VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JANUARY 5

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Rice output up 1.1 million tonnes in 2021

Vietnam’s rice output topped 43.86 million tonnes in 2021, up 1.1 million tonnes year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Although the rice cultivation area decreased by about 39,700 ha, the productivity increased by nearly 1.9 quintals/ha compared to 2020.

The use of high-quality rice varieties in farming surged by 77 percent, contributing to raising the proportion of high-quality rice in export to over 89 percent, helping lift the average export price of rice to 503 USD per tonne in 2021 from 496 USD per tonne in 2020.

Vietnam’s rice export turnover was estimated to reach 3.27 billion USD in 2021.

The agriculture sector aims to produce 48.3 million tonnes of food grains in 2022, including 43 – 43.9 million tonnes of rice.

Reference exchange rate up VND3

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate for the US dollar at 23,137 VND/USD on January 5, up 3 VND from the previous day.

With the current trading band of +/- 3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,831 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,442 VND/USD.

VN-Index hits new record high in early 2022

Vietnam’s benchmark stock market index (VN-Index) hit a fresh record high on January 4 morning session after rising 19.67 points, reaching 1,517.95 points, much higher than the previous peak of 1.500 points.

Over 526 million shares changed hands, equivalent to over 16.68 trillion VND (725.5 million USD). There were 319 stocks rising, 138 sliding and 52 ending flat on the market.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index decreased 0.52 point to 473.42 points. Nearly 60 million shares worth more than 1.76 trillion VND were traded. There were 128 stocks gaining, 89 falling and 55 staying the same.

The UPCoM-Index edged up 0.54 point to 113.22 points, with over 63 stocks traded with a total value of more than 1.4 trillion VND. A total of 173 stocks gained, 134 dropped and 63 others remained unchanged.

Notably, foreign investors net bought 89.63 billion VND of stocks on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE), 14.55 billion VND on the HNX and 13.18 billion VND on the UPCoM.

In the VN30 basket, which tracks 30 biggest stocks in market capitalisation on HoSE, 23 stocks gained prices while seven declined.

Finance Ministry announces State budget estimates for 2022 hinh anh 1

Finance Ministry announces State budget estimates for 2022

State budget collection in 2022 is expected to reach over 1.41 quadrillion VND (61.7 billion USD), while expenditure is estimated at about 1.78 quadrillion VND (78.05 billion USD), up 4.5 percent compared to that in 2021, according to a report on State budget estimates for 2022 that has been made public by the Ministry of Finance.

The “Budget Report for Citizens-State Budget Estimates for 2022” provides the public with essential information on macro-economic indices in 2022. Accordingly, revenues of the central budget is estimated to account for 52.36 percent of total budget collection, equivalent to 739.13 trillion VND (32.33 billion USD), while 47.64 percent, or 627.57 trillion VND (27.45 billion USD) will be collected for local budget.

State budget deficit for the year is estimated at 372.9 trillion VND (16.31 billion USD), equivalent to 4 percent of the GDP.

Notably, according to the report, in 2022, two more localities are expected to contribute to the central budget, raising the number of such localities to 18.

Other macro-economic indices for 2022 include a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6-6.5 percent, average consumer price index (CPI) rise of about 4 percent, total export revenue expansion of about 5.4 percent, and total social development investment accounting for about 32-34 percent of the GDP.

PetroVietnam’s revenue hits over 27.1 billion USD in 2021

The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) reported that it had met its revenue target in 2021 two months ahead of schedule, generating 620.2 trillion VND (over 27.1 billion USD), surpassing the yearly plan by 26.4 percent, and up 28 percent year-on-year.

Besides revenues, the group has fulfilled most yearly targets despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the complicated development in the East Sea and obstacles in legal framework.

The oil output in 2021 reached 10.97 million tonnes, 13 percent higher than the plan set for the year, and fertilizer production 1.91 million tonnes, exceeding the yearly plan by 18 percent, and up 6 percent compared to 2020.

Meanwhile, oil and petrol output totalled 6.37 million tonnes, representing a year-on-year rise of 9.5 percent and surpassing the plan by 0.1 percent.

The group’s pre-tax profit in the year surpassed the plan by 2.6 times, and up 2.2 times year-on-year, reaching 45 trillion VND.

PetroVietnam contributed 112.5 trillion VND to the State budget, 80 percent higher than the set plan, and up 36 percent compared to the previous year.

Transport infrastructure development provides leverage for GDP growth

The Ministry of Transport is coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to develop a portfolio of transport projects and specific mechanisms for the implementation of the projects which will form part of the Government’s socio-economic recovery and development programme post-COVID-19, according to Minister Nguyen Van The.

Transport infrastructure development would play a part in rapidly reviving other economic sectors, accelerating public investment disbursement, and providing necessary leverage for the GDP growth, he emphasized, adding Vietnam aims to have about 5,000km of expressway by 2030 as set in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

The 729km eastern section of the North – South Expressway is among the country’s six major projects from 2021 – 2025, he said, describing it as a particularly important project which has been receiving special attention from the Government, Prime Minister and public.

According to the minister, the project has total investment of close to 147 trillion VND (6.43 billion USD). It will be divided into 12 key components separately developed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP). It is expected to contribute to spurring Vietnam’s post-pandemic economic recovery, he said.

Hi-tech agricultural zone to be set up in Quang Ninh

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has signed a decision on establishing a hi-tech agricultural zone in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The zone will be located in Hong Thai Tay commune of Dong Trieu town , covering an area of 106 ha.

The zone will serve as a facility for experimenting results of agricultural research, creating demonstration models of high-tech cultivation, preservation and processing of agricultural products; and production of biological products.

Vietnam has 64,000 digital firms in total

About 5,600 digital technology firms were established in 2021, raising the total number of such firms in Vietnam to around 64,000, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Many digital enterprises have shifted from doing contracted work for foreign brands to developing Industry 4.0 products. So far, 34 “Make-in-Vietnam” platforms have been recognized by the ministry.

Major corporations from both State and private sectors, such as VNPT, Viettel, CMC and FPT, own great potential and have played a big part in building e-Government and national digital platforms, and boosting digital economy at large.

Statistics show that Vietnam’s digital industry expanded over 9 percent in 2020, three times as high as the GDP growth.

Vietnam aims to remove EC’s warning against IUU fishing next year

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has taken synchronous measures in order to remove the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Vietnam next year.

Due to this move, the Directorate of Fisheries has advised the MARD to direct localities to obtain certificates of seafood origin, mostly those in southcentral, southeast, and southwest provinces in service of exports to the European market.

Tran Dinh Luan, director of the Directorate of Fisheries, revealed that the nation has actively made changes and revisions to its legal system, all of which were subsequently approved by the EC with the aim of handling violations on IUU fishing in future. He added that the MARD and the Directorate of Fisheries have also deployed more than 10 IUU inspection missions in various localities in recent times to inspect efforts to address IUU fishing.

In line with this, 92% of fishing vessels have installed monitoring device equipment in line with the EC’s regulations. Luan underscored the importance of law enforcement as a way of ensuring security and safety for fishing boats out at sea.

Cambodian paddy exports to Vietnam enjoy year-on-year rise of over 75%

Cambodian agricultural products exported to the Vietnamese market have seen a steady uptick, with 3.1 million tonnes of paddy being shipped to the nation over the past 11 months of 2021, an increase of more than 75% from the same period last year.

According to a report given by the Cambodia Trade Office in Vietnam, along with paddy, other agricultural products exported to the country also continuously increased by 20% to 400% over the corresponding period from last year.

In line with this, Cambodia shipped 7.98 million tonnes of farm produce in 2021 to 68 markets globally, representing an increase of 63.8% on-year. This represents a remarkable result in the context of agricultural production and export businesses suffering an array of negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on a global scale.

A preliminary summary indicates that the total value of Cambodian agricultural exports in 2021 reached approximately US$5 billion.

First Chinese RCEP train departs for Hanoi

A Chinese freight train departed Nanning International Railway Station in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (China) on the early morning of January 1 for Hanoi.

This marks the first international freight train leaving China and heading to member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after the agreement officially came into force.

The train is in charge of transporting 25 containers of goods related to normal trade and cross-border e-commerce, such as electronic components, necessities, and chemical products which have a total weight of more than 800 tonnes and worth more than US$10 million. According to the schedule, the train is expected to arrive in Hanoi after a 28-hour journey.

The RCEP consists of 10 ASEAN member states, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, accounting for roughly 30% of the population, equivalent to 2.7 billion people, and a GDP equivalent to US$26.2 trillion globally.

The agreement came into effect on January 1 and is expected to offer a new lease of life to promote regional economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst simultaneously being a catalyst that contributes to boosting global economic growth.

Viet Nam continues to reboot tourism this year

The Vietnamese tourism sector will embark on a tourism recovery and development scheme under the 2022-23 socio-economic development programme this year.

It will also strive to complete the 10-year tourism system planning with a vision to 2045 and submit it to the Government for approval, develop smart tourism via digital transformation toward the goal of serving 65 million visitors, including 5 million foreigners, and earning VND400 trillion (US$17.39 billion) in revenue.

Data from the General Statistics Office this week showed that foreign arrivals in the country rose by 14.2 per week month-on-month in December as Viet Nam has been piloting the reopening of the country to foreigners since November and international commercial flights have been restored.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of foreign visitors to Viet Nam slumped by 95.9 per cent annually to 157,300, most of them were experts and technical workers working for projects in Viet Nam. Almost all tour guides became unemployed while the capacity of lodging facilities only reached about 5-10 per cent this year.

Transport industry focuses on maritime segment, public investment projects

The transport industry has promoted the maritime transport segment and sped up the implementation of public investment projects to offset losses in road, railway and aviation transport segments due to the pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the railway and aviation segments reported negative growth in 2021 due to the impacts of the pandemic.

The ministry’s Vietnam Railways failed to meet yearly growth targets in 2021 as its revenue and profit declined by 16.3 per cent and 47.2 per cent, respectively, against 2020.

The aviation transport segment also faced big losses this year as its international passenger transport declined by 93 per cent compared to 2020.

Quang Ninh’s “Green-lane” plan to recover tourism in 2022

The Department of Tourism of Quang Ninh has completed a draft plan called “Green-lane tourism” to revive the COVID-19-stricken tourism in the northern coastal province.

Director of the department Pham Ngoc Thuy said it is important to provide tourists with information about where is safe to travel to, regarding the COVID-19 situation.

The “Green-lane tourism” will offer holidaymakers safe services and make them feel comfortable and relaxed when experiencing tourism services, Thuy explained, adding that joining the scheme will also be a way for businesses to promote their services and provide their staff with a COVID-19 free working environment.

The department has tightened its set of 35 compulsory and optional requirements for COVID-19 safety. Accordingly, the department has required tourism services providers to give away face masks to tourists and check temperature of visitors and input suppliers. Restaurants are encouraged to install table partitions to limit direct contact among diners.

Hanoi expands promotion programmes on threshold of lunar New Year

Hanoi is carrying out a series of stimulus and promotion programmes so as to recover the purchasing power of the domestic market on the occasion of the upcoming lunar New Year holiday.

Acting Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sharp decrease in the buying power due to lower per capita income.

Thanks to several stimulus programmes to boost consumer spending such as the concentrated promotion month, Hanoi Promotion Month 2021, and Vietnamese Goods Weeks, the capital city’s total retail sales of goods and services in the fourth quarter of 2021 was higher than that of the third quarter. However, the total retail sales of goods and services in 2021 was down 4.6 percent compared to that of the previous year.

As the lunar New Year is usually the best time in a year for retail firms to make breakthrough growth, they are exerting efforts to take advantage of this occasion.

Dong Nai to build three routes connecting to Long Thanh International Airport

The southern province of Dong Nai has approved three routes worth about 19.6 trillion VND (858 million USD) linking localities with Long Thanh International Airport.

The three projects include a project to upgrade road DT 769 with a length of nearly 31 kilometres and an estimated investment of 1.6 trillion VND. Road DT 773 will be extended by 51 kilometres. The total investment for the project is forecast at 5.5 trillion VND.

The road 770B will stretch over 53 kilometres. It requires an investment of 12.5 trillion VND, including 7.5 trillion VND as compensation for the affected households.

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 (GSO) forecast that their production will increase in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, 37.2 percent of the surveyed enterprises expected stability in their production and 17.4 percent of them predicted a reduction.

Up to 41.4 percent and 41.8 percent of the respondents expected an increase and stability in their orders in the first quarter of 2022, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Just 16.8 percent of the surveyed businesses forecast a drop in their orders.

New export orders of 37.2 percent of the surveyed firms were predicted to rise in the first quarter of this year from the last three months of 2021. The new export orders were predicted to drop in 16.7 percent of the enterprises and remain stable in 46.1 percent of them.

Vietnam’s stock market likely to see upward trend in 2022

2021 presented a bonanza year for Vietnam’s stock market as its benchmark VN-Index rose nearly 36%, making it into the top 10 benchmark indexes in the world.

The market grew tremendously, setting new records in terms of both indexes, trading value, and the number of new participants despite the lingering outbreak.

By the end of 2021, VN-Index hit close to 1,500 points, up 35.4% compared to 2020. The market’s capitalization was VND7.729 trillion, marking a year-on-year rise of 46% and being equivalent to 122.8% of the 2020 GDP and 92% of the 2021 GDP.

According to the expert, the stock market is likely to attract huge cash flows thanks to a stable interest rate policy adopted by the State Bank and an economic recovery programme to be implemented by the Government in 2022-2023.

UK wooden furniture imports from Vietnam soar by 35.7%

With the UK’s imports of wooden furniture from the Vietnamese market surging by 35.7% to reach US$303.7 million during the past 10 months of 2021, local firms can enjoy huge opportunities to promote the export of products to the UK market.

According to statistics compiled by the International Trade Center (ITC), the UK’s wooden furniture imports in the 2016 to 2020 period reached US$5.17 billion per year, with an average annual growth of 2.7%.

During the reviewed period, the UK’s import value of the product edged up by 39.3% to reach US$4.03 billion compared to the same period from last year, despite the complicated developments linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK mainly imported living room and dining room furniture, as well as wooden frame chairs and kitchen furniture.

These appear to be positive signs which have opened up greater export prospects for Vietnamese firms to the demanding market moving forward.

Ben Tre holds seminar with overseas ambassadors to promote trade and investment

Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Quang Minh on January 3 led a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to attend a seminar on investment, trade and tourism promotion between Ben Tre Province and Vietnamese foreign ambassadors.

The event offered an opportunity for Ben Tre and ambassadors to discuss the foreign policies of recent years as well as outline appropriate trade and investment promotion solutions for the future.

Ben Tre has huge potential in key products such as coconuts, fruit trees, seedlings, ornamental flowers, and livestock, especially with it range of about 200 coconut products and handicrafts.

The province is known as the “Vietnamese coconut land” with an area of about 75,000ha and a total output of nearly 700,000 tonnes per year. Ben Tre currently has the highest concentration of organic coconut material area in the country, covering more than 12,000 ha.

Over 31,000 HCMC-based firms close in 2021

HCMC saw nearly 31,660 businesses shut down either temporarily or permanently in 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, accounting for 26.4% of the country’s total firms that withdrew from the local market last year.

The number of firms in the city that pulled out of the market in 2021 inched down 2.6% year-on-year, according to data from the Agency for Business Registration under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The data indicated that more than 15,620 enterprises in the city temporarily suspended their business activities in 2021, up 13.2% year-on-year.

Retail sales exceed US$210 billion in 2021

Vietnam’s total retail sales of consumer goods and services hit VND4,789.5 trillion (over US$210 billion) in 2021, falling 3.8% against 2020.

Data of the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam showed that the total retail sales of consumer goods alone reached VND3,950.9 trillion (US$173.28 billion) in 2021, rising 0.2% year-on-year.

The total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the fourth quarter of 2021 amounted to VND1,312.6 trillion, surging 28.1% against the previous quarter but dropping 2.8% year-on-year.

This is a better result than expected amid the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the peak months of the fourth Covid-19 wave, which began in late April, many businesses suspended operations, while wet markets were forced to close down and consumers tightened their belts.

Less than half of industrial businesses in HCMC optimistic about Q1 2022

Less than half (43.6%) of industrial businesses in HCMC are optimistic about their business situation in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report of the HCMC Statistics Department on the city’s socioeconomic development.

Meanwhile, 28.1% expected their business situation to remain stable and the remainder felt their condition would worsen.

Some 41.7% of industrial businesses in the city expected to see an increase in new orders in Q1 2022, while 24.3% of businesses said they plan to scale down their workforce.

Regarding production cost, 33.3% forecast that it would increase, while 51.6% expected that it would stay stable and only 15.2% predicted a decrease in production cost.

HCMC’s economy has recovered after social distancing measures were relaxed, but the recovery remains weak.

Some 48.4% of the firms said their business situation improved in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the third quarter, while 19.3% said their condition was stable and 32.3% saw their situation worsen.

Nearly 40% of industrial businesses are facing financial hardships. Besides, 23.1% said interest rates were high and 7.6% had limited access to capital.

HCMC studies US$1.3 bln-over-head road project implementation

The Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Company (CII) has just reported the Municipal People’s Committee the pre-feasibility study of the North-South overhead road investment and construction project in the city, at a section from Cong Hoa Street in Tan Binh District to Nguyen Van Linh Street in Binh Chanh District.

The project has a total length of 14.1 kilometers through streets of Cong Hoa – Bui Thi Xuan – Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal – alley No.658 of Cach Mang Thang Tam Street – Bac Hai – Thanh Thai – Ly Thai To – Nguyen Van Cu – Ong Lon Canal and end at Nguyen Van Linh Street with a total investment of VND29,537 billion (US$1.3 billion), including VND12,089 billion (US$530 million) extended for the construction works and VND13,337 billion (US$584 million) for site clearance. The project is designed with four lanes.

According to the calculation, there will be five main intersections including Cong Hoa, Lang Cha Ca, Le Hong Phong, Nguyen Van Cu and Nguyen Van Linh. Especially, at Lang Cha Ca intersections, there will be path routes connecting to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

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 (GSO) forecast that their production will increase in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

Meanwhile, 37.2 percent of the surveyed enterprises expected stability in their production and 17.4 percent of them predicted a reduction.

Up to 41.4 percent and 41.8 percent of the respondents expected an increase and stability in their orders in the first quarter of 2022, respectively, compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. Just 16.8 percent of the surveyed businesses forecast a drop in their orders.

New export orders of 37.2 percent of the surveyed firms were predicted to rise in the first quarter of this year from the last three months of 2021. The new export orders were predicted to drop in 16.7 percent of the enterprises and remain stable in 46.1 percent of them.

Foreign-invested firms were the most optimistic about production and business with 83.1 percent expecting better performance or stability in the first quarter of 2022. The rates among State and non-State enterprises were 82 percent and 81.2 percent, respectively.

HCMC Market Surveillance prepare for peak of fight against commercial fraud

Vice Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Thi Thang requested the HCMC Market Surveillance Department promote linkages with the interdisciplinary force to eliminate poor-quality goods from the market, especially during the peak of the 2022 Lunar New Year, at a seminar to summarize market surveillance work in 2021 and deploy tasks in 2022, held on December 31.

Accordingly, groups of imported goods with high tax rates, medical supplies and equipment serving the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic, and goods traded on e-commerce platforms need to be closely inspected and reviewed, avoiding the mixing of low-quality goods, affecting the interests of consumers and loss of tax revenue for the State.

According to a report by the HCMC Market Surveillance Department, around 1,325 violations were handled in 2021, with a total fine of more than VND29 billion. The force had uncovered many cases of banned and smuggled goods being transported by containers and trucks to warehouses scattered around the city.

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

Disbursed social investment capital in 2021 sees lowest increase

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