Vietnam consumer prices rise 0.1% m/m in January
Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI), a gauge of inflation, saw an increase by 0.10% in January against the previous month, and up 2.56% year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Nine out of 11 commodity groups, which are components of the basket for CPI calculation, witnessed monthly hikes in prices, of which, beverages and cigarettes posted the highest increase of 0.69%, followed by food and catering services 0.66%, and garment, footwear and hat group 0.39%, mainly due to high consumption demand in preparation for Tet holidays.
Prices of other groups also picked up such as housing, water and electricity supply, and construction materials (0.35%); culture, entertainment, and tourism (0.33%); household equipment and appliances (0.16%); education (0.15%); medicine and healthcare services (0.01%); goods and other services (0.34%).
Transportation and Post and telecommunication service price were the two commodity group and service that experienced a decline, by 3.04% and 0.09%, respectively.
According to the GSO, core inflation in January picked up 0.3% month-on-month, resulting in an increase of 1.83% year-on-year.
Previously, experts said under favorable conditions, it is feasible for Vietnam to tame inflation at below 4% as targeted in 2019, citing the CPI below 4% and the core inflation rate under 2% over the past few years as reason.
In 2018, the CPI increased by 3.54% against 2017, below the target of 4% set by the National Assembly.
Bao Viet Securities Company in its latest report predicted the inflation to fluctuate at around 3.5% in 2019, leading to unchanged interest rates compared to 2018.
Vinaconex eyes $19m dividend
A Vinaconex building on Lang Ha Street. The company has announced it will make a 10 per cent dividend payout in cash for worth VND441.7 billion (US$19 million).
Viet Nam Construction and Import-Export Corp (Vinaconex) plans to make a 10 per cent advance dividend payout in cash for 2018.
The company will pay VND1,000 (US$0.043) per share to shareholders. Vinaconex has more than 441.7 million shares listed on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange under the code VCG. Vinaconex is expected to spend VND441.7 billion ($19 million) on the upcoming dividend payout.
Shareholders yesterday started signing up for the dividend payment. Registration will end on February 15.
The 2018 dividend is scheduled to be paid on February 27, 2019.
Vinaconex shares went up 1.6 per cent yesterday to close at VND25,100 ($1.08) per share. Its shares have rallied by 15 per cent over the last five trading days.
Last week, Vinaconex decided that at the firm’s annual shareholder meeting this year, the management board would propose raising the foreign ownership limit from zero per cent to 49 per cent.
The firm said in a statement last week that it would propose shareholders remove from the business profile any conditional businesses that preclude foreign ownership, or change any for which the foreign ownership limit has not be addressed by existing laws and regulations.
There are two business areas that limit foreign ownership at zero per cent in Vinaconex: trading cigarettes and exporting labourers. Five conditional businesses in which the limit of foreign ownership has not been defined include trading of forestry and agricultural products, trading property projects and production and distribution of power.
Under existing regulations, a conditional business sector involved in national security issues must keep its foreign ownership share below a certain level.
By changing its business registration the company will restore the limit of foreign capital to 49 per cent, after it was cut to zero in early November 2018 when Vinaconex prepared to sell 349 million shares held by the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) and the military-backed telecommunications group Viettel.
Viettel and SCIC earned a total of VND9.37 trillion ($403 million) from selling Vinaconex shares in late November.
OCB remains tech-savvy
An OCB representative receives the UK-based International Finance magazine’s awards for the Most Innovative Digital Bank in 2018 and Best New Omni Channel Platform in Thailand last week.
Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank has announced plans to further invest in technology this year.
Technology is going to become indispensable, and it would fall in line with the trend to bring customers better and more secure services, the lender said.
More digital technology products and more services on applications are on the cards, and it would keep researching to adopt new technologies like blockchain and DevOps (software development and information technology operations), it said.
The lender has been investing in technologies for long and is one of the first three banks in Việt Nam to achieve Basel II standards.
It has many certificates for information security.
Last week in Thailand OCB receives two awards from the UK-based International Finance magazine for the Most Innovative Digital Bank in 2018 and Best New Omni Channel Platform.
OCB is the first digital bank in Việt Nam to win them.
The OCB Omni-channel is a digital platform that allows customers to use all its products without visiting a branch.
The lender said it is connecting with partners to design more products like payment using QR code, buying movie tickets and tour booking.
These are set to be launched this year.
Vietnamese Tet products gaining favour with local consumers
Vietnamese consumers’ preferences for locally-made products have been on the rise for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
Vietnamese consumers’ preferences for locally-made confectionaries, jams, and cookies, among others, have been on the rise for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festivities.
This year, 70 percent of Tet products sold at supermarkets and small markets in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as online websites, are domestically produced.
According to Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Pham Thanh Kien, eye-catching designs, high quality, and reasonable prices have led customers to increase their confidence in homegrown products. Thus, they have been the preferred choice compared to imports of the same kind.
Experts said that understanding consumers’ tastes, culture, and demand is a distinct advantage of local firms. Many brand names have gained their foothold on the domestic market, like Kinh Do, Bibica, Vissan, Sagri, Ba Huan, Long Binh, Phuoc An, and Anh Dao.
Meanwhile, homemade or organic products on e-commerce platforms Lazada, Sendo, and Shopee have won popularity with Vietnamese people.
Pham Thi Minh Tam, a resident from Tan Phu district, Ho Chi Minh City, said that she chose foreign goods as Tet gifts for her friends, relatives, and colleagues because she did not have many choices for made-in-Vietnam products.
“However, I would have preferred to buy locally-made products for Tet. I feel more secure about their origins and I can get them at a good price”, she said.
Quang Ninh tourism thrives thanks to infrastructure improvement
Quang Ninh’s tourism sector came along in leaps and bounds compared to other cities and provinces in 2018, thanks to improvements in infrastructure.
Quang Ninh province welcomed a record of over 12 million tourist arrivals in 2018, up 24 percent year-on-year. With the National Tourism Year 2017 centered around its own Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province managed to promote its best features to domestic and international visitors through various activities.
Beside traditional tours to bays and craft villages, and the development of resorts and spiritual tours, etc., many new products have been introduced to diversify the tourism market in the locality.
Quang Ninh’s tourism sector has made breakthroughs due to significant improvements in infrastructure development. Visitors now can easily access the province by various means of transportation: by sea, road, and airway.
With remarkable achievements in its National Tourism Year 2018, Quang Ninh has managed to secure a name for itself as one of the country’s top tourism hubs.
Binh Duong aims for 15.5 percent export growth in 2019
The southern province of Binh Duong targets an export growth of 15.5 percent this year, according to Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Van Danh.
Speaking at a conference to launch 2019 tasks on January 28, Danh said Binh Duong also aims for a 9.5 percent rise in the Index of Industrial Production Index (IIP) and a 10.6 percent growth in the service sector’s added value, while its goods retail value is hoped to increase by 18 percent.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People Committee Mai Hung Dung said the local industry and trade sector need to focus on building policies to support and encourage businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to operate in industrial clusters.
Trade promotion activities should be promoted, especially those to introduce farm products, he said, adding attention should also be paid to assisting trade associations, helping them fine-tune their activities, he added.
According to the department, Binh Duong recorded remarkable achievements in industrial production and export growth in 2018. It is always one of the five localities leading the nation in industrial production and export.
Its IIP increased by 9.79 percent in 2018, up 0.79 percent compared to the set plan. The manufacturing and processing industry is the main contributor to the locality’s growth, accounting for 98 percent of industrial production value.
Binh Duong earned nearly 25.3 billion USD from export in the year, up 15.6 percent against 2017.
The locality’s total retail value of goods and service revenue hit 191 trillion VND, 18 percent higher than that of the previous year.
Investors rush to develop projects in An Giang’s Chau Doc City
Chau Doc City is seen from the peak of Sam Mountain
Multiple enterprises have expressed interest in executing projects in Chau Doc, which is considered a spiritual tourism city in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, especially since Nui Sam was recognized as a national tourist site, said Chau Doc vice chairman Tran Quoc Tuan.
Tuan added that representatives of several large enterprises had visited the city last year to seek investment opportunities and had received approval from the provincial government for their projects.
Chau Doc authorities will focus on calling for investment in Nui Sam National Tourist Site. In addition, the city has a cable car project underway, Tuan said.
The project, which received VND486 billion (some US$21 million) in funding from MGA Vietnam Co., Ltd, is expected to be put into operation on the first day of the lunar new year.
Further, Sao Mai Group has invested in a 30-hectare ecological tourism project, while Hay Den Company has been allowed to develop some items along the road leading to Nui Sam National Tourist Site.
Thanh Do Company has received the An Giang government’s approval to lease land in Chau Doc City for 49 years to develop a five-star hotel.
This a major project in the city, Tuan said, adding that the city will seek investments for 29 projects this year, mainly in the general industry, handicrafts, services, trade and traffic sectors.
Tuan noted that as soon as the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism had announced the plan for Nui Sam National Tourist site until 2025 with a vision to 2030, the city had divided the site into functional areas for investment promotion.
Techcombank achieves record pre-tax profit of US$457 million
Techcombank posted a record pre-tax profit of more than VND10.6 trillion (around US$457 million) in 2018, representing a 31 per cent year-on-year increase.
Techcombank is the first private bank in Viet Nam to achieve profit of over VND10 trillion.
Its total operating income (TOI) rose by 10 per cent from the previous year to VND16.9 trillion.
These achievements were driven by growth across all business divisions, including bank-wide credit growth of 20 per cent in 2018 while asset quality remained healthy with non-performing loans (NPLs) ending the year at 1.8 per cent. Lower credit costs and disciplined expense management also contributed to the record profits.
In 2018, Techcombank’s retail banking division delivered record results, growing on the foundations set from previous years. Mortgage lending climbed by 20 per cent, leading to retail loans contributing 45 per cent of the total lending portfolio. In addition, retail deposits rose by 17 per cent year-on-year, with a record high current account saving account (CASA) ratio of 28.7 per cent of total bank deposits. Also in 2018, Techcombank became the number one franchise for Visa credit and debit cards and maintained its leading position in bancassurance.
Techcombank achieved strong growth from corporate small-and-medium sized enterprise (SME) customers, with loan balances and revenues growing by 49 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. The strong business banking financial performance resulted from a series of transformation initiatives aimed at improving customer satisfaction, employee training and development, credit risk, and operations process improvements.
Its return on average equity (ROAE) and return on average assets (ROAA) reached 21.5 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.
In line with the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV)’s direction of growing corporate bonds to 20 per cent of GDP by 2030, Techcombank issued more than VND60 trillion in corporate bonds ($2.6 billion) to support the funding needs of large corporations, representing 82 per cent year-on-year growth.
“Supporting corporate funding needs through capital markets is a key part of our balance sheet re-alignment strategy,” said Techcombank’s CEO Nguyen Le Quoc Anh.
“In the past year, we have focused on services for customers, especially individual customers. We have also developed online and mobile services for SME customers to help them access cheaper and more convenient services. This is why one of the bank’s great successes that the amount of non-term deposits, equal to 29 per cent of total deposits. This reduces the cost of funding for the bank,” he added.
Trinh Bang, Techcombank’s CFO, said the bank closely followed its business plans approved at its shareholder meeting in 2018 to create growth in all of its business sectors.
“The TOI increase of 10 per cent is a positive figure showing the effectiveness of our strategic steps,” Bang said.
He added that while the bank’s interest income has been growing well in recent years, revenue from non-interest payments has been making great contributions to its results, and remains a strategic priority.
Tran Thi Minh Lan, head of the Strategy and Development Division, said the bank had focused its services on six economic sectors including housing, auto, financial services, travel and leisure, food and beverage, utilities and telco.
Through its 314 branches, Techcombank services the financial needs of more than five million retail and corporate customers by offering convenient credit card services, zero-fee online banking transactions, and a range of mortgage products to help customers achieve lifelong dreams of homeownership.
The Q4 financial performance continued the record of 13 consecutive quarters of year-on-year revenue growth. This steady performance is a key to building a solid and stable bank to serve the Vietnamese people and business communities.
“We are very proud of our contribution to the continued growth of Viet Nam’s economy,” Anh said.
Last year, in addition to marking its 25th anniversary, Techcombank also completed a very successful capital raising campaign. This helped Techcombank to improve its capital position and increase its capital adequacy ratio to meet the first pillar of Basel II standards. Current equity levels will enable the bank grow for years to come, ensuring better services for customers.
Two trade fairs underway in the capital
Two trade fairs are taking place in the capital, aiming to serve rising demand for the forthcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
Hosted by Ha Noi’s Department of Trade and Tourism, the first fair has attracted 115 enterprises, co-operatives and household businesses, showcasing farm produce, processed foods, confectionary and beverages at 150 booths.
The event would be a good opportunity for exhibitors to advertise and boost sales of local agricultural goods and food, the department’s deputy director Tran Thi Phuong Lan said at the opening ceremony last week.
It will run until tomorrow at Thong Nhat Park on Tran Nhan Tong Street.
The second fair has 150 booths displaying agro-forestry-fishery goods, handicrafts and many kind of specialties.
The event, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture, aims to provide local customers with quality and safe goods.
Taking place at the centre on Hong Quoc Viet Street, the event will wrap up on February 2.
Dong Nai lures $52.4m in FDI in January
Garments are made by workers at the Dong Tien JSC in Dong Nai-located Amata IZ. — Photo khucongnghiep.com.vn
The southern province of Dong Nai attracted US$52.4 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first month of this year, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.
Of the sum, $24.5 million came from seven newly-licensed projects while the remainder came from four capital-added ones, the department said, adding that all of these are involved in hi-tech and supporting industries.
They included a $10 million-project invested by SYM JSC Vietnam in the Giang Dien Industrial Zone (IZ) in Trang Bom District; and a $9.2 million project financed by SEMBA TOHKA Vietnam Co of Japan in the Long Duc IZ, Long Thanh District.
The province has to date attracted $33.8 billion in 1,890 foreign-invested projects, of which 1,394 are validated with a total investment of $28.6 billion.
Among 45 countries and territories investing in the locality, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore are the largest sources of FDI.
According to local authorities, FDI has become an important resource for the locality’s development, contributing to boosting its economic growth and accelerating economic restructuring.
In the future, the province will continue to prioritise high-tech and environmentally friendly foreign-invested projects and those in the support industry.
It will continue to build modern technical infrastructure systems and call for foreign-invested projects with high added value and those in urban development and services.
Steel producers urged to enhance product quality to compete
Enhancing product quality and cutting production costs would help domestic steel producers overcome difficulties. — Photo baodautu.vn
Enhancing product quality and optimising production cost would help domestic steel producers compete with the cheap products imported from China, Nguyen Van Sua, deputy president of the Viet Nam Steel Association, said.
Sua said the domestic steel industry still had the opportunity to grow in 2019 as the Vietnamese Government had set a high growth target of 6.8-7 per cent this year. The Government was also pushing to speed up the disbursement of public investment funds, which would push up demand for steel products used in construction projects.
Sua expects the industry to grow by ten per cent in 2019.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the steel industry was estimated to increase by 20 per cent in 2018.
Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of steel maker Hoa Sen Group, said the industry would face difficulties in 2019.
In the domestic market, there was more supply than demand. The inflow of cheap and poor-quality products from China was also contributing to the fierce competition.
Customs statistics showed that much of Viet Nam’s imported steel and iron products came from China with a volume of 6.27 million tonnes, accounting for 46 per cent of the country’s total steel and iron import.
Vu added domestic steel producers also faced a number of trade defence lawsuits over the past year, which were weighing down exports.
Vnsteel’s director Nguyen Dinh Phuc said the market would see fierce competition in prices of steel products this year.
Phuc anticipates the Government will introduce policies to tighten the import of steel products which Viet Nam is able to manufacture domestically. It should also create measures to prevent the influx of cheap and low-quality steel products from China.
Solutions to stimulate demand and develop markets for steel products should be introduces, including speeding up disbursement of public investment, creating farouvable conditions for steel producers to access credit and boosting the development of the real estate market, Phuc said.
Le Viet, director of Southern Steel Sheet Co. Ltd, said it was important for steel producers to reduce production costs and enhance quality to be able to compete.
Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai urged domestic producers to keep a close watch on the market to monitor supply and demand and create appropriate production plans to avoid high inventory volumes.
Hanoi’s CPI increases 0.22 percent before Tet
Food, and eating and drinking services in Hanoi have rebounded to rise 0.92 percent in January compared to December 2018
Hanoi’s consumer price index (CPI) in January grew 0.22 percent from the previous month and 3.92 percent year on year, according to the city’s Statistics Office.
Almost all goods categories recorded price increases, except for transport and postal – telecom services.
Notably, after declines for several months, prices of food, and eating and drinking services have rebounded to rise 0.92 percent from December 2018, making them the group with the strongest price hike, data showed.
The prices of foods like pork, poultry, beef, aquatic products and vegetables surged in the month ahead of the Lunar New Year festival (Tet) that falls in early February, throughout which consumption demand usually skyrockets.
Travel and entertainment demand has also increased sharply, leading to a price rise of 0.78 percent in the category of culture, entertainment and tourism.
Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices in January have dropped strongly by 6.89 percent from last month, following price cuts nationwide. As a result, transport service prices in Hanoi have fallen 2.92 percent, the municipal Statistics Office said.
High-tech application in planting black pepper
Peppercorn is one of the traditional plants of Ha Tien in the southern province of Kien Giang. Nowadays, the crop has become one of its economic staples, featuring high-tech application as part of its unique trademark.
Like many local households, Ong Vinh Kim in Thuan Yen commune, Ha Tien city, Kien Giang province, plants black pepper as a traditional vine.
The natural conditions of Ha Tien are favourable for growing pepper. However, due to the impact of climate change, local growers have been facing difficulties leading to unstable output in the past few years.
As a solution, local authorities have instructed local growers to apply a new irrigation model that hopes to make the crop more resilient.
Ha Tien peppercorn was trademarked in 2017 with the participation of more than 50 local growers. The product is on shelves at local supermarkets, bringing stable incomes for local farmers.
Although Ha Tien pepper has already been trademarked, the local product still faces challenges in promotion. Meanwhile, local growers are looking forward to popularising their products in a bid to expand their market.
AMRO: 2019 GDP growth at 6.6%
The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) last week held its Annual Consultation Visit to Vietnam and made a preliminary assessment that Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow at 6.6 per cent in 2019 with inflation contained at below target of 4 per cent.
AMRO Director Dr Junhong Chang (left) pays a courtesy call to the State Bank of Vietnam Deputy Governor Madam Nguyen Thi Hong (Photo: AMRO)
“Vietnam’s economic growth continued to be robust in 2018 on the back of strong growth in manufacturing and services, exceeding the target of 6.7 per cent,” said Dr. Seung Hyun Hong, AMRO Lead Specialist. “As growth momentum is expected to remain strong, authorities should focus on strengthening financial soundness, continuing fiscal consolidation efforts, and accelerating structural reforms.”
Manufacturing growth was driven by the electronics sector while the services sector was propelled by the wholesale and retail industry and boosted by tourism. Management of administered prices helped dampen inflationary pressure in 2018. GDP growth in 2019 is expected to be sustained by strong growth in manufacturing and services.
Vietnam’s external position continued to strengthen, benefiting from robust export performance and increased foreign investment. Greater flexibility in exchange rate management also improved the economy’s resilience to external shocks, while allowing the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to build up its reserves buffer. Downside risks are mainly external, stemming from the ongoing US-China trade conflict and policy uncertainties in several advanced economies, which could lead to greater volatility in the financial markets and capital outflows.
The fiscal deficit was kept at 3.6 per cent of GDP in 2018 and is expected to remain stable in 2019, in line with the government’s fiscal consolidation target. Authorities’ continued efforts and reform initiatives, in line with the medium-term fiscal plan, are commendable. Continuing policy efforts to enhance revenue potential will be critical in the longer term, particularly to finance growing spending needs on development and social security in a sustainable way. Greater efforts are needed to improve spending efficiency while prioritizing expenditures to promote long-term growth potential.
Credit growth has moderated, in line with the SBV’s lower credit growth target. The SBV’s continued supervision of lending to certain sectors in the economy, such as real estate and construction, is warranted to mitigate the risk of an asset bubble. Recent progress in resolving legacy non-performing loans (NPLs) in several banks is commendable. Further efforts to speed up NPL resolution as well as bank recapitalization are strongly encouraged to improve the soundness of the banking system.
Continued structural reforms will help the economy address medium- to long-term challenges. Enhanced financial transparency would be greatly beneficial in expediting the progress of State-owned enterprise (SOE) equitization and divestment of State assets. Improving tertiary education and vocational training are needed to upskill the workforce and improve productivity, which will help facilitate the country’s ascent along the path of economic development.
The consultation visit provided AMRO with valuable insights and a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s macroeconomic and financial conditions.
Vietnam, Thailand head toward $20 billion in trade
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai chair a two-day meeting in Thailand which wrapped up yesterday. — Photo vov.vn
Vietnam and Thailand have agreed to implement measures to boost economic co-operation with the aim of reaching US$20 billion in two-way trade turnover by 2020 at the meeting of their Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation in Thailand which wrapped up yesterday.
The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to increase investment and business cooperation as well as to facilitate agricultural import and export activities between the two countries.
They also agreed to promote cooperation and share experience in rice research, production and export.
They stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in sub-region connection, particularly in connecting road, water and air transport between Vietnam and Thailand as well as among ASEAN countries.
The two sides committed to continue promoting and expanding cooperation in culture, education and people-to-people exchanges, including increasing the teaching of Vietnamese and Thai languages in each country.
Vietnam applauded the Thai Government for its decision to expand fields that Vietnamese workers will be licensed to work in Thailand.
The two sides expressed delight at the active development of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Thailand. The political, diplomatic and security and national defence cooperation between the two countries has developed practically, which is evident through the regular exchanges of delegations between high-ranking officials of the two countries.
They expressed pleasure at the cooperation between the two countries during the framework of regional and international forums, particularly ASEAN and the United Nations.
As Thailand is Chair of ASEAN in 2019 and Vietnam becomes ASEAN Chair in 2020, the two sides agreed to work with member countries to promote the key role of ASEAN in regional issues, including the East Sea (South China Sea). They stressed the strategic importance of ensuring peace and maritime and aviation security and safety, and maritime safety.
Yesterday, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh paid a courtesy visit to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha.
South Africa remains Vietnam’s biggest trade partner in Africa
Coffee is among Vietnam’s top exports to the South African market.
South Africa retained its top position among African trade partners of Vietnam in 2018, with bilateral trade topping 1.1 billion USD, up 11.7 percent from 2017 and accounting for 16 percent of total trade between Vietnam and African countries.
According to statistics of the Vietnamese trade office in South Africa, Vietnam shipped 724.3 million USD worth of goods to South Africa, down 3.7 percent year on year, but its imports from the country surged 59.5 percent to 386.4 million USD.
The office’s head Dao Manh Duc attributed the drop in Vietnam’s exports to falling shipments and value of mobile phones and parts by foreign-invested enterprises in the country. As the biggest staple in Vietnam’s exports to South Africa, those products brought home only 227 million USD in 2018, down 22.2 percent.
Footwear and computer-electronic goods are two other main items in Vietnam’s export to South Africa, earning 108.8 million USD and 96.2 million USD, respectively, last year.
It is noteworthy that coffee shipment value saw an impressive increase of 108.4 percent last year to 17.3 million USD. However, pepper suffered a decrease of 37 percent to 9.2 million USD.
The big increase in Vietnam’s imports from South Africa was driven by a 46.9 percent growth in fruit and vegetables and a 35.5 percent rise in wood and wood products.
Meanwhile, metal, the main item in Vietnam’s imports from South Africa, saw a drop of 3.3 percent in value to 89.7 million USD
Vietnam’s purchase of metal, machinery-tools and steel products fell significantly, with decreases of 88.2 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
Following South Africa, Egypt is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam in Africa, with bilateral trade going up 36.6 percent in 2018 to 439 million USD.
Vietnam’s trade with 53 out of 55 African countries was estimated at 6.6 billion USD in 2018, with export value approximating 3 billion USD, up 10 percent year on year, according to statistics of the Department of Asian-African Markets under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Saigon Co.op launches new supermarket in Danang
Consumers select grapefruit at a Co.opmart supermarket
The Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Co.op), owner of Co.opmart supermarket chain, on January 27 inaugurated Co.opmart Son Tra at Danang Seafood Service Industrial Park in Danang City, raising its total number of supermarkets in central Vietnam to 18.
Co.opmart Son Tra on Binh Than Street, Nai Hien Dong Ward, Son Tra District, is equipped with modern equipment and advanced technologies and covers an area of 3,000 square meters.
The total capital poured into the supermarket, which offers over 30,000 products, mainly Vietnamese items, amounted to VND45 billion.
Co.opmart Son Tra is expected to supply various products, including fresh food, processed products, clothes, household appliances and cosmetics, among other staples, with clear origin and high quality at competitive prices to residents in the city.
Further, the new supermarket will immediately start serving locals for the upcoming Tet holiday.
In addition, Co.opmart Son Tra was launched to contribute to the retail chain’s development, expanding its product and service market and diversifying customers’ options for products. It is the second Co.opmart supermarket to be put into service in Danang City, taking the total number of stores nationwide to 111.
On the occasion of the launch, Co.opmart Son Tra offered a series of promotional programs, including providing a 50% discount on items and giving hundreds of gifts to customers shopping at the supermarket, as well as raffle prizes. The promotional programs will last until February 10.
Hue welcomes first 2,000 foreign arrivals by sea route
The central province of Thua Thien Hue held a ceremony on January 28 to greet the first foreign tourists to the locality from the luxury cruise ship Celebrity Constellation.
Cruise liner Celebrity Constellation has brought in more than 2,000 visitors, largely from the United States, Canada, the UK, and France to visit tourist attractions across the region in Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Hue’s various heritage sites, which is set to be the highlight for visitors.
During the welcoming ceremony held at Chan May port, representatives from local authorities presented flowers, souvenirs, and conveyed their best wishes to visitors.
Nguyen Van Phuc, deputy director of Thua Thien Hue province Department of Tourism, said the province’s tourism industry will develop sustainably over time in order to avoid an overload of visitors as Thua Thien Hue is widely considered an attractive destination for tourists.
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