Vietnam takes first ever measures to kick-start ailing economy
For the first time Vietnam is launching a series of relief packages worth approximately VND600 trillion (US$25 billion) to get the national economy back on track after being badly affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19).
Roughly VND256.6 trillion of the total sum will be sourced from the State budget, with the remainder coming from the central bank, Vietnam Social Insurance, Vietnam Electricity, credit organisations, and telecommunication groups. The money will then be put into offering support to boost production, aid business services, and ease social welfare measures.
This move can be considered as an unprecedented step to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic by speeding up economic recovery and kickstarting the post-virus period.
A serious economic impact
According to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, the COVID-19 epidemic has taken a heavy toll on the Vietnamese economy, with the impact being described as serious. The first quarter of the year saw the economy grow by 3.82% annually, representing a record low since 2011.
The longer the epidemic goes on for, the more serious the economic impact is expected to be. It is highly unlikely that the 6.8% growth target set for this year will be met. Providing that the epidemic is contained during the second quarter, GDP growth is forecast to rise to approximately 5.32%, and if the epidemic runs through to the third quarter, growth is projected to slow to 5.05%.
A number of macro indicators are set to be badly affected, with sharp declines likely to be recorded in terms of the state budget revenue, import-export value, along with private investment and foreign direct investment due to decreasing demand globally. Investors seem to become more prudent in terms of decision making and are diverting investment to safe locations.
Despite having far-reaching consequences, the epidemic may present an opportunity for countries to recover from the initial shocks providing that they know how to take advantage of the rapidly-changing landscape in terms of the global economy and trade.
Since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic early this year, Minister Dung states that Vietnam has been actively serving the interests of the international business community by promoting the country as a safe and sustainable investment and business destination.
Simultaneously, the Government has made moves to assess the impact of the epidemic on the economy, delved into forecast trends, and identified new drivers of growth as a basis for accelerating and restructuring the economy. This has been done whilst taking into account development needs, digital transformation, employment demand, along with investment and consumption trends among others.
The Government has therefore requested that ministries and agencies come together to devise plans for the recovery scenarios of every industry, locality, and business sector as a means of making it easier for the economy to be up and running as soon as possible in the post-virus period.
It is widely expected that a severe economic downturn will not occur if the Government succeeds in keeping the spread of the COVID-19 in check. Indeed, the preventive measures introduced by the Government over the past few months have proved effective, helping to bring the outbreak under control with no new locally-transmitted infections being reported nationwide over the past four weeks.
In addition to efforts aimed at containing the epidemic, the country has managed to maintain production and social stability in order to weather the initial storm. The timely enactment of economic stimulus and social welfare packages, implemented alongside flexible monetary and fiscal policies, has helped to strengthen the economy’s capacity to recover from some of the early shocks.
With other sources of investment beginning to slow down, the effective disbursement of public investment worth nearly VND700 trillion which has been allocated for the year looks set to promote post-epidemic economic growth.
Experts believe that Vietnam’s overall goal is to maintain macro-economic stability, control inflation, and stabilise financial and monetary markets alongside its banking system.
According to Prof. Andreas Stoffers, Vietnam country director for Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the nation will certainly be able to weather the COVID-19 storm due to the prudent monetary and fiscal policy introduced, while also serving as a role model for other countries to follow.
COVID-19 could threaten target of 1 million new businesses in 2020
According to figures released by the General Statistics Office (GSO), the opening four months of the year saw the number of newly-established enterprises fall, making up only 86.8% of the figure from the previous year.
April alone saw more than 4,000 firms temporarily suspend business, an increase of 68% from the previous month, while the number of firms being dissolved or poised to close rose to over 3,000. Overall, the reviewed period saw the number of enterprises suspend activities, dissolve, or initiate plans to dissolve increase to 42,000.
The main cause for the increase in the number of firms waiting for dissolution can be put down to slow growth in both the local and global economy due to the COVID-19 epidemic. This has caused a series of difficulties which have forced firms to be declared bankrupt or face severe financial challenges.
With regard to this situation, Nguyen Bich Lam, GSO general director, said that it the current goal of reaching 1 million new businesses in 2020 will likely prove extremely difficult.
According to Lam, although the number of enterprises reopening enjoyed a surge of 2.1%, this number remains far lower than in previous years. As such, if record growth rate of more than 138,000 is maintained then the year’s overall figure will stand at only 900,000.
