28/11/2023   14:00 (GMT+07:00)
HaNoi Midnight Sale 2023 draws over 2.4 million shoppers
HaNoi Midnight Sale, a large-scale concentrated promotion event that took place in the capital city from November 24-25, attracted about 2.4 million shoppers who enjoyed more than 3,000 promotion programmes worth over 25 trillion VND (1.03 billion USD), up 20% over last year’s edition.
This year, it drew about 200 businesses, trade centres and producers, and fashion brands. There were over 10 million visits to the online shopping website.
A highlight of the event is a flash sale display area at Big C Thang Long supermarket with the participation of nearly 20 brands offering discout of up to 70%.
A representative from Big C stated that the supermarket experienced a significant spike in visits, almost 230% higher than on other days of the week. Online shopping through the Zalo app also doubled. Key discounted items such as groceries, fresh produce, fast-moving consumer goods and non-food items were in high demand.
The Winmart chain also reported a 140% increase in sales and visits compared to other days of the week.
Japan’s AEON reported that sales and foot traffic at AEON Mall Ha Dong and AEON Mall Long Bien malls increased by nearly 200% during the three-day event. The website and mobile app traffic for shopping also nearly tripled compared to regular weekdays.
According to a representative from the BRGMart supermarket chain, they saw a sale increase of over 130%. BRG’s shopping website saw approximately double the usual shopping traffic.
The HaNoi Midnight Sale event concluded the Hanoi concentrated promotion programme, which took place in May, July and November, with more than 2,000 outlets engaging all economic sectors, aiming to stimulate consumption, reduce inventories, and contribute to promote Hanoi’s economic growth.
Ample room for Vietnamese coffee in Algerian market: Trade Counsellor
There is ample room for Vietnamese coffee in the Algerian market because importers and consumers in the African country favour the coffee’s quality and taste, said Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Algeria Hoang Duc Nhuan.
Nhuan said Algeria is now among the top 10 importers of Vietnam’s raw coffee. Vietnamese coffee accounts for 30-50% of Algeria’s total coffee import. For several years, coffee has also been Vietnam’s biggest export item to Algeria, making up over 60% of Vietnam’s total export revenue from this market.
In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam shipped 52,174 tonnes of coffee to Algeria, earning 116 million USD, up 52% in volume and 67% in value year-on-year. This year’s export turnover is estimated at 125 million USD, marking a 47% increase from 2022. 
According to the trade counsellor, Vietnamese raw coffee also has potential to expand its market share in other African countries, especially those in North Africa such as Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, which want to import raw coffee and green coffee beans for roasting and processing to meet the taste of local consumers, increase added value while generating more jobs to local population.
He suggested that Vietnamese coffee exporters actively participate in trade promotion activities such as international fairs and exhibitions, online and offline trade conferences, and get the help from the Vietnamese Trade Offices in North African countries to seek partners and importers for the upcoming harvest season.   
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks of Algerian people but the country does not cultivate the tree so it imports 100% of coffee needs.  With a population of over 46 million people, Algeria imports roughly 130,000 tonnes of various types of coffee beans each year, with a value of around 300 million USD. Robusta constitutes over 85% of Algeria’s total coffee import while the rest is Arabica.
Vietnam advised to expand exports, hold new markets
Exports, in addition to consumption and investment, play a crucial role in propelling Vietnam’s economy beyond challenges, aiming to swiftly revive it.
The latest report from the World Bank (WB) updating Vietnam’s macroeconomic situation in October noted that exports and imports continue to recover, meeting the increasing demand from abroad. Although the export situation has shown signs of improvement since May, the cumulative figure for the first 10 months remained lower than the same period in 2022. However, this indicator shows positive signals, reflecting the high competitiveness of many export goods and services that Vietnam excels in.
Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, acknowledged that by focusing on promoting exports, Vietnam is correct in pursuing a self-reliance policy through integration to increase market share for goods and services shipped overseas, including those with advantages in high-demand global markets.
However, in the long run, Vietnam may lose competitiveness in some price-sensitive export sectors, especially in labour-intensive manufacturing or agriculture. This underscores the importance of quickly expanding markets and holding new ones as demand is expected to increase.
To promote sustainable export development and enhance Vietnam’s export competitiveness, Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Agency of Foreign Trade, held that measures need to be developed to support production, create a sustainable supply, and expand into new export markets. Furthermore, the government needs to continue refining its institutional framework, and strengthen state management in import-export activities to facilitate fair trade and counter fraud.
From a business perspective, Le Tien Truong, Chairman of the Vietnam National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex), said to enhance Vietnam’s export competitiveness, it is necessary to focus on investing in automation to increase productivity and efficiency, reduce labour costs, and improve the quality and consistency of products.
Businesses also proposed that the government and relevant ministries continue to collaborate with them in exploring new partnerships, markets, and customers through the implementation of trade promotion programmes and the signing of free trade agreements and cooperation protocols. Additionally, they recommended the formulation of policies to encourage the shift towards green and sustainable production.
Vietnam M&A Forum 2023 to be held in HCM City
The Vietnam M&A Forum 2023, themed “Thriving Together”, will be organised by Bao dau tu (Investment review) in Ho Chi Minh City on November 28.
The forum, the 15th of its kind, draw the participation of more than 500 experts and enterprises, who will discuss M&A opportunities, and share excellent M&A strategies.
It will feature an awards ceremony to honour companies with robust M&A strategies and most outstanding advisory firms in the past 15 years, and an announcement of an in-depth report on the M&A market in Vietnam during 2009-2023.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet and discuss with businesses from Singapore through the VBEX Connect Business Matching Programme.
At the Global M&A Partners Conference held in the southern economic hub last week, experts said enterprises from the US and the EU are funneling new capital into Vietnam, with the local M&A market expected to maintain its attractiveness despite its relatively modest scale.
Ivan Alver, Co-chairman of GMAP, said he believes that Vietnam’s strengths lie in its stable political environment, abundant and skilled labour force, and competitive labour costs. As a result, multinationals are choosing the Southeast Asian country as a destination to implement their supply chain diversification strategies.
In addition to the prospect of becoming a manufacturing hub in the region, Vietnam also promises to be a consumer market with an increasing middle-class population. European and American investors will have to invest more to penetrate this market, said Alver.
Arnaud Ginolin, deputy general director of Boston Consulting Group Vietnam, shared that although electronic manufacturing companies in Vietnam mainly focus on outsourcing activities, the country, with its current advantages, can certainly rise in the value chain of the semiconductor industry.
Quảng Ninh aims to attract $3b in EZs, IPs
The northern province aims to lure US$3 billion to economic and industrial parks in 2024, heard at a meeting in the locality on Wednesday.
The meeting was to review the three-year implementation of the provincial Party Committee’s Resolution 01 on rapid and sustainable development of the manufacturing and processing industry in the 2020-25 period, with an orientation to 2030.
To realise the goal, the locality will focus on attracting new generation foreign direct investment (FDI) capital to economic zones (EZs) and industrial parks (IPs), prioritising high-tech, environmentally friendly processing and manufacturing projects with high investment capital, high-added value, and positive contributions to growth and budget revenue.
It will increase the occupancy rate of industrial parks and economic zones, focusing on Quảng Yên, Vân Đồn, Móng Cái EZs, and Đông Mai, Sông Khoai, Việt Hưng and Bắc Tiền Phong IPs.
At the same time, the province will also concentrate on speeding up construction investment progress, especially in areas where land clearance has been completed, and ensuring synchronisation of technical and transport infrastructure inside and outside EZs and IPs.
Removing difficulties, accelerating site clearance compensation, and completing the construction of IP infrastructure projects will be also included. 
Under a plan approved by the Prime Minister for the 2021-30 period with a vision to 2050, Quảng Ninh will have 23 IPs, the largest number among localities across the country.
Among the 23 planned IPs, seven have been built and host investment projects, namely Cái Lân, Việt Hưng, Hải Yên, Đông Mai, Hải Hà Seaport IP, Sông Khoai, and Đầm Nhà Mạc service IP. The remaining are in the process of planning or waiting for approval and selecting investors. 
Ford VN recalls nearly 1,200 Everest, Explorer SUVs
Ford Vietnam has issued recalls for a total of 1,182 Everest and Explorer SUVs for engine control module software failure and a rearview camera display error.
The recall affects 185 vehicles produced at Ford’s factory in Thailand between June 28, 2022, and April 4, 2023.
The American carmaker said the software failure causes the AdBlue warning light, which indicates the car could drive another 2,400km before the liquid needs to be refilled, flashes 500km earlier.
AdBlue is an additive injected into the exhaust system to reduce the harmful NOx gas the car emits, helping the Everest meet Euro 5 emission standards.
The other recall involves 997 Explorer cars imported from the US and manufactured between October 19, 2018, and May 2, 2023.
They have faulty camera control software which causes the central screen to display a blue mark or turn blue/black when in reverse or when the 360-degree mode is on.
To fix the problem, a new rearview camera and wiring and a software update are needed, which should take about 60 minutes.
Ford earlier recalled 1,870 Transit vans assembled between July 22, 2022, and March 17, 2023, for defective steering column components.
Bolts and screws used to connect the steering shaft to the steering wheel could be loose, leading to a loose steering wheel or unusual noises in certain situations. 
Bac Ninh leads in online business registration rate
The northern province of Bac Ninh reported 100% in the rate of online business registration applications in November, leading all localities across the country in the field, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.
In the month, the number of newly-established firms in the province reached 293, up 7.3% year on year, with a combined registered capital of over 4.5 trillion VND (185.64 million USD), a surge of 71.6%.
In the January-November period, the rate of online business registration applications in Bac Ninh reached 99.98%, ranking second in the country. In this period, the province saw 3,190 new businesses, a year-on-year rise of 30.8%.
To date, Bac Ninh has hosted 22,128 businesses with total capital of nearly 389 trillion VND, including 18,048 operating firms with combined capital of nearly 357 trillion VND.
