Fate of Ban Phuc Nickel remains murky
The fate of Ban Phuc Nickel mine invested by Ban Phuc Nickel Mines Limited Liability Company (BPNM) remains uncertain.
A representative of the Son La Department of Industry and Trade told VIR that the mine’s operation has been suspended since October last year. To date, the department has yet to receive any specific plans to resume the mine’s operation from the investor.
Previously, in October 2017, BPNM officially decided to suspend the operation of Ban Phuc Nickel mine until September 30, 2018 due to the company’s massive losses.
In 2007, Asian Mineral Resources Limited (AMR), a global mining group listed on the bourse in Toronto, Canada, was granted the licence to exploit and process ores in the Ban Phuc nickel ore mine, which has a reserve of more than 200,000 tonnes of nickel and 18,000 tonnes of copper.
According to the initial plan, AMR will co-operate with domestic enterprise Son La Mechanical Engineering JSC to establish BPNM, with AMR holding 90 per cent, to develop the project which lies 160 kilometres northwest of Hanoi in Son La province. BPNM envisioned starting production in mid-2009.
However, due to low market demand, the project halted construction in 2008 to await better market conditions.
The project finally started mining and processing activities in May 2013. However, during the operations, the company suffered massive losses as the revenue was not enough to offset operating expenditures.
As a result, the investor was forced to suspend the exploitation and processing of nickel, copper, and cobalt at the Ban Phuc mine until September 2018.
Doosan Heavy to develop offshore wind farm in Vietnam
South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co. will shake hands with Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to develop an offshore wind farm project as the South Korean corporation’s first foray into the overseas offshore wind power generation market.
The two parties signed an agreement to develop the project on March 23, according to newswire Pulsenews.
Under the initial agreement, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction will supply wind power equipment, including energy storage systems in the form of engineering, procurement, and construction for a 3MW wind farm.
Doosan Heavy will also be in charge of the operation and maintenance along with Korea South-East Power Co., while EVN will be responsible for securing the test site and providing support to gain project-related licences and approval.
Doosan Heavy also signed an agreement with Vietnam’s Construction Corporation No.1 for a wind power development project. Doosan Heavy is hoping to supply major equipment to CC1 for two projects in a wind power complex in the southern province of Binh Thuan and take charge of operations and maintenance. CC1 has obtained business licences for wind power projects totaling 105MW in capacity.
Vietnam stands out among Southeast Asian peers in the transition to clean fuel sourcing. The Vietnamese government plans to increase its wind power capacity from the current 180MW to 6,000MW by 2030.
Doosan Heavy has also been expanding its wind power business in recent years. In 2011, it developed a 3MW level wind power plant model and it is also expected to commercialise a 5.5MW offshore wind power technology. In September last year, the company also built the country’s largest offshore wind farm in Tamra off the western coast of Jeju Island.
In June 2017, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its five partners at its Vietnamese operation Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co. (Doosan Vina) to help them enter the Vietnamese market.
Accordingly, it will provide consultancy services on administration, financial management, and business management to support its partners to establish their subsidiaries or manufacturing facilities at the site of the Doosan Vina plant.
T&T and Hitachi Zosen to develop waste-to-power plant in Hanoi
T&T Group and Hitachi Zosen Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding to develop waste-to-power electricity plants in Hanoi.
Accordingly, the two parties will establish a joint venture to build the first project in Hanoi as well as other projects in the upcoming time.
T&T and Hitachi Zosen will create the design, collect capital, build, and operate the plant which will generate electricity by incinerating 1,000 tonnes of waste per day.
Generating electricity from waste has become a trend in the world in general and Vietnam is joining the trend to find a useful output for its massive amounts of waste, while the United Nations has been urging countries to generate renewable energy.
In the 93-million population Vietnam, the average waste volume discharged in the environment reaches 70,000 tonnes per day, including 35,000 tonnes from urban areas and 34,000 tonnes from rural areas.
Hanoi alone buries approximately 10,000 tonnes of waste per day, which could be a precious resource for generating electricity.
The project is not the first waste-powered energy project in Hanoi. Previously in April 2017, Vietnam’s first industrial waste-powered electricity plant came in to commercial operation following an eight-month trial.
The project, which is located in Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex in the capital’s outlying district of Soc Son, has a total investment capital of VND645 billion ($28.3 million), with nearly VND472 billion ($20.7 million) funded in the form of non-refundable aid from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO). Hanoi allocated VND73 billion ($7.58 million) from the state’s budget to cover its share.
Covering an area of 16sq.km, the plant is equipped with the latest technology provided by Hitachi Zosen and has a capacity of treating 75 metric tonnes of waste and produce around 1.93MW of electricity per day.
In September 2017, T&T and Hanoi Urban Environment Company (URENCO) signed a co-operation agreement with a series of leading waste treating companies from South Korea to develop a project to recover gas from the landfill of Nam Son power plant. These South Korean firms included Sudokwon Landfill Site Management Corporation, Korea Engineering Consultants Corporation, and Samyoung Co., Ltd.
T&T Group operates in numerous sectors, including property, finance, industry, investing in sports and import-export trading. Besides, on February 6, 2018, T&T Group and Boskalis Group from the Netherlands signed an agreement to co-operate in the seaport sector.
Hitachi Zosen specialises in designing and constructing environmental systems, industrial plants, water treatment systems, industrial machinery, process equipment, infrastructure-related equipment, disaster prevention systems, and precision machinery.
US firm Kachay Global Development to invest $100 million in Thanh Hoa
Kachay Global Development Inc. from the US looks to develop a food processing industry park with the initial investment capital of $100 million in Lam Son-Sao Vang Hi-Tech Agricultural Park in the central province of Thanh Hoa.
The decision came after the firm conducted a survey to look for investment opportunities in the hi-tech agricultural park. The firm will develop food processing plants, and R&D area as well as a human resources training area in the food processing industry park.
Speaking at the working session with leaders of the Thanh Hoa People’s Committee, Samuel Karp, chairman of the Board of Directors of Kachay Global, stated that the agricultural park is an ideal investment destination.
Along with the food industry project covering an area of 200 hectares, the firm plans to invest in additional 800ha area to build a hospital,tourism centre, apartments, as well as to lure secondary investors.
Standing Deputy Chairman of the Thanh Hoa People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Quyen stated that the firm will complete the site clearance to hand over the ground to the investor soon. Additionally, the province wants the investor to pay in advance for site clearance, which will be then deducted from the land rentals.
Savico shuts down taxi company
Saigon General Service Corporation (Savico) announced to the State Security Commission of Viet Nam and HCM City Stock Exchange that its taxi brand – ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi – has been closed to preserve funds and reengineer its taxi-related business plans.
ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi was opened in 2005 as a joint venture between Savico and ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited, a Singaporean multinational land transport company.
Even though ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi has operated in HCM City for a long time, its market share has always been relatively modest, with a fleet of only around 400 cars, compared to Vinasun Taxi’s fleet of more than 6,000 cars.
For the past few years the taxi company has incurred high costs due to constant improvement of its cars and service quality. However, tough competition from Grab and Uber has caused the company to struggle to make much profit from the investment.
According to Savico’s 2017 report, ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi only made around VND235 million (US$10,300) of profit, down from around VND3.3 billion ($145,000) in 2016 and nearly VND7 billion in 2015.
On March 16, ComfortDelGro said that ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi has merged with Vinataxi (70 per cent of whose shares are owned by ComfortDelGro).
According to statistics from the city’s Department of Transport, as of 2017, there were around 35,000 taxis in HCM City, including around 24,000 Grab and Uber taxis.
A seminar held to promote links between Logistics and E-commerce
Though logistics and e-commerce in Viet Nam is booming, the two sectors have been hamstrung by a lack of linkages between them, according to Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Hai said that the development of e-commerce must be accompanied with quality logistics services as logistics are crucial for online sales.
According to the ministry, since 2015, though logistics and delivery services have grown rapidly, they have not met the needs of e-commerce.
High logistics and delivery costs in online sales has led to online purchase prices not being much lower than for traditional purchases, Hai said, adding that the quality of delivery services is low.
In Viet Nam, logistics enterprises and e-commerce firms are mainly small and medium sized, their scale of operation is not large, they lack professionalism, and they lack close links to serve customers.
This is one of the reasons that online purchasing is unattractive to consumers and why logistics for e-commerce has not developed. Therefore, improving the efficiency of logistics services to support e-commerce is urgent.
To tackle the problem, the Department of Import-Export and the Department of E-Commerce and Digital Economy will hold a workshop themed ‘Logistics and E-Commerce: Companion for Development’ on April 10.
The workshop aims to find causes for the weak links and propose practical solutions.
The seminar will feature State management agencies in logistics and e-commerce, associations, enterprises, as well as research and training organisations in logistics and e-commerce.
Vietnam enhances agricultural cooperation with EU, Belgium
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has paid a four-day trip to the European Union and Belgium to promote agricultural cooperation with the two partners and demonstrate Vietnam’s efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
During the March 21-24 visit, through a series of meetings, the Vietnamese minister pushed for the EU’s lifting of a yellow card, which was imposed on Vietnam on October 23, 2017 due to its failure to meet requirements on IUU fishing prevention.
In his meeting with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, Cuong reported current implementation of the EU’s recommendations on anti-IUU fishing in Vietnam, highlighting concerted efforts of the entire nation and challenges facing the attempt.
Cuong expressed his hope for improved cooperation between Vietnam and the EU in fighting IUU fishing, and carrying out the Voluntary Partnership Agreement in line with the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The minister also had a working session with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, during which he stressed the EU’s significant role to Vietnam’s farming sector in terms of partnership, investment and knowledge-technical transfer.
Highlighting the importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he suggested both sides soon ratify the pact to boost trade, particularly of agro-fishery-forestry products.
Cuong asked the EU to take into consideration practical conditions of developing countries like Vietnam during its assessment and inspection of seafood safety control system.
Regarding measures to implement the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement, both host and guest agreed to hold more dialogues to discuss the document content and how to implement the SPS regulations in the EVFTA.
Both commissioners acknowledged and lauded Vietnam’s drastic efforts in increasing laws and policies to counter IUU fishing and monitor food safety. They said the efforts will help stimulate the growth of bilateral comprehensive partnership and facilitate the EVFTA signing and ratification.
The EU side announced that it will send a technical team to Vietnam in May to access the country’s actions against IUU fishing.
In another meeting with Alain Cadec, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries, the Vietnamese official introduced measures Vietnam has employed to deter IUU fishing and asked for support of the EU and Cadec to make the process more effective.
While in Brussels, the minister also met Belgium’s Federal Minister for Agriculture Denis Ducarme to beef up farming cooperation with the European country.
Both ministers agreed to promote investment collaboration in agriculture, with Cuong suggesting the Belgian side assist Vietnam in meeting standards and regulations of the country and the EU.
Denis Ducarme said Belgium prioritises joint works with Vietnam, expressing his belief that bilateral farming engagements will expand in the future.
Japanese enterprises key to Hai Phong economic growth
Japanese businesses have become an important part of Hai Phong’s economy, stated Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Van Thanh at a conference to promote Japan’s investment and tourism in the northern port city on March 24.
The conference saw Vietnamese and Japanese firms discussing cooperation opportunities and their potential in the sectors of tourism, auto support industry, logistics, and human resources training. The Hai Phong Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre signed seven memoranda of understanding on cooperation with Japanese companies.
Speaking at the event, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio highlighted the growth of ties between Japan and Hai Phong as reflected through several Vietnam – Japan trade pacts on major projects in the city.
Japanese technologies have been used in building the local Tan Vu bridge and port, he added.
Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said Hai Phong has convenient infrastructure and is active in institutional reform, saying they are plus points in attracting investors.
He said he expects 60 participating investors will promote the locality’s favourable business climate to their Japanese peers.
He stated attracting investment from Japan is a goal set by the Vietnamese government and Hai Phong authorities in particular.
As of February 2018, Japan had 134 FDI projects capitalised at 4.31 billion USD in Hai Phong, ranking first in volume and second in value.
Hai Phong’s tourism-culture cooperation with Japanese localities has also recorded upbeat outcomes, with frequent delegation exchanges, cultural exchanges, trade promotion events, and joint educational programmes.
PM attends inaugural ceremony of Thaco Mazda plant
Truong Hai Auto JSC (Thaco) inaugurated Thaco Mazda automobile manufacturing plant, the biggest and most modern Mazda factory in Southeast Asia, in the central province of Quang Nam on March 25 in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
National Assembly Chairman Uong Chu Luu, Special Adviser to the Japanese Cabinet Isao Iijima, and leaders of a number of ministries, agencies and localities also attended the event.
PM Phuc gave an order to kick-start the construction of the 12 trillion VND (528 million USD) plant at an investment promotion conference in Quang Nam province in 2017.
After one year, the first phase of the project was completed with half of the designed capacity of 100,000 units per year.
Covering an area of 30.3ha at the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, the plant is equipped with cutting-edge technologies, meeting global standards of Japan’s Mazda Group.
Also on March 25, Thaco inaugurated the international shipping route linking Chu Lai and Japan, and welcomed the first vessel transporting automobile spare parts and equipment from Japan’s Hiroshima prefecture to the Chu Lai Port in order to serve Thaco Mazda factory’s production.
Tran Ba Duong, Thaco Chairman, said the group plans to build another wharf and has invested 600 billion VND (USD) in expanding the arterial road from the Chu Lai Port to Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway, and building a double-decker roundabout interchange between National Highway 1A, the North-South railway, and the arterial road.
PM Phuc said the event marks the development of not only Thaco but also Quang Nam province.
He lauded cooperation between Mazda and Thaco over the past time, saying the collaboration has contributed to the Vietnam-Japan relationship.
Vietnam encourages the development of the auto industry, he said, adding that the Government will devise policies to ensure equality between locally-made automobiles and imported ones.
The leader asked Thaco to roll out a specific plan to operate the plant effectively and safely, meeting demands of both domestic and foreign markets.
He also called on Japan’s Mazda Group to continue transfer technologies to Thaco, especially the production of components, and support the company in completing the second phase of the project as scheduled.
Jetstar Pacific increases HCM City-Bangkok flight frequency
The low cost carrier Jetstar Pacific has announced it will increase the frequency of its flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok (Thailand) to seven round-trip per week to keep up with increasing travel demand during 2018 summer.
The additional service will be offered between May 20 and August 31, the carrier said on March 23.
Tickets will be sold from 200,000 VND (8.8 USD) per leg, excluding tax and fees, on website www.jetstar.com and at ticket agents nationwide.
This is followed the carrier’s operations on the Hanoi – Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh province) air route with five flights per week, as part of the its plan to add more services to famous tourist attractions in summer holiday.
Summer is always a busy time for the aviation sector. Increasing flight frequency between the southern hub and Bangkok not only bolsters travel between Vietnam and Thailand but also creates a flight network among Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
Jetstar Pacific is the first low-cost carrier of Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines and Qantas Airlines are the main shareholders of the carrier. Jetstar Pacific is offering services to all popular destinations in the country and operating flights to Singapore, Bangkok, Osaka (Japan), Taipei, Hong Kong and Guangzhou (China). Connecting with Jetstar Group’s network, Jetstar Pacific’s service has been reached 180 destinations in 18 countries worldwide.
Vietnamese firms push food safety
More and more livestock farming companies are adopting VietGap and Global Gap standards to improve their efficiency as well as ensure food safety, according to global quality certification agency Bureau Veritas.
Speaking on the sidelines of the “Conference of dialogue and associating to improve the food safety chain of meat products in Vietnam” in HCM City on March 23, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, food business development manager at Bureau Veritas Vietnam, said “Food safety in Vietnam has seen some improvement recently.”
In the past livestock farms did not known much about VietGap or GlobalGap, but now many businesses have applied and plan to apply these standards at their farms, she said.
Johan den Hartog, managing director of GMP International, a global leader in animal feed certification, said there is a growing trend among food producers in Vietnam to supply quality products to both the domestic and export markets.
“To supply safe food to consumers, all companies in the chain need to work together,” he said.
He appealed to feed companies to obtain GPM certification saying they are a critical part of the food supply chain in ensuring the safety of end products like meat, milk, and eggs.
GMP Feed Certification began as a national scheme in the Netherlands in 1992, but has grown into a global scheme that is managed by GMP International in collaboration with various international stakeholders, he said.
He also referred to GMP Country Note for Vietnam, which seeks to enable companies comply with GMP requirements and also local laws.
In Vietnam, there is growing interest in complying with international quality standards, and that is why GMP International developed the current GMP Country Note for Vietnam, he said.
Vietnam is one of the biggest industrial feed producers in Southeast Asia. But 80 percent of the ingredients used in production is imported.
A substantial part of the imported feed ingredients could be produced by GMP FSA (feed safety assurance ) certified companies or can be purchased using standard gatekeeper protocols, den Hartog said.
Every company and transport and storage service providers in the GMP feed chain should control possible hazards and risks to prevent contamination of feed products, he said.
He hailed the Vietnamese High Quality Goods Business Association for its efforts to develop Vietnamese High Quality Products-Global Integration Standards (GIS) with measures to monitor the whole food supply chain.
Vu Kim Hanh, Chairwoman of the High Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association, said 66 Vietnamese firms have obtained GIS certification.
The association has signed an agreement with GMP International, under which GIS would link with GMP FSA to ensure safety of animal and fish feed, she said.
French newspaper highly values Vietnam’s economic achievements
On the occasion of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to France, the “L’Humanité” newspaper of France ran an article highlighting Vietnam’s economic development achievements and international integration strategies.
The article quoted Hoang Binh Quan, member of the CPV Central Committee and head of the Committee’s Commission for External Affairs, as saying that Vietnam’s strategies to promote regional and global integration during over 30 years of Doi Moi (reform) have helped the country escape from underdevelopment to join the group of middle-income developing countries.
Vietnam’s position in the international arena has been raised and the country wishes to enhance relations with strategic partners and major countries for national security and development, he said.
Regarding Party leader Trong’s official visit to France, Quan stated this is an important political event and is the first France visit by the highest Vietnamese leader in the past 13 years. The visit offers a chance for the two countries to review their cooperation, assess potential and map out orientations to foster their strategic partnership signed in 2013.
France is one of the leading trade partners of Vietnam in Europe, with two-way trade in 2017 reaching 4.62 billion USD. France is now home to 7,000 Vietnamese students and postgraduates. Bilateral collaboration has been also promoted in the fields of culture, health, education-training, justice, administrative reform, customs and defence-security, along with decentralised cooperation.
According to the article, Quan also mentioned France’s assistance to Vietnam in addressing AO/dioxin-related issues, saying that overcoming consequences of the toxic chemical requires a great effort of Vietnam and support from the international community. Vietnam appreciates France’s cooperation in health research, with French researchers having organised symposiums on chemical products and serious consequences of AO/dioxin on human health since 1970.
Vietnam wants French experts to continue research on genetic mutations as well as treatments for victims of different generations, the official stressed.
Mechanical engineering sector to lift exports by 2020
Vietnam’s mechanical engineering industry is striving to apply advanced technology, produce high-quality products meeting international standards and join the global value chain by 2035.
The targets were set out in a strategy approved by the Prime Minister for the industry’s development by 2025, with a vision to 2035.
The industry will also focus on the efficient use of energy, maintaining competitiveness during international integration and establishing a disciplined, professional and qualified work force that is proactive in conducting research, designing products and manufacturing.
Exports are expected to account for 35 percent of the total production by 2020. This proportion will increase to 40 percent by 2030 and 45 percent by 2035.
Under the strategy, the focus will be on developing automobile engineering, agricultural machines, industrial products and electronic appliances to meet the basic domestic demand, as well as create volume for export. Meanwhile, engineering support companies will be established to provide supplies for production units to join the global value chain.
Relevant authorities must complete mechanisms to support the mechanical engineering sector, by giving preferential taxes and simplifying the investment procedures. The policies must aid the support industry and encourage participation in the production value chain, as well as in the development of domestic production.
The PM has ordered the development of basic materials and advanced technologies for the sector.
The sector must also attract powerful multi-national corporations to invest in the country’s big engineering projects. Investment promotion should be prioritised for small and medium enterprises, especially those in the support industry.
The State will support enterprises to renew technology and their production facilities, as well as to apply advanced technology and management in production to improve efficiency in the use of energy and input materials, product quality and competitive ability. It will also support businesses in diversifying products, as well as building and developing brands.
The State has a credit policy for mechanical equipment manufacturers who want to develop their production and business. It will establish an information system for the mechanical engineering sector to have a database for state management agencies and enterprises.
Korean SMEs’ exports to Vietnam soar in 2017
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) exported 12.6 billion USD worth of goods to Vietnam in 2017, up 33.4 percent over the previous year, reported the Korea Small Business Institute (KOSBI).
