VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 6

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Samsung to build Vietnam’s first combined cycle power plant

Samsung C&T Corp., the construction unit of Samsung Group, has announced it had obtained a plant deal worth 510 million USD from Vietnam.

In a statement on February 2, Samsung C&T said it received the order from PetroVietnam Power Corporation, to build the Southeast Asian country’s first combined cycle power plant.

Samsung C&T will form a consortium with local builder Lilama Corp. to build gas and steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators, substations, and power transmission lines for the plant, it said.

The company has yet to provide the timeframe for the plant.

Cao Bo-Mai Son expy opened to traffic

The Cao Bo-Mai Son section of the North-South Expressway project was officially opened to traffic today, February 4 after two years of construction.

The Cao Bo-Mai Son subproject, whose investor is the Ninh Binh Department of Transport, is one of the three sections of the North-South Expressway project that are financed by the State budget.

The 15-kilometer Cao Bo-Mai Son expressway, with a total investment of over VND1.6 trillion, starts at the end of the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh expressway in Y Yen District, Nam Dinh Province and ends at National Highway 1A in Ninh Binh City.

The subproject got off the ground in December 2019 amid the Covid pandemic. With the enhanced efforts of the Ninh Binh Transport Department and contractors and the support from the authorities of Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh provinces, the subproject was completed meeting safety requirements.

Earlier on January 28, the Ministry of Transport temporarily opened to traffic the Cao Bo-Mai Son expressway due to the rising travel demand in the lead up to and during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hoi An welcomes over 5,000 tourist on first two days of Lunar New Year

The ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province welcomed more than 5,000 tourists on the first two days of the Lunar New Year.

Truong Thi Ngoc Cam, director of Hoi An City’s Culture-Sports and Information-Television Centre, said that a large number of visitors flocked to the ancient town at the beginning of the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, while Hoi An is still organizing various programs and activities as usual to serve tourists.

Between February 4 and 16, Hoi An will be organizing the “Spring Travel in Hoi Town” program featuring numerous exciting cultural activities.

The program is expected to attract more visitors to the ancient town in the coming days.

The following are photos of visitors in Hoi An during the first two days of the Lunar New Year.

Vietnamese products promoted in UK

Longdan, the biggest importer of Vietnamese goods in the UK, has recently opened a supermarket in Milton Keynes city, about 80km from London.

Covering 1,500 sq.m, Longdan Milton Keynes is the first supermarket outside London of Longdan and is included in the firm’s plan to expand its distribution network to introduce goods of Vietnam and Asia in general to consumers across the UK.

Longdan General Director Huynh Xuan Long said with good-quality agricultural products like rice and fresh fruit, Vietnam has potential to expand its market in the UK.

He suggested Vietnamese businesses satisfy requirements on food safety and pay more heed to brand building in the demanding market.

With its over 20-year experience in the UK, Longdan would support Vietnamese exporters to promote their products in the country through its supermarket chain, he said.

Also present at the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long expressed his hope that Longdan will help Vietnamese enterprises boost exports to the UK, not only in Longdan supermarkets but also in other supermarket chains in the European nation.

Longdan has about 10 supermarkets specialising in Asian products, of which Vietnamese products make up about 30 percent. Its supermarkets import about 2,000 tonnes of Vietnamese goods each year./.

287 tons of agricultural products exported to China through Lao Cai on Feb 1-3

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 6

On the first three days of the Year of Tiger (February 1-3), 287 tons of Vietnamese agricultural products were exported to China through the Kim Thanh II Boder Gate in the northern province of Lao Cai, according to the Lao Cai Customs Department.

The volume included 38 tons of dragon fruits, 66 tons of watermelon and 183 tons of bananas, news site Vietnamplus reported.

Meanwhile, 877 tons of farm produce was imported to Vietnam.

The competent agencies at the border gate has coordinated with the Chinese side to facilitate import-export procedures.

On the first three days of the lunar new year, more than 200 drivers and driving assistants were still stuck at the Kim Thanh Border Gate. Most of them transported farm produce from southern provinces.

The management board of the border gate has arranged some booths selling food to drivers during Tet.

Especially, hundreds of gifts, including sticky rice cakes, dry food items, water and necessities, have been offered to drivers and driving assistants.

In addition, Vietnam-China Logistics JSC in Lao Cai Province has presented over 400 sticky rice cakes to drivers.

My Thuan 2 Bridge project nearly 50% complete

The project to build My Thuan 2 Bridge and roads leading to the bridge is 47.27% complete, exceeding the progress target by 1.83%, and a package of the project has been completed, according to the Project 7 Management Board under the Ministry of Transport.

The project has five packages–XL.01, XL.02, XL.03A, XL.03B and XL.04. Of which, the XL.01 package is 77.06% complete, meeting the progress target, while the XL.02, XL.03B and XL.04 packages are 65.64%, 1.9% and 80.31% complete, respectively, exceeding the targets.

The XL.03A package has been completed.

According to the Project 7 Management Board, nearly VND2.5 trillion has been disbursed for the project, or 99.2% of the total capital allocated for the project.

The project is connected to the Trung Luong-My Thuan and My Thuan-Can Tho expressways. The bridge will be some 1.9 kilometers long, while roads leading to the bridge will be over 4.7 kilometers long.

The project is part of the eastern North-South expressway project.

Industrial production rises 2.4% in Jan

Vietnam’s industrial production index (IPI) in January rose 2.4% compared with the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Data of the GSO showed that the processing and manufacturing sector, which accounted for over 70% of the country’s total industrial output, saw an IPI increase of 2.8% in January and contributed 2.6 percentage points to the industrial sector’s overall growth.

Industries that enjoyed the sharpest rise in IPI included metal ore mining (21.9%), leather and related products (12.3%), electrical equipment (11.5%), clothing (11.4%), textiles and garments (8.8%), and rubber and plastic products (8.1%).

Industries whose IPI declined were beverage production (2.7%), drugs, pharmaceutical chemicals and medicinal herbs (3.6%), electronics, computers and optical products (5%), wood processing and products from wood and bamboo (5.1%), and crude oil and natural gas (9.7%).

Products that recorded a high IPI increase last month included alumina (35.7%), steel (30.3%), powdered milk (16.2%), NPK fertilizer (15.6%), monosodium glutamate (15.4%), processed seafood (13.8%), automobiles (11.7%) and fabric (8.7%).

Nguyen Thi Huong, general director of the GSO, said GSO figures showed that the country’s economy recorded positive signs of recovery early this year.

She suggested ministries, departments and localities proactively develop flexible plans for production and trade in adaptation to the Covid situation and in accordance with the conditions of each city or province.

HCMC’s CPI inches up 0.25% in Jan

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) of HCMC in January increased a slight 0.25% month-on-month and 1.42% against the same period last year, according to the city’s Statistics Office.

Among the 11 groups of consumer goods and services in the basket of items used to calculate the CPI, three groups marked a decline in prices compared to December in 2021. These three included food and catering services with a 0.15% fall, household equipment and appliances with a 0.13% slip, postal and telecoms services with a 0.07% slide.

The remaining eight groups registered a rise in prices. The transport group recorded the highest increase at 1.27% as a result of higher prices of fuel products and public transport services by 2.41% and 3.49%, respectively.

The price of the apparel-footwear-hat group edged up 0.2% as the demand of local people to shop for the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, increased.

According to the municipal Statistics Office, HCMC in January continued to ramp up efforts to manage, examine and improve the effectiveness of the city’s price stabilization, thus ensuring the sufficient supply of goods for local people ahead of Tet.

Danang expects over 400 flights this Tet

The central city of Danang expects to welcome more than 400 flights carrying more than 44,000 tourists during the Lunar New Year holiday from January 29 to February 6.

Danang’s tourism sector has resumed operations gradually. The city has reopened eight domestic air routes with 218 flights per week to HCMC, Hanoi, Dalat, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Buon Ma Thuot, Haiphong and Can Tho.

Danang will soon receive the first international flights after a long suspension induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The information was disclosed at a ceremony on January 1 to welcome the first tourists to the city in this lunar new year. Specifically, Flight VJ624 with 230 passengers on board, including 26 foreigners, flew from HCMC to Danang.

Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Danang Department of Tourism, said it was a tradition of Danang to hold a ceremony to welcome the first tourists to the city in the lunar new year.

Danang has launched multiple activities to serve tourists, such as those in the Dragon Bridge area and museums and art exhibitions. The Museum of Champa Sculpture, the Danang Museum, the Danang Fine Arts Museum and the Ngu Hanh Son landscape will offer free admission for visitors in 2022.

Private tourist and entertainment sites have also introduced promotion programs, such as a 20% discount on lodging services at the Suoi Luong tourist site and a 30% discount on the entrance fee until the end of March at the Mikazuki water park.

Toll fees for BOT road projects reduced from Feb 1

Investors of build-operate-transfer (BOT) road projects have reduced the toll fees for these projects from February 1 after the value added tax was cut from 10% to 8%.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho has signed a document asking the investors of road projects to reduce toll fees, the local media reported.

Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) has cut the toll fees for the expressways that it is managing and operating by two percentage points, applicable from February 1 to December 31 this year.

Earlier, the Government lowered the value added tax by two percentage points in 2022, applicable to goods and services which are currently subject to the 10% value added tax.

The decision was included in the Government’s resolution on tax reductions and exemptions in line with the National Assembly’s Resolution 43/2022/QH15 on fiscal and monetary policies to support the socioeconomic recovery and development efforts.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the fee reduction may cause traffic congestion at tollgates, especially at electronic toll collection (ETC) lanes.

The ministry has asked the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to instruct service providers, investors of BOT road projects and other relevant agencies to adjust the toll fees.

They should also enhance their coordination to ensure the smooth and safe traffic and the transparent fee collection at tollgates.

VEC, toll fee collection service providers and investors must strictly conduct the fee reduction.

They were also asked to find solutions to ensure smooth traffic at tollgates, such as preparing cash with different denominations.

In addition, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam must strengthen the promotion of the toll fee reduction, diversify methods to allow road users to easily top up their accounts, encourage vehicles to use the ETC service and limit cash-based fee collection.

Khanh Hoa welcomes first tourists on first day of Lunar New Year

Khanh Hoa Province and Vietnam Airlines welcomed the first visitors from Hanoi City on February 1, or the first day of the Lunar New Year.

After Flight VN1551 transporting these tourists landed at the Cam Ranh International Airport in the province, passengers and flight crew were welcomed with lion dance performance, flowers and gifts, creating a happy atmosphere on the first day of the new year, according to the air carrier.

The carrier is operating domestic routes connecting Khanh Hoa Province with Hanoi, HCMC, Danang and Vinh, Vietnam Airlines said, adding that the airline will restart flights between the province and Haiphong and Phu Quoc. The airline will launch a total of over 64 weekly flights to/from Khanh Hoa as it signed a cooperation agreement with the provincial government to bring tourists to the province in the 2021-2025 period.

Khanh Hoa Province is one of the seven cities and provinces permitted to implement a program to pilot welcoming back international tourists after the Covid pandemic is brought under control.

Statistics from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism indicated that as of January 23, or after two months of the pilot program, the province had welcomed 7,000 travelers.

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the province’s tourism industry. Last year, the total number of visitors in Khanh Hoa Province was nearly 643,000, dipping by 49% year-on-year, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.

Some 23,000 international tourists traveled to the province in 2021, plunging by 95% year-on-year, while the province welcomed 620,000 domestic travelers, down 24%. As such, the industry’s revenue last year amounted to a mere VND2.43 trillion, down over 52% year-on-year.

The province has set a target of welcoming over 1.2 million tourists in 2022, including 1.16 million domestic visitors and 40,000 foreigners. The province also targeted revenue at VND4 trillion from the tourism industry.

Budget collection in Jan meets 13% of full-year target

The State budget collection in January reached VND183.5 trillion, meeting 13% of the entire year’s target and falling 3.2% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Of the total, domestic revenue was VND151.3 trillion, meeting 12.9% of the expected full-year amount and falling 8% compared with the same period last year.

Budget collection from State owned enterprises was estimated at VND17.2 trillion, equivalent to 11.1% of the full-year plan. Meanwhile, collection from foreign invested companies reached VND30.6 trillion, meeting 14.9% of the yearly plan.

VND15 trillion from personal income tax was obtained, or 12.7% of the annual plan and VND4.6 trillion from environmental protection tax.

Budget revenue from crude oil reached VND3.9 trillion, meeting 13.8% of the 2022 target and soaring 45% year-on-year. Revenue from imports and exports was estimated at VND28.3 trillion, meeting 14.2% of the 2022 target and soaring 31.5% year-on-year.

On the other hand, the budget spending totaled VND113.9 trillion in January, equivalent to 6.4% of the full-year plan. The money was mainly spent on socioeconomic development, national defense, security and State management.

Regular expenditure reached VND85.3 trillion, or 7.7% of the plan. Spending on development investment was VND12.9 trillion, meeting 2.5% of the plan. The country also spent VND15.6 trillion on loan interest payment, meeting 15% of the plan.

VND23,080 billion worth of Government bonds with an average term of 15.81 years and an average annual coupon of 2.36% were issued last month.

Ninh Binh’s tourist attractions reopen to visitors from other provinces

All tourist attractions in the northern province of Ninh Binh can now welcome back tourists from other provinces and cities starting February 1.

The provincial government decided to reopen the province’s doors to tourists from across the country following the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s guidelines on recovering and developing Vietnam’s tourism. Also, the Covid situation in Ninh Binh has been brought under control.

Early this morning, popular destinations in Ninh Binh such as the Trang An eco-tourism area, the Tam Coc-Bich Dong tourism got ready to welcome back the first tourists from other provinces in the lunar new year, reported Lao Dong newspaper.

The provincial Tourism Department was asked to coordinate with the Culture, Health, Police departments, local authorities, and the relevant agencies to direct and require tourism attractions and service operators to receive tourists in a safe manner, and especially in line with Covid safety protocols.

Earlier, popular destinations in Ninh Binh were allowed to receive tourists from within the province starting from November 15 last year and later launched a pilot program to welcome back tourists from other provinces and cities under the travel bubble program on December 4.

Vietnam posts trade deficit of US$500 million in Jan

Vietnam incurred a trade deficit of US$500 million in the first month of 2022, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Data of the GSO showed that the domestic sector posted a trade deficit of US$1.8 billion, while the foreign-invested sector generated a trade surplus of US$1.5 billion.

The country’s export-import turnover in January reached US$58.5 billion, down 11.7% month-on-month but up 6.3% year-on-year.

Vietnam exported goods worth US$29 billion, falling 16.2% against December 2021 but inching up 1.6% compared with the same period last year.

The domestic sector earned US$8.2 billion from exports, soaring 20.1% year-on-year, while the foreign-invested sector, including crude oil, earned US$20.8 billion, falling 4.2%.

Seven commodities recorded export turnover of over US$1 billion each, accounting for 63.3% of the country’s total.

Exports of industrial and processing products accounted for 88.5% of the total, followed by agricultural and forestry products with 7.7% and seafood with 2.9%.

On the other hand, Vietnam spent US$29.5 billion on imports in January, dropping 6.7% month-on-month but increasing 11.5% year-on-year.

Four commodities recorded import turnover of more than US$1 billion each, representing 46.8% of the country’s total imports.

Materials for production accounted for the largest share of the total imports with 93.7%, followed by consumer products with 6.3%.

The United States was the biggest export market of Vietnam in January, spending some US$9 billion on Vietnamese goods. Meanwhile, China was Vietnam’s largest supplier, exporting goods worth US$10.2 billion to Vietnam.

Vietnam posted a trade surplus of US$2.1 billion with the European Union but incurred a trade deficit of US$5 billion with China, US$3.8 billion with South Korea, US$1.2 billion with the Association of South East Asian Nations and US$600 million with Japan.

Vietnam’s manufacturing sector sees sharper rises in output in Jan

Growth momentum picked up in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector in January as the recovery from the Delta wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continued, with stronger increases in output and new orders recorded, while employment rose for the second month running.

However, the pandemic continued to impact operations as levels of infection remained elevated during January, according to the latest report of IHS Markit.

The Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.7 in January, up from 52.5 in December and signaling a solid improvement in business conditions that was the most marked since April 2021.

Both output and new orders increased at sharper rates in the opening month of the year as customer demand continued to improve. In each case the rate of expansion was the sharpest in nine months.

Total new orders were supported by a further improvement in new business from abroad, with the rate of growth quickening to the fastest since November 2018.

Despite output rising solidly, some firms indicated that high levels of Covid-19 infections had impacted production volumes.

Firms were also increasingly confident in the year-ahead outlook for production, although optimism depends to some extent on the pandemic being brought under control. Around 60% of respondents predicted a rise in output, with overall optimism the strongest in over three years.

A second successive rise in employment was recorded in January as firms continued to rebuild workforce numbers following the fourth wave of the pandemic in 2021.

The rate of job creation picked up from that seen in December 2021, but remained only modest as some staff were off work with Covid and others had yet to return from their hometowns.

The increase in employment enabled manufacturers to keep on top of workloads despite sharper growth of new orders. Backlogs of work fell marginally in January, the first decline in five months.

There were further signs that inflationary pressures have become less pronounced than seen through much of 2021. Input costs increased at the second-slowest pace in seven months, while output price inflation eased to the weakest since last September.

According to respondents, a key factor behind rising input costs was higher charges for freight and international shipping.

Problems with shipping and ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic meant that suppliers’ delivery times continued to lengthen at the start of the year.

The latest deterioration in vendor performance was marked, but much less pronounced than last September’s series record.

Disruption around shipping contributed to a rise in stocks of finished goods as products were stuck in warehouses rather than distributed to customers. The increase followed a solid fall in December.

Manufacturers expanded their purchasing activity sharply for the fourth successive month as firms reacted to higher new order inflows. There were also some reports of companies attempting to build inventory reserves, which led to a first increase in stocks of purchases in three months.

January’s CPI inches up over high consumer demand for Tet

Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in January edged up by 0.19% month-on-month, fueled by high consumer demand for the upcoming Lunar New Year or Tet, according to the General Statistics Office.

In addition, the prices of goods, food and foodstuffs went up during the final lunar month to prepare for the Tet holiday and domestic fuel prices rose to global levels, contributing to the rise of the index.

This month’s CPI increased by 1.94% year-on-year, while the core inflation in January inched up 0.66% against the year-ago period.

Among the 11 main commodity groups, nine groups marked a month-on-month increase in prices, one registered a decline, while the prices of food and catering services were stable.

Transport services reported the highest rise in prices of 1.18% due to upward fuel price adjustments, followed by gold prices with an increase of 1.08%.

The prices of the apparel, footwear and hat; household equipment and appliances; cultural, entertainment and tourism services and housing and construction materials posted a growth of 0.26%, 0.18%, 0.16% and 0.07%, respectively.

Other goods and services went up 0.39%, while education, medicines and medical services reported the smallest increase at 0.03%.

In contrast, the prices of post and telecommunication services fell by 0.03%.

Investment in Ring Road No. 3 project cut by VND7 trillion

The total investment in the first phase of the Ring Road No. 3 project, which will connect HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An, was estimated at nearly VND75.8 trillion, down by some VND7 trillion.

The investment cut was stated in the prefeasibility study for the project that the HCMC government submitted to the Government on January 28. The Government will later submit the prefeasibility study to the National Assembly for approval, news site VnExpress reported.

The lower investment resulted from a reduction in site clearance cost, which was estimated at VND41.8 trillion. In addition, the construction of the project and equipment will need more than VND25.6 trillion and the remaining capital will be spent on the project management, consultancy and backup.

The Ring Road No. 3 project will be nearly 92 kilometers long and divided into four sections—Nhon Trach-Tan Van, Tan Van-Binh Chuan, Binh Chuan-National Highway 22 and National Highway 22-Ben Luc. The road will have eight lanes and allow a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

HCMC sought to divide the project into eight subprojects—four site clearance subprojects and four construction subprojects—in line with the precincts of localities where the Ring Road No. 3 will pass through.

The HCMC government also sought to complete the construction of the project by 2023 and the site clearance in the 2023-2024 period. The construction of the road is expected to be completed in 2025 and the entire road opened to traffic in 2026.

The project will be executed under the public investment mode using the budgets of the State and the localities. HCMC proposed the State provide half of the investments in subprojects in HCMC, Binh Duong and Dong Nai and all the investments in subprojects in Long An.

Earlier, the investment in the first phase of the Ring Road No. 3 project was calculated at more than VND83 trillion. At a meeting with the relevant ministries, agencies and localities late last year, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh ordered the revision of costs for the construction, compensation and site clearance for the project.

Ring Road No. 3 is a key national project, boosting the regional connectivity and the socioeconomic development in HCMC and the southern key economic zone. The road, once in place, will also connect with the Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Long An, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh provinces, shortening the travel time between provinces.

Quang Nam to call for investment into riverside urban area project

The Quang Nam Province Economic and Industrial Zones Authority and the relevant units have been asked to complete a proposal to build a riverside technology urban area project and submit it to the prime minister, according to the provincial government.

The project, which will be located along the Dam River, will cover an area of some 224.95 hectares and require nearly VND3 trillion, including funds for construction and site clearance works.

The riverside tech urban area project will comprise many different functional zones such as a public zone, a service and trading zone, a residential area, and a complex zone with urban development projects with high-value urban services.

The project’s services and products have to meet the relevant technology requirements.

The project will be implemented in six years from 2022 to 2028 if its investor is chosen soon.

According to the provincial Economic and Industrial Zones Authority, the implementation of the project will benefit the local residents and help improve land use management. Therefore, the project will focus on handling site clearance works and building resettlement areas, ensuring that 80% of compensation works will be completed in the first two years, with the figure set to reach 100% in the third year.

The central province expected the project would help develop the area into a hi-tech urban area, build a smart urban model in the years to come, and create significant socioeconomic values.

Source: SGT/VNA/VNS/VOV/VNN/ND

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