VKBIA strengthens Vietnam – RoK investment cooperation
A delegation of the Vietnam – Korea Businessmen and Investment Association (VKBIA) paid a working trip to Naju city in Jeollanamdo province, the Republic of Korea, on November 23-24, to promote investment cooperation and technology transfer.
During their stay, the delegation attended the Dongshin Expo 2023 themed Convergence and Innovation, and the opening ceremony of the Daesil Self-Reliant Energy Village Experience Center – Carbon Neutral.
They also signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement on investment and decided to promote the construction of traditional villages, ecological cities, smart cities with self-reliant energy – carbon neutrality, low carbon emission growth in some localities in Vietnam.
Also attending were Mayor of Naju City – Mr. Yoon Byung Tae, Chairman of Naju City Council – Mr. Lee Sang Man, Vice Mayor of Naju City – Mr. Kang Young Ku, President of Jeollanamdo Provincial Technology Park – Mr. Oh Ik- Hyun, President of Gwangju – Jeollanamdo Regional Innovation Platform – Mr. Park Sung Soo, Principal of Dongshin University – Ms. Lee Joo-Hee.
The Dongshin Expo 2023 displayed new future industrial technologies such as smart mobility, AI, new and renewable energy, green energy, 3D printing and coding technology, manufacturing of self-made wind generators for families and eco-villages, manufacturing of salt water fuel cells, electronic sports and games using robot coding.
At the expo, representatives of Naju administration, Jeollanamdo Technology Park, Dongshin University and Vietnam – Korea Businessmen and Investment Association signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement on investment, research and promotion of the building of traditional villages, ecological cities, smart cities with self-reliant energy – carbon neutrality, low carbon emission growth in some localities in Vietnam.
The delegates then attended the opening ceremony of Daesil Self-Reliant Energy Village Experience Center – Carbon Neutrality, held at Daesil Village, Naju City, Jeollanam-do. This was the result of a national programme implemented by the Ministry of Land and Transport, Ministry of Education, Ministry of SMEs and Startups of Korea, National Research Foundation of Korea, Jeollanamdo Provincial Government, Gwangju City Government and Naju City Government.
This is a self-reliant energy sharing economic village model, implemented by the coordination of Dongshin University, Naju City and green energy research units, including Innomotive – a member of the VKBIA – is the co-ordinating unit, this is a national program aimed at leading the era of carbon neutrality and green energy transition. This model will continue to be applied in Korea, and to be oriented towards cooperation and investment, technology transfer and application in some localities in Vietnam.
“This is the first model to be implemented and completed. Today operated programmes such as e-mobility and smart management in Daesil rural eco-village, using new and renewable energy, hybrid solar/wind generator and system share the battery, and at the same time have time to share the achievements achieved so far for local people to apply and enjoy,” emphasized Yoon Byung Tae, mayor of Naju City.
Tran Hai Linh, chairman of VKBIA, noted that this was one of the important models promoting the successful connection between the Government,  research institutes, and businesses through practical application, aiming to develop an industrial ecosystem and services for renewable energy; use energy economically and efficiently; accelerate the roadmap to build a smart power grid and develop renewable energy storage systems, along with accelerating green energy conversion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring just energy transition.
“The signing of the four-party agreement between Naju City Government, Jeollanamdo Provincial Technology Park, Dongshin University, and Vietnam – Korea Businessmen & Investment Association will affirm our goal of strengthening investment cooperation, transfer and application of science and technology between Korea and Vietnam,” said Linh.
Innovation can drive positive ESG outcomes: UNDP expert
“The future of environmental, social and governance will be shaped by innovation and sustainable solutions,” Dzeneta Mulabegovic, strategic specialist, UNDP, Việt Nam, said.
Speaking at the Việt Nam Innovation Summit held by InnoLab Asia and the HCM City Department of Science and Technology in HCM City on November 25 and 26, she said: “Enterprises that pioneer eco-friendly technologies, circular economy practices, and renewable energy initiatives will lead the way in creating a greener and more sustainable future.”
While it is on the corporate radar in Việt Nam, different sources indicate that the actual level of ESG practice is still low, she said.
“As much as 80 per cent of businesses in Việt Nam might have made ESG commitments, or plan to do so in the near future.
“However, around 70 per cent of them indicate a lack understanding of the data required and to have none to very limited reporting. Only 24 per cent indicate to have a clear governance structure to drive the ESG commitments forward.
“Merely adhering to ESG-related legislation and regulations, or having some kind of ESG programme in place, falls short of genuine ESG practice.”
She said the desired benefits of ESG for people, planet and profit could only be achieved with an ESG strategy with clearly defined targets and metrics, with rigorous data collection and disclosure, and a strong ESG management framework in place.
She listed lack of knowledge, human resources and government regulation as among the challenges and barriers to advancing ESG in Việt Nam.
“We see the need for a comprehensive programme to work on capacity building for businesses, to support their access to the ESG and Impact investors, to develop clear regulatory frameworks for businesses and financial institutions, and to raise awareness about the importance of doing ESG the right way, with focus on scientific validity and real-world impact.”
The expectation is that both at the global and national level, the political commitment and regulatory pressure for corporate sustainability would continue to increase, as would the demand from potential investors and consumers. Access to financial services and investment, also in Việt Nam, is expected to increasingly become related to ESG performances, she said.
The future of ESG lies in data, she said, noting that “Harnessing the power of advanced analytics and technology will enable organisations to unlock deeper insights into their sustainability performance.
“Data-driven decision-making will become a strategic imperative for enterprises aiming to thrive in the age of sustainability. High-quality ESG data will be crucial to attract sustainable investments.”
Bert Grobben, founder and CEO of Budding Innovation, said: “Corporate innovation in Việt Nam must align with the country’s green transformation goals. Companies should be incentivised to invest in sustainable technologies and practices. This involves not only adopting renewable energy but also innovating in areas like waste reduction, sustainable supply chains, and green product development.”
They need to adapt to changing market dynamics that favour sustainability, including responding to consumer demand for environment-friendly products and services and adapting to international standards and expectations in sustainability, which could open up new markets and opportunities, he said.
Việt Nam has advantages in green transformation compared to Singapore thanks to its unique geographical and socio-economic advantages that could foster sustainable agricultural practices, green urban development, and offer diverse renewable energy potential, among others, he said.
“Embracing green transformation can open doors to new international markets, particularly in the west where there is a strong focus on sustainability.”
Firms need to adopt sustainable business practices, develop and market green products and services to meet the growing consumer demand for sustainable options, and engage in corporate social responsibility activities, he said.
Over the long term they need to allocate resources for research and development in sustainable technologies and practices that can provide a competitive edge, and build sustainable supply chains, he said.
They need to prepare for potential regulatory changes by proactively adapting higher environmental standards, he said.
In addition to businesses’ determination and efforts, the policy foundation is very important, he said, noting more cohensive, long-term policies are needed.
Mulabegovic said: “While currently lagging behind in ESG practice, Vietnamese businesses have the opportunity to leapfrog on their sustainability path.
“UNDP has developed the SDG Impact Standards and the Impact Measurement and Management Tool, which can guide you on this path.”
The annual summit titled “Innovation for a Greener Vietnam” featured four panel discussions where experts and corporate leaders shared insights on how innovation can drive positive ESG outcomes and fostering a sustainable and responsible approach to business and society among others.
Representatives from VinFast, Datbike and Ecotruck also shared their stories on producing and popularising electric vehicles in the country.
Five start-ups with ESG solutions made pitches at the event to raise funds.
The organisers also presented “Make the Future Green Award” to companies that have made outstanding contributions to sustainability. 
Quảng Ninh sees changes in pursuing smokeless industry
Quảng Ninh, traditionally known as the coal mining province of the North, has made determined strides in greening tourism activities, ensuring sustainable development and cementing tourism as the province’s economic powerhouse.
In the face of challenges like climate change and disease outbreaks, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic that shook up tourism, Quảng Ninh tourism has adapted quickly and recovered impressively.
Since 2013, the province has identified a shift in its development approach from “brown” to “green”, promoting sustainable development in tourism – the smokeless industry.
On May 24, 2013, the Executive Committee of the provincial Party Committee issued Resolution 07-NQ/TU on the development of tourism in Quảng Ninh Province from 2013 to 2020, with a vision towards 2030. Specifically, the province will develop tourism in the province in a sustainable, professional, modern and efficient manner, with a focus on key areas and points of interest.
The approach has been consistently embedded within policies, strategies and planning frameworks.
As a result, the tourism sector has fully harnessed its existing potential, generating distinctive tourism products.
The growth of tourism has been closely linked with conservation initiatives aimed at preserving and promoting the cultural history and values of local ethnic communities.
Furthermore, there has been a considerable emphasis on sustainable management, responsible natural resource extraction, environmental protection and biodiversity preservation.
Notable examples include agricultural tourism, community-based tourism and ecotourism in Bình Liêu, Hải Hà and Tiên Yên districts, and Móng Cái City. There are also tourism service cooperatives offering boat tours to explore fishing villages, the community-based tourism area of Kỳ Thượng Am Váp farm in Kỳ Thượng commune, or community-based tourism in Yên Đức village in Đông Triều Town.
These initiatives have provided fascinating experiences for visitors and have contributed to promoting cultural values, addressing employment issues and achieving sustainable poverty reduction in the localities.
Nguyễn Vũ Quỳnh Anh, general director of Sun Hospitality Group under Sun Group, appreciated the province’s efforts and achievements in transitioning the economy from ‘brown’ to ‘green’, citing the province’s improvements as a model of tourism transformation.
“The provincial government of Quảng Ninh has set the objective of transitioning the economy from ‘brown’ to ‘green’, gradually reducing mining activities and shifting focus towards tourism and services,” Quỳnh Anh said.
