in recent years been one of four key industries in the priority service sectors, with a growth rate of 16.5 percent. 

The city’s volume of ICT products accounts for 72 percent compared to the entire country, he said.

“Authorities would like to connect ICT enterprises by offering more incentives to encourage linkages,” he said. “To participate in the global supply chain, Vietnamese ICT enterprises must first meet safety demands and technical requirements, and limit hazardous content in their products.”

“Quality, environment and energy efficiency are the general requirements. Corporate social responsibility and sustainable development are appreciated,” he added.

Agencies can assist enterprises by providing consultancy, training, information and databases, and connect them with international markets, he said. 

In recent years the ICT industry has grown rapidly and has become one of the most important sectors of Vietnam’s economy. The industry plays an important role in creating jobs, income and human resources for Vietnam. 

Large investments from multinational corporations, especially in the field of manufacturing electronic components, have helped spark growth in the industry.

The meeting, organised by the city People’s Committee, the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) of HCM City and the Department of Information and Communication, was held to resolve difficulties facing ICT businesses and help them follow State policies. 

The organiser received questions in advance from businesses, most of which were related to issues such as tax incentives and customs procedures.

Since 2012, ITPC has regularly worked with other agencies, including the Department of Information and Communication, to organise dialogues to help enterprises.

Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon

With its continuous growth over the past 10 years, ASEAN has become an important market for Vietnamese seafood, and the prospect of 1 billion USD worth of yearly seafood export revenue is reachable. 

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam’s seafood export turnover to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hit 612 million USD in 2017, up from only 66 million USD in 1998.  

Although the figure remained modest compared with exports to major markets like the US, the EU, Japan and China, ASEAN ranked fifth among the most important markets of Vietnamese seafood. 

The 10-member group maintained this position in the first six months of this year, with most exports to ASEAN posting positive growth. Of note, ASEAN surpassed the Republic of Korea (RoK) to become Vietnam’s biggest fried fish paste and surimi importer with a value of 43 million USD. 

Among ASEAN countries, Thailand has been the largest partner of Vietnam’s fishery sector, as reflected through the export revenue of 248 million USD in 2017 and more than 185 million USD in the first eight months of this year. 

Thailand is the only ASEAN country among the top 10 single markets of Vietnamese seafood, together with countries like the US, Japan, China, the RoK, the Netherlands and the UK. 

After Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore are Vietnam’s second and third largest seafood importers in the group. 

Vietnamese fishery products have been shipped to all other ASEAN countries, with top items being saltwater fish, tra fish, cuttlefish and octopus.

VASEP said Vietnam has potential to step up its seafood exports to the group with a combined population of 632 million whose seafood demand is forecast to rise from 24.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 36.9 million tonnes in 2030 and 41.7 million tonnes in 2050.

Seafood trading in ASEAN stands at 20 billion USD each year and is expected to expand by 3.7 percent annually in the years to come. 

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Vietnamese products popularised in Mozambique, Madagascar

Vietnamese products were put on show at recent international trade fairs in Mozambique and Madagascar, attracting attention of many local businesses. 

Vietnamese enterprises brought to the Mozambique International Trade Show, which was held from August 27-September 2, farm produce like tea, coffee and rice, along with interior decorations. They were also displayed at the Agriculture International Fair – the largest annual international fair in Madagascar from September 13-16. Besides, the country’s confectionary and consumer goods also won praises for their quality, price and package. 

During the events, representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Mozambique, the Honorary Vietnamese Consular Office in Madagascar and businesses addressed concerns raised by local firms and residents, and provided them with useful information, especially the production, processing and packaging of products, and export-import procedures in the country. 

International friends in the two countries had an insight of culture, land and people of Vietnam through displays and workshops held on this occasion. 

Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance
A demonstration room with industry 4.0 equipment provided by Bosch Rexroth was set up at the LILAMA 2 International Technology College in Dong Nai Province on September 19.

This industry 4.0 laboratory will be used to train teachers and in-company trainers and implement newly developed training programmes.

It features teaching equipment in drive and control technology and training materials including technical books, manuals, training software, eLearning, videos, and animations.

Students training at LILAMA 2 have the chance to use equipment and software practically and prepare themselves with industrial experience they can adapt in real manufacturing environments.

Nikolay Kurnosov, director of Bosch Rexroth Vietnam and Cambodia, said: “A highly skilled workforce plays a pivotal role in the digital era. The training programmes will have to keep pace with industrial trends and developments in order to stay competitive in the future.

“As one of the global specialists in drive and control technology, Bosch Rexroth has a unique level of technological expertise. We are keen to pass on this knowledge to apprentices and students in the most comprehensive and practical way possible.”

Bosch Rexroth, which has established a lab with equipment meeting industry 4.0 requirements at LILAMA 2, helped do a demand analysis of relevant skills and supported LILAMA 2 in developing industry 4.0 training modules and adapting its training programmes, consistently helps with technical training and further education matching the requirements of industry 4.0, he said.

The inauguration of the lab was accompanied by a two-day conference on “How industry 4.0 is shaping the future of technical and vocational education and training.”

The conference was organised as part of a partnership between Bosch, the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training, the LILAMA 2 International Technology College, and the German development agency GIZ Programme. 

Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi
The Ha Noi Textile & Garment Industry – Fabric & Garment Accessories (Hanoitex 2018) opened on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

The three-day expo co-organised by the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) and CP Exhibition Hong Kong has attracted more than 100 companies and suppliers from 15 countries and territories such as China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Italia, Taiwan and Malaysia.

The expo is showcasing modern machinery, equipment, chemicals and the latest technologies in the textile and garment industry.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was having significant impacts on the textile and garment industry, and urged companies to make changes and invest in new technologies and staff.

Hanoitex 2018 is an opportunity for Vietnamese textile and garment companies to learn about the latest machinery, equipment, chemicals and technologies to help increase the local procurement rate and added value of the industry. 
Textile, garment industry expo opens in Ha Noi, Industry 4.0 Lab set up in Dong Nai with Bosch Rexroth assistance, Vietnam’s seafood exports to ASEAN expected to reach 1 billion USD soon, HCM City pledges to assist ICT enterprises