Banking-finance industry to embrace digital transformation
Vietnam’s banks and financial institutions must be ready for a digital transformation, said policymakers and experts at a workshop held in Hanoi on October 25.
Digital technologies have had a strong impact on the country’s economy and nowhere that impact has been more strongly felt like in the banking and finance sector. Technologies helped improve business models and processes as well as created new products and services to serve the need of customers.
According to a PwC survey this year, Vietnam was among the countries with the fastest growth rate in mobile payments. The number of users had seen a sharp increase to 61 percent from just 37 percent the year before.
In the first eight months of 2019, total value of mobile payments in Vietnam increased by 150 percent as the number of mobile transactions doubled from the same period last year, according to a report by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).
A report by Google in April showed the size of Vietnam’s digital economy could reach 12 billion USD by the end of 2019 and 43 billion USD by 2025. Vietnam and Indonesia are the fastest-growing digital economies in ASEAN, with over 40 percent annual growth.
The SBV projected the digital economy would account for up to 20 percent of the country’s GDP in 2025. Technologies, especially digital technologies, would be an important driver for economic growth and increased productivity to help develop the nation.
The digital transformation is inevitable and Vietnam’s banking and finance sector is well-prepared to embrace it, SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh said at the workshop.
Anh said the sector was among the country’s leaders in adopting new technologies and innovations, and in reworking its regulatory and legal framework to make use of their advantages.
Dr Sebastian Paust, First Counsellor, Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Hanoi, discussed Germany’s development cooperation strategy in supporting digital transformation.
Digitalisation in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and rapid changes in technologies has great potential to help achieve the objectives of green economic growth and sustainable development, said Dr Michael Krakowski, Director and Chief Technical Advisor of the Macroeconomic Reforms/ Green Growth Programme.
The workshop was a part of the Macroeconomic Reforms/Green Growth Programme implemented by GIZ Vietnam, and was co-organised by SBV and GIZ Vietnam, which operate on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)./.
EVFTA to push Vietnam-Czech trade ties: workshop
Information on prospects for economic and investment cooperation between Vietnamese and Czech firms, and business opportunities in Vietnam offered by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), were discussed at a workshop in Prague on October 25.
In his opening remark, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan highlighted the significance of the event, saying that it aims to encourage enterprises of the two nations to fully tap benefits brought by the EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) not only in tariff reduction but also in removal of non-tariff barriers and measures to facilitate trade and investment committed by the involved parties in the two agreements.
Lucie Vondrackova, Director of the Department of Trade Policy and International Economic Organisations under the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the EVFTA brings great benefits to both EU and Vietnam, including the Czech Republic.
The trade pact is based on international standards, trade liberalisation, effective removal of non-tariff barriers and sustainable development, she said.
For the Czech Republic, the EVFTA will help remove an average tariff of about 6 percent for exports and 5 percent for imports, while open an opportunity for Czech businesses to approach the Vietnamese market, including public procurement services, she stressed.
Participants also focused their discussions on the agreements, especially deep analysis related to supporting export, and cooperation in civil aviation training and logistics between the two nations’ enterprises.
They agreed that the EVFTA and IPA will help open cooperation opportunities between Vietnamese and Czech companies in the coming time when they are approved by the European Parliament./.
Husbandry industry drives to industrialisation
The animal husbandry industry has set an average growth target of 4 to 5 percent per year from 2020 to 2025, and 3-4 percent in 2026-2030.
Livestock production would be developed by modernising and industrialising large-scale and household farms between 2020 and 2030, said Nguyen Xuan Duong, acting Director of the Livestock Production Department.
The industrial-style animal husbandry would be associated with organic and traditional farming, he said at a meeting on October 25 on Strategies of Livestock Development by 2020 and 2030 held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Between 2020 and 2030, the sector would focus on breeding pigs, poultry, cows and dairy cows, which could help bring into full play the country’s potential and expand the export market.
To realise the set targets, the industry would re-organise slaughtering and processing networks to ensure veterinary hygiene, food safety and environmental protection.
“So far, the animal husbandry sector has become a commodity production,” said Duong.
Large and industrial- scale farms account for 45 percent of farms nationwide producing more than 60 percent of the output, he said.
“The sector had attracted a large number of social resources to invest in livestock development, especially foreign investors,” he told the meeting.
“The productivity and production costs improved significantly,” he added.
Since 2008, the husbandry sector had gained achievements, producing a variety of items to meet domestic demand.
Vietnam has become the biggest producer of animal feed in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The yield of cow milk was as high as that of Israel, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
However, breeding proportion in agricultural production reached only 31.5-32 percent, lower than the target of 42 percent.
The reason was that the majority of localities had focused on planting trees, fruits, vegetables and flowers while they had not yet adequately invested in livestock production.
In the Central Highlands Mekong River Delta regions, animal breeding accounted for only 15 or 20 percent of agricultural production.
In pig breeding, the strategy set a target of increasing 2 percent annually in terms of herds reaching 35 million heads by 2020.
Over 10 years, the pig herds had increased 0.5 percent with total heads ranging from 26 to 29 million.
However, the poultry breeding had gained a growth rate of 5.1 percent, higher than the target. The total poultry had reached 409 million, exceeding the plan by 136 percent.
Duong also pointed out shortcomings of the sector. Food safety, hygiene and disease control in livestock had exposed many shortcomings.
The recent outbreak of African swine fever occurred in many localities, causing big losses to farmers.
Treatment of waste from husbandry activities had not yet been solved while it was a key factor causing rural environmental pollution.
In fact, if husbandry waste was properly treated, it would be a valuable resource to produce organic fertilisers and biogas worth 15-20 billion VND a year.
To accelerate the animal husbandry industry, the government should offer incentives to lure investment from all economic sectors, of which tax and land use policies were key factors, said Duong./.
Bac Lieu to expand 2 sustainable shrimp farming models
The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to expand its efficient and sustainable super-intensive shrimp farming and shrimp-rice farming models.
The former model was first developed by companies in 2017 and later expanded to households, according to the province’s Agriculture Extension Centre.
The province has 1,845ha of super-intensive shrimp farming ponds, including 950ha belonging to companies and 324ha to households.
The model requires large initial investment of 1-1.6 billion VND (43,100-69,000 USD) per hectare, but offers profits of 600 million-1 billion VND (25.900-43,100 USD) a year.
Under the shrimp-rice farming model, farmers grow rice in the rainy season and breed shrimp in the dry season on the same rice fields.
The rice yield is 4.4-5 tonnes per hectare per crop and the shrimp yield is 230-350 kilogrammes.
The shrimp-rice farming model is friendly to the environment as farmers use few pesticides and chemicals and it adapts to climate change.
The province has 37,700ha under the model, and, according to its Agriculture Extension Centre, has the capacity to expand it to 50,000ha.
Speaking at a seminar in Bac Lieu on October 24, Duong Thanh Trung, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, instructed local agencies to cooperate with research institutions to finalise the farming processes for the two models and train farmers.
Waste treatment facilities should be included in the super-intensive model to protect the environment, he warned.
The growth of shrimp cooperatives and cooperative groups that use advanced farming techniques should be fostered, he said.
The province encouraged farmers to breed shrimp to quality standards like Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), he added.
Luu Hoang Ly, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province was quickly building infrastructure for a hi-tech agriculture zone to develop shrimp farming.
This would help to develop the province into the country’s shrimp industry hub, he said.
The province plans to have four hi-tech aquaculture areas, including one for producing fry, by next year, and 10 by 2025.
It targets exports of $750 million worth of shrimp next year and $1 billion by 2025.
Hundreds of Audi Q5 recalled in Vietnam due mudguard error
Audi has just decided to recall the Audi Q5 manufactured between July 2015 and December 2018 in Vietnam to fix design errors which can cause the mudguard to fall off while the vehicle is operating.
Accordingly, on October 15, the Vietnam Register approved a recall of 566 Audi Q5 cars which were manufactured between July 2015 and December 2018 to reinforce the mudguard.
According to Audi, the mudguard of the recalled vehicles are not attached securely, allowing it to drop and posing a risk of accidents.
The cause was determined to be a design error at the connection point of the mudguard. As a result, the mudguards of the recalled vehicles may not have been properly attached.
Audi claims it has not received reports of any accident due to this error. However, the company recommends that to ensure their safety, passengers should bring their car to an authorised Audi Vietnam dealer for advice and inspection.
The recall period is expected to last until October 21, 2023.
Previously, in September, Audi Vietnam also confirmed that there were 21 Audi Q5 cars in Vietnam that had to be recalled to change the main brake cylinder.
These cars were manufactured between July 2018 and March 2019 and were officially imported to Vietnam.
Audi Vietnam said the firm discovered that the main brake cylinder oil of the hydraulic brake system of the Audi Q5 could leak during operation. Therefore, the brake system can be damaged, leading to a risk of accidents.
Hanoi records 7.35 percent economic growth in first three quarters
Hanoi has maintained a high growth rate so far this year, with the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) expanding 7.35 percent in the first nine months of this year, it was reported at the 10th session of the city’s People’s Council on October 25.
All the industrial, agricultural, fishery and commercial-service sectors recorded higher growth than the same period last year. The city earned an estimated 23 billion USD from exports, up 6.5 percent year on year.
Hanoi also collected around 185 trillion VND (nearly 8 billion USD at current exchange rate) for the State budget, up 14.3 percent from the same period last year and meeting 70.3 percent of estimate.
The capital city expects to achieve or overfulfill all socio-economic targets set for this year, heard the one-day session.
The municipal People’s Council convened the session, which was an extraordinary one, to consider and make decisions on some issues with a view to creating more resources for socio-economic development.
At the end of the session, the council adopted a resolution on amendments and supplements to the city’s investment plan in 2019 (third phase) using the municipal budget. Under the resolution, total investment capital for 2019 will increase to more than 31.51 trillion VND from the previous 31.49 trillion VND, and the number of projects to be allocated capital rises to 558 from the previous 546.
The People’s Council also passed a resolution on the investment policy for 22 projects in the city’s medium-term public investment plan for 2016-2020.
The session also dealt with personnel work of the municipal People’s Council and some departments and agencies of the city./.
Ninth conference on Vietnam-China economic corridor cooperation
The ninth conference on economic corridor cooperation of five provinces and cities, namely Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and Lao Cai of Vietnam and China’s Yunnan is underway in the northern province of Quang Ninh from October 24 – 26.
With over 250 delegates, about 130 of them are from Vietnamese and Chinese enterprises taking part, the event aims to review difficulties in the implementation of cooperation agreement reached in the previous conference as well as devise specific ways to step up ties among the cities and provinces, and build the Kunming – Lao Cai – Hanoi – Quang Ninh economic corridor into a model of Vietnam – China effective cooperation.
Founded in 2004, the economic corridor cooperation mechanism has proved effective in bolstering collaboration in the fields of people-to-people exchange, transportation connectivity, trade and tourism.
Participants are due to review the outcomes of collaboration during the 2017 – 2019 period, and discuss orientations to coordination across transportation infrastructure, logistics, trade, education, health care, tourism, currency and insurance.
Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee Bui Van Khang said the conference will help further tap potential and advantages of each locality, contributing to building a Vietnam – China borderline of peace, stability, friendship and cooperation for mutual development.
Vice Secretary of the China’s Yunnan provincial Party Committee Wang Yobo said 46 Yunnan businesses are operating in Vietnam with an export turnover of 36.1 million USD.
He expressed his wish for further connectivity in terms of policy, land site, infrastructure, trade, logistics, tourism and culture.
Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam Yin Haihong called for further collaboration to deal with challenges regarding environment pollution, development gap and post-economic crisis.
A number of cooperation agreements were signed at the event./.
Vietnam attracts over 29 billion USD in FDI in ten months
Vietnam attracted 29.11 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first ten months of 2019, up 4.3 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Of the figure, 12.83 billion USD was poured into nearly 3,094 new projects, up 25.9 percent in the number of projects year on year.
Approximately 5.47 billion USD was pledged to existing projects, just equivalent to 83.6 percent of the value from a year ago.
Foreign firms invested 10.81 billion USD in Vietnam during the period through capital contributions and share purchases, representing a year-on-year increase of 70.5 percent and accounting for 37.1 percent of the total registered capital.
Processing and manufacturing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors during the January-October period, drawing 18.83 billion USD, making up 68.1 percent of the total FDI pledges. It was followed by property trade at 2.98 billion USD (10.2 percent of the total) and wholesale and retail.
Among the total 107 countries and territories investing inVietnam, Hong Kong (China) was the largest investor with 6.45 billion USD, followed by the Republic of Korea with 5.52 billion USD and Singapore with 4.21 billion USD.
Hanoi was the largest FDI recipient during the period with 6.61 billion USD, accounting for 22.7 percent of the total. Ho Chi Minh City came second with 4.96 billion USD (17 percent), followed by Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Bac Ninh./.
HCMC taxman refers Asanzo case to police
The HCMC Tax Department has referred the alleged tax regulation violations of local electronics company Asanzo Vietnam to the HCMC Department of Police for investigation.
The tax agency has also told Asanzo to pay over VND68 billion in tax arrears and related fines.
According to the HCMC Tax Department, Asanzo committed multiple violations in its declarations and deductions of value added tax, corporate income tax and personal income tax from 2016 to July this year. Also, the firm allegedly sought ways to conceal its violations.
Asanzo’s tax arrears totaled VND40.6 billion. In addition, it has to pay a VND1.6 billion fine for late tax payment.
It was also fined VND26.3 billion, including VND4.9 billion for inaccurate tax filings, VND6.3 billion for not issuing invoices and VND14.6 billion in special consumption tax.
In related news, the National Steering Committee against Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods, also known as National Steering Committee 389, today, October 24, held a press briefing to review the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and fake products in the January-September period this year, the local media reported.
Nguyen Van Ba from the General Department of Vietnam Customs’ Anti-smuggling Investigation Division said that Asanzo had violated the industrial property rights of brands and evaded taxes.
The general department will soon hold a press conference to publicize evidence related to Asanzo’s violations.
The prime minister has assigned the Ministry of Finance to coordinate with the relevant ministries and agencies to inspect Asanzo’s production and business activities.
The findings of an investigation into Asanzo’s import and trade of Chinese electronic products bearing Made-in-Vietnam labels will be publicized on October 30, instead of August 30, Ba noted.
NS BlueScope launches new technology for high durability
Steel product and solution supplier NS BlueScope Vietnam on October 23 launched a new technology called Activate to help these products endure harsh weather conditions.
“Aiming to ensure the two types of steel with Activate technology can reach the highest level of durability, NS BlueScope launched a comprehensive pilot program for 22 years,” said Vo Minh Nhut, country president of NS BlueScope Vietnam.
Over 8,000 panels were tested in laboratories and over 10,000 others in real conditions at 22 sites in Australia and other countries worldwide.
The results of the testing program showed that new-generation steel meets the requirements of durability, resilience and sustainability, he noted.
The launch of the new technology is a strong achievement based on 20 years of research and development, according to NS BlueScope.
NS BlueScope Vietnam, a joint venture between Australia-based BlueScope Steel Limited and Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, operates three steel plants in Phu My in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Bien Hoa City of Dong Nai Province and Hanoi City.
Funding hurdles for metro projects in HCMC cleared
The Ministry of Planning and Investment today, October 24, completed its review of the capital adjustments for the two metro line projects in HCMC, a procedure which has put the projects on tenterhooks.
A representative of the Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC said the city government had received the ministry’s review of the capital revisions for the first metro line project connecting Ben Thanh Market in downtown HCMC and Suoi Tien Park in District 9 and the second metro line project linking Ben Thanh Market and Tham Luong Depot in District 12.
According to the review, the Ministry of Planning and Investment confirmed the need to increase the investment costs of the two projects.
However, the ministry asked the city to ensure adequate reciprocal capital sourced from the local budget and other legal sources to make sure the projects can be executed on schedule.
Thus, the city government has completed consulting with the ministries of Construction, Finance and Planning-Investment and can prepare paperwork to raise the projects’ investment capital and submit it to the municipal council later this year.
According to the city government, the first metro line is 67% complete and is expected to be put into operation in the last quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, contractors for the second metro line project are still being chosen.
Registered foreign investments pick up
The South Korea-invested horse racetrack project in Hanoi, worth some US$500 million, made a significant contribution to the foreign investment capital, which rose by 4.3% this month, data of the investment authority showed.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), of the US$29.11 billion registered by foreign investors this year to date (up 4.3%), the entertainment/horse racetrack complex of the South Korean investor accounts for up to US$420 million.
This complex project owned by South Korea’s Charmvit, which will go up in the outlying district of Soc Son, is known for its high registered capital, the largest to be recorded year-to-date and higher than the LG Display project in Haiphong City, whose investment capital was increased by US$410 million in the previous month.
With the investment approval given by the Hanoi City government in the middle of this month, the project is expected to provide a new sport and tourism destination for local and international tourists.
Soc Son District has been asked to accelerate site clearance and land transfer processes so that the investor can quickly execute the project and see the first phase start in October 2020 in celebration of 1010 years of Thang Long-Hanoi.
Given that two large-scale projects owned by South Korean investors were licensed and received additional investment capital in two months, according to the FIA, South Korea ranks only second in terms of the total registered capital with US$5.52 billion in the January-October period, or 19% of the total investment capital.
Hong Kong continues to take the lead, registering to invest US$6.45 billion, partly from buying into Vietnam Beverage Co., Ltd, with US$3.85 billion (59.7%).
With US$4.21 billion registered in the period (14.5%), Singapore comes third and is followed by China and Japan.
Investments from China and Hong Kong have doubled and almost quadrupled, respectively, against the same period a year earlier under the impact of the U.S.-China trade war.
The total registered capital of foreign investors as of October 20 picked up by 4.3% year-on-year to US$29.11 billion. Of these, 3,094 new projects being licensed have total capital of US$12.83 billion, up 25.9% and down 14.6% year-on-year, respectively. The period has seen no FDI projects worth up to US$1 billion being licensed.
Meanwhile, 1,145 projects had their capital adjusted with an additional US$5.47 billion. Capital contributions and share purchases by foreign investors have increased to a value of US$10.81 billion.
Industrial Bank of Korea improving education environment in Hoa Binh
The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), in cooperation with ChildFund Vietnam, is organizing a voluntary trip to a primary and secondary school in northern Hoa Binh province from October 22 to 24 with the aim of improving the local education environment for students.
Phu Cuong Primary and Secondary School in Phu Cuong commune, Tan Lac district, has received financial support of VND2.5 billion ($108,000) from IBK to construct an eight-classroom building.
During the three-day trip, IBK staff will help paint pictures on the building and surrounding fences to give the students a brighter place to study in.
Students and IBK staff will also hold a range of activities to provide a rich experience in both Vietnamese and Korean culture.
Students from Grade 4 and 5 will also have financial literacy lessons delivered by IBK bankers, for the first time being introduced to and guided in money-related decision-making activities through games and interactive question and answer sessions.
“We hope this will help improve the educational environment in the community of Phu Cuong, and in the future we will continue to support diverse activities to improve the children’s future and hopes,” said Mr. Maeng Seon Bae, Director of the IBK Hanoi Branch.
Ms. Duong Thi Hien, Deputy Principal at the school, said she appreciates the support from IBK. “Thanks to this event, our students will for the first time be able to enjoy some authentic Korean cultural activities that they have only ever seen on TV,” she said. “We are thankful that through this meaningful trip, our school can now offer a better learning environment for the children.”
Since 2011, IBK has sent over 1,000 employees overseas, to Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Indonesia, a total of 15 times to conduct volunteer work such as building new schools and facilities for drinking water.
IBK was established in 1961 in South Korea and opened its Hanoi Branch in 2013. Its vision of “IBK, Financial partner for a better future, so that your success is our success”, reflects its commitment to creating new value and improving the daily lives of customers and other stakeholders while also contributing to the economic growth of South Korea. Under this principle, part of profits from overseas countries is returned to the countries, and IBK has been supporting several overseas projects in the countries where its branch offices are located.
ChildFund Vietnam is the representative office of ChildFund Australia, an independent and non‐religious international development organization that works to reduce poverty for children in developing communities. ChildFund began working in Vietnam in 1995 and works in partnership with children, their communities, and local institutions to create lasting change, respond to humanitarian emergencies, and promote children’s rights. Projects are being implemented in the northern provinces of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, and Hoa Binh, where the majority of people are from ethnic minority groups, who are often the most vulnerable or marginalized in society. With a focus on education, water and sanitation, sustainable livelihoods, children’s rights and child protection, food security, and maternal and child health, including HIV prevention, ChildFund Vietnam also prioritizes building resilience among young people by giving children and youngsters the opportunity to take part in sports, vocational education, and life skills training, and supporting their participation in local decision‐making processes.
WMC to open Brodard Restaurant in HCMC
A little piece of Paris is set to come to Ho Chi Minh City with the opening on October 24 of the new flagship Brodard Restaurant – Tea House – Pastry on Dong Khoi Street in the heart of the downtown area.
Brodard Bakery has been producing high-quality baked goods in Vietnam since 1948. The new flagship Brodard has an extensive menu featuring a wide selection of specialty breads, pastries, cookies, and cakes. There is also a range of coffees, specialty teas, juices, smoothies, and ice creams.
The ground floor patisserie will feature home-made pastries and chocolates and coffee by Perfetto Caffe. The centerpiece of the venue is a stunning open pastry kitchen.
The new location will also introduce “The delights of France in the heart of Saigon” with a traditional brasserie including an extensive list of French wines on the first floor. Classic French dishes on the menu will include Bouillabaisse of slow-cooked seafood; Lamb bourguignon with organic carrot and onion; Lobster thermidor with organic greens; and Poached eggs with foie-gras, asparagus, and truffles.
Mr. Kai Speth, Vice President Operations and Business Performance at the WMC Group, which operates Brodard, said the Restaurant – Tea House – Pastry evokes the French heritage of the city. “The Brodard name has been synonymous with quality for decades, and with its prime location on Dong Khoi Street it is sure to become an essential destination,” he said.
The elegant colonial-era façade of the building has been fully restored, while the interior is style personified, with black and white marble tile floors and chandeliers hanging from vaulted ceilings.
As a special opening promotion, guests at Brodard Restaurant – Tea House – Pastry will receive 20 per cent off their bill until November 10.
Laguna lands two resorts on Condé Nast Traveller list
Angsana Lang Co and Banyan Tree Lang Co at Laguna Lang Co have both been ranked among the top 20 resorts in Asia in the Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
The resorts are part of a wider integrated property, one of Asia’s most expansive, that also encompasses Laguna Golf Lang Co, a signature design by UK legend Sir Nick Faldo that is rated as one of Vietnam’s finest golf tests.
Announced in New York in early October, the magazine’s 32nd annual compendium of the world’s top travel experiences is the result of an extensive voting process that was conducted between April 1 and July 1, with more than 600,000 avid travelers casting millions of votes for a total of nearly 10,000 hotels, resorts, and destination spas, among other categories.
Angsana Lang Co, which commands an extended beach frontage and features 229 stylish suites, more than 100 of which come with their own private pools overlooking the East Sea, was ranked second on the list. Banyan Tree Lang Co, a multi-award-winning all-pool villa resort, meanwhile, was rated thirteenth in Asia by readers of the publication, regarded by many as the world’s leading authority on luxury travel.
“That travelers, particularly those who read one of the world’s preeminent travel magazines, have recognized Angsana Lang Co and Banyan Tree Lang Co as among the best in Asia is incredibly exciting and testament to our efforts to put the overall experience first,” said Mr. Adam Calver, Director of Golf at Laguna Lang Co.
“Not only is it a boost for tourism in general in central Vietnam, it’s also really good news for golf tourism in this part of the country,” he went on. “It’s very rare that you can play golf on one of Vietnam’s best courses and then take your pick of two of the best resorts in Asia just a couple of hundred meters down the road.”
Grade A and branded operators heading serviced apartments in Hanoi
The serviced apartment segment in Hanoi witnessed solid performance by Grade A and branded operators in the third quarter of 2019, according to Savills Vietnam.
The market had 4,330 units, down 8 per cent quarter-on-quarter after the closure of two projects and the entry of one. Grade A had the strongest take-up while Grade B and C suffered decreases in leased units. Average market-wide rents increased 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter and occupancy remained high at 84 per cent. Within the Grade A segment, branded operators charged 19 per cent higher for rent than non-branded counterparts.
The trend of compact units saw the market share of studios and one-bedroom units rocket from 16 per cent in 1996 to 46 per cent in the third quarter of 2019. Tenants are not only expatriates and corporate executives with long-term leases but also individual business / MICE / leisure travelers with requests for short-term stays. Cooperating with dynamic online travel agents, over 90 per cent of serviced apartment operators now meet monthly and daily requests instead of only annual contracts.
In the first nine months, Hanoi attracted $6.1 billion, or 23 per cent, of registered FDI. Amid the ongoing US-China trade tensions, Vietnam jumped from 23rd to 8th in investment attraction, according to the Best Countries to Invest In rankings published by the US News and World Report. Beside traditional Japanese and South Korean tenants, other Asian expatriates from Hong Kong, Singapore, and China are expected to escalate demand.
Four projects with approximately 1,000 units will enter the market in the fourth quarter – three branded operators in Tay Ho district and one player in Hai Ba Trung district. There is no future stock registered in Hoan Kiem district due to the scarce land bank.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the serviced apartment segment reached approximately 5,800 units from 88 projects; stable quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. One Grade C project operated by City House entered the market, providing 26 units. Serviced apartment projects managed and operated by chains performed well, but two Grade C projects withdrew from the market due to pressure from buy-to-let apartments.
By 2022, 1,500 units will enter the market in response to growing demand for long-term stays. By the end of 2019, the CBD’s market share will increase by 2 percentage points due to the entry of two Grade B projects providing 200 units.
Future supply will be mainly in the CBD and new urban areas (NUAs), which have many commercial buildings and shopping centers catering to high-end tenants. Stock in District 2, especially in Thu Thiem NUA, is expected to increase 9 per cent each year from 2020 to 2022; higher than the average of 5 per cent in the CBD.
Savills Vietnam introduces office listing and brokerage platform
International real estate advisor Savills launched Workthere on October 23, a website listing platform and brokerage service that helps businesses find flexible, co-working, and serviced office space in Vietnam.
First launched in the UK in February 2017, Workthere has since expanded to eight countries globally with local teams in Singapore, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, the US, and now Vietnam.
Since the concept was first introduced in Vietnam in 2012, co-working space has expanded rapidly around the country. Between 2018 and 2019 Savills reported that the supply of co-working space has increased 64 per cent. In the same period, 57 per cent of the total scale of office transactions in Vietnam came from the real estate industry, 85 per cent of which was from co-working space.
The rise in the number of co-working locations in Vietnam has been driven by the growth of startups and the need for cost-effective space. Amid strong expansion by both local and international operators, co-working space is primed for further rapid growth in Vietnam in the coming years.
Existing co-working providers in Vietnam such as Toong, Dreamplex, Up, and Regus are set to open more venues as they seek to achieve economies of scale, establish networks, and gain market share. The entry of international operators in Vietnam is expected to usher in a period of consolidation and partnership agreements – a trend that is already occurring in other markets throughout Asia-Pacific.