“The province has called for investments in a series of key projects to provide momentum for the accelerated growth of the smokeless industry. Thanks to these driving projects, within just five years from 2013 to 2018, Quảng Ninh Province had attracted 100 investment projects with a total capital investment of VNĐ110 trillion (US$4.5 billion).
“Thanks to the right direction and strategic investor attraction for infrastructure development, transportation and tourism infrastructure, which act as powerful catalysts in the economic transformation from ‘brown’ to ‘green’, Quảng Ninh has reaped the sweet fruits of remarkable tourism growth,” she said.
However, alongside the positive aspects, there are still challenges in tourist boat activities that impact the sustainable development of tourism destinations. Issues still persist, such as pollution from transportation, boat docking, onboard sanitation, crew waste, dining services, overnight stays on boats and entertainment activities.
With the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Quảng Ninh Tourism Department has developed the “Green Sail” criteria for tourist boats in Hạ Long Bay.
During the pilot phase, 36 tourist boats in Hạ Long Bay have been certified and awarded the prestigious “Green Sail” logo. These boats have demonstrated their commitment to environmental protection, efficient energy use, and contributing to the preservation of the region’s heritage, as well as fostering sustainable development in the local economy, culture and society through tourism.
Quảng Ninh Province has also implemented energy-saving solutions and published a comprehensive white paper on green growth in Hạ Long Bay.
Furthermore, proactive measures have been taken to apply advanced technologies, such as water-oil separation techniques for pre-treating wastewater before its discharge into the environment. Direct dumping of waste into the bay has been strictly avoided, and eco-friendly practices like using glass water bottles, paper straws and cups have been adopted during the operation of tourist boats in the bay to minimise environmental harm.
Since 2019, a total of 204 tourism boat businesses and individuals, along with 15 kayak and rowing boat service providers, as well as 51 aquaculture businesses, have made commitments to the Ha Long Bay Management Board.
They have pledged not to use single-use plastic products in their tourism activities on the bay. As a result, an impressive 90 per cent reduction in single-use plastic waste has been achieved, with proper collection points established at various attractions throughout the bay.
Cô Tô Island, another famous destination in Quảng Ninh Province, is also on the move towards building a sustainable green tourism environment.
Since last September, the People’s Committee of Cô Tô District has implemented a pilot regulation prohibiting visitors from bringing plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other materials that pose an environmental pollution risk to the island.
After one year of effective pilot implementation, starting in the middle of September this year, the district has enforced mandatory regulations that prohibit all visitors from bringing plastic bags and single-use plastic items to the island.
Additionally, all administrative agencies, schools, markets, service businesses and fishing vessels operating within the Cô Tô area are also prohibited from using plastic bags, single-use plastics, and other items that might pollute the marine environment.
The ongoing efforts to safeguard the environment have yielded encouraging outcomes.
The leaders of Cô Tô District believe that due to the pristine climate and marine environment in the area, rare and precious marine species like dolphins, whales and sea turtles have been frequently spotted swimming and surfacing in the water recently.
Despite recent achievements, establishing a truly green, sustainable tourist economy will take time and require more efforts by the provincial government and residents.
Dong Thap boosts investment attraction for industrial zones

Aside from availing of the strengths of its agricultural economy, the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is sparing no efforts to ensure effective investment attraction into local industrial zones to spur socioeconomic development.
In light of Dong Thap industrial zone (IZ) development planning to 2030, with vision towards 2050, the areas specified for investment priority are local agricultural product and food processing; mechanical engineering in service of agriculture; electronics; production and processing of aromatic and pharmaceutical products; and handicraft production using locally sourced materials, among others.
The plan is for the province to develop an additional 11 IZs covering more than 4,400 hectares.
These IZs are Cao Lanh industrial, urban, and service area; Cao Lanh II and III; Song Hau 2; Ba Sao; Song Hau 3; Hoa Tan; Tan My industrial, urban, and service area; Thuong Phuoc; Binh Thanh, and Dinh Ba.
The province is currently home to four IZs covering nearly 400ha in total area, in which three IZs are operational, including Sa Dec in Sa Dec city, Song Hau in Lai Vung district, and Tran Quoc Toan in Cao Lanh city.
Tan Kieu IZ in Thap Muoi district is now in the technical infrastructure investment stage.
Dong Thap also hosts one border economic zone and two international border crossings, Thuong Phuoc and Dinh Ba, as well as five subordinate crossings namely So Thuong, Thong Binh, A Don, Binh Phu, and Moc Ra, in which the latter is oriented to become a key crossing in the forthcoming period.
As of now, Thuong Phuoc and Dinh Ba international border crossings accommodate six investment projects valued at $5.4 million in total registered capital.
The province’s existing IZs all connect to arterial national routes, lying along Tien River and Hau River sides, deemed convenient for both road and waterway transport.
Particularly, Sa Dec IZ runs next to provincial road 848, adjacent to the Tien River and Lap Vo Sa Dec channel. It is 4km from national highway 80 and 140km from Ho Chi Minh City.
Sa Dec IZ features a complete road system, accommodating Sa Dec port accessible to 5,000DWT ships, and a wastewater treatment plan with a total capacity reaching 8,500cu.m per day.
Meanwhile, Song Hau IZ runs parallel to the National Highway No.54 and faces the Hau River. The IZ, about 30km from Can Tho city centre and 165km rom Ho Chi Minh City, is home to a central wastewater treatment plant with a capacity reaching 300cu.m per day.
Tran Quoc Tuan IZ runs parallel to the National Highway No.30 and the Tien River. It is 11km from Cao Lanh and about nearly 150km from Ho Chi Minh City if travelling via the National Highway N2.
This IZ is nearby Cao Lanh Port, which is accessible to 5,000DWT ships. It hosts a central wastewater treatment system with phase 1 capacity reaching 250cu.m per day.
Existing IZs are home to 62 projects valued a total $489.3 million in total investment value, including 12 foreign-invested projects worth $232 million.
These IZs have enticed businesses chiefly operating in fields such as seafood processing; cattle, poultry, and aqua feed production; by-product processing for the seafood industry; shrimp cracker and noodle processing; garment and footwear production; building material production, and more.
The average occupancy rate of the three existing IZs has reached almost 90 per cent. Several eminent businesses based in these IZs are Hung Hau Agricultural, Cadovimex II Seafood, Cuu Long Fish Import-Export, Cargill Vietnam’s Dong Thap branch, New Hope Dong Thap, and Sethia Hemraj Rice Oil, to name but a few.
Part of the Mekong Delta region, Dong Thap boasts almost 3,375sq.km in total area and shares a 48km border with Cambodia.
Seminar discusses trade defence risk mitigation for exports to CPTPP
A seminar on mitigating trade defence risks when increasing exports to CPTPP markets took place in Hanoi on November 27.
Phung Gia Duc, deputy head of the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam’s office for addressing foreign trade defence processing, said that many member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are investigating trade defence cases involving Vietnamese products. Statistics show that Australia has initiated 18 cases so far, and Canada and Malaysia over 10 cases.
The most vulnerable and likely-to-be-investigated products are those with rapid and strong growth, he went on, adding that the principle to initiate such a lawsuit is an increase in imports.
Vu Van Phu, vice chairperson and general secretary of the Vietnam aluminum association, said that as trade defence measures in the world and in Vietnam are increasing, aluminum enterprises have begun to pay attention and change their perception of related risks.
They need support in connecting supply and demand, expanding markets, and avoiding dependence on a single market when facing trade defence investigations, Phu said.
Duc held that such cases will grow rapidly in the time to come. Therefore, businesses must regularly update changes in foreign laws. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will frequently organise dialogues on the issue with foreign investigation agencies.
The Vietnamese Government will protect Vietnamese enterprises but will also resolutely guard against businesses evading trade defence measures through illegal imports or origin evasion, he affirmed.
Firms advised to adapt to EU green requirements
Vietnamese firms need to focus on transformation to adapt to the EU’s green and sustainable development requirements, leveraging trade-investment potential between the sides, advised experts at a Vietnam-EU business forum in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27.  
Director General Ta Hoang Linh of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department said after the pandemic and ongoing political instabilities accelerating the supply chain shift, many global partners, including the EU, are actively diversifying their supply sources and choosing Vietnam as a strategic destination in the Indian Ocean-Pacific.
The EU is currently the third-largest export market and the fifth-largest import market of Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam has surpassed Singapore to become the largest trade partner of the EU in ASEAN and ranks 11th among the biggest commodity suppliers to the bloc.
According to customs statistics, two-way trade was valued at USD 62.24 billion USD last year, up 9.2% year-on-year, with Vietnam’s exports to the EU reaching 46.82 billion USD, an annual rise of 16.7%. In the third quarter of 2023, bilateral trade turnover stood at 15.12 billion USD, down 1.5% year-on-year. However, this decline is considered temporary, as the slowdown has significantly eased and the EU’s economy is gradually recovering.
Linh added that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has effectively supported the sides’ goods in accessing each other’s markets, meeting their diversification needs.
President of EuroCham Vietnam Gabor Fluit stressed that Vietnam’s strong commitment to the EU standards in sustainability will be a key driver attracting FDI, particularly from Europe.
Compliance with new market regulations from the bloc, especially the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), requires significant investment from Vietnam in modernising infrastructure, advancing green technology, and developing human resources, he noted.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, CEO of Research and Development at Vinamilk, shared that the Vietnamese dairy firm has long implemented a circular economy model, taking it as essential. In the near future, not only Europe but most of the global markets will demand products to meet green and sustainable standards, and companies failing to comply will struggle to compete.
Investment issues are the main challenge for most of the businesses in the green production transition. However, it can be said that the benefits gained will outweigh the costs of conversion, Khanh said.
Hanoi welcomes 22.6 mln tourists in 11 months
Hanoi welcomed 22.6 million tourists in the first 11 months of 2023, an increase of 32.4% year on year, the Hanoi Department of Tourism has reported.
Among the arrivals, international tourists accounted for 4.1 million, three times higher compared to the same period in 2022. The total tourism revenue reached 84.25 trillion VND (3.5 billion USD), a rise of 58.4% year on year.
Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said that the city has diversified products to serve visitors’ demand. It has effectively promoted rural, agricultural tourism economic, community tourism models. The department is developing water-way tour packages, tourism villages in Soc Son district and a craft village creative centre associated with tourism activities in Phu Xuyen district, among others.
Besides, it has created a digital tourism map in many languages piloted in some districts. Many tourist destinations have introduced electronic ticket systems to serve visitors.
Hanoi has launched 15 night-tourism products with the message “Hanoi Night – Touching Point of Emotions”, expected to bring new, unique experiences to visitors.
The capital city has also introduced the light art experience, and announced the decision recognising Hoan Kiem Lake, its surrounding areas and the Old Quarter as a city-level tourist area.
PM pledges continued support for young entrepreneurs
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh pledged the Government’s continued support for young entrepreneurs while addressing a ceremony marking 30 years of the young Vietnamese entrepreneurs’ movement in Hanoi on November 27.
From a club of 15 initial members, the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association (VYEA) now gathers nearly 19,000 members nationwide. Its member businesses earn more than 40 billion USD in annual revenue, contribute over 10% to national GDP, and create jobs for over 5 million people.
In particular, the VYEA’s participation in the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Council and the Young Entrepreneurs Group of Asia-Pacific is an important stride in the assertion of young Vietnamese entrepreneurs’ stature in the regional and global communities of businesspersons and companies.
In his remarks, PM Chinh attributed the country’s common achievements partly to substantial contributions by entrepreneurs, including young ones.
Entrepreneurs and businesses of Vietnam form one of the factors in successfully implementing industrialisation and modernisation and making breakthroughs in national socio-economic development, he stressed, highlighting their unceasing development in both quantity and quality and major contributions to national construction and safeguarding.
He applauded their sense of social responsibility as seen in their active participation in poverty reduction, community activities, and assistance for the public to respond to natural disasters and epidemics, especially the COVID-19.
The efforts and growth of Vietnamese young entrepreneurs have generated positive influence on the community of Vietnamese entrepreneurs as a whole, he opined.
The PM expressed his belief that despite intertwined opportunities, advantages, difficulties, and challenges in the time ahead, businesses and those run by young entrepreneurs will still manage to weather.
The Government will join hands in developing a strong Vietnamese business community that has high competitiveness, deeply engage in global value chains, and is resilient to external shocks, he stated, adding that it will focus on making three strategic breakthroughs in terms of institutions, infrastructure, and human resources.
PM Chinh called on businesses and young entrepreneurs to keep maximising their youth to take the lead in growth model reform, innovation, science and technology application, digital transformation, and green transition.
He asked them to improve their capacity, human resources quality, and leadership and governance capacity; develop the corporate culture; unceasingly make self-improvement and equip themselves with more knowledge, conditions and mettle to stretch their reach to the region and the world; and tighten connectivity with one another to promote the stature of Vietnamese businesses.
The Government leader also told the VYEA to enhance their role in assisting companies of young entrepreneurs to connect with one another, strongly apply technology, and boost innovation, and in helping perfect legal documents on businesses’ activities.
The Party and State always protect the rights and legitimate interests of young entrepreneurs and create conditions for them to contribute further to national construction and safeguarding, PM Chinh affirmed, voicing his belief that the Vietnamese business community will join efforts by the Party, State, and Government to surmount challenges, grasp new opportunities, and enhance the internal strength to help build a powerful and prosperous nation with happiness and wealth for all.
Vietnam, China move to tighten trade, investment links
About 150 enterprises of Vietnam and China joined in a conference held in Beijing on November 27 to promote bilateral economic, trade, and investment connections.
Addressing the event, Hoang Minh Chien, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that trade between the two countries has sustained stable and sustainable growth, by 5.5% from 2021 to over 175 billion USD in 2022. It surpassed 103 billion USD during the first eight months of 2023.
Last year, China continued to be the largest trading partner, the biggest exporter and the second largest importer of Vietnam. As the sixth biggest trading partner of China, Vietnam ranked fifth among importers of Chinese goods and 10th among exporters to the Northeast Asian market. Vietnam also topped trading partners of China in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Meanwhile, foreign direct investment (FDI) from China has been present almost across Vietnam, concentrating in coastal and populous localities with strong workforce attractiveness and favourable infrastructure for goods trading and travelling between the two countries, he noted.
Chien held that there remains huge potential for bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation, especially when the two economies are complementary to each other and green and circular economy is now a global trend.
He recommended enterprises of the countries seize chances to enhance cooperation to tap into the two economies’ complementarity, thereby bolstering stable and sustainable business partnerships and developing economic and trade ties to a new level.
For his part, Xu Jinli, head of the bilateral cooperation department at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), stressed that in recent years, bilateral economic and trade relations have continued to be intensified and reaped good results. Their trade has still been on the rise despite many challenges during the global economic recovery process.
