VN garment sector to boost export growth
The domestic textile and garment industry is expected to sustain growth in exports in the coming months, according to the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
Truong Van Cam, VITAS vice chairman and general secretary, said many textile and garment companies had signed contracts to produce export products in the third quarter of this year.
Many Vietnamese garment firms had also sustained high growth this year in traditional markets such as the United States, the Republic of Korea, the European Union, and member-states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Cam said a series of recently-signed free trade agreements (FTAs) was expected to boost the sector.
Since 2001, Viet Nam had signed bilateral trade agreements with the US, Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and India, and joined the World Trade Organisation. However, global demand for textiles and apparel only grew by 1 to 2 per cent each year, resulting in fierce competition, he said.
Most FTAs have product origin rules for fibre and fabrics even as Viet Nam imports up to 80 per cent of materials, according to Cam.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has cut its corporate tax rate to 20 per cent from 35 per cent, import tax for linen and spandex fiber from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, and chemical products and dye from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has waived material, energy, equipment, and machine taxes for the production of export apparel, and India has reduced fibre import tax to 2.5 per cent from 5 per cent.
The EU has offered zero per cent tax to apparel from Cambodia and Myanmar, while the US has waived taxes for several Cambodian goods. However, Vietnamese apparel are still subject to tariff rates of 17.7 per cent and 9.6 per cent when exporting to the US and the EU, respectively.
VITAS has called on the State to devise planning and grant licences to major garment industrial areas to attract investments in weaving and dyeing. It also urged support for waste water treatment in industrial zones and measures to discourage foreign firms from investing in fiber and sewing.
VPBank to pay 61.82% stock dividend
Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) will pay shareholders stock dividend at the rate of 61.82 per cent for 2017’s business result, the company announced.
The list of shareholders participating in the payout will be finalised on June 19.
A shareholder who owns 100 shares will receive nearly 62 new shares. VPBank will buy treasury shares from shareholders owning preferred shares, as approved at the general meeting of shareholders.
After that, the shares will be used as a source of share for existing shareholders. The bank is currently filing reports on the acquisition of treasury shares, which is expected to start in July.
Shareholders will receive share dividends at the rate of 30.217 per cent and bonus shares from supplementary capital and share capital surplus at the rate of 31.6 per cent.
VPBank is expected to issue some 925.67 million shares to pay dividend this time.
The bank’s charter capital is expected to increase from VND15.7 trillion (US$690 million) to VND24.9 trillion.
VPBank made the decision shortly after State Bank of Viet Nam approved its plan to raise capital from VND15.7 trillion to VND25.2 trillion.
US to crack down on illegal shrimp imports
The US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has confirmed that foreign shrimp and abalone will be added to the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) beginning on January 1, 2019.
The SIMP requires importers to report traceability information on imported seafood from point of capture to point of first sale in the US in order to thwart illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity.
Accordingly, American shrimp importers have until December 31, 2018 to comply with the regulations under the SIMP programme.
Specifically, shrimp importers must be US citizens. They are required to obtain an International Fisheries Trade Permit, submit harvest and landing information on those products to the USA Customs and Border Protection International Trade Data System prior to entering the USA and maintain supply chain records from the point of harvest to the point of entry into the USA for a period of two years.
The SIMP also allows NOAA and related agencies to check mandatory supply chain information provided by importers.
This will strengthen US government efforts to combat IUU fishing and a range of fraudulent activities in the shrimp import chain attributed to dishonest importers who violate US consumer safety laws and trade.
Shrimp imports may involve a range of illegal activities, including illegal IUU fishing; use of dangerous and illegal antibiotics in farms abroad; employing slave labor on international fishing vessels, shrimp farms and processing plants; evasion of US anti-dumping duties and noncompliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food safety laws.
Viet Nam’s shrimp exports to the US in the coming time are expected to face many challenges.
Last year, the US market dropped to the fourth among the top leading buyers of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for only 17 per cent of Viet Nam’s total shrimp exports.
According to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2018, Viet Nam’s shrimp exports to the US are showing more positive signs. In the first two months of 2018, shrimp exports to the US reached US$75 million, up 6.6 per cent over the same period in 2017. The US had risen to the second rank behind the EU among top importers of Vietnamese shrimp.
HDBank promotion offers deposit interest rate of 7.6%
HDBank has relaunched its Bach nien phat tai (100 years of prosperity) programme offering extra interest to several categories of depositors.
The bank will offer extra interest of up to 0.7 percentage points to customers depositing for six months or 13 months and having a minimum balance of VND500,000 (US$22) in their current account.
Besides, the interest rate will also be commensurate with depositors’ ages and deposit amounts.
The maximum interest a depositor can hope to get under the programme is 7.6 per cent.
This is the third installment of the programme, which will run until the end of June.
After two earlier instalments of the promotion this year, HDB had more than 8,600 existing customers renewing their saving accounts and attracted around 20,900 first-time depositors.
FLC Group to hold investment roadshow in US
FLC Group, one of leading multi-sector companies in Viet Nam, will organise its first-ever roadshow in Washington, DC on June 25.
FLC Group said its aim was to share investment opportunities in potential fields in Viet Nam and attract American investors to dabble in projects in the country.
The roadshow will feature seminars by well-known speakers and experts in real estate, aviation, travel, golf and hi-tech farming, with the participation of about 400 guests.
The seminar, with the theme “Viet Nam: Investment potential and opportunities,” will be held in the context of the significant changes and reforms made by Viet Nam over the past few years, which has transformed it into one of the most attractive investment destinations in Asia, attracting more European and American enterprises to explore investment potentials in the emerging economy.
Heads of diplomatic agencies, financial institutions, fund management companies and investment funds, as well as enterprise leaders, individual investors, and global press agencies, will present at the half-day event.
Participants will be offered insights about Viet Nam’s most FDI-attractive fields, such as real estate, aviation, travel, golf, and hi-tech farming. Individual and institutional investors from the US will also have chance to get detailed information about Viet Nam’s legal frameworks, investment environment, and incentives, as well as investment potentials in outstanding projects, products and services being offered by FLC Group.
There will also be one-on-one consultations with participating US investors.
The US event follows the success of a series of roadshows and seminars held by the FLC Group in Singapore, Japan and South Korea in 2017. It will also be an important step for the Vietnamese multi-sector company to organise other marketing and roadshow programmes in the international market in 2018.
The FLC Group is a privately-owned multi-sector company focusing on resort real estate development. The company is currently developing more than 50 projects covering nearly 9,000ha located in around 40km of the most beautiful coastal areas in Viet Nam.
In October 2017, the fund management firm Unicap valued total assets owned and managed by FLC Group, composed of the value of all its projects, investments, and other assets, at US$9 billion. The company listed as FLC on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE), with total outstanding shares of $683.7 million.
The “Viet Nam: Investment potential & opportunities” seminar will be held at the Trump International Hotel – Washington, DC, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, the US on June 25, 2018.
To register for the seminar, please contact Dung Bui at (+84) 974 080 515.
Prices fall as fruit floods HCM City markets
With many fruits entering harvest season, large volumes of them have been making their way to HCM City in recent weeks, dragging their prices down.
Lychee, durian and rambutan have entered their peak harvest season.
Durians costs VND50,000-VND60,000 per kilo, Hoa Loc mango type 1 costs VND80,000-VND90,000, and lychee costs VND60,000-VND80,000 if air transported and VND20,000 – VND35,000 if transported by road.
Tran Ngoc Lan, a fruit trader at Thi Nghe Market, said fruit prices have been falling relentlessly, and are now much cheaper than a few weeks ago.
Tran Duc Thinh, head of the fruit section at the Binh Dien Wholesale Market, told Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper large volumes of fruits have come to the market in recent days and so prices have fallen.
Co.opmart and Big C supermarkets are selling dragon fruit at VND23,500 per kilogramme, lychee at VND48,000, and Nam Roi grapefruit at VND39,900.
Co.opmart is offering discounts on fruits as part of its “Southern fruits week”.
Around 1,000 tonnes of speciality fruits have been brought to the Southern Fruit Festival being held at Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9, and sold at 10-15 per cent below market prices.
Ngyen Thi Minh Anh, owner of a shop selling Central Highlands fruits in Tan Binh District, said usually for Vietnamese farm produce a bumper crop means a price fall and vice versa.
This happens every year, she said.
Experts asked why localities, when farmers are unable to sell their products, call for “rescue” efforts and why this “chorus” is repeated over and over again.
The short answer to this is that farmers grow crops without any planning.
At a recent meeting HCM City held in collaboration with other localities to promote consumption of farm produce, many HCM City fruit traders said farmers do not discuss directly with them how to ensure sales of their products.
Each wholesale market in HCM City can consume up to 500 tonnes of fruit a day on peak days, meaning the city is a very good market, but the most important thing is ensuring steady supply and quality, they said.
According to fruit shops, young consumers and families with high incomes are increasingly concerned about their health, and choose to buy high-quality products regardless of their prices.
A salesperson at a shop selling imported fruits on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 3, said imported safe cherries, melons, and avocados costing hundreds of thousands to millions of dong per kilogramme, or two or three times the price of similar local products, have lots of buyers.
With consumers increasingly focused on the safety of foods, farmers need to enhance the use of good farming practices, experts said.
Taisho Group increases holding in Hau Giang Pharmaceutical
Taisho Group expressed interest in buying an additional 650,000 shares to increase its holding in Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG) to 24.94 per cent.
The sale is expected to be conducted on June 6-7. The offered price was the closing price of the transaction session on June 1 (VND104,500–$4.58), thus Taisho will have to pay VND67 billion ($2.94 million) for the purchase, according to enternews.vn.
It is just a small share volume, however, it brings Taisho Group closer to its target of enhancing its pharmaceutical business in Asia, including Vietnam.
In July 2016, Taisho acquired more than 21.3 million shares or a 24.4 per cent stake in DHG. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but based on June 30, 2017 data, with each DHG share closing at VND103,000 ($4.52), the deal should be worth nearly VND2.2 trillion ($98 million).
At the time, the group believed the transaction and alliance with DHG, as the leading drug maker in Vietnam, would enable it to share knowledge, technology, and experience in the pharmaceutical business, resulting in an increase in sales and further growth for both companies in Asia.
The offered price was the closing price of the transaction session on June 1 (VND104,500–$4.58), thus Taisho will have to pay VND67 billion ($2.94 million) for the purchase.
In addition, synergy was expected between DHG, with its strong presence in Vietnam, and Taisho. The group committed to enhancing its pharmaceutical business in Asia and is striving to grow various business segments in the continuously expanding Asian market.
Taisho Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Tokyo, is a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company specialising in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and non-prescription dietary supplements under well-known brands.
In Southeast Asia, Lipovitan-D (a vitamin-rich energy drink) is the company’s most famous brand. In 2015, the parent company recorded a revenue of $2.7 billion and after-tax profit of $210 million. In the local market Taisho founded an $11.8-million investment company that manufactures and distributes Lipovitan drinks.
Adding to the excitement of investments in the Vietnamese pharmaceutical sector, Celtrion Group from South Korea also found opportunities to join the game.
At a working session with the leaders of the Binh Duong People’s Committee on May 8, Chang Sin Jae, general director of Celtrion Group, stated that the group intends to develop a pharmaceutical manufacturing factory with triple the scale of its existing factories in South Korea, Europe, and North America, according to information published on Binh Duong News.
The factory in Binh Duong is estimated to have a total investment capital of $800 million and capacity of 360,000 litres of water-based medicine.
The firm expects to receive support from the province and relevant authorities to receive the licence in short order.
Foreign companies tap into Vietnam’s elderly market
Foreign companies are increasingly rolling out new products targeting the growing elderly market in Vietnam.
Vietnam is one of the countries with the fastest aging population, the number of individuals aged 50 and above is projected to reachmore than 30 million by 2030.With more adults living longer than before, they are looking to lead active and healthy lifestyles as they get older.
Muscle loss has been shown to be a key factor that can interfere with adults’ quality of life due to lack of strength. Good nutrition is critical in maintaining muscle health and strength with age.
Dairy maker Abbott has recently launched its new Ensure Gold formula with the nutritional ingredient HMB to support muscle health. HMB is naturally found in small amounts in some food and in the body, and levels may decline with age. HMB has been shown to support muscle health.
”As part of our continued long-term commitment to helping build healthy aging communities in the country, Abbott is excited to bring the new Ensure Gold with HMB as a gift of everyday strength to adults in Vietnam, so they can carry on doing the things they love to do each day into their golden years,” said Douglas Kuo, general manager of Abbott Vietnam.
Meanwhile, diaper manufacturer Unicharm also promotes its pants-type disposable adult diaper known as Caryn in Vietnam, which currently holds about 80 per cent of the market. The product is aimed to serve the increasingly elderly population and accident patients.
Takenori Nakajim, brand manager of Diana Unicharm, said that Vietnam is the most important market for the company in Southeast Asia. Unicharm has achieved double-digit growth in all product segments in Vietnam.
Unicharm entered Vietnam in 2011 by acquiring local company Diana. In 2015, Unicharm expanded its factory in the northern province of Bac Ninh to step up operations in the country.
In fact, Vietnam’s elderly market has been on the radar of foreign investors, especially those from Japan. Taku Sato, director of the Healthcare Industries Division, Service Industry Department at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), told VIR that Japanese investors are keen on ASEAN healthcare markets, including Vietnam. One of the hottest sectors drawing the attention of Japanese companies is geriatric care.
“Vietnam’s population is aging faster than Japan by 10 years, and there is a robust, growing demand for geriatric care. Therefore, investors are looking to test the market and seize opportunities to prepare for the aging population,” he noted.
Emission fraud plagues famous German car makers
With a billion-dollar fine and the huge number of recalled vehicles, will the emission fraud scandal drag down Mercedes-Benz like it did Volkswagen back in 2015?
German Der Spiegel magazine reported on last Friday that Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, is facing a fine of EUR3.75 billion ($4.37 billion) for using illegal software to manipulate diesel emissions.
Accordingly, the magazine’s report comes after Andreas Scheuer, German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, questioned Daimler at a closed-door meeting over how many Mercedes-Benz vans and cars need to be fixed after an inspection found illegal software in one of its models.
Scheuer expressed concerns that 750,000 Mercedes vehicles could be affected and the ministry could impose a fine of up to EUR5,000 ($5,834) per vehicle.
The German car maker last month was also ordered by the German motor vehicle authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt–KBA) to recall its 1.6-litre diesel Vito vans for violating emissions regulations.
According to Consumer Report, C-Class vehicles “enjoyed” the highest rates of recalls in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio in 2013-2017. Specifically, the firm recalled 5.77 of every 100,000 vehicles sold.
Phapluatplus.vn stated that Mercedes-Benz Vietnam (MBV) announced eight rounds of recalls this year. The latest recall was in early May, when MBV announced recalling 7,000 vehicles between May 14 to December 31, 2022 to handle electric system flaws.
In 2015, Volkswagen was found to have purposely programmed its turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate emission controls only during laboratory emissions testing, which lowered the vehicles’ NOx (a generic term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution, namely nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) output to meet US standards during regulatory testing, while during normal driving the cars emitted up to 40 times more NOx.
After the violation saw light, the German automaker had to pay a fine of $18 billion in the US, and spent $8 billion to recall vehicles equipped with violating software.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Volkswagen’s CEO Michael Hornwas forced to resign and the corporation saw significantly reduced revenue and conceded its leading position in the world to Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.
However, emissions violations were uncovered not only at Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, but BMW as well. In an announcement on July 22 last year, the European Commission (EC) confirmed to the German Der Spiegel magazine that the institution has been investigating frequent meetings among the car brands’ representatives to agree on technical specifications on grips, engines, and emission systems.
The magazine also stated that there has been an unspoken agreement between the sides since 1990.
At the time, the spokesmen of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW declined to comment on this.
OneEnergy proposed as sole investor of Vung Ang 2 thermal power plant
Prudential Vietnam boosts charter capital to over $180 million
Prudential Vietnam has lately bolstered its charter capital to VND4.128 trillion ($183.47 million), as part of an attempt to reinforce its long-term commitment and investment to Vietnam.
Apart from strengthening its financial capacity, the additional capital will provide Prudential Vietnam with a solid foundation to further boost its investment in enhancing its product offerings and services based on advanced technology, as well as expanding its reach to millions of Vietnamese families across the country.
These efforts are expected to generate further growth momentum in its business and help support the on-going development of the life insurance sector in Vietnam.
In recent years, Prudential Vietnam has continued to accelerate its business. For the 2017 financial year, the company reported a total revenue of VND16.019 trillion ($711.96 million) from insurance operations, an increase of 20 per cent on-year, and annual premium equivalent of VND3.925 trillion ($174.44 million), an increase of 12 per cent.
During 2017, Prudential Vietnam continued to deliver on its commitment to provide financial protection for families throughout Vietnam, paying out VND6.261 trillion ($278.27 million) in insurance benefits.
Prudential Vietnam also demonstrated the strength of its insurance business, reporting total assets of VND74.112 trillion ($3.29 billion) at the end of 2017. In addition, its total investment into the economy was recorded at VND66.241 trillion ($2.94 billion), the largest amount invested by a life insurance company in the country in 2017.
Prudential Vietnam has been recognised for its continued and substantial investments in government bonds over the last few years and is a leading investor in 20-year and 30-year bonds.
In line with its long-term business strategy and investments in Vietnam, Prudential has acquired VND5.188 trillion ($230.58 million) and VND2.1 trillion ($93.33 million) worth of 30-year and 20-year bonds, respectively.
The company provides products focused on saving, protection, and investment. It has a customer base of 1.4 million and over 176,000 financial consultants across Vietnam, an expansive network of over 300 customer care centres and branches located in 63 provinces, and a nationwide hospital/clinic network of over 128 hospitals.
Prudential Vietnam is the first life insurance company in the country to apply artificial intelligence in insurance consulting. Besides its core business, Prudential Vietnam also focuses on social responsibility.
During the period of 2012-2017, Prudential Vietnam has contributed over VND162 billion ($7.2 million) across the three pillars of education, healthy living, and community support.
Last month, Prudential Vietnam received “Vietnam’s Leading Life Insurance Company” and “Top 10 Golden Dragon” honours at the Golden Dragon Award, organised by Vietnam Economic Times. This was the 15th time it received the prestigious awards for foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam.
The recognition underscores Prudential’s position as a leading life insurer in Vietnam and its positive contributions to the socioeconomic development of the country, as evidenced by its strong business results, excellent products and services, and impactful community-investment activities.
Eximbank brings in key personnel to tackle series of fraud scandals
Within two months, Eximbank has appointed two deputy general directors after firing nine. Will this move enable Eximbank to overcome the scandals of swindling approximately VND300 billion ($13.2 million) from customers?
Eximbank (Vietnam Commercial Joint Stock Export Import Bank) has just announced the appointment of Nguyen Huong Minh as deputy general director in charge of information technology and operations since June 1. He is a master in business administration and has 16 years of banking experience.
Nguyen Huong Minh was SeABank’s deputy general director cum director of operations and technology since August 2017. Minh also worked at VPBank (Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank) and Techcombank (Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Commercial Bank) before.
This is the second high-level person to be transferred from SeABank to Eximbank in the last two months. Earlier, on April 11, Eximbank appointed Nguyen Canh Vinh (1974) as permanent deputy general director. He was director of the transaction center of Techcombank’s headquarters, then moved to SeABank as general director until February.
Eximbank’s Board of Directors has eight people currently, including Le Van Quyet as general director, and seven deputy general directors. The appointment of the two general directors is Eximbank’s newest move to fill in the void left by its nine departing deputy general directors who left in August 2017. Four of them quit on their own volition, while five of them were demoted to serve as directors of centres, divisions or departments.
Earlier, between 2012 and 2017, there were numerous cases of fraud committed by Eximbank officers who appropriated client’s money. Nguyen Thi Lam, an officer of Eximbank’s Do Luong branch (in Nghe An province) stole more than VND50 billion ($2.2 million) from various customers. Dozens of Eximbank officers related to this case have been prosecuted and arrested.
In another case, Le Nguyen Hung, former deputy director of an Eximbank branch in Ho Chi Minh City appropriated more than VND245 billion ($10.8 million) from Chu Thi Binh, a longtime client of the bank who used to be the richest woman on the stock market.
Several years has passed since these clients were swindled out of their savings. The bank stands firm in its decision to wait out the conclusion of the investigation agency and the court before issuing compensation to these customers.
The new key personnel are expected to come up with better solutions for these cases of fraud as well as provide measures to limit cases of fraud and raise Eximbank’s reputation.
ANZ releases updated economic forecasts
With first quarter GDP growth at 7.4 per cent year-on-year, ANZ expects some pull-back in growth momentum towards a more sustainable rate of 6.8 per cent for 2018 as a whole, followed by 7.0 per cent in 2019.
According to the ANZ Greater Mekong Outlook report released on June 1, first quarter growth was unseasonably strong, having tended to be at its lowest at the beginning of previous years and followed by an acceleration over the course of the remainder of the year.
In terms of production, the agricultural sector grew 4.1 per cent year-on-year; the fastest rate since the series was rebased in 2012. Industry also bucked historical trends by growing 10.1 per cent year-on-year.
Growth in industrial production has already eased. The introduction of new products in 2017 pushed up growth in consumer electronics, but now that production has normalized, favorable base effects have started to fade. In the absence of additional production capacity this year, ANZ expects real industry growth to moderate.
Growth in merchandise exports has also eased, reflecting trends in manufacturing production.
Nevertheless, with an average increase of 15.8 per cent year-to-date year-on-year as of May, Vietnam’s exports remain robust. Imports, meanwhile, haven’t grown at the same pace, leading to a $3.4 billion trade surplus year-to-date.
While export production is still supportive of growth, the net contribution of domestically-owned production has been limited. Indeed, the improvement in the trade balance is mostly attributable to the FDI sector.
Even so, the widening of the overall trade surplus has aided the central bank in rebuilding its forex reserves, with the government reporting reserves of $64 billion as of May, or roughly 3.5 months of imports.
Newly-registered FDI continues to pour in, though at $4.7 billion as of May is lower than the $5.6 billion in the same period last year.
After the US withdrew from the TPP, the remaining members have been negotiating the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With Vietnam expected to uphold its commitment to pursue significant economic reforms, the prospects for more FDI are positive, ANZ believes.
Inflation has been on a gradual uptrend, reaching 3.9 per cent year-on-year in May. Food prices turned a corner at the beginning of the year, implying that all major CPI components are now contributing positively to headline inflation.
Although transport costs have risen, they have not fully reflected the trajectory of global fuel prices. Meanwhile, health-related prices only rose 3.9 per cent year-to-date compared to 16.8 per cent year-to-date in the same period last year.
If increases are delayed further, there will be heightened risk of higher price increases down the line. In the past, when health prices were capped over a prolonged period, the subsequent changes tended to be dramatic.
As such, ANZ expects inflation to stand at 3.6 per cent in 2018; still below the maximum threshold of 4 per cent set by the government early this year. The bank then expects inflation to remain on an upward path, reaching 4.2 per cent in 2019.
Hanoi SMEs picks up Stevie Awards
The Hanoi Small and Medium Enterprise Association (Hanoi SMEs) was honored as a Stevie Silver award winner in the “Nonprofit Organization / Non-Governmental Organization Management Innovation Award” and a Stevie Bronze award winner in the “Non-Profit / Non-Governmental Organization at the Stevie Awards in the Asia-Pacific in 2018, held in Hong Kong on June 1.
More than 800 nominees from organizations in the Asia-Pacific region were evaluated this year, for the Product Innovation Award for Innovation in Products and Services, the Innovation Management Award, and the Creative Award in Company Websites.
Mr. Mac Quoc Anh, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of Hanoi SMEs, said it is the only association in the city and nationwide to attend the Stevie Awards.
“For small and medium enterprises, this is an opportunity to expand markets abroad and seek international investors,” he said. “For large organizations, the awards are an opportunity to increase their prestige and reputation and the value of their stock.”
He added that the award is recognition from international organizations about SMEs in Hanoi and will encourage them to improve their business activities and exchange new technologies with international companies during Industry 4.0.
The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the only business awards recognizing workplace innovations in 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. They are considered the world’s leading business awards, recording achievements in programs such as the International Business Awards.
VPBank provides financial support to women CEOs
The Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) announced on June 1 it will provide capital resources and financial support packages to women CEOs in Vietnam, at the “Liberating Women Leaders’ Potential” seminar in Ho Chi Minh City held by the bank’s Small and Medium Enterprise Division (VPBank SME).
Attended by some 330 businesswomen, the seminar brought new opportunities in capital resources, trading networks, and multi-dimensional knowledge for women entrepreneurs.
With the desire to accompany and support businesswomen to break out of old frameworks and stereotypes and become entrepreneurs, and to motivate women-owned businesses to continue growing, VPBank has organized the seminar in both Ho Chi Minh City, on June 1, and Hanoi on June 8.
The seminar is the opening event of a series of activities in VPBank’s “Become the Bank Chosen by Businesswomen” project in 2018. The upcoming seminar in Hanoi has also received registrations from a similar number of women leaders as in Ho Chi Minh City, for a total of more than 660 in both major cities.
They are an opportunity for businesswomen to build their professional skills and leadership style and be trained in business management through deep engagement with renowned speakers.
Emphasizing the connection factor, the panel in Ho Chi Minh City provided space and time for businesswomen to meet and talk directly with speakers before, during and after the program, to help them to expand their networks and be consulted thoroughly to identify the right direction for their businesses.
VPBank said it will also organize a series of regular meetings and workshops. The bank is building an online app for private entrepreneurs seeking information, improving business management knowledge, connecting in trade, and establishing a strong network of relationships with other female leaders, thereby seeking and expanding business opportunities for their businesses. The app is expected to be launched in early 2019.
Through this series of activities, VPBank looks forward to being a supporter in building a community of businesswomen with growing networks and establish an effective platform for female CEOs to further improve their businesses.
Along with its non-financial values, VPBank SME also brings opportunities for capital and financing products designed to help women owners save money and manage cash flows as well as make use of capital in a flexible way.
“This seminar is the official opening event for the ‘Become the Bank Chosen by Businesswomen’ project, which we started in 2016,” a representative from VPBank said. “The positive response of businesswomen to our series of surveys and pilot activities during the past two years has been great encouragement for us to implement the project. We hope that acting as a bridge for the female entrepreneur community together with timely support in capital will help inspire and motivate breakthroughs for women-led businesses.”
Vietnamese companies win Asia corporate responsibility awards
Three Vietnamese enterprises – the TH Group, the Uniben JSC, and the GreenFeed JSC – picked up four awards at the 2018 Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA). The awards were held in the Philippines on June 1, after having been held in Thailand, Singapore and Macau previously.
The awards are organized by Enterprise Asia, a non-government organization pursuing an Asia that is rich in entrepreneurship as a driver towards sustainable and progressive economic and social development within a world of economic equality.
Among the award winners from Vietnam, Ms. Thai Huong, Chairwoman of the TH Group, won in the Responsible Business Leadership category for her role in promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) best practices within her organizations and across her respective industries.
TH Group also took out the Health Promotion Award for Organic Fresh Milk Production and Organic Food Development. On behalf of the TH Group, Mr. Wolfgang Friess, CEO of TH Food Chain, said the organic theme is becoming increasingly entrenched in Vietnam’s dairy industry and the TH Group rolled out its organic milk to consumers in August 2017, under the TH True Milk brand.
The Group’s organic milk journey began even before the birth of its first organic calf on a farm in Nghia Dan district in north-central Nghe An province in September 2016. To provide fodder for cows to produce organic milk, the company spent two years, starting from 2015, ensuring that over 200 ha of land meets European and US standards. The company now owns the country’s biggest organic dairy cow herd, with over 1,000 heads.
Its pastures are free from pesticides, genetic modification, and chemical fertilizers. In April 2017, the company obtained Europe’s EC 834-2007 and EC 889-2008 certification.
The Uniben JSC took out the Health Promotion Award for its project on Creating, Producing and Distributing a New Kind of Bouillon to Prevent Iodine Deficiency in Vietnam.
According to Mr. Vu Tien Dung, CEO of the Uniben JSC., the company spent a significant amount of resources on promoting healthy eating habits and greater awareness among the population about the new way of iodine fortification. The organization supported the Nutrition Centre of Ho Chi Minh City to distribute millions of handbooks that educate people on the importance of iodine intake and how to do it efficiently. Uniben has given away 30 million iodized bouillons to millions of Vietnamese families through the Uniben nationwide distribution system and its consumer base.
The GreenFeed JSC, meanwhile, won the Social Empowerment Award for its program “Helping Farmers Keep their Children in School” for seven years, offering annual scholarships to the children of farmers. It believes that only by taking good care of other people can they build a firm and sustainable future.
Fifty-one corporate social programs and leaders across Asia were winners of Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards 2018.
Over 200 submissions from 14 countries were received from companies across Asia, according to Enterprise Asia. Besides being able to demonstrate the design and execution of sound and effective CSR programs, nominees are required to demonstrate the extent that CSR practices have been institutionalized within their organizations and the measurable impact of their programs to people, the community, and the environment.
The awards honor Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible business practices, demonstrating companies’ leadership, sincerity and ongoing commitment in incorporating responsible and ethical values, compliance, investment in stakeholders, involvement in communities, and the protection of the environment into the way they run their businesses.
“The quality of this year’s submissions was outstanding,” said Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia. “It was a truly monumental task to decide on the best, as every submission was of very high quality, demonstrating the expertise and capability of the region’s CSR practitioners. This is a far cry from when we first started presenting the awards in 2009. Much thought has been given to impact and measurability, as a result of increased reporting requirements”.
Bamboo Airways looking for captains and flight attendants
Bamboo Airways is seeking to recruit 50 captains and 150 flight attendants.
An airline representative said that the standard for flight attendants is 20-30 years old, with the height for men being between 170 and 180 cm and between 160 and 175 cm for women. Flight attendants with experience standing 158 cm will be considered.
As far as education is concerned, Bamboo Airways requires its flight attendants to have graduated from at least a trade school and have a TOEIC score of 500 or an equivalent English-language certification.
The standard for captains is 22-32 years old with at least 1,000 flight hours or two years of experience as a flight attendant or one year as a captain. They must have a TOEIC score of 550 or more or an equivalent English-language certification.
Like other airlines, the general standard for flight attendants is good health, an outgoing personality, and a neat appearance.
Bamboo Airways is moving quickly to enter the aviation market. Shortly after signing a purchase agreement it announced plans to employ up to 600 personnel in various locations, including 93 pilots and 250 flight attendants.
The FLC Group, the owner of Bamboo Airways, has also agreed to upgrade Dong Hoi Airport in central Quang Binh province into an international airport and meet Bamboo Airways’ strategy, which focuses on niche markets, including direct flights from international and domestic to the emerging tourist destinations of Vietnam, mainly where FLC has resorts.
In the first two years, Bamboo Airways will operate eight to ten domestic routes, with priority destinations being Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Quy Nhon, and Nha Trang. It is expected that by its third year it will have opened a network of flights from Vietnam to Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. By 2023, it will have 24 domestic routes and 16 international routes.
Bamboo Airways is still awaiting air transport business licenses from the government. It plans to order an additional 26 Airbus A321 LR widebody aircraft to expand its fleet to 50.
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