VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JANUARY 10

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Gov’t sets deadline for completion of Long Thanh airport

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has ordered inferior levels to strive to complete the construction of Long Thanh International Airport in the first quarter of 2025.

The big-ticket airport project has fallen behind schedule due to slow site clearance progress, with the southern province of Dong Nai handing over 1,284 out of 1,810 hectares needed for the first phase to the Southern Airport Authority.

Deputy PM Le tasked provincial People’s Committee to hand over 1,810 hectares of cleared land by February this year as committed.

Covering an area of 5.000 hectares, the Long Thanh airport is a key national project with total investment capital of US$16 billion.

The first phase involves in construction of one runway with a length of 4km, taxiways, an apron, and a passenger terminal with other auxiliary works to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of cargo each year.

Vietnam tourism sector targets 65 million visitors this year

The Vietnamese tourism sector has set a target to serve 65 million visitors in 2022, 90 percent of which would be domestic travellers.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the local tourism sector welcomed around 40 million visitors, including 3,500 foreigners, last year. In the year, the industry earned a total revenue of VND180 trillion (USD7.75 billion), down 42 percent on-year.

In 2022, the sector has set a goal to attract 65 million tourists, including five million foreigners, with revenues of VND400 trillion.

Since November last year, Vietnam has piloted the welcome of foreign travellers again. This month, dozens of flights are expected to be conducted to bring foreign visitors to tourist sites, including Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh.

Vietnam’s exports rise sharply in 2021 hinh anh 1

Vietnam’s exports rise sharply in 2021

Vietnam earned nearly 336.25 billion USD from exports in 2021, up 19 percent from the previous year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) reported on January 9.

Minister Nguyen Hong Dien said despite a slew of difficulties, the country’s export-import revenue still hit a new record of nearly 670 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 23 percent.

Vietnam has maintained a trade surplus for the sixth consecutive year, with a value of over 4 billion USD, mainly with developed, demanding markets like the US (with a trade surplus of about 80.1 billion USD) and Europe (close to 23.2 billion USD).

Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh said the growth in exports has surpassed the target of 4-5 percent as set by the National Assembly and the Government.

Good growth was seen in exports to markets engaging in FTAs with Vietnam like China (15 percent), the US (24.2 percent), the EU (14 percent), ASEAN (25.8 percent), the Republic of Korea (RoK) (15.8 percent), India (21 percent), New Zealand (42.5 percent) and Australia (3.1 percent).

Reference exchange rate down 13 VND at week’s beginning

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,125 VND/USD on January 10, down 13 VND from the last working day of previous week (January 7).

With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,818 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,431 VND/USD.

HCM City targets 6.5 percent growth for 2022

Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities have set an ambitious economic growth target for this year of 6-6.5 percent.

Its revenues exceeded the year’s target marginally to reach 381.53 trillion VND (16.81 billion USD), and accounted for 25-27 percent of the country’s.

It attracted more than 7.23 billion USD worth of foreign direct investment (FDI), a 38.48 percent increase from 2020, and remittances rose 9 percent to an estimated 6.6 billion USD.

It aimed to create 140,000 jobs this year and keep the unemployment rate at below 4 percent.

The city would continue to speed up digital transformation and the adoption of information technology at all levels of government.

It would continue to support the business sector and improve the investment climate together with enforcing pandemic controlling measures as part of its economic recovery plan for the year.

The main tasks for 2022 should be to “adapt safely and flexibly and effectively control the pandemic, improve governance, support businesses, and improve the business climate.”

Ministry to help local firms to join FDI multinationals’ supply chains

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has said this year it will closely coordinate with several foreign multinationals like Samsung and Toyota to connect with local suppliers of materials and accessories, in an effort to seek alternative supply for imports in both short and long terms.

The ministry sets to raise the Industrial Production Index (IIP) by around 7 – 8 percent, contributing to boost the GDP growth to 6 – 6.5 percent in 2022, according to Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh.

It plans to effectively implement projects providing help to supporting firms in the priority sectors of automobiles, electronics, textile and garment, and footwear; and support domestic producers to join supply chain of FDI enterprises and projects, he said.

Gov’t identifies focuses to obtain this year’s targets

The Government has issued Resolution No. 01/NQ-CP on the main tasks and solutions for implementing the socio-economic development and State budget plans for 2022.

Predicting this year will see more challenges than favourable conditions, the Government noted the country will face numerous challenges as a result of more complex and dangerous developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, while enterprises and people’s resilience has been running down.

Given this, it will keep working to safely and flexibly adapt to and effectively control the pandemic, stay persistent in appropriate anti-pandemic measures to maximally protecting people’s health and lives, further tackle production and business difficulties, and provide timely support for people and enterprises.

The Government views COVID-19 vaccination and medicine, along with people’s improved awareness and sense of responsibility, as the decisive factors in the successful pandemic control so as to fuel socio-economic recovery and development, according to the resolution.

Enterprises optimistic about production and business in 2022

As many as 45.4 percent of businesses in a recent survey conducted by the General Statistics Office forecast that their production will increase in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

37 percent of respondents said that their new export orders will see a rise in the first quarter of this year. The new export orders are predicted to drop in 16 percent of the surveyed enterprises and remain stable in 46 percent of them.

Foreign-invested firms were the most optimistic about production and business with 83 percent expecting better performance or stability in the first quarter of 2022. The rates among State and non-State enterprises were 82 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

Vietnam-Laos trade value surges over 30 percent in 2021

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos is estimated at 1.3 billion USD in 2021, a year-on-year rise of 30.3 percent, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Phuong.

Currently, Vietnam has 209 valid investment projects in Laos, with a total registered capital of about 5.18 billion USD. Last year, there were five newly-registered projects and four seeing capital adjustments, with a total combined capital of 112.84 million USD, an increase of 27 percent compared to 2020.

Many projects continued to operate well, fulfil financial obligations to Lao state agencies, create stable jobs for tens of thousands of Lao workers, and make important contributions to the process of economic regulation of Laos. As a result, Vietnamese enterprises contributed more than 1 billion USD to the Laos budget, and donated about 80 million USD for social welfare activities in the past 5 years.

Cybersecurity crucial for ongoing digitisation of banking industry: researchers

To mitigate risks, banks must adopt synchronised solutions that include top-notch security technologies, an effective cybersecurity risk management process and a strategy to foster a cybersecurity culture, according to academics from the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City Business School.

In a study titled ‘Cybersecurity risks in digital banking: The case of Vietnam,’ Dr Phan Chung Thuy and other researchers said in recent years Vietnamese banks have embraced digital transformation and it entails security risks.

Typically cybercriminals attack banks’ systems to steal data or perform acts that cause losses to the bank and customers, it said.

Attacks targeting customers, impersonating bank employees, malicious fake messages purportedly coming from bank links, and websites disguised as banks’ to defraud customers are also becoming more widespread, it said.

Phu Tho to have 440 million USD complex

FLC Group on January 8 started construction on a 10 trillion VND (440.7 million USD) eco-resort tourism complex, FLC Phu Tho, in the northern province of Phu Tho.

Covering an area of nearly 250 hectares, the project would have a five-star hotel, an 18-hole golf course, a resort and an international convention centre.

Located at the west of the province’s Viet Tri city, FLC Phu Tho is closely linked and added value with the companionship of Bamboo Airways as well as the system of resorts and golf courses of FLC Group throughout the country.

Deputy PM requests no congestion of trucks at border gates before lunar New Year

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has assigned ministries, sectors and localities to work with China to speed up customs clearance, striving for no congestion of trucks carrying goods for export at border gates before the Lunar New Year.

This request was made by the deputy PM at an online meeting on handling congested goods at the northern border gates, on January 8. This is the second meeting within two weeks chaired by Deputy PM Thanh on this issue.

As of January 7 morning, the number of vehicles stuck at the border gates was 3,609, down 2,484 compared to ten days ago, in which, there were 2,015 vehicles in Lang Son, and 1,260 vehicles in Quang Ninh.

Phu Tho ships first batch of Doan Hung pomelo to Russia

A ceremony was held in the northern province of Phu Tho on January 8 to ship the first batch of pomelo grown in the province’s Doan Hung district to Russia.

The batch weighing 40 tonnes included 36,000 pomelos grown under VietGAP standards.

Vice Chairman of the Phu Tho People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Hai affirmed that the province will promote the application of science-technology to improve quality and value of pomelo, and set up a large-scale concentrated cultivation zone of the fruit expanding about 3,000ha.

Doan Hung district is home to nearly 2,600ha of pomelo yielding an estimate of 24,000 tonnes. It also boasts other agro-forestry products of red-flesh dragon fruit, lychee and tea, among others.

Domestic logistics industry to focus on value-added services

Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic logistics industry still has many opportunities for growth if it improves competitiveness with foreign competitors.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), import and export turnover of goods will continue to grow this year, creating demand for logistics services. By the end of 2021, Vietnam’s total import and export turnover is expected to reach a record level of more than 660 billion USD.

More than 4,000 logistics enterprises are operating international logistics services in Vietnam where their operation has been increasingly improved thanks to increasing digital transformation applications and better business processes, especially ones providing services to European, American and Chinese markets.

MoIT data showed that in 2021 many logistics enterprises grew in revenue and profit, most with double-digit growth, adding that the volume of goods transported by road and waterways in 10 months of 2021 significantly improved compared to the same term of 2020.

The total tonnage of ships increased sharply by 22 percent over the same period. The economic situation in the main export markets of Vietnam also recovered.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JANUARY 10
VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JANUARY 10

Vietnam needs to build linkages in organic farming

Vietnam needs to build linkages and investment plans in developing production and consumption of organic products, experts say.

As many as 46 out of 63 localities across Vietnam carried out organic farming in 2020, with the involvement of more than 170,000 farmers, data of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) shows.

The country is home to 97 enterprises engaging in the field, and 60 firms shipping products to 180 markets with a combined turnover of 335 million USD per year.

The organic farming movement has developed rapid but only a few products are recognised as organic ones.

HCM City sees bustling exports in first days of 2022

Right from the first days of the new year, many export enterprises in HCM City have exported tonnes of products to new markets, signalling a good start for the city’s export performance for the year.

On January 1, two containers (24 tonnes) of coffee products branded Meet More were exported to the European market by Global Trading Connection Co. in Go Vap District. Among these containers were new products such as mint coffee, taro coffee, mango coffee, coconut coffee and green bean coffee. They were ordered by a supermarket system in the Czech Republic and will be distributed in the Czech Republic, France and Germany.

Meanwhile, Phuc Sinh JSC in District 1 delivered 20 containers of pepper and coffee, worth up to US$6 million, to the Netherlands and Germany in the first week of the new year, its general director Phan Minh Thong told Tienphong.

Another export enterprise, Tan Nhien Co’s branch in HCM City, delivered a container of no-soak rice paper to Japan before winning contracts for shipping five containers, or 50 tonnes of the product, to the US.

A good start in the new year has also inspired the city’s export enterprises to conquer new goals for the rest of the year.

Pork price likely stable for Tet

The price of pork is not forecast to surge over Tet as in previous years, according to the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, due to lower purchasing power.

The pandemic has left incomes down, leading to a tightening in spending, and the live hog price is unlikely to have a sudden increase in the run up to the Lunar New Year.

If the African swine fever and the COVID-19 are better controlled, restaurants, schools and tourist areas reopen, pork demand will recover, which will create opportunities for domestic hog prices to climb in 2022.

The price is forecast to increase slightly in the first quarter of 2022.

Live hog prices have been on a downward trend nationwide from February 2021.

Stock market continues to gain this week: experts

Shares witnessed a choppy week as the market benchmark opened the new year on a positive note, but ended lower on the last trading day of the week. However, experts believe the uptrend remains, while cash flows will continue to pour into small- and medium-cap stocks in the near future.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), the VN-Index closed the last trading session at 1,528.48 points after hitting an all-time high at 1,528.57 points. Meanwhile, the HNX-Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) finished last week at 493.84 points.

For the week, the VN-Index rose over 2 per cent, and the HNX-Index increased by 4.2 per cent.

The market liquidity decreased compared to the previous week. But because there were only four trading sessions, the average trading liquidity per session improved with about VND36 trillion (US$1.6 billion) per session on the two main exchanges.

Banks asked to report loans for winners of Thu Thiem land auctions

The State Bank of Vietnam’s Banking Supervision Agency has asked banks to report their provision of credit to individuals and enterprises taking part in the auctions of four land lots in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in HCMC’s Thu Duc City on December 10 last year.

Earlier, the HCMC Tax Department had issued an announcement on the land use entitlement cost and registration fee for winners of the auctions — Dream Republic Corporation, Sheen Mega JSC, Binh Minh Investment Development and Trading Co., Ltd and Viet Star Real Estate Investment Co., Ltd.

Accordingly, they were subject to a total land use entitlement cost of nearly VND37.4 trillion and a registration fee of VND1.5 billion.

The auctions of four land lots in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area have caused multiple controversies. Auction winners’ mobilization of capital to pay the land use cost and registration fee for a short time has also attracted the public attention.

Cashless payments account for 70% of retail transactions: survey

The Covid-19 pandemic has given a boost to e-commerce, with cashless payments accounting for 70% of total retail transactions in Vietnam last year.

According to a survey by tech firm Sapo on some 15,000 retailers, cashless payments have risen drastically as consumers have restricted direct contact to avoid Covid-19 infections.

Payments through bank accounts became the most popular method, accounting for 36.5% of total transactions, followed by cash (30%), e-wallets (15%), QR code (9.6%), bank cards (8.5%) and payment gateways (0.5%).

According to Sapo’s survey, while most other industries suffered a decline in revenue, retailers on e-commerce platforms and other digital channels saw their revenue soar last year, accounting for 11.2% of total retail revenues.

Some 73% of respondents said they had shifted their business online, which helps them cut labor and premise costs and reach out to more customers.

Vietnamese manufacturing sector predicted to grow in 2022

Vietnam’s firms remained optimistic that output will increase over the coming year, with sentiment ticking up since November on hopes that the Covid-19 pandemic will be brought under control over the course of 2022 and demand will strengthen.

According to the latest study by IHS Markit, the Vietnamese manufacturing sector continued to grow at a solid pace at the end of 2021, and saw job creation resume following a sustained period of falling employment. Cost inflationary pressures remained marked, but eased notably since November, in part reflecting signs that supply-chain delays were becoming less pronounced.

The Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ IndexTM (PMI®) posted 52.5 in December, up from 52.2 in November and signalling a third successive monthly improvement in business conditions. Moreover, the solid strengthening in the health of the sector was the most marked since May.

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

China reopens one more border gate with Vietnam

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