Besides, investment links have witnessed steady progress while the countries’ industrial and supply chains have been strongly connected. Vietnam is the fourth largest investment destination of China in ASEAN, and more and more Chinese enterprises are coming to invest in the Southeast Asian country, he added.
He expressed his hope that the companies taking part in the conference could make use of this chance to have in-depth discussion and build consensus in cooperation to obtain mutually beneficial results.
PM sets target of disbursing at least 95% of public investment capital this year
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh urged the acceleration of public investment disbursement, striving to disburse at least around 676 trillion VND (27.8 billion USD) or 95% of the target this year while chairing an online meeting in Hanoi on November 27 between permanent Government members and ministries, agencies and localities.
In the first 11 months of this year, nearly 461 trillion VND (19.2 billion USD) in public investment capital was disbursed, reaching 65.1% of the target, or 6.77% higher than the same period last year. Though the figure was better than last year, 41 ministries and centrally-run agencies along with 24 localities posted disbursement rates lower than the national average.
PM Chinh said while there is just over one month left to conclude the fiscal year 2023, there is still a considerable amount of funding in need of disbursement, roughly 247 trillion VND (10.2 billion USD). He urged ministries, agencies and localities to elevate the spirit of overcoming difficulties to fulfil the new target of at least 95%.
To achieve the goal, they were asked to follow the directives of the Party, State, National Assembly and Government leaders, the Government’s resolutions regarding the work, which should be accompanied by ensuring the quality of projects and combating corruption and wastefulness.
Ministries were assigned to remove difficulties, including those related to three national target programmes in order to strengthen inspection and supervision while urging investors, contractors and consultants to accelerate project progress.
They were also responsible for thoroughly checking the project preparation, selecting projects for capital allocation, paying attention to the design, bidding, construction and payment procedures. Additionally, efforts must be intensified in administrative reform, application of information technology, and digital transformation in public investment.
The Government leader also requested maintaining the activities of the Government’s five working groups and the quarterly working session mechanism between Government members and localities. He emphasised the continuation of special working groups led by the Chairpersons of the People’s Committees of provinces to promote public investment.
Vietnam further promotes trade ties with Belgium’s Wallonia region
Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Le Hoang Tai and Pascale Delcomminette, CEO of Belgium’s Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX), on November 27 signed a letter of intent (LOI) to initiate cooperation in trade promotion between the two sides.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Hanoi, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Karl Van Den Bossche expressed his delight at the visit to Vietnam by an economic and trade delegation from the Wallonia region, adding that through this trip, he expected increases in Belgium’s exports to Vietnam and vice versa so as to balance the two-way trade.
Tai said that Belgium is running 88 projects worth 1.1 billion USD in Vietnam, and the country is also Vietnam’s sixth biggest trading partner with total trade revenue of 4.73 billion USD last year. Meanwhile, Vietnam is Belgium’s second largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
According to the official, the signing of the LOI was considered as the first brick in building a firm foundation for the bilateral collaboration, thus helping to strengthen connectivity and open up new cooperation opportunities.
For her part, Delcomminette said that the delegation comprising representatives of 20 companies and organisations from the Wallonia region is paying a working trip to Hanoi from November 27-28, and will visit Ho Chi Minh City from November 29-30.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has opened up more chances for cooperation, thus showing great potential from the Wallonia region and the opportunities that Vietnam brings to businesses of the two countries, she added.
Sustainable development of mariculture in Vietnam discussed
A conference was held recently in the central-coastal province of Khanh Hoa to discuss solutions to the sustainable development of mariculture in Vietnam.
Speaking at the November 25 event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said mariculture holds huge potential, given the country’s coastline of over 1 million sq.km.
Mariculture will contribute to the successful implementation of the 12th Party Central Committee’s resolution on the strategy for sustainable development of Vietnam’s marine economy till 2030, with a vision to 2045, he said, adding that the Prime Minister has issued a decision targeting a mariculture production of 800,000 tonnes by 2025. By the end of 2022, as much as 740,000 tonnes were already achieved.
He called for the spread of successful mariculture models, accompanied by ensuring that the products have proven origin and quality certification.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Hoa Nam said major species bred at sea in Khanh Hoa include seabass, cobia, goldfin permit and lobster. Among them, lobster is a high-value species preferred by tourists and foreign import markets.
Vietnam’s mariculture area covers 85,000ha with 8.9 million cu.m of cages, contributing to a total production of nearly 750,000 tonnes per year and an export turnover of 11 billion USD last year.
Khanh Hoa has over 97,000 aquaculture cages with an annual output of around 18,000 tonnes, creating jobs for over 4,000 rural workers, he added.
The national strategy for sustainable mariculture development by 2030 states that Vietnam has great potential for mariculture, particularly in raising varieties with high economic values such as plaice, grouper, tuna, oyster for pearls, and seaweed.   
With a coastline of over 3,260km and numerous islands and bays, the country ranks as the world’s fourth-largest producer of seafood from aquaculture.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes