Local businesses seek to boost exports to ASEAN, China
ASEAN and China are big markets that are yet fully tapped by Vietnamese exporters, heard a forum on the two markets held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14.
Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the Online Trade and Investment Information Portal (ITPC) said the completion of the roadmap to cut tariffs in ASEAN offers opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to increase exports to the bloc, which is the fourth biggest export market of Vietnam, after the EU, the US and China.
With the combined population of 660 million people, ASEAN is expected to become the fourth largest economy in the word by 2030.
Wu Jun, Consul General of China in Ho Chi Minh City said China has been the largest trade partner of Vietnam for years while Vietnam is the largest ASEAN trader and among top ten global traders of China.
In the past 11 months, Vietnam earned an export value of over 38 billion USD from China, a surge of 23 percent from the same time in 2017.
As the second largest economy in the world with a market population of 1.3 billion people, China is projected to import more than 30,000 billion USD worth of goods and 10,000 billion USD worth of services in 15 years.
To fully explore the ASEAN market, Vietnamese businesses need to take part in more trade promotion activities and market research programmes, and study market needs regarding commodities, services, prices, consumers’ taste, and consumer trends, Hoa said.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hang, head of the marketing desk at the office for Halal certification in Ho Chi Minh City said many Vietnamese businesses have yet paid attention to satisfying the needs of Islamic people who account for half of ASEAN’s population.
Vietnam’s products with Halal certification could reach other Islamic markets in the world after they enter the ASEAN market, according to Hang.
To increase exports to China, Wu Jun suggested Vietnamese businesses keep them constantly updated with market demands along with boosting marketing activities.
Amid technology-based consumer trends, Vietnamese businesses are advised to prepare technological foundations to speed up trans-national e-commerce.
They need to use advanced machinery and technology in production to ensure the consistent quality of products to meet the needs of large-scale markets, experts said.
Plant of Vietnamese firm inaugurated in Lao province
A plant processing canna rhizomes, run by an affiliate of the Company of Economic Cooperation (COECCO) of Vietnam, was inaugurated in Phaxay district of Laos’ Xiang Khouang province on December 14.
Covering an area of over 20,000sq.m., the plant was built with the investment of more than 1 million USD and is part of a key COECCO project in Namxiem village in Xiang Khouang province.
It is hoped to bolster advanced agriculture in the locality, as well as generate stable incomes of around 15 million Lao kip (1,755 USD) per year for local people.
Following two years of implementation, up to 100 households in the locality have participated in the project.
Speaking at the ceremony, head of Namxiem village Giang Nhia Lau said since 2016, local residents have greatly benefited from the project as they have been given permanent jobs, thus contributing to the growth of the locality.
The canna plant rhizomes are key ingredient in making vermicelli noodles. The vermicelli made by local people has gradually become well known both in Laos and Vietnam thanks to the project, Lau noted, voicing his gratitude to local authorities and COECCO affiliates.
Binh Phuoc runs trade surplus of nearly 1 bln USD in 2018
The southern province of Binh Phuoc ran a trade surplus of nearly 1 billion USD this year, according to its economic growth report 2018.
The locality earned over 2.24 billion USD from exports, up nearly 6 percent year-on-year while spending 1.4 billion USD on imports, up 2 percent.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tram said exports already met targets with rubber export volume of over 300,000 tonnes, up 4.4 percent annually. Together with cashew nuts and peppercorn, rubber is one of its key farm produce.
Despite climate change, insects and reliance on imported materials, its cashew sector exported 89,000 tonnes, up 11.08 percent, creating jobs to over 50,000 regular workers.
In industrial production, wood and wooden furniture export revenue hit 109 million USD, up 13.54 percent while earnings from garment went up 12.63 percent to 164 million USD. Footwear earned 289 million USD, up 14.68 percent; iron and steel with 6 million USD, up 25 percent; computers, electronics and spare parts with 35.5 million USD, up 19.53 percent.
