VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MARCH 9

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Vietnam offers 0% tariff for 300,000 tons of Cambodian rice

Vietnam’s railway freight transport to Europe affected by Russia – Ukraine conflict hinh anh 1

Vietnam will offer a tax rate of 0% on 300,000 tons of rice imported from Cambodia this year.

According to Circular No. 6 on the imports of rice and dry tobacco from Cambodia issued recently by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to enjoy the special preferential import tariff of 0%, rice imported from Cambodia must have the certificate of origin Form S issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce or agencies authorized by the Cambodian Government.

Besides, they must be transported to Vietnam through 24 selected border gates such as Le Thanh-Ou Ya Dav, Bu Prang-Dak Dam, Loc Thinh-Tonle Cham, Moc Bai-Bavet and Xa Mat-Trepeang Plong.

The circular will take effect from April 15 to December 31, 2022.

The Vietnamese Government earlier issued Decree No. 83 on the special preferential import tariff for Cambodian goods to implement the Agreement on Promoting Bilateral Trade between Vietnam and Cambodia in the 2021-2022 period.

Data of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia showed that in 2021, Cambodia exported some 1.7-1.8 million tons of rice to Vietnam, soaring over 60% year-on-year.

Vietnam Airlines resumes seven domestic routes to serve summer season

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has reopened seven domestic routes as it strives to meet domestic travel demand ahead of the peak summer season.

The move will see six local routes connect Phu Quoc with Da Nang, Vinh, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Da Lat, and Thanh Hoa, along with the Da Nang – Vinh air route.

The Da Nang – Phu Quoc route resumed operation from March 2, while the air service linking Phu Quoc to Vinh, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Da Lat, and Thanh Hoa will reopen from March 27 with a frequency capacity of four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

It is anticipated that Vietnam Airlines will increase the frequency to seven flights per week on these routes from June 1.

Furthermore, the Da Nang – Vinh route will resume from June 1 with a frequency of three flights per week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Vinh Long to have five industrial zones by 2025

South Vinh Long province has announced plans to develop five industrial zones in 2021-25 with a total area of 1,700 ha.

They are Tan An Thanh in Binh Tan district (500ha), Dinh Khao in Long Ho district (400ha), Trung Thanh Tay in Vung Liem district (30ha), Mỹ Hoa in Binh Minh town (300ha), and Phuoc An in Mang Thit district (200ha).

They will mainly house farm produce, aquatic produce and food processing, renewable energy, and footwear projects, but also those in supporting industries such as producers of automobile parts.

This conforms with the province’s investment attraction orientation of improving capacity in industrial production.

Hospitality, serviced apartment markets set to pick up

The resumption of international flights and the borders reopening in March will not only benefit Vietnam’s hospitality sector but also drive demand for serviced apartments, according to Savills Vietnam.

Domestic travel boomed in early 2022, thanks to Lunar New Year travel.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, there were more than 6.1 million domestic tourists during the nine-day festival, generating revenue of 25 trillion VND. These numbers represent a genuine demand and an optimistic outlook for the revival of domestic tourism.

As part of Vietnam’s plan to reopen to international guests, the authorities have announced that international flights will resume from March 15, 2022. This reopening will not only benefit the country’s tourism and hospitality segment but is forecast to benefit serviced apartments too.

Foreign experts are the predominant occupiers of serviced apartments in Hanoi.

Japanese and Korean expatriates are the main tenants in Grade A serviced apartments, accounting for 84 percent in the second half of 2021.

Hotel occupancy also improved in the last quarter of 2021, along with the average room rate, which reached VND1.8 million, increasing 12 percent compared to the last quarter of 2020.

Between 2022 and 2023, supply is also expected to increase with the entry of 2,900 rooms, demonstrating the rekindling of investor confidence in the hospitality sector, according to Savills Vietnam.

Vietnamese firm joins investment promotion forum in Germany

An investment promotion forum to introduce potential and chances of Vietnam’s economic fields was held in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8, seeing the participation of nearly 300 delegates.

It was part of activities in Germany to promote investment in Vietnam, which is underway until March 14.

Dang Chung Thuy from the Embassy of Vietnam said Germany is the largest trade partner of Vietnam in the European Union (EU) and Vietnam is the leading partner of Germany in Southeast Asia.

Numerous corporations in Vietnam have taken the initiative in boosting cooperation and meeting stringent requirements of the German and EU markets, including FLC Group.

He expressed his hope that the forum will open up chances for businesses of the countries to join hands, especially in fields that Vietnam holds huge potential in such as aviation, tourism, golf and resort real estate.

Vietnam’s railway freight transport to Europe affected by Russia – Ukraine conflict

International railway freight transport between Vietnam and Europe along the route through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany and Western European countries is likely to be affected if railways from Poland to Belarus stop operation, according to an official from the Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR).

According to the VNR, the director general of the International Union of Railways (UIC) has sent letters to its members to inform that UIC had suspended the membership of Russia and Belarus. This means that the Russian and Belarusian railways cannot participate in the union’s activities or benefit from its services.

Vietnam initially planned to organise a train to transport containers from the central city of Da Nang to Europe in early March but the plan has been shelved due to the conflict.

Currently, railway freight transport between Vietnam and China still remains normal, with high volume of container transport from China to Vietnam.

Statistics of the VNR show nearly 1.16 million tonnes of goods were transported abroad by trains in 2021, surging 34 percent compared to the same period last year.

Of note, the Dong Dang railway station of the northern border province of Lang Son witnessed increases of 82 percent in the volume of goods in the fourth quarter of last year.

Vietnamese products expected to penetrate deeply into Japan’s retail system

Vietnamese enterprises are showcasing their products at “Foodex Japan 2022,” the 47th edition of a leading food and beverage exhibition in Japan that opened on March 8.

Apart from Vietnam, this year’s exhibition, first held in 1976, brings together businesses from tens of other countries and territories worldwide.

Saitou Yaso, a Japanese food importer, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that it is great to bring Vietnamese fruits to Japan, saying the two countries should step up the exchange of agricultural products.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam said although many firms are unable to participate in the exhibition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still diverse Vietnamese products on display, expressing his belief that the products will satisfy local tastes.

Ta Duc Minh, Trade Consular at the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan, said all of the Vietnamese farm produce and food exhibited have met Japan’s food hygiene and safety regulations and been exported to the country via the official channel.

Foodex Japan 2022 is scheduled to last until March 11.

Room remains for Vietnam to boost agricultural produce export to France

France is a promising market for Vietnam’s agricultural products and foodstuffs, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in France.

Statistics showed that each year, France’s imported agricultural and food products account for 20 percent of the country’s domestic consumption. Import value has doubled over the past 20 years, from 28 billion EUR (30.5 billion USD) in 2000 to 56 billion EUR in 2019.

Of more than 9,200 agricultural products imported to the country, there are 900 items with a trade deficit of more than 50 million EUR.

The Trade Office blamed it on the fact that the cultivation is continously decreasing. An increase in market demand for fruit juices and foreign fruits such as avocado, mango and dragon fruit is also a reason.

Despite being the leading European country in terms of organic farming, France’s production can meet 67 percent of domestic demand.

France is the largest rice importer, accounting for 35 percent of the European Union with an annual demand of about 600,000 tonnes. However, the amount of Vietnamese rice entering the French market only takes up about 2.1 percent of its market share.

Vietnam remains attractive destination for US investors

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung on March 8 had a working session with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and representatives from 50 US firms operating in Vietnam.

The minister appreciated the council’s efforts in connecting businesses and investors of Vietnam and the US, as well as its policy proposals and recommendations to improve the business environment in Vietnam.

He also highly valued the operations of member enterprises of the USABC in Vietnam over the past years.

Regional Managing Director of the USABC Michael Michalak, who used to serve as a US Ambassador to Vietnam, affirmed that Vietnam will remain an attractive destination for US investors in the time ahead.

He said US firms appreciated the Vietnamese government’s efforts in reforming administrative procedures and improving the investment environment, and committed to expanding their operations in the country.

The ministry will work to promote potential areas to serve the country’s economic recovery and growth like digital transformation, green growth, innovation, low-carbon energy, support industry and quality agriculture, he added.

China allows resumption of fresh chili import from Vietnam

The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) has allowed the import of Vietnamese fresh chilies again after a long negotiation process, according to the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

So far, five Vietnamese exporters have received permits to export the product to China under strict requirements, especially those in plant quarantine, said the department.

It said that all shipments must be quarantined by relevant Vietnamese units with clear notes of relevant technical parameters in the phytosanitary certificate.

In the time to come, in order for the Chinese side to accept more packaging facilities of Vietnam, the department will coordinate with localities to guide them on how to meet requirements of the Chinese side. It will make recommendations on a list of more exporters to the GACC for approval.

Earlier in 2020, China requested Vietnam to temporarily suspend the exports due to the presence of harmful fruit fries on the product.

Vietnam, UK partner to effectively utilise UKVFTA

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will co-ordinate with the British Embassy in Vietnam to co-host the seminar “One-year journey of the UKVFTA: Remarkable achievements and the vision ahead” on March 15.

The event is set to be held in both Hanoi and London with the aim of reviewing the achievements recorded one year on from the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) taking effect. In addition, it will simultaneously evaluate the role of the trade pact in creating growth momentum for the country’s export sectors and local businesses during the post-COVID-19 recovery period.

The seminar is expected to provide an ideal opportunity for both nations’ business communities to determine the future orientations and share their experience in taking full advantage of the agreement.

Furthermore, it will serve as a forum for the business community to resolve problems for import-export firms in the process of implement the UKVFTA.

MICE groups to receive free tickets to tourist attractions

Major groups of up to 500 MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) visitors or more are set to enjoy free tickets or discounted fares when visiting tourist attractions in HCM City.

The move comes following the centre applying incentives to large international groups of tourists who choose to visit the southern city this year.

Accordingly, visitors are anticipated to receive gifts in the forms of souvenirs, sightseeing tickets, and means of transportation.

With regard to groups of between 300 and 1,000 visitors, the southern city’s tourism sector will offer discounts on lodging facilities, as well as equipment at conference rooms at four and five-star hotels, exhibition centres or MICE venues located in the city.

Furthermore, they are also expected to receive free ticket at tourist attractions and enjoy flexible policies of ticket refund and cancellation in line with the airlines’ regulations.

The local tourism industry will also provide advice and facilitate the procedures for outdoor activities and art performances at both international conferences and seminars.

FIFA hails Bich Thuy’s historic goal for women’s national team

FIFA has hailed Vietnamese female footballer Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy after she scored a goal that saw Vietnam qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup which will take place in Australia and New Zealand in the future.

In a recent interview with Bich Thuy, FIFA said that when she scored the most important goal in the history of Vietnamese women’s football in January she knew she’d finally fulfilled the dream of an entire nation, including that of her late father.

According to the website, this took place during a showdown for a place at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Chinese Taipei needed just a draw to progress whilst Vietnam required a win to reach the finals for the first time after six attempts. With the game poised at 1-1, substitute Bich Thuy snatched a victory for The Golden Girls.

In the preliminary qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, the Vietnamese female player starred as a super sub, coming off the bench to bag a brace in a 7-0 rout of Tajikistan before her heroics against Chinese Taipei.

According to FIFA, the Vietnamese women’s football has developed a lot in recent years, with qualification for the global tournament in Australia and New Zealand resulting in facilities being upgraded and youth development plans improved throughout the country.

Hundreds of businesses to attend Vietnam Expo 2022

Around 350 businesses are expected to join the 31st Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo) scheduled to be held in Hanoi in April.

The event will take place at the Hanoi International Exhibition Centre between April 13-16, covering a site of 3,200 square metres with areas for national brands and export products; equipment and support industries; digital technology, e-commerce; and food and beverages.

Many firms from South Korea, Belarus, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Cambodia and Cuba, have registered to participate at the event.

South Korea will be the exhibition’s honorary guest, while Belarus will be the special guest.

This year will be the 23rd consecutive year that Korea Trade Promotion Corporation will take part in the Vietnam Expo.

App-based taxi service prices sharply increase

The prices of app-based taxi services in Vietnam have increased amid the rocketing price of petroleum.

Grab Vietnam has announced that all of its services will experience price rises from March 10. GrabBike services in Hanoi will be increased to VND13,500 for the two first kilometres and VND4,300 for each following kilometre. Meanwhile, the fees for the service in HCM City will be VND12,500 and VND4,300 respectively.

Four-seat GrabCar services in Hanoi and HCM City will have minimum fees of VND29,000 for the first two kilometres and VND10,000 for each following kilometre.

The highest rise will be applied for the seven-seat GrabCar Protect service with VND38,600 for the two first kilometres.

GrabBike service fees in 30 other cities and provinces have followed suit with a rise of VND2,000-3,000 against the current levels.

Ride-hailing company Be Group has increased its services in Hanoi from February 10. The two first kilometre fees for the beBike and the four-seat beCar services will be VND14,000 and VND29,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Gojek said that it has not yet raised its service, saying that it had included possible price hike impacts in the short term when drafting its initial service price frame.

Global oil prices have continued sharply rising amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao announces next smart logistics park

Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has announced the development of the Cainiao Dong Nai Smart Logistics Park, its latest project located near Ho Chi Minh City.

On an area of approximately 168,000sq.m, the Cainiao Dong Nai Smart Logistics Park will provide around 90,000sq.m of premium warehouse leasing space to support businesses’ warehousing needs.

Strategically located in one of the largest and well-established industrial parks in Dong Nai, the Cainiao Dong Nai Smart Logistics Park boasts direct connectivity to Ho Chi Minh City, as well as immediate proximity to vital transportation facilities such as the upcoming Long Thanh International Airport – which is forecasted to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargos per annum by 2025 – and the two major seaports Cat Lai and Cai Mep-Thi Vai.

Vietnam and ASEAN seek closer cooperation in maritime transport

Representatives from the 10 ASEAN member countries are gathering at the 42nd meeting of the bloc’s Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG) hosted by Vietnam to discuss new innitiatives for closer cooperation.

The event taking place virtually on March 9-10 attracts the ASEAN Secretariat, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and regional partners and associations.

Key discussions include the implementation of the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025 and the 2022-2023 action plan, new initiatives in the maritime transport sector, and related cooperation with the IMO and dialogue partners.

To facilitate maritime activities between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, Vietnam has so far signed bilateral transport agreements with seven countries in the region – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Competition heats up for southern industrial zones

According to the ‘Competition in industrial real estate in Vietnam’ report released at the end of February by the Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the southern region has more than 400 industrial zones (IZs) with a total area of up to 109,000 hectares.

Binh Duong is the southern province with the most significant industrial real estate space with a market share of up to 13 per cent, equivalent to more than 14,500ha. It is the third-largest province in Vietnam in terms of attracting foreign investment and has the highest occupancy rate in the entire country at 99 per cent.

The five provinces of Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ca Mau, Dong Nai, and Long An account for more than 50 per cent of the total market share. Except for Ca Mau, these locations are suitable for manufacturers because they will reduce transportation costs for freight transportation from and to Ho Chi Minh City.

The southern market has warmed up since last year, with IZs returning to production and many large foreign-led projects continuing to land in the south. As a result, land prices have regained their momentum, reaching $117 per square metre, with a 7.3 per cent increase on-year. Rent for warehouses reached $4.70 per sq.m, up 4.9 per cent on-year, with solid speed recorded in Long An in particular.

SHB to increase its FOL to 30 per cent

Vietnam Securities Depository modified the foreign ownership limit (FOL) ratio of privately-held lender SHB from 10 per cent to a maximum of 30 per cent, effective from March 4.

In August, SHB temporarily locked its FOL at 10 per cent to execute the plan of selling and issuing securities authorised by the annual general meeting of shareholders.

In the current sale, the bank has successfully offered more than 539 million shares to existing shareholders, thus boosting its charter capital to more than $1.16 billion.

Last year, SHB entered a strategic agreement to sell its consumer finance arm, SHB Finance, to Ayudhya Bank (Krungsri) of Thailand – a member of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group from Japan.

SHB had transferred 50 per cent of SHB Finance’s charter capital to Krungsri. The remaining 50 per cent ownership would be transferred to the Thai bank after three years. The size of the deal is around $156 million.

Hanoi in need of 100,000 workers in first quarter 2022

Hanoi is forecasted to need an additional 80,000 to 100,000 workers in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Hanoi Centre for Employment Services (SCES), under the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The fields with the highest demand growth rate for recruitment in the capital city, include trade, business, information technology, mechanics, finance and banking.

In February this year, Hanoi generated jobs for more than 10,500 labourers.

Last month, the SCES successfully organised 20 mobile job transaction sessions, attracting the participation of more than 440 units and businesses, and around 2,200 labourers. Through such sessions, the centre helped 789 people to get jobs.

Binh Duong to break ground on two major industrial parks

The southern province of Binh Duong will begin work on two large-scale industrial parks this year, said provincial chairman Vo Van Minh.

These include the Vietnam-Singapore 3 Industrial Park (VSIP3) and the Cay Truong Industrial Park, with each covering an area of 1,000 hectares. The VSIP3 project is scheduled to get off the ground in late March, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

With the development of these two facilities, Binh Duong will have 30 industrial parks with a total area of 14,000 hectares. Among them, 28 parks have been put into operation, attracting 4,000 firms at home and abroad to set up their businesses at the parks and offering jobs to over one million laborers.

According to the Binh Duong Industrial Zones Authority, the inflow of foreign investment into industrial parks in the province is forecast to remain strong. In the first two months of the year, investors from 13 countries and regions had injected capital into projects in the province.

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

Two-month public capital disbursement faster than last year’s same period

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