Vietnam was the second largest overseas market for Korean SMEs, only after China. Main export products to Vietnam were wireless telecommunications equipment, knitted textiles and plastics.
KOSBI, which works to facilitate the sustainable development of SMEs, said Vietnam is an attractive market with a population of more than 90 million people and annual economic growth of 6-7 percent.
The institute added that Vietnamese consumers have favourable impressions of products from the RoK because of the popularity of “Korean Wave” and the strong presence of companies like LG, Samsung and Hyundai Motor.
KOSBI said that for SMEs to expand their presence in the country and the rest of Southeast Asia, it is advisable to make full use of Vietnam’s special economic zones.
In addition, SMEs should also follow a so-called multi-product, small-sized production strategy when selling consumer goods in the country.
Vietnam-France bilateral trade enjoys continuous growth
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and France have seen positive growth, with Vietnam having enjoyed continuous trade surplus since 2010, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In 2017, the two-way trade value exceeded 4.6 billion USD, up 11.6 percent from 2016. The figure included 3.3 billion USD worth of Vietnamese exports to France and 1.3 billion USD worth of imports from the European country, both increasing by over 11 percent year on year.
Vietnam’s key export staples to France include footwear, garments and textiles, household appliances, agro-forestry-aquatic products, gemstones, jewelries, electricity devices, electronics, mechanic tools, pottery, rubber, coal, plastic products and rattan and bamboo handicrafts.
Last year, Vietnam exported 1.13 billion USD worth of mobile phones and components to France, earning the products first position in the list of exports to the European nation for the seventh year in a row.
They were followed by garments and textiles with turnover of 526.6 million USD, footwear and computers and spare parts, which raked in 436 million USD and 211 million USD, respectively.
Meanwhile, Vietnam mainly imported high-valued products from France, such as pharmaceuticals, machines and equipment, and transport vehicles.
According to Vu Duc Giang, President of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the sector’s annual export value to the EU makes up of 18-19 percent of its total earnings, in which France accounts for a majority.
Vietnam is currently one of the leading suppliers of garments for the French market thanks to its high-quality products and reasonable prices, Giang said.
CII sets up targets for Thu Thiem River Park
Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) targets to open the mock-up unit of the US$400-million Thu Thiem River Park complex in April this year.
According to the latest statement from CII, the detailed zoning of this project will be approved by March 30, 2018.
By September 30 this year all the documents of the project will be completed and the project will be started right away. The project will also launch sales from October this year and will be completed in December 2021.
Located at Thu Thiem Urban Area in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Thiem River Park is developed by CII and Hongkong Land.
The project will provide around 1,140 units, including luxury apartments, sky villas, and garden apartments, and was designed and arranged intelligently with a variety of unit sizes ranging from one to four bedrooms, and scenic views on the Saigon River and surrounding green areas.
Further amenities include swimming pools, public green areas, supermarkets, and more, ensuring a comfortable, convenient, and modern living environment.
The management board of CII has approved the plans to issue a total of VND1.2 trillion (US$52.6 million) worth of corporate bonds.
CII will issue two million corporate bonds with the par value of VND100,000, worth a total VND200 billion (US$8.8 million), in the next three months. The bonds have a term of two years and are non-convertible and unguaranteed.
First phase of Vietbuild Hanoi 2018 to open on March 28
The first phase of the first international Vietbuild Hanoi in 2018 will take place at the National Exhibition Construction Centre from March 28 to April 1.
The event marks the 60th year of Vietnam’s construction sector (April 29, 1958 – 2018) and the 20th anniversary of Vietbuild (1998-2018).
It will feature more than 1,700 stands of nearly 500 units, with 252 domestic, 99 joint ventures and 145 foreign firms from 18 countries and territories, including France, the US, Russia, Turkey, India, Italy, the UK, Australia, Germany and Japan.
The event will introduce various products in construction, building materials, real estate and exterior-interior decoration while a number of activities will take place in the event.
Head of the organising board Nguyen Tran Nam said with its scale and the participation of domestic and international firms, Vietbuild is among the leading exhibitions of the country. It has provided a destination for construction businesses to promote trade and enhance cooperation.