Imports were mostly machinery, production lines and raw materials by foreign-invested firms.
The provincial Department of Planning and Investment attributed the surplus to growth of key currency earners such as rubber, peppercorn and cashew nuts, and increasing foreign direct investment inflow.
Sixty standout enterprises for labourers honoured
Sixty firms which stood out for their material and spiritual care for labourers were honoured at a ceremony held in Hanoi on December 15.
The list named the Central Hydropower Joint Stock Company, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Thermoelectricity Joint Stock Company, Garment 10 Joint Stock Company, Dong Nai Port Joint Stock Company, Nam Ha Garment Joint Stock Company, and PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), among others.
Speaking at the event, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) Bui Van Cuong said that the event was organised to praise unceasing efforts made the companies to improve the working environment so that their employees can maximize their capacity and devote to the firms’ development.
Besides, it aims to raise public awareness of the value of human resources as well as the Party’s policies and State’s regulations on social welfare, he noted, adding that this is also a forum to nudge the businesses’ brands closer to the community.
The list of the businesses, which ranked the best firms for labourers nationwide, was compiled by the VGCL, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
The companies were evaluated based on strict criteria reflecting the employers’ remuneration policy in terms of income, training, working environment, social welfares and team building activities, among others.
After five years of organisation, some 335 businesses have been honoured, 119 firms received certificates of merit from the MoLISA, VGCL and VCCI, 15 presented standout businesses for labourers awards, and 12 others bestowed certificates of merit from the Prime Minister.
Vietnamese, Cambodian products on display in Dak Nong
More than 100 businesses from 13 cities and provinces nationwide, and some others from Cambodia’s Mundulkiri province are displaying their products at the Vietnam-Cambodia international trade fair.
The fair that opened in Gia Nghia town, Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Dak Nong on December 14, accommodates 300 booths introducing achievements in industry, agriculture and trade.
Apart from local specialties, the fair also showcases scientific and technological products and achievements, along with machines and equipment in service of production in different spheres.
It also has several booths featuring socio-economic achievements Dak Nong has recorded since the province was established 15 years ago.
During the fair, domestic and foreign businesses are expected to sign contracts and engage in trade promotion activities held by the host province.
The fair forms part of activities within the national trade promotion programme in 2018, aiming to enhance trade ties between countries along the East-West Economic Corridor and the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia development triangle.
It will last until December 19.
In the first half of the year, Dak Nong province witnessed a positive expansion of the agricultural sector, as well as impressive index growth in industrial production.
The province collected over 1.2 trillion VND (51.6 million USD) for the State budget during the January-June period, a year-on-year surge of 41 percent. It shipped 560 million USD worth of products to foreign countries, up 29 percent from last year.
Vietnam to lure more investment from UAE
Deputy Minister of Planning and investment Vu Dai Thang on December 13 met Vietnamese and Dubai businessmen who were in Hanoi under an investment cooperation programme.
The programme lays a firm foundation for Vietnam to lure more investment from Dubai and the Middle East region. It is also expected to help boost economic ties between domestic and Dubai businesses.
Vietnamese-German billionaire Mai Vu Minh – Chairman of Sapa Thale Group on behalf of the delegation vowed to exert all-out efforts to boost investment to Vietnam from Dubai in particular and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in general.
SAPA Thale Group is operating in finance investment in Germany, Vietnam and many other countries in the world.
Previously, the group and the Dubai Investment Development Agency inked a bilateral investment cooperation deal in Ho Chi Minh City on December 11.
Trade deal to bring more Vietnamese farm produce to EU
A trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU is expected to offer a chance for Vietnam farm produce to access the latter’s market of some 516 million people. EU countries hold huge demands for fresh farm produce and Vietnam must find ways to ensure the quality of its products to win over this strict market.
Though disadvantages such as low processing capacity and scattered production still persist, Vietnam has made strides in exporting agricultural products in EU countries. Moreover, local farmers have yet to learn and apply proper farming techniques as well as follow ground rules in handling farm produce to meet the high requirements. With these setbacks, Vietnam ought to seek some solutions in order to sustain exports to the EU market.
Experts say it is necessary to manage a food policy, as well as promote local initiatives and increase investment from enterprises to develop the agriculture sector to help it meet the rising demands for fresh farm produce.
Shrimp by-products should be used
The Government should have policies to support research and processing that would use shrimp by-products as high-value products, experts have said.
For every kilo of shrimp, processing plants leave out 35-50 percent of by-products, including heads and shells.
Shrimp output was more than 720,000 tonnes last year, and the processing industry produced 320,000 tonnes of by-products from them, they said.
This is a waste, researchers said, adding that by-products contain many nutrients that can be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and animal feed production.
Many new products with a high-profit margin could enter the market if there was a comprehensive research investment strategy, they said.
Phan Thanh Loc, deputy chairman of Vietnam Food Company, said many developed countries had successfully developed products from fishery by-products.
The application of technology increases the value of shrimp by-products by many times.
One kilo of shrimp heads sold to animal feed producers and businesses just earn a few thousand dong. However, if technology is used to extract nutrients from shrimp heads for use in the food industry and animal feed, businesses could earn over 20,000 VND on every kilo of shrimp heads, he said.
In particular, if businesses extract chitosan, which is used in making food wrapping film, they could earn much more money, he added.
Dr. Trang Sy Trung, rector of Nha Trang University, said that shrimp heads and shells were still considered waste and used mostly to make food for animals instead of for other purposes.
Studies have shown that the nutrient content in shrimp by-products is high: 8 percent lipid, 20 percent chitin and 48 percent protein.
Scientists from Nha Trang University have conducted research to develop useful products from shrimp by-products for the agricultural, aquaculture and pharmaceutical sectors, including chitosan solutions for treating fungi on mango and chili.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, research institutes, universities and companies have researched and invested in products made from shrimp by-products but the results have been modest, with the output being mostly raw products.
Businesses and scientists said there were few specific policies for supporting the processing of shrimp by-products and marketing of products made from the by-products.
They suggested that the Government provide support to increase the use of these by-products by more enterprises and researchers.
Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology coordinated with Nha Trang University and Vietnam Food to launch a fund for supporting the development of the shrimp by-product sector in Vietnam.
The fund’s main purpose is to support research and the training of human resources, with the aim of developing high-value products from shrimp by-products.
Seminar talks future of Vietnamese digital economy
A scientific seminar to offer strategic forecasts about the future of the Vietnamese digital economy took place in Hanoi on December 14.
The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Australia-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Data 61 project.
Speaking at the event, expert Nguyen Thu Nga from the VASS said the Vietnamese government has tapped into the potential of digital economy by issuing a master plan on the development of e-commerce and a national high technology development programme.
The number of Internet subscribers soared 320-fold to 64 million in January 2018 from nearly 200,000 in 2000.
Australian digital economy expert Jessica Antherton said digital economy is one of the pillars of economic growth as countries worldwide are embarking on the fourth industrial revolution.
She pointed out seven key trends impacting the Vietnamese digital economy till 2040, including emerging digital technology that will improve production, further focus on cyber and private security, energy and infrastructure in service of digital network, smart city development, increase in the middle-income class in Asia, wider gap in income, and increase in the use of high-value products and services.
There remains room to develop digital economy in the next two decades, but it should be directed cautiously, she said.
Participants at the event discussed trends and risks affecting the Vietnamese digital economy and what Vietnam could do to avoid economic failures or crises in each scenario.
Start-ups should prepare necessary resources for success: forum
Start-ups should grasp market trends and make solid preparations in terms of planning and resources to ensure their future success, said participants at the Vietnam Young Leaders Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on December 14.
Nguyen Ba Diep, Vice Chairman of MoMo, a leading mobile payment company, said next year would see “many changes in the digital services market, especially in fintech, with many new models emerging.”
Vietnam’s fintech market was still young, and the market would gradually develop when there are many start-ups, he said.
Technology had brought big changes to many sectors including education and training and finance, he added.
“Start-ups must always innovate to stay afloat in the market because your successful models today can be imitated by other start-ups, so you need to be innovative and creative to come up with new models.”
Quyen said start-ups usually developed products and services for customers in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City. This should change and they should focus more on exploiting markets in provinces and rural areas.
Delegates also emphasised the need for start-ups to collaborate with large firms during the development process.
The two should work together to leverage their strengths and develop together, they said.
Hoang Quoc Quyen, CEO of Vinfast Service, said start-ups often hesitated to reach out to large companies and wanted them to be “more active in contacting leaders of ‘elephants’.”
Organised by the Business Start-up Support Centre (BSSC) in collaboration with the Young Businesspeople Association of HCM City, the forum, themed “Start-up 2019: What’s Next?,” attracted over 500 delegates, including company chiefs and university students.
The forum aimed to create opportunities for young leaders to learn from successful Vietnamese start-ups. This would inspire entrepreneurship and a positive mindset in the younger generations.
Developers race to add value to projects
Property developers are racing to increase added value for their projects to attract buyers as competition becomes increasingly harsh.
According to Nguyen Do Dung, managing director at Singapore-based urban solution consulting company EnCity, this competition is shaping new trends in the real estate market.
Vietnam still has multi-billion dollar urban area projects left deserted, a demonstration of the inefficient use of land resources and investments in the country, according to Dung.
He said urban development posed significant challenges to Vietnam and urban planning also played a very important role.
According to him, the four areas most important to urban development were building a good living environment, good connectivity with the city centre, diversified services and a good operating model. He said these key factors could push up the value of new projects.
“A successful urban area needs to be in a good location with transportation connectivity and regional linkage, an appealing living environment for the community with adequate facilities and green space, diversified products from luxurious to affordable homes to meet demand, adequate services, environmental protection measures and good services,” he said.
“Still, the most important thing is to provide good services for residents,” Dung said, adding that developing a property project involves building a community, not just building houses.
According to Yoon Young-kim, Schneider Electric’s Country President for Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, technology was also shaping a new trend in property development as smarthomes increase in popularity.
He said he expected the smarthome market to reach nearly 53.45 billion USD globally by 2022.
In Vietnam, the internet and smarthome technologies have changed the market over the last decade. Kim believes the property market will see a rapid increase in the number of smarthomes within the next few years.
Rapid urbanisation had also necessitated the optimisation of energy consumption, making green development an emerging trend, he said.
“Always go with technology if you want to take the lead,” said Kim.
Stephen Wyatt, General Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Vietnam, said developers would focus more on market demand, meaning the market should see an increase in the supply of affordable homes.
Micro-apartment units are becoming more and more popular, he added.
Wyatt pointed out that e-commerce would have considerable impacts on the real estate market in the coming years.
The retail property market will face a number of challenges in the era of e-commerce, he said.
Tourism property in Vietnam should also develop significantly as the country strives to boost the tourism industry, Wyatt said.
Le Hoang Chau, President of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said location was likely to remain the decisive factor in the added value of property projects over the next several decades.
The second factor was the development of green and environmentally friendly buildings – which help save energy and resources – and smart homes, Chau said, adding that service quality comes next.
According to Han Manh Tien, President of the Vietnam Association of Corporate Directors, the market is witnessing significant efforts by developers to introduce new products with diversified facilities and high-quality services, as well as the formation of multi-functional urban complexes and the application of advanced technologies in property development.
Tien said the pressure from rapid urbanisation also requires property developers to be more creative in adding value to property products to meet the increasing demand of buyers and urban management requirements.
Chu Lai EZ, from arid to fertile land for industrial projects: PM
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the ceremony to announce the expansion of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam on December 16.
From a barren and arid land, the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Nam has made itself a fertile area for industrial development, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
This area used to be a white sand and arid land with four “Nos” – No infrastructure, No labour force, No investor, and No market – 15 years ago; but now it has grown into a major economic zone hosting over 100 industrial projects, the Government leader told a ceremony to announce the expansion of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam on December 16.
The PM attributed the major part of the economic zone’s success to the Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco), who pioneered to invest in the zone.
Thaco was the first Vietnamese firm to develop a mechanical automobile industrial complex in the zone, he said, adding that it was a right approach to develop the support industry for Vietnam’s automobile manufacturing. The company now has more than 30 state-of-the-art facilities and is a great example for effective cooperation between domestic and foreign enterprises, he noted.
Phuc further said that with the expansion of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, the government aims to turn it into a national hub for support industries for automobile, petro-chemistry, textiles-garment, and hi-tech.
He asked ministries and state agencies to take drastic and comprehensive steps to support investors, encourage innovation and improve national competitiveness in the economic zone.
At the event, the Ministry of Construction announced the PM decision approving the newly-adjusted planning of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone towards 2035, with a vision to 2050. Accordingly, the economic zone will be expanded to more than 27,000 hectares. It will have three duty-free zones, covering a total area of over 1,000 hectares, including a 225-hectare zone located at Chu Lai Airport.
It is expected to house 250,000 people by 2025 and 550,000 by 2035.
The Chu Lai Open Economic Zone attracted 23 projects in 2017, of which three were foreign investment projects worth 16 million USD.
Total investment of 1.4 billion USD was made during the year, 13.5 times as much as the year before.
Since 2003, the zone has lured 138 projects with a total registered investment capital of 3.68 billion USD. Among those were 34 FDI projects worth 1 billion USD.
Vinalines’ container shipping centre to debut
The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines)’s container shipping centre will be put into operation on December 17, said Vinalines Deputy General Director Do Thi Ngoc Trang.
In the near future, 10 vessels carrying Vinalines containers will be managed by the centre, said Trang, who is also Director of the centre, adding that it will help form a network to professionally tap into Vinalines containers and prevent internal competition among Vinalines container businesses.
Once operational, the centre will help Vinalines become flexible in arranging vessels’ schedule and services.
It will also cut half of management cost, equivalent to nearly 18.7 billion VND (813,000 USD), due to decrease in workforce and office rentals.
More hi-end resort inaugurated in Ha Long
FLC Group has inaugurated its five-star FLC Ha Long ecological resort project in Ha Long city, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh.
The inauguration ceremony was marked by a 15-minute fireworks performance and an art programme in response to the National Tourism Year 2018 hosted by Quang Ninh.
Owning the most beautiful view of UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay, FLC Ha Long is set to be the location for many important upcoming events such as the closing ceremony of the National Tourism Year 2018, the opening ceremony of the Asian Tourism Forum 2019 (ATF) and Travex Trade Fair 2019.
The complex, whose construction started in 2016, includes a golf course, villas, hotels and entertainment facilities. Covering 224ha, the project has total investment of over 10 trillion VND (429.3 million USD).
FLC Ha Long plans to introduce 300 villas with areas of 300 to 1,500sq.m and 649 apartments. It also has a 1,500-seat international convention centre, restaurants, bars, spa, fitness centre and infinity pool.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ngo Hoai Chung, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said the project had affirmed FLC Group’s commitment to investing in high-end tourism products.
“FLC Ha Long, together with Ha Long Bay – among the new seven natural wonders of the world, has contributed to making tourism of Quang Ninh in particular and Vietnam in general more attractive,” Chung said.
According to Nguyen Duc Long, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the province now has a new construction to meet high-end tourism demand.
