02/12/2023   23:53 (GMT+07:00)
Forum explores cooperation potential between Vietnamese, Canadian firms
Cooperation potential between Vietnamese and Canadian enterprises was discussed at the Vietnam – Markham Business Forum held recently in Ottawa.
The forum, organised by the Vietnam – Canada Friendship Association (VCFA), the Canada – Vietnam Friendship Association (CVFA), the Canada – Vietnam Trade Council, and the Markham Board of Trade, draw the participation of representatives from Markham city, over 20 enterprises in the region, and overseas Vietnamese who sought investment opportunities in the fatherland.
It took place on the occasion of the trip to Canada by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) to attend activities to mark 50th anniversary of the Vietnam – Canada diplomatic relations.
General Secretary of the VCFA Nguyen Nang Khieu said that the relations between Vietnam and Canada are in the best shape, especially after both sides upgraded their ties to a Comprehensive Partnership and engaged in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He affirmed that people-to-people exchanges have contributed to bolstering the trade value between the two sides since 2018.
Last year, two-way trade revenue stood at 7 billion USD, he said, adding the figure reached nearly 4 billion USD in the first seven months of this year, and both sides are striving to trade 10 billion USD worth of goods for the whole 2023.
Registering nearly 4.9 billion USD in 253 projects in Vietnam, Canada ranks 14th among the countries and territories landing investment in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, vice president in charge of Markham city’s culture and economic development affairs Amanda Collucci introduced the city’s economic potential as well as its enterprises’ investment and cooperation activities.
Markham, located in the Greater Toronto Area, is a leading destination for foreign investments in Canada, she said, adding it is also the country’s most diverse city with excellent public services and vibrant economy.
At the event, Chairman of Vinacare Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company Tran Van Truong suggested Canadian firms invest in Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry, elaborating Vietnamese are spending more on health care while the Government has a lot of incentives for the sector.
Enterprises of both sides also discussed legal challenges for bilateral trade and investment activities, as well as Canada’s policies in its economic-trade ties with Vietnam.
The VCFA recommended further cooperation with the CVFA through enhancing people-to-people and business exchanges, focusing on three sectors of agriculture, health care and education.
Initiatives proposed to develop sustainable financial policies
The Vietnam Finance Forum 2023 themed “Financial Policies to Overcome Challenges towards Sustainable Development” was held in Quy Nhon city, the central province of Binh Dinh, on November 30.
The forum, jointly held by the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance (MoF), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the European Union, and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, discussed and proposed initiatives and solutions to implement major orientations on finance and budget in the coming time, following those approved in the Finance Strategy by 2030.
MoF Deputy Minister Cao Anh Tuan said that financial and budget policies and solutions in recent times have contributed to stabilising the macro-economy, controlling inflation, and basically ensuring major balances. The GDP growth reached 5.33% in the third quarter of 2023, and 4.24% in the first nine months of this year. The 10-month average consumer price index increased by 3.2%. Production and business activities have been restored and are increasingly developing.
Budget spending has prioritised green growth, state budget spending for environmental protection become increasingly specific and clear, and public investment for green growth been mainstreamed in investment priorities for industries, sectors, localities and environmental works, said Tuan.
Arne Främk, GIZ representative, Team Leader of the “Strengthening Public Financial Management in Vietnam” project, highly valued the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to carry out green growth solutions and facilitate continuous economic growth while maintaining a healthy balance and managing environmental impacts.
Towards sustainable green growth, she stressed that the energy transition process requires huge financial resources which cannot be met from the Government alone. Therefore, GIZ recommends a fair transition solution. Budget, public debt and tax management could be a foundation for broader reforms, as well as stimulating investment from the private sector.
To help Vietnam grow sustainably, Ngo Thi Kim Thu, representative of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, said that the EU Delegation to Vietnam also has programmes and policies to support Vietnam in energy transition.
Currently, the delegation and other international partners have committed to mobilising more than 15 billion USD to support Vietnam in its just and sustainable energy transition to achieve its net emissions target by 2050.
Pig prices sharply drop
Pig prices in Vietnam have been falling despite the year-end holiday season approaching.
In the northern region, pig prices declined by VND1,000 per kilo to VND49,000 per kilo on November 30.
Pig prices in the central and Central Highlands regions range between VND48,000 and 49,000 per kilo. The highest pig price in the southern region is around VND52,000 per kilo. 
Pig prices in Vietnam have been falling despite the year-end holiday season approaching
According to Nguyen Kim Doan, deputy head of the Dong Nai Provincial Husbandry Association, with the current prices, pig breeders are suffering losses of VND5,000 per kilo.
Doan blamed the price fall on weak demand and abundant supply. This is also in the context of African swine fever spreading in many localities, as more pigs are being sold to avoid being affected by the disease.
Over the recent months, roughly 1,200 pigs have sold at Binh Luc District wholesale market in the northern province of Ha Nam, up 200 against previously.
Normally, pig prices tend to increase towards the end of the year because of higher demand. But this year, it is different as pig prices have decreased.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade will closely cooperate to supervise the supply and demand of pork to ensure market stability.
From now until the Tet Lunar New Year 2024, localities also need to tighten control over pig and poultry transportation in border areas to detect illegal trading.
PVS likely to win auction of Lạc Đà Vàng oil field
With extensive experience in offshore oil and gas projects, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PVS) is well-positioned to excel in bidding for complex offshore wind projects that demand high levels of technical expertise, according to experts. 
Vietcombank Securities Company (VCBS) expected that PVS is likely to secure a contract worth over US$100 million for the construction of the central processing platform and related facilities at the Lạc Đà Vàng oil field.
In early November 2023, the US-based Murphy Oil Corporation made the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Lạc Đà Vàng oil field project in Việt Nam, with a size of $693 million and the goal of achieving first oil from the field in 2026.
Furthermore, the joint venture of PVS has also officially won a contract worth over $1 billion for the Lot B – Ô Môn gas power project. The FID for the entire Lot B – O Mon project is expected to be made in the first half of 2024.
According to VCBS estimates, in the first half of 2024, PVS will undertake construction work for the Lot B project, with a contract value of approximately $100 million. In case the FID for the entire Lot B – Ô Môn project is approved in 2024, the joint venture of PVS will further accelerate construction activities in the latter part of 2024.
The offshore construction sector continues to be a key business area of PVS.
In the first nine months of this year, PVS recorded a revenue of VNĐ12.6 trillion ($519 million) and a net profit of nearly VNĐ606.2 billion, up 13.6 per cent and 33.6  per cent, respectively, year-on-year. 
As a result, the company has achieved 95 per cent of its revenue target and 108 per cent of its profit target for the whole year.
The mechanical and construction services (M&C) segment contributed significantly to the impressive growth. In the first nine months, the segment alone generated a revenue of more than VNĐ7 trillion, 30 per cent over last year, as PVS actively participated in offshore renewable energy projects.
Despite relatively low gross profit margins ranging from 1.6-2 per cent due to rising raw material prices and competitiveness in biddings, the M&C segment is still regarded as a strategic activity by the company.
Particularly, it is focused on offshore construction projects, traditional oil and gas facilities and continues to actively bid for offshore wind projects.
Until now, PVS has secured contracts to participate in offshore wind projects with a total capacity of over 10 GW. In May, for example, PVS signed a contract for the manufacture and construction of 33 wind turbine structural support for an offshore wind project in Taiwan (China) with a total capacity of 920 MW, which was led by Ørsted Taiwan Ltd. 
The contract value for this package is approximately $320 million. 
Additionally, it signed a contract for the construction of two substations valued at over US$100 million for Ørsted Taiwan Ltd.
Currently, PVS continues to participate in the bidding for offshore wind packages in Taiwan, Japan and Europe. The company also directly benefits from Việt Nam’s National Power Development Plan 8, which aims to develop approximately 6 GW of offshore wind power in Việt Nam by 2030. 
To seize opportunities in the wind power sector, the company has recently invested in six new plants with advanced technology for wind turbine foundation construction, surpassing its regional competitors.
In August, PVS was granted a licence to conduct offshore geological surveys in Việt Nam, in preparation for a 2.3 GW offshore wind project aimed at exporting electricity to Singapore.
On the stock market, shares of PVS closed Tuesday at VNĐ37,200 a share, an increase of 0.27 per cent. 
Capital city’s GRDP forecast to expand by 6.11% in 2023
The capital city’s economic growth is expected to reach 6.11 per cent by year-end, a positive performance amid the challenges faced by both global and domestic economies, according to the municipal People’s Committee.
Hà Nội would likely achieve 18 out of the 23 socio-economic targets, with three surpassing expectations, vice chairman of the committee Hà Minh Hải told a recent meeting in the city.
Hải added that in 2023, the city’s other key economic indicators would include a 9 per cent increase in social investment and nearly US$2.9 billion in foreign investment, marking a 62 per cent year-on-year rise.
Total retail sales of goods and consumer services were projected to rise over 10 per cent, and domestic and international tourists were expected to exceed the set targets. Meanwhile, the number of newly-established enterprises was forecast to hit almost 26,500, a yearly increase of 6 per cent.
In addition, the city’s State budget revenue was on track to exceed projections. The expected total revenue was over VNĐ400 trillion ($16.5 billion), 13.5 per cent higher than the estimated amount or a 20 per cent increase compared to 2022.
The city also expected its total expenditure at over VNĐ102 trillion, reaching 97.2 per cent of the original estimate. Export turnover was estimated at $17.3 billion, marking a modest rise of 1 per cent, while import turnover was projected at $44.2 billion, up 8 per cent year-on-year.
Hải said Hà Nội had been accelerating urban planning and management and had approved several significant plans. Noteworthy projects included the draft capital planning and the adjustment to the city’s overall construction planning, which was currently seeking feedback for completion.
It had also been pumping substantial investments in infrastructure construction and urban development, with completed projects such as the extension of Huỳnh Thúc Kháng Street, the second phase of Vĩnh Tuy Bridge, and Chùa Bộc-Phạm Ngọc Thạch intersection flyover and the start of construction of Ring Road No 4.
According to Hải, Hà Nội would continue to develop commercial, social, and resettlement housing and would speed up the implementation of projects for the renovation and reconstruction of old apartment buildings. Regulations about the renovation and reconstruction of apartment buildings were being finalised.
Strong economic rebound in 2024
The city also set key tasks for socio-economic development in 2024 with priorities given to achieving overall growth while keeping inflation under control and ensuring economic stability.
It would also focus on speeding up administrative reforms through digital transformation, enhancing the efficiency of its apparatus, and improving its investment and business environment.
Ensuring comprehensive development in the cultural, educational, and health sectors besides the integration of digital infrastructure and technology to build smart cities would also be included.
Hải said the capital city targeted to increase gross regional domestic product (GRDP) by 6.5-7 per cent, maintain the Consumer Price Index (CPI) below 4 per cent, achieve GRDP per capita of approximately VNĐ160-162 million, and raise disbursed investment capital by 10.5-11.5 per cent.
To this end, the city outlined nine key tasks and solutions for 2024, including ensuring growth goals while managing inflation and economic balances, restructuring industries with a focus on technology integration, and enhancing the efficiency of local government.
Top priority would also be given to perfecting the investment and business environment and facilitating production and business activities.
Positive economic performance in 9 months
Over the past nine months, the city’s GRDP rose 6.08 per cent year-on-year, according to the municipal Department of Statistics.
Of which, the service sector surged 7.2 per cent over the same period last year, contributing 4.73 per cent to the increase in GRDP.
The service sector continued to be a bright spot in nine months, playing an important role in the city’s overall growth. Total retail sales of goods and services saw a positive yearly growth of 10.5 per cent.
During the reviewed period, the industrial and construction sector increased 4.57 per cent over the same period last year, contributing 0.96 per cent to the increase in GRDP. Meanwhile, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector grew 2.5 per cent over the same period, contributing 0.05 per cent to the GRDP rise.
The department noted that foreign investment attraction continued to be a bright spot for Hà Nội during the period. Among 54 cities and provinces, Hà Nội took the lead with nearly $2.53 billion, accounting for nearly 12.5 per cent of the total investment registered in the country and increasing 2.46 times over the same period last year in 2022.
Besides, the number of newly-registered businesses in the city also increased by 2 per cent over the same period; businesses returning to operations decreased by 15 per cent while dissolved enterprises dropped by 1 per cent.
Aquatic exports enjoy positive growth in November
Vietnamese seafood exports in November recorded positive growth in November following contractions in previous months, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
VASEP statistics show seafood businesses earned nearly US$840 million from exports in November, representing a year-on-year rise of 6%.
This is positive growth of Vietnamese seafood exports following contractions in previous months, including 5% in October and 22% in September.   
However, the November growth could not prevent the seafood industry’s cumulative export earnings dropping over the past 11 months. The statistics show Vietnam raked in US$8.27 billion from seafood exports during the 11-month period, representing a fall of 19% year on year.

Notably, pangasius exports brought in roughly US$1.7 billion, a figure 26% lower than the same period last year. The decline was attributed to a falling export price of the product in major markets, especially the United States and China.
By contrast, pangasius exports are showing more promising signs in other markets, such as Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and the UK.
VASEP also reports that Vietnam raked in US$3.15 billion from shrimp exports during the reviewed period, down 22%, with exports to most major markets witnessing a decrease except for those to Hong Kong (China), Switzerland, and Taiwan (China).
In fact, shrimp exports have been impacted by price competition amid an abundant source of global shrimp supply coupled with lower selling prices.
Meanwhile, tuna exports witnessed positive signs, despite experiencing a downturn of 18% to about US$774 million. Specifically, although tuna exports to the US dropped by 35%, other markets such as the EU, Thailand, Israel, Mexico, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Philippines, and Japan tended to increase their imports of Vietnamese tuna.
VASEP experts say seafood exports this year are projected to gross about US$9 billion, representing a fall of 18% compared to 2022.
Vietnamese, Chinese localities discuss facilitation of cross-border tourism
A forum was held in Mong Cai city, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, on December 1 to discuss measures for promoting cross-border tourism through the international border gate pair of Mong Cai (Vietnam) and Dongxing (China).
Ho Quang Huy, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Mong Cai city, said the work is necessary for not only socio-economic development in border areas but also cultural exchanges, cooperation, and friendship between the two countries.
Nguyen Trung Khanh, Director of the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), said that sharing road, air and sea borders, Vietnam and China hold highly favourable conditions for tourism cooperation. Over the recent past, the tourism partnership between Quang Ninh and the neighbouring Chinese province of Guangxi has substantially contributed to the two countries’ tourism ties, helping improve people’s life and consolidate a border of peace and friendship.
Li Jian, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and Mayor of Dongxing city, noted this is the most attractive tourism product of his city. The number of cross-border tourists has surged so far this year with more than 120,000 Vietnamese visitors to Dongxing.
He suggested the two sides increase policy discussion, jointly build model tourist sites, form maritime tours, optimise customs clearance infrastructure and enhance inter-sectoral cooperation at border gates, open high-quality cross-border tours, and establish a “green” lane for self-drive tours.
They should also step up exchanges in terms of culture, sports, education, and health care while continuing to strengthen the friendship between the Chinese and Vietnamese peoples, he added.
For her part, Deputy Director of the Quang Ninh Tourism Department Nguyen Huyen Anh held that the two sides should improve the effectiveness of existing cooperation mechanisms and consider new cooperation models matching each locality and each country’s potential, advantages, conditions, and development priorities to create breakthroughs in tourism cooperation.
They need to bolster coordination in information sharing and market forecasting, especially about the two countries’ legal regulations and the two localities’ policies on tourism. In addition, they should work to ensure sustainable tourist exchanges, a healthy business climate for both sides’ businesses, and a safe and friendly environment and quality services for visitors, she said.
Anh also recommended building a cross-border tourism cooperation programme between border provinces of Vietnam and Guangxi and Yunnan provinces of China.
At the forum, representatives of travel firms and hotels also raised suggestions and proposals to foster cross-border tourism, expand the markets, and stimulate travel demand.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, China was constantly the biggest source of foreign tourists to Vietnam, accounting for about 30% of the total international arrivals in the Southeast Asian country. In 2019, Vietnam welcomed over 5.8 million Chinese visitors, according to the MCST.
Meanwhile, Vietnam was also one of the five largest sources of foreign tourists to China, which recorded over 7.9 million Vietnamese travellers in 2019 as calculated by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
During the first 11 months of 2023, more than 11.2 million international tourists came to Vietnam, including over 1.5 million Chinese arrivals, statistics show.
Dong Nai posts trade surplus of over 5.4 billion USD in 11 months
The southern province of Dong Nai posted a trade surplus of over 5.4 billion USD with its export earnings and import turnover reaching more than 19.7 billion USD and over 14.3 billion USD in the first 11 months of 2023, respectively.
According to the provincial Statistics Office, in November alone, the province’s exports saw positive signals with revenue of nearly 1.9 billion USD.
Dong Nai’s exports increased as enterprises signed new orders and large contracts, especially for key products such as garments, footwear, and computers. It is forecasted that in the coming months, its export turnover will continue to increase as the world’s inflation decreases and the global economy gradually recovers. It is expected that the province will post a trade surplus of more than 6 million USD in 2023.
Tran Quoc Tuan, Director of the provincial Statistics Office, said that goods produced by enterprises in Dong Nai are mostly for export and their main markets are the US, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
Since the end of 2022, due to difficulties in the world’s economy, major economies that are Vietnam’s export partners have reduced spending and purchase of non-essential products, hence many Dong Nai’s businesses have had to cut their production scale and workforce. Now, the export situation is more positive, which is a premise to help businesses stabilise production after a long period of facing a shortage of orders.
In addition, despite difficulties, in the first 11 months of 2023, the province’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction still increased, reaching more than 1 billion USD, exceeding the yearly plan by 300 million USD. Most of the FDI projects in the province are invested in supporting industries, apply advanced technologies, require few labourers, and do not pollute the environment.
Lang Son province wants to attract Korean investors: official
Chairman of the People’s Committee of the northern province of Lang Son Ho Tien Thieu worked with representatives of companies and groups from the Republic of Korea (RoK) to discuss the implementation of Ho Son 1 industrial cluster project in Huu Lung district.
Speaking at the meeting, Thieu informed the guests about the province’s socio-economic development, incentives, and support policies that the province has offered to investors and the process of land clearance for the 73.7-ha industrial cluster project.
It is expected that the province will transfer the whole ground to the investor to implement the project by June 2024, he said.
President of TLB Group Baek Seong Hyeon said that the group learns about Lang Son’s preferential policies for foreign investors such as corporate income tax incentives; value added tax, import tax, import of machinery to create fixed assets; procedures for certifying high-tech enterprises and incentives for high-tech enterprises. The group plans to lease 5 ha in the industrial cluster to build an electronic component factory.
President of SEP Group Dong Hoon Hyun said that the group wants to learn about policies and mechanisms for developing carbon-neutral industrial zones and clusters, particularly Lang Son’s policies related to planning, land use, and construction of a waste-to-power plant.
Thieu emphasised that Lang Son is an important bridge in the economic and trade connection between Vietnam, ASEAN countries, and China. Currently, besides attracting investment in border gate economic zones, the province is focusing on attracting investment in industrial clusters and parks.
To attract investment, along with the preferential policies that the Government of Vietnam offers, Lang Son province also has additional preferential policies to support investors.
He affirmed that Lang Son province invites and hopes to cooperate with investors, including those from the EoK, in different fields.
The province pledged to accompany investors, and create the most favourable conditions for investors throughout the process of implementing investment, production, and business activities, the official stressed.
Vietnam enjoys major trade surplus with UAE
Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hit US$4.015 billion in the January – October 2023 period, including US$3.4 billion worth of Vietnamese exports, resulting in a US$2.8 billion trade surplus in favour of Vietnam, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Notably, mobile phones and parts made up the largest share of exports, bringing in US$2.5 billion, or three fourths of Vietnam’s total exports to the UAE.
Some of the export items with turnover of more than US$100 million each included computers, electronics and components; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts; and textiles and footwear.
The country mainly imported chemicals, plastic raw materials, and other petroleum products from the UAE in the reviewed period.
Last year saw their two-way trade turnover fetch nearly US$4.4 billion, of which Vietnamese exports stood at US$3.84 billion, down 18% year on year.
During a visit to the UAE last April, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi agreed to initiate negotiations on the two countries’ comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).
The approval of the CEPA is expected to fully tap into the potential that exists in complementary import and export activities between both sides.
It is expected that the signing of the CEPA will provide a legal foundation for both parties to increase cooperation in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, exchange technical expertise, and train high-quality human resources in this crucial industry, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes