22/11/2023   15:30 (GMT+07:00)
Secretary of the Party Committee of the northern port city of Hai Phong Le Tien Chau had a working session with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) on November 20 as part of his trip to the US for the APEC Leaders’ Week.
Introducing Hai Phong as a seaport hub in Vietnam, Chau expressed his wish to bolster cooperation with the US port to capitalise on each other’s strengths, and make the city become a connection point with the rest of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
For her part, PANYNS Director Bethaan Rooney spoke highly of Hai Phong’s advantages and potential, especially regarding logistics and maritime transport. She said the PANYNJ wants to study opportunities to promote cooperation with the Vietnamese port city in the coming time.
The two sides discussed the study, construction, management and exploitation of airport, railway, logistics centre and shopping mall projects, as well as shared future development orientations.
On the occasion, an MoU was inked between PANYNJ and Hai Phong city and a group of Vietnam – US investors, including Saigon Telecommunications & Technologies Corporation, Kinh Bac Development Holding Corporation and Energy Capital Vietnam.
Accordingly, the sides will work together to study a project on building a complex of Tien Lang International Airport, Nam Do Son Port, a railway system, a logistics centre and Hai Phong World Trade Centre.
Forum discusses energy transition in Vietnam
A “Made in Vietnam Energy Forum” was held online by the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF)’s Power & Energy Working Group on November 21, focusing on analysing issues related to the electricity and energy sector in Vietnam in the context of global energy transition.
As the 2nd event of this kind in 2023, the forum also discussed strategies to attract investment for the ongoing energy transition process in the country.
In his opening remarks, Nitin Kapoor, Co-Chair of the VBF, said that Vietnam has been actively implementing various policies regarding energy transition, including prioritising renewable energy sources in electricity production, and researching new technologies in the field of electricity and energy.
On the threshold of the upcoming 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, the forum promoted dialogue between the private sector both at home and abroad and state management agencies on important issues of the energy sector, including the upcoming establishment of a national steering committee for key energy projects, he said.
Issues discussed at the event will support the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to achieve international commitments to net zero emissions, Kapoor added.
Luong Quang Huy, Head of GHG Mitigation and Ozone Layer Protection Division under the Deapartment of Climate Change at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), briefed participants on energy transition strategies and policies, and updated information on Vietnam’s international commitments and energy policy.
Representatives from financial institutions, funding organisations, and power companies also discussed how the public and private sectors can work together to promote renewable energy development, and leverage decarbonization efforts to advance development goals, thus achieving the net zero emission target and promoting the country’s GDP growth.
Kojima Masao, Country Head of the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (MUFG) in Vietnam, mentioned main issues related to power purchase agreement (PPA) between producers and customers, and risk mitigation measures.
On the occasion, the third edition of the Made in Vietnam Energy Plan Report (MVEP 3.0) was introduced.
The report provides an overview of Vietnam’s electricity industry, explains the energy transition process in Vietnam, and existing strategies and policies to promote this process. Vietnam’s successes in promoting renewable energy development, and challenges to achieve the country’s goals are also mentioned in the report.
The report also features experience from economies in the region and around the world in building an effective legal framework to promote the energy transition process as well as ways to arrange capital for renewable energy projects, determine an electricity price roadmap, and ensure national energy security.
HCM City to host first int’l pet fair in March
Petfair Vietnam 2024, Vietnam’s leading international trade fair for the pet industry, will be held for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City from March 27 to 29, 2024.
Co-organised by Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertising Services Co Ltd (VEAS) and China’s Beijing Beyond Technology Co Ltd, the fair is expected to attract more than 200 exhibitors from 12 countries and territories, including the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Germany, and the US, and receive over 6,000 trade visitors.
Leading businesses in the pet industry such as Jworld, China Ji Chong, La Organic, Ecoby Inc, Pacific Harvest, Fair Export, Fivevet, JSC, Darin, and Dexin will join in the fair, according to the organisers.
Exhibitors will showcase thousands of pet products and services, including pet food, toys, fashion, pet care services, vaccines, veterinary medicines, biological products, medical machinery, equipment and supplies, and furniture and equipment for pet hospitals, spas, and veterinary clinics.
Furthermore, participants will also have the opportunity to meet leading OEM/ODM suppliers to develop unique products in accordance to their demands and explore cooperation opportunities with foreign firms, they said.
Specialised seminars, training courses, pet shows, ‘Pet Top Model’, pet care skill competition and a VIP buyer programme will be held within the framework of the fair.
Firms can also seek to expand their dealer channels, promote their images, and position their brands through the fair’s social media channels.
Vietnam, Romania seek ways to bolster trade
The 17th meeting of the Vietnam – Romania Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation was held in Hanoi on November 21 under the chair of Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism Stefan-Rady Oprea.
At the event, the ministers expressed their delight at the fruitful relations between the two countries across various fields, of which economy – trade is an important pillar and a locomotive for the cooperative ties.
However, they said the two-way trade revenue during the 2019-2022 period, which rose over 1.6 folds from 2019 to 425 million USD in 2022, still lagged behind the two countries’ potential and their sound traditional friendship.
Dien and Oprea said capitalising on the cooperation frameworks such as the signed free trade agreements and the joint committee will help Vietnam and Romania promote trade turnover in the coming time.
Dien took the occasion to thank Oprea for his support to accelerating the negotiations and signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), adding the EVFTA which took effect on August 1, 2020 has opened the door for trade activities between Vietnam and the EU and Romania in particular.
The two ministers agreed that both sides should take advantage of the EVFTA, open markets for each other’s products, enhance exchanges of business delegations, and promote cooperation in the fields of Vietnam’s interest and Romania’s strengths such as engineering, specific-use machines, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and clean energy.
Suggesting Romania welcome Vietnamese garment and textiles, leather shoes and agro-fishery products, Dien highlighted that Vietnam stands ready to become a bridge to enhance the economic-trade relations between Romania and ASEAN as well as the economies that Vietnam has signed free-trade deals with.
Meanwhile, Oprea said Romania has created more favourable conditions for the import and export of the agricultural products of the two sides’ strengths, and paid due attention to promoting cooperation in science-technology, especially in AI and digital transformation.
Romania will study Vietnam’s recommendation on establishing a working group on labour in the framework of the joint committee, he added.
Many Romanian enterprises have expressed their interest in cooperating with Vietnam in oil and gas, electricity transmission, agriculture, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism, he stressed, adding Romania is willing to serve as a gateway for Vietnamese products to enter other European markets.
Both sides also reached a consensus on stepping up investments in each other to realise the commitments on sustainable and green development and environmental protection.
Second Int’l food & hotel exhibition opens in Hanoi
The second International Food & Drink, Hotel, Restaurant, Bakery & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies and Services Exhibition (Food & Hotel Hanoi 2023) kicked off in Hanoi on November 21.
The three-day draws the participation of 113 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions, including the presence of 12 international groups. With an
expansive exhibition area of 6,000 sq.m, this event is anticipated to attract more than 6,500 trade visitors.
The event aims to be a platform for fostering new business collaborations. It serves as a trade bridge between international producers as well as exporters and local importers, distributors, and retailers in the food, hospitality, and accommodation sectors in Vietnam. Beyond being a hub for updating the F&B accommodation businesses on the latest innovations and trends, this exhibition is also a space to celebrate and nurture young talents in the culinary and beverage industry.
Food & Hotel Hanoi 2023 is part of the Food & Hotel exhibition series, a well-established and highly reputable international trade show in the F&B and accommodation industry in Asia, hosted by Informa Markets.
Speaking at the event, BT Tee, general manager at Informa Markets said the influence of international food and ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine was quite important. The Michelin star was awarded to many restaurants in Hanoi, marking a successful combination of food cultures, adding that the event acted as an unmissable occasion, bringing together numerous international and domestic brands in one place, at one time.
The event created a space for people to connect, engage in conversations, and actively discuss the F&B and hotel sector. This was how they created new things for the industry, he said.
HCM City sees great potential for cooperation with India
The cooperation potential in trade and investment between Vietnam and India in general and between Ho Chi Minh City and India in particular remains huge and has not been fully exploited, heard at a forum held in the city on November 21.
Experts shared the view at the “India – Ho Chi Minh City Business Forum” co-organised by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) and the Consulate General of India in HCM City.
Speaking at the event, ITPC Deputy Director Ho Thi Quyen said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972 and the upgrade to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, the Vietnam-India relationship has witnessed great achievements. 
According to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in 2022, the bilateral trade value between Vietnam and India hit 15.05 billion USD, of which Vietnam’s exports to India reached 7.96 billion USD, and its imports from India were 7.09 billion USD. 
India became Vietnam’s 8th largest trading partner. India currently has more than 400 investment projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of more than 1 billion USD, ranking 26th out of 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Vietnam and India still have a lot of room to expand trade and investment cooperation because of their large market size. Moreover, the commodity structures of the two countries complement each other well.
Vietnam and India have already signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and a Commercial and Economic Cooperation Agreement, which are the foundation for enterprises of the two countries to seek investment and business opportunities.
Meanwhile, in the past years, HCM City and India have continuously strengthened and developed their relationship in trade and investment cooperation, as well as people-to-people exchanges. 
As of October 2023, India had 237 investment projects with total capital of more than 131 million USD, ranking 23rd among 120 countries and territories investing in the city.
The Vietnamese official said that the city sees great potential for cooperation with Indian partners and hopes that India will continue to create conditions for businesses from both sides to meet, seek opportunities, and promote cooperation in fields including trade, tourism, science-technology, health, and education.
For her part, Sunaina Khanna, Assistant Vice President of Invest India, said that India is one of the five largest economies in the world with its GDP reaching 3.75 trillion USD in 2023 and export turnover of 770 billion USD. 
It is estimated that by 2030, India’s digital economy will reach 800 billion USD and it is a huge consumer market with 357 million young consumers under 30 years old. Exporting countries, including Vietnam, can take advantage of the market for development, she said.
At the same time, India is also an ideal investment destination that Vietnamese businesses and investors can consider as the country’s corporate tax is among the lowest in the world and it offers many preferential policies to develop the semiconductor and screen manufacturing ecosystem, tax exemptions for exported goods, simple one-stop administrative procedures and abundant industrial land areas.
At the forum, Indian and HCM City businesses expressed their wishes to seek new areas of cooperation, striving to increase two-way trade, strengthen cooperation in tourism, culture, science, and technology, as well as promote people-to-people exchanges.
Vietnam-US relationship upgrade opens huge opportunities for new cooperation fields
The upgrade of the Vietnam – US relations to the comprehensive strategic partnership is opening considerable opportunities for both sides to activate new and breakthrough cooperation fields so that Vietnam can engage more deeply in global supply chains, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai. 
Addressing the annual bilateral trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 21, he highlighted Vietnam’s consistent policy of viewing the US as one of the most important economic and trading partners.
That Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and US President Joe Biden officially announced the relationship elevation to the comprehensive strategic partnership on September 11, 2023 has provided a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation to become more substantive in all pillars, with economic, trade, and investment ties remaining the central impetus for the countries’ relations, he noted.
Hai went on to say that Vietnam is positioning itself well to become a major manufacturing hub in the world. Its businesses have been producing a diversity of products with competitive prices and improving quality.
Given the post-pandemic situation and recent political and economic uncertainties, many enterprises, retailers, and wholesalers are stepping up diversification strategies to ensure supply sustainability, and they have chosen Vietnam as one of the strategic destinations of their global supply chains. This is a big opportunity, but great efforts from producers and exporters are required to grasp it, he said.
Suggesting new and breakthrough cooperation fields, the official said focus should be put on boosting Vietnamese firms’ participation in the supply of materials, components, and equipment for the energy, aviation, digital economy, semiconductor, and artificial intelligence sectors.
Barbara Weisel, an expert in international trade law and former assistant to the US Trade Representative, said that the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership showed the determination of the two countries to develop a dynamic relationship with many cooperation promises and bigger opportunities in the future.
In recent years, she said, the Vietnamese market has been growing strongly and stably. Its young, educated, and entrepreneurial workforce and the network of free trade agreements have turned the country into a leading beneficiary from many countries and companies’ interest in supply chain diversification to guarantee better resilience and economic security.
Thanks to the shift of supply chains and other factors, Vietnam has recorded the biggest market share expansion in the US compared to others. The North American country has become the largest import market of Vietnam, accounting for nearly one-third of the latter’s exports. As of September this year, Vietnam’s exports to the US rose nearly 15% while the US’s shipments to the former have yet to post such strong growth, she pointed out.
Foreign direct investment in Vietnam is on the rise, Weisel continued, adding that US businesses from many sectors are heading towards the dynamic Southeast Asian market while an increasing number of Vietnamese firms, including electric vehicle producers, have also seen investment chances in the US.
The two countries should actively work together to build concrete and detailed action plans to enhance the resilience and competitiveness of the fields that both prioritise. They need to act quickly to generating economic benefits as global businesses are paying attention to new investments in the region and seeking to diversify supply chains, the expert recommended.
Do Thien Anh Tuan, senior expert at Fulbright University Vietnam, said Vietnam should continue creating optimal conditions for US enterprises to invest and do business, especially in the fields matching the US’s strength and Vietnam’s demand.
Besides, Vietnamese companies should improve product quality, build brands, and actively join global supply chains through the cooperation with US partners, he added.
US state of Oregon seeks investment opportunities in Binh Duong province
A delegation from the US state of Oregon led by Commissioner at Port of Portland Katherine Lam on November 21 paid a working visit to the southern province of Binh Duong to learn about the investment environment in the locality.
Receiving the delegation, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Loc Ha introduced to the guests the province’s investment strategy, especially in areas such as finance, logistics, supporting industries, and high-tech agriculture.
He affirmed that the province is committed to prioritising environmentally friendly and non-labour-intensive industries to create high-added value.
The official said currently, there are 4,191 investment projects from 65 countries and territories with a total registered capital of more than 40.2 billion USD in Binh Duong. The province is ranked second nationwide in attracting foreign investment capital, just behind Ho Chi Minh City.
He noted that the US now ranks 10th among countries and territories investing in Binh Duong, with 135 projects and a total investment capital of 1.36 billion USD, adding that the province always creates favourable conditions for US businesses including those from Oregon to invest in Binh Duong.
For her part, Lam, who is also President & CEO at Bambuza Hospitality Group, highly appreciated the dynamic development of Binh Duong and expressed the wish of the Oregon government that Binh Duong will continue to create favourable conditions for US businesses, particularly those from Oregon, to expand the business and invest in the province.
Vietnam’s garment products introduced at Global Sourcing Expo Australia 2023
Vietnamese garment and textile products are being showcased at Global Sourcing Expo Australia 2023 which kicked off in Melbourne on November 21.
The three-day event saw the participation of over 900 manufacturers and suppliers from 20 countries, including Vietnam, India, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey.
The Vietnam Trade Office in Australia has collaborated with the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and domestic enterprises to arrange 12 booths to introduce Vietnamese garment products, helping business representatives meet and connect with international partners and expand trade connections between the two sides.
Vietnamese exhibitors are VITAS and other companies such as Thai Son SP Co. Ltd., Dong Tam Caps Co. Ltd., FADATECH Company, An Sinh Trading Co. Ltd., Viet Y – Hung Yen Garment Joint Stock Company (VYG) and Viet Thanh Garment Trading Joint Stock Company.
Nguyen Thu Huong, Trade Consular at the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, said the office has carried out activities to promote and introduce Vietnamese goods in the Australian market in different forms. Participating in large-scale fairs in the host country such as Global Sourcing Expo Australia 2023 is an extremely effective and practical form to bring “Made in Vietnam” goods closer to importers, buyers, traders and industry experts, and update with market trends.
Huong expressed her delight as the office’s booth at the expo attracted the attention of a large number of visitors as well as importers and distributors right from the opening day.
According to the official, the prospects and potential of Vietnamese textiles and garments are huge, especially after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was carried out, creating advantages for Vietnamese garment products to enter the Australian market and reducing competitive pressure with other countries due to preferential tariffs.
Cielo Quintero, a visitor to the expo, said she was very excited with the Vietnamese garment market and is looking for opportunities to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in the future, adding that her company has been operating in the industry for about 20 years.
She hoped to soon deploy cooperation activities with Vietnamese businesses with a belief that Vietnam can provide high quality products and favourable business environment.
Promoting communication needed for tourism development: insiders
The important role played by tourism communication in promoting products, orienting consumption and adjusting the behaviour of relevant parties was the focus of discussion at a seminar recently held by the Vietnam Tourism Association (VTA).
General Director of Flamingo Redtours Nguyen Cong Hoan said the media is a bridge and an inseparable link in tourism development, adding that the media helps popularise policies of the Party and the State on tourism, and support localities and businesses to promote destinations and tourism products to the public.
The media also give State agencies information on market trends and fluctuations, or the demand and aspirations of tourists, businesses, and people, thus making appropriate policy adjustments.
Based on market reactions reflected by the media, businesses can build effective promotion plans and develop more attractive tourism products, Hoan noted.
Implementing a project to strengthen tourism communication activities until 2025 approved by the Prime Minister, many localities and businesses are making efforts to innovate methods and contents of communication activities on tourism, and increase the application of modern technology in this work.
Apart from focusing on promoting information and images on the country and tourism potential through mass media, and social networks, communication contents are also integrated in many activities and events such as forums, conferences, seminars, fairs, and exhibitions at home and abroad.
These efforts have contributed to increasing the level of recognition of Vietnamese tourism as well as the reputation of the national tourism brand on the world tourism map.
However, participants at the seminar said tourism communication work of Vietnam is not coordinated and thus failing to produce a strong spillover effect, reducing the impact and influence of general policies.
Therefore, a national communication strategy on tourism is needed to help localities and businesses build specific plans, thereby creating overall strength and highlights for the work of tourism communication and promotion, they said.
From the perspective of a travel business, Hoan said to attract more visitors, the tourism industry need to carry out a larger-scale communication campaign.
In the context of the strong development of social media, which influences the travel habits of global tourists, the tourism industry should pay attention to promoting communication through new forms, especially social networks, he went on.
In the past four months, Vietnam welcomed more than 1 million international visitors each month, bringing the total number of international visitors by October 2023 to nearly 10 million, exceeding this year’s 8 million target. However, the figure is equivalent to only 89% of the pre-COVID-19 level.
Ba Ria – Vung Tau lures high-quality FDI projects
As foreign direct investment (FDI) has an important role to play in the economic development of the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, the locality has paid due regard to attracting high-quality projects to create breakthrough for the local industry which is developing towards modernisation and sustainability.
According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, foreign investors have registered more than 31.4 billion USD into 457 FDI projects in the province so far. From the outset of this year, Ba Ria – Vung Tau has secured over 751 million USD in 20 newly-registered projects, up 2.78 folds in value year-on-year, and 503 million USD added to existing 25 projects, increasing 15.3% from the same time last year.
To date, more than 30 countries and territories have landed investment in the province, including the US, Canada, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, the UK, and France.   
Particularly, the province has lured several large-scale projects with investment capital of more than 1 billion USD such as the 5-billion USD Long Son Petrochemical Complex invested by Thailand’s Siam Cement Group, and a Polypropylene (PP) plant and a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage cavern worth 1.3 billion USD invested by Hyosung Group from the RoK.
According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tho, the province will sharpen focus on calling for large-scale non-labour intensive projects with advanced technologies and high value-added products in the coming time.
Besides, it has encouraged FDI firms to renew their production line and technologies to improve productivity and product quality while saving energy, he said.
Tho said he has ordered competent departments and sectors to provide investors in prioritised fields with support in industrial infrastructure, and help other enterprises remove financial bottlenecks so that they are able to expand business and production.
As the province is striving to attract at least 15 billion USD in FDI capital by 2025, it has invested in a modern transport system besides developing the industrial infrastructure.
Second International food and hotel 2023 takes place in Hà Nội
The second International Food & Drink, Hotel, Restaurant, Bakery & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies and Services Exhibition (Food & Hotel Hanoi 2023) has officially taken place at Hanoi International Exhibition Center in the capital city of Ha Noi.
The three-day Food & Hotel Hanoi 2023 is a remarkable event in the Northern market, which is hosting 113 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions, including the presence of 12 international groups. With an expansive exhibition area of 6,000+ sq.m, this event is anticipated to attract more than 6,500 trade visitors.
The event aims to be a platform for fostering new business collaborations. It serves as a trade bridge between international producers as well as exporters and local importers, distributors, and retailers in the food, hospitality, and accommodation sectors in Việt Nam. Beyond being a hub for updating the F&B accommodation businesses on the latest innovations and trends, this exhibition is also a space to celebrate and nurture young talents in the culinary and beverage industry.
Speaking at the event, BT Tee, general manager at Informa Markets said the influence of international food and ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine was quite important. The Michelin star was awarded to many restaurants in Hà Nội, marking a successful combination of food cultures, adding that the event acted as an unmissable occasion, bringing together numerous international and domestic brands in one place, at one time. The event created a space for people to connect, engage in conversations, and actively discuss the F&B and hotel sector. This was how they created new things for the industry.
Food & Hotel Hanoi 2023 is part of the Food & Hotel exhibition series, a well-established and highly reputable international trade show in the F&B and accommodation industry in Asia, hosted by Informa Markets. 
Vietnam emerges as important pillar in US economy
The United States has identified Vietnam as an important pillar as part of its economy, especially after both countries recently elevated ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, said Susan Burns, US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, at the Vietnam – US Trade Forum 2023 on November 21.
The US diplomat pointed out that the upgrade in diplomatic relations has create a wealth of opportunities for further economic development between the two countries.
Accordingly, Burns said Vietnamese firms enjoy advantages in attracting direct investment from US businesses, focusing on the fields of semiconductor chip manufacturing and mining, and in increasing its exports to the US.
Furthermore, both sides can work together to remove technical barriers in import-export, and investment activities. Their close economic links play a key role in the resilience of global supply chains and common prosperity across the region.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai acknowledged that global economic impacts have somewhat hindered Vietnamese export activities to the US market.
However, these can be viewed as only short-term impacts and they will soon be overcome next year, expected the trade official.
He went on to reveal that Vietnamese exports to the US market has shown positive signs in the last months of the year in the context that many US corporations and distribution channels are not only increasing the purchasing goods, but also seeking opportunities to establish channels for purchasing goods from Vietnam.
Currently, Vietnam makes up the US’ 10th largest trading partner with a trade turnover of about US$90.8 billion, accounting for 2.4% of total US import and export turnover. Of the total value, US$83.7 billion was generated from Vietnamese exports, accounting for 3.6% of total US imports.
At the forum, experts provided the latest information on new US policy trends, putting forward solutions, and orientations for businesses to gradually expand import and export markets and accelerate trade and investment exchanges between the two countries in a balanced and sustainable manner.
Business representatives highly appreciated panel discussions at the forum with the participation of governors of US states, helping to create an additional channel for policy advice, share experiences and market information, and support firms to overcome challenges amid global uncertainties.
China to become target market for Vietnamese seafood exports
With aquatic exports to the United States and the EU encountering difficulties, China is projected to become the target market for Vietnamese fisheries products in 2024 – 2025, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
China is always one of the top three importers of Vietnamese seafood, behind the US and Japan, spending US$1.6 billion on purchasing Vietnamese seafood exports last year, up 66% year on year.
Experts say despite export turnover falling as a result of reduced export prices, there remains ample room for seafood exports to the market this year.
Statistics show Vietnam raked in US$1.14 billion from exporting fisheries products to China between Jan. – Oct. 2023.
Although pangasius and shrimp exports witnessed a downturn, other aquatic products such as white-leg shrimp, black tiger shrimp, giant fish, yellow snapper, mackerel, grouper fish, octopus, and clams enjoyed strong growth.
Chinese localities including Guangdong, Zhanjiang, Guangxi, Fujian, and Shanghai made up the largest consumers of Vietnamese seafood.
Le Hang, communications director of the VASEP, attributed the bright prospects for Vietnamese seafood exports to China this year to a number of favourable factors, including the ending of the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s trade with the world becoming completely normal, and recent positive signs recorded in the Chinese economy itself.
Most notably, with a favourable geographical location coupled with a reduction in logistics costs compared to regional peers, Vietnamese businesses can benefit from the huge opportunities to export their seafood products to the market this year.
Moreover, China’s recent suspension of seafood imports from Japan is anticipated to create additional export opportunities for other countries, including Vietnam, she noted.
Most notably, China’s investment in aquaculture and seafood exports has also gradually decreased over recent years due to COVID-19 and economic transition trends.
Amid geopolitical changes, high inflation, and energy crisis in the world, experts say aquatic exports to the US and EU markets will encounter difficulties, meaning China will become the target market for seafood exports from Vietnam in the 2024 – 2025 period.
As China is their potential buyer, Vietnamese processors have made thorough preparations to penetrate this lucrative market.
Representatives of Vietnamese firms say seafood exports to China rebounded in the fourth quarter, with the number of shrimp export orders to this market increasing significantly.
To capitalize on this market, VASEP experts advise the business community to grasp market demand and consumer tastes, as well as to organise additional business-to-business (B2B) matching sessions to gain more insights into the market’s regulations, especially amid changes in import and export policies.
In addition, they also propose expanding the list of seafood firms eligible to export goods to China, thereby opening doors for other fresh aquatic species to be exported to this market and facilitating the granting of export codes to businesses, as well as maintaining smooth customs clearances at border gates.
WB: Strategic investment pipeline needed for sustainable economic development
A strategic and well-prepared investment pipeline with a focus on green, resilient and regional infrastructure will help bolster Vietnam’s sustainable economic development, according to the October edition of the World Bank’s monthly Vietnam Macro Monitoring.
The reports reveals that the industrial production index grew by 2.89 % on-month in October, due to the continued recovery of manufacturing exports.
However, prospects remain fragile as Vietnam’s PMI remained in contractionary territory in October (49.6), as it was in September (49.7). The monthly growth of retail sales remained flat of -0.01 % in October, compared with 0.55 % growth in September. 
Exports and imports of goods continued to recover, increasing by 1.6 % and 1.05 % respectively, as demand from trade partners continued to gradually recover. However, both exports and imports of the first 10 months remained in contractionary territory, decreasing by 6.9 % (on-year) and 12.4 % (on-year) respectively.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation registered 3.6 % on-year in October, driven by transport costs, while core inflation fell from 3.8 % on-year in September to 3.4 % on-year in October, below the 2023 policy rate of 4.5 % set by the authorities.
Credit growth remained sluggish, registering -0.1 % (m/m) and 9.3 % (on-year) in October 2023, well below the pre-COVID period and reflecting persistent weak private investment.
The economic slowdown continued to weigh on the government budget. Despite a surge in revenue collection in October, revenue collection during the first 10 months of 2023 was 4.5 % lower than the same period of the last year.
At the same time, public expenditure accelerated by 11.4 % during the same period (on-year) reflecting the government’s effort to support the slowing economy.
Public investment disbursement increased by 35 % (on-year) for the 10-month period, helping the government achieve 55 % of the annual planned budget (compared with 46.5 % during the same period of 2022).
This execution rate, however, is still low given that there are only two remaining months for disbursing 2023 budget.
According to WB experts, while a gradual recovery of exports is ongoing, domestic consumption remains subdued and slow credit growth continues to reflect weak private domestic investment and investor confidence.
Think tanks point out that the authorities continue providing support to the economy through a 35 % (on-year) increase in public investment during the first 10 months. However, implementation challenges continue to affect the roll out of the investment budget.
They assess that given the slow pace of economic recovery, the authorities may wish to consider extending the economic support program to 2024 to allow investment projects to be fully implemented.
Preparing higher quality projects – including through better feasibility studies and the reform of public investment procedures would help to speed up implementation, they noted.
A strategic and well-prepared investment pipeline with a focus on green, resilient and regional infrastructure will help bolster sustainable economic development.
Vietnam racks up trade surplus of over US$24 billion by mid-November
The country enjoyed a trade surplus of more than US$24 billion by mid-November with its total import-export turnover reaching nearly US$600 billion, according to statistics released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Of the figure, Vietnamese export turnover reached US$306 billion, marking a drop of 6.4% on-year, with imports hitting US$281.6 billion.
Most notably, the country’s trade turnover during the first half of November reached nearly US$30 billion, of which exports grossed US$14.65 billion.
A total of four export product groups earned a turnover of US$1 billion in the reviewed period, including computers, electronic products and components with US$2.42 billion; phones and components with US$2.1 billion; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts with US$1.83 billion; and textiles and garments with US$1.29 billion.
Meanwhile, the country spent US$14.77 billion on importing goods in the first half of November with major items, including computers, electronic products and components; iron and steel of all kinds; and raw materials for textiles, garments, leather, and shoes.
Industry insiders pointed out that it is currently proving to be a difficult year for the Vietnamese economy due to both internal and external impacts.
They noted that the economy has been directly affected by the global economic recession due to its high openness, a factor leading to numerous difficulties for exports and domestic consumption.
Although the trade balance continues to improve, Vietnamese exports are facing up to issues such as weak purchasing power from major markets.
Intel pledges to expand investment in Vietnam
Intel has committed to further expanding its investment in Vietnam to diversify the group’s supply chain globally, said Ace Wilson, chief financial officer of Intel Corporation Vietnam, at the Vietnam – US Trade Forum on November 21.
Wilson told Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper on the sidelines of the forum that Intel has so far invested US$1.5 billion in its facilities in the country. Since 2010, the group has exported their products worth US$80 billion, and its export turnover this year is expected to reach between US$10 billion and US$11 billion.
In particular, up to 70% of Intel chip production for the region comes from Intel factories in Vietnam.
He rejected rumours about Intel’s operations in Vietnam, and said the group would expand operations in the country.
At the forum, Daniel Nguyen, vice-chair of the House Economic Development & Small Business Committee at the Oregon House of Representatives, said Vietnam holds great potential for developing semiconductor chip manufacturing.
He revealed that the United States has reviewed Vietnam’s legal framework and approved a US$240 million grant in a bid to promote the development of the semiconductor ecosystem, including US$40 million to be poured into new projects.
Vietnam should make use of financial resources to develop its semiconductor chip manufacturing industry, he suggested.
He also recommended that Vietnam fine-tune legislation, mobilise private resources, and improve the overall quality of human resource training for the semiconductor industry to seize upon future opportunities.
Nguyen Vinh Quang, CEO of FPT Semiconductor under the FPT Corporation, said that it has currently acquired two companies in the US.
FPT’s investment strategy in this market is to further develop AI technology and power chip lines, he added, noting that FPT aspires to become a power chip supplier in both the US and Vietnam.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes