Danang Hi-Tech Park needs VND1.3 trillion
Danang City is promoting investments into housing, training and service facilities in Danang Hi-Tech Park (DHTP) worth a combined VND1.268 trillion, according to the Danang Investment Promotion Agency.
Director of the agency Le Canh Duong on March 26 said local and foreign firms could choose to invest through public-private partnerships (PPP), which include build-operate-transfer (BOT).
In addition to seeking capital for these facilities, DHTP also wants to attract investors to a research and development center to assist operations of enterprises there. Such projects can be financed by official development assistance (ODA) capital, according to Doan Ngoc Hung Anh, deputy head of the DHTP management board.
In particular, the housing development project comprises villas, adjoining houses and condominiums with an investment estimated at VND842 billion. It aims to provide quality accommodation for employees, experts and scientists working at DHTP. Meanwhile, service facilities that will go up need some VND316 billion.
As for the training center project, an estimated VND110 billion will be needed to train and develop human resources.
According to Satoru Takizawa, chairman of the Japanese Business Association in Danang, one major weakness of the city is its human resources have not met requirements of Japanese hi-tech firms. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in personnel training.
VinCommerce to sbeplit soon
Vingroup JSC will split VinCommerce into two separate retail units called VinCommerce and VinPro, the board chairman of Vingroup said last week in an announcement sent to the stock exchange.
In the document posted at the website of the State Securities Commission of Vietnam and the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, Vingroup said that following the split, VinPro would be in charge of electronics stores while VinCommerce will operate other retail store chains.
VinPro will be established with chartered capital of VND500 billion, of which Vingroup owns 42.63%, or nearly a 21.3 million shares transferred from VinCommerce.
Prior to the separation, VinCommerce had been operating electronics chain VinPro, the supermarket chain VinMart, the convenience store chain VinMart+ and the e-commerce website https://www.adayroi.com.
The VinPro retail chain currently has 33 supermarkets nationwide while VinMart has 65 stores and VinMart+ owns some 1,000 stores.
TAEL to pour more investment into Vietnam
Fund manager The Asia Entrepreneur Legacy (TAEL) expects to disburse US$150 million more into Vietnam, having already invested as much as US$175 million in this market over the past two years, news website Dau Tu reports.
TAEL has just convened an investors meeting in HCMC, gathering representatives of investment funds and government funds in the region. The fund manager highly values opportunities in Vietnam, and has invested a quarter of its portfolio capital in the local market in the last two years, said Michael Sng, partner of TAEL.
Its investments focused on high-growth enterprises in areas like healthcare, education, consumer goods and logistics, which are the priorities of the city.
Its fund TAEL Two has since 2013 invested US$175 million in eight companies, six of which operate in above-stated fields, namely Cotec Healthcare, Institution of American Education, Pan Pacific Corporation, GTNFoods JSC, Vinasun Corporation, and Vietnam Trade Alliance.
The Singapore-based fund was founded in 2007 with representative offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The firm specializes in growth oriented investment with the minor but significant stakes in family-controlled companies.
The ASEAN-focused private equity fund is now managing US$1 billion, specializing in institutional investors, State-owned funds, as well as equity funds from ASEAN, North America and the Middle East.
Retail sales, services revenue sees year-on-year rise of 11.05 percent
Retail sale and consumer service revenue in March amounted to VND85,248 billion ($3.7 million), an increase of 3.33 percent compared to February, reported The Department of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City.
It was estimated that in the first three months of the year, total revenue of retail sale and service reached VND254,491 billion, finishing 24.7 percent of the plan for 2018, a year-on year rise of 11.05 percent.
Of which, retail turnover wass estimated VND165.429 billion, an increase of 10,97 percent compared to the same period last year.
As per the Department’s forecast, by the first quarter, the growth speed of retail sale and services revenue will achieve 11.5 percent – 12 percent, partly thanks to state employees’ higher salary according to the Prime Minister’ decision which takes effect on July 1, 2018. Moreover, there has been a rise in wage of retirees and social welfare allowance.
The Department said there has been positive sign in the field of exports. Revenue of exports in HCMC in the first three months amounted to $8.83 billion, a hike of 10.56 percent including rude oil.
Agriculture, forestry, fishery revenue posted a year-on-year rise of 23.8 percent with $1.23 billion. Coffee, fishery, rice, vegetables and cashews saw a year-on-year increase of 24.3 percent, 23.1 percent, 21.7 percent, 41.3 percent and 52.7 percent respectively while industry revenue reached $5.98 billion, a climb of 17.6 percent.
Wood firms have huge orders in the first months of the year. Consumers prefer Vietnamese-made wooden items; accordingly, it is an opportunity for the sector.
Many foreign projects increase capital in Q1
A number of foreign projects increased their investment capital to expand production in the first quarter of the year, according to figures from the Foreign Investment Agency at the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Most notably, the LG Innotek Hai Phong project increased its capital by $501 million while the Regina Miracle International Vietnam project added $260 million.
The Kefico Vietnam project added $120 million and the Vina Cell Technology project $100 million.
Thanks to LG Innotek’s capital increase, South Korea held top spot among countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first quarter, reaching $1.84 billion, or 31.6 per cent of total investment capital.
Hong Kong followed, with $689 million, or 11.9 per cent of the total, then Singapore, with $649 million, or 11.2 per cent.
Total foreign capital, both new and additional, and capital contributions and share purchases by foreigners in the first quarter stood at $5.8 billion, representing 75.2 per cent of the figure in the same period of 2017.
Newly-registered capital was $2.12 billion, equal to 72.7 per cent of the same period of 2017, while additional capital was $1.79 billion, or 45.4 per cent. Capital contributions and share purchase reached $1.89 billion, or 121.6 per cent of the figure in the same period of 2017.
As at March 20, foreign direct investment projects had disbursed an estimated $3.88 billion, an increase of 7.2 per cent year-on-year.
Exports by foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) (including crude oil) was $39.34 billion, up 22.8 per cent year-on-year and accounting for 72.4 per cent of total export turnover. Excluding crude oil, the figure was $38.83 billion, up 24.2 per cent and accounting for 71.5 per cent of total export turnover.
Imports by FIEs totaled $31.75 billion, up 13.7 per cent year-on-year and accounting for nearly 59.9 per cent of total import turnover.
FIEs therefore recorded a trade surplus of $7.59 billion, including crude oil, and $7.08 billion excluding crude oil.
Le Thuy lures in foreign investors to wind power sector
The enthusiasm of UPC Renewable Asia I Limited to develop two wind power plants in Le Thuy district of Quang Binh province, suggests Le Thuy might become the favourite destination of foreign investors in the wind power sector.
According to the latest developments, on March 20, a representative of UPC Renewable Asia I Limited returned to Le Thuy to conduct a survey and measure wind power to develop projects.
According to Phan Van Thuong, director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Quang Binh province, the province permitted the investor to install a wind tower to measure wind power. According to the regulations, the investor will be allowed to develop its project after 12 months of installing the wind tower.
At present, the investor has also completed the dossier to submit to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the prime minister for approval.
Quang Binh is considered a dry land with little potential for economic development, while UPC is considered one of the world’s leading firms in develop renewable projects on all terrains, including mountainous, desert, even volcanic areas.
Thus, UPC’s investment is expected to open new opportunities for the province.
Regarding the potential to develop renewable projects, Pham Quang Nam, Secretary of the Le Thuy Party Committee, stated that the weather conditions of Le Thuy are suitable for solar power and wind power projects.
Previously, in January this year, the group joined a working session with leaders of the Quang Binh People’s Committee and relevant authorities to report on its plan to develop the two wind power projects named UPC-Le Thuy and UPC-Quang Binh.
Notably, UPC will pour VND2 trillion ($87.68 million) into building the UPC-Le Thuy wind power plant on an area of 16 hectares and VND10.2 trillion ($447.18 million) into UPC-Quang Binh on 130ha. Once the two plants come into operation, they will generate 158 million and 760 million kWh per year, respectively.
According to information from the Quang Binh Department of Planning and Investment, along with UPC, numerous other investors have registered to implement wind power projects in Le Thuy.
Accordingly, B&T Windfarm JSC aims to build two projects with a total capacity of 200MW in Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts. Additionally, Tan Hoan Cau Group has proposed building a 300MW project in Minh Hoa district.
Dohwa Group from South Korea has constructed a 49.5MW solar project. Being one of Dohwa’s renewable energy complexes, it has a total investment capital sum of $55 million and is expected to generate power by the end of this year.
High-quality products fair to promote safe foods this year
The Vietnamese High-Quality Products Fair in HCM City early next month will have many new features, including a focus on introducing “Vietnamese High-Quality Products-Global Integration Standard” (GIS) certified products and others under the city’s food safety chain model.
Speaking at a press briefing in HCM City on March 27, Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association, its organiser, said the fair would have 600 booths set up by 300 exhibitors.
Visitors can see “a strange garden” where they can see and touch quaint products made from Ben Tre Province’s coconut trees and fruits and grapefruits, which have been granted geographical indication certificates by the Ministry of Science and Technology, she said.
The fair would have a “Green-Nice Market” where farms, co-operatives and start-up firms showcase farm produce grown to safe or organic standards, she said.
The fair this year would also showcase activities to help local businesses further penetrate the global market through the association’s GIS project and a co-operation programme between the association and Saigon Innovation Hub, she said.
There will also be a promotion in which over 3,000 items will be sold at VND20,000 at 10-10.30am and 4-4.30pm daily, game shows, a cooking contest, and lucky draws with prizes of tours to Cambodia and destinations in Việt Nam.
For the first time the fair would be organised with the collaboration of the Food Safety Management Board of HCM City, and the two sides would organise an international seminar titled ‘Improving Quality Standards to Integrate into the Global Market’ on the sidelines of the fair, Hạnh said.
Sixty six Vietnamese food firms have obtained GIS certification, she added.
The fair will be held at the Phu Tho Stadium in District 11 from April 3 to 8
HCM City to play host to beauty expo
Cosmobeaute Vietnam, the largest beauty industry exhibition in Viet Nam, returns next month to HCM City, providing local and international exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to explore business opportunities
CP Saw, founder of Cosmobeauté, said more than 200 exhibitors from 13 countries and territories, including China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Viet Nam would participate, and there would be four international pavilions from Korea, Singapore, Spain, and Taiwan.
On display will be beauty equipment for every part from head to toe including skin care products cosmetics and makeup; laser machine for body slimming, skin rejuvenation, tattoo removal, face lifting, and whitening; and hair care products.
Cosmobeaute will also host several programmes such as beauty workshops and seminars, live demonstrations, beauty shows and others, in which industry experts will share know-how and experience and update visitors on beauty trends.
With a rising number of middle-income earners in Viet Nam, there is incrreasing demand for quality beauty products, Saw said.
The event would be a platform for the local beauty industry to source premium brands, he added.
To be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from April 19 to 21, the event is expected to get 13,500 visitors.
Expert urges Vietnamese firms to explore other markets
Vietnamese firms should expand their partnership to at least three markets to avoid sole dependence on a particular market, said economist Phạm Chi Lan.
She also urged the firms to provide clear and transparent filings to meet the standards of exporting markets.
Vietnamese enterprises must prove that they do not enjoy protectionism of the government and do not sell products at a dumping price level to ensure they are not affected by the anti-dumping tax policies of the exporting markets, she said.
Given the context in which US regulators have planned to impose anti-dumping taxes on Vietnamese exports to protect their local fishery and steel industries, Lan suggested firms to explore other markets and diversify their targeted markets to ensure less reliance on a sole, large market.
“A three-market strategy will ensure that a company’s export is balanced and that business will not depend on any particular market,” Lan said.
Such business strategy will help Vietnamese firms to survive and exploit new opportunities in the context of a rising global trade war, following intense statements from China and the United States against each other, she said on the sidelines of a conference co-organised by the Vietnam Executive MBA Programme in Hà Nội, University of Hawai’i, and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam last week.
The United States announced a US$60 billion tariff bill on Chinese imports last week. China, in return, filed a list of 128 US products for retaliation, raising global concerns about a possible trade war.
According to Jack Suyderhoud, professor of Business Economics at the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, recent actions of the US government are aimed at protecting its local industries, such as fisheries and steel, against threats from cheaper imports from China and Việt Nam.
Rising protectionism will encounter objection from those benefiting from free trade, Jack said, adding that the US government should notice how important the win-win principle is and how it exists in every trade deal.
Lan urged local firms to strengthen their competency so that they can take advantage of benefits brought about by free trade agreements, to which Việt Nam must comply, and encounter less negative impacts from a possible global trade war.
Besides the US and China, Vietnamese firms should increase its influence in other markets, such as the European Union, reducing its dependence on the world’s two largest markets, Lan said.
“There are no winners in a trade war,” she said, adding that the United States and China are two of the largest trading partners of Việt Nam, thus, “we need to expand our trade relations to different markets to boost the country’s economy”.
“The establishment of the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership), signed on March 8 without the United States’ participation, is a good way to deal with the unpredictable policies of the United States and China at the moment,” Lan said.
The CPTPP deal will help other economies to get to know each other, increase their cooperation and protect their economies, offsetting the damages caused by US protectionism and China’s responses, she added.
“CPTPP is proving to be attractive to other economies that are not partners to the deal, such as South Korea and the United Kingdom,” she said.
TT Group to co-operate on railway, stadium renovation
The industry-real estate-finance conglomerate T&T Group and France’s industrial Bouygues Group on Tuesday signed a co-operation agreement to invest in urban railway project No 3 and upgrade Hang Day Stadium in Ha Noi.
Accordingly, T&T Group plans to invest in and develop the project of urban railway No 3 (dual rail) in the form of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), connecting Ha Noi centre with Son Tay Township for a total length of 31.1km. The total value of investment in this project is estimated at 1.4 billion euros (US$1.74 billion).
In addition, the plan for the Hang Day Stadium renovation has an estimated investment value of 250 million euros.
Bouygues Construction is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of design and construction of international infrastructure projects. The Bouygues Group is committed to working with T&T Group in the design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, support and financing of the two projects.
The agreement, which was signed during a recent official visit of Viet Nam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to France to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, will help open up investment opportunities in Viet Nam for the leading economic groups in the world and promote domestic and foreign cooperation for key national economic projects.
Founded in 1993, T&T Group JSC operates in the real estate, finance, industry, sports, and import-export trading market segments. Its real estate projects include residential units, trade centres, office buildings, resorts, marine eco-tourism areas, and urban areas and industrial zones. The company currently has total assets of VND20 trillion ($877 million) and charter capital of VND5 trillion.
50-70% of surplus budget revenue to be used for wage hikes
Half of surplus central budget revenue and 70% of surplus local budget collections will be kept to create resources for wage reform as from 2021, news website Vietnamnet reported.
At a seminar on reform of social insurance and wage policies in Hanoi last Saturday, standing vice chairman of the Central Theoretical Council Phung Huu Phu said that wage and social in-surance reform will be among issues for discussion at the 12th Party Central Committee’s seventh meeting next May.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the steering committee for reform of wage, social insurance and incentives for people with meritorious service, the commit-tee has consulted many agencies of the Party, Government and National Assembly, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the International Labor Organization, the World Bank and countries with effective wage and social insurance policies.
Regarding the wage reform, the Party Central Committee has given comments since 2003, but many problems remain unsolved and a resolution has not been passed yet.
Hue said that the scheme must remove inadequacies of the prevailing wage policy.
Wages in the public sector have yet to catch up with the private sector. Wage adjustments are not independent of adjustments of pension and incentives for people with meritorious service, affect sustainability of social insurance, and need to come close to international standards.
One new point is to build two payrolls, one applying to positions and the other to specialist tasks, so as to avoid problems concerning wage payments made according to degrees. Those with high-er skills and higher positions will get higher pays to avoid the other way around like what is hap-pening, according to Hue.
Incomes of State workers will also be based on international practices, with wages accounting for 70% and subsidies no more than 30%. Besides, heads of agencies can use 10% of bonus funds to give staffers additional pay for their excellent performance and have wage funds for ministries and localities to recruit talent.
The scheme will eliminate wage coefficients and instead use absolute figures in the payroll. The minimum wage is the lowest level, and no one can pay lower than that. The minimum wage by the hour is also set, and the State’s interference in the payroll at enterprises is removed.
As for social insurance reform, Hue said only workers having paid social insurance in over ten years can start to get pensions. Those leaving social insurance earlier than ten years can get only the amounts in their accounts.
In addition, higher retirement ages will be applicable as from 2021 with an increase of three months a year until the retirement ages reach 62 for men and 60 for women.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, if the retirement ages are not raised, the social insurance fund will be exhausted.
Vietnam eyes 9 billion USD in forest product exports
Vietnam’s exports of forest products are expected to reach 9 billion USD in 2018, experts have said.
Reports delivered at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on March 27 said the country earned 8 billion USD from exporting forest products in 2017, of which 7.7 billion USD was contributed by wood and wooden products.
Representatives from wood enterprises stressed that the 9-billion-USD goal is achievable this year.
Wood processing and export firms were urged to employ measures to ensure balance between demand and supply, towards promoting sustainable development of the wood processing and export sector.
At a recent seminar held in HCM City, experts also said that wood processing and export businesses of Vietnam have opportunities to expand markets and increase export value in the future.
According to Vice Chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City Huynh Van Hanh, aside from the strong growth of the domestic property market, global demand for wood furniture and wood items this year are predicted to rise by 3.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Domestic wood enterprises were advised to pay more attention to updating technology, improving manpower quality and management capacity, building their own brands, promoting product quality and boosting support services.
Petrolimex to issue e-invoices from Sunday
Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) will officially issue electronic invoices to replace ordinary paper bills from Sunday. The decision follows the Ministry of Finance’s Circular No 32/2011/TT-BTC, issued on March 14, 2011, guiding the creation, issuance and use of e-invoices for goods and services.
According to Deputy General Director Tran Ngoc Nam, the issuance of electronic invoice will help to effectively make use of the information technology system in production and business activities of the enterprise, ensuring compliance with the trend of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Nam, who also heads Petrolimex’s electronic invoice project, said e-invoice was an inevitable trend and contributed to the reduction of printing costs, preservation of data, increase in the transparency of petrol business activity and simplification of administrative procedures, thereby making it convenient for customers.
It would also be easier for the State management agencies to search for information to supervise, Nam said, highlighting that the move would benefit consumers, State and businesses and ensure convenience, safety and accuracy.
Customers can easily access the electronic invoice by receiving the search code via email address or receipt and then visiting the website, www.petrolimex.com.vn, to get the bill.
The e-invoices will be stored in the form of data files that will be kept on Petrolimex’s server for 10 years with back-ups, so there is no fear of the data getting lost or damaged. Instead, it will make it convenient to manage goods and expenses.
To implement the decision, Petrolimex has researched and deployed the project since May 19, 2015, and the solution provider is VNPT-Vinaphone-Dakta joint venture.
Shop Store Vietnam expo opens in HCM City
The first Shop & Store Vietnam, a conference and exhibition on the retail and franchise industry, is being held in HCM City from March 28.
The event has attracted 70 brands from 18 countries and regions, and three international group pavilions from Thailand, Singapore and Japan.
The event, which will also feature conferences on retail and franchise and legal aspects on franchise, provides an opportunity for businesses in retail, franchise and shop fitting to show off their products.
They include franchises like Miniso and Tupperware, King BBQ, Hotpot Story, Khao Lao, Blackball, Chabayom, SIC, Renmi, Nishio and others.
The event also showcases new technologies in retail business, including retail devices and digital signage solutions.
There will be demonstrations of ‘Cashless Showcase’ and 3D holograms and a ‘smart shopping’ competition.
The organiser, Reed Tradex, has collaborated with Miniso and Ibox/2can to launch the “SSV CashlessPay” application for exhibitors and visitors to practically experience “cashless” transactions to make shopping more convenient.
The event is being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7.
Vinpearl opens luxury condotel in Nha Trang
Vinpearl on Monday (March 26) opened the five-star Vinpearl Nha Trang Empire condotel.
It is 40 stories tall and has over 1,221 rooms and other facilities.
It has been built atop the Vincom Plaza mall, which opened last December.
It is Vinpearl’s 18th hotel.
Hanoi’s CPI drops 0.22 percent in March
The consumer price index of Hanoi in March declined 0.22 percent over the previous month but increased 2.7 percent over the same period last year.
Major reason for the drop is a reduction in prices of three goods groups – food and catering services; housing, electricity, fuel and construction materials; and transportation.
Lower demand after the traditional New Year festival in February and warmer weather with abundant supply of farm produce pulled the prices of food and foodstuff down. Meanwhile, lower gas prices also led to a fall in the prices of housing, electricity, fuel and construction materials.
A fuel price cut also made the price of transportation lower.
The average index in the first three months of this year rose 2.54 percent over the same period last year. An upturn was seen in 10 groups of goods and the only one experienced a fall.
Import-export revenue surges nearly 37 percent in March
Total import-export revenue of Vietnam is estimated at 38.8 billion USD, a surge of 36.8 percent over the previous month, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Of the figure, exports are calculated to reach 19.8 billion USD, a rise of 38.2 percent month on month, while imports are valued at 19 billion USD, up 35.4 percent over February.
In the first three months of this year, total import-export revenue is likely to hit 107.32 billion USD, up 17.7 percent year on year, including exports of 54.31 billion USD and imports of 53 billion USD.
Export value of garment and textile is estimated at 6.3 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 12.9 percent, while that of computers, electronic products and spare parts is about 6.29 billion USD, footwear 3.45 billion USD, wood and wooden products is 1.91 billion USD.
Meanwhile, earnings from aquatic products are 1.67 billion USD, up 11.2 percent, and coffee export revenue is 989 million USD, a drop of 3.7 percent over the same period last year.
At the same time, imports of computers, electronic products and spare parts in the first three months of this year are likely to reach 10.33 billion USD, a surge of 30.2 percent over the same period last year.
A year-on-year drop of 4.3 percent was seen in imports of machines, tools and equipment to 7.37 billion USD. The country imported over 3.51 million tonnes of petrol for 2.2 billion USD, up 20.1 percent in volume and 37.1 percent in value.
Vietnam is estimated to enjoy trade surplus of about 800 million USD in March and 1.3 billion USD in three months.
Technology application—a new trend in HR training ahead of CPTPP
Amidst growing demand for qualified manpower among domestic and foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs), technology applications in human resources training are predicted to become a popular trend in Vietnam ahead of the enforcement of the Comprehensive and Progressive Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
For years, a shortfall of skilled workforce has remained a thorny issue for both domestic and FIEs in Vietnam. As shown in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017, only 31 per cent of nearly 1,800 FIEs are satisfied with the labour quality in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese workforce over the age of 15 is 53.5 million strong, but only 9.99 million people or 18.6 per cent are skilled workers, meaning unskilled workers make up 81.4 per cent of the country’s total workforce.
The local workforce also lacks many necessary skills, like problem solving, IT, especially foreign language skills, and adaptability. Moreover, the levels of innovation and creativity among skilled local employees are still low.
Looking at the competitiveness of businesses in Vietnam, it is easy to see how low quality workforce bridles the GDP growth rate. Every year, Vietnam’s labour productivity increases by 3 per cent on average, while GDP expands at around 5 per cent.
According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam’s labour productivity is even lower than Laos and Cambodia, and just one tenth of Singapore.
In 2017, Vietnam’s labour productivity was estimated at VND93.2 million ($4,159) per labourer. This figure is equal to 7 per cent of Singapore and 17.6 per cent of Malaysia. Singapore and Malaysia are also two member countries of the CPTPP.
As enterprises continue to expand business and investment activities in the country, demand for qualified manpower grows more significantly than ever. However, improving labour quality in a cost-saving and effective manner is a big concern.
At present, each Vietnamese firm spends around VND400,000 ($18.18) each year training an employee on average.
Meanwhile, Angeline Teo, director of dOz International (Singapore), said that businesses that are thought to be successful in human resources development must spend 8 per cent of their revenues on such purposes.
Vietnam is home to more than 500,000 enterprises, but over 90 per cent do not have their own internal training management system.
According to experts, e-learning would be an optimal choice for businesses to improve their human resources quality and save on training costs.
In developed countries, businesses focus on the application of high-tech solutions in training. The Industry 4.0 has resulted in the rapid development of e-learning, while cloud computing technology helps save costs and proves more efficient than traditional training methods.
In Vietnam, technology solutions for e-training remain in the early stages of development with only a handful of suppliers.
One of the famous brands is Huong Viet Group, which has ten years of experience in technology solutions for education and training with CLS.vn (Cloud Learning System)—the modules for training management based on a cloud system.
CLS-Cloud Learning System (cls.vn) has proved to be a reasonable solution for smaller businesses as it is very cost-effective and easy to use.
It is estimated that with CLS businesses can reduce 75 per cent of training costs and save 95 per cent of training time and 100 per cent of housing and travelling costs for trainers and trainees, thus helping businesses increase operational efficiency by 2.5 times and triple labour productivity.
With a cheap cost (less than 10 per cent of foreign-developed technology solutions), CLS brings in an advanced internal training system for domestic and foreign-invested enterprises, with standards equal to those of developed markets. CLS is predicted to become the driving force of the e-learning market in Vietnam.
“In globalisation and global integration, improving the quality of workforce is the key to increase competitiveness,” said Tran Van Ba, deputy director of Huong Viet Group.
Currently, CLS is being applied at 500 businesses throughout the country, ranging from distribution, retail, and services to education.
In the technology era, Vietnamese firms can only stand firm if they pay due attention to applying technology in human resources training. If they fail to make changes, they might fall behind or be gobbled up, leaving the playground for FIEs to benefit from the CPTPP.
According to a new World Bank report, the CPTPP will bring direct economic benefits to Vietnam. The CPTPP, along with other multilateral trade agreements, is expected to further boost investment in Vietnam through its export-driven growth model.
The World Bank estimated that the CPTPP would lead to an increase of 1.1 per cent in Vietnam’s GDP by 2030, which could rise to 3.5 per cent given a modest boost to productivity.
All income groups in Vietnam are expected to benefit from this new trade deal, and highly-skilled workers may reap the most benefits.
State Audit of Vietnam becomes ASOSAI Chair for 2018-2021
The State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) will become the Chair of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) for the 2018-2021 tenure and will also serve as a member of the ASOSAI Governing Board for three consecutive terms (2015-2024).
The State Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc made the announcement at a press conference in Hanoi on March 28.
The 14th ASOSAI Assembly of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI 14) is set to take place in Hanoi from September 19-22 in Hanoi with the participation of 350 delegates from 46 ASOSAI members.
The political and diplomatic event provides a chance for the SAV to learn from and acquire knowledge and international experience and utilise potential resources from ASOSAI and its members to improve the operational efficiency. It affirms the SAV’s role and position among ASOSAI’s members and regional and international organisations, helping to elevate its stature to a new height, Phoc said.
According to the Auditor General, the theme of “Environmental Audit for Sustainable Development” at this year’s assembly is also one of the important topics of the agenda, reflecting the commitments, efforts, and practical contributions of the ASOSAI community to pursuing the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and dealing with global environment challenges.
Following the theme, ASOSAI members will deliver reports on challenges, experiences, and solutions to effectively perform environmental audit functions with the aim of meeting SDGs. The outcomes of the 14th ASOSAI assembly are expected to contribute to fine-tuning auditing guidelines, procedures, and standards to meet SDGs among member nations.
At the press conference, the organizing board also gave a presentation on the Assembly’s Corporation Identify Program (CIP), which is seen as an effective promotional tool for the 14th ASOSAI Assembly with distinctive features and characteristics different from the previous meetings of this kind and other events.
The CIP helps the ASOSAI community domestic and foreign organizations, delegates, and individuals, come away with strong and positive impressions of the international event, ASOSAI, and the SAV.
The design of the CIP is inspired by the country’s unique historical and cultural relics and the theme of 14th ASOSAI Assembly. The main parts of the CIP include a logo and visual communication tools.
Coffee city project underway in Dak Lak
The Trung Nguyen Legend Group are developing a coffee-themed project in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
Trung Nguyen Legend Group on March 28 inaugurated the welcoming gate of the coffee city project which covers 45.45 hectares in Buon Ma Thuot City.
The project includes an international coffee museum, houses, shopping centre, parks, schools and healthcare services. The coffee museum, which will display more than 10,000 coffee-related objects, is expected to enter operation this November.
The site is intended to home around 5,000 people. Most of trees in the city will be coffee.
Most of the project’s items have been scheduled to be completed by late 2020.
The project, which has been delayed for many years, has a total investment of more than VND2 trillion (USD90,9 million).
Hyundai Tan Phu plant under inspection
The Inspectorate of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province will conduct an inspection on licensing and revocation of the investment certificate of the Hyundai Tan Phu producing and assembly plant located in Phu My 1 Industrial Park in Tan Thanh district.
The decision came when the investor, which is a joint venture between Tan Phu JSC and Hyundai Group, continuously sent the documents to the local authorities to protest about its investment certificate being revoked in 2016.
In March 2011, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee granted an investment certificate for Hyundai Tan Phu to develop a mini bus and truck production factory with the total investment capital of $40 million. The factory has a designed capacity of 20,000 mini buses and 30,000 trucks per year. The construction of the project was expected to kick off in May 2011 and completed one year later.
However, the construction pace could not match the schedule. Even, when the investment certificate expired after delays in project development, the investor had yet to refresh the workshop leasing contract or submit the dossiers for a new investment certificate.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau asked the investor to sign the contract and complete procedures for the new investment certificate before May 2016, otherwise the province would revoke the project and transfer it to other investors.
As a result, the province issued the decision to withdraw the project because the investor missed the deadline to submit these dosseirs..
However, after receiving the decision to revoke the project, the investor has sent documents to the local authorities complaining that it still wants to develop the project and that the long delay in construction is due to a lack of support from the local industrial park board of management.
Notably, after receiving the investment certificate and the land, the investor spent VND40 billion ($1.75 million) developing infrastructure for the factory.
Besides, the company completed its tax obligations. However, during 2015-2016, the investor asked the management board to guide it to sign the contract but they refused to meet the investor.
Furthermore, the management board did not approve the investor’s desire to develop the project.
The investor sent complaints to the relevant government agencies after the province did not entertain its opinion.
Last June, after receiving the requests of the Government Office to report on the process of licensing and revoking the investment certificate, Ba Ria-Vung Tau asked the inspectorate of the province to conduct an inspection.
In April 2016, the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone Management Authority in the central province of Binh Dinh decided to revoke the investment certificate of a long-delayed Russian automobile project.
The project had the registered investment capital of $1 billion and was licensed three years ago, but was yet to get underway.
Russia’s Buscenter Met Company Ltd. planned to establish a 50-hectare factory in the zone to manufacture and assemble automotive parts and agricultural machinery.
Environmental tact appears in Vietnamese living space
Green living space, the latest trend in the real estate development sector, has been adopted by some of the leading property developers in the country, including Vingroup, Gamuda Land, and Sun Group, offering an environment-friendly lifestyle to residents in the urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of real estate projects have been advertised with the keyword “green” as a core concept, signalling an all-about-the-ecosystem mindset among the residents of apartment complexes.
Addressing the trendy sustainable lifestyle, Luk Ban La, vice president of Phuc Khang Investment & Construction Corporation, asserted that, “Residents in the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City, especially Vietnamese immigrants returning to their homeland, crave green living spaces, which allowed us to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle while keeping their ancestors’ cultural values at the heart of our projects.”
As a result, Phuc Khang was reported to integrate both modern and traditional living concepts into its real estate development projects, such as Ecovillage and Ecotown.
In order to comply with this new benchmark, Phuc Khang set to pioneer the construction of green living spaces with sustainable humanitarian values which Phuc Khang and Mitsubishi Corporation shared.
Previously, with the target of developing the LEED-certified Diamond Lotus project, Phuc Khang Mitsubishi Corporation Holding (PKMC) was created in late 2017 with $30 million charter capital, 49 per cent of which belonged to Mitsubishi and 51 per cent to Phuc Khang.
Additionally, multisectoral giant Vingroup had four real estate projects, namely Vinhomes Riverside, Vinhomes Times City-Park Hill, and Vinhomes Imperia in Hanoi and Vinhomes Central Park in Ho Chi Minh City, rated as the top four most worthy living spaces in Vietnam by VIR readers.
Le Khac Hiep, vice president of Vingroup, stated that, “The group committed to offer a more optimal living space, one that is mindful of the ecosystem and customer-centric to accommodate discerning citizens of the future green-living society.”
Seizing a spot in the top 20 projects setting “A new benchmark for living space” rated by VIR readers, Wyeren Yap Vooi Soon, general director of Gamuda Land, noted that, “The group aimed at delivering a smart and harmonious living space to its customers, commtting to a green coverage of 16 hectares at its real estate projects with the intent to create the most satisfactory residential experiences in Vietnam.”
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), put forth and developed by the US Green Building Council, is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings which emerged in the core concept of multiple real estate projects across progressive countries.
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