Trinh Van Quyet, FLC Chairman said FLC Ha Long has been one of the group’s projects built in special and difficult terrain.
FLC Ha Long is one of few resort projects with location near the world wonder Ha Long Bay.
Quang Ninh province received more than 10 million visitors for the first time, including more than 5 million foreign tourists, this year. The province also completed many important and large scale infrastructure projects such as Van Don International Airport and Ha Long – Van Don Expressway.
In this context, new projects like FLC Ha Long or new flight routes of Bamboo Airways at Van Don International Airport are set to boost high-end tourism infrastructure to fully tap the province’s potential.
2nd Outstanding Property Awards announced
The 2018 Outstanding Property Awards has been announced to honour outstanding individuals, organisations and projects that contribute to the rapid, sustainable and transparent development of the real estate market.
The awards will be given to outstanding designers, developers, distributors, construction materials providers and builders, and property businessperson and for best feng shui project and public infrastructure work.
The award was instituted last year by Nhip Cau Dau Tu (Investment Bridge) magazine.
The winners are chosen by a jury comprising State officials, economists and real estate executives.
Deadline for entries is December 20.
More banks permitted to expand credit growth
The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) recently decided to allow more commercial banks to expand their credit growth limits in 2018.
The credit quota for Military Bank (MB) has been lifted from 15 per cent allocated at the beginning of the year to its new level of 17 per cent, the Ban Viet Securities Company reported.
Credit expansion was also allowed at VPBank with a rise from 15 per cent to 17 per cent, meaning the bank will be allowed to lend an additional VND3 trillion (US$128 million) in the last month of the year.
Techcombank was the first to get the nod for credit expansion from the SBV last month. The bank’s credit growth was lifted from 14 per cent to 20 per cent this year. As a result, Techcombank was permitted to lend an additional VND6-8 trillion in 2018.
The move is good news for the banks. The few months ahead of the country’s biggest festival Tet (Lunar New Year), which will fall in February 2019, is often the peak lending season but many banks have already hit their credit growth quotas for 2018. At the beginning of the year, the SBV set a credit growth limit for each commercial bank – ranging from 12-16 per cent for the year – depending on the bank’s health.
According to the central bank, only a limited number of banks will be allowed to extend their credit limits depending on their financial status and handling of bad debt. The three aforementioned banks were among the few banks to have cleared all their debts with the Viet Nam Assets Management Company (VAMC).
VN eyes the development of digital banking
Viet Nam was seeking co-operation in developing new payment systems to diversify financial services and meet market demand in the new era of technology, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said at the meeting with Singapore-based Clermont Group on Tuesday morning.
Hue said Viet Nam had demand for co-operation with companies like Clermont Group to contribute to enhancing financial capacity, improving the health of credit and banking activities and ensuring the security of user databases.
Hue said he supported the Clermont Group’s consulting work for the State Bank of Viet Nam and relevant agencies in developing the ecosystem for fintech and digital banking in the country.
Clermont Group was providing consultation to the State Bank of Viet Nam on the restructuring of domestic credit and financial institutions, and on developing payment services and digital banking.
Founded in 1986 by New Zealand–born entrepreneur Richard F Chandler, the Clermont Group builds and invests in businesses in the financial services, healthcare and aerospace sectors.
Amata to start construction of Song Khoai IP
Amata VN Public Company Limited, a subsidiary of Thailand-based Amata Corporation PCL, expects to begin construction of the Song Khoai Industrial Park in Quang Ninh Province between December 20 and 25.
In March, Amata VN PCL received a certificate of investment registration for the IP, located in Quang Yen, from the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh with a total investment capital of about VND3.5 trillion for five stages.
This will be Amata VN PCL’s fourth industrial park in Quang Ninh.
By November 29, the amount of compensation for site clearance of about 103 hectares reached VND212.7 billion.
