Industrial production expands 18 percent in Tien Giang
Workers at a seafood processing factory at the My Tho Industrial Park of Tien Giang province
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang saw a record yearly growth of 18 percent in industrial production value in the first half of this year, to nearly 51.1 trillion VND (2.245 billion USD), according to Director of the province’s Department of Industry and Trade Ngo Van Tuan.
The director said most major industries of the province such as food processing, beverages, garment making, shoes and metal production posted good growth compared to 2017.
He noted that foreign-invested enterprises operating in key local industrial parks were the driving force behind the strong growth.
Tuan cited as an example Heineken Vietnam Brewery Tien Giang whose beer output rose by 39.4 percent year on year.
The local shoe making industry enjoyed a 25 percent growth with many orders from foreign partners, especially from China.
The for-export tra fish processing industry also recorded an 18 percent increase despite trade barriers in the US.
In the second half of the year, Tien Giang aims for 57.8 trillion VND (2.54 billion USD) in industrial production value, bringing the figure for the entire 2018 to nearly 108.9 trillion VND, up 18.5 percent from 2017.
Also in the same period, Tien Giang raked in a total investment of more than 7.2 trillion VND, or 316.8 million USD, a 2.3-fold increase from the same period last year.
Over 97.2 percent of the amount, or 7 trillion VND (308 million USD), have been poured into 18 new projects.
Nearly 370 new enterprises have been established in the province in the January-June period with a total registered capital of more than 2.58 trillion VND (113.52 million USD), up 31.5 percent and 89 percent, respectively.
Mumuso’s tax code identical to another Vietnamese company
The information page of Mumuso Vietnam Co., Ltd. on hosocongty.vn shows no relation to South Korea as the representative and charter capital are from Vietnam and China.
According to website hosocongty.vn, Mumuso Vietnam Co., Ltd. was licensed on October 25, 2016 in Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City, and was officially put into operation on October 27, 2016. On May 25, 2018, the company moved its headquarters to District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. It is represented by Nham Phi Khanh with the charter capital of VND1 billion ($44,000).
Notably, Mumuso Vietnam Co., Ltd.’s tax code is the same as that of Domesky Vietnam Co., Ltd., which was located at the same location as Mumuso’s headquarters in Tan Binh district, and is also represented by Nham Phi Khanh.
Thus, the predecessor of Mumuso Vietnam is Domesky Vietnam. According to thanhnien.vn, 75 per cent of Mumuso’s charter capital comes from China.
A leader of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Trade and Industry told newswire on June 22 that he has not received news of an inspection of Mumuso’s business activities in the city. “We have not been informed that this retail chain is under inspection, but we are ready to collaborate and report to the media if an inspection is requested,” said he.
Earlier, on May 10, the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) Market Management Department has received documents from the South Korean Business Association asking to inspect Mumuso Vietnam. The department is checking the dossiers and legal certificates of the company.
Another issue brought up with Mumuso’s practices in Vietnam is the lack of Vietnamese-language labels and instructions, which is a violation of domestic regulations.
According to the Hanoi Market Management Department, all imported goods have to be labelled in Vietnamese, including the name of the importer, the product, instruction manuals, and ingredients.
If distributors do not label their imported goods in Vietnamese, they will be punished in accordance with Vietnamese regulations. The agency has seized over 200 items from Mumuso’s several branches for quality checks.
Meanwhile, South Korean media expressed suspicions that Mumuso’s stores claim false South Korean origins because its headquarters is located in China. South Korean journalists also prepared a list of abnormalities in the company’s mode of operations and the origin of the products sold at its stores.
The South Korean MBC channel is trying to discover the real origins of Mumuso to determine whether it is a South Korean brand and whether its goods are fake. There are many beauty items with designs and packaging very similar to products of famous South Korean brands, with the only difference being the name. This makes it very easy for customers to confuse items if they do not look at the products closely.
Most South Korean words on the product packaging are also meaningless. On Mumuso’s website, they only say “Coming from South Korea” in South Korean.
Mumuso claimed it is present in over 20 countries, but in South Korea it is completely unheard of and has no retail stores. Many Mumuso stores in Hanoi offer products labeled “Mumuso–Korea,” so customers widely believe that the brand is from South Korea.
AgroViet 2018 on horizon
The 18th Vietnam International Agriculture Trade Fair (AgroViet 2018) will take place from June 28 to July 1 in the central city of Da Nang.
Held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), AgroViet 2018 aims to create an opportunity for all enterprises to promote their business activities and expand international cooperation between businesses and consumers.
With the theme “High-Tech Farm Produce Towards Sustainable Agricultural Development”, the fair will introduce and honor high-quality Vietnamese products in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and handicrafts as well as new technological advances in agricultural production.
It is also expected to help in creating safe agricultural products for export and domestic consumption, leading to increased product value and developing the agricultural sector towards the use of advanced technologies and international integration.
The fair will feature about 180 booths from some 180 local and international enterprises, showcasing equipment and machinery in agricultural production and processing, veterinary drugs, pesticides, safe agricultural and aquatic products, and animal and plant varieties. This year’s fair will also see the participation of 18 Thai businesses.
Seminars introducing agricultural eco-tourism products in Da Nang city will also be held.
AgroViet is one of MARD’s biggest annual trade promotion activities for the agricultural sector. This year’s fair will take place at the Da Nang Fair and Exhibition Centre, 9 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Cam Le district. AgroViet 2017 was held in Ho Chi Minh City and attracted the participation of 200 booths from over 100 local and international enterprises.
Merino Wool Awareness Day held in Hanoi
The Woolmark Company from Australia organized Merino Wool Awareness Day in Hanoi on June 22, with more than a hundred participants including international and local experts, experienced designers, suppliers, and manufacturers in the textile and garment industry.
The event highlighted the benefits of Merino wool and provided guidance on how to access and process the fiber in innovative ways, and also gave domestic companies an opportunity to showcase their wool products and link with more than 80 supply chain brands in Vietnam.
Executives from The Woolmark Company provided a comprehensive overview of the company, its world-renowned International Woolmark Prize, the benefits of Australian Merino wool, and innovations using the fiber. Participants also had a unique opportunity to hear from experienced experts from leading brands in Vietnam and around the world, such as Canifa, Ivy Moda, Ffixxed Studios, Designer Textile International (DTI), and Appeal Korea.
“We launched the ‘Out of Vietnam’ project in June 2012 to develop new manufacturing supply chains for wool products and we have now established collaborations with more than 80 partners in the country,” said Mr. John Roberts, General Manager Eastern Hemisphere of The Woolmark Company. “Our heritage in wool research and development together with Vietnam’s solid background in the textile industry make a perfect combination that promises high quality and sustainable ‘Grown in Australia – Made in Vietnam’ wool products, as well as a strengthening partnership between the two economies.”
Having established a foothold in Vietnam for more than five years, The Woolmark Company considers it a valuable market of substantial potential thanks to its political and social stability, established textile manufacturing infrastructure, abundance of skilled and low-cost labor, reliable water and electricity supply, and the accessibility it offers to numerous FTAs and cross-borders partnerships.
Australian Merino wool is a remarkable result of years of evolution. Its benefits include breathability, temperature regulation, softness and fineness, odor resistance, elasticity, UV protection, fire resistance, and versatility of use. Recently published research even shows the therapeutic power of superfine Merino wool for those suffering from eczema.
The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool and highlights Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fiber and premier material in luxury apparel. The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product.
The textile and garment industry has long been Vietnam’s key economic sector. The industry employs more than 2.7 million people in the country, equivalent to 25 per cent of the industrial workforce, and is the second-largest export earner in the manufacturing sector.
Accounting for 17 per cent of world apparel exports in 2017, Vietnam’s textile exports have steadily grown and reached $31.1 billion in 2017 from a modest $1.35 billion in 1998, putting the country among the world’s Top 5 textile exporters. Given the harsh competition in the global market, however, it is essential for Vietnamese businesses to develop specific strategies to enhance competitiveness and generate breakthroughs. Simultaneously, businesses also need to leverage effective flows of foreign investment while actively participating in supply chains to reduce costs and optimize domestic performance.
Citi Foundation supporting innovation and startups
The UNDP, the Citi Foundation, and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) have become co-leads in delivering Youth Co: Lab Vietnam 2018.
Following its launch in Hanoi on June 15, the Youth Co: Lab Diagnostic workshop moved to Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Innovation Hub on June 22 to bring all major players in the impact startup ecosystem together and plot a course to foster the growth of the sector and connect startups to the business of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The UNDP will open applications for the SDG Innovations Incubator and selected teams will receive an intensive business incubation and impact acceleration program as well as the opportunity to pitch their ideas to national and international investors,” Ms. Akiko Fujii, the UNDP’s Deputy Country Director in Vietnam, said in her opening remarks.
“Entrepreneurship aspirations don’t just come to life on their own,” said Citi Vietnam’s Head of Public Affairs Mr. Bui Quang Huy in speaking about the Citi Foundation’s commitment to young people. “Young people say they need a few things, including the right skills for the right jobs and the right policies in place, and they would like mentoring and guidance along the way. That is why the Citi Foundation has committed to invest $100 million to support 500,000 young people to become career-ready and employable by 2020.”
Citi is mobilizing 10,000 of its employees as volunteer mentors and coaches to provide professional advice to help young people towards their career goals. Citi calls this the “Pathways to Progress” initiative and Youth Co: Lab is part of this global initiative to foster an ecosystem that will enable social and economic pathways for young people to succeed in the cities.
Events in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City brought together experts from the private sector, the government, NGOs, investment firms, social entrepreneurs, startup incubators, and guests from Thailand and Malaysia to develop a set of recommendations for all sectors to help build social impact startups in Vietnam to address some of the biggest challenges the country faces.
The program also includes a series of exciting activities to train and mentor young Vietnamese. Up to 130 young people from across the country will be trained in design thinking, 21st century skills, social innovation, and SDG entrepreneurship, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City later this month. The Youth Co: Lab program strongly focuses on “leaving no one behind”. One-third of participants are young people from rural and mountainous areas, people with disabilities, the deaf and hearing-impaired, LGBTI people, ethnic minorities, and people living with HIV.
Vietnam has seen huge growth in startups in recent years, with 3,000 registered in 2017. Despite this growth, the social impact startup ecosystem lags behind other leaders in the region in terms of a coordinated national approach, such as in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Xuan Cau teams up with B.Grimm in $400mn solar project
Thailand’s leading industrial conglomerate, B.Grimm, will work with Vietnamese construction company the Xuan Cau Co. Ltd to develop two solar power plants in Vietnam, the largest in Southeast Asia and costing $400 million.
Dr. Harald Link, Chairman of B.Grimm Power PCL., Ms. Preeyanart Soontornwata, President of B.Grimm Power PCL., Mr. To Dung, Chairman of Xuan Cau Co. Ltd, and Mr. Dao Trong Khanh, CEO of Xuan Cau Co. Ltd, signed a Development Cooperation Agreement for the 420 MW facility in southern Tay Ninh province.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha on the sidelines of the eighth Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 8) in Bangkok on June 15.
Construction of the two solar power plants, Dau Tieng 1 and Dau Tieng 2, with total investment of VND9.1 trillion ($400 million) and a capacity of 420 MW will begin in the province’s Duong Minh Chau and Tan Chau districts on June 23, with commercial operations to get underway in June next year.
The two plants are part of the first phase of Xuan Cau’s solar power complex project, which has received government approval and is included in the master plan for developing the national power network in the 2011-2020 period.
The plants will provide a significant source of clean power to the south and create jobs for local residents, in line with the provincial government’s socioeconomic plan.
Xuan Cau operates in a diverse range of business fields, such as real estate, trade and services, energy, and infrastructure.
B.Grimm, which started out in Thailand’s pharmaceutical business in 1878, is now a diversified corporation with interests in energy, buildings and industrial systems, healthcare, lifestyle, transport, and real estate. In 1993 it pioneered Thailand’s emerging private power generation industry with B.Grimm Power.
B.Grimm Power’s total installed capacity is currently 1,646 MW. With new projects already under development, its capacity will rise to 2,518 MW by 2022. Its target is to reach 5,000 MW across the ASEAN region by 2022.
The company utilizes a variety of energy sources, including natural gas, solar, and hydroelectric. It has already obtained new licenses for wind farms and is pursuing other opportunities both domestically and abroad.
CSR activities create positive profile
Consumer satisfaction has long been the best evidence of how much manufacturers or retailers focus on the requirements of increasingly demanding customers in the context of a fiercely competitive business environment. Customers looking to buy a new motor vehicle, for example, thoroughly compare makes and models, dealerships, and promotional offers and aren’t afraid to negotiate before deciding on their purchase, according to market researcher J.D. Power’s 2017 Vietnam Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI).
The study found that Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) again ranked highest in overall sales satisfaction for the third consecutive year. This stems from its unceasing efforts to renovate its service and sales activities under a humane business strategy, as part of TMV’s three key pillars: realizing a powerful automobile society, contributing to the country’s auto industry development, and providing assistance to the community and society.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are an inseparable part of the comprehensive business strategies adopted by many foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in Vietnam. “Being a good member of the local community” has always been among TMV’s most important objectives since its foundation, and its total community contributions now exceed $24 million.
It organizes a host of community activities every year, in fields such as the environment, traffic safety, education, human resources development, and culture, including the Toyota Safety Education Program (TSEP), painting contests, Green Journey, Toyota Concert, the Toyota Classical Music Show, and other programs. With its annual Toyota Classical Music Show, it expresses its efforts to enhance spiritual lives in the community as well as cultural development.
Late last year it granted individual scholarships of $264 each to outstanding students in five music training schools in Vietnam, for a total of $22,440. The scholarship program has been implemented since 2009 to encourage a spirit of study among young musical talent and to contribute to the development of musicians and musical culture in the country.
Given that the world relies on agriculture and livestock farming, as a global company operating in the animal nutrition field, De Heus views sustainable development as an ambition in ceaselessly contributing to the food chain and ensuring food security. The company’s CSR policies encompasses the economy, the community, and the environment as three crucial factors in development, and has driven its business and operations in a responsible manner in terms of food safety, raw material purchases, and energy-saving means of transport.
“We are also well aware of the fact that we exist thanks to the society we are a part of,” said Mr. Gabor Fluit, Business Group Director of De Heus Asia. “We therefore feel a responsibility to do something in return. We contribute to sustainable living and an entrepreneurial climate for the generations that come after us by investing in local agriculture and social projects that encourage stakeholders, business partners, and even farmers to produce in harmony with the environment.”
The company also developed and carried out education (its Green Seed project receives investment of $30,000 per year) and healthcare projects and has financially committed to a ten-year eye care project in the Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long province, called Powering Progress with Eye Care, costing $323,000 and contributing to the development of high-quality, sustainable and accessible eye care.
Its CSR policies are generally associated with its business activities. For instance, the company aims to limit any harm done to human health and the environment during production. It selects raw materials that are able to provide maximum feed conversion with minimum input amounts, to minimize its environmental footprint, and makes use of by-products from other food producing processes to combat waste. “We make efforts to ensure that the transport of our raw materials and finished products are as efficient as possible and also meet strict safety and environmental requirements,” Mr. Fluit added. “In this way we are able to cut transport movements and our carbon dioxide footprint.”
CSR activities, he went on, have brought De Heus several internal benefits in terms of cost-savings, greater productivity and quality, and an enhanced brand image and reputation, among others. Its efforts have resulted in positive changes in society, of which its employees feel proud and which strengthens their engagement with the company.
With the same vision towards sustainable development, both for business and for the community, FrieslandCampina Vietnam has been pioneering meaningful CSR programs. One, the Den Dom Dom (DDD) program, has successfully promoted the Dutch Lady brand name in Vietnam. Initiated in 2002 to prevent poor children from dropping out of school, DDD has supported the construction of new schools in rural areas to provide a better learning and teaching environment for both students and teachers. More than $1.3 million has been spent on building 21 schools nationwide and granting 25,000 scholarships to needy school children in rural areas.
Inspired by the need to work towards improving the nutritional status of children in the region, FrieslandCampina also initiated the Drink, Move, Be Strong (DMBS) campaign, which aims to bridge critical nutrition gaps identified by the Southeast Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS). Under the DMBS campaign, in 2017 FrieslandCampina cooperated with the Vietnam Red Cross to conduct the “Nutritional Education and Vietnamese Kids’ Development” program, which successfully reached more than 65,000 kindergarten and primary school students and 250,000 households. The program has been extended this year.
Also active in CSR activities, one of the leading life insurance companies in the country, AIA Vietnam, determined that it has a responsibility to help the local community live longer and healthier lives in the context of increasing life expectancy. It spent some $400,000 on community activities last year, helping tens of thousands of disadvantaged children around the country. This year it expects to donate some $440,000 to community support and social development activities, such as bicycle donations within the “Real Life Journey” program, awarding insurance policies and scholarships and sponsoring sports and healthcare activities.
Mr. Wayne Besant, CEO of AIA Vietnam, told VET that the focus of the company’s CSR activities is its “Real Life Journey” program. Successfully conducted for more than four years, this year it enters its fifth year with over 8,000 bicycles donated or to be donated to disadvantaged children in cities and provinces nationwide, giving them an opportunity to change their lives.
Successful CSR programs not only help companies from a business perspective but can also help them resolve strategic and core issues relating to business and social issues. “Long-term CSR is not just about making the company satisfied and not just about regular public relations (PR), charity, or sponsorship programs,” Ms. Pamela Phua, General Manager of AkzoNobel Vietnam, told VET. “CSR requires high concentration, continuous operations, and long-term commitment to the interests of the company and to the benefits to society in the context of global integration.”
CSR is challenging, she said, because it requires thoughtful planning, the building of trust, and the implementation of the company’s internal and external community activities.
Companies like AkzoNobel Vietnam recognize that the implementation of CSR activities requires a long-term commitment, which is easier said than done. “Such activities can require a degree of patience that is sometimes challenging,” Mr. Fluit from De Heus Asia said. “Even though awareness about CSR is growing, it is still not widely recognized in Vietnam. Some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have yet to comprehend the long-term benefits of CSR strategies and prefer to focus more on delivering the best possible economic outcomes.”
For many European multi-nationals, the major challenge when implementing CSR is following their group’s guidelines and adapting their strategy to Vietnam’s business environment and integrating it into a multicultural organization, according to Ms. Clemence Aron, CSR Project Manager at the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCIFV).
The main issue in the implementation of CSR strategies in Vietnam is how businesses perceive them. There are some that consider such programs to be a major involvement that can be time consuming, and some CSR approaches are isolated activities and not long-term strategic plans. The fact that Vietnam is a growing economy is also a reason why CSR is still in its early stages of development in the country. There is a lack of experience among managers in the task and management capacity to develop such programs and the expertise required remain limited.
Vietnam has relied on regulations and legislation in the past to deliver social and environmental objectives in business. Limited government resources, coupled with distrust over the enforcement of regulations and legislation, has led to voluntary and non-regulatory initiatives instead, according to Mr. John Rockhold, Managing Director of Amcham Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City. As such, there is little or no knowledge of CSR in local communities and they need to be educated so they feel confident about the aims of such programs.
Heineken Vietnam sees success in sustainable development
Heineken Vietnam released its 2017 Sustainability Report on June 20, noting that it continues to lead the way in sustainable development and highlighting its impressive accomplishments last year. This is the fourth consecutive year it has published a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-accredited Sustainability Report for Vietnam.
2017 also saw Heineken Vietnam named the Most Sustainable Manufacturing Company in Vietnam by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in its annual CSI 100 awards.