Taking an optimistic view of the problem, Dr. Nguyen Minh Phong, an economic expert, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to a large challenge in the goal of establishing 1 million new businesses in 2020 as has been set out in Resolution No 10 of the Party Central Committee.
Despite this, there remains plenty of potential to carry out breakthrough policies in order to achieve this goal, with the country now being home to between 5 and 7 million individual business households, with many of them operating as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
With this in mind, the Ministry of Finance has asked the Government to submit new policies aimed at providing financial support to SMEs, as well as other newly-established enterprises from individual business households to the National Assembly to receive approval during their May session. This will see incentive policies on corporate income tax reduction and exemption introduced, for example, a two-year tax exemption for firms established from individual households and SMEs will be able to enjoy tax rates of 15 to 17%, Phong said.
Once these policies come into force, Phong is hopeful that there will be a breakthrough in terms of the number of newly-established businesses this year and in subsequent years.
Simultaneously, the restart of the economy will see many firms that had previously ceased operations to resume business.
“Although we are not sure yet, there are plenty of expectations, meaning that we will strive to achieve the set target of 1 million businesses. It is believed that there will be new breakthroughs ahead in 2021,” he said.
In the context of the period following the COVID-19, economic recovery requires a new mindset for both the State, businesses, and citizens in order to achieve the dual goal of curbing the epidemic to protect people’s health, whilst also restoring and developing the national economy in anticipation of fresh market fluctuations.
Most notably, there will be an emergence of many modern business methods on the basis of the platform economy and e-commerce, as well as other traditional non-contact connections.
In order for enterprises to restore operations and develop in a sustainable manner, they must review their objectives, targets, strategies, as well as business activities as a means of creating a secure base whilst establishing new supply chains to adapt themselves to the new normal.
Phong also underlined the necessity of intensifying investment in order to upgrade technological capabilities as a means of ensuring product quality and competitiveness in the new context whilst also outlining scenarios for different situations. With the COVID-19 forcing countries to take very extreme measures, businesses must now take measures and set up scenarios aimed at adapting themselves to the general situation, Phong emphasised.
HNX-listed firms see total profit up 4.8% in 2019
Listed companies on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) reported their post-tax profits grew 4.8 per cent year-on-year to reach VND21.4 trillion (US$917 million) in 2019.
According to the northern market regulator, as of the end of April this year, 346 out of the total 359 companies on the HNX had released their 2019 audited financial statements.
Among the 346 reporting firms, 311 made profits with a total profit value of VND23.7 trillion, up 10.06 per cent year-on-year.
On a sector basis, five out of 11 sectors report profits in 2019, higher than the number of profitable sectors in 2018. Of the sectors, the oil and gas one posted the highest post-tax profit growth rate of 45.2 per cent, from VND808 billion to VND1.17 trillion.
Ranking second was the financial sector, with only 22 enterprises listed on the HNX, reporting post-tax profit growth rate of 17.3 per cent, reaching VND10.4 billion, accounting for 48.7 per cent of the total profit of the whole market.
The growth is attributed to expanding business operations, diversifying products and services, and attracting more customers. Among this group, banking and insurance businesses witnessed the strongest growth.
In the opposite direction, 36 companies reported losses, up 12.5 per cent over the previous year, with a total loss value in 2019 of negative VND2.24 trillion, up 109 per cent compared to 2018.
Six out of 11 industries reported higher losses compared to 2018, in which the industrial sector saw the highest loss from negative VND427 billion in 2018 to negative VND1.27 trillion in 2019.
Companies who published their audited financial statements five days, or more, later than the required date, have been made ineligible for margin lending and those who delay for over 15 days will be included in the warning list of HNX.
Exchange-traded fund VFMVN Diamond debuts on bourse
The exchange-traded fund VFMVN Diamond officially listed more than 10.2 million fund certificates worth VND102 billion (US$4.3 million) on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) on Tuesday under the code FUEVFVND.
The certificates closed the first trading day at VND10,500 apiece, lower than the reference price of VND11,693.36 per certificate.
ETF VFMVN Diamond is a fund that mimics VN Diamond, one of the three indices, together with VN Fin Lead and VN Fin Select, introduced by HoSE last November.
Stocks must meet certain conditions in terms of market cap, transaction value, and foreign ownership to be included in the VN Diamond Index.
They should also have foreign ownership of at least 95 per cent of the limit and the remaining stake foreign investors can buy should not be worth more than VND500 billion ($21.5 million).
The market cap of individual stocks is 15 per cent of the index and any one industry must not account for more than 40 per cent.
According to HoSE, ETF VFMVN Diamond can invest in all sectors of the stock market not prohibited by law.
Its investment assets include stocks listed and traded on Vietnamese stock exchanges, deposits at commercial banks in accordance with relevant legal regulations, derivative securities listed and traded on Vietnamese stock exchanges, and rights and assets associated with securities in its portfolio.
The listing of the fund certificates is expected to help diversify products in the stock market and offer more investment options.
The State Securities Commission of Viet Nam issued a certificate of registration to ETF VFMVN Diamond on April 27.
Toyota recalls 30,000 cars to replace fuel pump
Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) is recalling nearly 30,000 locally-assembled cars including Toyota Camry, Corolla Altis and Innova to replace faulty fuel pumps.
The recall campaign is applied for Toyota Camry, Corolla Altis and Innova models produced from December 12, 2017 to March 25, 2019, from January 16, 2018 to January 31, 2019, and January 23, 2017 to April 3, 2019, respectively.
The campaign will begin from June 1, 2020 and last until June 1, 2023. The replacement will be free of charge.
For the benefit and safety of passengers, TMV recommends consumers to quickly bring their car to Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide to check and replace the fuel pumps.
VinFast launches car exchange programme
Vietnamese carmaker VinFast has announced an exchange programme to swap old cars for new ones, with customers paying the difference.
The exchange programme started on Friday and is valid for all cars from various brands in Viet Nam which have been used for less than seven years.
The exchange is the first of its kind in the Vietnamese automotive market, giving consumers the opportunity to convert their used cars to other models manufactured by VinFast.
Customers must bring used cars to the Smart Solution supermarket, a used car trading company of Vingroup where the car will be priced and redeemed. All pricing and trading processes will be made public and transparent.
VinFast said it would offer customers VND50 million (US$2,130), VND30 million and VND10 million in cash when buying VinFast cars, corresponding to the models Lux SA2.0, Lux A2.0 or Fadil.
In addition, customers will also benefit from a preferential financial policy, which includes loan interest exemption in the first two years when buying a car via installments at the bank. From the third year onward the customers will face a maximum interest rate of 10.5 per cent per year.
With a loan up to 70 per cent of the car’s value and a maximum term of eight years, customers only need to pay VND4 million per month for a Fadil car, or VND8 million for a Lux.
The two models Lux A2.0 and Lux SA2.0 are included in the promotion programme this month, with prices starting from VND896.1 million for Lux A2.0 models and from VND1.32 billion for Lux SA2.0 if customers pay 100 per cent this month. With Fadil models, the one-time payment price is only VND373.41 million.
Rampant violations found at seaside projects in Quy Nhon
Binh Dinh Province Department of Construction has launched an investigation into various violations at some seaside tourism projects in Quy Nhon City.
After Dan Viet Newspaper published articles about rampant violations at the projects along Quy Nhon-Song Cau route that had violated the urban planning and ruined the natural environment, Binh Dinh People’s Committee vice chairman Phan Cao Thang sent official documents to the Department of Construction to deal with the problems on May 13.
The department said they had checked eight out of 19 tourist projects since other constructions haven’t started yet. They found violations at seven projects such as the buildings failed to match the designs or the investors had added additional constructions into operation without planning permission.
Those seven projects are the Tourist Area 3, Tourist Area 7, Tourists Area 10, La Costa Resort, Bai Xep International Resort, Casa Marina Resort, and Ami Resort and Spa. Among which, the Bai Xep project invested by Truong Thanh Quy Nhon Company has the most serious violations. The investor already levelled 8,000 square metres of land without submitting designs or building permits.
The Department of Construction recorded the case and asked the investor to stop levelling the land. The department also asked other investors to stop any illegal activities and remove illegal constructions that are not included in the registered planning.
Binh Thuan keen to turn Mui Ne into Asia-Pacific’s leading tourism hub by 2030
The south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan is looking to turn Mui Ne beach resort town into one of the leading tourist spots in Asia-Pacific by 2030.
As a key goal within the province’s tourism development plan to 2025 and vision to 2030, it will focus on infrastructure development and attracting strategic investors.
The province will carry out 18 initiatives to encourage target customers to visit. Priority will be given to nine of these, which will improve local transport and waste management and tackle sea encroachment.