The first phase is expected to be complete by the end of 2019, putting an area of 123ha into operation. The project aims to develop infrastructure in Song Khoai IP and attract investment projects.
The IP is the first phase of Amata’s $1.6 billion industrial and urban development project in the northern province of Quang Ninh, around 150km from the capital Ha Noi.
Besides Song Khoai IP, Amata VN PCL has been conducting a study on the development of a smart city as part of the massive project.
A spark for wire and cable exports
Electrical wire and cable products posted export turnover of nearly US$1.42 billion in the first 10 months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent, according to the General Department of Customs.
This result means electrical wire and cable becomes the latest group of commodities with export turnover of more than $1 billion in Viet Nam, joining 26 other groups like phones and components, textiles, electronics, computers and components.
The largest proportion was sent to China, with turnover of $530.79 million, an increase of 39.13 per cent over the same period last year, accounting for 37.14 per cent of total export turnover.
The second largest market was Japan with turnover of $278.5 million, an increase of 21.46 per cent over the same period last year.
The Republic of Korea and the US were third and fourth largest markets for Viet Nam’s wire and cable products, with turnover reaching $135 million and $73 million, up 34 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, over the same period in 2017.
Next are Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Cambodia.
Notably, in markets importing electric wires and cables from Viet Nam, Australia has a market growth rate of 289 per cent compared to the same period last year and reached $12.37 million. In the opposite direction, the UK dropped sharply in imports of electrical wires and cables from Viet Nam, down 26.39 per cent to $4.67 million.
Singapore, Indonesia and France also imported more electrical wires and cables, with 78 per cent, 71 per cent and 48 per cent growth rate, respectively.
After a period of trade deficit for this commodity, Viet Nam has shifted to a trade surplus.
Currently, Viet Nam has more than 200 enterprises involved in the production and export of electrical wires and cables, many of which are 100 per cent foreign-owned or foreign-invested joint ventures.
Dong Nai enjoys 2.6-billion-USD trade surplus in 2018
The southern province of Dong Nai achieved a trade surplus of 2.6 billion USD for 2018, reported the provincial People’s Committee.
The province’s export turnover hit 18.6 billion USD during the year, a rise of 11.7 percent against 2017, with hard currency earners including garment-textiles, footwear, electrics, machinery, farm produce, steel, and fibre.
Commodities with large export value were footwear with 3.7 billion USD, up 9.3 percent year-on-year; steel products at 724 million USD, up 16.8 percent; garment-textiles at 2.14 billion USD, up 13.7 percent; and computers and components at 661 million USD, up 10.7 percent.
The main importers of enterprises in Dong Nai are China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Belgium, Germany, and Russia.
Meanwhile, the province splashed out 16 billion USD on imports, mainly materials for production such as animal feed, chemicals, plastic products, and metals.
Last year, the province recorded nearly 2.2 billion USD in trade surplus, making up 77 percent of the country’s total of 2.7 billion USD.
Conference looks to improve cashew processing quality
Advanced technology application is put at the first line of solutions to improving the quality of cashew processing, heard a conference held in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on December 14.
Attending the event, Do Thi Minh Tram, Deputy Director of the Agency for Regional Industry Development under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that Binh Phuoc, dubbed as the country’s cashew capital, should pay special attention to ensuring cashew farming is sustainable and stable.
Improving management capacity and human resources quality together with diversifying cashew products, and applying clean production technology should help reduce processing costs, she suggested.
According to Vu Duy Khien, director of the provincial industrial promotion and development consulting centre, the province is housing more than 134,000 hectares planted with cashew, which generate an average output of nearly 150,000 tonnes of cashew nuts, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the country’s total areas and productivity.
There are some 200 companies and 400 household businesses joining in cashew processing. Meanwhile, around 31 local cashew exporters have shipped 81,000 tonnes of cashews abroad at a value of over 807 million USD.
In the past time, the province has splashed out over 11 billion VND (473,500 USD) to support 63 production facilities and businesses in building cashew high-tech processing models, he added.
Kon Tum introduces investment opportunities to RoK firms
Kon Tum is calling for capable investors and firms to run long-term business in the Central Highlands province and accompany local authorities in developing the green economy, protecting the environment and combating climate change, a local official said.
Le Ngoc Tuan, Permanent Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, made the remarks at a meeting with representatives of 20 businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and local enterprises on December 15.
He briefed the businesspeople on the province’s potential, strength and resources in such areas as pharmaceutical and agricultural product processing, and tourism, as well as incentive mechanisms for investors.
With favourable geographical location, diverse natural resources, distinctive culture and soil and climate conditions, Kon Tum aims to attract investments in high-tech agriculture, herbal medicine, tourism and urban development, Tuan said.
Lee Hansu, Director of SJ Rosin Co., Ltd, said Kon Tum has offered support for businesses to operate effectively in the locality.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Hoa had a working session with RoK enterprises specialised in planting and processing Ngoc Linh ginseng and pharmaceutical products.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Thap talked about the province’s attraction of investments in high-tech agriculture, farm produce processing and husbandry.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairwoman of the committee Tran Thi Nga highlighted leisure tourism development in the locality.
The event took place within the fourth tourism and culture week of Kon Tum province.
ASEAN Plus 3 young entrepreneurs share startups experience
Young entrepreneurs and leaders from the ASEAN member nations and those from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and China – the dialogue partner countries of the group, joined a discussion on experience, opportunities and challenges in hi-tech agriculture startups.
Held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 15 as part of activities of the ASEAN Plus 3 Young Entrepreneurs Forum, the event focused on creative startups models in term of hi-tech agriculture.
Kevin San Miguel Cuevas, the founder and CEO of Tahan.PH of the Philippines said his firm is working to help tourists understand more about his country’s culture and cuisine.
Tours enable tourists to visit plantations of specific fruits and vegetables of the Philippines, while enjoying and buying high-quality agricultural products processed with modern technology, he noted.
Meanwhile, representatives from Thailand shared information related to a startup model with rubber-made pillow products and mattresses covered by traditional brocades.
Vietnamese representative Pham Thi Thu Van introduced a startup model with Ben Tre coconut products, saying that with CocoSmile brand, Ben Tre coconut are exported to Singapore, Japan, the RoK and the US.
Van said she is very surprised with effective startup models of young entrepreneurs at the event, adding that through the event, she learns from regional friends about how to market products and access new markets.
Tan Sijie Darren from Singapore said that innovative startups in hi-tech agriculture are an optimal solution to solving problems facing the ASEAN countries such as climate change, population growth, and rapid urbanization.
The creativity, cooperation and experience sharing of youths and young entrepreneurs at the event will help develop high-quality food in each country as well as in the ASEAN Plus 3 community, he stressed.
According to participants, the innovative startups in high-tech agriculture not only open a new avenue for young people, but also promote the development of the agriculture and agro-processing sectors in each country, and the exchange of goods and farm produce among regional nations.
ASEAN Plus 3 Young Entrepreneurs Forum is the realisation of the Hanoi Initiative, endorsed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth, with focus on nurturing young human resources, which took place in November 2011.
Vietnamese farm produce showcased at Ukrainian Food Expo
Vietnam’s key agricultural products, including rice, coffee, tea, cashew nuts, and peppercorn, were introduced at the Ukrainian Food Expo 2018.
The three-day fair was held in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, drawing the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and more than 250 local and foreign businesses.
The annual event offered a chance for participating firms to introduce their farm produce and foodstuff, technology, equipment, and cultivation techniques.
It also helped them seek partners and markets, expand production, and transfer technology.
Farm produce and foodstuff are Vietnam’s main exports to the Ukrainian market.
The Vietnamese delegation also participated in other activities held during the framework of the event, including symposiums and business-to-business (B2B) exchanges.
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