BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 21/1

Market liquidity to stay low ahead of Tet

As the Tet holiday nears, individual investors have withdrawn their cash out, limiting transactions and temporarily standing outside the market. (Photo: tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn)


Vietnam’s stock market is set for unpredictable short-term movement, as both local indexes witnessed a choppy trading week last week, on low liquidity and weak cash flow.

The benchmark index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) increased slightly by 0.05 percent to close at 902.30 points on January 18. The southern index totalled a weekly decline of 0.05 percent.

The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange dropped 0.36 percent to close at 101.56 points on January 18, totalling weekly losses of 0.3 percent.

An average of 282 million shares was traded in each session last week, worth 3.5 trillion VND (150 million USD).

Last week’s average trading figures were up 70 percent in volume and 6 percent in value compared to the previous week.

Tran Duc Anh, Director of Macroeconomics and Market Strategy, KB Securities Vietnam (KBSV), said in recent years, the market has witnessed similar conditions ahead of the Lunar New Year, with market indexes fluctuating and liquidity plummeting.

This can be considered a seasonal development as investors need time to evaluate the previous year’s business and make plans for the new trading year, Anh told tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn.

The market being influenced by the external factors in recent times has also made many investors nervous and kept them outside the market observing the indices carefully. This has kept liquidity low as few transactions were made.

Cash in the market has focused on a few stock groups with stable, consistent and less risky performances.

"The market experienced a quite boring trading week with the total trading value on the three exchanges only at about 3 trillion VND per day, half as much as the average level,” said Nguyen Hong Khanh, head of Analysis Department, Vietnam International Securities Company (VIS).

“As the Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) holiday approaches, many individual investors have withdrawn their cash, limiting transactions and temporarily standing outside the market and waiting until the holiday season ends,” Khanh said.

However, in terms of figures, it is clear that the market recorded a significant recovery with VN-Index staying above 900 points.

In the two weeks before Tet, many enterprises will announce fourth quarter business results, including the banking and textile industries. This will give investors optimism.

The slight net selling of foreign investors on the HOSE in the last session of the week was not a worrying signal and it didn’t mean the net buying trend since the beginning of the year has ended, said Anh.

The net buying trend of foreign investors from the beginning of this year seems to be similar to the net buying trend in neighbouring emerging markets, Anh said.

During the period, foreign investors net bought more than 40 million USD in the Vietnamese stock market. The corresponding figures for Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan were 455 million USD, 132 million USD, 11.5 million USD and 299 million USD, respectively.

According to Anh, there are many reasons for this. The US dollar has weakened in recent weeks, global risk factors are cooling and the emerging economies in the region have maintained growth momentum.

Statistics from the past show that whenever the dollar weakens, global capital inflows often shift to emerging markets, supporting these markets and helping them perform better than the markets of developed nations.

Vinh Long province to amend development master plan

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vinh Long is planning to tweak its socio-economic master plan.


The Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long is planning to make changes to its socio-economic master plan to reflect changes on the ground.

Truong Dang Vinh Phuc, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, told a conference last week that the changes would focus on industry, industrial complex infrastructure, rural agriculture, culture-tourism, transport infrastructure, urban housing development, and trade services.

The province’s main sectors are agriculture, food processing, energy, manufacture and repair of agricultural machinery and vehicles, wood processing, garment and textiles, and footwear.

Le Quang Trung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said this year Vinh Long plans to improve its growth models by enhancing labour productivity and competitiveness. 

It plans to enhance cooperation with other localities in the delta to develop its services and tourism sectors, he said. 

The province would continue to restructure agriculture by building new rural areas and focus on building value chains for and promoting its major agricultural products.

Last year, the province’s agricultural output had been worth 10.59 trillion VND, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

Customs department tops 2018 Quang Ninh competitiveness index

Staff of the Quang Ninh province's Department of Customs (Photo: baohaiquan)


Quang Ninh province’s Department of Customs topped 34 provincial departments and district authorities in the northeastern province in competitiveness, according to the ranking announced on January 18.

According to the province’s Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI), the provincial Department of Customs earned a score of 77.81 points. It was followed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment with a score of 77.72 points and the Department of Taxation with 77.62 points.

The city of Cam Pha ranked first among 14 cities and districts, earning a score of 75.61 points, followed by Hoanh Bo district with 68.85 points and Quang Yen town with 68.23 points.

Quang Ninh’s DCCI, which was based on an evaluation of 6,500 firms, co-operatives and business households operating in the province, showed that the province’s State management agencies and district-level authorities were actively conducting dialogues with businesses to listen to their difficulties and create favourable conditions for firms.

According to Vu Kim Chi, deputy head of the provincial Department for Investment Promotion and Support, Quang Ninh launched its DDCI in 2015 as an effort to aid provincial departments and district authorities in improving the business climate.

The index measures eight criteria, including transparency, proactivity of leadership, time costs of regulatory compliance, informal charges, policy bias, legal institutions, business support and accountability of leaders.

Quang Ninh was the most competitive province in the country, topping the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s provincial competitiveness index (PCI) for 2017, which assessed the ease of doing business in 63 provinces and cities.

Lenders boost consumer loans at year-end

Both finance companies and banks are promoting consumer lending. (Photo: viettimes.vn)


Both finance companies and banks are promoting consumer lending to capitalise on high demands ahead of the country’s largest holiday Lunar New Year (Tet).

The Tien Phong Joint Stock Commercial Bank (TPBank) has just launched a ‘super speed’ auto loan programme, with a commitment to approve loan appraisals within eight hours. Customers can borrow up to 80 percent of the value of a car over 84 months.

The Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) is applying an unsecured loan programme, requiring no collateral or deposits. Under the programme, borrowers can get loans at a maximum amount of 10 times of their monthly income, but not exceeding 300 million VND (12,880 USD).

Foreign banks, such as Shinhan Bank and Standard Chartered Vietnam are also boosting consumer lending.

At Shinhan Bank, customers can get loans of 10-12 times of their salary over 36 months, providing their salaries are paid into the bank. The RoK bank is offering interests rate of 19-23 percent per year.

Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam is offering loans of up to 900 million VND over 12-60 months. To qualify for loans, borrowers must have a monthly minimum after-tax income of at least 10 million VND.

Finance company HD Saison is also offering loans for customers to buy motorbikes before Tet.

According to the National Financial Supervisory Commission, Vietnam’s consumer lending had recorded strong growth in recent years, from 50.2 percent in 2016 to 65 percent in 2017. The ratio of consumer loans out of the country’s total outstanding loans also increased from 12.3 percent in 2016 to 18 percent in 2017.

The numbers for 2018 have yet to be released, but Nguyen Mai Long, CEO of EVN Finance’s Easy Credit, said consumer lending still contributed a significant proportion to the banks’ profits.

Long forecast demands for consumer finance would remain high in 2019, given efforts to stimulate consumption among both producers and consumer finance lenders amid rising incomes.

Long estimated consumer finance companies had opportunities to provide loans for potential customers, who account for about 48 percent of Vietnam’s 95 million population.

Vietjet Air inaugurates HCM City – Van Don route

Vietjet Air inaugurates HCM City-Van Don route on January 20. 


The Vietjet Air on January 20 inaugurated its route linking Ho Chi Minh City in the south and Van Don island district in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, the low-cost carrier announced the same day.

Return flights are conducted every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Aircraft departs from Ho Chi Minh City at 7:00 and arrives at Van Don at 9:15 am, while the return departs at 9:50 and arrives at 12:05.

The route is expected to meet the increasing demand for tourism and trade, helping boost the local economic development and integration.

Van Don island, located near the Bai Tu Long bay and the world-famous Ha Long bay, is blessed with many scenic beauties and has over the recent past become a magnet to both local and foreign tourists.

Vietjet Air is now having 39 domestic and 66 international routes. It is opening more routes and expanding its fleet in the “consumer airline” model. Travellers have many choices in booking its tickets and paying the fares.

Quang Ninh rolls out red carpet for RoK investors

At the reception for the  RoK-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group (Photo: baoquangninh.com.vn)


The northern province of Quang Ninh always creates favourable conditions for enterprises from the Republic of Korea (RoK) to land investments in the locality.

Hosting a reception for a delegation from the RoK-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group led by its Chairman Kim Hak-yong on January 19, Standing Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Ky affirmed that the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries has been thriving in the past years, with the RoK being the largest FDI investor in Vietnam as of August 2018.

Quang Ninh province has huge potential to develop high-tech manufacturing and processing industries, tourism and services, he said, highlighting that the working visit by the parliamentarians will open new opportunities to foster RoK investment in the locality.

Kim, for his part, said that he was impressed by the excellent development of the Vietnamese province, stressing that comprehensive investment in modern transport facility will make Quang Ninh become more attractive to RoK firms.

He expressed his belief that the province will lure more RoK investments as well as tourists.

Ninh Thuan’s first solar power plant connected to national grid

BP Solar 1 solar power plant becomes the first Vietnamese constructed project to get connected to the national grid so far. 


BP Solar 1 solar power plant in the south central province of Ninh Thuan was inaugurated on January 20, becoming the first Vietnamese constructed project to get connected to the national grid so far.

Work on the 62-hectare plant started in June 2018 at a total cost of more than 1.31 trillion VND (56.32 million USD). The project, including transmission lines and transformation stations, was designed to generate some 74.45 million KWh per year.

According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Luu Xuan Vinh, the plant’s construction was completed earlier than the set plan, showing the determination and capacity of its investor- the BP Solar Join Stock Company.

He hoped that other investors of solar power projects will accelerate their work to connect to the national grid soon, making Ninh Thuan a renewable energy centre of the country.

Vinh also expressed his wish that the investors will pay due attention to creating jobs for local people a as well as implementing social welfare policies to improve local livelihoods.

To date, Ninh Thuan province is home to 25 solar power projects approved by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The province is expected to attract capital to develop solar power projects with a total capacity of 3.912 MW between now and 2030.

Japan offers most overseas jobs for Vietnamese workers

Japan is expected to receive more Vietnamese workers this year, having become the most attractive labor export market in 2018.

Last year marked the first time Japan became the most popular destination for Vietnamese migrant workers with over 68,700 people finding jobs there, beating Taiwan with nearly 60,400 people and the Republic of  Korea (RoK) with over 6,500, according to statistics released by the Department of Overseas Labor.

The department's deputy director, Nguyen Gia Liem, said the Japanese market's rise in popularity was due to the implementation of a new law that allows migrant workers to stay for five years instead of three.

Furthermore, Vietnam was the first country to sign with Japan a memorandum of cooperation on the latter's technical intern training program, which came into effect last June.

In 2018, a total of 13 Vietnamese businesses were also licensed to directly bring Vietnamese citizens to Japan to work as caregivers. The long language and skill training required, however, limited the number of Vietnamese citizens taking this route last year.

However, Liem asserted: "These establishments would help increase even further the number of Vietnamese laborers going to Japan."

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Doan Mau Diep, has said the ministry will reduce the number of labor export firms. The move follows last October's request by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Vietnam shut down bad labor export agencies and reduce costs for people wanting to work abroad.

"The country currently has 2,000 companies taking workers overseas, which is too many, causing companies to compete with each other for contracts, and they collect high fees," Diep said.

The ministry would also review current regulations on overseas students to prevent this system from being abused as many Vietnamese citizens wanting to work in Japan have been using student visas in recent years to reduce cost and time spent on language and skills training.

Last year, Japanese authorities already reviewed and suspended multiple companies for taking Vietnamese workers to Japan under the guise of international students.

Diep also warned that citizens wanting to work overseas need to use legal labor export firms and not use tourist visas, as happened in the recent infamous case in Taiwan.

"If going on a worker's visa the fees can be expensive, such as about VND80 million [$3,400] for Taiwan. The travel route meanwhile only costs flight tickets and visa fees so many still choose to travel then escape to work, but they will face many risks," he said.

A Vietnamese migrant worker can make $1,000 to $1,200 a month in Japan and RoK, four times the average monthly salary in Vietnam, which was VND6.5 million ($290) last year.

A total of over 142,800 Vietnamese laborers went to work overseas in 2018, a six percent increase compared to the previous year.

