VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 21

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Enterprises to declare on digital border gate platform

Enterprises to declare on digital border gate platform hinh anh 1
Agricultural products exported via the Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son province. (Photo: VNA)

All import-export enterprises and customs agents are required to declare information online on the digital border gate platform before arriving at the Huu Nghi and Tan Thanh international border gates.

Information about the platform has been provided to organisations and individuals engaged in import and export activities in the locality.

Nguyen Khac Lich, Director of the Lang Son Department of Information and Communication, said that the platform used modern technology such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing.

The database can be connected and shared via the provincial data system.

The process of declaring on the digital border gate platform consists of eight steps, including declaring information, transporting goods, controlling the vehicles transporting goods, medical examination, inspecting the vehicles travelling in and out of the border gates, checking animals and plants, goods transshipment, and collecting fees.

Current, savings account ratio on the rise

A financial report analysis of 24 Vietnamese banks shows that the average Current and Savings Account (CASA) ratio of the banks rose from 17 percent in 2020 to 19.4 percent in late 2021.

Techcombank led the field with the highest CASA ratio of 50.5 percent, equivalent to total non-term deposits of 158.9 trillion VND (6.99 billion USD).

MB came in second with a climb of 47.3 percentage points, to about 48.7 percent. MSB surpassed Vietcombank to secure third with around 37.7 percent. Kienlongbank was among the banks with the fastest-growing CASA, increasing 5.8 times to 15.5 percent. BacABank followed suit with a roughly twofold increase, to 3.3 percent last year.

The uplift in CASA could also be observed in the other banks, including VIB with an increase of 4.1 percentage points and TPB with 3.9 points.

Experts believe a low CASA ratio indicates that some banks are still clinging to wholesale banking and have yet to expand to other market segments.

Bamboo Airways operates first flight on Vietnam-Australia direct route

Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways operated first flight connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne in Australia on February 19-20.

According to the airline’s Deputy General Director Truong Phuong Thanh, this is a new milestone in its roadmap to exploit Vietnam-Australia direct air routes.

Along with the Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne route, the airline has planned to open additional routes linking major cities of Vietnam and Australia, he said.

The route helps shorten the travel time between the two cities to about eight hours, saving eight hours compared to transit flights.

Can Tho-Con Dao speedboat service reopens after 9 months

The Mai Linh Express high-speed boat on February 19 carried 339 passengers on its first Can Tho – Con Dao trip after a 9-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

A representative of the Mai Linh Tay Do JSC, which runs the service, said the number of passengers means the boat’s full capacity.

To get onboard, they must have negative COVID-19 test results valid within 72 hours before the departure, fill out health declarations, and follow the 5K message.

PVEP to produce 0.23 million tonnes of oil equivalent this month

The PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) plans to produce an estimated 0.23 million tonnes of oil equivalent, including 0.18 million tonnes of oil and condensate and 54 million cu.m of gas, this month.

In January, the State-owned corporation generated 0.31 million tonnes of oil equivalent, surpassing the monthly goal by 8 percent. The volume included 0.21 million tonnes of oil and condensate and 98 million cu.m of gas, 3 percent and 22 percent, respectively, higher than the month’s plan.

The company attributed last month’s success to the higher performance of a number of oil fields, such as Su Tu (Lion), Te Giac Trang (White Rhino), Dai Hung (Big Bear), CNV, RD-PD and Bir Seba.

Tourism in Hanoi to reflect changing trends in 2022

To meet tourists’ demands and needs in 2022, many new breakthrough products will be on offer when borders reopen.

Under the plan, the tourism activities will be conducted flexibly and adaptively to the pandemic condition. This highlights the coordination among sectors and localities to build and improve the quality of destinations, and to create high-quality tourism products.

The plan to restore and develop Hanoi’s tourism in adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022-2023 will be conducted in two stages.

In the first phase, lasting from the first and second quarters of 2022, activities to welcome and serve tourists will be implemented in localities in association with safe pandemic control and prevention procedures. Accordingly, management agencies and tourism businesses are ready to prepare resources and conditions to welcome international tourists under the allowance of the government.

In phase 2, starting from the third quarter of 2022, all tourism activities and products in the city will be restored, regardless of their types, scales and scopes in the condition of safely adapting to the pandemic. The city will implement the plan to welcome international tourists according to the Government’s opening schedule, focusing on key tourism markets with high vaccine coverage and good pandemic control.

Dong Thap exports first batch of mangoes to Europe in 2022

The Mekong province of Dong Thap held a ceremony on February 19 to announce the export of the first batch of mangoes to the European market in 2022.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Huynh Minh Tuan, after the first shipment of Vietnamese mangoes was exported to the United States in 2019, the province’s authorities have always paid attention to promoting trade and calling for investment to push up the development of all types of fruits, especially mangoes, ensuring that they meet the standard of choosy markets including the European market.

Mango is one of the key commodities in the agricultural restructuring scheme of the province. It has focused on investing resources for this type of fruit in terms of technical infrastructure, applying scientific and technological advances to production. Thus, the mangoes of Dong Thap province have been granted geographical indications.

Book on doing business and investment in Algeria released

A handbook on doing business and investment in the Algerian market in 2021 has been introduced by the Vietnam Trade Office in Algeria.

The book aims to help Vietnamese businesses better understand Algeria’s policies on trade and investment, thus enhancing business exchange and investment activities between the two countries in the coming time.

Algeria is Africa’s fourth-largest economy with a population of more than 44 million. The country has to import most of goods, half of them being food. The Algerian market has a demand for Vietnam’s key products, especially coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, and seafood.

Banks prepare capital to meet credit demands in 2022

Banks have been increasing the attraction of deposits to have enough capital for the credit needs of customers. Credit demand is expected to increase from the first quarter of this year.

This stands in contrast to the years before the pandemic, when credit in the first quarter often declined due to low capital demand.

This year, credit has increased from January. According to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), credit as of January 25, 2022 rose by 2.74 percent compared to the end of 2021. Compared with January of the past ten years, the rise was the highest rate. According to experts, the surge was a positive signal, showing the economy is recovering strongly and capital demand is increasing rapidly.

The SBV sets a credit growth target of about 14 percent for 2022, against 13.53 percent of 2021. According to the SBV, along with preferential interest rate credit packages given to the production and business sectors, credit growth will be more flexible this year to support economic recovery.

Travel firms in HCM City resume outbound tours

A number of travel firms in Ho Chi Minh City have resumed outbound tours after the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) announced the removal of restrictions on air passenger transport.

According to Nguyen Viet Anh, head of the management division under the municipal Department of Tourism, the department has provided consultancy for the municipal People’s Committee to issue guidelines on welcoming back international tourists.

The department has announced the list of hotels eligible to serve foreign tourists. They include InterCotinental Saigon in District 1, Windsor Plaza Hotel in District 5, Liberty Central Saigon Center in District 1, Ramana Saigon in District 3, and Silverland Sakyo in District 1.

Australia to export peaches and nectarines to Vietnam

The Australian government is preparing for the pilot export of the country’s peaches and nectarines to Vietnam in the coming months, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has said.

Summerfruit Export Development Alliance Chairman Ian McAlister said the reopening of the Vietnamese market was a good development for the industry.

He emphasised that with the right promotion, the Vietnamese market could be a significant destination for Australia.

According to McAlister, the Australian and Vietnamese governments have completed the signing of the necessary protocols for the trial export of nectarines and peaches.

The first shipment of these fruits will be delivered to Vietnam in March and April, paving the way for a larger volume to arrive in early December.

Industrial property sector optimistic

The industrial real estate sector is considered a bright spot this year, and property businesses with industrial parks are expected to benefit from increased demand and rental prices.

According to SSI Securities Inc., public investment in improving the infrastructure connecting industrial parks is promoting recovery of demand of rented land in the industrial parks.

Cushman and Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, reported Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for industrial real estate investors due to a stable growth rate, an export-oriented economy, an increase in free trade agreements, a young workforce, preferential investment policies and strategic location.

IDICO Corporation – JSC (IDC) has targeted to complete the entire site clearance at the Huu Thanh Industrial Park in Long An province this year. The industrial park has completed site clearance of over 91 percent of the total area with 150 hectares ready for lease.

In addition, high land rent in industrial parks will also aid the growth of industrial park real estate enterprises in the future.

The SSI reported that in 2021, the stock value of the listed industrial park real estate companies increased by 62 percent, especially the companies with small and medium capitalisation.

Samsung Electronics not to move manufacturing base to RoK

Samsung Electronics has confirmed that it has relocated two smartphone production lines of its business partners from Vietnam’s northern Thai Nguyen province to its Gumi plant in North Gyeongsang province of the Republic of Korea (RoK).

The move aimed to avoid uncertainty in overseas manufacturing bases amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which would affect the operations of its smartphone factory in Vietnam, the group explained.

In late August and September 2021, Samsung Electronics moved two smartphone production lines in Vietnam to the Gumi plant to ensure stable production of foldable smartphones.

Computer, electronic product exports could soon reach 60 billion USD

Exports of computers, electronic products and components hit 50.82 billion USD last year, putting it in second position in the group of key export products.

Statistics of the General Department of Customs showed that the export turnover of this group of goods grew 14.05 percent year-on-year, equivalent to an increase of 6.25 billion USD, accounting for over 15 percent of the total export turnover of goods of the country.

This export result exceeded the forecast made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the third quarter of last year, when it said that computers, components and electronic products could reach about 50 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 13.5 percent.

The US market is leading the import turnover of this group of goods from Vietnam, accounting for 25 percent of the export proportion. Exports to China reached nearly 11.1 billion USD, although only increasing by less than 1 percent, this still accounted for 21.83 percent of the total export turnover of the whole industry.

The third largest market is Hong Kong, which grew by 50 percent, bringing turnover to 6.3 billion USD, the EU ranked fourth with 5.9 billion USD, up 2.59 percent, and the Republic of Korea ranked fifth, reaching 3.49 billion USD, up nearly 22 percent.

Vietnamese businesses assert positions on world’s retail map

Vietnam’s retail market has recently recorded strong growth and its excitement is also reflected via the successful deals of injecting capital from foreign investors into potential domestic retailers.

In 2016, more than 50 percent of Vietnam’s retail market share belonged to foreign enterprises but now Vietnamese retailers account for about 70-80 percent of the number of points of sale across the country. Notably, Vietnamese businesses have worked together to create a foothold in the retail market. The most prominent example is the merger between Masan Group and Vingroup, becoming one of the largest retail and production chains in Vietnam.

In fact, Vietnamese retail businesses have aligned and found each other’s strengths to develop. In particular, leading retail enterprises in Vietnam have developed multi-channel sales to keep up with the development of the digital technology era.

They have also produced agricultural products, food and consumer goods by themselves to bring to customers, thus minimising intermediaries and reducing costs to enhance competitiveness in terms of price in the market.

Exports nosedive in first half of February, trade deficit hits US$4 bln

Vietnam slipped into a trade deficit of nearly US$4 billion in the first half of February due to a fall in exports, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Customs statistics show between February 1-15 businesses shipped goods overseas worth US$8.75 billion, but spent US$12.66 billion on importing major industrial products and raw materials.

Experts attributed the fall in exports to a nine-day lunar New Year holiday during which most of production lines came to a grinding halt.

Now when businesses have resumed operations, imports and exports are likely to increase in the second half of February and the coming months. In addition, the trade balance is also expected to experience the reverse in the coming months.

Australia to export peaches and nectarines to Vietnam

The Australian government is preparing for the pilot export of the country’s peaches and nectarines to Vietnam in the coming months, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has said.

Summerfruit Export Development Alliance Chairman Ian McAlister said the reopening of the Vietnamese market was a good development for the industry.

He emphasised that with the right promotion, the Vietnamese market could be a significant destination for Australia.

According to McAlister, the Australian and Vietnamese governments have completed the signing of the necessary protocols for the trial export of nectarines and peaches.

The first shipment of these fruits will be delivered to Vietnam in March and April, paving the way for a larger volume to arrive in early December.

McAlister also expressed his hope that Australia will soon be able to export plums to Vietnam.

Vietnam to attend Seafood Expo North America 2022

More than 10 major Vietnamese enterprises are set to attend the 2022 Seafood Expo North America, formerly known as the Boston Seafood Show, in the United States in March.

As the biggest trade promotion event in North America, the expo will attract the participation of various distributors, retailers, and catering service providers, along with both processing and shipbuilding companies.

On display will be frozen, fresh, and processed seafood, as well as an array of modern processing equipment, and cutting edge processing technologies.

Major Vietnamese businesses such as Vinh Hoan Corporation, Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, EasternSea Seafood Co., Ltd, and Can Tho Import Export Seafood JSC that have engaged in seafood export for years will participate in the event.

HCM City aims to help 3,000 firms enhance innovative capacity

Ho Chi Minh City aims to help 3,000 local businesses strengthen their innovation capacity from now to 2025, according to the city’s project to develop the local startup ecosystem in the 2021-2025 period.

Under the scheme, the city sets a target of developing its startup ecosystem to the regional level, laying a firm foundation for innovation activities, enhancing the productivity, quality and competitiveness of local enterprises, thus raising the total-factor productivity (TFP) contributions to the city gross regional domestic product (GRDP) to 45-50 percent in 2025.

At the same time, the city aims to create a favourable environment to facilitate the formation and development of business types with high capacity of growing fast basing on exploiting intellectual property, technology and new business models, including completing the legal system supporting startup activities.

In the period from now to the end of 2025, the city also expects to develop 1,000 startup projects and support 100 innovative startups to access adventure investment resources.

Hanoi’s villa and townhouse segment attractive in 2022

Hanoi’s real estate market, especially the villa and townhouse segment, will prosper in 2022 thanks to economic stimulus economic programmes.

In 2022, more than 3,000 dwellings from 13 projects will enter the market. Forty-one percent will be in Hoai Duc, followed by Dan Phuong with 26 percent. Western districts including Ha Dong, Hoai Duc and Dan Phuong will have the largest supply in 2022 with over 2,200 dwellings, according to a Savills Vietnam report on Hanoi’s property market released at a press conference on February 17 in Hanoi.

Eastern Hanoi will also have strong growth with new supply from Ecopark and a new major project, Vinhomes Dream city in Van Giang district, Hung Yen province.

Hanoi recently collaborated with Hung Yen, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Vinh Phuc provinces for the approval of the investment plan for Ring Road 4. Villa and townhouse projects in Hanoi and other provinces that are located near these Ring Roads would greatly benefit.

HCM City makes sure petrol retail market stable

The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade has instructed major fuel traders and distributors to ensure adequate supply of petrol and diesel to meet demand and prevent illegal hoarding by petrol stations.

It called on people committees at all levels to closely monitor fuel traders and distributors and promptly punish those found hoarding and committing other violations.

The penalties would be publicized in the media to deter others, it said.

It said petrol dealers and retailers should file a complaint with it if they face any interruption in fuel supply.

VN’s economy to grow at 6.7 per cent in 2022: Standard Chartered

Viet Nam’s economy is predicted to bounce back strongly, growing at 6.7 per cent this year and 7.0 per cent in 2023, according to Standard Chartered Bank.

The global economy, meanwhile, has been forecast to grow at a 4.4 per cent rate this year, said Edward Lee, chief economist for ASEAN and South Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, against the 5.8 per cent growth rate in 2021.

High base effects, tighter monetary and fiscal policies, global supply-chain disruptions, and elevated inflation are expected to moderate the recovery momentum, following a strong bounce earlier in 2021 driven by initial vaccine rollouts and government stimuli were contributing factors.

Viet Nam’s economic recovery should kick into high gear by the end of the first quarter of 2022, gaining momentum for the rest of the year as well as for the medium-term growth, said Tim Leelahaphan, economist for Vietnam and Thailand at Standard Chartered Bank.

Thermal power businesses report contradictory earning results

While many thermal power enterprises reported positive results in both revenue and profits in the fourth quarter of last year, there are still enterprises reporting a decline in profits, even suffering losses.

Ba Ria Thermal Power Co (BTP) is considered the fastest growing profitable enterprise in Q4. Revenue in the quarter reached VND493 billion (US$21.6 million), 3.3 times higher than the same period of the previous year and profit after tax was nearly 9 times higher, to total VND85 billion.

Many enterprises in the group of thermal power enterprises still reported a deep decrease in profits over the same period of 2020 such as Hai Phong Thermal Power (HND), Pha Lai Thermal Power (PPC) and Quang Ninh Thermal Power (QTP).

Quang Ninh Thermal Power (QTP) recorded revenue of VND2.2 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2021, down 9.1 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Profit after tax reached more than VND80 billion, a deep decrease compared to the profit of VND1.35 trillion achieved in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the fourth quarter, Hai Phong Thermal Power (HND) achieved VND2.22 trillion in revenue, down 10 per cent over the same period of 2020, although the power generation output in the quarter was larger than the same period last year. Profit after tax decreased by 53 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, to total VND260 billion. The main reason for the decrease in profit was the increase in capital costs, plus the decrease in electricity prices.

Volume of goods through seaports up 7 percent in first two months

Vietnam’s seaports handled an estimated 117 million tonnes of commodities in the first two months of 2022, posting a year-on-year rise of 7 percent, the Vietnam Maritime Administrative (VMA) reported.

Of the figure, the volume of exports was estimated to hit over 30 million tonnes, up nearly 13 percent, while the volume of imports reached over 33 million tonnes, down about 3 percent, and that of domestic goods was 53 million tonnes, up over 11 percent.

In February alone, the volume of goods via seaports hit about 53 million tonnes, 7 percent higher than that of the same period last year, with the highest recorded in exports, at 13 percent, the VMA said.

Notably, the volume of container cargo through seaports in the month decreased slightly by 1 percent from the same period last year to an estimated 1.6 million TEUs.

Accordingly, exports reached an estimated 528,000 TEUs, down 5 percent year-on-year; domestic goods at 525,000 TEUs, down 7 percent, and imports at 578,000 TEUs, up 9 percent.

HCMC weighs over VND1.6 trillion to resume consulting services for first metro line

The HCMC authorities are considering spending nearly VND1.67 trillion resuming consulting services for the city’s first metro line, which connects Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Park in Thu Duc City.

The cost is part of Appendix No. 19 of a contract with the consulting unit of HCMC’s first metro line project, NJPT. The appendix includes consulting services, training of the metro train conductors and installment of the information technology system.

In late 2021, the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) of HCMC said in a dispatch sent to the HCMC government that the cost was set by the unit after careful calculation.

Ministry inspectors check gas fill stations in HCMC, Mekong Delta

According to the plan which was announced, from the beginning of this week, the inspection team of the Ministry of Industry and Trade will pay visits to petroleum filling stations in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.

Ministry inspectors will check fuel filling stations in HCMC and the Mekong Delta region for 15-20 days because there has been an increase in petrol hoarding ahead of the government’s new prices of the item causing instability in the petroleum market.

According to the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, three specialized inspection teams will pay unscheduled inspection to key businesses on the observance of the law in petroleum business to promptly handle violations.

Among the 33 enterprises inspected in this time, inspectors will work with large companies such as Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), Vietnam Oil Corporation. Inspectors from the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced to focus on clarifying petroleum business licensing activities, relevant documents such as business licenses, certifications of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for eligible units.

Customers suffer as SMS banking service fees climb

Many people, on February 20, reported that the service fee for notifying balance changes via phone messages (SMS Banking) in January 2022 of some banks was 5-7 times higher than before the Lunar New Year, which took many people by surprise. They have reacted by suspending the service.

Customers of other banks, such as Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), also saw the deducted amount of VND33,000, VND55,000, and VND77,000 per month instead of VND11,000 as before.

Bank said that it was the new service fee policy that had been announced since the end of 2021. However, this notice was enclosed with another notice to waive all e-banking transaction fees, so many customers did not notice.

Explaining the high fees, banks said that customers still commonly use the service of receiving balance change notifications and one-time transaction passwords via SMS. Banks only charge for balance change notification services and do not charge for OTP messages. To send messages to customers, banks must purchase SMS services and pay fees to telecommunications carriers.

Specifically, MobiFone and Vinaphone collect VND820 per message and Viettel VND785 per message. Meanwhile, the message fees of these carriers for individual customers are only VND99-VND350 per message. It means that the charge rates of telecommunications carriers for SMS banking services are three times higher than that of text messages of individual clients or messages applied to other sectors.

Source: VNA/VOV/SGT/VNS/SGGP/VGP

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