The second phase of the Vietbuild Hanoi will be held on September 6-10 with 1,500 booths while the third one is slated for November 23-27 with 1,700 booths.
Agribank asked to become leading bank in region
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 26 asked the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) to strive to become one of the leading commercial banks in the region.
He made the request while attending a ceremony in Hanoi marking the 30th founding anniversary (March 26, 1988) of Agribank, the only commercial bank whose charter capital is completely owned by the State.
Agribank now owns nearly 2,300 branches and transaction offices with almost 40,000 employees. It is also the only commercial bank to be present in nine island districts nationwide.
The bank is the partner of more than 30,000 businesses and millions of farmer households. It has also sent over 600 mobile banking vans to all corners of the country to bring bank credits to rural residents.
Agribank reported that it spends about 400 million – 500 billion VND (17.6 million – 22 million USD) each year on social activities, especially education and health care, the fields that directly influence people’s daily life.
Congratulating the bank’s excellent achievements, PM Phuc said Agribank has done a good job of providing finance for and supporting agriculture, farmers and rural areas. It, along with the banking system nationwide, has helped turn Vietnam from a food importer into a leading rice exporter in the world.
He also applauded the bank’s breakthroughs in supplying credits for farmer households, thus greatly contributing to poverty reduction and becoming a trustworthy partner of farmers. It has also actively engaged in the restructuring of credit organisations and settlement of bad debt.
Pointing out some shortcomings of Agribank, he asked the bank to push ahead with restructuring credit organisations and solving non-performing loans, which is also a key task of the whole banking sector.
It needs to better carry out the task of promoting the development of agriculture and rural areas so as to bring about more benefits for farmers and help attain socio-economic development targets set by the Party and the State. It also needs to step up providing loans for cooperatives and micro and small enterprises in rural areas.
In his speech, PM Phuc told Agribank to implement synchronous measures to increase charter capital, improve its financial capacity, and ensure that its safety standards are in line with international norms.
Notably, he requested the bank to absorb the lessons of recent problems, augment internal inspection and auditing, increase capacity, and enhance the fight against corruption and negative phenomena. It should also press on with IT application to improve its competitiveness, develop high-quality manpower, and reform governance.
At the ceremony, PM Phuc presented the Labour Order (first class) to Agribank to recognise its outstanding performance.
US workshop boosts Vietnamese agricultural export
Vietnamese and US agricultural experts and policy makers gathered at a recent workshop in Arlington city of the US’s Virginia State to seek ways to boost export of Vietnamese agricultural products.
The event was jointly hosted by the VietAgGlobal and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF) following the success of a similar event on sustainable agriculture held at the US’s Arizona University in 2017.
Participants said besides opportunities, Vietnam’s agricultural export is facing numerous challenges, which requires joint efforts of relevant agencies, enterprises, and scientists to improve products’ quality and expand export markets.
Dr Nguyen Quoc Vong from the RMIT University (Australia) said Vietnam needs to focus on products that other nations have demand for, rather than on those Vietnam wants to export.
He also underlined the need to seek ways to lower Vietnam’s shipment costs and simplify export procedures to reduce prices.
Meanwhile, Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the US’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) said Vietnam needs to give top priority to improving products’ quality and then to lowering prices, elaborating that these two factors are , crucial for not only Vietnamese products but also those of other nations to ensure their market share.
Participants also attached significance to technology transfer, assistance of authorities, scientists and enterprises for farmers, and young scientists training.
VietAgGlobal is a network connecting Vietnamese students, post-graduates and young entrepreneurs in the US to make contributions to their home country.
The workshop not only helped improve products’ quality and expand export markets, but also served as a bridge connecting the the Governments of Vietnam and the US, and among the Government, scientists and private enterprises of Vietnam.
Vietnam’s export value of agro, forestry and seafood products reached a record 36.37 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent. The export of major agricultural products was estimated at 18.96 billion USD, a year-on-year growth of 15.7 percent.
Total rice exports for the year reached 5.89 million tonnes, earning 2.66 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 22.4 percent in volume and 23.2 percent in value.
Agency to promote Japanese firms’ investment in Vinh Phuc
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing an agency for promoting investment and supporting Japanese enterprises in investing in the northern province of Vinh Phuc (Japan Desk Vinh Phuc) was signed in the locality on March 26.
Signatories were the provincial People’s Committee, the Sumitomo Group of Japan, and the Thang Long Industrial Park Co., Ltd.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tri highlighted the great contributions made by foreign-invested firms, especially those from Japan, to promoting the locality’s socio-economic development in recent years.
He said as of February 2018, Vinh Phuc was home to 278 projects worth over 4 billion USD invested by 16 countries and territories, 31 of them, valued at 816 million USD, were from Japan.
Vinh Phuc has also partnered with Japan’s localities and organisations, especially in investment cooperation and culture exchange.
The MoU aims to not only provide the best support for Japanese investors but also attract more firms from Japan to invest in the locality, he stressed.
Nguyen Tien Hanh, Director of the provincial Public Administrative Centre, affirmed the formation of Japan Desk Vinh Phuc will make it easy for Vinh Phuc to introduce its investment and business climate, and for Japanese firms to seek partners and ask for approval for their investment projects in the locality.
He said the provincial People’s Committee will proactively report conditions or preferences for Japanese firms to the Government, towards granting investment licences and business registration certificates for investment projects in Vinh Phuc within 3-5 working days.
Sumitomo is one of the five largest financial groups in Japan with experience in global-scale production and business sectors such as metal, means of transportation, construction machines, infrastructure development, minerals, energy, chemicals and electronics.
In Vietnam, the group has succeeded in developing, operating and managing industrial parks (IPs), including Thang Long I and II IPs, and Thang Long Vinh Phuc IP.
The group will be responsible for seeking potential companies in Japan which have intend to expand their business in Vinh Phuc, while assisting support industries in the locality.-
Hanoi sees RoK as leading partner
Hanoi has defined resources from investors, especially those from the Republic of Korea (RoK), as one of important factors deciding the success of the capital’s implementation of development goals and orientations, said a senior local official.
Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung made the statement while addressing a Vietnam-RoK Business Forum in held in the city on the occasion of the State visit of RoK President Moon Jae-in.
Currently, Hanoi is one of the three most favourite investment destinations for foreign investors, he noted, adding that in 2016-2017 period, the city lured 6.5 billion USD in foreign direct investment, ranking second among localities nationwide in FDI attraction.
Meanwhile, Hanoi is among cities with highest growth of 8 percent per year annually he said, highlighting that the city is a safe investment destination with stable political environment.
With 8 million people, Hanoi is the second most crowded locality in the country, said Chung, highlighting the city’s advantages such as young labourers, which account for 60 percent of the labour force, and the improved infrastructure system in industrial parks.
The capital city is also popular to foreign tourists. From the city, visitors can easily reach other tourist destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Trang An heritage site and Sa Pa resort town.
In 2017, Hanoi welcomed 23.8 million visitors, up 9 percent year on year, including 4.95 million foreigners, a rise of 23 percent.
Hanoi’s provincial competitiveness index has increased through years, ranking 13 out of 63 localities nationwide in 2017.
Currently, it is hosting 1,500 RoK-invested projects worth 5.4 billion USD. In 2016 and 2017, the city lured 420 projects with total investment of 730 million USD.
Last year, Hanoi’s exports to the RoK reached 445 million USD, accounting for 3.8 percent of the city’s total export value. Meanwhile, the city imported 3.3 billion USD worth of goods from the RoK, or 11 percent of its imports.
Nearly 600,000 RoK visitors came to Vietnam, a surge of 59 percent over 2016.
A recent survey among FDI firms in Hanoi showed that 43 percent of RoK enterprises wished to expand operation.
Hong Sun from the RoK Business Association in Vietnam said that total number of RoK firms investing in Vietnam reached over 6,500 as of 2017, of which over 1,000 firms opened representative offices in Hanoi.
He held that in the coming time, the figure will continue increasing.
Chairman Chung said that Hanoi hopes for more RoK-invested projects in areas of the RoK’s strength such as electronics, information technology, green industry, power saving, satellite urban area construction, and infrastructure for industrial parks and logistics centres.
“Hanoi commits to continue improving its investment and business environment, making it more open, transparent and effective,” he said, vowing to accompany with and create favourable conditions for investors in the city.
Chung expressed his belief in the further success of RoK firms in Hanoi thanks to efforts of the city and the New Southern Policy of the RoK.
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