The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will host water sports events, to make Binh Thuan a national hub for such sports.
It is also tasked with working with relevant agencies to hold annual kite surfing and wind surfing tournaments.
The province aims to welcome 14 million holidaymakers by 2030, including 5.5 million foreigners./.
HCM City tourism sector seeks to recover from COVID-19 epidemic
According to statistics, the first two months of the year saw the average number of tourists and revenue of travel companies decreased by between 50% and 60% compared to the same period from last year.
Nguyen Huu Y Yen, General Director of Saigontourist Travel Service Company, stated that the easing of social distancing measures has enabled the company to implement stimulus packages, while the online sale of tours nationwide has so far yielded positive results.
Yen noted that with the country moving to impose strict controls on its borders, the city will not be welcoming any international tourists in the near future, therefore forcing local firms to turn their focus onto maximising domestic tours with a shorter duration.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Assistant to the Director of Rex Hotel, underlined the importance of following necessary safety criteria for tourism services, saying this will help regain the trust of visitors.
Sharing the same view, Tran Hung Viet, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association, evaluated the increase in visitor numbers to destinations such Da Lat, Nha Trang, and Vung Tau during the public holiday as a sign of the tourism sector’s gradual recovery.
Indeed, Viet emphasied the need to restructure the domestic market and deploy a number of joint schemes in an effort to strengthen connectivity among businesses and agencies.
He therefore advised the southern city to maintain links with travel agencies of countries in the region and the world in order to keep up to date with trends, make thorough preparations and stand ready to break into the international market once the coronavirus disease is brought under control and countries reopen their doors to tourism services.
Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department of Ho Chi Minh City, said that the tourism sector’s recovery is based on the survival and resilience of each business, noting that a range of effective solutions have been devised aimed at supporting firm through policies such as tax breaks and the deferment of social insurance payment period.
Thuy went on to say advertisement plans have been devised to promote Ho Chi Minh City as a safe destination for tourists. HCM City has collaborated with Google to elevate its tourism image in 11 countries around the world.
“Hello Ho Chi Minh City”, a special tourism promotion campaign will soon be launched to introduce the city as a safe, friendly and attractive tourist destination, said Thuy.
HCM City hopes that travel firms will introduce effective recovery solutions to bring the tourism sector back to its former strength, especially after all air routes resume normal operation.
Five-star hotels offer huge discounts with easing of social distancing
With the easing of social distancing measures occurring nationwide, a series of five-star Vietnamese hotels have simultaneously offered incentives regarding room rates in a bid to boost tourist numbers.
In addition, local travel firms have also launched a range of attractive tours and other deals at low prices in an attempt to stimulate the nation’s tourism industry.
According to a traveler from Hanoi, the price of a family room at the Intercontinental Nha Trang in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa has been slashed to only VND1 million in comparison to the price of VND5 million per night which the accommodation would normally be priced at.
Most notably, a combo tour consisting of three days and two nights at the Intercontinental hotel in Nha Trang or in Phu Quoc now costs only VND2.6 million, including the price of return air tickets.
Golden Bay Danang, a prestigious five-star hotel, also launched a promotional scheme known as ‘Buy 1 get 1 free with Deluxe room’ aimed at families made up of two adults and two children under the age of 12 years old.
In line with this promotion, visitors only need to spend one night at a cost of VND2.5 million in order to get an additional night for free. In comparison, the usual room rate per night at the hotel stands at VND2.3 million.
A representative from Golden Bay stated that the preferential prices for room reservations will conclude on May 31, although tourists can take their holiday at any time up until the end of 2020
The Muong Thanh Khanh Hoa Hotel in Khanh Hoa province is offering room rates for two adults at less than VND1.9 million from May 15 to May 17, while other five-star hotels such as the Majestic Premium or Ariyana SmartCondotel Nha Trang are also offering discounts with prices dropping to VND2.7 million per night.
In Da Nang, travelers will be able to enjoy a variety of options at the affordable price of VND1.9 million for two nights at the Eden Hotel, while the Sofina My Khe Hotel & Spa is also offering rooms for two nights from May 15 to May 17 at a price of nearly VND1.2 million.
Post COVID-19: Airlines operate at close to full capacity
A representative from low-cost carrier Vietjet Air on May 12 stated that the last few days have seen the capacity of seats on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route, along with flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang, reach approximately 90% of capacity.
Moreover, flights to other localities are also running close to maximum capacity due to an increase in travel demand among citizens due to the end of the social distancing period.
At present, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is achieving an average seating capacity of 82% from domestic passengers through Noi Bai international airport, with between 24,000 and 25,000 passengers travelling daily.
Indeed, May 10 saw 27,000 passengers pass through the airport, in comparison to an average of 50,000 domestic passengers per day who travelled before the start of the novel coronavirus epidemic.
A representative from Noi Bai international airport anticipates that the number of domestic tourists will recover due to travel firms slashing prices to stimulate travel demand.
Despite seat spacing rules being lifted, passengers must maintain a safe distance of one metre when conducting entry and exit procedures, security screening, and boarding at airports.
At present, airlines have initiated plans to increase the frequency of domestic routes in order to restore the entire domestic flight network starting from June.
Dinh Viet Thang, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), said the local aviation market has shown initial signs of recovery with the easing of social distancing as airlines carry 39,000 passengers per day, equaling 38% of the daily average seen last year.
Thang, however, predicts that passenger numbers during the summer’s peak will be only be equal to 60% of last year’s figures due to students still having to go to school.
Furthermore, the domestic aviation market is forecast to recover completely by next year, while the international aviation market is expected to bounce back by the end of 2021.
Currently, airlines are co-ordinating efforts with major travel firms and resorts to develop stimulus packages aimed at restoring the domestic tourism market by offering preferential airfares, in addition to resort vouchers in the hope of boosting passenger numbers during the summer.
Da Nang International Airport joins list of most improved airports worldwide
Da Nang International Airport has made it onto a collection of the world’s 10 most improved airports for 2020, as announced by the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.
This comes after the annual ranking was released by Skytrax, a UK-based consultancy that conducts an annual airline and airport review based on votes given by international air travelers.
The purpose of the list is to provide a quality analysis of changes to an airport in line with global standards, whilst also acknowledging an airport’s improvements by placing them into award categories as a means of identifying locations which have undergone to best transformations over a 12-month period.
The recognition of Da Nang International Airport comes after they had reached out to Skytrax in August, 2019, to co-ordinate efforts to assess the quality of services at the airport whilst subsequently following suggestions put forward by the organisation.
In line with the recent announcement, Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi has been named among the world’s Top 100 airports for the fifth consecutive year.
Contingent of US footwear importers to hold online trade exchange with local firms
An online trade exchange is scheduled to be held from May 28 to May 30 with the participation of 60 footwear importers from the United States, with the aim of supporting domestic footwear enterprises promote the export of footwear products to the US market, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The event is set to be jointly held by the MoIT, the Vietnamese embassy’s trade office based in the United States, and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America.
Throughout the duration of the event, both representatives of state management agencies and industry associations from both sides will be granted a platform to provide updated information relating to the US footwear market in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Moreover, participants will be able to assess the export prospects and adaptability of the ever-changing landscape, as well as introducing the nation’s plans for developing the footwear industry and intensifying trade exchange activities moving forward in the footwear sector in relation to the US market, according to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency.
Indeed, it is anticipated that the trade exchange will draw the participation of between 60 and 80 domestic footwear enterprises.
With 2019 being considered a successful year for footwear exports due to the sector’s revenue enjoying a surge of 12.8% to US$18.3 billion against the same period from the previous year, the US now makes up the largest export market with a value of US$6.65 billion, an increase of 14.2%.
Following this, the US has remained as the leading importer of Vietnamese footwear products during the first quarter of the year with a turnover of US$1.56 billion, an annual increase of 10%.
Despite this, a number of contracts have yet to be finalised in the second and third quarters of the year. This can largely be attributed to a decline in consumption within the US market.
Aside from a fall in order numbers, many foreign partners have suddenly cancelled orders, leading to numerous difficulties for local businesses.
It is hoped that through the event both Vietnamese enterprises and US importers will be able to gain greater insights into the needs and capacities of each other, seize upon co-operative opportunities, and quickly respond to trade and market developments due to the demand for footwear in the US market predicted to bounce back once the COVID-19 epidemic is eradicated.
Over 4,000 Hanoi businesses suspend operations due to COVID-19
The first quarter of the year has seen a total of 4,240 enterprises register to halt operations due to the negative impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, representing a sharp increase of 36% in comparison to the same period last year.
