VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS DECEMBER 21

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IFC invests $30 million in waste-to-energy plant in Vietnam

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed 30 million USD to the construction of a waste-to-energy plant in the northern province of Bac Ninh as part of support for Vietnam to help it reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The financing package will allow T&J Green Energy Company Limited – a joint venture between Thuan Thanh Environment JSC, a Bac Ninh-based recycling company, and JFE Engineering Corporation, a leading Japanese company in the construction and operation of waste treatment facilities – to develop a modern waste-to-energy plant in Thuan Thanh district.

The plant is expected to begin operations in 2024 and will incinerate 500 tonnes of daily and industrial solid waste every day. It aims to increase the province’s waste treatment capacity and reduce negative impact on the environment while protecting locals’ health.

HCM City seeks to improve its lowly competitiveness ranking

HCM City officials last week discussed ways to improve the city’s ranking in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). The city was in 14th place in 2020 and 2019 after slipping from 10th in 2018.

HCM City will seek ways to improve the investment and business environment to make things easier, more transparent and fairer, and expects to become one of the top five in the list by 2025. It particularly aims to do well in the rankings for socio-economic management quality by speeding up digital transformation.

It will make public all administrative procedures to make it easier for the public and businesses, reduce processing time and generally improve the quality of public services.

The People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Planning and Investment to work with the VCCI to create benchmarks to assess the quality of work done by various departments and localities to improve the business environment and rise in the PCI through 2025.

Three packages to help businesses with digital transformation

Three aid packages will be carried out in 2022 to help promote digital transformation in Vietnamese enterprises, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Of the three packages to be launched, the first is designed for small-scaled firms, helping them embark on digital transformation. Each enterprise will be provided with 20 million – 50 million VND (870 – 2,180 USD) funded by the State budget per year.

The second one will assist medium-sized ones with a maximum of 100 million VND per year. Meanwhile, the third targets exporters and will cover a maximum of 50 percent of the costs to open and maintain their accounts on transnational e-commerce platforms.

Ministry of Planning and Investment to assess industrial zones’ operations hinh anh 1

Ministry of Planning and Investment to assess industrial zones’ operations

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has asked the management boards of industrial and economic zones in provinces and centrally-run cities to submit reports on the construction and development of industrial and coastal economic zones this year to make a comprehensive evaluation on their operations.

Specifically, they are requested to focus on clarifying the achievements, shortcomings and suggest solutions (if any).

It is necessary for the management boards to provide information on investment attraction at coastal economic zones, the use of land as well as the implementation of industrial part infrastructure this year.

Reports should be submitted to the MPI before December 27, the ministry said.

Tra fish export value estimated at $1.54 billion this year

Vietnam would earn 1.54 billion USD from tra fish export this year, up 3 percent from 2020, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) forecast.

The association attributed the rise to the demand in major markets such as the US, Europe and China reaching the pre-pandemic level.

Vietnam’s tra fish shipments to China have begun to bounce back since March and April 2021, and the neighbouring country continues to be the biggest importer of Vietnamese tra fish.

By late 2021, China is expected to account for 28 percent of Vietnam’s total tra fish exports, the association said.

Reference exchange rate up VND6

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,190 VND/USD on December 21, up 6 VND from the previous day.

With the current trading band of +/- 3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,885 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,494 VND/USD.

Exhibition promotes Vietnamese Pangasius exports in Australia

The Viet Nam Pangasius Expo, held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, has offered Australian visitors 100 virtual stalls of Vietnamese processed tra and basa (Pangasius) fish products.

Taking place between December 16 and 20, the online exhibition was part of a series of activities to build the trademark of Vietnamese tra and basa fish in the market.

It is scheduled to reopen on the website www.onlineworldexpo.com throughout January 2022.

President’s Cambodia visit to boost bilateral economic-trade ties

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Cambodia from December 21-22 affords both sides a chance to discuss major orientations and measures to further boost bilateral ties in the new period.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asian-African Markets, Vietnam was one of the leading trade partners of Cambodia. During the 2016-2020 period, two-way trade expanded by 17 percent annually on average, from 2.92 billion USD in 2015 to 5.32 billion USD in 2020. Apart from boosting exports to Cambodia, Vietnam continued offering preferential tariff on Cambodia’s exports to Vietnam.

At present, Vietnam has 188 valid investment projects with a total registered capital of nearly 2.85 billion USD in Cambodia.

Vietnam and Cambodia have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. Vietnam presented PCR test kits worth around 300,000 USD together with 500,000 USD in cash and medical supplies to Cambodia. Meanwhile, Cambodia also gave Vietnam 200,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses, 1 million medical and 100,000 N95 masks, 100 oxygen generators and 350,000 USD in cash to Vietnam.

Conference reviews ties between Vietnam, Middle East – Africa

The Foreign Ministry chaired a mid-term review conference in both online and offline formats on December 20 on the implementation of a project on developing ties between Vietnam and the Middle East – Africa countries for the 2016-2025 period.

Economic and investment ties between Vietnam and the region have seen big progress, with two-way trade between both sides surging nearly 1.4-fold over the past five years. A number of regional development funds have provided official development assistance for infrastructure and poverty reduction projects in Vietnam’s remote and mountainous areas.

Concluding the event, Deputy Minister Hieu said the Foreign Ministry will actively coordinate with ministries, sectors and agencies to support localities and enterprises in enhancing cooperation with countries in the Middle East – African region.

Vietnam International Arbitration Centre pledges support to FDI firms

Vietnam should improve its legal framework to maintain the attractiveness of the domestic investment environment to foreign firms, Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) has said.

According to Loc, foreign investors are still confident in the long-term prospect of the Vietnamese market, as well as the Vietnamese Government’s capacity to bring the pandemic under control.

Statistics show that as of November 2021, foreign investors poured 26.46 billion USD into new projects, existing projects and share purchase, of which newly-registered capital was up 26.7 percent year-on-year.

Russia’s pork exports to Vietnam fall significantly in November

Russia’s pork exports to Vietnam plunged 39 percent year-on-year in November due to the latter’ abundant domestic supply and increasing competition from the US, according to the Russian Federal Center for the Development of Export of Agricultural Products (Agroexport).

The weakening shipments were atrributed to Vietnamese importers not making advance payment as a result of falling global prices and difficulties in logistics.

Russia remained Vietnam’s largest pork supplier from January to September 2021, accounting for 41 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total imports, Agroexport said. However, the figure is on the decline due to competition from American rivals after Vietnam lowered its US frozen pork import tariffs to 10 percent from 15 percent.

Exhibition promotes Vietnamese Pangasius exports in Australia

The Viet Nam Pangasius Expo, held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Australia, has offered Australian visitors 100 virtual stalls of Vietnamese processed tra and basa (Pangasius) fish products. Taking place between December 16 and 20, the online exhibition was part of a series of activities to build the trademark of Vietnamese tra and basa fish in the market. It is scheduled to reopen on the website www.onlineworldexpo.com throughout January 2022.

Vietnamese bivalve molluscs conquers demanding markets

Due to an abundance of domestic raw materials, Vietnamese bivalve mollusc products continue to enjoy numerous advantages to increase exports, especially to the EU market

According to details given by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the EU remains the largest consumer of Vietnamese bivalve molluscs, duly accounting for 62% of the country’s total export value.

Vietnamese bivalve mollusk exports to the EU market by mid-November surged by 38.5% to reach US$73.7 million against the same period from last year, with key export products including white clams and frozen cooked brown clams.

Experts attributed the rise in bivalve mollusc exports to the EU to the growing market demand, stable production of clams, and tax incentives following the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Vietnamese Goods Exhibition 2021 opens

The Vietnamese Goods 2021 exhibition kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on December 20 to introduce an array of high-quality products and services to consumers, whilst simultaneously elevating the profile of domestically-produced brands.

The exhibition has also been an activity to support local businesses in strengthening linkages of production chains whilst seeking partners to conduct transactions.

During the opening ceremony, the HCM City Business Association, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations, and the Vietnam Entrepreneurs Association in Australia signed a co-operation agreement to promote Vietnamese goods in the Australian market.

There will be several business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) schemes held during the event to provide an ideal venue for firms to meet and promote the consumption of products.

MARD to expand VietGap-standard agricultural production

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is considering a project expanding 10 million hectares of agricultural production with VietGap standards.

The project will help the country’s agricultural sector acquire VietGap certificates for 3 million hectares of forests, 30,000 hectares of aquaculture and 15,000 livestock facilities by the year 2025.

The project will also increase the percentage of semi-process and process agricultural, forestry and fishery product establishments getting Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and ISO 2200 or equivalent certificates by 10-15 per cent per year and about 80 per cent of co-operatives will be informed and updated on SPS regulations of the import market.

By the year 2030, 10 million hectares of growing areas, 100,000 hectares of aquaculture and 25,000 livestock establishments will get VietGap certificates.

BB Group to invest $5 billion into project cluster in Quang Tri

BB Group JSC has proposed investing in a 170 ha gas industry centre and 305 ha general port in Quang Tri Province.

BB Group’s investment projects will include the BBG Quang Tri gas treatment plant, an LNG production plant, onshore gas depots and a floating gas storage unit with an estimated total investment of about US$4 billion to $5 billion over two different phases, from 2022-2025 and 2025-2030.

BB Group also proposed the BBG Quang Tri general port project, which is planned to receive a series of ships, containers and bulk cargoes up to 100,000 DWT and liquid cargo ships with a tonnage of up to 180,000 DWT, at an estimated total investment of VND10 trillion ($434 million) from 2022 to 2025.

Viet Nam looks to promote export to Brazil

Vietnamese businesses need to work closer with partners in South America to boost exports to Brazil in the last month of 2021, according to the Viet Nam Trade Office in Brazil.

Two-way trade between Viet Nam and Brazil hit US$5.74 billion in the last 11 months, up nearly 36.8 per cent year-on-year, while Viet Nam’s exports to Brazil was valued at $2.04 billion, up 24.7 per cent year-on-year.

Sharp increases were seen in the shipment of items such as iron and steel, furniture products, computers, electronic products, bamboo and rattan products, sedge carpets, vehicles and spare parts, technical fabrics, rubber, textile fibres, aquatic products, textile raw materials, footwear, rubber products, and bags.

Central Highlands eyes sustainable coffee cultivation, higher export value

The Central Highlands region, which includes Lam Dong, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Lak, has 639,000ha of coffee, accounting for 92 per cent of Viet Nam’s total coffee area.

The provinces in the region are facing the impact of climate change, high prices of input materials, and shortages of infrastructure and labourers for coffee cultivation and processing.

Most coffee growing areas are planted by individual farmers on small farms. The linkages among farmers and companies are weak and the capacity of coffee farmers, farms, co-operatives and co-operative groups is limited.

Viet Nam exports coffee products to more than 80 countries and territories, accounting for 20 – 22 per cent of the world’s total coffee export revenue.

Masan appoints new group CFO

Masan Group Corporation (HSX: MSN) has announced a change of leadership in its financial organisation. In preparation for its next stage of development, Masan Group has appointed Do Thi Quynh Trang as group CFO to continue the development of the finance function and Michael H. Nguyen will be enabled to lead strategic initiatives and transactions.

Accordingly, Michael H. Nguyen will continue as deputy CEO of Masan Group. Meanwhile, Do Thi Quynh Trang will be appointed as group CFO. In addition, Doan My Duyen will be tasked with focusing on her role as deputy CFO, resigning from her previous position as Masan’s chief accountant. Nguyen Huy Hung will be appointed as chief accountant. In this position, Hung will be responsible for the developing the financial reporting platform of the company.

VinaCapital Ventures invests in Hub Global JSC

VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment platform of VinaCapital Group, on December 21 announced that it has invested in Hub Global JSC, a blockchain eco-platform that is focused on supporting the development of promising Vietnamese startups creating blockchain solutions across a range of verticals.

The terms of the investment were not disclosed, although VinaCapital Ventures will become Hub Global’s largest external shareholder and will have a seat on its Board of Directors.

Hyosung Vina Chemical launches $1.3 billion PP plant and LPG storage cavern

Hyosung Vina Chemicals officially put its PP plant and underground LPG storage cavern into operation On December 17 at Cai Mep Industrial Park in the south-central province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The project was approved in principle in May 2018 with the total investment capital of $1.3 billion and the construction began later the same year.

The PP 1 plant officially came into operation in March 2020, meanwhile, the above plant and LPG storage cavern started pilot operation in September this year.

Once fully operational, the complex will operate with the capacity 650,000 tonnes of PP each year, 300,000 of which will be supplied to the Vietnamese market, helping to raise the competitiveness of domestic producers.

Ho Chi Minh City honours exemplary products and services

The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Associations (HUBA) held a ceremony on December 20 to honour notable products and services in the city in 2021.

This is the third time that such an event has been held, aiming to discover and introduce Ho Chi Minh City’s notable products and services and encourage the development of the Ho Chi Minh City brand.

This year the jury selected 86 products, 29 services and 8 property projects of 96 enterprises to honour.

Cho Gao Canal upgrade project’s phase 2 gets off ground

Work began on December 19, on the Cho Gao Canal upgrade project’s second phase, with a total investment of over VND1.3 trillion. The canal is an arterial inland waterway linking the Mekong Delta and HCMC.

To implement the project, the government of Cho Gao District in Tien Giang had worked out costs for site clearance and compensation, built five resettlement areas for around 600 local households impacted by the project, with total funding for site clearance reaching around VND683 billion.

The project is expected to reach completion in 2023. Currently, around 2,000 watercraft transport goods on this 28-kilometer-long canal per day.

Transport operators start selling tickets for Tet with few passengers

Bus transport operators in HCMC have started selling tickets for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday and seen only a few passengers.

Because the Covid-19 pandemic remains complicated, passengers still fear coronavirus exposure. Many coaches have only 5-6 passengers on each trip.

According to a representative of the Mien Tay (Westearn) Coach Station, only 50 percent of the transport operators have completed their plans of ticket selling for Tet, mainly transport of goods. The station sees around 120-130 buses departed per day carrying more than 1,000 paseengers, less than five percent compared to the prepandemic period.

Carrires have offered cheap flight tickets but they have not attracted customers. VietJet Air’s return ticket on HCMC-Hanoi route for flights departed from January 25-31, 2022 and February 2-10 is VND3.8 million (US$165.6), decreased by half compared with the same period last year while Bamboo Airways costs VND5.3 million, VND3.3 lower million lower than the same period in the previous year. Vietnam Airlines offers a promotional price of VND5.68 million, down VND3.8 million compared to the same period last year.

Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2021 set to hit 3% in 2021

With Vietnam’s GDP growth in the fourth quarter set to rebound to 7% year-on-year, the country’s 2021 full-year economic expansion may go up to 3%, according to Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The positive economic performance was due to the fact that business activities have gradually resumed to normalcy since early October, after having suffered from an unprecedented contraction in headline GDP growth in the third quarter of -6.17%, as a result of the nationwide lockdowns and mobility restrictions in response to the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, noted the UOB in its latest macro report.

Barring any major disruptions such as those from the Omicron variant, Vietnam is likely to move towards a more “normal” economic expansion of 7.4% in 2022, higher than the Government’s targets of 6-6.5%, considering the low bases in 2020 and 2021 as well as the strength of its external sectors.

Source: VNS/VNA/VOV/SGT/SGGP/VIR/Hanoitimes

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