No holiday ensures steel shipments



A Hoa Sen Group steel plant. The company works through the Lunar New Year every year to execute export contracts. 

 Hoa Sen Group said it exported 4,300 tonnes of steel sheets worth US$3.7 million to the US last Tuesday, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Some production lines remained operational during the holidays, it said.

Tran Ngoc Chu, the company’s vice chairman, said: “Lunar New Year is holiday time. But at Hoa Sen, production continues. This has been so for many years.”

Exports contribute 40 per cent of the company’s revenues.

In fiscal 2017-18, the company earned $538 million from exports, a 27 per cent jump from the previous year.

It produced 1.8 million tonnes of steel and earned total revenues of VND34 trillion ($1.5 billion), up 13 per cent and 32 per cent.

Sales were up both in the domestic and foreign markets, the company said.

Profit after tax was VND410 billion ($18 million).

The company has a 35 per cent share of the domestic steel sheet market and 18 per cent of the steel pipe market, respectively the largest and second largest shares.

It has 11 plants around the country.

HSG also manufactures plastic products and aims to become one of the top three players in the country. It produces 5,000 tonnes of three different kinds of plastic pipes per month. 

HCM City eyes 8.5 million international visitors in 2019

Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism authorities will focus on marketing and promotion campaigns to attract more foreign tourists this year, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

The city targets receiving 8.5 million international visitors and 32.77 million domestic holidaymakers this year, up 14 percent and 13 percent year on year, respectively.

Tourism revenue is expected to rise by 14.5 percent year-on-year to reach 150 trillion VND (6.44 billion USD).

This year, the department will work with airlines and international tourism agencies to organise farm trips at source markets such as Western Europe and Northeast Asia.

Various cultural, art, cuisine and tourism events will be organised throughout the year to attract visitors, with the Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) Festival and the International Travel Expo HCM City in the spotlight.

The number of international arrivals to HCM City reached 7.5 million last year, an increase of 17 percent compared to the previous year.

Da Nang serves nearly 329,000 visitors during Tet

The central city of Da Nang welcomed 328,810 visitors during the nine-day Lunar New Year (Tet) festival 2019 (February 2 -10), a year-on-year increase  of 10.7 percent.

According to the municipal Department of Tourism, attractive sites included the Cham sculpture museum, Ba Na Hills, Da Nang Museum, Than Tai mineral water park, Sun World Da Nang and Son Tra - Linh Ung pagoda.

The number of international visitors to Da Nang during Tet hit over 158,000, up 19.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

This time is peak tourism season for the markets of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Europe and America, and Vietnamese expats.

Da Nang has become a destination for both domestic and foreign tourists thanks to its location near world cultural heritages, diverse tourism products and a port system which can serve international cruise ships.

The city aims to welcome 8.19 million visitors throughout 2019, up 6.9 percent year-on-year.

Can Tho’s IZs lure 112 million USD investment in 2018

Tra Noc Industrial Park in Can Tho city (Photo:

Industrial zones in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho attracted a total registered investment capital of 112 million USD last year, 12 percent higher than the annual target, according to the municipal Industrial Zones and Processing Zones Management Board. 

Nearly 110 million USD came from 12 newly-licensed projects with the remainder from nine existing ones which raised their capital levels.

Last year, businesses operating in these zones reported more than 1.52 billion USD in revenue, a hike of 8 percent, including 686 million USD from exports, up 23 percent year-on-year. They also contributed 1.94 trillion VND to the local budget, marking a modest increase of 4 percent compared to 2017.

As of last year, the IZs had 243 valid projects with a combined investment capital of 1.72 billion USD and more than 1 billion USD of the total was disbursed, the board said.

In recent years, the board has made efforts to improve the investment and business environment focusing on solving problems for enterprises operating in local industrial zones.

In the future, it will accelerate promotions to encourage more domestic and foreign businesses to invest in the zones. Top priority will be given to projects that support industries and hi-tech farming.

Notably, the board will call for Japanese small and medium-sized companies to support industry projects in the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Industrial Zone which opened its doors in the city’s Tan Phu ward, Cai Rang district late last year. Covering 30ha, the zone offers a wide range of services, including electronic components, information technology, engineering and pharmacy.

Tourism thrives in central region during Tet holiday

At the Complex of Hue Monuments 

The Complex of Hue Monuments in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue welcomed 158,000 visitors during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday from February 2-10, including over 50,000 foreigners, up 14.8 percent annually. 

They had a chance to enjoy calligraphy writing displays and ceremonial music, watch traditional martial arts, lion dances and games. 

On February 5 (the first day of the Lunar New Year), about 25,000 visitors arrived in Hue ancient capital, including 170 cruise tourists via Chan May port. 

Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the provincial Tourism Department, said apart from the annual traditional craft festival in late April, the locality will pilot four-season festivals, continue holding Coupe de Hue Cycle Race and Hue Marathon 2019, towards turning tourism into a pillar economy

This year, the province strives to serve about 4.5-4.7 million tourists, up nearly 8 percent annually, and nearly half of them will be foreigners. Tourism revenue is expected to increase by nearly 10 percent to 4.7-4.9 trillion VND (204- 213 million USD). 

Meanwhile, the central city of Da Nang attracted nearly 70,000 foreign vacationers on over 449 flights, up 70 percent year-on-year during the period. 

At the same time, two luxury cruise liners Superstar Virgo and Costa Atlantica carried 3,900 passengers from North East Asia to Tien Sa port. They later toured major local destinations. 

Da Nang is expected to welcome 8.19 million tourists this year, bringing its tourism revenue to 27.4 trillion VND, or a 13.9 percent rise from 2018. 

Major sites in the central region such as Huong Tich pagoda, Dong Loc Intersection in the central province of Ha Tinh, tomb of General Vo Nguyen Giap in the central province of Quang Binh also lured tens of thousands of pilgrims coming for sightseeing and pray for blessings.

Ha Long international passenger port greets six-star cruise

Six-star cruise Silver Shadow (Source: VOV)

The Ha Long international passenger port in the northern province of Quang Ninh welcomed the six-star cruise ship Silver Shadow on February 10-11.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Tuong Huy presented gifts and lucky money to international visitors and sent them New Year wishes.

Jogn Drapany, a tourist from California, the US, was touched by the warm welcome from local people. 

He shared that this is the first time he and his family have visited Ha Long and would visit Hanoi later.

Most of the holidaymakers onboard hail from the US, France and elsewhere in Europe.

Ha Long Bay is a must-see destination in Quang Ninh and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and 2000.

The bay spans 1,553 square kilometres and includes 1,969 islands of various sizes. It features thousands of limestone karsts and islets in various shapes and sizes. 

The limestone in the bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The geo-diversity of the environment has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea biosystem.

1,250 leading companies to showcase products at feed-to-food expo VIV Asia


The registration area at the 2017 VIV Asia. The 2019 edition of the exhibition will take place at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) from March 13 to 15. — Photo courtesy of organiser

VIV Asia, Asia’s top feed-to-food event covering all species and every part of the animal protein value chain, will take place from March 13 to 15 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC).

The 2019 VIV Asia will have a 30 per cent increase in net display area from the previous edition and 1,250 exhibitors from 60 countries and territories.

They will include big-name global market leaders and regional as well as national players of growing importance, displaying their latest products and services for animal protein producers and processors.

In the registration page at, visitors can book online to attend an extensive array of conferences and seminars scheduled at the 2019 VIV Asia.

Most conferences and technical seminars will be in English. One of the interesting seminars will be “Find more livestock business opportunity in Viet Nam and Indonesia” on March 14 at Nile 1, BITEC.

Ease of access will include online pre-registration at (use code: 100011 for free ticket), which will allow visitors to enter the show through multiple entry points without wasting time in queues.

The most recent edition in 2017 attracted 40,000 professional visitors from 126 countries and regions. 

Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park capable of attracting major investors worldwide

Illustrative photo.

The Hanoi-based hi-tech park expects to attract quality projects creating high spill-over effects to the city and surrounding provinces.

Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park sets target to attract US$ 1 billion in investment in 2018

PM: Concentrating all resources to develop Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park

Vingroup to build US$51-million hi-tech production plant in Hanoi

Following Vietnam’s first aircraft engine parts factory with investment from South Korea’s Hanwha Aerospace in Hanoi-based Hoa Lac Hi-tech park last December, Nguyen Trung Quynh, deputy head of the Management Board, expected the park to be capable of attracting major investors worldwide.

Investors from South Korean, Japan, among others, have been selective in searching for possible investment destination, according to Quynh, adding that Hoa Lac Hi-tech park could now meet the demand of both local and foreign investors. 

Recently, domestic enterprises, especially leading corporations such as VNPT, FPT, Viettel or Vingroup have chosen the park as location for investment. 

Last November, Vingroup signed an agreement to build a plant worth VND1.2 trillion (US$51.3 million) specialized in producing smart electronic devices. 

The Hoa Lac Hi-tech park also has a variety of social infrastructure development projects, which is in line with the city’s plan to become a worth-living city, Quynh continued. 

In the coming time, Quynh expected the park to attract quality projects creating high spill-over effects to the city and surrounding provinces and cities. 

Hoa Lac Hi-tech Part currently has 87 projects with registered capital of VND78 trillion (US$3.34 billion). In 2018, the park has 10 new projects worth a combined of VND15.85 trillion (US$678.62 million). 

Da Nang launches new IT Park



The entrance of the Da Nang Information Technology Park (DITP) in Hoa Vang district. It has completed the first stage of construction on 131ha with investment of US$82 million. 

 The central city has launched the first stage of the Da Nang Information Technology Park (DITP) in Hoa Vang district after one year of construction on 131ha with total investment of US$82 million.

The DITP, which was invested and built by the Trung Nam Group, now offers infrastructure for hosting the first investors from the second quarter of 2019.

It’s also the biggest IT Park in Da Nang with the aim of creating more opportunities for IT investors flocking to the city by 2023.

The park, which covers 341ha with total registered investment of $278 million, aims to become central Viet Nam’s ‘Silicon Valley’. It expects to create revenue of $3 billion each year with 25,000 jobs and a satellite city of 100,000 people.

The park, in the west of the city, was designed in connection with the Lien Chieu port and logistics centre, the North-South Expressway and railway system, and hi-tech industrial zones.

As planned, Trung Nam Group will build a 500-bed hospital with total investment of $53 million in the Golden Hills residential area to cater to residents and employees working at DITP. 

Vietnam-Czech Republic trade ties improving



Coffee is among the Vietnamese agricultural products most exported to the Czech Republic. — Photo

 Investment and trade ties between Viet Nam and the Czech Republic have shown encouraging signs as political and diplomatic relations continue to thrive.

According to Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan, two-way trade increased at a rate of about 15 per cent in recent years. Import-export turnover between the two nations was reported at US$1.2 billion in 2018, doubling the amount recorded in the previous year.

As a member of the European Union with a traditional friendship with Viet Nam, the Czech Republic stands ready to co-operate with the Southeast Asian country in its fields of strength like manufacturing, mining, food processing technology, agriculture and beer production.

The Vietnamese diplomat said that the Czech Republic sees Viet Nam as a potential trade partner and a bridge to bolster exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country hopes to receive support from competent authorities in Viet Nam in finding partners.

Once the EU- Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect, Czech enterprises will have more opportunities to land long-term investments in Viet Nam and boost exports of machines, equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and means of transportation.

The deal will also facilitate conditions for Viet Nam’s shipments of footwear, garments and textiles, tropical agricultural products, seafood, wood products and industrial products.

Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vladimir Bartl said Vietnamese coffee, pepper, fruits, tea, seafood, fine art, footwear and clothes have been exported to the Czech Republic while the European country has shipped electronic products, milk and chemicals to Viet Nam.

Viet Nam currently enjoys a trade surplus of $800 million with the Czech Republic, he added.

Czech enterprises have been present in many Vietnamese localities, especially in the city of Da Nang, where they are expanding investment in engineering, manufacturing and bio-technology. 

