24/10/2023   13:00 (GMT+07:00)
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam is poised to remain stable and even surpass 2022 levels due to a combination of domestic and international factors, reports KB Securities Vietnam JSC (KBSV) in its fourth-quarter economic outlook.
Vietnam has been actively working to attract foreign investment by offering attractive incentive packages and fostering a favorable business environment.
The country’s stable political and economic climate, strategic geographical location for investment, abundant labor force, and various signed free trade agreements make it increasingly appealing to investors.
Furthermore, Vietnam is benefiting from the ongoing shift of manufacturing operations out of China, with its stable currency, the dong, compared to China’s yuan, making it a more favorable business environment. Enhanced comprehensive strategic relations with the U.S. are also expected to indirectly attract more FDI from the U.S. to Vietnam.
The rebound in European business confidence in Vietnam is evident, with the business confidence index rising to 45.1 points in the third quarter.
In the first nine months of the year, Vietnam attracted total registered FDI capital of US$20.21 billion, a 7.7% increase compared to the same period last year. FDI disbursements also rose by 2.2%, reaching US$15.91 billion, the highest level since 2017. The Foreign Investment Department at the Ministry of Planning and Investment had anticipated this year’s FDI to reach between US$36-38 billion, with disbursements estimated at US$22-23 billion.
The total registered FDI in 2022 was US$27.72 billion, with disbursements of US$22.4 billion. This steady increase indicates that FDI businesses investing in Vietnam are not only recovering but also expanding their operations.
JICA pledges continued support to Vietnam in multiple sectors
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has reiterated its commitment to assist Vietnam in various areas, including infrastructure development, human resource growth, healthcare, and climate change mitigation, according to JICA’s Vietnam office.
At a press conference held on October 18, JICA’s Vietnam branch representatives outlined the agency’s ongoing support initiatives in these sectors.
At the event, JICA highlighted the near completion of Metro Line 1 in HCMC, which is currently 96% finished and is projected to be operational by July 2024. Additionally, JICA is supporting projects to improve public transport infrastructure in Binh Duong Province and enhance agricultural infrastructure in Lam Dong Province.
In terms of human resource development, JICA has initiated a project aimed at refining the Japanese internship environment for Vietnamese workers. A significant feature of this effort is an information portal designed to keep Vietnamese workers updated on opportunities in Japan.
In healthcare, JICA is steering Vietnam towards telehealth advancements. The agency is working on establishing a remote training system with a digital shift, intended to strengthen both frontline healthcare services and patient care quality. Collaborations have been formed with Japan’s private sector, non-government organizations, and educational institutions to further support Vietnam in areas such as rehabilitative care and nursing.
Addressing climate challenges, JICA is actively working on technical cooperation projects to mitigate the risks of floods and landslides in northern Vietnam. The agency is also engaged in improving nationwide weather forecasting accuracy.
Furthermore, JICA is researching and drafting projects for renewable energy development in Vietnam, financed under the investment frameworks for the private sector. These endeavors are coupled with afforestation and forest protection activities, seeking to help Vietnam achieve its carbon neutrality goal by 2050.
Data showed that the Japanese government committed an official development assistance (ODA) loan of around VND3.1 trillion to Vietnam in the fiscal year 2022 (from April 2022 to March 2023).
In fiscal 2023, agreements have been signed between JICA and Vietnam for projects amounting to an estimated VND10.67 trillion. These projects encompass areas such as urban infrastructure, agricultural supply chain development, and socio-economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 scenario.
AEON acquires SeABank’s stake in finance firm
AEON Financial Service, a unit of AEON Group, has acquired SeAbank’s stake in Post and Telecommunication Finance Company Limited (PTF) for VND4,300 billion.
SeABank signed a contract to transfer its entire charter capital in PTF to AEON Financial Service, a subsidiary of AEON Group, a leading Japanese retail corporation.
PTF, established in October 1998, is one of Vietnam’s firt non-bank credit institutions. In 2018, VNPT transferred all of its charter capital in PTF to SeABank.
Both parties will seek approval from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and other agencies to get the deal done, according to a representative of SeABank.
AEON Financial established its commercial presence in Vietnam by founding ACS Vietnam Trading Company Limited in 2008. As of February 2023, AEON Financial had served 48 million customers using its credit services. The company reported revenue of nearly US$3.5 billion in 2022, with equity and assets exceeding US$3.1 billion and US$46.5 billion, respectively.
HCMC to speed up public investment disbursement
As it is extremely hard to meet the public investment disbursement target for this year, HCMC has convened a conference to discuss coping measures in the final two months of the year.
The Standing Committee of the HCMC Party Committee held the conference as public investment disbursement is below the country’s average.
Nguyen Van Hoan, vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, said at the conference that the total budget allocation for the city this year is VND68,490 billion but as of October 16, only 35% of the amount had been disbursed.
Statistics showed that 18 publicly-funded projects have recorded zero disbursement though they were allocated over VND5,900 billion for this year.
Investors of 1,807 projects said they would meet 95% of their disbursement targets, with 288 of them needing to speed up disbursement.
However, around 233 projects in the city could not complete 95% of their targets, resulting in total public capital of over VND19,500 that could not be disbursed.
Explaining the reasons for the slow disbursement, Hoan said 98 projects could not meet their targets of public investment disbursement due to hindrances to compensation and resettlement.
Poor contractor capacity, prolonged revisions of plans, differences between settlement costs and estimates, and failures to finalize projects in due course are also attributed to the failure of public investment disbursement.
Phan Van Mai, permanent deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee and chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, said that the city would strive to achieve a disbursement rate not below 80% for this year. Under the current circumstances, it is impossible for the city to meet 95% of the full-year disbursement target, he added.
Authorities of HCMC’s districts and Thu Duc City are requested to work with site clearance compensation teams to boost disbursement, as the funds must be allocated by the end of this year.
Party Secretary of HCMC Nguyen Van Nen emphasized the need for investors to work well with competent authorities to facilitate disbursement, saying that strong measures would be taken to inspect and monitor public investment in the rest of the year, including replacing underperforming officials.
SBV continues issuing bonds
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the central bank, has withdrawn an additional VND4,250 billion through a G-bond auction this month.
In an auction conducted on October 19, the SBV offered 28-day G-bonds worth VND4,250 billion with a coupon rate of 1.45%. This is the highest coupon rate since the SBV resumes G-bond issuance.
On the same date, the G-bonds lot, which were sold on September 21, fell due, so nearly VND10 trillion was injected into the banking system.
Thus, the SBV has made a net injection of VND5,750 billion into the market via the auction session held on October 19.
In 21 consecutive G-bond auction sessions, the SBV had withdrawn nearly VND260 trillion from the market.
Given that VND10 trillion has been injected into the economy, the total value of G-bonds in circulation is around VND250 trillion, which is slightly lower than the peak seen on October 18.
Prime Minister requests to boost access to credit capital
In his telegram, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked for continued implementation of solutions to boost access to credit capital, remove difficulties for production and business activities, and state budget collection.
According to PM, access to credit capital is still difficult and credit growth is low. Specifically, as of October 11, credit growth only reached 6.29 percent, much lower than the same period in 2022 with 11.12 percent and operating orientation for the year 2023 from 14 percent to 15 percent; State budget revenue for 9 months is estimated to reach 75.5 percent of the yearly estimate.
Therefore, for prompt removal of difficulties and obstacles, and promote resources, improve the economy’s ability to access and absorption of credit capital while still promoting growth associated with maintaining macroeconomic stability to achieve the highest goals and targets of the socio-economic development plan and state budget for 2023 set out, the Prime Minister requested the State Bank of Vietnam to preside over effective monetary policy, with priority given to promoting growth associated with macroeconomic stability, controlling inflation, ensuring major balances of the economy, and safety of credit institutions.
At the same time, the state bank should manage monetary policy tools such as exchange rates, interest rates, and money supply synchronously and effectively to continue to remove difficulties and meet the highest possible demand for capital in promoting business and production creating jobs and livelihoods for people.
The Prime Minister requested to manage credit growth reasonably and effectively as well as improve credit quality, and direct credit to production and business sectors, especially in priority areas and growth drivers of the economy including investment, consumption, export, and credit control for potentially risky areas.
In addition, PM urged to formulate policies to encourage people to pour credit into feasible projects and businesses serving growth drivers by developing open lending procedures and reducing lending interest rates for a drastic implementation of a VND 120,000 billion (US$ 4,892,983,243) credit program for investors and homebuyers of social housing projects, worker housing projects, apartment renovation projects.
In addition, related agencies should continue to promote the implementation of a credit package of VND 15,000 billion for the forestry and fisheries sector.
The Prime Minister also directed responsible agencies to effectively implement solutions to create favorable conditions for businesses and people to access credit capital and strengthen more connections between banks and businesses.
Simultaneously, the Bank for Social Policies should implement preferential credit programs for the poor and other policy beneficiaries while solving problems to help people and businesses to get access to financial sources.
The Prime Minister also requested credit institutions to reduce operating costs, simplify lending procedures and conditions, and increase the application of information technology and digital transformation to reduce lending interest rates, especially support packages of VND 120,000 billion for social housing and VND 15,000 billion for the forestry and fisheries sectors.
The Prime Minister also directed the Ministry of Finance to have an eye on the implementation of effective expansionary fiscal policies in harmony with monetary policy to promote investment, especially non-state investment. Furthermore, the Ministry should promote public investment to serve growth, stabilize the macroeconomy, control inflation, and ensure major balances of the economy.
Last but not least, the Ministry of Finance must have good measures to increase revenue and reduce expenses and solutions for exemption, reduction, and extension of taxes, fees, charges, and land rent to support people and businesses.
People’s Committees of provinces and cities and credit institutions nationwide ought to have solutions to boost access to credit capital for people and businesses in addition to supporting businesses’ development.
Cross-border logistics reduces costs and time
The Office of the Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS) today organized a bilateral Cross-Border Logistics Conference with the participation of Chinese businesses – IPC Seaport Group and SITC International Container Shipping Group, and Vietnamese companies – Mega A Logistics Company, Agricultural Bank Insurance Joint Stock Company (ABIC), Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) and agricultural export enterprises.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2022, agricultural, forestry and fishery exports will reach a turnover of more than US$53 billion (US$ 2,161,067), an increase of 9.3 percent compared to 2021. The industry’s GDP growth rate is 3.36 percent, and the trade surplus is over $8.5 billion, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year. Amongst them, some 11 product groups have export turnover of over $1 billion and 7 items with revenue of over $3 billion.
In addition to shortening time and reducing costs, cross-border logistics needs to connect with the port system to bring agricultural products deep into the import market and reach higher customer segments. To do this, logistics needs to connect synchronous warehouse systems, and improve the quality of specialized transportation vehicles, loading and unloading, and human resources to serve in the logistics field. Additionally, logistics businesses and import-export businesses also need to connect closely.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mega A Logistics Company Dang Dinh Long said that cross-border logistics will bring goods in the production area to the importing country in the fastest time without undergoing inspections.
In the competition with other countries in selling agricultural products, the transportation time is a severe factor in increasing businesses’ competitiveness. In particular, in cross-border logistics, agricultural products are insured during transportation, so farmers and export companies do not have to worry about quality reduction. If the goods are damaged during transportation, insurance companies will be responsible. In addition, cross-border logistics will contact shipping lines to run empty one-way routes to reduce shipping costs.
On average, each year the Vietnam SPS Office receives more than 1,000 notices of changes in goods inspection, of which 80 percent are requests to improve food safety. Deputy Director of SPS Vietnam Office Ngo Xuan Nam said that in the coming time, free trade agreements will bring tariff barriers to zero percent, so countries will improve product quality inspection criteria and food safety. Cross-border logistics will reduce risks from the growing area to importing countries.
Companies signing with the SPS Office will regularly have updated information to support farmers and manufacturing businesses with disease and quarantine information before exporting. Currently, the costs of agricultural logistics account for 20 percent to 25 percent, but cross-border logistics will complete the connection between exporting and importing countries, reducing costs by approximately 5 percent to 7 percent.
At the ceremony, the SPS Office signed a cooperation agreement with Mega A Logistics company to regularly provide information on practical changes and amendments to import policies with the goal of increasing the value of Vietnamese agricultural products in the world market. In addition, the IPC Seaport Group, the SITC International Container Shipping Group, the Mega A Vietnam Group, the Agricultural Bank Insurance Joint Stock Company (ABIC), the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) signed a contract to form a chain of links for information exchange and export cooperation, e-commerce development, and insurance.
Tiktok livestream program promotes OCOP products
A live stream broadcast to promote One Commune, One Product (OCOP) of HCMC took place in HCMC’s Can Gio District on October 19-21 attracting more than 350,000 viewers and earned a revenue of nearly VND1 billion (US$40,774).
The event called “Applying digital transformation in trading activities, promoting and introducing the city’s typical OCOP products on e-commerce and social platforms” was organized by the HCMC Institute for Development Studies (HIDS) in collaboration with the Vietnam Trade Promotion Center for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, TikTok Technologies Vietnam Company Limited, the People’s Committee of Can Gio District, 80 Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) and Key opinion leaders (KOLS).
The event opened up prospects for strengthening connectivity, boosting promotional activities, promoting and introducing OCOP products of HCMC and Can Gio District to domestic and international people, highlighting the potential of digital technology in society.
According to the MARD’s latest report, the country has more than 10,000 OCOP products associated with the local raw material area.
TikTok provides an opportunity for businesses to reach new customers and expand their market reach, including ASEAN and Chinese markets.
Director of Yen Dao Can Gio Service Trading Investment Company Limited Phan Ngoc Dieu said that departments of HCMC have supported businesses to introduce and sell farm products on free -commercial platforms. The company’s OCOP products have received customer trust. E-commerce sales have increased faster than traditional retail. Every live-streaming session averagely attracts over 100 buyers.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Can Gio District Truong Tien Trien said that the locality introduced 18 OCOP products in this program. The event contributed to promoting Can Gio’s OCOP products to visitors. An additional 22 products of the district are expected to be recognized as OCOP products this year, including tourism products.
Construction watchdog in HCMC to inspect real estate trading floors
Construction watchdog in Ho Chi Minh City will inspect real estate trading floors to handle violations.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction yesterday said that from now until November 15, the department will conduct an inspection of the legal establishment and reporting obligations of real estate trading floors such as CBRE, Savills Vietnam, Danh Khoi – DKS, Khoi Hoan, Phu My Hung, An Gia Hung and An Gia which were established between 2009 and 2017.
The construction department will pay visits to real estate trading floors to check these special floors’ activities.
The Department of Construction of Ho Chi Minh City will evaluate their operation, difficulties and problems to help these floors resolve them according to legal regulations or propose competent agencies to resolve them according to legal regulations. In addition, the inspection process aims to detect and strictly handle violations according to the present law.
Gov’t should facilitate household businesses’ registration procedures
Household business establishments are small with simple operations. Therefore, the government should facilitate their business registration procedures to attract owners of these facilities to carry out registration activities.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment is collecting comments on the draft decree on business households with the aim of creating a favorable business environment for business households. Furthermore, the Ministry will continue to reform and complete the legal framework on business households to improve the quality of public services and simplify administrative procedures for business household registration; contributing to a healthy business environment, strengthening state management, and preventing corruption and wrongdoings.
Business households have existed in the Vietnamese economy up to now with about 5 million establishments. Meanwhile, current regulations for the legal status of business households are still unclear; therefore, the development of a specific document for business households is necessary.
However, the current draft only focuses on regulations related to business household registration and market entry procedures, and does not have regulations on the operating process after business registration; for instance, labor relationships between members of the business household, salary issues, wages, tax issues in the business household. At the same time, some regulations are still making it difficult for business households.
For example, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the draft requiring business households to record the main business registration industry according to the level 4 industry code including 486 industries is not appropriate, causing difficulties for business owners. On the other hand, the draft as well as the current regulations do not have regulations on main registered business lines and professions.
In addition, the draft also stipulates that in case the personal information declared is different from the information stored in the National Population Database, business household owners are asked to contact the management agency to make corrections before carrying out business household registration procedures.
However, the above regulation will prolong the registration of business households because they must carry out additional procedures to correct information before returning to business registration. This can be shortened by the business registration agency notifying the National Population Database management agency to correct the information in this data system instead.
Price of Vietnam’s exported rice maintains uptrend
Rice prices in the Mekong Delta region continued to rise last week.
Specifically, the export price of 5% broken rice increased to 625-630 USD per tonne from 615-625 USD per tonne in the previous week.
Meanwhile, those of other major rice exporters last week recorded decreases. The price of 5% broken rice of India fell to 510-520 USD per tonne from 515-525 USD per tonne, and of Thailand decreased to 575-580 USD per tonne from 580-600 USD per tonne.
According to the Vietnam Food Association, the price of paddy at the field averaged at 8,321 VND (0.34 USD) a kilogram, up 193 VND a kilogram, while that at the warehouse rose by 125 VND to 9,475 VND per kilogram.
Foxlink to invest US$135 million in Da Nang
The central city’s Hi-tech Park has agreed a deal to build an electronics factory project worth US$135 million with Taiwan’s Foxlink International company, promising a surge in hi-tech industries at the ‘green’ hub.
The Da Nang Hi-tech Park and Industrial Zones Authority (DHIZA) said the project, to be built on 11.35ha, will be a magnet for global electronics and semiconductor investment moves in central Vietnam.
The project will create 2,000 jobs for Da Nang and neighbouring provinces when it starts production of touch pens, wireless earphones, charging stations, printed circuit boards and consumer electronics products.
Earlier this year, Foxlink Da Nang recruited 20 employees from the city’s universities for training courses abroad in building manpower at the city-based factory.
In a working session between Da Nang University and James Lee, president at Foxlink, the company introduced its renewable energy systems, underwater chargers, cables, batteries, computers and electronics production.
DHIZA also said two more domestic investors have agreed to pour VND350 billion (US$14 million) into hi-tech manufacture projects in early October.  
To date, the Hi-Tech Park has 28 projects, of which 12 are FDI projects (worth total US$702.24 million), and 16 domestic projects at a total investment of more than VND7 trillion (US$280 million).
Last week, the US ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper visited the surface mounted technology project invested by Trung Nam Group at the Hi-Tech Park.
Hi-Tech Park is also home to Da Nang Sunshine Aerospace under the Universal Alloy Corporation – a leading global manufacturer of aircraft components – from the US worth US$170 million
DHIZA also said United States Enterprises – a company from Silicon Valley in the US – will invest in a semiconductor project at the High-Tech Park.
According to DHIZA, the Hi-Tech Park will focus on calling for investment projects worth at least US$100 million to turn it into a ‘green’ and hi-tech hub in central Vietnam.
It said the park and other six industrial parks will be expanded to 1,700ha to welcome more investors in 2030-45.
Da Nang has been calling for investors from Silicon Valley and the US in healthcare, high-tech industries, artificial intelligence (AI), education, real estate and automation and semiconductor firms from Japan. 
Tay Ninh to prioritise FDI in agriculture sector
The southern province of Tây Ninh is seeking to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the agriculture sector.
The adoption of high technology in agriculture is seen as crucial for increasing the value chains of agricultural products and promoting sustainable growth.
Nguyễn Thanh Ngọc, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said: “Tây Ninh is committed to improving the investment environment and attracting strategic foreign investors.”
The province aims to become a leading agricultural and tourism hub in Việt Nam, contributing to job creation, economic development, and improved living standards for its residents, he added.
Tây Ninh has favourable conditions for agricultural development due to its terrain, which is characterised by a plateau and the presence of plains, along with abundant land resources.
Recognising this potential environment for agricultural activities, the province has focused on enhancing the value chain of agricultural products for years.
It has prioritised the promotion of agriculture development through the application of high technology.
The goal is to develop models of high-tech agriculture that increase value chains, linking production, preservation, processing, and exports by 2030.
Tây Ninh plans to establish 17 areas of high-tech agricultural production, with at least one certified supply chain and product consumption in each area by 2030.
It aims to achieve a high-value agricultural production area of VNĐ150 million per hectare in 2025 and VNĐ180 million per hectare by 2030.
It also aims to exceed a 40 per cent proportion of high-value agricultural products using high technology by 2025, reaching 50 per cent by 2030.
FDI has played a significant role in the development of Tây Ninh, contributing to job creation and improving the lives of local people.
To further enhance the FDI sector, Tây Ninh plans to support joint ventures, partnerships, technology transfer, and value chain connections between local businesses and FDI enterprises.
The province will also invest in infrastructure, including road and waterway systems, to facilitate the transportation of goods.
It will also focus on developing industrial clusters and parks, improving logistics efficiency, and attracting large-scale projects with advanced technology and environmental considerations.
In 2022, Tây Ninh ranked 15th out of 63 provinces and cities in attracting foreign investment.
The province has attracted more than $515 million worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) so far this year, up 130 per cent year-on-year.
Its industrial parks (IPs) such as Phước Đông Industrial Park, Chà Là Industrial Park, Bến Củi Industrial Park, and Hiệp Thạnh Industrial Park have attracted many new investment enterprises as well as increased capital.
Tây Ninh also aims to develop tourism as a key economic sector, aiming for it to contribute more than 10 percent to the province’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) by 2030.
The tourism industry has already played a crucial role in its socio-economic development by creating job opportunities and improving the quality of life in both rural and urban areas.
To capitalise on its tourism potential, the province is implementing various measures, with special emphasis on the development of Bà Đen Mountain.
Strategic investors Vingroup and Sungroup have been invited to collaborate on large-scale projects such as the construction of a commercial centre complex, shophouses, a five-star hotel, and a cable car system to the summit of Bà Đen Mountain.
It is projected that tourism in Tây Ninh will create over 7,400 jobs within the next five years, with a revenue target of about $391.3 million and 18 million tourist arrivals.
Between 2026 and 2030, tourism revenue is expected to reach VNĐ35 trillion, with travel services revenue reaching VNĐ235 billion and 37 million tourist arrivals.
The sector has experienced strong growth in recent years. It welcomed over 4.2 million tourist arrivals in the first nine months, up 9.3 per cent year-on-year.
Tây Ninh has a thriving economy, with a growth rate of 9.6 per cent in 2022, the highest in the southeastern region.
It is part of the southern key economic zone along with HCM City, Bình Dương, and Long An. The Mộc Bài border gate in Tây Ninh also plays a significant role in facilitating trade. 
Free trade agreements help boost Tiền Giang Province exports
New-generation free trade agreements like the UK-Việt Nam FTA have been positive for Tiền Giang Province’s exports and foreign investments and helped create jobs, according to its Department of Industry and Trade.
Đặng Văn Tuấn, the department’s deputy director, said the province has seen an increase in exports from US$3.1 billion in 2021 to $3.9 billion in 2022 and $3.7 billion in the first nine months of this year.
Local businesses have exported to more than 120 countries and territories, with exports to the UK reaching $97 million last year, he said.
Rice, seafood, fruits, apparel, and footwear are among the key export items.
Lưu Văn Phi, the department’s director, said the province is home to more than 20 seafood export enterprises, including four large exporters.
They have exported items such as frozen pangasius fillets, whole pangasius, frozen pangasius butterfly, frozen fishes, canned crabs, sardine, fish cakes, surimi fish cakes, and frozen white pangasius slices for sushi to over 60 countries and territories, with Japan, China, Thailand, the US, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, and Australia being the major markets, he said.
The province earned $385.64 million from aquatic exports last year, a year-on-year increase of 56.12 per cent, and $396 million in the first eight months of 2023, up 51.2 per cent year-on-year.
Textile and garment exports were up by 24 per cent in the first eight months to $468 million thanks to inflation in key markets such as the US and EU cooling down and enterprises accepting export orders with low profit margins to maintain production and retain workers, according to the department.
Tuấn said foreign enterprises account for over 80 per cent of the province’s total exports, indicating that they take advantage of trade deals better than local ones.
The latter, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises with limited production capacity, have not paid much attention to the preferential treatment offered under the FTAs to boost exports, he said.
Phi said to help them tap the opportunities, his department would continue to popularize information about the EU-Việt Nam FTA, the UKVFTA and CPTPP.
It would also help enterprises participate in trade promotion activities at home and abroad and organise training courses to help improve their business capacity and build their brands, he said.   
He said businesses need to ensure the uphold of their exports, foster innovation to improve the competitiveness of their goods and take part in cross-border e-commerce by joining global platforms.
The UKVFTA was signed in 2020 and officially took effect in May 2021, and eliminates tariffs on 99 per cent of all goods traded between the two countries over the long term, providing a significant advantage to Vietnamese exporters.
Vietnamese coffee producers urged to focus on quality for sustainable export
While Việt Nam’s coffee industry was on track for another record export year, driven by rising prices due to supply shortages, experts said it’s time for the industry to focus on quality to increase added value and export sustainably.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Việt Nam was expected to earn US$4.2 billion from exporting 1.7 million tonnes of coffee this year, a new high after setting the record at more than $4 billion last year, providing a firm foundation for the export target of $6 billion by 2030.
Phạm Quang Anh, director of the Mercantile Exchange of Vietnam’s Information Centre, said Vietnamese coffee exports could reach a record level this year thanks to domestic and global prices climbing to their highest levels in the past 15 years due to scarce supply, low coffee reserves, and a strong increase in global demand for Robusta.
Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Việt Nam’s coffee exports reached 1.266 million tonnes worth $3.16 billion from January to September, a drop of 7.3 per cent in volume but an increase of 1.9 per cent in value over the same period last year.
The average export price was $2,499 per tonne during this period, 9.9 per cent higher than the same period last year.
The average price in September was $3,151 per tonne, 3.2 per cent higher than August and 29.6 per cent higher than one year ago.
Despite strong exports, Việt Nam’s coffee industry faces uncertainty in maintaining exports at high levels in the long run because the exports remain heavily dependent on rising prices due to supply shortages, not on the added value of coffee products.
This fact urged the coffee industry to shift its focus to improving product quality and aligning with market taste trends, especially in the major coffee consumption markets, which accounted for around half of global coffee imports, including the EU and the US.
Customs statistics showed that Việt Nam shipped 600,000 tonnes of coffee to the EU and the US in the first eight months of this year, representing 50 per cent of the country’s total coffee export volume.
Major coffee import markets were transitioning from importing Robusta coffee beans to processed coffee.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the US was becoming increasingly reliant on Arabica coffee and has progressively reduced Robusta imports from 6.1 million 60-kg bags in the 2010-11 crop year to 3.6 million bags in 2020-21. Processed coffee’s share increased from 3.1 per cent in the 2018-19 crop year to an estimated 6.4 per cent in 2023-24.
According to the European Coffee Federation’s statistics, the percentage of processed coffee surged from 2.3 per cent in 2017 to 5.5 per cent in 2021.
Việt Nam’s customs data also indicated a significant drop in Việt Nam’s Robusta coffee bean exports to the US, decreasing from 130,200 tonnes in 2018 to 90,500 tonnes in 2023, representing a decline of 27 per cent. Việt Nam predominantly exported raw beans to the US, a trend that remained largely unchanged from five years ago, indicating that Việt Nam has been slow to adapt to the evolving tastes of major markets.
Climate change was occurring globally, leading to extreme weather phenomena like El Nino and La Nina, which directly affected the coffee crop.
According to the Vietnam Coffee Cocoa Association, erratic rains and storms during the 2022 coffee harvest season in the Central Highlands caused the output to decrease by about 10-15 per cent. This year, El Nino also led to dryness in Việt Nam’s major growing areas. The association noted that the upcoming crop output might be 10-15 per cent lower, at around 1.47 million tonnes.
A Bloomberg survey estimated that coffee output might be 7 per cent lower than the previous harvest season.
While coffee prices remained high, Việt Nam was currently short of coffee for export. The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) mentioned that the nation’s exports in the third quarter were slowing down due to limited supply.
The coffee supply was anticipated to increase in November when the 2023-24 harvest season began.
Quang Anh emphasised the importance for the coffee industry to concentrate on quality and enhance the added value of coffee products through processing to boost exports.
Enterprises and farmers should collaborate to establish production chains, making it more feasible to adopt modern technology and promote the shift from raw to processed coffee, he suggested.
Increasing processed coffee could be a solution for Việt Nam to boost exports, benefiting from signed free trade agreements that offer preferential tariffs of 0-5 per cent for processed coffee products, Trần Thanh Hải, deputy director of the Import-Export Department (MoIT), stated.
Hải stressed that the coffee industry couldn’t separate itself from the global commodity market, which was being influenced by rising inflation, geopolitical impacts, increasing input costs, and heightened competition from major producers like Brazil and Indonesia.
All these factors would influence coffee prices, Hải said, urging companies to closely monitor the market for suitable business and production strategies.
He encouraged businesses to intensify trade promotions to broaden markets while concentrating on quality raising and processing to meet the demands of importing markets and to establish brands for sustainable exports. 
Real estate businesses entering and returning to the market up 18%
The number of businesses entering and re-entering the real estate market was 59,559 in the third quarter of this year alone, increasing by 18 per cent over the same period last year.
This represents the highest level ever in the third quarter.
This is one of the pieces of information shared by the Chief of Office of the Ministry of Construction (MoC) Đậu Minh Thanh at the ministry’s regular press conference for the third quarter of this year held on Thursday afternoon.
Recently, the Prime Minister has continuously directed the MoC and relevant sectors and localities to remove difficulties for the real estate market.
Up to now, the ministry’s working group to remove difficulties for the real estate market has received 130 documents reporting difficulties, problems and recommendations from localities, businesses, associations and people.
Currently, the working group has reviewed and processed 123 documents; including 112 documents sent to the People’s Committees of provinces/centrally-run cities to urge, guide and request consideration and resolution according to authority.
It also sent 11 documents to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment requesting consideration and resolution, guiding localities and businesses to remove difficulties and obstacles according to their authority, functions and tasks assigned.
Chairing the press conference, Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyễn Văn Sinh said that building and perfecting institutions was still identified as one of the ministry’s focuses.
Notably, there are two important law projects, the Housing Law and the Real Estate Business Law, which have been basically completed and are expected to be submitted to the National Assembly for comments and approval at the 6th meeting session of the 15th National Assembly at the end of this month, according to the deputy minister.
At the same time, the Ministry of Construction has urged and worked with localities to implement planning, including adjustments to general planning, zoning planning and detailed planning. This is the basis for approving investment projects serving socio-economic development.
FTSE Russell meeting reveals optimism on Vietnam’s stock market upgrade
In pursuit of elevating Vietnam’s stock market status, officials from the State Securities Commission (SSC) on October 18 engaged in a dialogue with representatives from FTSE Russell, an essential market indices player.
The discourse centred on policy updates, market insights, and strategies to overcome hurdles affecting the upgrading criteria for the Vietnamese stock market.
The SSC delegation featured prominent figures such as Vu Thi Chan Phuong, chairwoman of SSC, Pham Hong Son – SSC’s vice chairman, and other high-ranking SSC officials. They were joined by representatives from the Vietnam Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation (VSD).
On the FTSE Russell side, the meeting was graced by Tim Batho, head of Strategy, Policy, and Global Client Solutions, Asia-Pacific, and Wanming Du, director of Index Policy, Asia-Pacific, both representing FTSE Russell. Furthermore, the World Bank was also present, with Ketut Kusuma, a senior financial sector expert and the national coordinator for finance at the World Bank in Vietnam.
“Through recent meetings with various market participants, we have reached a unanimous agreement on the significance of our mission and the necessity to implement strategies that advance Vietnam’s stock market,” Phuong said.
She also provided insights into the current progress and cooperation between SSC and the Ministry of Finance in addressing persisting impediments that stand in the way of Vietnam’s ascent into the ranks of emerging markets.
Phuong expressed her contentment with the consensus that materialised during recent discussions between SSC, securities firms, custodian banks, and other parties.
“These dialogues have asserted the collective acknowledgment of the paramount importance and urgency in implementing strategies that propel Vietnam’s stock market to the next level,” she said.
FTSE Russell representatives commended the vigorous efforts exerted by SSC, alongside the collaborative endeavours of affiliated entities and market participants.
Tim Batho from FTSE also shared valuable insights on the recent assessment and market ranking reports from the September 2023 review. This report notably maintains Vietnam’s position on the watchlist for promotion to the secondary emerging market category.
“The recent efforts by SSC, the Ministry of Finance, and related entities show that Vietnam has taken significant strides, and we eagerly await the transformation of regulatory efforts into concrete actions,” Batho said.
His remarks underscore the optimism surrounding Vietnam’s stock market, as it seeks to carve a prominent niche on the global stage.
These discussions signify the nation’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the transparency, efficiency, and accessibility of its stock market.
The progression towards emerging market status holds the promise of attracting more foreign capital, stimulating investment, and offering greater opportunities for investors, reinforcing Vietnam’s role as a burgeoning player on the global financial landscape.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes