26/11/2023   13:00 (GMT+07:00)

Vietnam spent a total of 4.27 billion USD importing animal feed and raw materials in the first 10 months of this year, down 5.2% year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Customs.

In October alone, the import value reached 451.5 million USD, up 7.5% month-on-month and 12.6% year-on-year.

With 1.21 billion USD in the January-October period, Argentina was Vietnam’s biggest exporter of animal feed and raw materials, accounting for 28.2% of the Southeast Asian country’s total import value of these products. It was followed by Brazil (19.1%), and the US (14.1%).

In the period, Vietnam spent 261 million USD buying animal feed and raw materials from the Southeast Asian market, down 15% year-on-year.
Expansion proposed for North-South expressway section in Ninh Binh
The Thang Long project management board has been tasked with preparing an investment proposal for the expansion of the Cao Bo-Mai Son Expressway, a section of the North-South expressway located in the northern province of Ninh Binh.
The expansion aims to widen the expressway to six traffic lanes, with an estimated investment of VND2 trillion, which will be financed through increased budget revenue.
The primary route will be expanded by an additional 15.75 meters in width, resulting in a total roadbed width of 32.75 meters. This expansion plan also includes the development of four bridge structures along the expressway, namely the Cao Bo Bridge, Cam Bridge, National Highway 10 overpass, and Quan Vinh Bridge.
The proposal for expansion is set to be submitted to the relevant authorities for consideration in February of the upcoming year.
The Cao Bo-Mai Son Expressway, with a total length of 15.2 kilometers, is the shortest among the 11 sections of the North-South Expressway in the 2017-2020 phase.
Since its opening for traffic in February 2022, this expressway segment has posed safety risks due to its narrow roadbed and the absence of emergency lanes.
The Ministry of Public Security has categorized it as one of the expressways with potential safety risks, emphasizing the urgent need for investment in its expansion.
New domestic electricity price encouraging energy conservation
The Industry and Trade Ministry has sent the draft electricity retail price structure to the Justice Ministry for appraisal before introducing to the public.
In the draft electricity retail price structure for domestic use, the current 6 levels will be reduced to only 5:
_Rate 1 of VND1,806 (US$0.075) /kWh: the first 100kWh
_Rate 2 of VND2,167 ($0.09) /kWh: from 101kWh – 200kWh
_Rate 3 of VND2,729 ($0.11) /kWh: from 201 – 400kWh
_Rate 4 of VND3,250 ($0.13) /kWh: from 401 – 700kWh
_Rate 5 of VND3,612 ($0.15) /kWh: from 701kWh and above.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade explained the reason for this new 5-level electricity price structure, saying that it could minimize the negative effects on household users. The first two levels ensure stable prices for poor families and those eligible for social policies, who are now accounting for about 33.5 percent of the total. The revenue gap created by a decrease to these levels will be compensated by those applying the price levels of 4 and 5 (from 400kWh and over).
The advantages of this new structure, according to the above ministry, lie in its simplicity and intelligibility while able to encourage energy conservation in the community, especially in peak months. However, households whose electricity use is above average (more than 710kWh a month), accounting for 2 percent of the total, will see an increase in their bill.
Expert on this field Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngo Tri Long voiced his support for this new price structure because of its effectiveness in promoting electricity conservation. Yet he commented that to a certain extent, switching from 6 to 5 levels in price calculation has some drawbacks.
As usual, the more levels there are, the more precise the calculation is. It is important not to count the number of levels in a price structure but to devise a logical way to charge electricity use so that the rights of both consumers and suppliers are maintained.
According to the current retail price for domestic electricity use of households consuming more than 400kWh per month, the charge is VND3,151 ($0.13) /kWh. The new price structure will obviously increase their bill as they will fall into Rate 4 and Rate 5 categories.
MoIT boosts supply-demand connection to support development
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has improved the efficiency and quality of connecting supply and demand, as well as cooperation between businesses and localities, making an important and positive contribution to the country’s economic development.
This information was heard at a forum on promoting effective connection between supply and demand organised by the MoIT’s Vietnam Institute of Strategy and Policy for Industry and Trade (VIOIT) in Hanoi on November 23.
In a situation where the world was facing many changes, promoting the connection between supply and demand was not only a way to promote economic development but also a necessary direction to build a strong economy, meeting market needs and ensuring sustainable prosperity for the future, said VIOIT Deputy Director Vu Quang Hung.
The connection between supply and demand helped optimise resources and encourage innovation and product development, as well as create cooperation opportunities and enhance competition, he added.
In recent years, in order to connect products with provinces and cities nationwide, the MoIT has organised conferences to connect supply and demand with provinces and cities and support businesses.
Through conferences, businesses interact, exchange and learn from experience; from small and fragmented production activities, through trading activities, connecting supply and demand has contributed to businesses gradually shifting to new approaches to the market.
“These activities help businesses on awareness of how to create brands and packaging, how to grasp consumer tastes and trends, build brands for business and products, especially improving product quality to gain a foothold and compete in the market,” said Doan Manh Truong, a representative from the MoIT’s Agency for Regional Industry and Trade (ARIT).
The ministry has coordinated with provincial departments of industry and trade to successfully organise 28 typical rural industrial goods exhibitions at regional and national levels in the 2013-2022 period.
Each exhibition has about 350 – 450 standard booths and on average the participation of about 155 – 200 rural industrial enterprises.
The ministry has effectively implemented the project to promote Vietnamese enterprises to participate directly in foreign goods networks. It has organised Vietnam Weeks in countries around the world, such as France, Thailand, Japan since last year.
It organised the 2023 International Goods Supply Chain Connection event with 1,000 trade connections between 200 reputable Vietnamese export enterprises, mainly agricultural, forestry, and fishery export enterprises, and connected with 150 foreign purchasing and distribution delegations.
Besides the results achieved, the connection between manufacturers and distributors also has difficulties, said Truong. Bringing products to large distributors such as supermarkets still faces certain obstacles, especially for small manufacturing establishments.
Labour shortage still caused difficulties for businesses, especially trained workers. Vocational training for workers had not met the development needs of businesses, he said.
Some businesses have had to narrow their production and business scale and have difficulty in implementing investment schedules in production expansion projects.
Counterfeit goods and poor quality goods are still mixed in the market. The management of price listing and selling at listed prices is mainly carried out in supermarkets, while in markets, the situation of listing prices but not selling at listed prices is still common.
The organisation of Vietnamese goods markets in residential areas is only aimed at sales purposes, but has not yet created a strong impact on the “Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods” campaign.
Consumers are greatly affected by advertising through electronic and cross-border electronic platforms, causing confusion for businesses and consumers about product quality and brand, causing loss of trust and endangering the health of consumers.
To promote activities connecting the supply and demand of goods and develop markets to promote the strengths of the provinces, creating opportunities for socio-economic development, the ARIT proposed State management agencies innovate and promote trade promotion; consult and support businesses and production facilities in branding, packaging, brand development, product promotion, combined with the development trend of e-commerce.
The agency also recommended the promotion for the role of bridge, introduction, and co-operation in production and consumption of products between commercial enterprises and producers; introduction of products and goods to participate in the supply chain of distributors, shopping centres, supermarkets, and convenience stores nationwide.
It also proposed management agencies study to change the form of organisation to connect supply and demand, in which the conference to connect supply and demand should have consulting content to support businesses in market development and brand building.
State management agencies must also strengthen market management, have plans to manage prices of essential goods, regularly inspect and control the market to avoid shortages and price fever, promptly detect and handle acts of smuggling, production and trading of counterfeit goods, commercial fraud, speculation, price increases, and illegal profiteering that destabilise the market.
Experts point to 2024 economic growth engines
Production, export, real estate, and private investment are among the factors which are expected to drive the national economic growth next year.
Production and export are strongly recovering thanks to increasing orders, Dinh Quang Hinh, head of the Macro and Market Strategy Department of VNDirect Securities Corporation (VNDS), told Lao dong (Labour) newspaper.
He said Vietnam’s export revenue is projected to rise 7.5-8.0% in 2024, adding production recovery will also stimulate the demand for the import materials, machines and equipment.
Besides, improvements in foreign direct investment in Vietnam in the second half of this year and next will also play a crucial role in the recovery, Hinh continued.
The expert pointed out that rosy signs in the industry, employment and wage will boost domestic consumption, referring to the new salary policy to be applied from next July, along with 28 trillion VND (1.15 billion USD) to be spent on new pensions and social insurance benefits.  
Moreover, the real estate is bouncing back as its legal and financial obstacles are being removed, lending interest rates have been lowered and the corporate bond market heats up, helping clear up capital problems facing real estate developers, he said.
Hinh noted his hope that private investment will recover next year thanks to new projects and production scale-up to meet the growing domestic demand and new orders.
FiinGroup President Nguyen Quang Thuan, however, noted major risks to the economy in the year due to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, explaining that the recovery prospects of the economies that are Vietnam’s big partners remain uncertain amid high international interest rates.
Meanwhile, the domestic real estate would remain “frozen” longer than expected, he elaborated, citing a forecast by organisations that it will only reboot in mid-2024, without giving specific time.
Earlier, the United Overseas Bank (UOB) has maintained its economic growth forecast for Vietnam at 5.2% for 2023 and 6% for 2024 while saying that Vietnam will continue to cut regulatory interest rates in the remaining months of this year to balance economic growth and inflation pressure.
The ADB also said Vietnam’s economic growth is expected to stay at 5.8% in 2023 and 6.0% in 2024.
Standard Chartered Bank maintained robust 2024 GDP growth forecast of 6.7% for Vietnam in its latest macro-economic updates.
HCMC’s District 7 to pilot project developing night-time tourism
Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan has just given approval for a pilot program on developing a night-time economy associated with tourism development in District 7.
Night activities will be held in three key areas, including Crescent Lake Park – Anh Sao (Starlight) Bridge, Tan Phu, and Tan Phong wards with a total area of 9,000 square meters.
Culinary and commercial activities on Ton Dat Tien Street (the section from Nguyen Van Linh Street to Anh Sao Bridge), the dining area on Crescent Lake, cultural and sports activities introducing cultures of HCMC, District 7, regions across the country and countries around the world will be continuously organized from 6 pm to 12 am. Cultural and music performances must be ended before 10 pm.
An area for shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural activities on Street 11N – the residential area in Tan Thuan Tay Ward will be allowed to operate from 6 pm to 12 am every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and on national public holidays. Cultural and music performances must be ended before 10 pm.
Sky Garden culinary and commercial street in Tan Phong Ward will be operational from 6 pm to 12 am.
NA deputy proposes drivers of ridesharing company to have compulsory insurance
A National Assembly deputy proposed to add drivers of ridesharing companies to the group of employees participating in compulsory social insurance.
This morning, National Assembly deputies discussed the amended Social Insurance Law project at the National Assembly House’s hall under the chairmanship of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
National Assembly deputy Tran Thi Dieu Thuy from Ho Chi Minh City said that currently the freelance economy – a labor market consisting of a growing number of short-term contracts – is developing strongly in Vietnam. App-based drivers for ridesharing or delivery companies are an important workforce in this field and the number of drivers in these companies is constantly increasing.
Therefore, Deputy Tran Thi Dieu Thuy proposed that the National Assembly continue considering the addition of these drivers to the group of employees participating in compulsory social insurance to have solutions to ensure social security.
This is also a temporary and flexible employment solution for the official workforce in the face of economic fluctuations that are increasing the unemployment rate.
To protect the interests of this group of workers, she proposes to include technology vehicle drivers in the additional group participating in mandatory social insurance.
She cited legal regulations that app-based drivers of ridesharing companies have an agreement to work for technology vehicle transport businesses to have a monthly salary and they work under supervision through an application managed by companies.
According to Ms. Tran Thi Dieu Thuy, these drivers need to enjoy policies to support job creation and be added to the group of workforce with compulsory social insurance, unemployment insurance, and health insurance to cope with risks.
Ample room to grow and develop Vietnamese clam exports
Clams are one of main aquatic products of Vietnam. This is also a popular product in many markets such as the Europe, US, Japan, Malaysia and Australia, among others. In recent years, many localities and businesses have made strong investments in sustainable production in order to achieve international certifications, creating a foundation for Vietnamese clam exports to expand.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam’s bivalve mollusk export turnover in the first nine months of 2023 reached 98 million USD, down 11% over the same period last year. Of which, clam exports alone reached 62 million USD.
The top nine export markets for bivalve mollusks in the country in the first 9 months of this year include Spain, Italy, Portugal, Japan, America, and China, among others.
In addition, Vietnamese clam products have presented in nearly 60 markets worldwide. With the advantages of domestic production and significant potential for consumption markets, the clam industry is expected to reach a new height.
The Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that Vietnam has a variety of shellfish such as clams, blood cockles, snails, scallops and oysters, among others. Clams are also a key commodity that brings economic value and development potential. Clams are raised in a lot in provinces, including Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh.
Many businesses are focusing on investing in technology and constantly improving quality, including Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd.
The Dutch Lenger SeaFood Group has surveyed in six clam farming provinces in Vietnam. Realising the long-term clam farming potential of Nam Dinh province, Lenger SeaFood Netherlands decided to build a clam processing factory and establish Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd. Since then, Lenger Seafood Vietnam has continuously tried and accompanied local people and authorities to promote the development of clam farming.
According to Tong Thi Luong, Head of the Aquaculture Department, Nam Dinh Fisheries Sub-Department, Lenger Seafood Vietnam Co., Ltd. is the first unit to invest in technology, purchase and process commercial clams in Nam Dinh province for export.
Starting from 2019, Nam Dinh Fisheries Department has worked with other units in the industry to coordinate and support Lenger Seafood Vietnam in linking with farming households in Nghia Hung district to reorganise production towards sustainable clam farming.
By 2020, Lenger Seafood Vietnam’s “Lenger Fam” farming area was certified as the first sustainable clam farming area according to ASC standards in the world. This is a highly favorable condition to open new consumption markets for clams.
Luong added that Nam Dinh Fisheries Department has accompanied and supported Lenger Vietnam in applying high technology to the production process. In addition, the two sides have jointly built a high-tech clam seed production project and a clam farming model in ponds. The company assesses that this project will help improve the quality of clam varieties from the initial production stage, minimising difficulties and risks when raising clams on tidal flats.
According to Luong, Nam Dinh Fisheries Sub-Department and Nam Dinh Agro-Forestry-Fisheries and Fisheries Quality Management Sub-Department have deployed monthly environmental monitoring in concentrated clam farming areas. At the same time, they have implemented a food safety monitoring program in collecting bivalve mollusks. From there, Lenger can choose and evaluate product quality more accurately, helping the consumption of clam products improve.
Nguyen Ho Nguyen, General Director of Lenger Vietnam Seafood Co., Ltd. shared that the company is one of the first to achieve ASC certification for Vietnamese clams. Currently, Lenger Vietnam has built a 500-hectare clam beach, and is developing other farms to support this important certification.
The company currently exports clams mainly to the European market, with the main products being frozen, vacuum-sealed whole clams and canned clam meat. Every year, the company supplies to the market more than 8,000 tonnes of frozen clams, with revenue reaching about 15 million USD a year. It is expected that by 2024, export output will reach 10,000 tonnes a year, he said.
Dinh Xuan Lap, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Center for Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries (ICAFIS), Vietnam Fisheries Association, said that Vietnamese clams, especially the Myratrix Lyrata white clam, have great competitiveness in the world market. Deep-water clam farming is a great opportunity for Vietnam to expand its area and increase production organically. Vietnamese white clams can be processed into a wider variety of products to suit the global market.
Worst is over for garment, footwear exports, growth next year
Garment and footwear exports have slumped from the beginning of this year as soaring inflation and economic recession took their toll on consumption demand in major export markets of Vietnam. However, the drops slowed in recent months, signalling a slight recovery in the industries, experts said.
Statistics of the General Department of Customs showed that the export of garments fell by 12.9% to 27.7 billion USD in the first ten months of this year, and that of footwear by 18.3% to 16.4 billion USD.
The October figures saw an improved from the previous month, with footwear increasing 30.3% to 1.7 billion USD. The garment shipments dropped only 0.1% month-on-month to 2.57 billion USD.
According to Duong Thuy Linh, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association (VCOSA), the difficulty was not unique to the garment and textile industry of Vietnam.
Global exports dropped due to a decrease in global demand driven by geopolitical tensions, rising inflation in major markets such as the US and the EU, and tightened monetary policy in a number of countries. These moves forced global consumers to trim spending.
Meanwhile, market requirements for sustainability standards were becoming more stringent, along with fierce competition from other exporters such as Bangladesh and Myanmar, resulting in fewer and smaller orders.
Linh said that many textile companies were forced to narrow the production scale to 50-80% from the end of last year to the second quarter of this year. However, a slight recovery started from July with most producers resuming full capacity.
VCOSA forecasts that challenges will remain for the garment and textile industry of Vietnam as low consumption demand will persist in 2024.
The association projected that the export value will be around 40 billion USD this year, a drop of 10% compared with the previous year.
Linh emphasised that the worst is over, adding that with efforts of the Government and businesses, as well as increased market demand during major year-end holidays, it is expected that the billion-dollar export industry will recover in the near future.
According to VCOSA, the consumer price index (CPI) for 2023 estimated at 3.2-3.6% will help stabilise inflation, retain people’s income and avoid purse tightening. Lending rates have been reduced to support enterprises, it said, adding that GDP growth projected at 5% is also a great effort of the government to provide a stable environment for businesses so as to maintain production and overcome difficulties.
Linh pointed out that Vietnam’s garment industry still had a competitive advantage in terms of labour cost. The industry also benefited from new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) Vietnam signed with major markets.
 Statistics of the General Department of Customs showed that the export of garments fell by 12.9% to 27.7 billion USD in the first ten months of this year. (Photo: VNA)
Although local producers face difficulties in meeting sustainability standards, there are good signals as several fiber producers meet international standards such as Global Recycle Standard, Oeko-Tex and BCI. They are switching to using organic cotton, natural fibers and renewable energy in production, she said.
Economic expert Huynh Thanh Dien said that recent forecasts of big organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were better for global economic growth, laying the foundation for optimism about the recovery of consumption demand in major markets.
He went on to say that new trends are emerging in a new economic cycle, thus enterprises are urged to be proactive in grasping these opportunities.
Major markets such as the EU are strengthening the application of high requirements and standards on green and sustainable development, Dien said, adding that these are challenges but also opportunities for enterprises to make breakthroughs.
Vietnam’s rubber industry goes green
Many domestic rubber firms are pursuing a green strategy in an effort to reduce waste and verify sustainable forest management certificates to better promote the Vietnamese rubber brand globally.
Five years ago, the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) piloted a programme on sustainable rubber forest management, creating a premise for its members to expand their rubber areas.  
The group reported that as of the end of the third quarter, 30 of its member companies set forth sustainable forest management plans, up nine from the 2022 figure, spanning 272,000 hectares or 95% of the total area.
Meanwhile, 18 members have been granted sustainable forest management certificates with more than 113,000 hectares, fulfilling 83% of the set target.
Dau Tieng Rubber One-Member Co. Ltd, for example, is managing more than 28,000 hectares in 16 communes and townships in Dau Tieng and Bau Bang districts, and Ben Cat town. Of the area, 8,000 hectares have received GFA certification for sustainable forest management.
Apart from cultivation, the group has shifted its operations to green production, helping raise the awareness of its workers about environmental protection.
Dong Phu Technical Rubber JSC under Dong Phu Rubber JSC said it has recovered all of post-production by-products which are then processed to serve other production facilities, thus reducing waste discharged into the environment.  
Rubber latex processing factories have also recycled water, which has helped them save operating costs and use water resources more efficiently.
Vietnam Maritime Corporation inks deal with global consulting firm
The Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) recently signed a contract with the global research and strategic consulting firm Roland Berger to develop itself until 2030 with a vision to 2035.
According to the contract, Roland Berger will design solutions to carry out a strategy on VIMC’s business operations, with a specific focus on leveraging its expertise and connecting the company with the world’s leading financial, maritime transportation and logistics entities.
VIMC also proposed that Roland Berger consider the application of information technology, aiming for green technology to help VIMC achieve faster and more sustainable development in the future.
VIMC is considered a “giant” in Vietnam’s maritime industry, operating 15 seaports and one river port with a total of 75 wharves spanning 13,571m, accounting for over 26% of the total number of wharves and nearly 17% of the total length of wharves nationwide.
It also has a fleet of 64 vessels with a total deadweight tonnage of 1.45 million, or about 20% of the national fleet.
2023 Vietnam-UK Business Forum explores energy, trade opportunities
The Vietnam-UK Business Forum 2023 took place in Hanoi on November 24, as part of activities held by the Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation between Vietnam and the UK (JETCO) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department Ta Hoang Linh said despite geopolitical tensions and global economic challenges since the beginning of this year, two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK still stood out as a bright spot, reaching 5.87 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, showing a 1.6% increase year on year.
A number of Vietnam’s key export items from Vietnam showed positive growth, including rubber products 66%, electrical wires and cables 5.5%, phones and components 21%, machinery and equipment 15.5%. Agricultural products such as vegetables rose by 15.5%, cashew nuts 7.2%, and coffee 5.7%. Vietnam also increased its imports from the UK, particularly pharmaceuticals and machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts for production.
As a dynamic country with political stability and attractive business environment in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam has become a reliable and sustainable investment destination for the UK, he said.
As of October 20, the UK had invested in 550 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of around 4.28 billion USD, ranking 15th among 143 countries and territories investing there.
In the first eight months of this year, the UK recorded 43 new projects in Vietnam with a combined registered capital of 58.6 million USD, mostly in manufacturing and processing, renewable energy, industry, environmental management, finance and banking, real estate, retail, education, healthcare, and more.
Meanwhile, Vietnam now has 14 projects valued at 17.3 million USD in the European nation, which remains modest compared to the potential and aspirations of both countries.
David Johnstone, head of FTA Utilisation at the UK Department for Business and Trade, said both nations continue to demonstrate huge cooperation potential in energy transition in Vietnam. This is especially the case following the approval of the National Power Development Master Plan for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050 (Master Plan VIII) which allocates a large space for renewable energy. Both countries are also taking specific steps to realise the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).
During the event, two discussion sessions on energy and trade gathered numerous speakers, including experts, policy planners, researchers, and outstanding businesses of both countries. They shared new perspectives and valuable experience to explore new opportunities based on ongoing projects.
Linh affirmed that the ministry will continue offering all possible support to businesses and investors, including those from the UK. The aim is to help them realise ideas and efficient operations in Vietnam, contributing to making bilateral economic ties more substantial and effective.
RoK seeks to strengthen investment in central localities
The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the central city of Da Nang on November 24 held a conference on the expansion of investment cooperation between the RoK and central localities of Vietnam.
Addressing the event, the RoK’s Consul General in Da Nang Kang Boo-sung noted that since Vietnam and the RoK established diplomatic relations in 1992, their partnership has developed strongly in a variety of fields, especially in the economy.
Two-way trade rose 160 times in the past 30 years to 81.1 billion USD in 2022, said the diplomat, adding that the two sides are currently each other’s third largest trade partner.
Kang held that positive economic cooperation is a premise for the two sides to promote their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2022.
Particularly, about 8,000 Korean firms are operating in Vietnam, mostly in the northern and southern region. However, thanks to attractive investment attraction policies of central localities, 250 Korean firms have so far invested in the central region of Vietnam, he noted.
Kang said that the Consulate General of the RoK in Da Nang will work closely with regional localities to support Korean firms during their operation in the region, while helping deepen the economic partnership between the RoK and Vietnam’s central region.
Standing Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Da Nang Ho Ky Minh introduced the investment environment in Da Nang and central localities of Vietnam, as well as incentives in tax, land rent, labour and equipment that the localities are offering to foreign investors, along with their efforts to reform administrative procedures to provide optimal support to investors.
Da Nang is home to 1,016 FDI projects worth 4.2 billion USD, including 268 Korean-funded projects with a combined capital of over 362 million USD, making the RoK the fifth largest among 45 countries and territories investing in the central city.
A representative of neighbouring Quang Ngai province, which is home to 15 projects invested by Korean firms with a total investment of over 360 million USD, said that Quang Ngai hopes to set up twinning relations with Korean localities, and strengthen exports to the RoK, and promote cooperation with the country in labour.
Leaders of central localities also pledged to provide best conditions for foreign investors to secure long-term operations and healthily compete with other economic sectors for common benefits.
Innovative startup products, services on show in HCM City
Innovative startup products and services are being showcased at an exhibition opened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24.
The exhibition, held from November 23 to 25 by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the HCM City People’s Committee, is part of the national festival for innovative startups (TECHFEST) and the Week of HCM City Innovation, Startup and Entrepreneurship (WHISE) 2023.
It features nearly 200 booths displaying products and services of startup companies and projects, along with business matching activities to boost their connectivity with startup ecosystems in Vietnam and the region.
The exhibition also shares startup stories and ways for developing a startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem and fostering development cooperation in the startup community.
Discussions and workshops are also organised during which experts, businesses, startups, and local officials look into development strategies of innovative startups.
TECHFEST and WHISE 2023 have been taking place with over 40 events in HCM City throughout October and November. Themed “Unleashing the potential of national resources – Empowering Vietnam’s innovative startup ecosystem for global integration”, the events are expected to bring about chances for connecting financial resources and partners, developing domestic and foreign markets, and sharing knowledge with startup founders to help companies optimise resources and develop.
HCM City is said to have the best innovative startup ecosystem in Vietnam. It ranks 114th among the 1,000 global cities with dynamic ecosystems and third in ASEAN in terms of ecosystem value with an economic impact of up to 5.22 billion USD.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai said the city always supports and provides optimal conditions for businesses and startups to grow. It is working to provide assistance in capital and market access, technology and human resources, create a favourable and transparent business climate with healthy competition, and improve public awareness of the importance of startup and innovation.
He expressed his hope that companies, startups, and young people will choose HCM City as the destination for them to start their businesses and get rich.
Vietnam boosts trade ties with Eurasian region
The Vietnam-Eurasia Trade Forum themed “Adapt to the Market Context, Unleash Potential” was held in Hanoi on November 24.
In his opening remarks, Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said that Eurasia was previously a traditional market of Vietnam and is currently considered a potential export market with an ample room for cooperation. It comprises of 28 countries, stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, with a total area of about 23.5 million sq.km, a population of more than 400 million, and a total GDP of nearly 4.5 trillion USD.
In the first nine months of this year, trade between Vietnam and Eurasian countries reached 9 billion USD, down 6.5% year-on-year, of which 6.3 billion USD came from Vietnam’s exports, down 1.2% year-on-year.
This remains a potential market for Vietnamese businesses, as the country’s export revenue to this market accounts for only 2.4% of its total export value, and about 0.4% of the region’s total import value. Meanwhile, the total capital of investment projects from this market also makes up only 0.3% of the total foreign direct investment in Vietnam, Linh stated.
At the forum, speakers from the MoIT, the Central and Eastern European Business Association, the embassies of the Eurasian region in Vietnam, and Vietnamese trade offices in this region, and representatives of some large corporations doing successful business in this region provided useful information about policy trends, cooperation needs and opportunities, and experience in accessing and gaining a firm foothold in this market.
A talkshow between representatives from State management agencies, associations and enterprises on opportunities and challenges when doing business and investing in the Eurasian region was organised within the framework of the forum.
Linh said that the MoIT, as the agency in charge of bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation activities, will continue to coordinate with embassies and trade representative offices in the region in accompanying the business community to take advantage of new cooperation opportunities, remove difficulties and obstacles in trade activities, and to complete and carry out comprehensive solutions to promote trade and investment between Vietnam and the European – American market in general and the Eurasian market in particular.
Vietnamese, Lao capital cities ink deals to boost trade
Vietnamese and Lao enterprises signed nine memoranda of understanding (MoUs) spanning a wide range of cooperation fields at a trade connection conference between Hanoi and Lao businesses held in Vientiane on November 24.
The event was held by the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the Vietnam Trade Office in Laos and the Vientiane Department of Industry and Trade, aiming to introduce strengths, trade, investment promotion opportunities between the two capital cities.
Accordingly, the agreements cover cooperation in seed transfer, technology and development of raw material areas, raw material purchase, and product consumption in an attempt open up many business cooperation opportunities.
Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen said that over the past time, trade cooperation between Hanoi and Laos have gained fruitful results. Two-way trade between Hanoi and Laos reached 411 million USD in 2022.
Quyen affirmed that the conference was of significance to Hanoi’s enterprises to bolster trade promotion, introduce brands and products, connect trade between Vietnamese and Lao enterprises in the host country.
Hanoi’s enterprises participating in the event shared their experience, demand and cooperation potential to Lao enterprises, introduced Hanoi’s traditional craft villages and their products. The two sides exchanged information and discussed to boost product consumption, and technology transfer.
Besides, the “Hanoi – Vietnam” booth was arranged with the participation of 16 enterprises from Hanoi, introducing agricultural products, food, garments and textiles, handicraft products, cosmetics, and OCOP  (one commune one product) products in That Luang Festival and Vientiane Trade Exhibition 2023 from November 23-27. It has attracted attention of local enterprises and consumers.
On this occasion, Hanois’ delegation visited a number of production facilities, supermarkets, and traditional markets in Vientiane to understand more about local people’s needs and consumption habits, thereby seeking investment and business cooperation opportunities, introduce products, study and find raw material growing areas in Laos.
Forum spotlights green export promotion to keep up with global trend
The Vietnam Export Forum 2023 took place in Hanoi on November 24 with a focus on green export promotion to meet the growing green consumption trend in the world.
The event, held by the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the projects supported by the Swiss Government, aimed to provide a platform for enterprises to share experience in developing green production and sustainable export.
Delivering the opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said green growth, green development, and circular economy are becoming a global trend as a positive solution to cut greenhouse gas emissions, improve economies’ resilience and creativity, and work towards carbon neutrality and sustainable development.
In Vietnam, green and sustainable development is an important task identified in the socio-economic development strategy for 2021 – 2030, the goods export and import strategy by 2030, and the national green growth strategy for 2021 – 2030 with a vision to 2050. Recently, the Prime Minister issued a national action plan on perfecting policies and laws to promote responsible business practices in the country for the 2023 – 2027 period, he noted.
Many developed economies in the world have set stricter regulations related to imports such as the European Green Deal and relevant mechanisms such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.
Therefore, Hai said, to not be left behind due to importing markets’ high environmental and social standards, exporting countries need to change their mindset and pay more attention to the greenness of supply chains and international trade.
Dinh Quoc Thai, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Vietnam Steel Association, said it is compulsory for the steel industry, an energy intensive and highly emitting sector, to further accelerate green production and emission reduction to increase export to the EU and help realise the target of net zero emissions.
However, he noted, it is not easy for enterprises to do that because a green steel industry requires financial and technological resources as well as their own activeness, especially as the regulations on carbon emission cuts were issued just recently.
The steel industry and its enterprises have been coordinating with relevant parties to take actions to meet the CBAM of the EU, he continued, adding that his association will work out more measures and an implementation roadmap to secure a competitive and green steel industry.
Apart from enterprises’ efforts, authorities should also simplify procedures for receiving and reporting data about CO2 emissions, encourage companies to adopt action strategies and plans to respond to the CBAM, and provide more detailed guidance on carbon footprint certification, Thai said.
Le Van An, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry, suggested that during the green transition process, businesses can develop renewable energy by making use of irrigation lakes and canals to produce solar power, or grow bamboo around those lakes since it is helpful for conserving soil and water, trading carbon credit, and producing bamboo charcoal pellets for biomass power generation.
Green production opportunities depend much on enterprises, and the transition needs time and detailed guidance so that they can satisfy importers’ requirements, he opined.
Khanh Hoa exports first batch of bird’s nests to China
Khanh Hoa Bird’s Nest Beverage Joint Stock Company hosted a ceremony on November 24 to officially mark the export of the first batch of bird’s nests to the firm’s Chinese partners. This represents the locality’s first batch of bird’s nests exported to China via official channels.
Trinh Thi Hong Van, deputy general director of Khanh Hoa Bird’s Nest Beverage JSC, emphasised that the company has deployed a chain of more than 300 bird’s nest houses in line with standard production procedures, generating an output of about 30 tonnes for export each year.
Van underscored the importance of the event as part of efforts to provide an opportunity for businesses to gain entry to a market which boasts the most potential in the world.
The company will co-operate effectively with partners, as well as working to increase the coverage of various bird’s nest product at supermarket chains throughout China with the ultimate goal of raising growing export turnover moving forward, she noted.
Upon addressing the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien emphasised that the first official export of bird’s nests to the northern neighbour will help local enterprises to promote the export of other processed products to this market in the coming time.
It is also anticipated to contribute to bringing high economic value and developing the brand of Khanh Hoa bird’s nest moving forward.
Vietnam has 42 provinces and cities raising bird’s nests with over 23,000 bird’s nest houses with the output reaching about 200 tonnes, worth over US$700 million.
Among them, Khanh Hoa province is home to the leading number of bird nest populations in the country with the quality of bird nests being rated as the best in the world.
It is also the locality where the number of bird nest houses is growing rapidly, reaching over 1,000 houses.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes