Vietnam Sustainability Forum 2019 takes place in Hanoi
At the forum (Source: VOV)
The Vietnam Sustainability Forum 2019 took place in Hanoi on January 18 following the successful organisation of the first event last year.
The forum creates a platform for policymakers, non-governmental organisations, businesspeople, and experts at home and abroad to exchange ideas to promote economic growth and sustainable society.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Le Quang Manh said Vietnam needs more effective solutions to address sustainable issues in the fields of human resources, climate change adaptation, smart agriculture, environment, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Promoting sustainable development is not only about economic development, but also the settlement of social issues and environmental protection,” he said.
In 2018, Vietnam recorded the region’s highest GDP growth at 7.08 percent as well as a trade surplus of 7.21 billion USD, tripling that of 2017.
The agricultural sector posted the highest growth in the past seven years with an export turnover of 40.02 billion USD. Vietnam has become a middle-income country with the rate of poverty declining from over 60 percent in 1986 to around 7 percent at present.
The scale of the economy has increased more than 17.4 times from 14 billion USD in 1985 to 244 billion USD in 2018. The average income per capita rose to nearly 2,540 USD from 230 USD in 1985.
Manh said the implementation of the national socio-economic development strategy in 2011-2020 will bring enormous benefits to the country’s sustainable development, including the improvement of biodiversity, the reduction of environmental pollution, and a more responsible use of natural resources.
Nguyen Duc Khuong, Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global), said rapid and sustainable growth much depends on the quantity and quality of human resources, especially as science-technology and innovation play key roles in creating added value.
He added that human resources is the decisive factor in labour and capital productivity. A strategy focusing on the quality of human resources will help Vietnam gain access to sustainable development trends and digital transformation, he said.
Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements gained in 2018, including accomplishments in poverty reduction.
She stressed the need to ensure sustainable growth through the integration of economic development with social welfare.
Vietnam needs to work towards promoting innovation and protecting the environment, as well as applying green and modern technologies, she suggested.
Vietnam, US bolster economic cooperation
Vietnam considers the US an important partner and is willing to bolster the bilateral ties in all fields, especially in economic cooperation, trade, investment, science-technology, and education and training, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has affirmed.
The Deputy PM made the statement while attending a meeting, organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Amcham)’s Hanoi chapter in the capital city on January 18, to celebrate 25 years of the normalisation of the Vietnam-US trade relations, and the 25th founding anniversary of Amcham in Vietnam.
At the meeting, he affirmed that the normalisation and development of Vietnam-US relations have resulted in great interest for the people of the two nations, contributing to regional and international peace, stability, cooperation, and growth.
In the past 25 years, two-way trade surged nearly 120 times, from 450 million USD in 1994 to more than 60 billion USD in 2018. The US has been Vietnam’s largest export market for several consecutive years.
Investment from the US has greatly contributed to Vietnam’s development. The activities of GE, Microsoft, IBM, Nike, ExxonMobil, and other US firms, have helped Vietnam earn and sustain a foothold in the global value chain, Hue noted.
Speaking highly of Amcham’s achievements over the last 25 years, he voiced his hope that Amcham will continue to serve as a bridge connecting the two nations, thereby deepening and bringing the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership to a new height.
Chairwoman of the 2019 Amcham Board of Governors Natasha Ansell said the normalisation of Vietnam-US relations have opened up opportunities for US enterprises and investors to develop in Vietnam’s market.
On the occasion, she revealed that a new programme titled Amcham Academy for High Potential Talent will be launched to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the organisation.
The programme is hoped to offer chances to learn and connect to young Vietnamese leaders, as part of Amcham’s commitment to creating sustainable socio-economic values for Vietnam, Ansell said.
Nestle commits close cooperation with Vietnamese partners
General Director for Vietnam Ganesan Ampalavanar speaks at the Vietnam Economic Forum 2019.
Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, has committed to close relations with its Vietnamese partners to create shared value, said the company’s General Director for Vietnam Ganesan Ampalavanar.
Attending the Vietnam Economic Forum 2019, themed “Strengthening the fundamental drivers for rapid and sustainable economic development”, Ampalavanar stressed that long-term growth target requires the joint effort of all economic sectors based on the principle “Creating Shared Value”.
As the private sector has contributed largely to the country’s economic growth, mutual understanding and collaboration between state-owned and private firms, as well as between domestic and FDI businesses, should be promoted.
Developing a “common voice” between policymakers, policy enforcement agencies, and economic sectors is key to sustainable growth of the economy, underlined the director.
No firm is able to complete all processes on its own, but needs to enhance win-win cooperation with distributors, suppliers, farmers, and state management organisations. As a global brand with a local identity, Nestle Vietnam has pledged long-term investment for sustainable development in Vietnam.
The corporation has worked to ensure its successful operation in tandem with making social contributions when doing business in the Southeast Asian country, he said, adding that the firm helped more than 20,000 coffee growers improve productivity and income through applying advanced cultivating techniques.
Besides, it joined hands with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute to distribute more than 28 million seedlings that are resistant to many diseases to local farmers, helping them increase income and protect the environment.
Furthermore, the public-private partnership model that Nestle has joined with several Vietnamese partners has shown efficiency in developing the coffee value chain in the country, said Ampalavanar.
Thai air-con, electronics exhibitions introduced in HCM City
At the roadshow
Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) and Federation of Thai Industries introduced in Ho Chi Minh City on January 18 a series of exhibitions on air-con and electronics to be held in this year.
The introduction was part of a roadshow programme held in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam with an aim of luring more visitors from ASEAN countries to Refrigeration Heating Ventilation and Air-conditioning Exhibition (Bangkok RHVAC 2019) and the Bangkok Electric and Electronics Exhibition (Bangkok E&E 2019), scheduled for September 25-28 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The twin expos will showcase an array of products, ranging from plastic spare parts to innovative goods, heard the roadshow.
According to deputy head of the DITP Wittayakorn Maneentr, the fairs have been expanded through years, both in the number of the participants and exhibiting areas. Besides an attractive destination for businesses in the sectors, the events are expected to create venue to popularise potential of the two important industries in Thailand.
He said that Thailand is currently the world’s largest hard disk drive producers, and the country ranks second in air-conditioner production, and fourth in refrigerator production.
Many renowned brands have chosen Thailand as their suppliers, he said, adding that Thailand becomes an important centre of domestic and international brands, as well as expands original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Some 63.2 percent of Thai electronics and electric products are exported to the Asian and Middle East markets, with Vietnam importing air-conditioners.
As Vietnam is a large exporter in the sectors, the fairs will offer opportunities for Vietnamese firms to promote their brands and get access to advanced technologies in the global value chain, he added.
Vietnam strives to curb trade gap of US$3 billion
Vietnam is aimed at curbing a trade deficit of US$3 billion in 2019 following straight surpluses on trade balance from the three previous years, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The Ministry of Industry and Trade projects export growth by 8-10% to US$265 billion in 2019.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) released the trade target at a meeting, setting its goals for 2019 held in Hanoi on January 17.
The industry and trade sector this year aims to increase industrial production index (IPI) by 9-10% while projecting export growth by 8-10% to US$265 billion. Imports are expected to total US$268 billion, up by 11.7%, thus leading to a trade deficit of estimated US$3 billion.
The sector also looks to raise total retail sales of goods and services by around 12%.
Given this, the MoIT will strive to hasten the implementation of schemes on restructuring industries and trade towards creating high added value products and intensifying their integration into global value chains.
The ministry also plans to further bolster domestic staples’ access to regular and potential markets.
Priority will be given to purchasing machines, equipment and manufacturing inputs that are not available in the domestic market while the import of luxurious items and those on sale in Vietnam will be kept under close watch.
Efforts will be maximized to tap into the advantages of valid free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as to prepare for the effective implementation of new-generation FTAs.
Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong highlighted that, the growth of the industry and trade sector has been backed since 2018 as a number of key manufacturing projects made their debut in the year, notably steel projects developed by Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group and domestic Hoa Phat Group, and automobile manufacturing and assembly plants of Vingroup, Truong Hai Auto Corporation, and Hyundai Thanh Cong Auto Vietnam JSC.
Another noteworthy development is that two out of 12 projects having incurred huge losses were on the path to recovery and reaped initial profits last year, Vuong added.
Vietnam saw a trade surplus of US$2.52 billion in 2016, at the peak level since 2005, while the figure climbed to US$2.67 billion in 2017.
The country also gained US$7.4 billion in trade surplus in the first 11 months of 2018, reported the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
Kaspersky launches latest solutions in VN
Ngo Tan Vu Khanh, development director of Kaspersky Lab Viet Nam, introduces his company’s latest anti-virus products in Viet Nam. — Photo courstey of agency
Kaspersky Lab has updated its security solutions for home users.
Its latest poducts – Kaspersky Anti-virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security – were better than their predecessors in a number of ways, the company said.
They were faster at almost every process and required less operating memory and fewer other resources.
They could monitor outgoing requests to IP addresses and HTTP requests so that if a file or process tried to access a server known to be malicious, the web antivirus would detect and block the request.
Starting with the 2019 versions, Kaspersky Lab products detected and deleted adware by default just as they did with malware. Adware could be harmful, annoyed users, distracted them, and could download other adware programmes or files that could be directly malicious.
Siang Tiong Yeo, general manager, Kaspersky Lab SEA, said: “Viet Nam has become one of the fastest growing countries in Southeast Asia, both in terms of economy and internet use. This made the country a lucrative target for cybercriminals.
“In fact our data shows that in the third quarter of 2018 nearly one out of 10 Vietnamese mobile users were targeted with malware.
“In terms of online attacks, 21.5 per cent of users face threats. These numbers underline the need for the right protection at the right time in Viet Nam. Each person needs special protection that suits their unique digital lifestyle, and this is why we create solutions that are highly adaptable to each individual.”
VIB’s pre-tax profit skyrockets in 2018
Vietnam International Bank (VIB)’s pre-tax profit recorded a significant yearly growth of 95 per cent to more than VND2.74 trillion (US$118 million) in 2018, the bank announced on Thursday.
The pre-tax profit was also 37 per cent higher than the target for the year, VIB said, adding that 2018 was the second consecutive year its profits saw a year-on-year rise of nearly 100 per cent.
The bank’s revenue increased by 48 per cent over the previous year, in which interest income and non-interest income grew by 40 and 92 per cent, respectively.
The bank’s cost to income ratio (CIR) reached 44 per cent last year, 13 per cent lower than in 2017, while its return on asset (ROE) rose to 22.5 per cent, making VIB one of the banks with the highest ROE.
According to VIB, retail banking business remained important with revenue growing by 90 per cent. Its wholesale banking and treasury banking businesses also gained profit hikes of 22 and 49 per cent, respectively.
As of December 31, 2018, VIB’s total assets topped nearly VND140 trillion ($6 billion). The bank’s lending balance reached VND98.93 trillion, up 17.5 per cent year-on-year. Its retail lending balance witnessed a remarkable rise of 48 per cent to VND74.3 trillion.
“Thanks to this impressive growth rate, VIB surpassed many big joint stock banks in terms of retail lending and affirmed its position as one of the joint stock banks with high retail lending market share,” the bank said in a statement.
Late last year, VIB received approval from the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to apply a capital adequacy ratio following Basel II standards.
Basel II is the second edition of the Basel Accords, which are recommendations on banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel Committee on banking supervision.
Basel II comprises minimum capital requirements, supervisory reviews and market discipline. It aims to enhance competition and transparency in the banking system and make banks more resistant to market changes.
VIB’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) under Basel II was 10.2 per cent in 2018, the bank said.
HCM City to support big firms
HCM City hopes to solicit investment in infrastructure.
HCM City plans to provide greater support to large firms and solicit investment in infrastructure this year, Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of its People’s Committee, said at a review meeting this week.
It would institute support programmes to help develop the city’s 6,000 large firms with capital of over VND100 billion (US$4.3 million), he said.
It would establish a Project Development Fund and a Financial Compensation Fund, and offer non-state investors public projects with high rates of return.
More administrative reforms and more efficient use of the workforce were also on the agenda for 2019.
It would mobilise more staff to deal with land clearance and make project developers, managers and other relevant parties accountable for the task, with penalties for failure to meet targets.
Authorities and investors would have to spell out spending schedules for public works failing which they would not receive public funds. Investors would also have to specify monthly and quarterly goals, and officials would monitor them.
The city was also focused on carefully selecting contractors, approving components and soliciting more investment for works such as shared databases, developing an open economy, the smart city operating centre, and the socio-economic forecasting centre.
Prospects look good for Vietnam’s economy in 2019
Representatives discuss Vietnam’s economic prospects in 2019.
Vietnam has experienced a year of socio-economic achievements. For example, economic growth continues at a high level; the macroeconomic environment remains stable; inflation is under control; the trade surplus is at record levels; and the State budget deficit is stable.
The statement was made by Nguyen Dinh Cung, Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), at a conference held in Hanoi on January 17.
“More importantly, the macroeconomic foundation continues to be strengthened, the balance of monetary and fiscal governance is maintained even in the context of external shocks and cyclical growth risks. Therefore, Vietnam still has favourable conditions to conduct fundamental reforms to economic institutions as well as its business environment,” Cung said.
According to CIEM’s report, in 2019, Vietnam’s GDP growth is forecast at 6.93 percent, export growth is estimated at 9.4 percent, trade surplus at 2.04 billion USD and the average consumer price is expected to increase about 3.88 percent.
The report also analyses the effects of the fourth industrial revolution and the country’s readiness to participate in the revolution. As a result, it concludes that Vietnam will see great benefits from participating in Industry 4.0.
Participation in the fourth industrial revolution will determine the pace of economic restructuring, while transforming the growth model to achieve higher productivity, better competitiveness and greater levels of prosperity, said Nguyen Anh Duong, from CIEM’s Macroeconomic Policy Department.
In addition to improving the business environment in accordance with international practices and developing sectors with comparative advantages, Vietnam should focus on improving technology, innovation and quality of human resources as well as the quality of public services, Duong suggested.
The confidence of the domestic and foreign business community continues to increase after the Government’s commitment to reform as well as the ability of the Government to respond effectively to external shocks. New free trade agreements (CPTPP, EVFTA, RCEP) can create additional impetus for reform and access to resources (skills, technology, capital) from the outside.
According to Cung, Vietnam should continue to handle the fundamental challenge of institutional quality, infrastructure and human resources. Strategic competition between the US and China continues, forcing Vietnam to consider more carefully its participation in initiatives involving these two countries. Economic, trade and investment activities may face a number of uncertainties, especially in the first half of 2019, due to the risk of economic decline in many key economies.
Cung also emphasises that policy should continue to focus on improving microeconomic foundations and innovating economic institutions in the direction of being more friendly to the environment, and effectively handling risks in a volatile international economic environment.
The event was organised by CIEM in cooperation with the Australian-funded programme Aus4Reform.
Aquatic exports target US$10 billion in 2019
The aquatic sector overcame difficulties in technical barriers to achieve record export revenue of US$9 billion in 2018, thanks to the close links between firms and carefully planned businesses, laying a foundation for reaching the target of US$10 billion export revenue in 2019.
New record established
Minh Phu Seafood Corporation is the largest shrimp farming and processing company in Vietnam and also one of the largest shrimp exporters in the world. The 2018 export turnover of Minh Phu increased by 20% compared to 2017 thanks to the company’s closed farming and processing model and the application of high technology on a large scale, helping to boosts its exports.
According to the Directorate of Fisheries, Vietnam’s aquatic export revenue was estimated to reach US$9 billion in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 8.4%. In particular, almost all aquatic products saw a rise in export revenues compared to 2017.
Specifically, tra fish (shark catfish) posted export revenue of US$2.26 billion, up 26.4%, while shrimp export revenue reached US$3.58 billion, down 7.1% and seafood, including tuna, reported an export revenue of US$675 million, up 13.9% over 2017.
2018 was a challenging year for the aquatic sector. Unusual weather conditions caused great difficulties for aquatic production in addition to the strengthened control over food quality and safety from Vietnam’s main export markets including the US, the EU, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, and others. In particular, the EU’s application of a “yellow card” warning measure for Vietnamese seafood products exported to the EU also caused difficulties for Vietnam’s seafood industry.
Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that the US$9 billion-export turnover demonstrated the professionalism in implementing strategies and responding to technical barriers by both State management agencies and enterprises.
Deep processing and increasing value of aquatic products
The Directorate of Fisheries will work to bring the 2017 Fisheries Law to life, with the goal of increasing production values in 2019 by 4.25% compared to 2018, reaching a total aquatic output of 7.9 million tonnes and total aquatic export turnover of US$10 billion. Shrimp and tra fish will continue to be the two main products of the aquatic industry.
However, Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, Tran Dinh Luan, warned that the aquatic sector is currently facing many challenges including climate change and small-scale production. In addition, a number of markets are increasing protectionism and building technical barriers to limit aquatic imports from other countries.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, said that the aquatic sector needs to make great effort to achieve the target of US$10 billion in export turnover in 2019. The sector must work to remove the EU’s application of the “yellow card” warning measures for Vietnamese seafood in order to regain trust from customers.
Futhermore, the sector should re-evaluate its organisational structure and boost the sustainable development of key farming products, including catfish and brackish shrimp, while applying high-technology to the farming and processing of aquatic products.
Phan Thanh Loc, vice chairman of the board of directors at Vietnam Food JSC, said that Vietnam produces an estimated more than 500,000 tonnes of by-products of shrimp each year, which could generate nearly US$2 billion with the use of advanced technology but Vietnam can only create approximately US$300 million. The main reason is the weakness in technology, machinery and equipment, as well as commercial strategies.
Loc noted that if the by-products are not processed, they will immediately lose value and pose a threat to the environment. If we have orientations to commercialise by-products, it will bring great value to the aquatic sector, while contributing to protecting the environment and shifting the economy to deep processing.
Therefore, the aquatic sector needs to invest in science and technology and make the best use of available materials to turn them into value-added products to serve the people and the health sector.
“Skin of tra fish is a source of raw materials for collecting collagen to serve high-class customers. In addition, studies found that some parts of tra fish such as bone powder, nano calcium powder and fish oil products can be converted into supplements or cosmetic products. In the future, we will work with enterprises to study to produce such products,” said Tran Dinh Luan.
Luan also emphasised the importance of market expansion for new products which requires the support of a number of agencies, particularly Vietnamese counsellor agencies abroad in order to help products gain access to foreign markets in a quick and effective manner.
International seminar discusses digital economy development
An international symposium on the orientation of developing the digital economy in the context of the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) was held in Hanoi on January 17, discussing opportunities and challenges for Vietnam in the field.
The event was held under the framework of the Vietnam Economic Forum 2019, hosted by the Government of Vietnam and the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission.
Speaking at the opening, deputy head of the committee, Nguyen Huu Nghia, emphasised that the workshop was held to exchange and discuss experiences both in Vietnam and the international community to serve the research and development of the Party and State’s guidelines and policies, while supporting enterprises to promptly and effectively approach the IR4.0.
The workshop focused on the development trend and impact of the digital economy on the world economy, the impact of the digital economy on economic sectors, opportunities and challenges for Southeast Asian countries, and the wave of artificial intelligence (AI) in Vietnam.
Delegates also discussed key areas that Vietnam should focus on in order to develop its digital economy in the future, solutions for Vietnam to develop its potential in ASEAN on the application of AI, connecting Vietnamese AI experts around the world together and transferring AI technology from global technology corporations to Vietnamese companies.
Thien Tan Group selects FTC Solar for Mo Duc project
FTC Solar has been selected as the supplier of single-axis trackers for the Thien Tan Group’s 19 MW Mo Duc solar project in central Quang Ngai province.
The project, one of the first with private capital, has begun construction and will supply 28 million kWh to the national power grid.
“We have been working with FTC Solar from the beginning of this project, and their capacity to support our Duc Minh project from development through construction has been an important element of our success,” said Mr. Huynh Kim Lap, Chairman of the Thien Tan Group. “Thien Tan and FTC Solar will become strategic partners in the renewable field in Vietnam and globally.”
FTC Solar has provided a full suite of engineering services for the project, including development engineering, detailed project design and, most recently, being selected as the single-axis tracker supplier.
The collaboration with Thien Tan represents FTC Solar’s first venture into the Vietnamese market. “We are honored to be selected by the Thien Tan Group to supply 19 MW of our solar trackers and are excited to enter the growing PV market in Vietnam,” said Mr. Tony Etnyre, Vice President of Operations at FTC Solar. “We expect our engineering and supply partnership to lead to further mutual success in the region.”
FTC Solar is a team of dedicated renewable energy professionals focused on delivering single-axis trackers, value-add software, and engineering services to its customers. With over 4 GW of worldwide project experience, FTC Solar’s offerings drive value for solar applications, including ground mount, canopy, and rooftop.
The Thien Tan Group specializes in investment and construction for transportation, irrigation, civil, and industrial infrastructure projects. It brings together a team of highly qualified management with experience in investment construction, a group of skilled technical workers with high professionalism, strong financial capacity with synchronized machinery, and equipment that meets all requirements of construction works in Vietnam.
APEC workshop seeks to harness digital trade for SMEs
The APEC workshop on harnessing digital trade for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is underway in Hanoi, aiming to realise one of Vietnam’s initiatives during APEC Year 2017 on facilitating trans-border e-commerce.
Lai Viet Anh, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, said SMEs account for nearly 97 percent of the total in APEC and are well-positioned to cope with challenges in e-commerce.
An eBay data showed that SMEs using digital platform earn export revenues over five times higher than their peers with traditional method. However, a majority of SMEs are yet to effectively tap such opportunities.
Ho Thi To Uyen from the agency said diverse and asynchronous legal framework among economies has pushed up business costs.
She suggested harmonising domestic and international law to ensure compatibility in legal regulations among countries and protect users’ privacy.
In order to deal with disputes in e-commerce, she called for building a sustainable online platform to address them as well as raising SMEs and consumers’ awareness about new regulations and policies on e-commerce and digital trade.
At the January 17-18 workshop, participants shared experience and lessons to clear barriers to refining legal regulations in the field, and offered recommendations to APEC to continue stepping up e-commerce in the region.
Vietnam Airlines among top 10 best firms in 2018
Vietnam Airlines Corporation (Vietnam Airlines) has been named one of 10 best companies on the Top 50 Vietnam: The Best in 2018 list for the third consecutive year.
This was revealed at the recent announcement of the Vietnam Top 500 largest enterprises (VNR500) in 2018.
The firm also ranked first among the year’s top 10 most prestigious transport and logistics companies.
Last year, the total consolidated revenue of the corporation was estimated at 102 trillion VND, marking a record pre-tax consolidated profit of nearly 2.8 trillion VND, up 15 percent compared with the plan set for the year.
Vietnam Airline’s financial indicators had also improved. Its operating profit margin reached 4.38 percent, while its debt/equity (D/E) ratio fell below three, lower than the ratio at the beginning of 2018.
The firm safely conducted nearly 142,000 flights carrying 22 million passengers and nearly 350,000 tonnes of cargo in 2018. Its on-time performance (OTP) rate was 90 percent, higher than that set for the year.
Notably, Vietnam Airlines also paid attention to social activities, including offering support for disadvantaged people and flood victims, and presenting air tickets to excellent students.
The ranking has affirmed Vietnam Airlines’ key role in the country’s aviation industry, as well as its efforts to become an internationally recognised airline for the region.
To feature in the list of Top 50, an enterprise has to be named for three consecutive years in the VNR500 ranking in terms of revenue. Criteria such as good capital use, efficiency, stable profit growth potential, and good social and community responsibility are also used for referencing and evaluating.
VNR500 is based on the Fortune 500 model, which lists the top 500 US companies by revenue of the previous year. In Vietnam, the ranking of the 500 largest enterprises is based on the results of independent research and evaluation as per international standards of the Vietnam Report Company, and has been announced annually since 2007.
The VNR500 rankings give people an idea of Vietnamese businesses and let the local business community recognise its position in the context of global integration, business strategy, and corporate governance. Based on this reality, enterprises can set up plans to reach out to large businesses in the region and around the world.
PM: industry-trade sector must speed up reform process
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (third, from right) speaks at the event
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 17 urged the industry and trade sector to continue speeding up reforms so as to surpass all targets set by the National Assembly, thus creating a long-term and firm foundation for national economic development.
Attending the sector’s conference to outline its tasks for 2019, PM Phuc hailed its intensive administrative procedure reform with 72.1 percent of business conditions cut down, which, he said, has helped facilitate production and the development of enterprises.
He also appreciated the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s efforts in contributing to the nation’s growth.
However, he pointed out several shortcomings facing the sector, including the slow implementation of several plans and the asynchronous revision of some others that have knock-on effects for the country’s general development.
The industrial sector has yet to meet national economic development requirements as there is currently no spearhead industry that can really take the lead and improve national competitiveness. Meanwhile, there are still issues that persist relating to digitalisation in industrial production and trade that need to be tackled soon, he added.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that the ministry will focus on building and completing institutions in 2019 to create favourable conditions for business and investment activities.
Continued attention will be paid to cutting down business and investment conditions, simplifying administrative procedures, and increasing the quality of online public services, Anh stated.
He affirmed that this year, the ministry will reduce and simplify 79 administrative procedures, and strive for 173 out of 291 online public services provided for at level 3 and 4 by the end of 2019.
The sector will also speed up restructuring in accordance with a project approved by the Prime Minister, while fostering innovation and implementing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
It will also carry out mechanisms, policies, and measures to ensure the country’s socio-economic development in a long term and sustainable manner on the basis of mobilising the engagement of the private sector. It will also work with the Committee for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) to handle ineffective and slow-progress projects.
The minister added that the ministry will focus on solving issues related to exports, trade promotion, and foreign market expansion, as well as synchronously addressing problems arising in international trade such as trade barriers, and anti-subsidy and anti-dumping policies imposed on Vietnam’s exports.
The industry and trade sector expects to contribute to the nation’s GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent in 2019 by increasing the total export turnover by 8-10 percent to reach 265 billion USD. The trade deficit will continue to be kept below 2 percent.
Ben Tre promotes products in HCM City
Authorities provide details of the first Ben Tre OCOP fair to be held in HCM City from January 24 to 27 at a Big C store.
The first Ben Tre One Commune, One Product (OCOP) Fair in HCM City will be held at Big C An Lac supermarket in Binh Tan District from January 24.
Organised by Ben Tre Province, the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development and the Central Group, the fair will seek to introduce and promote the province’s products and services under the framework of the national OCOP programme.
Speaking at press briefing in HCM City on January 16, Huynh Quang Duc, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the fair would have 100 booths with 120 products in six categories: food, beverages, medicinal herbs, souvenirs-decorative items, rural tourism services, and agricultural products.
The products on display would include dried fish, coconut cakes, My Long rice paper, Cho Lach District’s flowers and ornamental trees, and speciality fruits, he said.
The OCOP programme is considered an efficacious measure to promote rural economic development, serve the National Target Programmme on Rural Area Development, raise the profile of local products at the national and global level, and highlight the major roles played by farming households, co-operatives and small and medium-sized enterprises.
It was first implemented in Quang Ninh Province in 2013 and its success spurred its expansion to other cities and provinces.
Nguyen Huu Lap, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the province has some 265 OCOP products, all with VietGap or GlobalGap certification or geographical indication.
“This fair will be an opportunity for the province to directly introduce and promote its speciality products of high quality, clear origins and reasonable prices to customers in HCM City,” he said.
Ngo Tat Thang, deputy head of the Central Coordination Office on New Rural Development, said the OCOP programme mainly helps small households, co-operatives and small and medium-sized enterprises access the market.
It seeks to have 2,400 products with typical commune and village features by 2020, he added.
Phan Hai Hoa of Central Group Vietnam said Big C started selling OCOP products at Big C Ha Long since 2014, and their sales are increasing by 15 per cent a year.
To go on until January 27, the fair is expected to attract around 70,000 visitors, she said.
Vietnam’s millionaire population growth among world’s fastest
Vietnam ranks fourth among the world’s top 10 countries with the fastest millionaire population growth, a new report says.
The country’s High Net Worth (HNW) population is set to grow by 10.1 percent each year in the 2018-2023 period, says wealth research firm Wealth-X.
This growth rate is only lower than Nigeria at 16.3 percent, Egypt, 12.5 percent and Bangladesh, 11.4 percent, says the report, which covered over 540,000 HNW individuals in the world.
The report defines HNW population as those with a net worth between $1 million and $30 million.
The world’s HNW population grew by 1.9 percent last year from 2017 to 22.4 million people with a combined wealth of $61.3 trillion.
About 25 percent of the world’s HNW population were located in Asia last year, and their total wealth was $15.48 trillion.
Although the region’s GDP went up 8 percent last year, its stock markets plunged by more than 11 percent, partly explaining why Asia’s HNW population and total wealth remained virtually unchanged from last year, the report said.
It also said that the top 10 countries accounted for over 75.2 percent of the global HNW population and 73.8 percent of total HNW wealth last year.
U.S. topped the list with over 8.6 million people, following by China with 1.8 million, Japan, 1.6 million and Germany over 1 million.
In another report published last September, Wealth-X said that the number of ultra wealthy population, those with a net worth of over $30 million, has increased by 12.7 percent in Vietnam from 2012 to 2017, making it the third fastest growing country in the world in this category.
Vietnam urged to reduce coal-fired energy generation
John Kerry, former US Secretary of State and visiting distinguished statesman at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, addresses the Vietnam Economic Forum 2019
Vietnam has been urged to reduce its use of coal-fired energy and develop renewable energy to proactively respond to climate change and ensure energy security, heard a panel discussion of the Vietnam Economic Forum 2019 in Hanoi on January 17.
John Kerry, former US Secretary of State, said climate change is a very big problem in the world, not only in Vietnam, and it always has a close connection with the energy sector.
With a relatively fast growth rate, Vietnam needs to carry out effective solutions to cope with climate change.
Many countries have gradually been switching from traditional energy sources to new and renewable ones. This is a common trend to sustainably develop energy and mitigate climate change impacts, he said.
Asia-Pacific is consuming the most coal in the world and faces the impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, he noted, adding that even when new technologies are applied, coal-fired power generation still emits the most GHG.
Kerry called for countries to use clean energy as soon as possible, saying coal-fired power generation is not cheaper than new and clean energy sources.
It is unnecessary to depend on coal-fired energy generation, and Vietnam, with clean energy potential like hydro, solar and wind power advantages, should tap into sustainable renewable energy sources and reduce GHG emissions, he added.
Welcoming the Vietnamese Government’s efforts, Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, said the Southeast Asian nation is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
It is not accidental that the EU has implemented the biggest energy programme in a non-EU country in Vietnam, with non-refundable aid of about 270 million EUR, he said.
This programme aims to facilitate remote and low-income residents’ access to electricity and help the Government design a more comprehensive energy transition strategy.
He suggested developing rooftop solar systems on residential and industrial buildings.
In energy transition, the country needs to take into consideration the fact that local power demand will increase threefold by 2030. Therefore, renewable energy should play an important role in the energy structure, Angelet said, adding that the transition from polluting energy sources to clean ones needs to be carried out step by step and comprehensively.
At the discussion, participants looked into the risks that climate change may pose to Vietnam’s sustainable development and energy security. They also talked ways to diversify energy sources, improve efficient energy use and develop renewable energy.
Son La strawberry, farm produce week opens in Hanoi
Son La strawberry is being sold at Big C Thang Long supermarket in Hanoi. (Photo: kinhtedothi.vn)
The Son La strawberry and safe farm produce week 2019, the first of its kind, kicked off in Big C Thang Long supermarket in Hanoi on January 18.
The three-day event attracted 30 units displaying VietGap and GlobalGap-standard products such as fresh strawberry, tea, wild apple, passion fruit, squash, orange, potato, among others.
Visitors will also have a chance to taste strawberry-derived products such as jam, candy, fresh juice, yoghurt, siro and several kinds of cake and biscuit.
Khuc Tien Ha, Director of Big C Thang Long supermarket, said Son La strawberry is sold at 119,000 VND (5.1 USD) per 500g box, or half of the price of those imported from the Republic of Korea (RoK). At least one tonne of strawberry is expected to be consumed each day during the event.
Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Vu Duc Thuan said it is the first trade promotion activity of Son La in 2019.
Strawberry has been grown in Son La for nearly 10 years. It is now home to about 25ha of strawberry, mostly in Moc Chau, Van Ho and Mai Son districts with a total output of more than 300 tonnes. Strawberry varieties imported from Japan, the RoK and Australia well adapt to climate and soil conditions in Moc Chau grassland.
At the opening ceremony, representatives from Big C Vietnam, Son La businesses and cooperatives signed an agreement on consumption of Son La safe farm produce in Big C supermarket chain.
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