For Heineken Vietnam, “green” is more than the signature color of its globally-popular brand; it is a deliberate choice made by the company on a global level as well as in Vietnam to act sustainably. Choosing green means committing to sustainable operations, an approach that Heineken has taken on and also inspired others to follow for more than 27 years in Vietnam.
“The choices we make define who we are,” said Mr. Leo Evers, Managing Director of Heineken Vietnam. “For Heineken Vietnam, sustainability is our choice. We choose green by taking care of our people and the planet to sustain prosperity for a better Vietnam.”
“With a corporate strategy entrenched in the triple bottom line approach, the company has continued to integrate sustainability into our core business to set new benchmarks in sustainable development through continuous improvements, rigorous assessment, and the communication of our progress. Going forward, we believe there is so much more to be done. We will continue to work with our stakeholders to implement suitable strategies, so that together we can brew an even better Vietnam.”
Heineken Vietnam’s sustainability strategy continues to focus on six key areas where the company believes it can have the greatest impact in Vietnam: advocating responsible consumption; promoting health and safety; protecting water resources; reducing CO2 emissions; growing with communities; and sourcing sustainably.
In 2017, 100 per cent of Heineken Vietnam’s wastewater was treated so that it could be safely reused for other purposes such as landscaping. Its breweries are the most water-efficient of all Heineken’s companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
The brewer also played a leading role in applying a circular economy into its operations. In 2017, it sourced approximately 54,000 tons of rice husk and woodchips from farmers to generate thermal energy. This initiative allowed four of its six breweries to brew 100 per cent with carbon neutral renewable energy and at the same time provided substantial incomes to Vietnamese farmers as well as supported the development of the country’s biomass energy industry.
Heineken Vietnam also continued to find new uses for its own waste. In 2017, it sent virtually zero waste to landfill, with 99.01 per cent of its inputs being re-used or recycled, with only some 1 per cent lost or sent to landfill.
It contributed $1.85 billion to Vietnam’s economy last year, equivalent to 0.88 per cent of the country’s total GDP, compared to 0.75 per cent in 2016. A total of over 158,000 jobs were supported throughout its value chain across Vietnam. The company continued to prioritize and maximize local sourcing whenever possible with its partners in Vietnam.
Forum promotes sustainable economic and tourism development
More than 200 delegates gathered in Quang Ninh province’s Ha Long city on June 23-24 for the “Sustainable Economic and Tourism Development 2018” forum, during which they discussed the reality facing and solutions for green economic and tourism development in the new period, while debating the policies needed to develop tourism and the economy in a sustainable manner.
Japan’s green tourism experience for Vietnam was also high on the agenda at the forum, in addition to the directions for the sustainable development of green tourism, the financial support policies to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to modernise production technologies to be green and sustainable, and the role played by investors and businesses in developing sustainable green tourism.
The delegates also touched on the reasonable use of natural resources, the limitation of waste from tourism activities, and the application of eco-friendly technology in developing tourism products, while stressing the need to develop eco-tourism types and tabling effective measures aiming to promote growth and develop green economic and tourism development in the globalisation trend.
Within the framework of the forum, the organising committee honoured the collectives and individuals who have made outstanding achievements in economic-tourism development in 2018, including the pioneering companies in innovation and global integration. Participants were also offered a field trip to a number of green economic-tourism sites in Quang Ninh province.
Through the aforementioned activities, the forum showcased Vietnam as a beautiful, dynamic and hospitable country which is a friendly and attractive destination to both domestic and international friends, contributing to attracting investment resources in tourism development and promoting linkages in tourism development between Vietnamese localities and countries around the world.
The forum also worked to widely disseminate the green economy and tourism development strategy and the Resolution No. 80/NQ-TW of the Party Central Committee on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector, to the public.
Vietnamese firms updated on trade protection regulations in US
Updated information on legal trends and trade protection in the US as well as recommendations for Vietnamese enterprises were given to businesses at a conference held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Hanoi on June 25.
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the VCCI’s Centre for WTO and Integration said global trade has seen signs of complicated trade protection, especially in big markets.
The US is an important market of Vietnam, but it also a market that accounts for 22 percent of total anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits against Vietnam, noted Trang.
She held that over the years, the situation in the US regarding trade protection has changed significantly, affecting Vietnam’s exports to the market.
Currently, Vietnam is facing 17 anti-dumping lawsuits, mostly related to industrial, garment and metal products, she said, adding that she hopes the conference will help Vietnamese firms update latest information of legal regulations in the US.
Daniel Calhoun, Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement and Compliance at the US Department of Commerce, said WTO agreements on anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and trade defence are unchanged despite efforts to adjust some regulations related to the agreements.
Trang pointed out that anti-dumping lawsuits normally have a short duration, while technical requirements are complicated and Vietnamese firms are not ready for lawsuits abroad and lack legal support, so early preparation is crucial.
Domestic enterprises should raise their awareness and knowledge of the procedures of lawsuits and their export market, while regularly coordinating with their import partners to keep track of changes in regulations.
Can Tho’s agriculture production reports high growth in first half
Agro-forestry-aquaculture production value of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in the first six months of 2018 exceeded 2.4 trillion VND (nearly 105.5 million USD), representing a year-on-year increase of 8.17-percent.
In the period, the total area of rice cultivation reached 166,426 hectares, equivalent to 76 percent of the year’s plan. Of which, 97,987 hectares were harvested with total yield of 693,762 tonnes or 52.6 percent of the set plan.
The area of vegetables and other short-term crops reached 9,512 hectares, while the area of fruits was 17,910 hectares, equivalent to 60 percent and up 4.43 percent against the set plan, respectively.
Meanwhile, the aquaculture area was estimated at more than 3,300 hectares, including 1,588 hectares harvested with total output of 95,456 tonnes. Of which, Tra fish cultivation area reached 568 hectares, 75.69 percent of the plan for the year.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Hoe, Director of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, most agriculture production indicators increased in the period, improving the living standard of locals.
Although the aquaculture area remained low, it is forecast to rise strongly between July and October, he noted.
Notably, the agriculture production also recorded high prices for most key local products such as Tra fish, fruit, cattle and poultry.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong said agriculture production value has significantly contributed to increasing Can Tho’s export turnover, boosting the city’s socio-economic development.
FDI enterprises urged to step up technology transfer
Experts at a conference in Hanoi on June 25 stressed the need for measures to increase the efficiency of technology transfer of FDI businesses in Vietnam.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong said that after 30 years Vietnam opening its door to foreign investors, the FDI sector has become an important part of the country’s economy. In the first half of 2018, foreign investors pour capital into 1,362 new projects, and 507 existing projects and contribute capital to buy shares of Vietnamese businesses in 2,748 projects, with a combined capital of over 20 billion USD.
Foreign investments account for 25 percent of the country’s total investments and contribute 20 percent of GDP. Last year, the sector contributed nearly 8 billion USD to the State budget, making up 14.4 percent of total revenue.
At present, 58 percent of foreign investments focus on processing and manufacturing, generating 50 percent of industrial production value.
Along with creating jobs and increasing the quality of human resources, FDI enterprises have helped transfer advanced technologies to domestic ones.
However, the transfer work has yet to meet expectations, Phuong stated, adding that foreign-invested enterprises do not create a close linkage with Vietnamese ones yet to participate in the value chain together.
Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Thi Tue Anh said that pervasive influence from FDI businesses’ technology transfer remains weak, as few Vietnamese businesses gain access to their supply chains.
Therefore, she emphasised the need to create an equally competitive environment so that FDI and domestic enterprises can compete healthily and coordinate in production.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Huu Xuyen from the National Institute for Patent and Technology Exploitation, stressed the necessity to soon complete a legal framework to make the National Technology Innovation Fund operate effectively.
The fund must operate as a financial organisation and does not hamper businesses’ approach to preferential credit for technology reception, transfer and innovation, he added.
Israel supports development of Vietnamese start-ups: Ambassador
The Israeli Government has devised policies and provided consultancy to support the development of Vietnamese start-ups, said Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar.
Eshcar made the statement during an international scientific seminar which was co-organised in Hanoi on June 25 by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam.
The seminar, entitled “25th years of Vietnam-Israel diplomatic relations: Sharing Innovation Ideas and Experience for Joint Development”, saw the participation of 200 delegates from relevant ministries, universities and research institutes.
Speaking at the event, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Quoc Ly, Vice President of the HCM National Academy of Politics, affirmed that the seminar aimed to help tighten Vietnam-Israel ties and scientific research cooperation between the academy and Israeli partners in particular.
He also voiced his hope that scholars of the two nations will continue to conduct joint research and share experience for development in the future.
For his part, Eshcar stressed that Israel has sent start-up experts to work with businesses and young start-ups in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang to share Israel’s experience in this field.
In addition, some delegations of start-ups from Vietnam paid fact-finding visits to Israel, he noted.
At the seminar, participants discussed and shared start-up experience and recent innovation ideas, as well as directions for bilateral cooperation in the coming time.
Trade fair to display best products of Vietnam, Laos
More than 120 businesses and units of Vietnam and Laos will showcase their best products at the Vietnam-Laos Trade Fair 2018 in the Lao capital city of Vientiane from June 28 to July 2.
The information was released at a press conference held by the countries’ ministries of industry and trade and the ministries of denfence in Vientiane on June 25.
The fair, themed “Cooperation, friendship and development”, will take place at the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) in Vientiane. It will feature over 200 booths covering a total area of 6,000 square metres.
Vietnamese firms are set to introduce their high-quality and typical products such as textiles-garment, leather and footwear, agro-forestry-aquatic products, handicrafts, processed food, electrical and electronic equipment, mechanical and chemical products, construction materials, fertilisers, and animal food.
Additionally, an exhibition area at the event will display photos on the two countries’ traditional friendship and economic activities of the Vietnam People’s Army.
As part of the trade fair, participating businesses will visit Luang Prabang province of Laos and Udon Thani province of Thailand to survey the local markets.
Meanwhile, the Department of Trade Promotion under the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Vientiane and Hanoi associations of women entrepreneurs will hold a business-to-business meeting to help Vietnamese and Lao companies to boost trade, investment and business partnerships.
The organising board and enterprises will also present aid to disadvantaged families and schools in Laos.
The Vietnam-Laos Trade Fair 2018, part of Vietnam’s national trade promotion programme, is an important economic, political and social activity aiming to strengthen the time-tested and special solidarity and friendship between the people and armies of the two nations.
It also looks to create a platform for enterprises to increase trade, investment and business cooperation, thus helping Vietnamese firms to promote exports to Laos and other ASEAN markets.
VnFinance in France holds finance-banking workshop
The association of Vietnamese people working in finance in France (VnFinance) has recently held an international workshop, attracting a large number of Vietnamese and French experts who are interested in finance and banking.
Participants presented hot financial topics along with the development and application of new technology in the field.
VnFinance highlighted major issues and orientations in global finance and economy at the beginning of the workshop along with the impacts of trade protectionism and commercial war on the world’s economy and emerging markets, including Vietnam.
Nguyen Gia Khanh, head of risk research at BNP Paribas, mentioned possible risks and opportunities for emerging markets. He noted some countries have poured significant investments into various fields, including real estate, in recent years, and the investment trend is likely to increase in the time to come.
There will be a change in the global banking system with new technologies, he said. Thus, countries will have tremendous opportunities to develop or even surpass developed nations.
Fintech is a new topic presented by Dao Tung Lam, head of fund management at CFM Group.
Financial technology (Fintech) is the new technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.
The recent developments have opened up more opportunities for this new technology to strengthen and improve its administration system.
The integrated machine and artificial intelligence systems also support investment strategies through the diversification of input data, detection and mitigation of risks, Lam said.
Blockchain is also one of the potential technologies to improve and develop the financial system at present, he added.
Other topics presented at the workshop were the technical application of banking data for digital marketing and advertising as well as other new cutting-edge technologies.
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