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...]

Manulife riding high off the back of record-breaking year

Last year saw Manulife break all previous records in insurance sales in Asia. A key part of this regional market is Vietnam, where Manulife is pioneering new products that offer peace of mind to Vietnamese customers. VIR met with Manulife’s chief financial officer Steve Roder to find out how the insurance company plans to further explore the largely untapped Vietnamese market. How did Manulife perform in Asia in 2015, and what was Manulife Vietnam’s contribution towards this result? Manulife performed strongly in Asia in 2015. We enjoyed our third consecutive year of record insurance sales, with figures rising 28 per cent year-on-year to $1.5 billion. Wealth and asset management gross flows in Asia jumped 56 per cent year-on-year to $12.2 billion. There were a number of highlights to celebrate in Asia including the launch in January this year of our exclusive 15-year distribution partnership with DBS in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and mainland China, providing … [Read more...]

Vietnam to join AICTA 2016

The Ministry of Information and Communications held a press conference announcing the ASEAN Information and Communication Technology Awards 2016 (AICTA), a regional prestige award attracting the participation of organizations and businesses from 10 countries in ASEAN. The event is aimed at seeking for and honoring IT products and measures with creativity, reality application and contributing to accelerating trade between the members of ASEAN. The 2016 AICTA will be held under the framework of the ongoing 16th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (ASEAN TELMIN 2016) in November 2016 in Brunei. The awards honor ICT products and solutions in six categories – the public sector, the private sector, corporate social responsibility, digital content, best start-up company, and R&D. Viet Nam gained three gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the previous awards. VGP … [Read more...]

VN to join AICTA 2016

VGP – The Ministry of Information and Communications held a press conference announcing the ASEAN Information and Communication Technology Awards 2016 (AICTA), a regional prestige award attracting the participation of organizations and businesses from 10 countries in ASEAN. Illustration photo The event is aimed at seeking for and honoring IT products and measures with creativity, reality application and contributing to accelerating trade between the members of ASEAN. The 2016 AICTA will be held under the framework of the ongoing 16th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (ASEAN TELMIN 2016) in November 2016 in Brunei. The awards honor ICT products and solutions in six categories – the public sector, the private sector, corporate social responsibility, digital content, best start-up company, and R&D. Viet Nam gained three gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the previous awards. By Thuy Dung … [Read more...]

Samsung staff with community

Hung Le This was part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility program aiming at connecting staff with the community and supporting educational development in poor areas. The Samsung staff helped upgrade classrooms, electrical systems, and school yard, and donate books and 200 gifts worth VND200 million to children at Lam Son school. Particularly, four bookcases with many kinds of books for students were set up at classrooms. Besides repainting the school and planting trees, the Samsung team organized games and screened films for pupils. Lam Son school, 150 km from HCMC and 20 km from Dinh Quan Town, had difficult access to roads. … [Read more...]

VCCI to Rate Sustainable Companies

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and the State Securities Committee of Vietnam (SSC), launched the sustainability rating programme for 2016 on April 20. This is the first year VCCI hosts the sustainability rating programme under the guidance of the government, as stated in Notice 398/TB-VPCP dated December 15, on rating of sustainable companies in 2016. The rating of sustainable companies is based on Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI). CSI is one of VCCI’s initiatives to promote sustainability in the business community as a gauge of corporate value based on sustainable development criteria in economic, environmental and social aspects. CSI is also a tool to identify measurable objectives and administer changes for greater sustainability. CSI criteria tally … [Read more...]

Social corporate responsibility for environment discussed

Social corporate responsibility for environmental issues was featured at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on April 12. The event, titled "Vietnam – EU free trade agreement: enhancing competitiveness via improved labour relations", was co-hosted by the Swedish Embassy and the municipal chapter of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Photo for illustration Addressing the event, VCCI Deputy Chairman Vo Tan Thanh said once the EU – Vietnam free trade agreement takes effect in 2018, Vietnam’s gross domestic product and exports to the EU are forecast to grow 15 percent and 35 percent, respectively. More than 1,700 projects worth 21.48 billion USD from 22 EU countries are valid in Vietnam, reflecting that the EU is one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners, he said. Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander, said consumers’ demand for learning about products’ origin will force enterprises to meet the global Corporate Social Responsibility … [Read more...]

Trade deals set out tough labour rules

A worker classifies plastic parts at Cat Thai Manufacturing Trading Co Ltd, one of the leading companies in the part supplying industry in Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hieu HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — Free trade agreements set out ambitious labour standards for companies and stress the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR), experts have said. Last year Viet Nam wrapped up negotiations for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Swedish ambassador Camilla Mellander told a seminar held in HCM City yesterday. "The EVFTA will be strengthening the EU and Viet Nam relationship even further and it also includes a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development. "We should ensure that trade does not happen at the cost of the environment or of people's rights. Businesses in Viet Nam should be aware of the importance of CSR compliance, as committed by the Vietnamese Government in the EVFTA. "Consumers are getting … [Read more...]

Energy, Urban and Natural Resources to Be Discussed at 3GF Forum

Energy, urban and natural resources will be discussed at 3GF Forum, heard at the working meeting hosted by VCCI Deputy General Secretary Nguyen Quang Vinh to Special Envoy Geert Aagaard Andersen of the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) at VCCI Head Office in Hanoi. During his working visit to Vietnam, Mr Geert Aagaard Andersen also explored opportunities to expand cooperation in green growth. Speaking at the meeting, Mr Geert Aagaard Andersen said that Denmark and Vietnam have long-term cooperation in green growth. 3GF Forum, initiated in 2011, is a forum for public-private cooperation, chaired by the Danish Government. Denmark and seven national governments together with a number of businesses discussed green growth issues, including efficient energy saving, renewable energy, land cleaning for cleaner and sustainable agricultural production, how to recycle waste to build circular economy. He said Denmark and Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in November 2015 … [Read more...]

Hanwha Life supports poor students in Cu Chi

Thu Nguyet Representatives of Hanwha Life Vietnam and volunteers from South Korea pose for photos with children at Cu Chi Town Ele- mentary School in HCMC’s Cu Chi District at the charity program last week - PHOTO: HANWHA LIFE The program, which took place last week, gave VND60 million (nearly US$2,700) worth of scholarships and gifts to school children and helped set up book shelves for ten classrooms, refurbish the school’s library and tidy up the school campus to create a green and clean space for study and fun activity. The company and volunteers held an entertainment show featuring music and circus performances to cheer up the children. The life insurer has also joined several charity programs in Vietnam, such as organizing a blood donation drive, donating 12 homes to people in need and 8,200 health insurance cards in 15 localities. The company received the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards from the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment … [Read more...]

Networking Women Entrepreneurs with AEC Development

In the framework of the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) Work Plan for 2011-2015, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs recently launched an initiative to coordinate with ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat to support the establishment of the ASEAN Women's Entrepreneurship Network (AWEN). The Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) assumed the AWEN chairmanship for the first two-year term (2014-2016). In celebrating the 106th anniversary of International Women's Day - March 8, continuing the success of the first ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Forum in March 2015 and holding the ambition of connecting networks and enhancing the capacity for women's entrepreneurs toward a prosperous ASEAN Economic Community, VCCI will collaborate with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to lead and assign VWEC, the chair of AWEN, to cooperate with domestic and international organisations to host the second … [Read more...]

High Quality Vietnamese Goods Award: 500 enterprises honored in 2016

Hundreds of Vietnamese entrepreneurs have been honored to receive a reputable national excellence award presented by a business association in Ho Chi Minh City. The High Quality Vietnamese Goods awards ceremony concluded with 500 local firms being celebrated at the White Palace Convention Center in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday evening. Of the 500 award recipients, 41 firms were first-time winners, 42 received the recognition for the 20th consecutive year, and 356 garnered the award for the third successive year. In a survey conducted by the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, nearly 20,000 households, individuals, and retailers in trade promotion programs in 12 key provinces and cities around the country were asked to offer opinions on 678 companies. All companies included in the survey had to meet criteria related to product quality and origin, and comply with regulations on consumers’ and workers’ rights, environmental … [Read more...]

President presents Vietnamese High-Quality Goods awards

HCM City, February 23 (VNA) – President Truong Tan Sang joined other officials in presenting the Vietnamese High-Quality Goods awards 2016 to 500 firms nationwide at a ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City on February 23. Of the 500 firms, 41 of them are first-time winners and 42 have received annual recognition for 20 consecutive years, and 356 firms that have won for three consecutive years. The winners were selected from a list of 678 companies based on surveys of nearly 20,000 households, individuals and retailers at trade promotion programmes in 12 key provinces and cities around the country, held by the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products. They had to meet criteria related to product quality and origin, and comply with regulations on consumers and workers' rights, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility. Most of the winners make sauces, spices, confectionery, non-alcoholic beverages, construction materials, electrical and … [Read more...]

Vietnamese firms win high-quality award

HCM City, February 23 (VNA) – The Vietnamese High-Quality Goods award will be conferred on 500 firms this year, 41 of them first-time winners. Forty-two have received annual recognition for 20 consecutive years. At a ceremony in HCM City on February 23, the awardees will also include 356 firms who have won for three consecutive years. The winners were selected from a list of 678 companies based on surveys of nearly 20,000 households, individuals and retailers at trade promotion programmes in 12 key provinces and cities around the country, held by the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products. They had to meet criteria related to product quality and origin, and comply with regulations on consumers and workers' rights, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility. Most of the winners make sauces, spices, confectionery, non-alcoholic beverages, construction materials, electrical and household machines and dried foodstuff and instant food, said … [Read more...]

VN firms win high-quality award

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Vietnamese High-Quality Goods award will be conferred on 500 firms this year, 41 of them first-time winners. Forty-two have received annual recognition for 20 consecutive years. At a ceremony in HCM City today , the awardees will also include 356 firms who have won for three consecutive years. The winners were selected from a list of 678 companies based on surveys of nearly 20,000 households, individuals and retailers at trade promotion programmes in 12 key provinces and cities around the country, held by the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products. They had to meet criteria related to product quality and origin, and comply with regulations on consumers and workers' rights, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility. Most of the winners make sauces, spices, confectionery, non-alcoholic beverages, construction materials, electrical and household machines and dried foodstuff and instant food, said Nguyen Thanh Long, the … [Read more...]

Investors urged to choose Nghe An

NGHE AN (VNS) — Domestic and foreign investors were urged to invest more in the central province of Nghe An for its geographic advantages, improved infrastructure and open investment policies during an investors' meeting held yesterday in the province. In his speech at the annual event, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung spoke highly of Nghe An's investment attraction results in recent years. He said the province has met investors' expectations in term of policies, infrastructure facilities and services and many of them have been operating effectively in the locality. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested the province take full advantage of its potential while perfecting its investment climate to attract more investors. Local authorities said the investment attraction would be a driving force for the province's socio-economic development. They committed to bettering the province's investment environment, with a focus on speeding up the … [Read more...]

Companies get busy with exports after Tet

HCM CITY (VNS) — Many companies in HCM City have began export shipments immediately after a long Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, with many of them having enough orders to remain busy for the whole year. Vo Quoc Hao, general director of Binh Minh Garment Joint Stock Company, said his company exported a consignment of 10,000 shirts to Japan on February 15, the first working day after Tet. This was part of a contract to export three million pieces worth approximately US$20 million, he said. His company has a target of 16 per cent export growth this year, with the US and Japan being the biggest customers, and trousers, shirts, t-shirts, and sportswear being the main items, he said. Do Ha Nam, chairman and general director of Intimex Group, which exports pepper, cashew, coffee and other farm produce, said his company has to work under high pressure after Tet to fulfil its export orders for this month, which are 20 per cent higher than last month. Nam said export of farm produce … [Read more...]

PM: Good institutions back growth

The Saigon Times Daily The Government leader emphasized the drivers for growth in his article about opportunities and challenges regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The article was sent to media outlets on February 15, less than two weeks after Vietnam and 11 other Pacific Rim nations signed the trade pact in New Zealand. Dung said having good institutions in place and ensuring the rule of law and the democratic rights of people in line with a modern market economy will create conditions for more growth. Institutions are a decisive factor for the efficient operation and competitiveness of enterprises. To work out suitable institutions, it is crucial to identify the relationship between the State, market, businesses and society. The State should be a facilitator of development. Therefore, the State needs to set up an effective legal system, issue policies and strategies, and create a transparent business environment for healthy competition. "There would not … [Read more...]

Schneider Electric relishes EU-Vietnam FTA challenges

The upcoming EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is hoped to bring fresh opportunities to European firms in Vietnam. Xavier Denoly, country president of Schneider Electric Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, talked with VIR’s Nam Phuong about the firm’s investment plans to capitalise on this historic trade deal. Xavier Denoly received the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merit for his company’s performance in the field of energy and social work Can you shed the light on some of Schneider Electric Vietnam’s achievements in 2015? 2015 has been a memorable year for us, as we recorded a double-digit growth in all our businesses and became the top growing Schneider Electric entity in the entire region. This is particularly significant because, as you might have seen in the news, the world has gone through a volatile 2015 and a dark sentiment pervaded the majority of the globe due to a long list of bad news. This global gloom makes Schneider Electric even … [Read more...]