With this number, which includes about 50,300 female workers, 2018 became the fifth consecutive year in which the number of Vietnamese working overseas exceeded 100,000 people.

Promoting digital economy in context of Industry 4.0

The digital age offers opportunities for the world economy, creating new business models, which helps boost global gross domestic product (GDP).

The digital age offers opportunities for the world economy, creating new business models, which helps boost global GDP (Photo: sapo.vn)

Dang Hoang Hai, Director of the Vietnam eCommerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, made the statement during a workshop in Hanoi on January 18.

He said the digital economy could also help countries increase productivity, efficiency and transparency in international trade.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade organised the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) workshop on promoting the digital economy in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

The workshop’s aim was to share experiences and improve understanding of the digital economy and its current role.

It also looked at the impacts, challenges and opportunities management agencies face in order to keep pace in the fast-growing sector.

Hai also said the revolution 4.0 would bring potential and promote creativity. Therefore, the digital economy would be widely applied in other economic sectors. In addition, it would help businesses reach out to the global market, he said.

The digital economy was creating opportunities, as well as challenges, and ASEM leaders recognised the importance of working together.

Jane Treadwell from the World Bank (WB) said they were very interested in the digital economy with two purposes of reducing poverty globally and ensuring common prosperity for all countries.

The global digital economy was worth 1.5 trillion USD in 2016, equivalent to 15.5 percent of the world’s GDP and is expected to rise to 25 percent worldwide in the next decade.

In the labour market, workers need to adapt traditional skills, knowledge and business practices to digital environments. This will bring more opportunities for businesses and workers.

Dao Ngoc Chien, Deputy Director of the Department of High Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the digital economy was interwoven with the traditional economy.

Economic markets were based on digital technologies to create transactions and exchanges of goods and services through e-commerce, he said.

Chien also revealed the opportunities available to businesses. Enterprises could easily develop trade links with consumers through e-commerce platforms and could also develop digital payment, insurance and banking services, he said.

Vietnam, Hong Kong to promote trade amid US-China tensions

A view of Hong Kong. Banking officials of HSBC have encouraged more trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong. (Photo: instyle-hk.com)


Vietnam and Hong Kong should promote investment, trade and service flows between the two sides to take advantage of a diversion of trade from China amid escalating tensions between the US and China, a banking official said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on January 18, Terence Chiu, country head of commercial banking at HSBC Hong Kong, said that more Hong Kong investors were eyeing Vietnam as a good destination to seize huge opportunities for investment.

Some companies had started shifting production out of China to avoid tariffs imposed by the US, he said. “Vietnam is very likely to benefit from the adjusted supply chains,” he added.

“We have seen strong business flow from Hong Kong to Vietnam,” he said.  

Over the past five years, trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong has seen double-digit growth.

Compared to other ASEAN member countries, Vietnam had many advantages, which have helped the country gain attention from Hong Kong businesses, he said. 

Vietnam offers affordable human resources and abundant raw material sources, which are more competitive in price than other ASEAN countries.

Hong Kong investors also see high potential from Vietnam’s increasing purchasing power thanks to its growing middle class with increasing income.

Nick Mahon, head of International Subsidiary Banking for HSBC Vietnam, said: “Vietnam is seen as a possible winner in the trade war due to its low costs in manufacturing.”

“With its rapid infrastructure, economic and technological development, Vietnam has attracted attention from Hong Kong investors,” he said. 

Vietnamese enterprises should try to attract more financial sources from Hong Kong to develop infrastructure and industry, while using trade transaction floors in Hong Kong to promote its goods to global buyers, he noted.

According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), in the first nine months of 2018, bilateral trade reached 18 billion USD.

Hong Kong was one of the first foreign investors in HCM City, the economic hub of the country.

As of June 2018, Hong Kong was the sixth largest foreign investor in Vietnam with total investment of nearly 19 billion USD, with Vietnam among the 25 most attractive destinations for Hong Kong businesses.

Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of around 3 billion USD with Hong Kong in the first half of last year, a year-on-year increase of 14.6 percent.

During the first seven months of last year, Vietnam was the sixth biggest export market in the world for Hong Kong, with total value of 6 billion USD.

As of August 2018, Hong Kong companies had more than 1,300 projects operating in Vietnam with total registered capital of 9 billion USD, focusing on key areas like textiles and garments, real estate and investments.

Vietnam continues to shine as the region’s brightest star with the strongest GDP growth. 

Around 63 percent of all FDI in Vietnam is invested in the manufacturing sector.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the textile and garment sector is one of the country’s major export products, representing 12.4 percent of total export volume as of November last year.  

Bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Hong Kong has grown steadily over years, with the two signing an FTA in November 2017.

Hong Kong also signed an FTA with ASEAN that has opened the door to more cooperation opportunities for Hong Kong and Vietnam, one of the fastest growing economies in ASEAN.

Vietnam has a stable political system, a sizeable domestic market, young working population, and resilient domestic demand that can create a sound and supportive ecosystem for foreign investors.

The country ended 2018 as one of the fastest-growing Asian economies. Last year the country’s GDP accelerated to 7.08 percent year-on-year, the fastest pace since 2011.

In 2019, Vietnam will likely remain one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. The strong economic growth of the country has opened up more business opportunities. 

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) took effect in Vietnam on January 14.

The CPTPP is expected to provide improved access to 500 million consumers among member countries, which account for 13 percent of global GDP.

The trade agreement will spur reform in Vietnam in such areas as competition, customs, e-commerce, environment, intellectual property, investment, labour standards, legal issues, and rules of origin.

By 2030, exports from CPTPP countries are expected to increase by more than 6 percent, and 8 percent in Vietnam. The trade agreement will also lead to a shift in global supply chains as trade is rerouted to CPTPP countries. 

Vietnam has implemented numerous reforms to improve its business environment for foreign investors.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report, Vietnam ranked 68th among 190 economies, a jump of 14 against 2017 and 30 against 2012.

The country has signed many FTAs that open up investment and trade opportunities and is committed to creating a fair and attractive business environment for foreign investors.

According to a report from the Government, foreign investment in Vietnam last year increased by 9.1 percent to $19.1 billion. This was the sixth consecutive record year for foreign investment in the country.

“Strong FDI flow should improve productivity and industrial capacity, enabling the country to take advantage of trade diversion,” said Terence Chiu, country head of commercial banking at HSBC Hong Kong.

Divide assets, proposes Vietnam’s coffee ‘Queen’

Le Hoang Diep Thao, wife of Trung Nguyen coffee brand founder Dang Le Nguyen Vu, said in a statement January 17 that she has proposed that the assets of the Trung Nguyen Group be divided into two parts, with Vu choosing to take one and she taking the other.  

The first part would be the Trung Nguyen coffee brand, the Trung Nguyen Legend Stores and its factories. The second would comprise the G7 instant coffee brand and its factories.

Thao said she would allow Vu to make the decision first, with a month’s time to change his mind. 

"Both brands are the children that my husband and I have borne and raised in the last 20 years. Even now, I still hope that he and I will continue to keep and develop the two brands together," Thao said.

Thao added that a hearing is scheduled for January 30 in the divorce case between her and Vu.

A representative of Vu told VnExpress that both Vu and the court have not accepted any of Thao’s proposals, but declined to comment further.

Thao’s proposal comes after her accusation last month that her husband’s company forged signatures to remove her from the Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Corporations (Trung Nguyen IC) and replace her with Vu.

In May 2006, Thao was appointed Trung Nguyen's deputy general director, allowing her to manage the company under Vu's authorization. 

She claims that under her management, Trung Nguyen's charter capital increased from VND150 billion ($6.5 million) to VND2.5 trillion ($108.7 million) and both the company's annual revenue and profit grew significantly.

However, in July 2014, Vu signed a decision to dismiss Thao as deputy general director without the board of directors' approval. He also instructed his employees to demolish her office and block her from entering the company's headquarters, Thao has alleged.

Furthermore, he prevented Thao from performing her rights and responsibilities as Trung Nguyen's shareholder and a board member, prompting her to file the lawsuit.

The court of Ho Chi Minh City on September 20, 2018 reinstated Thao as the deputy general director, co-owner and co-founder of Trung Nguyen Group, but on the very next day, Vu dismissed her for the second time, accusing Thao of threatening Vu's partners during the couple's struggles over property and rights to manage and run the company.

Trung Nguyen Group is a top coffee firm in Vietnam. It earned revenues of VND3.95 trillion ($170.5 million) and profit before tax of VND681 billion ($29.4 million) in 2017.

Phú Mỹ Hưng launched new project

Property developer Phú Mỹ Hưng Development Corporation launched phase two of the Peak in HCM City on Thursday.

The Peak is the last development in the complex known as Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown that the company has developed over the past two years in the South District of Phú Mỹ Hưng City Centre in District 7 of HCM City. 

It said 698 units would be sold now in the Peak, including two-bedroom condos ranging in size from 72sq.m to 94sq.m, three-bedroom ones measuring 100-120sq.m and tophouses of 161-292sq.m. 

It would be sold in the third quarter of this year, the company said. 

It is in an ideal location in Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown amid Sakura Park, rivers and other beautiful sights. 

Its first phase was sold late last year with over 90 per cent of the units being snapped up within a day. 

Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown, which Phú Mỹ Hưng Development Corporation has developed in co-operation with three Japanese companies, contains four projects: the Grande, the Symphony, the Signature and the Peak. 

In around two years, more than 1,600 units have been sold. 

Phú Mỹ Hưng Development Corporation said it offered over 1,300 units for sale last year in the Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown, Urban Hill and Hưng Phúc Premier.  

All of them were in the high-end segment, and 90-100 per cent of them were sold right on the first day, it said. 

In 2018, the company handed over 1,300 condos and 81 shophouses in the Hưng Phúc-Happy Residence, Nam Phúc-Le Jardin, Scenic Valley 2 and Riverpark Premier. 

It also assisted 1,500 customers with completing administrative procedures related to these purchases. 

Vietnamobile expands 4G service to 20 provinces

     

 

Vietnamobile introduces its new SIM line called Sieu Thanh Up, which offers free daily 4G data, on Thursday at a press conference in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of Vietnamobile



 Vietnamobile Telecommunications Joint Stock Company, a mobile network operator, has expanded its 4G coverage to all 20 southern provinces, company officials announced at a press conference on Thursday in HCM City.

The company is the first of its kind to apply a network aggregation technique to expand its large scale 4G network, by combining two frequency bands, a 900Mhz low band and 2100Mhz high band.

Vietnamobile is also launching a new SIM line called Sieu Thanh Up. By spending at least VND50,000 or more per month, users can enjoy free daily 4G data, free daily on-net calling and texting, and VND680 per minute of off-net calling, in addition to other rewards.

Vietnamobile has improved its network to provide better indoor mobile coverage and more consistent data connectivity, Hoang Minh Hai, Vietnamobile chief of technology, said. 

Customs department tops 2018 Quang Ninh competitiveness index

     

Staff of the Quang Ninh Department of Customs. — Photo baohaiquan.vn


 Quang Ninh Province’s Department of Customs topped 34 provincial departments and district authorities in the northern province in competitiveness, according to the ranking announced on Friday.

According to the province’s Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI), the provincial Department of Customs earned a score of 77.81 points. It was followed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment with a score of 77.72 points and the Department of Taxation with 77.62 points.

The city of Cam Pha ranked first among 14 cities and districts, earning a score of 75.61 points, followed by Hoanh Bo District with 68.85 points and Quang Yen Town with 68.23 points.

Quang Ninh’s DCCI, which was based on an evaluation of 6,500 firms, co-operatives and business households operating in the province, showed that the province’s State management agencies and district-level authorities were actively conducting dialogues with businesses to listen to their difficulties and create favourable conditions for firms.

According to Vu Kim Chi, deputy head of the provincial Department for Investment Promotion and Support, Quang Ninh launched its DDCI in 2015 as an effort to aid provincial departments and district authorities in improving the business climate.

The index measures eight criteria, including transparency, proactivity of leadership, time costs of regulatory compliance, informal charges, policy bias, legal institutions, business support and accountability of leaders.

Quang Ninh was the most competitive province in the country, topping the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s provincial competitiveness index (PCI) for 2017, which assessed the ease of doing business in 63 provinces and cities. 

Vietnam exports 1.58 million tonnes of rubber in 2018

In 2018, the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) basically completed its targets, in which the total volume of exploited rubber reached 307,108 tonnes of latex, equalling 101.92% of the yearly plan (exceeding 5,788 tons), and total revenue was estimated at VND 22,686 billion, reaching 103% of the plan.

According to the VRG’s report, although the price of natural rubber decreased significantly compared to 2017, Vietnam shipped abroad an estimated 1.58 million tonnes of rubber earning US$2.1 billion in 2018, up 14.5% in volume and down 6.1 times in value against the same period last year.

This information was announced at a conference held by the VRG to outline its tasks for 2019, on January 17. The event was attended by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh.

The event was attended by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh

In 2019, Vietnam Rubber Industry Group plans to produce exploited rubber from 320,250 tonnes or more, while the planned consumption volume is 395,000 tonnes and total revenue of roughly VND 18,400 billion

Speaking at the ceremony, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh congratulated and appreciated the achievements of the rubber industry in general and the VRG over the past year.

Deputy Prime Minister asked the VRG to implement the Party and Government Resolutions, urgently deploy the tasks assigned by the Prime Minister, overcome limitations and select strengths to create a breakthrough in order to successfully implement the 2019 plan.

Mekong Delta aims for high-quality agriculture in 2019

Farmers harvest shrimp in An Giang province. 


Provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta have set ambitious targets this year with a focus on high-quality agriculture combined with eco-tourism, services and industry.

Last year, though the Delta faced unseasonable weather, flooding and a decline in agricultural product prices, the localities achieved positive socio-economic targets. 

Located in a key economic region, with advantages in tourism, aquaculture and rice production, Kien Giang province, for instance, achieved an economic growth rate of 7.5 percent last year.

The province’s total Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) reached more than 62.3 trillion VND (2.68 billion USD), and budget revenue collection 9.95 trillion VND (428.5 million USD), 7.7 percent higher than estimated.

Pham Vu Hong, Chairman of the Kien Giang People’s Committee, said in 2018 the province created 213 large-scale fields to help farmers apply technology to rice production. 

The province produced more than 4.2 million tonnes of rice in 2018. At least 76 percent of high quality rice was exported, he said. The province’s aquaculture yielded about 815,400 tonnes, exceeding 4 percent of the plan.

It welcomed over 7.6 million visitors, of which international visitors were 580,000, exceeding 34.8 percent of the year’s plan, he added.

Nguyen Van Duong, Chairman of the provincial Dong Thap People’s Committee, said that export turnover of the province reached a record 1.2 billion USD last year, a surge of over 40 percent compared to the previous year. 

The province sent more than 2,000 people to work overseas in Japan and the Republic of Korea, higher than the target of 1,000).

The province also focused on smart agricultural production, applying advanced technologies to ensure sustainable agriculture.

In addition, in 2018 Vinh Long province achieved 10.59 trillion VND (456.3 million USD) worth of agricultural production, according to the provincial People’s Committee. 

The province’s investment environment improved with 22 new projects with total registered capital of 5.89 trillion VND (253.8 million USD), up by 10 projects over the same period. 

The number of tourists to Vinh Long also increased by more than 8 percent over the previous year. 

Tien Giang province also achieved good results in industry, export, tourism, rice production, and fisheries, among others. 

Income per capita in Tien Giang increased to 47.6 million VND last year, exceeding the set target, which was higher than the average of the entire Mekong Delta region.

Le Quang Trung, Vice Chairman of the provincial Vinh Long People’s Committee, said this year Vinh Long planned to improve its growth models by increasing labour productivity and competitiveness. 

The province plans to enhance cooperation activities among other localities in the region to develop its trade, service and tourism sectors. 

Vinh Long will continue to restructure agriculture with the building of new rural areas, and focus on building value chains for production and promoting major agricultural products.

The provincial Kien Giang People’s Committee plans to improve the quality of human resources and administrative reforms, promote investment in major transport infrastructure, and develop Phu Quoc island district as a special economic zone and driving force of the province.

Kien Giang will also continue to restructure the agricultural sector with a focus on building new rural areas, and issue more incentives to attract investment in clean and organic agriculture. 

The province will enhance investment promotion and recover delayed projects or those that have been implemented slowly. 

Kien Giang aims to achieve a growth rate of more than 7.8 percent, the top figure in the Mekong Delta region.

In addition, Soc Trang will also improve its business environment and promote agricultural development with linkages to value chains, with priorities given to clean rice and aquatic products, use of high technologies, and promotion of tourism and renewable energy.

Soc Trang targets a growth rate of between 7.3 percent and 7.5 percent this year, with income per capita of more than 42 million VND. 

It will continue to reduce the rate of poor households in the Khmer community people to 3-4 percent per year.

Vo Thanh Thong, Chairman of the Can Tho City People’s Committee, said Can Tho is playing a major role in the Mekong Delta in many fields such as education and training, healthcare, science and technology, industry, trade, services and tourism.

Can Tho will continue to reform its growth model, restructure the economy towards sustainable development, and promote administrative reform, as well as create more favourable conditions for local and foreign enterprises to operate effectively. Can Tho will also promote a knowledge-based economy.

The Mekong Delta accounts for 12 percent of the national area and 19 percent of its population. It contributes 50 percent of the rice crop, 65 percent of aquaculture, 70 percent of fruit, 95 percent of exported rice and 60 percent of exported fish.

Vietnam’s millionaire population growth among world’s fastest

Vietnam ranks fourth among the world’s top 10 countries with the fastest millionaire population growth, a new report says.

The country’s High Net Worth (HNW) population is set to grow by 10.1 percent each year in the 2018-2023 period, says wealth research firm Wealth-X.

This growth rate is only lower than Nigeria at 16.3 percent, Egypt, 12.5 percent and Bangladesh, 11.4 percent, says the report, which covered over 540,000 HNW individuals in the world. 

The report defines HNW population as those with a net worth between $1 million and $30 million.

The world’s HNW population grew by 1.9 percent last year from 2017 to 22.4 million people with a combined wealth of $61.3 trillion.

About 25 percent of the world’s HNW population were located in Asia last year, and their total wealth was $15.48 trillion.

Although the region’s GDP went up 8 percent last year, its stock markets plunged by more than 11 percent, partly explaining why Asia’s HNW population and total wealth remained virtually unchanged from last year, the report said.

It also said that the top 10 countries accounted for over 75.2 percent of the global HNW population and 73.8 percent of total HNW wealth last year. 

U.S. topped the list with over 8.6 million people, following by China with 1.8 million, Japan, 1.6 million and Germany over 1 million.

In another report published last September, Wealth-X said that the number of ultra wealthy population, those with a net worth of over $30 million, has increased by 12.7 percent in Vietnam from 2012 to 2017, making it the third fastest growing country in the world in this category.

Work starts on 152.7-million-USD solar power plant in Tra Vinh

Work begins on 152.7-million-USD solar power plant in Tra Vinh (Source: tienphong.vn)


Construction of a solar power plant worth over 3.55 trillion VND (152.7 million USD) began in Duyen Hai township in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on January 19.

Covering an area of 171ha, the plant, which has a designed capacity of 165 MWp, is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2019 and contribute over 250 million kWh of electricity to the national grid each year.

The construction of the plant not only helps protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions, but also generates jobs for more than 1,500 workers and contributes to socio-economic development and social welfare in the region.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Anh Dung said that the project is part of the renewal energy development plan for the 2011-2020 period with a vision to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister.

He asked the investor – Trung Nam Tra Vinh Solar Power Joint Stock Company – to quickly complete related procedures, focus resources on the construction, strictly follow environment-related standards, and not have negative impacts on locals’ daily life and production.

Dung also pledged to create all favourable conditions for the investor to ensure the project is implemented on schedule.


Vietnamobile expands 4G service to 20 provinces, Divide assets, proposes Vietnam’s coffee ‘Queen’, Vietnam, Hong Kong to promote trade amid US-China tensions, Ninh Thuan’s first solar power plant connected to national grid
 
*
*
*
  Send