VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 30

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Gov’t approves extension on bad debt settlement scheme

The Government has agreed to a proposal by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to extend the pilot bad debt settlement of credit institutions based on Resolution 42/2017/QH14.

Under a decision issued late last week, the Government has assigned the SBV to coordinate with relevant agencies in urgently mapping out the draft resolution on extending the application of Resolution 42 to submit to the National Assembly (NA).

The NA approved Resolution 42/2017/QH14 on piloting the bad debt settlement of credit institutions in 2017, however, the policy will expire on August 15 this year.

The SBV has so far also completed the draft resolution and made it public for comments. Under the draft, the SBV has proposed extending the application of Resolution 42 until August 15, 2025. During the extension, the Government will be responsible for studying and proposing to develop a new law on bad debt settlement of credit institutions.

To meet the current legal regulations related to procedures and deadlines, the Government will propose the NA allow the application of the shortened procedures to pass the extended resolution at the NA’s meeting in May 2022, according to the draft.

Hanoi’s CPI expands 2.66 percent in Q1

Hanoi's CPI expands 2.66 percent in Q1 hinh anh 1

The consumer price index (CPI) of Hanoi in the first quarter of 2022 rose by 2.66 percent against the same period last year, the municipal Statistics Office reported on March 29.

In March, the city’s CPI increased 0.91 percent from the previous month, and 3.21 percent year-on-year.

Ten out of eleven commodity groups posted increasing prices in the month.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the nation’s CPI recorded a year-on-year rise of 1.92 percent in the first three months of 2022.

CPI in March rose by 0.7 percent month-on-month, the highest monthly increase since 2012.

Hikes of petrol and gas prices in tandem with global fuel prices, and prices of essential goods and services, contributed to the increase in the overall CPI in the last quarter.

Core inflation in the quarter was up 0.81 percent compared to a year ago, the GSO said.

Construction of Long Thanh int’l airport accelerated

Construction work at the Long Thanh International Airport project in the southern province of Dong Nai is accelerated to ensure the project’s scheduled pace.

The ground leveling and water drainage bidding package of the project is ahead of schedule, according to Nguyen Khac Phong, vice director of the project management board under the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the investor of phase one of the airport project.

The ACV said it has completed bomb and mine clearance on more than 1,500 ha out of the total area of phase one of 1,800ha, and built boundary walls in cleared areas. Meanwhile, the contractor for the foundation work expects to finish the work in October.

The ACV is urgently preparing necessary conditions to complete the appraisal and selection of contractors for the building of the passenger terminal in June, while construction of two routes connecting the airport is scheduled to commence in December this year.

Work on the airfield infrastructure such as take-off and landing runways, taxiways, and aprons will start simultaneously at the end of this year and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, work on auxiliary facilities is expected to begin in March 2023 and completed in January 2025.

Taiwanese textile firm wants help to start expansion project in Binh Duong

Authorities of the southern province of Binh Duong on March 29 met with Yeh Ming Yuh, Director-General of Polytex Far Eastern Vietnam, to discuss how to help the textile firm to resolve issues facing its expansion project at Bau Bang Industrial Park.

Yeh proposed the authorities of Binh Duong to help his company remedy difficulties in completing legal steps to lease land for the building of a workers’ dormitory. He also asked for assistance in fulfilling paperwork for the investment of a 10MW solar power plant as the company wants to secure sufficient supply of electricity for the expansion project.

Binh Duong is committed to always being investors’ companion, he said, adding that he expects the textile firm will continue strictly observing Vietnam’s current rules in production, environment protection and protection of workers’ rights, and taking part in social responsibility activities in the province.

In 2015, Far Eastern Group, a multi-industry corporation from Taiwan, invested 274 million USD to develop a fiber manufacturing and spinning facility at Bau Bang Industrial Park, which was put into operation at the end of 2016. The company has been busy preparing for the start of the third phase of the facility’s expansion.

Vietnamese furniture firms strive to further join global supply chain

The Vietnam Furniture Matching Week 2022, a major event of the domestic wood and furniture sector this year, will take place from April 13-20 in Ho Chi Minh City, heard a press conference on March 29.

With diverse activities, to be held in both online and offline forms, the event is intended to seek solutions to help local firms expand their business network and further integrate into the global supply chain.

Within the framework of the programme, there will be Furniture Sourcing Day on April 13-14, which will enable businesses to approach international buyers and suppliers of support services, along with exchanges and workshops, according to organisers.

The programme will bring together some 500 businesses, more than 100 representative offices and international buyers.

Online activities will take place on HOPE (hopefairs.com) platform, which has been upgraded to make it easier for participating businesses and international buyers to hold meetings anytime and anywhere.

HCM City’s CPI up 1.51 percent in Q1

Ho Chi Minh City’s consumer price index (CPI) in March increased 0.6 percent month-on-month and 2.03 percent year-on-year, pushing up the index in the first quarter of this year by 1.51 percent.

According to the municipal Statistics Office, last month, five out of 11 groups of commodities and services saw price decreases, namely restaurant and catering services; garment-textile, headwear and footwear; household utensils, medicine and health services; and telecommunications.

Meanwhile, prices of the remaining six groups rose from the previous month, with the highest jump recorded in transport services, at 4.94 percent.

The office explained that the price hike in restaurant and catering services was due to price adjustments by suppliers because of surging oil and gas prices.

It also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the export of agricultural products to China, leading to the abundant supply at home and the price drop of vegetables and fruits.

The prices of gas and other fuels jumped 10.01 percent, and kerosene, up 18.31 percent in the month.

Local gold prices also soared 8.48 percent in March and 13.64 percent in the first quarter. The rate of US dollar increased 0.25 percent this month, but dropped 0.11 percent in the three-month period.

Bac Giang province moves to boost lychee export to US

The People’s Committee of northern Bac Giang province and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a teleconference on March 29 to promote the export of lychee, a local specialty, to the US.

Vice Ambassador of Vietnam to the US and Minister Counsellor Hoang Thi Thanh Nga affirmed that the embassy will provide maximum support to introduce the province’s potential and advantages to US partners.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in the US said joint efforts among the administration, businesses, and transport firms, including airlines, are necessary for lychee export to the US.

In the time ahead, the province will continue to develop high-quality and organic agriculture so as to foster export, he went on, pointing out that 40 – 50 percent of the local lychee output has been shipped abroad, but the majority is fresh fruit while processed products remain modest.

Given this, it will attract investment to lychee processing and upgrade production technology in order to step up the overseas shipment of processed products, Duong noted.

On this occasion, lychee trading businesses and relevant agencies signed memoranda on cooperation in lychee export to the US.

Over 800 million USD of trade surplus recorded in Q1

Vietnam enjoyed trade surplus of 809 million USD in the first quarter of 2021, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

In the first quarter of this year, total trade value reached 176.35 billion USD, up 14.4 percent year on year, including exports of 88.58 billion USD. In the period, the domestic economic sector earned 23.27 billion USD, a rise of 22 percent year on year, while the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) enjoyed 65.31 billion USD, up 10 percent.

Export revenue of over 1 billion USD was seen in 15 export commodities, accounting for 80 percent of the country’s total. Processing-manufacturing products contributed 89 percent to the total exports, while contributions by agro-forestry products, fisheries, fuel and mining products were 6.9 percent, 2.7 percent, and 1.4 percent, respectively.

In the January-March period, the country imported 87.77 billion USD, a rise of 15.9 percent over the same period last year, with 29.43 billion USD by the domestic sector and 58.34 billion USD by foreign-invested sector. As many as 93.8 percent of the imported goods were materials serving production.

In the first three months of this year, the US was the largest export market of Vietnam, consuming 25.2 billion USD worth of goods. It was followed by China with 27.6 billion USD.

Vietnam Airlines Group to offer some 750,000 seats for upcoming holidays

Member carriers of the Vietnam Airlines Group, comprising Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO, will supply the market with nearly 750,000 seats on close to 4,000 flights serving travel demand on upcoming national holidays.

On the holiday in commemoration of the Hung Kings, the legendary founder of Vietnam, which lasts from April 9 through 11, Vietnam Airlines and VASCO will operate close to 1,400 flights accommodating 266,000 seats between April 8 and 12. The number of seats is 10 percent higher than that of the same holiday in 2019 – the year before COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pacific Airlines will offer nearly 200 flights with some 37,000 seats.

During the occasion of National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1), the Vietnam Airlines Group will run about 450,000 seats within seven days from April 28 to May 4. Of the sum, more than 395,000 seats, up 10 percent from 2019, on 2,000 flights will be offered by Vietnam Airlines and VASCO.

Work starts on bridge project in Mekong Delta

Construction on Rach Mieu 2 bridge in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre began on March 29, in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai.

Rach Mieu 2 bridge crosses the Tien River, connecting Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces.

Invested by the Ministry of Transport, the bridge measures 17.6 km in length with six lanes and a designed speed of 80km/h.

The project has a total investment of over 5.17 trillion VND (over 226 million USD) sourced from the central budget. It is expected to be completed and put into operation in 2025.

According to Chairman of the Ben Tre provincial People’s Committee Tran Ngoc Tam, the project is one of the 11 key infrastructure ones in the locality.

Report on Business Law Flow 2021 released

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on March 29 publicised its Report on Business Law Flow in 2021, the fourth edition since 2018, which reviews laws related to business in the year and reflects the view of enterprises to drafted or issued policies.

The report analyses various important legal issues affecting the business environment. This edition focuses on the quality of circulars, dispartches and the Sandbox legal space.

The report pointed out a number of problems in circulars and official dispatches which are closely related to businesses’ operations. It also clarified that amid the Government’s efforts to promote administrative reform activities and cut down compliance costs, a number of proposed policies in 2021 tended to increase business conditions.

Consumer goods and services survey to start

The Vietnam Consumer Protection Association (VCPA) will start a survey programme for consumer-trusted goods and services in 2022.

To effectively implement the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on strengthening the campaign “Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods,” goods and services will be surveyed according to quality, information, consumer choice, models and reasonable and competitive prices.

The survey will be posted on the VCPA’s website.

From April 1 to November 20, customers will take the survey through a questionnaire, which will then be appraised through the council. After the survey, the top 100 goods and services will be chosen.

The ceremony to announce survey results and award Certificates to 100 trusted consumer goods and services in 2022 will be held on November 26 in Hanoi.

President Biden welcomes VinFast facility project in North Carolina

US President Joe Biden has welcomed a VinFast invested project to build its first factory in North Carolina as part of the Vietnamese firm’s investment strategy to expand operations in the United States.

“Today, Vinfast announced it will build an electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina – US$4 billion to create more than 7,000 jobs. It’s the latest example of my economic strategy at work,” President tweeted on March 29.

In a statement released by the White House on the same day, Biden said since taking office, he has promoted an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing and create jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and supercharge the industries of the future like electric vehicles (EV).

“We see that strategy paying off day after day,” noted Biden. “Last year, I signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out EV charging infrastructure and brought together the United Autoworkers and automakers at the White House to sign an executive order to get 50% electric vehicle sales share in 2030.”

VinFast, the carmaker under Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate VinGroup, announced its facility project in North Carolina, the first of its kind in the US.

It plans to pour US$2 billion in the first phase and will continue to pump more capital in future phases. The factory that will sit on 1,976 acres has been designed to produce 150,000 vehicles annually in the first phase.

Socio-economic performance brisk in Q1 with COVID-19 under control

Thanks to the safe, flexible adaptation, and effective control of COVID-19, the labour market in the first quarter of the year has shown signs of improvement, with the number of employed people and their average monthly income seeing an increase compared to the same period from last year.

This information was provided by the General Statistics Office (GSO) during a press briefing to discuss socio-economic performance in the first quarter of the year held on March 29 in Hanoi.

During the press conference, Nguyen Thi Huong, general director of the GSO, said that both the unemployment and underemployment rates in the working age declined compared to the previous quarter despite still being higher than the same period last year, showing a gradual fall.

Specifically, the country’s labour force aged 15 and over the first quarter of the year stood at an estimated 51.2 million people, an increase of more than 441,000 people compared to the previous quarter and a rise of roughly 159,000 compared to the same period from last year.

The labour force participation rate was at 68.1%, up 0.4 percentage points from the previous quarter and a drop of 0.6 percentage points from last year’s corresponding period.

Employed labourers aged 15 were estimated to be at 50 million people, an increase of 132.2 thousand people over the same period last year.

17,100 businesses withdraw from market each month of Q1

The first quarter of the year saw 35,700 enterprises forced to temporarily suspend operations, a rise of 49.7% on-year, with 17,100 businesses withdrawing from the market every month on average, according to the National Business Registration Information System.

During the three-month period, there were approximately 34,600 newly-registered enterprises with a total registered capital of VND471.2 trillion, while the number of registered employees reached roughly 243,500, an increase of 18.1% in the number of firms. This represents an increase of 5.2% in terms of registered capital and a fall of 0.9% in relation to the number of employees over the same period last year.

The average registered capital of a newly-established enterprise in the first three months of the year stood at VND13.6 billion, a year-on-year fall of 10.9%.

Furthermore, a total of 25,600 enterprises resumed operations, up 73.6% on-year. This therefore brought the total number of newly-established enterprises and enterprises returning to operation throughout the reviewed period up to 60,200, an increase of 36.7% on year.

On average, 20,000 new businesses are established and resume operations each month, while an average of 17,100 businesses withdraw from the market every month.

Local furniture firms seek ways to engage in global supply chain

Vietnam Furniture Matching Week 2022 will take place from April 13 to April 20 in Ho Chi Minh City as a means of helping businesses seek solutions to deeply become involved in the global supply chain.

The purpose of the function is to help Vietnamese furniture and handicraft manufacturers to expand both their domestic and export markets, connect with international buyers while simultaneously strengthening trade exchange through business-to-business (B2B) platforms.

Moreover, the event is expected to update businesses on the latest information relating to materials, logistics, and digital transformation through a series of seminars that will attract the participation of a total of 500 enterprises.

The occasion will also see a series of online activities held on the 360-degree virtual exhibition technology platform named HOPE (hopefairs.com), which will serve as a modern trade channel for Vietnamese manufacturers to gain greater access to international buyers based worldwide.

HCM City all set to collect port infrastructure fees

HCM City is set to launch an automatic fee collecting system for the use of infrastructure and public services at ports on April 1 to raise funds to develop roads around ports.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, director of the HCM City Inland Waterway Port Authority, said a trial run of the fee collection system had been made since February 16, and it had worked smoothly.

The online system would not interfere with custom clearance, he assured.

For goods imported for re-export or deposited in bonded warehouses and for transit and transhipment goods the fee is VND50,000 (US$2.19) per tonne for liquid and bulk cargo, VND2.2 million ($96.5) for a 20-foot container and VND4.4 million ($193) for a 40ft container.

For goods declared outside the city, the rates are VND30,000, VND500,000 and VND1 million.

For imports and exports declared in the city, the rates are VND15,000, around VND250,000 and VND500,000.

Goods meant for national defence, disaster relief and some others are exempt from the fees.

The city expects to collect over VND3 trillion a year.

Vietnam’s garment industry goes green

Greening the garment industry is essential for the sector to fully exploit opportunities arising from free trade agreements and participate deeply in the global value chain, according to Viet Nam Garment and Apparel Association (VITAS).

The association’s president Vu Duc Giang said that most fashion brands in the US, Japan and the European Union (EU) were now more demanding on the quality of products, adding that many importers required the production to be friendly to the environment, such as through water-saving and not using coal.

Giang said that the requirement to green the garment industry’s production chain was not new but became a pressing issue since the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially the Vietnamese Government’s commitment at the COP26 to achieve net-zero emission by 2050, which would push the garment industry to go green.

Although greening the garment supply chain is a trend, the investment was mostly in upgrading the production to save water or use solar energy, while little attention was paid to developing new environmentally–friendly materials, according to VITAS.

Singapore’s SP Group partners with CJ OliveNetworks Vina set up rooftop solar power

SP Group and CJ OliveNetworks Vina Co. (CJ ONS) on March 28 announced a partnership to boost Vietnam’s clean energy transformation through the development of rooftop solar projects.

Sustainable energy solutions provider SP from Singapore and CJ ONS, a subsidiary of South Korea’s CJ OliveNetworks in Vietnam, signed an MoU to develop up to 50MWp of rooftop solar projects across Vietnam over the next two years.

The partnership includes its first project to operate a 2.5MWp rooftop solar unit at CJ Vina Agri Co., Ltd.’s plant by June. CJ ONS will take on the engineering, procurement, and construction for all joint solar projects with SP.

CJ Vina Agri, which will host the first solar unit under the MoU, specialises in the production of high-quality livestock, poultry, and aquaculture feed. The deployment of the 2.5MWp rooftop solar solution for CJ Vina Agri marks the company’s first large-scale injection of solar power into its energy mix.

Vietnam tries to boost exports to South Korea

Yesterday, the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Trade Office in Korea jointly organized a consultation about export to the Korean market in the Northern Province of Hung Yen.

According to Mr. Pham Khac Tuyen, First Secretary in charge of the Vietnam Trade Office in South Korea, Korea is a very attractive market for Vietnamese businesses. Vietnam has made efforts to export goods such as agricultural and aquatic products, processed food, textiles, footwear, furniture to Korea. Businesses had a chance to learn more from the consultation for promoting exports to this country.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that in 2021, the bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and South Korea reached US$78.1 billion, an increase of 18.33 percent compared to 2020.

Last year, Vietnam’s export turnover to South Korea reached $21 3.9 billion, up 14.9 percent and import turnover reached $56.2 billion, up 19.7 percent over the same period in 2020.

In the first two months of 2022, bilateral trade turnover continued to grow strongly when the total import-export turnover of Vietnam and South Korea reached US$13.8 billion, up 19.03 percent over the same period in 2021.

S.Korean firm joins hands with Shire Oak International to accelerate renewable energy

HWASEUNG Enterprise, a South Korean footwear, headwear and apparel producer, has signed a series of Solar Rooftop Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Shire Oak International in Vietnam to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate renewable energy in Southeast Asia.

HWASEUNG has partnered with Shire Oak International, a unit of Shire Oak Energy, a UK developer of tidal power and solar power, to install and operate the first four photovoltaic (PV) plants with annual output of 18 GWh.

The four PPAs are just the beginning of an extensive plan to install solar rooftop PV systems across all existing and new facilities operated by HWASEUNG Enterprise worldwide in the near future.

VEC to start non-stop expressway toll collection in Q3

Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) will choose electronic toll collection (ETC) service providers for its expressway projects next quarter, according to the Ministry of Transport.

VEC is managing and operating five expressways, comprising Cau Gie-Ninh Binh, Noi Bai-Lao Cai, Danang-Quang Ngai, Ben Luc-Long Thanh and HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay.

Of them, only the non-stop ETC system on the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Expressway has been put into operation since June 10, 2020. The service has yet to be launched on the rest.

Based on the number of lanes on expressways and the volume of vehicles passing through tollgates, VEC will develop 140 ETC lanes.

As for capital for the ETC systems, the Ministry of Transport has received the prime minister’s approval to use the costs for the current toll management.

VEC affirmed that it had drawn up a plan to hire ETC service providers and completed bidding procedures to choose eligible ones.

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

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