Firms investing abroad urged to pay attention to corporate social responsibility



A rubber project run by Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Laos. Vietnamese firms have been urged to focus on environmental protection and corporate social responsibility when investing abroad to develop sustainably. — Photo

 Vietnamese firms should focus on environmental protection and corporate social responsibility when investing abroad to develop sustainably and promote the socio-economic development of their host countries, experts have urged.

The existing legal system does not clearly state the corporate responsibility of overseas projects operated by Vietnamese firms. However, firms cannot ignore corporate responsibility if they want their projects to develop and bring long-term economic benefits.

According to Pham Quang Tu from Oxfam Viet Nam, when investing abroad, Vietnamese firms must clearly understand the legal system about social and environmental protection, respect the cultural heritages of the host country and consult those who could be affected by their projects before implementation.

In addition, social and environmental impact reports must be conducted together, ensuring compliance with the host countries’ regulations, he said.

Deputy Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hoang Quang Phong said that due to a lack of awareness of international laws, host countries’ laws, the cultures and customs of local people and agreements signed between governments, a number of overseas projects had not achieved their goals.

Vietnamese firms must change their investment methods towards sustainable development and promote corporate social responsibility to avoid problems which might negatively affect their own benefits, the socio-economic development of the host country and the image of Viet Nam in overseas markets, Phong said.

He stressed that the Viet Nam’s policies for investing abroad should be raised towards approaching the international practice to create favourable conditions for firms to improve themseves and contribute to promoting international co-operation.

“Sustainable development is an inevitable path,” Tran Thuy Hoa, head of the Rubber Development Advisory Board of the Viet Nam Rubber Association, said.

Global Witness, a non-Government organisation, urged the Vietnamese Government to strengthen the provision of instructions to Vietnamese firms on environmental and social risk management in overseas markets.

The biggest difficulty for firms investing abroad was insufficient awareness of the legal system of the host country and regulations under international conventions, said Nguyen Thi Hai, deputy director of Dak Lak Rubber Joint Stock Company. In addition, firms had not yet fully assessed the risks related to the culture and customs of the local people, which existed a significant barrier, she said.

According to Dinh Trong Thang from the Central Institute for Economic Management, it was necessary to have an agency to provide instructions in investing abroad, stressing the role of business associations.

Many Vietnamese firms are eyeing overseas investments, seeing potential markets in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Statistics from the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that Vietnamese firms invested US$432.2 million in 38 countries and territories in 2018. Laos was the largest destination for Vietnamese investment with $81.5 million, followed by Australia with $55.5 million and the US with $53 million. 

More funding needed for Southern Key Economic Region


A view from Binh Duong New City in the southern province of Binh Duong, which is part of the Southern Key Economic Zone. — Photo

 The Southern Key Economic Zone needs special policies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and improve linkages between localities to ensure sustainable development, experts have said.

The Southern Key Economic Region includes HCM City and the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Long An and Tien Giang.

The region accounts for only 8 per cent of the country’s area but plays a leading role in its economic development as it makes up 60 per cent of the Government’s revenues.

The region ranks highly in FDI attraction, accounting for 50 per cent of the capital and 60 per cent of projects of the entire country.

However, the region’s technical and social infrastructure has not met socio-economic development needs, experts said.

Dr Du Phuoc Tan, head of the urban management and research division at the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, said the region needed a huge amount of funds each year to develop road infrastructure, but the funds allocated by the government were insufficient.

“The Government’s finances are limited, so we need to look for other sources of capital,” he said.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Transport, around VND300 trillion (US$12.9 billion) is needed to build road infrastructure in the region.

Tan said that policies for financing traffic infrastructure linking the city and provinces in the region and elsewhere in the country are limited, and the Government should issue more “breakthrough policies”.

A transport development plan in the region by 2020 envisages building more new expressways such as between Bien Hoa City in Dong Nai Province and Vung Tau City in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, between HCM City and Binh Phuoc Province’s Chon Thanh District passing through Binh Duong Province’s Thu Dau Mot City, between Long An Province’s Ben Luc District and Dong Nai’s Long Thanh District, and between HCM City and the Moc Bai international border gate in Tay Ninh Province.

Many other waterway transport projects are expected to be added to the plan.


With a leading role in the region, HCM City has proposed many solutions to mobilise capital for socio-economic development not only for the city but also for the whole region.

In 2010, the city government issued a decision on the establishment of the HCM City Financial Investment Company (HFIC).

To date, HFIC has attracted investment in major infrastructure projects in the city to ensure efficient use of State capital.

HFIC has provided credit for 131 infrastructure projects in the city with a total investment of more than VND14 trillion with a credit limit of VND6.076 trillion in key fields such as technical infrastructure (33 per cent), health (22 per cent), education (41 per cent) and others (4 per cent).

HFIC has also managed a number of funds from the city budget such as a power grid renovation project; science and technology development fund; information technology human resources development fund; and pollution reduction fund.

It has also given loans to social and political organisations with total disbursement value of VND2.064 trillion, while ensuring debt collection in a timely manner.

Le Thi Huynh Mai, deputy director of HCM City Department of Planning and Investment, said the city government should issue government bonds to mobilise investment capital.

The department will seek funds from the private sector for infrastructure projects, she said.

She said the department would continue to seek potential investors for all sectors through public-private partnerships (PPP).

The department will also connect investors with banks and credit institutions, and help businesses access loans and simplify administrative procedures.

Binh Duong Province has proposed solutions to attract local and foreign investment by creating a favourable investment environment.

The province has improved road infrastructure significantly to enhance connections with HCM City and surrounding provinces, developed concentrated industrial zones (IPs), and attracted labour resources from provinces and cities in the country.

As of the end of 2018, the industry-service sector had accounted for 88.2 per cent of Binh Duong Province’s economic structure, while budget revenue collection had reached VND50 trillion and per capita income VND130.8 million per year.

The province has no poor households, according to national criteria.

Meanwhile, Dong Nai Province has shifted to attracting FDI from big corporations, investment projects in high-tech fields, and supporting industries instead of projects using outdated technology.

Improved infrastructure and consistent land planning have helped Dong Nai attract investors.

In the past five years, Dong Nai has attracted more than $1.7 billion of FDI each year.

In 2018, Dong Nai had VND27 trillion of domestic investment and $1.85 billion worth of FDI.

Mai Van Nhon, deputy head of Dong Nai Industrial Zone Authority, said the province has provided many solutions to support businesses.

Every year the province organises many dialogues to solve obstacles for businesses. Dong Nai also works with other localities with large labour resources to support enterprises to recruit workers.

Dong Nai has also furthered administrative reform to attract more investment in the province.

Improved infrastructure

In Binh Duong, in the 2011-15 period, total investment for road infrastructure reached more than VND98 trillion, accounting for 37.3 per cent of the total capital, of which the budget capital accounted for only 24.8 per cent with the rest coming from other economic sectors.

The capital source is primarily for investment in transport infrastructure and construction of industrial parks.

Currently, Binh Duong Province has 29 IPs with a total area of 12,7ha, of which 27 IPs are operating with leasing area of 80.8 per cent.

Phu Huu Minh, deputy director of the province’s Department of Planning and Investment, said mobilising investment from the private sector in transport infrastructure and industrial parks had helped attract more investment.

To date, the province has 36,379 domestic enterprises with a total registered capital of VND296.989 trillion and 3,509 FDI projects with a total investment of $32.2 billion, contributing greatly to the province’s socio-economic development.

Recently, Binh Duong hosted the Horasis Asia Meeting 2018 to promote its potential with international partners, improve its management capacity, and apply advanced technologies to implement its Smart City.

The event offered local enterprises an opportunity to network with international partners who are senior founders, general directors and CEOs of leading companies from around the world.

Binh Duong was also chosen to host the 2018 World Technopolis Association Summit in 2018.

Long An Province has attracted about 11,748 enterprises investing in the province, including 951 FDI projects.

In 2018, the province’s economic growth reached 10.36 per cent; per capita GRDP reached VND61 million per year; and the poverty rate fell to less than 2.92 per cent.

The province’s total State budget revenue in 2018 reached VND13.83 trillion, topping the Mekong Delta region.

According to a Government master plan, the Southern Key Economic Region needs total capital of VND6.54 quadrillion for its economic development in the 2015-20 period.

Total budget revenue of the region accounted for 41.3 per cent of the country’s total budget revenue.

In 2016, localities in the region had an economic growth rate of 1.5 times the average level of the country, contributing 60 per cent of the national budget revenue. 

Can Tho’s IZs lure $112m investment in 2018


The front gates of Tra Noc Can Tho Industrial Zone. — Photo

 Industrial zones in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho attracted a total registered investment capital of US$112 million last year, 12 per cent higher than the annual target, according to the municipal Industrial Zones and Processing Zones Management Board.

Nearly $110 million came from 12 newly-licensed projects with the remainder from nine existing ones which raised their capital levels.

Last year, businesses operating in these zones reported more than $1.52 billion in revenue, a hike of 8 per cent, including $686 million from exports, up 23 per cent year-on-year. They also contributed VND1.94 trillion to the local budget, marking a modest increase of 4 per cent compared to 2017.

As of last year, the zones had 243 valid projects with a combined investment capital of $1.72 billion and more than $1 billion of the total was disbursed, the board said.

In recent years, the board has made efforts to improve the investment and business environment focusing on solving problems for enterprises operating in local industrial zones.

In the future, it will accelerate promotions to encourage more domestic and foreign businesses to invest in the zones. Top priority will be given to projects that support industries and hi-tech farming.

Notably, the board will call for Japanese small and medium-sized companies to support industry projects in the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Industrial Zone which opened its doors in the city’s Tan Phu Ward, Cai Rang District late last year. Covering 30ha, the zone offers a wide range of services, including electronic components, information technology, engineering and pharmacy. 

Tet ends early for fruit, vegetable exporters


Workers pack dragon fruit for export. 

Many agricultural export companies have resumed work even before the end of Tet (Lunar New Year).

Vina T&T Group’s two processing plants in Cho Gao and Cai Lay districts in the southern province of Tien Giang began preparations on Friday to ship 23 containers of longan, dragon fruit and coconut to the US.

Sixteen containers of dragon fruit, each weighing 900kg, will be sent by air. The rest of the consignment, 36 tonnes of longan, 22 tonnes of dragon fruit and 50,000 fresh coconuts, will travel by sea.

Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of the company, told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper: “In fruit exports, transportation is very important, especially for preservation. Workers must work very early to ensure best quality of exported fruits.”

Lavifood recently opened a fruit and vegetable processing factory in Tay Ninh Province and signed contracts to export frozen fruits like mango, dragon fruit and papaya to South Korea at the beginning of the Lunar New Year.

“Our factory can process 60,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables a year,” Dinh Hung Dung, its deputy director, said.

“With technology meeting the US’s Lead Silver standard, our processed fruits and vegetables can retain their freshness and nutrition longer to create higher value and safety.”

On Wednesday, the Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association sent a delegation to the German Fruit and Vegetable Fair to explore opportunities, and many German companies have expressed interest.

According to the association, exports of fruits and vegetables were worth US$3.8 billion last year and are expected to reach $4 billion this year and $5 billion in 2020.

China is the biggest customer, buying 75 per cent of all exports.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the association, said: “The Chinese market is becoming more and more difficult with authorities there asking for official exports with traceable origin. It is good to force Vietnamese farmers to achieve VietGAP and Global GAP standards.

“Vietnamese agricultural products will [then] meet quality standards and Vietnamese customers will have the chance to get more organic and hygienic products.”

China is now a very important market for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables due to advantages like its proximity and size.

But it now accepts only eight fruits and vegetables from Viet Nam and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development is negotiating with Chinese authorities to accept more.

Besides, Viet Nam’s potential to export fruits and vegetables to developed nations remains huge due to free trade agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Tran-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The ministry reported that last year some 105,000 hectares of unfertile rice paddies were converted into fruit orchards or vegetable farms.

As a result, the area under fruits in the country increased by 26,000 hectares and output rose by 300,000 tonnes.

New agricultural production models using modern technology and organic produce enable farmers to earn five times the income they did from rice. 

Ample goods, steady prices mark Tet in HCM City



Customers at a supermarket in HCM City. Thanks to careful preparation by the city authorities, there were no shortages of goods during Tet, the biggest shopping season of the year, or price increases. 

The HCM City consumer market was steady during Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade.

In a report to the municipal government, it said the price-stabilisation programme has been implemented efficiently, helping prevent any supply shortfall or sudden rise in prices during what is the year’s peak shopping season.

Through programmes connecting producers, distributors and retailers, many specialities from various parts of the country were available in the city.

Manufacturers, besides making careful preparations to ensure adequate supply at steady prices, also focused on improving quality to meet consumers’ increasing expectations.

The department had made plans early for Tet this year and implemented them scrupulously.

Many businesses launched promotions, stimulating consumption.

The department said retail sales increased by 12-15 per cent this year, with modern channels reporting a 15-25 per cent rise.

The city began a programme this year under which traders do preliminary processing of fruits and vegetables at their facilities before transporting them to the city’s wholesale markets to reduce the amount of garbage in the city.

Many supermarkets and food shops such as Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, Lotte Mart, Satrafood and Vissan reopened on February 6, one day after the Lunar New Year, but sales were down from before Tet.

Supermarkets launched promotions, including 10-20 per cent discounts on fresh foods and 5-49 per cent on non-food products, besides giving lucky money to customers to boost sales.

The department said demand would go back to normal after the holidays end. 

Vietnamese market best in the region: Deputy PM



Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue. — Photo

 The Vietnamese stock market was Southeast Asia’s most successful market in 2018 in terms of capital mobilisation, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

In a New Year meeting held on Sunday, Hue was quoted by online news outlet as saying that the speeding up of the equitisation process has helped Viet Nam’s IPO market lead Southeast Asia in terms of value.

“With a value of US$2.6 billion, the IPO market in Viet Nam unexpectedly surpassed Singapore in IPO value ($500 million),” Hue said.

The benchmark VN-Index ended 2018 at 892.54 points, lower compared to 2017. However, market capitalisation reached VND3.9 quadrillion, up 10.6 per cent. The size of the stock market increased rapidly, reaching approximately 70 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Liquidity also rose strongly. In 2018, the average liquidity per session was VND6.5 billion, up 29 per cent compared to VND5 billion per session in 2017.

Regarding listed companies, in 2018, revenue increased by 20.5 per cent while profit climbed by 25 per cent year-on-year. As for the securities companies, profit rose by 40 per cent compared to 2017.

Hue said although a wave of foreign investors’ capital was withdrawn from emerging markets to shift towards the US market due to the increasing attractiveness of the US dollar, Viet Nam was still an attractive destination for foreign investors.

During 2018, foreign investors net bought VND42 trillion on the Vietnamese stock market.

He said that although the VN-Index fell in 2018, this adjustment was necessary.

“When the VN-Index reached 1,240 points, we were worried because the market developed too fast, with the P/E (price-to-earnings) ratio staying at around 23 to 24, even higher than that of developed markets like Canada and France,” he said.

“It is ideal that the VN-Index stands at around 900 points, with the P/E only at about 16-17,” Hue said.

Viet Nam maintained macro-economic stability, listed companies recorded high profits. Meanwhile, the Government continued to promote equitisation and divestment of State-owned companies, bringing many opportunities for the development of the stock market, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

He added that 2019 would be the year of restructuring as the two bourses would be merged into a single entity: the Viet Nam Stock Exchange.

Hue also predicted that in 2019, the development of external factors such as the US-China trade war, the interest rate hike of the US Federal Reserve would continue to put pressure on the Vietnamese market.

“We must pay close attention to international market developments,” Hue said. 

Ample goods, steady prices mark Tet in HCM City, Firms investing abroad urged to pay attention to corporate social responsibility