True to course

Mr John Howell, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Vietnam Assurance PLC, spoke with VET as it celebrates 10 years in Vietnam. Over the last decade Prudential has received over 15 recognitions and awards. Among these is a Golden Dragon Award for last six years in succession. 2008 was a difficult year for all sectors due to the global financial crisis. How do you view its effect on Vietnam's insurance sector and on Prudential Vietnam Assurance? There is no question that we are now operating in a tougher and more complex economic environment. Last year Vietnam's economy experienced high inflation, while the end of the year saw a global economic decline with the collapse or near-collapse of some world renowned financial institutions. Despite the challenges, Prudential Vietnam has managed to stay true to our course and continue to build its fantastic organisation. Our product and distribution strategies, underpinned by our capable and experienced employees and agents and … [Read more...]

Bucking the trend

Unlike many, insurers in Vietnam remain optimistic about the continued growth of their local market despite the events of here and elsewhere. Local people may feel reluctant to use life insurance as a saving or investment vehicle. When insurance giant American International Group Inc. (AIG) imploded last autumn, many of its policyholders and the media in Vietnam wondered to what extent its business in Vietnam was going to be affected. But the General Directors of AIG Life and AIG non-life in Vietnam confirmed they were doing well, given they were established as stand alone companies and were not directly affected by what may be happening to their parents company.According to Mr Jamie Rains, General Director of AIG Life Vietnam, the company far exceeds the regulatory requirement, with solvency at 267 per cent of that required. More than 80 per cent of the company's investment portfolio is in government bonds, with the remainder in corporate bonds, term deposits and policies. AIG … [Read more...]

Viettel eyes global status in telecoms

Viettel has become the biggest telecom company in Viet Nam 15 years after it was established and has been one of the country's few successful investors abroad. Viet Nam News speaks with Tong Viet Trung, vice president of Viettel Group, about the company's business and social responsibility. Tong Viet Trung vice president of Viettel Group Viettel is one of the most successful Vietnamese companies in terms of investing abroad. Can you tell us about your investments so far? Fifteen years ago, in Viet Nam, Viettel was a very small company with 100 employees, US$100,000 capital, $2 million dollars revenue and approximately $50,000 profit. Now the company has become the largest telecommunications and technology company in the country with $10 billion revenue, annual profit of over $2 billion, over 90,000 employees (75,000 of them in Viet Nam, and 15,000 overseas). We deliver services to over 76 million customers in over 10 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. In Asia, we … [Read more...]

Leading Roles of Enterprises in Green Growth and Sustainable Development in Vietnam

At a recent meeting on strategies and orientations of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) in the 2015-2020 period, experts reconfirmed that, with the overall development objectives of the National Green Growth Strategy, the business community is considered an important factor that contributes to the formation and development of a green and suitable economy in Vietnam. In the National Strategy for Green Growth, one of Vietnam's goals is to restructure and complete economic institutions towards greening existing industries and encouraging the development of economic sectors consuming energies and resources efficiently. Advanced technologies are studied and applied on a broader scale to use natural resources more efficiently, reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions and respond to climate change. Fulcrum from Resolution 19 in 2014 and 2015 According to Mr Nguyen Quang Vinh, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry … [Read more...]

ASEAN, Canada target doubling trade

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada set a target to double the current 19 billion CAD (13.2 billion USD) in bilateral trade during the fourth ASEAN-Canada consultations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 25. Ministers at the fourth ASEAN-Canada Consultations - Source: VNA At the meeting, ASEAN and Canadian economic ministers expressed their satisfaction with the implementation of the 2014-2015 action plan for the two sides’ Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment (JDTI) through senior dialogues, trade and investment promotion activities and the involvement of Canadian enterprises in events and fairs in ASEAN. They approved another action plan for 2016-2020 to intensify bilateral economic cooperation with a focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises, and share information between Canada’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) network with ASEAN CSR experts as well as information relating to energy, aviation, agriculture, oil and gas, … [Read more...]

VINASA continues to choosing top 50 leading IT firms in 2015

The Hanoitimes - The Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) has officially launched a programme to identify the country`s 50 leading IT companies in 2015. This is the second time the programme has been introduced in Vietnam. The selected enterprises will be introduced to 1,000 domestic firms and organisations as well as to 100 states and territories around the world. The selection includes sectors: Information Technology Outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing and Knowledge Process Outsourcing. Participating in the evaluation process are companies involved in software, solutions and IT services and applications and solutions for mobile and digital content and value-added services. Vietnam's 30 leading IT companies in 2014 All the selected enterprises must strictly conform to the established criteria in areas: human resources, the market, the customers and technology, as well as the products, financial capacity, management and corporate social responsibility. … [Read more...]

VINASA ready to choose top 50 leading IT firms

HA NOI (VNS)— The Viet Nam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) yesterday officially launched a programme to identify the country's 50 leading IT companies in 2015. This is the second time the programme has been introduced in Viet Nam. The selected enterprises will be introduced to 1,000 domestic firms and organisations as well as to 100 nations and territories around the world. The selection covers sectors: Information Technology Outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing and Knowledge Process Outsourcing. Also included in the evaluation process are companies involved in software, solutions and IT services and applications and solutions for mobile and digital content and value-added services. All the selected businesses must strictly conform to the established criteria in areas: human resources, the market, the customers and technology, as well as the products, financial capacity, management and corporate social responsibility. The applications will be reviewed in … [Read more...]

Corporate social responsibility benefits employees and employers alike

Vietnamese enterprises are increasingly paying attention to corporate social responsibility, since it not only benefits staff members but also the firms themselves. Since 2008, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and the Confederation of German Trade Unions have been carrying out a project to enhance the role of trade unions in promoting corporate social responsibility in the southern province of Dong Nai. After seven years, the number of participating firms has increased from 3 to 50. The working environment and living conditions for workers have improved significantly, boosting staff-employer relations and increasing the companies’ reputation. Participating in the project since 2012, TaekwangVina Company in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park in Bien Hoa city has noticed improvements in the relations between employers and employees, as well as an annual revenue growth rate of more than 12 percent. Dinh Sy Phuc, Chairman of the company’s trade union, said the … [Read more...]

EVFTA heads to growth, jobs creation, sustainable development

VGP – The EU and Viet Nam have reached an agreement in principle for a Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) after two and a half years of negotiations. Illustration photo This agreement, the first of its kind that the EU has concluded with a developing country, will remove 99% of tariff lines on goods traded between the two sides. Besides eliminating tariffs, all of its export duties will also be removed in Viet Nam. The agreement will create new market access opportunities in services and investment. The nation has agreed to liberalize trade in financial services, telecommunications, transport, and postal and courier services. Regarding investment, Viet Nam will open its market to the EU, for instance by removing or easing limitations on the manufacturing of food products and beverages, as well as in the non-food sectors. In addition, the EVFTA includes a robust and comprehensive chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, covering labor and environment matters of … [Read more...]

Vietnamese firms to face challenges post EU FTA

Following the conclusion of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement negotiations in July and expectations that it will be signed later this year, Liliana Lizarazo Rodriguez, a free trade agreement specialist at Belgian law firm A–Law International and the firm’s managing partner Patricia Leers discuss the challenges facing Vietnamese companies once this agreement takes effect. The twelfth round of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the EU and Vietnam was held in Hanoi in March 2015. The main topics of the negotiations were tariff and non-tariff barriers, rules of origin, investment, government procurement, intellectual property rights (IPR), and related regulatory issues. If Vietnam succeeds in implementing the FTA with the EU, it would be-together with Singapore-the most successful ASEAN country in concluding bilateral FTA agreements. Currently, as the EU is Vietnam’s second largest trading partner (after China), and is also among the largest investors … [Read more...]

Vietnam, EU reach agreement on free trade deal

(CPV) - Vietnam and the EU on August 4th announced that they have reached an agreement in principle for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), after two and a half years of intense negotiations. Following a telephone conversation this morning between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, all issues of substance have been agreed, and both sides have reached a mutually beneficial and balanced package. This agreement will remove nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. This finely balanced agreement will boost trade with one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. It sets a new, better and modern model for FTAs between the EU and developing countries, and establishes a good standard for the trade relationship between the EU and South East Asia as a whole. "Vietnam is a growing economy and once this agreement is up and running, it will provide significant new opportunities for companies on both sides, … [Read more...]

Journey for children’s best start in life

It was 20 years ago that the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam took place. Since then, many US companies and partners have not only invested in and contributed to Vietnam’s economic development, but have also been helping the community with meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. As one of the major US companies that formed its business in Vietnam soon after the establishment of diplomatic ties, Mead Johnson Nutrition has been pursuing a long-standing metabolics programme. Gift Samabhandhu, general manager of Mead Johnson Nutrition Vietnam shared about this pioneering programme for infants and children in the country. Gift Samabhandhu visiting children in a hospital Could you elaborate on Mead Johnson Nutrition’s CSR priorities? For more than a century, Mead Johnson Nutrition has led the way in developing safe, high-quality, innovative products to help meet the nutritional needs of infants and children. With more … [Read more...]

Trust proves vital to bank’s rising star

It is not by chance that the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam has become one of the top lenders in Vietnam. Innovative thinking and a determination for constant improvement have paid off, distinguishing the financial institution from other domestic banks. With its long-term commitment and clear vision, the bank has set a goal to become one of the top 10 banks in Southeast Asia by 2030. As BIDV has distinguished itself as a banking brand that makes accountability its foremost concern, its steady rise looks set to continue Non-stop growth The country has transformed considerably in the past 30 years, achieving many outstanding accomplishments and turning itself from a closed and centrally-planned economy into a dynamically-integrated market economy. The country’s banking system, likewise, has gone through a massive development process, with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), in particular, witnessing radical changes. What was once a bank … [Read more...]

PATA Announces 2015 Grand and Gold Award Winners

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 PATA Grand and Gold Awards. Proudly supported and sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) for the last 20 years, this year’s awards recognise the achievements of 25 separate organisations and individuals. PATA will present 29 Grand and Gold Awards to such organisations as Accor Asia-Pacific, Cox and Kings Ltd, Hong Kong International Theme Park Ltd, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Jetwing Hotels Ltd, Korea Tourism Organization, Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Taylor’s University. The awards luncheon and presentation takes place at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 during the PATA Travel Mart 2015. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macau Government Tourist Office, said, "The list of PATA Gold Awards 2015 winners unveils once again the very best of Pacific-Asia tourism practices. The excellence and innovation … [Read more...]

Corporate social responsibility discussed in Hanoi

Representatives from Japanese enterprises shared their experience in carrying out social responsibility during a workshop held in Hanoi on July 14. According to Yoshiro Kudo, Vice Chairman of the Japanese Council on Life-Innovation, being socially responsible means making business decisions based on the sustainable growth of other companies and people’s wellbeing; not for quick profit. Hence, a healthy market economy will be built through self-improvement of business ethics. Japanese firms are contributing to economic development in Vietnam based on the mutually beneficial ties between the two countries, he said. A representative from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shared that if enterprises include responsibility in their strategies, it will become their strength. He continued to note that the duty ought to be part of business management, not just humanitarian activities. The Central Institute for Economics Management (CIEM) organised the … [Read more...]

EU-Vietnam FTA: turning challenges into development opportunities

(VOVworld) – The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement is in the negotiation stage and likely to be signed this year, promising many opportunities for Vietnam in tax slashing, commercial advantages, investment attraction, and market expansion. In addition to benefits will come challenges which both the Vietnamese government and businesses should pay more attention to and make necessary changes in regulations, policies, and production activities. With the Vietnam - Eurasian Economic Union free trade agreement, Vietnam’s garments and textiles products will benefit the most. Up to 82% of all kinds of tariff are committed to be slashed and 42% of items to be imposed with a tax rate of 0%. (Photo: Van Nam) The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement is a new deal with more commitments to cut tariffs, create commercial advantages, and improve investment, business environment, competition, and sustainable development. The agreement is expected to boost Vietnam’s GDP 8% and its … [Read more...]

Social News 4/7

Police seize 387kg of smuggled elephant tusks Police at Ha Tien International Border Gate and Kien Giang Province seized 387kg of elephant tusks smuggled into Viet Nam on Tuesday. The border police found a suspected truck travelling from Cambodia to Viet Nam through Ha Tien International Border Gate. The soldiers asked Tran Minh Chien, the driver of the truck, to pull over for random inspection and found 387kg of elephant tusks inside. The goods were seized. The case is being investigated further. On the same day, customs officers at Noi Bai International Airport seized two ivory statues weighing 2.31kg each. The statues had been smuggled from France. Construction begins on Orange Village The HCM City Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin on Wednesday began construction of the Orange Village in Hoc Mon District. The 49,000sq.m centre will provide treatment, vocational training and rehabilitation for victims of Agent Orange (dioxin). The project with a cost of VND100 … [Read more...]

Firms should join disaster management

HA NOI (VNS) — Disaster preparedness needed co-operation between government, businesses and humanitarian organisations, according to a forum held here yesterday by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Asia and the Prudence Foundation. The forum, titled Creating Value Through Strategic Partnership, aims to increase awareness of people and enterprises about being ready for disasters. Participants said co-operation was necessary to reduce losses and hasten recovery. Richard Welfort, CSR Asia's chairman, said it was no longer about whether the business sector should play a role in building preparedness, but about how to best collaborate. The most successful collaborations involved using each sector's unique capabilities, he said. Identifying these capabilities would allow each partner to contribute what they do best. Participants recognised that Asian-Pacific countries, in recent years, had suffered many natural calamities, from typhoons and floods, to droughts and … [Read more...]

Over ten typhoons in 2014 cause VND2.83 trillion in damage

More than two million people in Vietnam are continually affected by typhoons and tropical depressions each year NDO - More than ten typhoons hit Vietnam in 2014 leaving 133 people dead or missing, and caused an estimated damage of VND2.83 trillion (US$130.18 million). In addition, more than two million people in Vietnam are continually affected by typhoons and tropical depressions each year. The figures were announced at the Disaster Preparedness Forum 2015 held in Hanoi on July 2 by the Prudence Fund and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Asia. The forum focused on the process of preparation and response to disasters and solutions to promoting co-operation between governments, enterprises and organisations to reduce losses caused by disasters and recovery costs. The Asia Pacific region is frequently hit by disasters with increasing losses to the economy and society which require urgent investment in the prevention and response to disasters, heard the forum. The … [Read more...]

Asia Pacific works together to address natural calamities

More than 2 million Vietnamese people are directly affected by natural disasters (Photo: VNA) More than 100 delegates from across the Asia Pacific region gathered at a regional forum held in Hanoi on July 2 to discuss a cooperation model among governments, businesses and charities in coping with natural disasters. The Asia-Pacific region suffers from frequent natural disasters which cause great losses in both human lives and properties, heard the conference, with the outstanding example of the earthquake in Nepal recently. In Vietnam, more than two million people are affected by storms each year. Richard Welford, Chairman of Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia (CSR), stated that major attention should be shifted from enterprise involvement in preparing for response to disasters to sound coordination through the model. The best results will be reached once the capability of each side is utilised to the best, he noted. According to Prudence Foundation Executive Director Marc … [Read more...]