TH Group imports 1,800 more dairy cows from US
Vietnamese dairy firm TH True Milk (TH Group) on October 14 received nearly 1,800 dairy cows of 3 or 5-month pregnancy which were inseminated through embryo transfer from US’ high-yield dairy cow Holstein Friesian.
This is the largest herd of cows that TH has imported from the US so far. The group’s husbandry experts carefully examined standards related to origin, genealogy, genetic potential, appearance, physical strength, potential for milk production and ability to fight diseases in the tropical region.
All individuals in the herd weigh 400-500 kg and are expected to produce 12,000 litres per head each 305 days on average. Milk production from these cows will begin in January 2019.
According to Tal Cohen, General Director of the TH Milk Food Joint Stock Company – the management unit of the TH dairy cow farm, TH Group imported 1,300 dairy cows from the US in April 2017 for the first time. It also imported a great number of dairy cows from New Zealand.
All imported dairy cows were stocked and further propagated in Asia’s biggest high-tech concentrated dairy cow farm of TH in the central province of Nghe An.
With the new herd, TH Group’s milk production is hoped to increase, meeting the increasing demand of fresh milk in the domestic market, thus contributing to diversifying products processed from fresh milk in the country.
Viettel launches Viettel Business Solutions Corporation
Viettel Group on Monday in Ha Noi officially announced the establishment of the Viettel Business Solutions Corporation, marking a move into its so-called fourth development stage.
The corporation would represent Viettel in implementing projects and providing information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to the Government, ministries, localities, businesses and organisations both inside and outside the country.
In addition, the corporation committed to helping build a digital government.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Major General Le Dang Dung, Viettel’s general director, said the establishment of the corporation marked a transition to create a new, more dynamic and technological Viettel which puts its customers first.
Dung said the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought big opportunities to Viet Nam. However, businesses should take the initiative. The corporation’s task is to create momentum to push firms forward.
“Viettel has continued to create value and benefits at a higher level for the Government, ministries, businesses and people. The corporation does not only serve its business targets, but also accompanies the Government in building a digital government, co-operating with companies and people to resolve society’s issues for the country’s sustainable growth,” he added.
Major Phung Van Cuong, the corporation’s general director said they would focus investments into technologies, applying the most modern technologies to resolve issues for the country, society and community.
Cuong said Viettel would build an IT foundation such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), BigData and Viettel Pay to help firms and partners develop new products and services more quickly and easily. Viettel has been ready to provide consultancy about opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to companies, thus helping them develop a digital transformation roadmap.
“With the advantages of nationwide fibre optic and 4G coverage, international-standard Data Centre Cloud and high quality human resources of around 5,000 IT engineers and 10,000 IT technicians, Viettel commits to bringing suitable solutions with the most modern technologies to ministries, localities and businesses,” he said.
Before establishing the Viettel Business Solutions Corporation, Viettel has spent 8 years studying e-government and applying technologies in State-owned organisations and enterprises.
Viettel signed agreements to build smart cities in 23 localities, providing solutions and services to nearly 400,000 businesses, implementing a national immunisation information system linking 14,000 vaccination facilities and managing 12.5 million people.
It has provided free internet to more than 30,000 schools nationwide and implemented management software at 23,000 schools.
Asia HRD Awards given in HCM City
The 2018 Asia HRD Awards have honoured 22 leaders and organisations from six countries for their contributions to human development.
The annual international awards were given today in HCM City to honour those who have significantly impacted or influenced society, the corporate world and the human resource community in terms of human development.
The awards are given in four categories: Contribution to Society, Contribution to Organisation, Contribution to HR Community, Movers and Shakers.
The Contribution to Society award is for individuals and organisations who contribute to the development of society by making improvements that lead to great changes in the community.
The Contribution to Organization award honours dedication to building a successful organisation based on innovative systems, processes, and applications through which creates a holistic development journey for its employees.
The Contribution to HR Community award is aimed at individuals whose efforts have brought in impactful methodologies and values.
The Movers and Shakers award is given to pioneering individuals who have experienced transformational change and breakthroughs for the cause of human development towards long-term growth.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. R Palan, founder of the Asia HRD Awards, said: “I believe there will be many outstanding figures in Việt Nam soon to be honoured internationally. This will be the first step for Việt Nam to integrate into the international human resources market.”
The awards ceremony was hosted in Việt Nam for the first time by HR consultancy Anphabe and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The awards, instituted in 2003, has so far honoured more than 249 individuals and organisations from 20 countries.
Building firms talk sustainability
Sixteen leaders in the construction industry discussed opportunities and challenges in building infrastructure at the “Build for Life” conference, which opened in HCM City on October 11.
The conference is focusing on innovative and sustainable building solutions for urban areas, especially large infrastructure.
Philippe Richart, general director of INSEE Vietnam (formerly Holcim Viet Nam), said: “We believe the world will be a better place if everything we build always makes life worth living,” he said.
Việt Nam is one of the most rapidly urbanising countries in the world, which is leading to challenges for the infrastructure system and living spaces.
The conference included discussions about smart cities and future building trends; the future of global engineering; and energy infrastructure for sustainable development in megacities.
Guru Mallikarjuna, managing director of BOSCH Việt Nam, said: “Things are increasingly becoming an active part of the internet. With the Internet of Things (IoT), the physical and virtual worlds are fused.”
As early as 2020, the IoT market will be worth some US$250 billion. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) will refine every business industry,” he said.
AI will potentially improve the rollout of IoT by going through data and distilling it into actionable themes, he noted.
“Blockchain will also uncover new possibilities,” he said.
Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It will simplify business processes, improve customer experiences and bring cost efficiency, he said.
He noted that smart cities “break down silos, creating an informational and operational web interconnecting disparate systems to optimise performances and create new business models through an integrated technological platform”.
“There is no one route to become smart, and different cities have adopted different approaches that reflect their particular circumstances,” he said.
Brian Hull, country managing director of ABB Việt Nam, said there are new opportunities for digital solutions and services at the edge of the grid in the furture.
“New digital solutions and services are required to optimise system performance, ensure grid reliability, create business opportunities for energy providers, and maximise customer value,” he said.
Seamless integration of utility and non-utility data (public and private cloud services) enables new business models and materials, he added.
Four concurrent seminars at the conference discussed high-rise buildings; roads and bridges; ports, water treatment and energy; and metro and underground infrastructure.
The one-day conference attracted more than 250 local and international business leaders, Government officials, project developers, construction companies, consultants, architects and construction associations.
It was organised by INSEE Việt Nam, an affiliate of Jardines, in partnership with SIKA Việt Nam, in association with Việt Nam Green Building Council (VGBC), the British Business Association and the HK Business Association.
Founded in 1994, INSEE was formerly known as Holcim Việt Nam, a leading manufacturer of construction materials and management in southern Việt Nam.
Ho Chi Minh City encourages industrial production
Ho Chi Minh City enjoyed robust industrial growth in the first nine months of the year thanks to improvements in its business climate, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade (DoIT) said on October 11.
A report from the DoIT showed that many foreign direct (FDI) firms came to land investment in production, as well as industrial processing and manufacturing in the city during January-September.
The city’s index of industrial production (IIP) in the nine-month period surged 7.89 percent year-on-year, with industrial processing and manufacturing increasing 8.1 percent. Meanwhile, the four key sectors of mechanical engineering, electronics and IT, chemical-rubber-plastic, and food processing rose by a combined 8.39 percent.
Local enterprises said that as ministries and sectors have issued an array of policies to support domestic firms and automobile industry, the mechanical engineering industry experienced a sharp rise in production.
Meanwhile, the chemical-rubber-plastic sector expanded 3.63 percent and electronics shot up 18.28 percent.
According to experts, businesses operating in the four industrial sectors have made substantial improvements in their production capacity and quality of products for export. They have also paid due attention to domestic markets, offering excellent products that can compete with the imported varieties.
With a view to fulfilling the IIP target of 8-8.5 percent in 2018, Vice Director of the Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Phuong Dong said that the department is working to remove bottlenecks for local firms, supporting them to branch out market and trade promotion, as well as connecting the supply and demand of industrial and supporting industry products.
The city has carried out solutions towards implementing Decree No.111/2015/ND-CP on developing the supporting industry, aiming to locally supply 35 percent of spare parts for domestic automobile production.
To be more specific, the Ho Chi Minh City Centre of Support Industries Development is joining hands with competent branches and sectors to help local companies improve their competitive capacity and participate in global value chains.
Many businesses have invested heavily in advanced technologies, which allow them to create brilliant products with a competitive edge over imported options.
Furthermore, the city is evaluating the competitive capacity of its current export products, working to remove difficulties for key industrial exports. In the first nine months of the year, the export revenue of industrial products picked up 7.1 percent year-on-year to hit 17.47 billion USD.
Food & Hotel expo to take place in Hanoi next month
Food & Hotel 2018 – a food, beverage, hotel, restaurant, and bakery show – will take place in Hanoi from November 28-30, the Vietnam Hotel Association (VHA) announced at a press conference on October 12.
Le Mai Khanh, Vice President and Secretary General of the VHA, said the event is one of the important trade promotion activities, aiming to create favourable conditions for businesses in the northern region to seek partners and expand the market.
The exhibition is also expected to help improve the competitiveness of the food and tourism sector towards a more sustainable development model, she said.
Covering an area of more than 5,600 sq.m, the exhibition will bring together over 150 businesses from 20 countries and territories, including Russia, the US, Spain, and Singapore, with brands like Lutosa, Yuai, Unox, Syarikak, Mulwara Export, Meltique Beef, and GrupaMaspex.
Domestic companies such as New Viet Dairy, Ha Yen Cooperation, An Nam Food Corp Limited and Good Food Co., Ltd. will also set up stalls at the show.
Apart from food and drinks, the participating companies will introduce equipment and services at restaurants and hotels.
The organisers said Food & Hotel 2018 is expected to attract crowds of visitors from enterprises, producers, distributors, and suppliers across Hanoi and its adjacent provinces.
Within the framework of the exhibition, there will be cuisine and mixology competitions, along with a barista workshop.
Tra fish exports to exceed 2 billion USD
Tra fish export value is expected to exceed 2 billion USD this year, higher than the industry’s target, according to experts.
Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said tra fish exports will continue to increase in the last months of this year so total export value will reach 2.1 billion USD, up 22 percent compared to 2017.
The export value of this product in the first nine months of the year surged year-on-year by 24 percent to 1.6 billion USD, the association said.
Hoe was quoted by congthuong.vn as saying that from late September to now, the price for raw material of tra fish in the Mekong River delta has stood at 35,000-36,000 VND (1.5-1.55 USD) per kilo. With that price, farmers earn from 6,000 VND to 9,000 VND per kilo.
Now, tra fish processing enterprises are purchasing raw materials to process export products for higher demand on global markets by the end of 2018.
However, they have faced a shortage of raw material for export processing because many farmers have stopped tra fish production as they lack fingerlings, Hoe said.
Nguyen Thi Anh, Director of the Song Tien Seafood Company (SOTICO), agreed there is a lack of raw material of tra fish for export processing by the end of this year. Therefore, her company has not signed more export contracts for tra fish products with foreign partners.
“There is not enough high quality fingerling of tra in the market, making increase in price of fingerling and affecting supply of export tra fish in the last months of this year,” Anh said.
Experts said one solution would be localities re-planning their production entirely. They should strengthen application of science and technology, diversify export products and markets, and give priority for value added products.
Programme promoting consumption of Vietnamese goods launched
The “Vietnamese Goods Identification – Proud of Vietnamese Goods” programme 2018 will enter a new period of development, with focus on promoting connectivity between producers and distributors for product and market growth.
The information was announced at the launch ceremony of the “Vietnamese Goods Identification – Proud of Vietnamese Goods” programme 2018 and the Vietnamese Goods Development Partners Conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in Ho Chi Minh City recently.
According to the ministry, the annual programme on identifying Vietnamese Goods has attracted the attention of a large number of Vietnamese consumers, contributing to increasing the use of Vietnamese goods.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that his ministry will continue to hold various activities promoting the linkages between all types of enterprises in order to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods.
Director of the MoIT’s Domestic Market Department Tran Duy Dong noted that the ministry will also concentrate on promoting the consumption of local specialities and products of small and medium-sized enterprises through distribution channels.
Dong added that the market share of Vietnamese goods is expected to rise to over 80 percent at distribution channels by 2020.
More than 100 of the 400 firms participating in the programme held exhibitions on their products and services.
Digital platforms key to business success
In the future, the use of digital platforms by businesses will become a decisive factor in their success, delegates said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on October 12.
Chu Ngoc Anh, President of Vietnam Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Association, said the world is changing quickly and that disruptive technology had shortened the lifespan of companies.
“The average lifespan of a S&P 500 company is now under 20 years compared to nearly 60 years in the 1950s,” he said.
“Previously, information technology was defined as the use of computers, mobile devices and internet, but now, IT includes technology intelligence, including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 5G, and machine learning.
“Technology has become more pervasive, encroaching more and more on people’s lives, requiring businesses to invest in the right technologies to meet requirements of customers.
“Otherwise they will lag behind,” Anh said.
Nguyen Phuong Thao from Nielsen Vietnam said the development of technology had changed customers’ shopping behaviour and habits.
“Consumers now tend to shop online more, carefully learn about products they intend to buy before making purchases, and share their reviews on products and services.
“Good reviews can help businesses a lot,” she added.
Because of these trends, businesses should focus on developing better products and services to meet customer demand and apply effective solutions to approach customers.
Many Vietnamese businesses are applying digital platforms to their businesses to increase their competitive advantage. But they have encountered challenges in doing so.
“I have met many Vietnamese companies and realized that the biggest issue in deciding to invest in technology is finance,” Anh said. “They think that bringing technology into their businesses will cost a lot of money. But that is not always true.”
Anh and Thao agreed that the importance was not in how much investment they need, but in choosing the right solutions to maximise investment efficiency.
“If they make the right investment, they will not spend much money,” he said.
Another problem faced by businesses when they invest in digital technology is the number of solutions available in the market. “They do not know which ones to choose,” he said.
Other domestic and foreign speakers at the event pointed out that most Vietnamese businesses lack information about digital platform tools, or have not combined them effectively, making the use of digital platforms slow and costly.
They also shared new insights about the digital application process, including designing websites, building customer relationships management (CRM) systems, chatbots, building a foundation for digital marketing, and attracting customers with digital advertising platforms.
Vo Thanh My, marketing director of Mat Bao Corporation, one of the event’s organisers, said through the event, they hoped to bring useful information to businesses, enabling them to better combine digital platform tools that could help increase the number of customers and optimize customer services amid serious competition.
Co-organised by Mat Bao Corporation, Chili Asia, GetFly, CloydFone and NovaonX, and sponsored by the Vietnam E-commerce Association, the event, titled “Doing Practical Business in the Digital Age”, attracted nearly 1,000 participants. –VNS/VNA
HCM City honours outstanding enterprises, businessmen
Up to 99 enterprises and 100 entrepreneurs in Ho Chi Minh City were awarded for their outstanding achievements at a ceremony held in the city early this week.
The event, which saw the attendance of Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, was organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Association (HUBA) to mark the 14th anniversary of Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day (October 13).
The awardees were selected among over 500,000 names from a biennial vote. The honoured enterprises included the Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Co.op); Nha Be Textile Garment Company (NBC); Binh Minh Plastic JSC; and Phu Nhuan Jewelry JSC (PNJ).
Meanwhile, among the 100 outstanding entrepreneurs were Nguyen Dinh Trung, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Hung Thinh Real Estate Business Investment Corporation; Le Hong Thuy Tien, CEO of Imex Panpacific Group; Le Hong Thang, General Director of Duc Thanh Wood Processing JSC; and Nguyen Manh Hung, Chairman of the Board of Director and General Director of Saigon Textile And Garment Export Import JSC.
According to HUBA Chairman Chu Tien Dung, on an annual basis, these enterprises and businessmen have together earned more than 250 trillion VND (10.7 billion USD) in revenue and contributed close to 20 trillion VND (856.5 million USD) to the city’s budget. They have also created over 130,000 jobs and donated over 500 billion VND (21.4 million USD) to social welfare activities.
Speaking at the ceremony, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan praised the significant contributions of the local enterprises in the past years.
He highlighted the private sector as a key driving force of the socialist-oriented market economy.
HCM City currently houses over 361,000 enterprises and more than 250,000 household businesses.
Ninh Thuan farmers strike it rich with aloe vera
Aloe vera farming has helped farmers in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan adapt to climate change and earn steady incomes since thanks to high demand for the plant to make food, cosmetics and herbal remedies.
With its hardy, drought-resistant nature, the plant is grown in the province’s sandy soil areas, mostly in Phan Rang – Thap Cham city.
Tran Van Luong, who has been growing the plant for seven years in Phan Rang – Thap Cham city’s Van Hai ward, said he has one hectare of aloe vera and harvests an average of 50 tonnes of leaves a month.
He sells the leaves at an average of 1,000 VND a kilogramme and earns a monthly profit of 30 million VND (1,280 USD), he said.
This year farmers in the province said they have had a good harvest and prices.
Ninh Thuan, which has the least rainfall in the country, is one of the country’s largest aloe vera producers since its warm weather and sandy soil is suitable for the plant.
The investment required is around 10 million VND (430 USD) per hectare including seedlings, according to farmers.
Nguyen Thi Lanh, who has grown aloe vera on a 3,000sq.m area in Phan Rang – Thap Cham’s My Binh ward, said she now has a better income than when growing onion, garlic and red chilli previously.
“Aloe vera is easy to tend as it gets few diseases and needs no herbicides,” she said. She only needs to water the plants, weed and remove spoilt leaves.
Demand for aloe vera is increasing for making beverages, cosmetics and herbal remedies.
Huynh Hai Tien, a trader in Phan Rang – Thap Cham city, said he buys around 20 tonnes of leaves a day to sell to processors in Ninh Thuan and HCM City. The prices are higher during the dry season, he said.
The province’s aloe vera is sold to buyers in many cities and provinces like HCM City, Da Lat and Long An and Dong Nai.
Phan Quang Thuu, deputy director of the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said aloe vera is one of the province’s key crops. It provides the main income for many farmers, helping them escape poverty and even become affluent, he said.
If they grow the plant using proper farming techniques, they can earn an annual profit of 300 – 600 million VND (12,860 -25,720 USD) per hectare, he said.
The province has 333ha under the crop, with an annual leave yield of 100,000 tonnes, according to the department.
The department is working with relevant agencies to improve farming techniques and research particular areas for expanding aloe vera farming.
The province has strengthened co-operation between companies and farmers through co-operatives and co-operative teams to develop chains for sustainable planting and consumption of the plant.
It plans to expand the cultivation area of aloe vera to around 500ha by 2020, according to the department.
Firms aim to boost official farm exports to China
Many Vietnamese firms want to boost exports of agricultural products to China via official channels to gain higher value and avoid risks from unofficial cross-border trade, but face a number of difficulties in seeking to bring their trade above-board.
In recent years, an estimated 60 percent of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to China were conducted via informal cross-border trade – transactions across the boundaries that were not recoded by customs authorities and were conducted by small and unregistered traders.
According to Do Ngoc Chat, Director of the Viet A Company, only a few agricultural products of Vietnam are accepted to be exported to China via official channels.
For example, only eight types of fruits—dragon fruit, watermelon, lychee, longan, banana, mango, jackfruit and rambutan—were allowed to be exported via official channels to China.
According to Le Thanh Hoa from the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, many agricultural products of Vietnam could not be exported to China via official channels because the two governments had not finished negotiations on procedures and quarantine checks.
Chat said that many farm produce of Vietnamese strength such as coconut, avocado, durian and sweet potatoes could not be exported via official channels and must be exported in small volumes.
Chat said that Vietnam’s exports to a huge market like China via official channels remained modest.
“We don’t want to conduct unofficial cross-border trade for many types of fruits and vegetables. We want to promote exports to China via official channels to gain higher value and security in payment,” he said.
According to Nguyen Dinh Tung, Director of the Vina T&T Group, informal cross-border trade was disadvantageous for both traders and farmers.
For example, green-skin polemo were exported to China at low prices because they were not accepted through official channels, Tung said.
Transportation costs in informal cross-border trade are higher and the risk of not receiving payment is also higher, he said.
Tung added that if Chinese traders suddenly stop or tighten informal cross border-trade on any product, the product’s prices might fall to rock bottom.
In addition, firms and farmers do not pay attention to enhancing product quality, building their brands and verifying product origin in informal cross-border trade, according to Chat.
Chat urged the management agencies to speed up the negotiation with China on exports of fruits and vegetables via official channels.
He said that many types of Vietnamese fruits were now exported to demanding markets like the US, Australia and Japan but were still going through unofficial cross-border trade to China.
Le Thanh Hoa from the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority said that several Vietnamese fruits and vegetables would soon be accepted for export to China via official channels, such as green-skin polemo and sweet potato.
Vietnam was also focusing on removing barriers in the quarantine check process to expand markets for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, he added.
Deputy Director of the Vietnam Gardening Association Vo Mai said that Vietnam must enhance product quality and ensure food hygiene and safety to boost exports to China, adding that Vietnam should gradually reduce informal cross-border trade to China and shift to official exports.
Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that in the first nine months of this year, Vietnam’s exports of agro-forestry-fishery products reached 29.6 billion USD, in which China was the largest market with a value of 6 billion USD. Fruit and vegetable exports to China totalled 2 billion USD in the nine-month period, including official and unofficial trade.
Tien Giang province develops fruit growing areas
Farmers in Tien Giang province, the country’s largest fruit producer, have planted 1,000ha of new fruit plants so far this year, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Mekong Delta province has harvested a total of more than 1.3 million tonnes of fruits in the first nine months of the year, meeting 85 percent of the province’s target for this year.
In recent years, the province has encouraged farmers to turn rice or other crop farming areas affected by drought and saltwater intrusion to grow specialty fruits.
The province has established concentrated areas for growing specialty fruits with high commercial value, according to Cao Van Hoa, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
They include 15,000ha of pineapple in Tan Phuoc district, 9,000ha of durian in flood-prone districts upstream the Tien River, and 5,000ha of dragon fruit in eastern districts.
In the concentrated fruit growing areas, farmers have used quality fruit seedlings and advanced farming techniques to grow fruits.
Farmers have also applied techniques to produce off-season fruits to sell at higher prices.
The rainy season is a suitable time for farmers to turn ineffective crop growing areas into new fruit orchards.
Therefore, the demand of fruit seedlings is increasing, resulting in a high price for fruit seedlings, said the department.
Vo Van Chuot, who has turned his 0.8ha rice field into a dragon fruit orchard in Cho Gao district’s Phu Kiet commune, said under the encouragement of local agricultural officials, he has switched to grow dragon fruits.
His orchard has an average yield of 16-20 tonnes a year, and he earned an annual profit of about 200 million VND (8,500 USD).
Tien Giang is having nearly 76,000ha of fruits, up 1.1 percent against the same period last year and accounting for nearly 40 percent of the province’s total farming areas.
Local farmers are planting more than 610ha of fruits under Vietnamese or global Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP or Global GAP) standards. Most of them are milk apple, mango, dragon fruit, durians, pineapple and sour sop.
The province has encouraged farmers to set up cooperatives for growing large quantity of fruits under VietGAP or Global GAP standards to meet export demand.
The province exports about 20 percent of its fruits to many countries. Its milk apples are exported to the US.
It exported 30 million USD worth of fruits in the first half of the year, up 45 percent against the same period last year, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.
Experts talk ways to help businesses improve competitiveness
Companies should offer higher-quality products and authorities should provide better business networking opportunities to increase purchase of locally made goods and parts, experts said during a conference on competitiveness held on October 11 in HCM City.
Tran Quang Ha, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Industry Department, said that Vietnamese companies’ participation in the global supply chain was still limited, and that even though product quality was improving, most supporting firms supply simple, low-value components.
To enhance competitiveness, the ministry was pushing for more cooperation between local and foreign firms, as well as more training sessions for firms and business networking events, Ha said.
More favourable policies are also being considered to encourage firms to invest in the supporting industry.
Pham Minh Huong, operating director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, said that urban areas still preferred foreign goods, and that domestic companies were facing more quality international brands, in addition to more smuggled and fake goods.
She said that companies should improve their production processes and conduct better market research to understand customers’ needs.
Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said the city had organised trade promotion programmes and networking events with other southern authorities, with more and more businesses finding suitable partners.
The city was also buying a great deal of produce from provinces, which allowed provincial specialties to enter HCM City’s distribution networks.
However, many products were still made manually, on a small scale, or without proper certifications required by modern distribution channels.
HCM City and provinces would continue their efforts to link firms from different regions and invest in developing provincial specialties, Trang said.
The city would also push for more semi-processing of produce at the provinces before it is transported to the city to reduce waste and improve product traceability.
Ly Kim Chi, chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said that small- and medium-sized businesses in the food industry were struggling to access big distribution channels due to limited funding and capability.
She said that more favourable tax policies and support policies should be provided to spur growth of small retailers.
Dao Hung, deputy director of the Petrolimex Saigon, noted that products with unclear, misleading labels or unclear origin were still sold in the market, and that some businesses remained unskilled in customer service.
“Businesses have to improve their product and service quality, as consumers now have more options than before, and can’t be persuaded to buy low-quality Vietnamese goods just because of patriotism,” he said.
More inspections to identify fraud and other violations were also needed, as well as public awareness about high-quality goods should be improved, he added.
A campaign to raise awareness of Vietnamese goods among local customers was launched during the conference. The campaign will feature events to help firms promote their products, and will include parades, musical performances and other promotional activities.
At the conference, an exhibition was held to promote products of more than 100 Vietnamese enterprises.
Japanese firms wish to cooperate with Vietnamese partners
Japanese firms expressed their desire to cooperate with Vietnamese partners during the Vietnam – Japan trade exchange in Ho Chi Minh City on October 11.
Deputy Director of the municipal chapter of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nguyen The Hung said Japan is the leading economic partner, the largest supplier of official development assistance, the second largest foreign investor, the third largest source of tourist arrivals and the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam.
Hung attributed Vietnam’s attractiveness to its huge market potential, high economic growth, stable socio-political climate and reasonable labour costs.
President and CEO of Tokyo SME Support Centre Yoshiyuki Fukuda hailed Vietnam for having the highest gross domestic product growth in ASEAN and improving its workforce quality.
He said Japanese enterprises, with strengths in technology and high-quality products, want to invest in manufacturing in Vietnam, adding that they also want to seek Vietnamese partners to do long-term business.
Chairman of Keiden Vietnam Co. Ltd Masaki Himeno said Vietnam holds huge potential for development, especially in motorbikes, automobiles and electronics.
Last year, two-way trade between Vietnam and Japan hit 33.3 billion USD. In the first nine months of this year, the figure reached 27.8 billion USD. Japan mostly imports aquatic products, apparel, leather and footwear and processed food from Vietnam while Vietnam buys materials, equipment and machinery for production.
Japan was the largest investor in Vietnam last year with total registered capital of 9.11 billion USD. The nine-month figure was 7 billion USD, accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total in Vietnam. As of late September, Japan invested in 3,899 projects worth 55.77 billion USD in Vietnam.
Hau Giang seeks investment from India
A seminar introducing the strengths and incentives of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang to Indian firms took place in New Delhi on October 11.
The event was part of a series of activities to promote trade and seek investment in India from October 7-13.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau said India is one of Vietnam’s comprehensive strategic partners, alongside Russia and China, adding that the Indian government attaches importance to bilateral ties with Vietnam in the new context of its “Act East” policy.
He called on Indian businesses to enhance investment in Vietnam, helping further promote bilateral ties.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dong Van Thanh introduced Hau Giang’s advantages such as convenient transportation, abundant workforce and simplified investment procedures.
Hau Giang especially welcomes investors in agriculture, farm produce processing, trade, services and tourism, he said.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Council Huynh Thanh Tao affirmed the determination to develop Hau Giang in a green and sustainable way, stressing that all possible support will be provided for investors in the locality.
Representatives from Hau Giang also answered questions on local policies relating to wind power, pharmaceuticals, fertiliser and irrigation in the province.
Earlier, the Vietnamese delegation visited several firms in the Indian state of Odisha, paid courtesy calls to the state’s officials and worked with the India – Vietnam Cooperation Centre to introduce Hau Giang to local firms.
Business conference connects Vietnam, Czech firms
A businesses conference promoting partnerships between Vietnamese and Czech companies took place in Prague on October 11.
At the conference, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan said the two countries’ traditional diplomatic relations lay a firm foundation for their increased cooperation, particularly in economy and trade.
Bilateral trade rose from 775 million USD in 2015 to 912.5 million USD in 2016 and 1.02 billion USD in 2017. The figure is expected to reach 1.2 billion USD this year.
The diplomat also noted that economic and commercial cooperation between the sides is short of their potential and there is a significant trade imbalance.
In the first seven months of 2018, bilateral trade hit 681 million USD, of which Czech export value to Vietnam was close to 94 million USD, much below the figure for Vietnamese exports to the country.
As of April 2018, the Czech Republic had 36 projects worth 110 million USD in Vietnam, while Vietnam invested about 5 million USD in four projects in the European nation.
Tuan said the conference is an opportunity for the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Czech Federation of Industry & Transport to exchange market information and put forth measures to step up bilateral trade and investment.
Agreeing with Tuan, Stanislav Kazecky, Vice President of the Czech federation, highlighted energy, construction and mechanical engineering as potential sectors for collaboration between the two countries.
He said Czech firms want to recruit skilled Vietnamese workers, adding that his federation has advised the Czech government to issue a favourable visa policy for Vietnamese labourers.
He said during their trade and investment transactions, Vietnamese and Czech enterprises will receive support from major Czech banks, including the Czech Export Bank, to access preferential loans and flexible mechanisms.
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