BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 12/3

Aquatic exports earn US$1.1 billion in two months

aquatic exports earn us$1.1 billion in two months hinh 0

Vietnam reaped an aggregated US$1.11 billion from aquatic exports during the first two months of the year, representing an annual rise of 4.4 per cent, according to a source from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Japan, the United States, China, and the Republic of Korea were the four largest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products during January.

Of the figure, aquatic exports brought home US$372 million throughout February, said the MARD Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development.

Japan, the United States, China, and the Republic of Korea were the four largest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products during January, accounting for 53 per cent of the sector’s total exports.

As per fluctuations in the domestic market, February saw the price of material tra fish fall by VND1,000 (43 US cents) to VND28,000-28,500. This was caused by the increased supply following the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, while tra fish orders remained at a low level across the reviewed period.

Meanwhile, the price of live sugpo shrimps continued to go up in the domestic market since local consumption, as in previous years, consistently shifted from animal flesh to seafood, including shrimp products, after the Tet holidays.

PV Power looks for financial support in thermal power projects

     

 

Nhon Trach 2 Thermal Power Plant, a sub-unit of PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power). — Photo cafef.vn


 PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) wants to raise US$1.4 billion for its Nhon Trach 3 & 4 thermal power plants.

Thirty per cent of the capital will be provided by PV Power, and the remaining borrowed from either local commercial banks or international financial institutions.

The money will be disbursed over the next five years and seven local commercial banks have committed to provide VND25 trillion ($1.07 billion) for the projects, according to PV Power general director Nguyen Duy Giang.

PV Power has also worked with financial organisations from Europe, Japan and other countries and the company has been promised $400 million worth of loans without Government’s guarantees.

Nhon Trach 3 and 4 thermal power plants will be equipped with the mixed-flow gas turbine technology, using liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The two power plants have capacity of 1,500 megawatts each and they are being built at Ong Keo Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province’s Nhon Trach District.

The plants are projected to meet rising power demand in HCM City, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.

VNM ETF updates quarterly investment portfolio

     

VanEck Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM ETF) – the Viet Nam-focused exchange-traded fund managed by asset management firm MV Index Solutions – has released the latest update of its quarterly portfolio review.

In the review, VNM ETF said it would not add or remove any local stocks from its portfolio, matching previous forecasts by Viet Nam-based securities firms.

The number of Vietnamese stocks in the portfolio will remain unchanged at 17, accounting for 72.33 per cent of the portfolio.

But the proportion of individual stocks will alter.

Leading the portfolio are realty-retail-tech firm Vingroup and dairy producer Vinamilk with percentages of 8 per cent each. But the percentage of Vingroup shares dropped 0.78 per cent quarterly and that of Vinamilk shares gained 0.16 per cent.

The following include high-class residential property firm Vinhomes (7 per cent, down 0.54 per cent from the previous quarter), Novaland (6.5 per cent, up 1.34 per cent) and Vietcombank (6 per cent, down 0.14 per cent).

VNM ETF will complete its portfolio shake-up this trading week between March 11 and 15.

Hoa Sen Group to issue shares to mobilise capital

     

 

A production line at a Hoa Sen Group factory. Hoa Sen Group plans to issue nearly 38.5 million shares as payment for dividends with a rate of 10 per cent for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. 


 Steel maker Hoa Sen Group will consult shareholders about a plan to issue shares to mobilise capital of VND1 trillion (US$42.8 million).

In early April, the shares will be issued to existing shareholders, strategic partners and other investors to mobilise capital for production and business activities.

The Board of Directors will be authorised to decide on the method, share prices, time and related procedures of the issuance.

In addition to the share issuance, Hoa Sen Group also plans to issue nearly 38.5 million shares as payment for dividends with a rate of 10 per cent for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The issuance is expected to be completed before June 30.

Currently, Hoa Sen Group is actively restructuring its distribution system under the provincial branch model. Under the new model, in each province and city, Hoa Sen will choose an outlet as the main branch, the others in the same province and city will be operated by the main branch.

This is also the reason why Hoa Sen Group has closed its branches. According to the Group, they closed the branches to move to the new operation model and this was not to do with business performance.

In 2018, Hoa Sen Group earned VND34.4 trillion in revenue, up 31.7 per cent compared to the previous year. However, due to sharp increase in costs, post-tax profit reached just VND409 billion, equal to 31 per cent of the profit achieved in 2017 and equivalent to a quarter of the annual profit plan. 

Central Highlands province opens coffee festival, calls for investment

     

 

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh speaks at the 2019 Dak Lak investment promotion conference held on March 10 in the province.


Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has urged the Central Highlands region to build a Vietnamese coffee brand capable of competing with rivals at home and abroad.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the seventh Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival on Saturday night, Binh said the region should aim to become a “world famous coffee destination”.

The area is known for its basaltic land with huge rubber and coffee plantations, he noted. “The Central Highlands region has great advantages and potential for coffee plantations and exports.”

Dak Lak Province’s coffee products, with the geographical indication “Buon Ma Thuot Coffee”, are sold in some 65 countries and territories worldwide, making the largest contribution to Viet Nam’s coffee exports.

Binh said that Dak Lak and other provinces with coffee growing areas should ensure sustainable production by promoting biodiversity, organic agriculture and cultural values.

A sustainable strategy to preserve the identity of local ethnic groups, especially the gong culture, was also needed, he said.

“The Buon Ma Thuot coffee festival plays a major role in promoting the branding of Buon Ma Thuot and Viet Nam’s coffee to the international market,” he added.

Viet Nam’s coffee export turnover reached nearly 1.9 million tonnes, earning $3.5 billion last year.

Binh said it was vital to restructure the coffee sector, focusing on large-scale and concentrated production, as well as private investment.

Dak Lak should also promote the use of advanced technology to increase productivity and quality, reduce costs, and adapt to climate change.

“Viet Nam’s specialty coffee should be encouraged to develop high-quality coffee with special flavours, meeting international standards with higher coffee value as well as profits for farmers.”

Miss Universe Viet Nam 2017 H’Hen Nie, the media ambassador for the festival, will participate in major programmes at the week-long festival.

The event includes an exhibition on global coffee history, a street festival, a Vietnamese specialty coffee quality competition, free coffee tasting, a Buon Don elephant festival, and an international paragliding contest.

Themed “Quintessence of the Great Forest”, the biennial festival honours domestic coffee growers, processors and traders, and encourages the community to develop a coffee culture.

The event commemorates the 44th anniversary of the Buon Ma Thuot Victory of March 10, 1975.

Dak Lak Province boasts the country’s largest coffee-growing area, with a total area of about 204,000 hectares, accounting for 36 per cent of the country’s total output.

Coffee was first cultivated in Viet Nam in 1857. The country now exports 1.8 million tonnes of coffee beans, earning $3.2 billion per year. The country is the world’s second largest coffee exporter, after Brazil.

On Sunday, Dak Lak officials called for local and foreign investment in agriculture, processing industry, infrastructure for tourism and urban areas, renewable energy, and education, among others.

Speaking at the 2019 Dak Lak investment promotion conference, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said investors had signed 19 MoUs to invest in Dak Lak, and registered to invest in 13 projects worth a total of more than VND71 trillion ($3.06 billion) in the province.

Binh said the province needed to invest in high-value industries and traditional crafts, as well as renewable energy and tourism.

Rural areas, as well as the agriculture and forestry sectors, should use advanced technology and seek more investment as well, he added.

Nguyen Xuan Cuong, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farmers were important, but assistance from the Government and businesses was crucial.

“More focus needs to be placed on trade facilitation and marketing to develop the coffee industry,” he noted.

Pham Ngoc Nghi, chairman of Dak Lak Province People’s Committee, said local authorities were offering favourable policies to provide optimal conditions for investors.

The province would also promote administrative reform with a focus on slashing time for fulfilling procedures and implementing a “one-stop shop” mechanism, he said.

In addition, the province would focus on improving infrastructure and the quality of human resources, and help investors access financial packages to develop their projects.

“The province will also work with the Ministry of Affairs and other agencies to receive up-to-date information on its partners, ultimately optimising the promotion of investments,” he said.

Vu Dai Thang, deputy minister of planning and investment, said that Dak Lak Province should organise regular meetings with large domestic and international companies to introduce local potential.

“Top priority should also be given to improving training for human resources, and creating conditions in which businesses feel secure about investing,” he added.

Dr Tran Dinh Thien, member of the PM’s economic advisory group, and former director of Viet Nam Economics Institute, said to attract more investment, the role of the central government in policies and incentives was essential to help localities.

At the conference, Dak Lak Province signed MoUs with the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Industry and Trade, and Planning and Investment to develop the brands of Buon Ma Thuot coffee and avocado, and sustainable agriculture.

Covering 13,123sq. km, Dak Lak Province with a population of 1.9 million has an airport and important national highways passing through it.

With nearly 540,000ha of agricultural land, the province grows high-value commercial crops, such as coffee, rubber, and pepper, suitable for developing processing industries.

In addition, livestock and poultry farming have developed rapidly in the province, providing investors a good foundation for industrial-scale animal breeding, feed production and animal and poultry meat processing plants.

The province also has potential in minerals such as feldspar, lead, sand and gravel for construction. It has an abundant workforce of around 1,100,000 workers, with more than 400,000 of them trained.

Canada supports SME development in Tra Vinh

     

 

A garment factory in Tra Vinh Province. Local SMEs will be helped by the cash injection.

 The management board of the small- and medium-sized enterprise development project in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh (SME Tra Vinh) has revealed it will spend VND70 billion (US$3 million) to support provincial SMEs this year.

Most of the cash, VND65 billion, is from the Canadian government in non-refundable aid. Non-refundable aid, or concessional loans, is when international financial institutions lend to developing economies for socio-economic development at very low interest rate.

To Ngoc Binh, the project director told Vietnamplus.vn that more than VND10 billion would be used to support startup activities, while more than VND23 billion would help build trademarks for major products, promote production connectivity, and expand markets.

Additionally, nearly VND22 billion would be invested in activities to improve the business environment and enhance provincial competitiveness. The rest would be poured into communications and project management, said Binh.

Last year, the SME Tra Vinh project disbursed nearly VND28 billion on activities supporting businesses, including developing SMEs in the 2018-20 period in association with activities related to gender, ethnic minorities and the environment; expanding markets and communications for coconut products; facilitating startups; and the building, monitoring and evaluating of plans to develop SMEs.

Through the activities, local SMEs have enhanced their management capacity and strengthened their connectivity with partners to expand their markets, while receiving support to realise ideas on developing key products of the province.

Currently, Tra Vinh has about 2,200 businesses operating with a total investment of more VND25.6 trillion and a combined workforce of nearly 90,000 people 

Leading US firms to hold talks in Ha Noi

     

 

A GE factory in the northern port city of Hai Phong. — Photo baodautu.vn


 More than 50 leading US companies from a wide range of industries would arrive in Ha Noi on Tuesday to explore business opportunities, the US-ASEAN Business Council has announced.

These firms include Google, Apple, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, GE, Ford, MasterCard, Qualcomm, IBM, JP Morgan, Syngenta, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

Arriving on the heels of the 2nd DPRK-USA Summit in Ha Noi where US President Donald Trump praised Viet Nam as thriving like few places on Earth, it will be the largest trade delegation ever sent from the US to Viet Nam.

The companies would be participating in an annual business mission that would discuss a wide range of issues and a health and life sciences mission, according to the council.

A workshop on cybersecurity and data privacy would also be part of the week-long programme. The companies would be meeting the Prime Minister and key members of his cabinet as well as leaders of the State and the National Assembly to discuss business issues and policy recommendations.

For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organisation for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The council’s 160+ members generates more than US$6 trillion in revenue and employs more than 13 million people worldwide. Its members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years.

Da Lat city expected to become Tourism Promotion Organization member

A luxury resort in Da Lat City (Photo: KK)

A regional forum on tourism potentials in Da Lat city in the central highlands province of Lam Dong was held on March 8 by the Tourism Promotion Organization for Asian-Pacific Cities (TPO).

TPO made a survey of destinations, services, tourism infrastructures and strong points of Da Lat city.

According to Secretary-General of TPO, Kim Soo-il, Da Lat city has many tourism potentials, such as ecotourism sites, public safety and security. However the municipal government should carry out international tourism advertising programs to develop Da Lat as a better tourist destination on the world’s tourism map.

Chairman of the People’s Committee of the city Ton Thien Sanh said that after gaining the requirements for membership, Da Lat can connect and cooperate with TPO member cities to develop tourism. The city will have a chance to advertise its tourism, agriculture and typical products on the channel as well as develop good quality tourism in accordance with the TPO’s orientation.

According to the People’s Committee of Da Lat City, the town received more than 700,000 international visitors who spent 2-4 days in 2018.

The Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities is an international tourism organization for the networking of inter-city cooperation and development of the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. Presently, TPO has 86 member cities and 45 industry members from countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Total retail sales, services revenue edge up 12 percent

At a supermarket in HCMC (Illustrative photo: SGGP)

According to the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, total retail sales and services revenue were estimated at VND93.06 trillion in February, down 3.5 percent compared to the previous month as purchasing power strongly increased in January due to preparation for the Tet festive season.

In the first two months of this year, total retail sales and services revenue reached VND189.51 trillion, up 12 percent compared to an increase of 10 percent in the same period last year. Of which, goods retail sales accounted for 66 percent, up 13 percent; restaurants and accommodation accounted for 9.8 percent, up 14.8 percent; tourism accounted for 2.7 percent, up 10.2 percent; and other services accounted for 21.5 percent, up 8.1 percent.

In addition, in the field of trade and services, there were 3,447 newly-established enterprises with total capital of VND66.5 trillion, up 20.1 percent over the same period last year.

As for export, the city’s export turnover was estimated at US$6.25 billion in the first two months of this year, up 16 percent compared to an increase of 9.8 percent in the same period last year. If excluding crude oil, the city’s export turnover was at $5.91 billion, up 18 percent over the same period last year. Exports of some products maintained growth with computers, electronic devices and components increasing 19.4 percent, vegetables and fruits climbing 17.9 percent and garments and textiles advancing 48.6 percent.

Meanwhile, imports hit $7.04 billion, up 3.6 percent compared to an increase of 14.2 percent in the same period last year. Of which, imports of machineries, equipment, devices and components rose 22.5 percent; chemicals hiked 41.3 percent; and steel surged 21.4 percent.

Fourth bus ad auction in HCMC gets lackluster response

A bus with an advertisement on its side is seen traveling on a street in HCMC 



The HCMC Public Passenger Transport Management and Operation Center has announced that the fourth auction for bus advertising will take place on March 12 instead of March 8, as no firms have registered to attend the auction.

At the fourth auction on March 12, the center will divide the bidding into 11 packages, ranging from five to eight bus routes, and set the flexible contract period for one to three years, in lieu of a fixed period of three years, similar to previous tenders, to attract participants.

The participating firms are required to put down deposits of 5% on a three-year package, 7% on a two-year package and 10% on a one-year package. Those who win the bidding have the right to advertise on 50% of the surface of the buses, except for the front, back and bus identification areas.

A representative of the center said that if no enterprises submit bids on March 12 to have their advertisements appear on public buses in the city, bus firms and transport cooperatives will be in charge of leasing the advertising space.

The previous three bus advertising auctions were a failure as no participants had submitted tenders.

The lack of interest in bus advertising was attributed to the inaccurate division of auction packages. Further, many enterprises said that leaving a deposit of at least 5% of the starting price of packages had also discouraged them.

Thua Thien-Hue, Japan’s Gifu prefecture work to promote tourism

A conference on tourism cooperation between the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and the Japanese prefecture of Gifu took place in the city of Hue on March 8.


thua thien-hue, japan’s gifu prefecture work to promote tourism hinh 0

Scene at the signing ceremony of a cooperation pact between Thua Thien - Hue and Gifu last year (Photo: thuathienhue.gov.vn)


The conference introduced the outcomes of their joint tourism research projects and a draft plan for future collaboration.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Dung said the two localities should support each other and exchange experience as they share similarities in their tourism sectors, particularly in terms of scenic and historical sites, culture, cuisine, and craft villages. 

He noted that their cooperation will include boosting mutual understanding; exchanging information on the official websites and social media platforms of their authorities, associations, and businesses; attending each other’s annual cultural festivals; and organising fact-finding tours to their respective localities.

According to him, they will also hold a tourism and exchange programme between Hue University and Gifu University and make it part of the annual activities of the Vietnam-Japan friendship association.

As heard at the conference, the two provinces have worked to increase mutual understanding and promote their images to draw visitors in recent times. 

They established their partnership in November 2016. Since then, regular bilateral exchanges, meetings, and discussions have taken place, with a number of business delegations from Gifu visiting Thua Thien-Hue to look for investment opportunities. 

Gifu’s Takayama city and Thua Thien-Hue’s Hue city signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation and exchange, while Gifu University and Hue University have collaborated in academic researches and projects to improve the quality of teaching.


Boosting links – key to increasing Vietnam’s farm produce exports

Linking production with processing and market demand has become a key task of the agriculture and rural development sector towards earning US$43 billion in export revenue this year.


boosting links – key to increasing vietnam’s farm produce exports hinh 0

Carrot farm in Duc Chinh village, Hai Duong province


Vietnam's achievements in the agriculture sector last year were attributed to a joint effort by businesses, cooperatives, and policymakers to coordinate in production with processing in farming, husbandry, and aquaculture.

Despite technical barriers set by demanding markets in the US, Japan, and the EU, Vietnam earned a record US$40 billion from agro-forestry-fishery products last year, up 3.1%.  

By boosting cooperation, more  opportunities have been created for enterprises, farmers are encouraged to join cooperatives, and farm incomes boosted.

Nguyen Duc Menh, director of Tan Huong Farm Produce and Food Processor in Hai Duong province, said his company buys hundreds of thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables each year for export and domestic consumption. Many of its products are sold in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Menh said, “We have been working with cooperatives to create a  separate material zone. Early this year we signed a contract to send 500 tons of farm produce to Japan and more than 100 tons to the Republic of Korea. Food safety is essential for agricultural exports, especially to markets with strict quality requirements.”

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Acting Director of the Farm Produce Processing and Market Development Department, said with sufficient investment in agriculture, enterprises can earn higher profits.

He said it is important to build trust, create a transparent business environment, and remove hurdles in land clearance to strengthen agricultural restructuring.

16 large companies invested nearly US$370 million in the fruit processing sector last year. 17 processing plants with a total investment of US$430 million were either opened or begun.

Toan said, “Vietnam’s agricultural production should use value chains to meet international integration requirements. Vietnam also needs to improve processing quality and links between producers and processors. To increase export revenue, exporters need to keep up to date on regulations and technical barriers set by importing countries."

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong called on farmers to increase their links with processors and traders.

“We should promote value chain to establish concentrated material zones. Technology should be used to maximize productivity and minimize costs. Safe, qualified materials are the foundation of sustainable business for processing companies.

An appropriate production model should be developed based on value chains and market signals to avoid lingering low prices after a bumper crop”, said Mr Cuong. 

Cuong said the sector has targeted 3% growth this year and will strive to earn US$43 billion in export revenue, hoping to become one of the world’s 15 countries and territories to have the most developed agricultural industry within a decade.

Aquatic exports earn US$1.1 billion in two months

aquatic exports earn us$1.1 billion in two months hinh 0

Vietnam reaped an aggregated US$1.11 billion from aquatic exports during the first two months of the year, representing an annual rise of 4.4 per cent, according to a source from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Japan, the United States, China, and the Republic of Korea were the four largest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products during January.

Of the figure, aquatic exports brought home US$372 million throughout February, said the MARD Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development.

Japan, the United States, China, and the Republic of Korea were the four largest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products during January, accounting for 53 per cent of the sector’s total exports.

As per fluctuations in the domestic market, February saw the price of material tra fish fall by VND1,000 (43 US cents) to VND28,000-28,500. This was caused by the increased supply following the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, while tra fish orders remained at a low level across the reviewed period.

Meanwhile, the price of live sugpo shrimps continued to go up in the domestic market since local consumption, as in previous years, consistently shifted from animal flesh to seafood, including shrimp products, after the Tet holidays.

Vietnam has potential to produce speciality coffee

Scene at the workshop 


Coffee production areas across many Vietnamese provinces, including Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Son La and Lam Dong, are endowed with crop varieties, weather conditions and soils that are suitable to develop speciality coffee, according to experts.

The statement was made at a workshop held in Buon Ma Thuot city, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on March10, with participating officials, experts and producers discussing ways to develop Vietnamese speciality coffee.

Vietnam has about 664,000 hectares of coffee plantations. It sells coffee to 80 countries and territories worldwide for more than 3 billion USD annually, accounting for 14 percent of global market share and 10.4 percent of global export value. However, only 7 percent of exported Vietnamese coffee products are processed.

Speciality coffee refers to the entire process from farmer to cup using single origin coffee of unique flavour profiles gained from a special geographic microclimate. Growing this kind of coffee could offer a path to higher earnings.  

Vietnam should work to prove that the country not only owns abundant sources of good coffee but also has speciality coffee, stressed Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Le Quoc Doanh at the workshop. 

Currently, the country has 50 speciality coffee producers, which annually supply 200 tonnes of the product. Some of them have invested in labs, quality assessment and vocational training.

Chairman of the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association Trinh Duc Minh said speciality coffee should be listed as a national high-quality goods, while incentives and mechanisms that encourage production and investment, and connect supply and demand are needed.

Vice Chairman of the Lam Dong People’s Committee Pham S shared that the province has selected Di Linh and Lam Ha to develop speciality coffee with a focus on applying advanced technologies, defining market segments and advertising.

Mauel Diaz. P, a Mexican coffee expert, said Vietnam is the world second biggest robusta exporter but the value it has earned remains modest.

The expert recommended the country build a stricter standard for local production, and boost quality based on technology application rather than fertilisers. Speciality coffee remains new to Vietnamese, thus its promotion in the domestic market should be made a priority.

Deputy Minister Doanh said the MARD is committed to supporting local authorities and businesses in building a development roadmap for speciality coffee. He urged farmers and firms to take part in the process, focusing on quality improvement and product promotion.

Two-month export of aquatic products up 4.4 percent

The export of aquatic products earned the country 372 million USD in February, bringing the total export value of those products in the first two months of 2019 to 1.11 billion USD, up 4.4 percent from a year ago. 

According to the Department of Farm Product Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the top four importers of Vietnam’s aquatic products in the period were Japan, the US, China and Republic of Korea, which accounted for 53 percent of the total export value. 

Strong growth was recorded in shipments to Mexico (32.4 percent), Canada (27.8 percent), the US (24.9 percent) and Japan (17.7 percent).

Meanwhile, the country imported 247 million USD worth of aquatic products in January-February, down 9.3 percent from the same period last year. 

The department forecast that Vietnamese pangasius exporters will face strong competition from Myanmar on the Chinese market in the time ahead, as Myanmar will soon complete a complex of pangasius breeding farms in Ayeyawady to serve export. 

However, there is good news for shrimp exporters as they will benefit from favourable tariffs under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which took effect for Vietnam on January 14 this year. 

The department envisioned two-digit growth for shrimp shipments to Japan in 2019 while advising the exporters to renew their approach to the Japanese market, enhance promotion of products and continue to improve product quality.

The export of aquatic products is expected to rise by 17 percent to 3.5 billion USD this year despite likely hurdles, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Bao Viet wins Asia’s most transparent report award

Bao Viet Holdings has won the Asia’s Most Transparent Report award presented by CSRWorks International 


Bao Viet Holdings, a financial and insurance services group of Vietnam, has been honoured as the firm with the most transparent financial report in Asia by the Singapore-based sustainability services provider CSRWorks International.

Among the 17 categories of the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards 2018 (ASRA), Bao Viet’s report was nominated in four: Asia’s Best Sustainability Report (Stand-alone), Asia’s Most Transparent Report, Asia’s Best Materiality Reporting and Asia’s Best Sustainable Development Goals Reporting.

It won the Asia’s Most Transparent Report, the first time a Vietnamese company has received an award in this category.

The Bao Viet report was praised by the ASRA judging panel for using the new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and a creative presentation format.

Not only providing financial information, this report also detailed non-financial information like development strategy, corporate governance quality, social activities and environmental issues.

Vietnam’s tourism promoted at int’l fair in Germany

Ben Tre launches online portal to promote tourism, Vietnam’s tourism promoted at int’l fair in Germany, Bao Viet wins Asia’s most transparent report award, Two-month export of aquatic products up 4.4 percent

International visitors at Tam Coc tourism site in Ninh Binh 


Representatives of over 50 tour operators, accommodation establishments and localities of Vietnam are joining the ITB international tourism fair in Berlin from March 6-10.

This is part of a national tourism promotion programme for this year aimed at popularizing Vietnam’s image, broadening the market and looking for foreign partners.

Vietnam’s pavilion covers 500 square metres and is impressively designed to make known to visitors the prominent destinations in the country and tourism products. It features traditional art performances and food.

The ITB Berlin is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious fairs on tourism held in March every year, with the first being organised in 1966. Last year, it attracted the participation of 10,000 enterprises and organisations from 186 countries and territories, and 170,000 visitors.

Tourists from Germany, together with those from the UK, France, Spain and Italy, are exempted of visa for three years starting from July 1, 2018. Last year, Vietnam welcomed nearly 214,000 visitors from Germany, marking an increase of 7.1 percent over 2017. In the first two months of this year, nearly 46,000 visitors from Germany toured Vietnam, 4.6 percent more than the same period last year.

Domestic sector shines in exports

The domestic sector exported goods worth 10.72 billion USD in the first two months of 2019, up 9.9 percent on year compared to a 4.3 percent growth posted by the foreign-invested sector.



On factors impacting import-export activities in January and February, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said agro-fishery exports faced difficulties in terms of distribution and prices.

Regarding imports in the two months, Vietnamese firms contributed approximately 15.3 billion USD, while their foreign peers nearly 21.5 billion USD. Both rose against 2018, at 11 and 5.1 percent, respectively.

During the period, the foreign-invested sector’s export value was nearly 26 billion USD, accounting for 70.8 percent of Vietnam’s total exports, which hit around 36.7 billion USD, an annual increase of 5.9 percent.

Solar power complex inaugurated in Dak Lak province

Delegates cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Srepok 1 and Quang Minh Solar Power Plant Complex in Buon Don district 


Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Srepok 1 and Quang Minh Solar Power Plant Complex in Buon Don district in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on March 9.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Binh said that Dak Lak province is located at an important strategic position in economic development, security and defence of the Central Highlands region.

Developing renewable energy has become an inevitable trend in the world and Vietnam in general and Dak Lak in particular where there is a lot of potential for solar energy development with a total solar radiation of 1,900 kW per sq.km per year, he said.

Therefore, the inauguration of the complex and the ongoing implementation of other solar power plant projects will make important contributions to the province’s socio-economic development and to ensuring national energy security, Binh added.

The Deputy PM asked local authorities to create favourable conditions for investors who want to invest in solar power projects in the province.

The Srepok 1 and Quang Minh Solar Power Plant Complex has a total investment of 2.2 trillion VND (95 million USD) invested by Dai Hai Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and Srepok Solar Power JSC. Covering an area of 120ha in Ea Wer commune, the complex has a total capacity of 100MWP.

Work on the complex started on October 19, 2018 and the plant was put into commercial operation on January 31, 2019.

Vietnam lags behind ASEAN peers on economic freedom index

Vietnam moves up 13 places on Economic Freedom Index, but remains in the ‘mostly unfree’ class.

In a compilation by a conservative U.S. thinktank, Vietnam is ranked 128th out of 180 countries and territories on the 2019 Economic Freedom Index, up 13 places from last year.  

On this index, it fares unfavorably against Southeast Asian peers like Singapore (2nd), Thailand (43rd), Indonesia (56th) and the Philippines (70th).

Its overall score increased by 2.2 points from last year to 55.3 thanks to improvements in fiscal health, investment freedom and judicial effectiveness, according the latest report, compiled by the Heritage Foundation, an American conservative public policy thinktank based in Washington, D.C.

However, tax burden, monetary freedom and financial freedom are still inhibited, the report says.

Vietnam finished 30th out of 43 countries in the Asia Pacific region, below China and its smaller neighbors Cambodia and Laos.

The U.S. foundation said that Vietnam could improve its economic environment by continuing to reform state-owned enterprises, reducing red tape, increasing transparency in the business and financial sectors, reducing bad debt in the banking sector and increasing recognition of private property rights.

The ranking is based on 12 quantitative and qualitative factors grouped into four broad categories, including rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets to measure economic freedom in 180 countries and territories across the world.

The world average score is 60.8, classifying the global economy as "moderately free".

Only six economies are classed as "free" by earning scores of 80 or above. Hong Kong and Singapore finished first and second in the rankings for the 25th consecutive year, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia and Ireland.

The world’s biggest economy, the U.S. ranked 12th globally, jumping six places from the last year’s ranking while China is far behind in 100th place.

It was the highest growth the country has experienced since 2008 and compared with the median estimate of 6.9 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists.

This year, the number of economies ranked as ‘mostly unfree’ stands at 64, while 21 are considered "repressed".

Vietnam’s economy expanded 7.08 percent last year, which helped the country retain its status as one of the best performing economies in the world.

It was the highest growth the country has experienced since 2008 and compared with the median estimate of 6.9 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists.

Ben Tre launches online portal to promote tourism

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre has launched the portal http://www.dulich.bentre.gov.vn to help tourists enjoy their trip to the province.

The online portal’s interface is eye-catching with 14 colunms featuring of general information of the province’s tourism, news, tourism natural resources, tourist agents, tourist attraction, tour information, tourism publication, photo gallery and question – answer

Deputy Director of the provincial Tourism Promotion Center Vo Thanh Son said that the portal providing information of tourist and forums will play a role as a bridge between the province and holidaymakers to popularize tourism-relating news with the aim to attract more visitors to Ben Tre Province.

This year, the tourism sector will call for investment in tourism, promising to create favorable condition for investors as per the present law. Furthermore, the province will build a program for potential tourist firms including selecting ten enterprises with good vision and orientation to pour investment.

Ben Tre launches online portal to promote tourism, Vietnam’s tourism promoted at int’l fair in Germany, Bao Viet wins Asia’s most transparent report award, Two-month export of aquatic products up 4.4 percent
 
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