VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 13

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18.5 billion USD goal set for wood export in 2025

18.5 billion USD goal set for wood export in 2025 hinh anh 1

Vietnam’s exports of wood and wooden products are expected to rake in 18.5 billion USD in 2025 and 20.4 billion USD in 2030, per a project freshly approved by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on March 10.

The 2021-2030 project on the wood processing industry’s sustainable development aims to turn the sector into a key economic one and promote the trademark of Vietnamese wood products domestically and internationally.

Accordingly, the value of wood and wooden products for export is set at 20 billion USD in 2025 and 25 billion USD in 2030 while that for domestic consumption 5 billion USD and 6 billion USD, respectively. All wood and wooden products for export and domestic consumption are expected to source from legal wood materials with sustainable forest management certification.

The US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the EU, and China are identified as main markets for Vietnamese wood products, while wood processing firms are encouraged to use the “Go Viet” (Vietnamese wood) trademark and capitalise on e-commerce and other technological applications.

An Giang works to build tourism trademark

An Giang province, a hub of relic and scenic sites in the Mekong Delta, is making efforts to improve its quality of tourism products and services as well as build a trademark catering to visitors’ needs.

The local sector will focus on those with demand for cultural-spiritual tours, festivals, eco- and resort tourism, aiming to gradually expand its tourist market and recover the foreign arrival segment in line with COVID-19 safety measures.

According to statistics from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, An Giang used to welcome over 6 million domestic and foreign tourists each year on average. In 2021, due to the pandemic impact, it received just about 3.5 million visitors, down 46 percent on-year, and obtained 2.3 trillion VND (100.59 million USD) worth of revenue. In 2022, the province aims for 4.6 million tourists and revenue of about 3 trillion VND.

Toward turning tourism into its key economic sector, An Giang prioritises investing in the development of infrastructure and high-quality and diverse products.

For the 2021-2025 period, it plans to host 42 million arrivals, reeling in 27.8 trillion VND. By 2025, An Giang will have at least one large-scale cultural and spiritual tourist area; restaurants and hotels meeting 5-star standard; as well as amusement parks and large-scale entertainment sites in key tourist destinations and big cities such as Long Xuyen and Chau Doc.

Prime Minister requests PPP facilitation for Van Phong EZ development

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on March 12 demanded favourable mechanisms be issued to facilitate public – private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure building, so as to boost the development of the Van Phong Economic Zone (EZ).

Established in 2006, the Van Phong EZ is located in Van Ninh district and Ninh Hoa town of central Khanh Hoa province. It is a multi-sectoral EZ with an international container port, an oil refinery industry, and a point of transit for petroleum and petroleum products playing the key role. It also includes tourism, services, industry, aquaculture, and other economic sectors. Van Phong serves as the economic centre of Khanh Hoa, an investment magnet, and a driving force for economic development in neighbouring areas.

As of 2021, it attracted more than 150 investment projects with registered capital totaling over 4 billion USD, including over 120 domestic projects and 30 foreign ones. Most of the nearly 100 projects already operational are small ones.

Visiting the zone, PM Chinh said Van Phong boasts outstanding potential and great competitiveness in economic development, especially sea-based economy and tourism.

However, he noted, as it will be hard to achieve fast growth if the EZ relies solely on public investment, Khanh Hoa, ministries, and sectors need to work out mechanisms and policies, especially those boosting PPP in infrastructure building, to promote its development.

PPP models should be stepped up basing on the principle of harmonising interests among the State, people, and businesses, he added.

Effective delivery of preferential loans needed for firms

A clear mechanism is essential to ensuring a preferential credit package will benefit pandemic-hit firms and contribute to economic recovery.

Under the State Bank of Vietnam’s draft, which was recently made public, loans of pandemic-hit firms will enjoy an interest rate cut of 2 percent.

The package will total 40 trillion VND sourced from the State budget, aiming to ease financial difficulties for enterprises, cooperatives and business households and recover business operations.

In 2009, the Vietnamese Government used a credit package worth 17 trillion VND (equivalent to 1 billion USD at that moment) sourced from the foreign exchange reserve to provide an interest rate cut of 4 percent for businesses.

However, many banks had not managed to settle these loans, according to Nguyen Quoc Hung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association.

Although the past package contributed to stimulating economic recovery, it also brought problems, Hung said, pointing out that after the package was implemented, the banking system faced big liquidity problems and rising bad debts.

Shrimp exports to fetch over 4 billion USD this year

Overseas shipments of shrimp products are set to earn more than 4 billion USD in 2022, up 2.56 percent on-year, as heard a conference held on March 11.

The hybrid conference on shrimp sector development, co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, gathered the participation of 28 coastal cities and provinces nationwide.

Participants put forth a series of solutions such as forming linkages among shrimp farming localities; developing a scenario for brackish water shrimp production in the context of COVID-19; and increasing the application of technological advances.

Per a report of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, despite difficulties from abnormal weather and the pandemic, the sector produced 970,000 tonnes of shrimps last year, an annual rise of 4.3 percent. Shrimp export turnover grew 5.4 percent annually to about 3.9 billion USD in 2021, with Soc Trang and Ca Mau contributing over 2 billion USD to the sum.

As planned, in 2022, shrimp farming area will reach 750,000 ha for a production of 980,000 tonnes.

Improving coffee quality essential to expand exports to EU

Improving coffee quality and building brands are essential for Vietnam to expand exports to the EU, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The EU, the world’s largest coffee market accounting for nearly 48 percent of the world’s total coffee imports, is a huge potential market for coffee exporters.

The EU is also the biggest importer of Vietnamese coffee, accounting for more than 16 percent of Vietnam’s total coffee export.

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which removed 93 percent of tariffs, including processed coffee, opened significant opportunities for Vietnamese coffee, according to the ministry, adding that coffee was also one among 39 geographical indications of Vietnam that the EU committed to protection under the EVFTA.

Firms urged to act more quickly in face of suspected cashew nut scam in Italy

An Italian lawyer has recommended Vietnamese exporters who lost track of 36 sets of original documents in a suspected scam involving 100 cashew nut containers from Vietnam team up with one another and take swift actions to prevent losses.

Lawyer Davide Galllasso, who is coordinating with Vietnam’s Trade Office in Italy to deal with this case, told the Vietnam News Agency on March 11 that initial progress has been seen, with the first five containers to arrive at the Port of Genoa kept by Italy’s financial police, which was thanks to timely information from the involved businesses, moves by lawyers, and support from the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office.

However, that doesn’t mean the Vietnamese companies have got rid of danger as some people proclaiming themselves the buyer have hired lawyers and liaised with an Italian court to reclaim the goods since they have original documents.

Italian authorities will issue rulings on who is the real owner of the goods and return it to the owner, he said, noting that it is not easy for Vietnamese firms to prove themselves the real owner when they lost the original documents.

The best solution now is that the Vietnamese companies concerned team up with one another and take swift actions so that the Italian court views this as a case of dangerous crime and open a trial soon, keeping the goods away from irrelevant parties’ attention and preventing financial losses like storage costs and spoiled goods, according to Galllasso.

He recommended all the victims gather and immediately send related information such as contracts and delivery codes of the remaining batches to the Vietnam Trade Office and the lawyer, authorise the lawyer to represent them to work with Italian authorities, stay updated with the situation, and follow instructions given by the Trade Office and the lawyer.

Phu Quoc strives to boost post-pandemic recovery

The city of Phu Quoc is doing everything possible to unleash its potential and boost socio-economic recovery this year despite lingering COVID-19 impacts.

Phu Quoc, the resort island of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, aims for over 22 trillion VND (around 960 million USD) in production value of its key sectors in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 8.4 percent. It expects to mobilise some 24 trillion VND in total social investment and collect 5.4 trillion VND for the State budget, up 8.3 percent and 26.7 percent, respectively, from 2021.

The city will strive to attract 2 million tourists, a surge of 215.4 percent, including half a million foreigners.

Industrial production recovers from high value-added products

Local processing and manufacturing industry enterprises have gradually adapted and quickly found ways in which to maintain production and resume smooth supply chains amid ongoing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first two months of the year saw the index of industrial production (IIP) increase by an estimated 5.4% over the same period last year. Of this, the processing and manufacturing industry grew by 6.1%, contributing 5.2 percentage points to the overall increase.

Moving forward, industrial production is forecast to enjoy plenty of advantages from the Government’s policy of “living together” safely with COVID-19 and the swift response of local businesses as they gradually devise strategies to smoothly maintain production activities and supply chains amid still challenges relating to the pandemic. Along with this, export orders in many fields have been relatively abundant.

Canada launches anti-dumping probe into oil country tubular goods from Vietnam

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has launched an anti-dumping probe and review into oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imported from India, Taiwan (China), Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, according to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam(TRAV).

The TRAV stated that the CBSA had imposed anti-dumping tax on OCTG imported from the Vietnamese market and a number of other countries since 2014, with tax rates of 37.4% being applied to Vietnam.

The purpose of the existing review is to re-determine the normal value and export price of imported items as a means of redefining the dumping margin.

The TRAV revealed that the alleged product is steel products used for oil pipelines coded HS 7304.29.00 and HS7306.29.00, with the investigation period being from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.

Furthermore, according to preliminary data compiled by the International Trade Center (ITC), during the investigation period, the nation exported approximately US$13 million of these products to Canada.

Watch out for Russia-Ukraine conflict impacts, Vietnam businesses told

Vietnamese enterprises should prepare to deal with ramifications of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict like rising oil prices and long-term impacts of sanctions on Russia, experts say.

Speaking at a conference on the impacts of the crisis on Vietnamese firms last Friday, Dr Trần Quốc Hùng, director of the US-based Institute of International Finance, said the crisis and the sanctions on Russia would disrupt the supply chain in the Western and world markets.

The likely disruptions to agricultural activities of two major exporters of staple commodities could seriously escalate food insecurity globally, he said.

Russia and Ukraine are the largest and fifth-largest wheat exporters, respectively. Together they account for almost 30 per cent of international annual sales, Hùng said.

If the crisis continues, the supply of wheat to the world market could decrease by up to 30 per cent. The resulting supply gap could push up international food and feed prices by 8 to 22 per cent above their already elevated levels, it has been estimated.

Nguyễn Đức Thành, director of the Vietnam Centre for Economic and Strategic Studies, said the crisis was unlikely to cause a significant direct impact on Vietnamese businesses.

As Russia isn’t among their key markets, Vietnamese firms will not be severely affected, he said. Those affected can still find ways to do transactions via a third-party bank, though this would be slower and more costly.

Hanoi seeks to strengthen cooperation with international organisations

The Hanoi Centre for Investment, Trade, and Tourism Promotion (HPA) on March 10 held a meeting with international organisations to discuss strengthening cooperation.

At the meeting with representatives from diplomatic missions, embassies, and international organisations, HPA introduced the orientations to cooperate with international organisations in 2022-2025.

Participants discussed cooperation possibilities between Hanoi and other cities and provinces worldwide in the upcoming time.

n 2022, HPA is assigned by the Hanoi People’s Committee to carry out fact-finding trips and send missions abroad to study investment promotion opportunities in Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the US.

HPA also plans to attend global events such as Maison&Objet 2022 in France, the tourism promotion fair at JATA Japan, the Frankfurt book fair in Germany, and many others.

Vietnam forecast with top growth in the region

Although the health crisis is becoming more complicated, Vietnam is still forecast to take the lead in economic growth in the region in 2022 on the back of corporate confidence rising from difficulties, with the country remaining an attractive investment location.

Last month the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has announced a survey report with the participation of 4,600 Japanese businesses operating in close to 20 Asia-Pacific markets, including 700 firms in Vietnam.

According to the survey, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has failed to prevent Japanese investors from pouring money into Vietnam. The percentage of Japanese enterprises wishing to swell investments in Vietnam was 10 points higher than that of other Southeast Asian nations.

Profit last year was estimated to be more than 54%, up 4.7 points from 2020. Especially, over 55% of Japanese firms desired to increase production and business activities in Vietnam within the next 1-2 years, while the respective rates in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand were 45.3, 43.2, and 40.4%.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, Japan has invested in 19 industries and fields in Vietnam, largely in the processing and manufacturing industry, for more than 4,800 valid projects registered at 64.13 billion USD.

According to global analysts FocusEconomics, after the economy rebounded sharply in the fourth quarter of 2021, with growth once again underpinned by strong output from the manufacturing sector, momentum is likely to carry over into 2022. Industrial production growth remained robust in January amid improving manufacturing output.

Thanh Hoa launches tourism stimulus programme 2022

Thanh Hoa Province held a ceremony, on March 11, to announce the tourism logo and launch the tourism stimulus programme for 2022 along with a programme to welcome international tourists to Thanh Hoa.

With the tourism logo and the campaign on building a safe, friendly and attractive destination, Thanh Hoa Province has focused on introducing beautiful, unique and typical images of the nature, culture, cuisine and people of the province; its heroic history, fine customs and practices, and historical figures; and examples of exemplary citizens in the locality, aiming to evoke pride and love for the homeland, and contribute to building a friendly, polite and civilized Thanh Hoa people.

Thanh Hoa Province also launched a tourism stimulus programme 2022, which received the response of representatives of businesses from inside and outside the province.

Grab Vietnam’s managing director to resign

Nguyen Thai Hai Van will resign as managing director of ride-hailing firm Grab in Vietnam by late April, a Grab Vietnam representative confirmed yesterday, March 11, without revealing who will succeed Van.

Van joined Grab Vietnam on November 2019 and was appointed as managing director from February 1, 2020. She joined the ride-hailing firm during what was considered a tough period as the Covid-19 pandemic began, leaving negative impacts on all aspects of life. Among them, short-distance passenger transport services within a city, deemed as the “backbone” of Grab’s operations, were affected due to mobility restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Nonetheless, she inherited a thriving business from her predecessor Jerry Lim.

Over 100,000 tons of Binh Thuan dragon fruits need to be consumed

Recently, the export of dragon fruits of Binh Thuan Province through the Chinese market encountered many difficulties because the Northern border gates constantly closed and stopped customs clearance. Currently, dragon fruits are difficult to sell, although the selling price is extremely low, only from VND500-VND2,000 per kg.

Faced with this situation, the People’s Committee of Binh Thuan Province instructed relevant units to continue coordinating with the Northern border provinces to grasp and promptly update information for enterprises for them to make effective production plans; promote activities to connect supply and demand and agricultural product consumption between Binh Thuan Province and other provinces and cities, focusing on domestic retail systems and supermarket chains.

The provincial People’s Committee also requested to promote dragon fruit production under the VietGAP, GlobalGAP, and organic standards, at the same time, instructing farmers and enterprises, especially enterprises that purchase, pack, and transport dragon fruits, to fully comply with Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

Lack of budget housing challenges Hanoi property market

The average prices of new apartments for sale in Hanoi in 2022 are from VND30 million (US$1,311) per square meter onwards, which target customers of middle- and high-income groups.

A lack of low-cost housing projects continues to be a major issue of the Hanoi property market in 2022, as most of those which will be completed in 2022 or open for sale are mostly of mid and high-end segments.

Data from the real estate website batdongsan.com.vn suggested the average prices of new apartments for sale in 2022 are from VND30 million (US$1,311) per square meter onwards, which target customers of middle to high-income groups

These include the Park Home project (Cau Giay District) from VND38-42 million per square meter; The Nine (Cau Giay) with those priced at VND42-50 million; Trinity Tower (Thanh Xuan District) VND38.5 million; Mipec Rubik 360 (Cau Giay) VND48-53 million.

After a difficult period of struggling with the Covid-19 impacts, Hanoi’s real estate market has seen positive signs over the recovery and growth prospects.

However, future sources of supplies would mostly be concentrated in suburban districts, including Hoai Duc, Dong Anh, Thanh Tri, Gia Lam, or Dan Phuong.

Finance ministry to cut half of environmental protection tax on petrol products

Under the move, the retail price of fuels would see a reduction of VND2,200 per liter (including the value-added tax) and VND1,100 for diesel.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced its intention to cut the environmental protection tax on petrol by half, or VND2,000 per liter, and VND1,000 on diesel.

The move, scheduled to take place in early April until late 2022, is part of a draft Government resolution on adjusting environmental protection tax for petrol and diesel products under the instruction of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Under the move, the final retail price of fuels would see a reduction of VND2,200 per liter (including the value-added tax) and VND1,100 for diesel.

Such a reduction would be twice the cut previously proposed by the MoF and result in a decline of VND29 trillion (US$1.27 billion) in state budget revenue.

Viet Nam sustains recovery of economic activities

Available data suggests continued recovery of domestic economic activities with industrial production growing by 8.5 percent and retail sales by 3.1 percent compared to the same period last year despite the effects of the recent surge in COVID-19 infections on labor supply, production and consumption.

The above figures were referred in the World Bank (WB)’s Viet Nam Macro Monitoring for March 2022 which was released on March 11.

Compared to a year ago, foreign direct investment (FDI) commitment slowed while FDI disbursement increased for the third month in a row, highlighted the WB.

The report shows that, despite rising energy prices, consumer price index (CPI) inflation remained subdued thanks to relatively stable food prices.

Credit demand remained strong after the Lunar New Year, keeping overnight interbank interest rate at 2.56 percent at the end of February, compared to less than one percent at the end of 2021.

Japanese customers prefer Viet Namese coffee

Viet Nam shipped about 101,000 tons of coffee to Japan in 2021, becoming the second largest coffee exporter to the Land of the Rising Sun and gained popularity among customers, according to the Viet Nam Office in Japan.

In the first two months of 2022, Viet Nam shipped 130,000 tons of coffee abroad, worth US$ 304 million, down 20.4 percent in quantity and 18 percent in value in comparison with last December, up 5.7 percent in quantity and 40.1 percent in value against last year.

In Japan, the coffee culture from Europe has positively influenced the consumption of hot drinks in Japan, resulting in increasing demand for coffee among young people.

The coffee culture has not only encouraged young people in Japan to consume instant coffee at specialty cafes and branded coffee shops, but also encourages them to make their own instant coffee at home, increasing the demand for instant coffees.

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

WB: Vietnam’s economy continues to show resilience

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