In line with the figures, the number of unemployed workers who have subsequently applied for unemployment insurance now totals over 13,200.
Throughout the reviewed period, the majority of Hanoi’s growth targets fell short in comparison to last year’s corresponding period.
Despite the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) increasing by 3.72%, the rise is lower when compared to the same period from previous years, resulting in many businesses scaling back production or looking to suspend operations.
As a way of removing hurdles for businesses while simultaneously boosting production and business activities, the capital has deployed a range of drastic solutions aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
This has been done alongside striving to accelerate reforms relating to administrative procedures, improving product quality, and diversifying business support services.
National production capacity of fabric key to optimising EVFTA benefits
The Vietnamese National Assembly is expected to ratify the EVFTA in May followed by the trade pact coming into force sometime in July.
Currently, most of Vietnamese garment items enjoy a preferential tax rate of 9% under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). However, they are not subject to tax cuts as soon as the EVFTA takes effect, as the trade pact has applied a fundamental tax rate of 12% in line with the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariffs.
Moreover, the EVFTA stipulates that fabrics used to make products must originate from either Vietnam, the EU, or the Republic of Korea, another nation that has signed a FTA with the EU, in addition to the making process not being outsourced.
With local firms importing more than 60% of fabric from China and Taiwan (China), the utilisation of the trade pact is set to be largely dependent on the country’s production capability of fabric over the next two years.
Among the country’s listed apparel companies, TNG currently holds the largest market share in the EU market, accounting for 53% of revenue, followed by the GMC with 40% of revenue.
Indeed, GMC is heavily reliant on fabric imported from China, meaning that it does not come up to standards with regard to the rule of origin as set by the EVFTA, while TNG can enjoy more opportunities to export to the EU market due to the company using a certain amount of domestic fabric.
Despite China swiftly recovering between 80% and 90% of production, the number of apparel and garment orders is projected to drop between 30% and 50% during the course of April and May.
Furthermore, total textile and garment exports during the four-month period suffered a decline of 6.6% to US$10.64 billion, while total imports fell by 8.8% to US$6.39 billion.
To compensate for the falling demand of apparel products, local companies have made moves to produce antimicrobial cloth masks in order to meet both domestic demand and have a surplus for the purpose of export.
Ha Long plans to zone off aquaculture area from bay
Ha Long city in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh submitted a draft scheme on zoning off an aquaculture area outside of Ha Long Bay to the provincial People’s Committee on May 12.
According to the city People’s Committee, the 890-hectare area will consist of three sub-areas.
Its location will not affect the preservation of the world natural heritage site and waterway traffic. It is less affected by storms and wind and in line with local environment planning to 2020 and vision to 2030.
The project also aims to address the employment needs of 49 households and businesses who will be moved from the aquaculture area and will generate jobs for nearby fishermen.
Permanent Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Huy Hau asked the city to review and adjust the planning area to ensure aquaculture is linked with sustainable tourism development on the bay.
He also asked the city to create management regulations for aquaculture activities on the bay to protect the heritage site.
Cashew exports to foreign markets enjoy positive short-term outlook
The export price of local cashew nuts is forecast to rise slightly in the short-term due to an increased demand for cashew from EU countries occurring alongside a growth in Chinese demand as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is gradually brought under control.
The nation exported a total of 43,000 tonnes of cashew nuts throughout April with a value of US$281 million.
This contributed to the total volume of exports for the first four months of the year being 137,000 tonnes worth US$948 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 19.4% in volume and 4.2% in value, according to figures released by the Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The United States, Netherlands, and China have kept their place as the largest consumers of local cashew, making up 36.8%, 11.9%, and 6.9% of the overall market shares, respectively.
Elsewhere, cashew exports to Saudi Arabia increased sharply with a 2.4-fold increase, while exports to the Chinese market dropped by 46.7%.
The average export price of cashew nuts during the first three months of the year dropped by 12.5% to US$ 7,044 per tonne against the same period from last year.
The import volume of raw cashew in April stood at an estimated 105,000 tonnes with a value of US$132 million, bringing the total import volume and value during the four-month period to 293,000 tonnes and US$413 million, respectively.
This represents an on-year rise of 3.2% in volume but a decline of 13.9% in terms of value.
In terms of the domestic market, the price of raw material in April rose in comparison to the previous month at VND29,000 per kilo in Dak Lak province along with VND46,000 per kilo in Dong Nai province. Meanwhile, the cashew price globally increased by up to US$440, raising the total to between US$6,944 and US$7,275 per tonne.
Within the EU market a number of significant importers are increasing demand in order to stockpile cashew due to concerns relating to the spread of the COVID-19 in Africa.
In the short term, the price of the nation’s cashew nut exports are projected to increase slightly with some customers globally requiring firms to deliver goods imminently due to fears of the transportation of goods being disrupted in addition to the rise in freight rates.
The Vietnam Cashew Association has therefore advised local cashew processing enterprises to not sign long-term contracts due to the price of raw cashew in the world market likely to increase once the COVID-19 epidemic is finally brought under control.
Amid these common difficulties, processing enterprises should take responsibility for purchasing raw cashew nuts domestically in order to develop local material sources, while cashew processing plants have been advised to closely monitor market developments as a means of devising plans suitable for next year.
COVID-19 prevention efforts boost profile of Vietnam among investors
With Vietnam often cited by various international media outlets as a successful example of how to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and adapt to a new normal, the nation is rapidly being viewed as a reliable location for investors, thereby serving to aid the process of restoring post-epidemic production.
This comes after Globalnews.ca quoted advisers from a number of foreign corporations who believe the country’s success in fighting the COVID-19 has helped improve reliability for foreign investors. As a result, the nation is positioning itself as a safe place in which to do business, thus helping to attract international manufacturers who are attempting to diversify their supply chains.
Plenty of international media outlets have also provided wide-ranging coverage of the revival of a number of sectors of the Vietnamese economy. Nikkei Asian Review report that approximately 4 million AirPod wireless earphones, equivalent to roughly 30% of all Apple products, are set to be shipped to the country during the second quarter of 2020. In terms of tourism, TTG Asia has published survey results which indicate that up to 45% of Chinese tourists are keen on visiting Vietnam on their first overseas trip of 2020.
With regard to a successful model to combat the COVID-19, the Economist magazine published an article outlining some the nation’s simple and low-cost measures such as tracing and quarantining thousands of people who pose a high risk of spreading the infection. The country also benefits from investing in its various community health systems, especially primary care, and enjoys competent management, devoted health workers, whilst patients nationwide can have extensive access to treatment.
Dr. Todd Pollack, an infectious disease specialist, also said that there are some cultural factors in terms of helping the nation’s anti-epidemic efforts, such as a willingness to research and learn from the experience of other countries. Most notably, citizens do not object to newly-enforced policies, such as wearing masks, isolating away from home, and following the recommendations of authorities.
Moreover, the specialist attributed the strong prevention results to the country’s prompt and decisive actions. In addition, patients have been quarantined quickly and effectively as a way of protecting elderly members of the community. Being fully aware of the prolonged danger of the disease, the country must continue to stay vigilant until a vaccine is discovered, he added.
Son La exports first shipment of mangoes to China this year
Located in the northern province of Son La, Yen Chau district province has exported its first shipment of 30 tonnes of mangoes, heading to the northern neighbour via official channels.
Son La province hosts a ceremony to export the first batch of mangoes to China in 2020.
Ha Van Son, Director of Chieng Hac Agricultural Cooperative in Yen Chau district, said this marks the first export shipment of mangoes to China this year, adding that the co-operative has always paid close attention with regard to product quality when exporting food items to foreign markets.
It is anticipated that this year will see an estimated 13,000 tonnes of mangoes harvested, of which more than 3,200 tonnes come up to international cultivation standards for export to foreign markets.
Most notably, Yen Chau’s green mangoes have been purchased by an array of businesses specifically for the purpose of exporting them to China via official channels due to their high quality.
Trinh Van Thang, Director of Thien Anh One Member Company in the northern Lao Cai province, stated that the company has placed an order of 1,000 tonnes for Yen Chau’s mangoes which will be exported to Chinese supermarkets in the near future.
This comes after Yen Chau district and Son La province have recently launched a range of trade promotion schemes aimed at increasing the consumption of fruit in both domestic and foreign markets.
Following this, many firms based both domestically and abroad, in addition to business partners, have gained a greater knowledge with regard to the brand of Yen Chau’s mango products.
In the face of the novel coronavirus epidemic, co-operatives throughout the region have focused on improving product quality, creating stable jobs, whilst simultaneously developing high-quality agricultural products in a sustainable manner. This has taken place alongside preventive measures aimed at combating the epidemic.
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