“Demand for flexible office space in Vietnam will continue to be driven by freelancers, local and international startups, and small corporates,” said Mr. Yann Deschamps, Head of Workthere Asia Pacific. “International startups, digital nomads, and freelancers seeking affordable workplaces could also consider relocating to Vietnam to grow their businesses. This growing demand both from domestic and overseas occupiers is a call for a more advanced solution than the traditional leasing service, which explains the introduction of Workthere in Vietnam.”
“We are delighted to see our market coverage expand in Asia-Pacific, where the co-working realm is evolving faster than in other regions in the world,” said Mr. Cal Lee, Founder and Global Head of Workthere. “Vietnam has seen phenomenal growth in the flexible workspace sector, with many new venues coming into the market. At the same time, demand for flexible workspace continues to grow as more businesses, including startups, SMEs, and even larger corporate companies are seeing the benefits of flexible workspace over a more traditional lease.”
Workthere will provide listing services for flexible workspaces in Vietnam and leasing services for landlords, operators, and occupiers through mobilizing local Savills consultants. Workthere’s current coverage includes 50 locations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang and is set to further expand along with the rapid growth of Vietnam’s flexible office market.
Hai Duong seeks to promote agricultural product processing, sale
A conference was held in the northern province of Hai Duong on October 26 to seek ways to help promote its farm produce processing and consumption.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen An Cuong, Hai Duong province owns diverse agricultural products with an increasing scale of production.
Currently, the province has 12,000 hectares of rice farms with an output of 700,000 tonnes per year, along with over 31,000 hectares of vegetables with an annual output of 720,000 tonnes.
At the same time, Hai Duong is also home to 21,000 hectares of orchards, and 732 livestock farms which produce about 140,000 tonnes of meat per year. Aquaculture area of Hai Duong is over 11,000 hectares with an output of about 74,000 tonnes each year, noted Cuong.
However, he pointed the difficulties of the local agricultural sector, including small scale of production facilities and limitations in trade promotion, market expansion, product designs and brand building.
Tran Van Quan, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, proposed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) support Hai Duong to lure more investors in agriculture and agricultural processing, thus turning the province intoa farm produce storage and processing hub of the Red River Delta region.
Pham Van Duy, Vice Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the MARD, said Hai Duong has suffered high post-harvesting losses at 10-20 percent. Meanwhile, 95 percent of the province’s farm produce are sold to the market without being processed.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said that the Government’s supporting policies for investors to invest in agriculture is a good chance for Hai Duong. He added that with its favourable location in the Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh economic triangle, Hai Duong has sufficient conditions to become a farm produce processing centre.
He suggested that the province enhance the promotion of its farm produce trademarks in and outside the country, while investing more in agricultural product storing and packing facilities at production areas to reduce post-harvest losses.
Meanwhile, the province should apply technology in the sector and coordinate with other localities to form large-scale commercial production areas and connectivity with major cities across the country, he added.
Experts at the event introduced new technologies in farm produce processing and storage, along with recommendations on measures to reform the sector and attract more investment in agriculture.
At the conference, a number of agricultural product processing and selling firms signed agreements with local cooperatives and production facilities./.
Vietnam becomes increasingly attractive to Italian firms
Italian enterprises in the province of Pisa in general and in Tuscany region in general were updated on Vietnam’s investment attraction and incentive policies at an event held by the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) in Pisa city on October 25.
The event offered a good chance for Italian firms to understand more about the Vietnamese market and information related to prioritised cooperation fields, as well as policies for attracting investment and promoting trade links with foreign businesses.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue briefed on Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration efforts, saying that the country boasts great potential to push its economic growth.
Vietnam is considered one of the most dynamic economies with the highest growth in the world, and also an open economy, connected to major markets through 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements that Vietnam has joined, Hue stressed.
According to the diplomat, Vietnamese people’s demand for high quality products, including those from Italy, is increasing.
The Government of Vietnam has also issued many policies to improve the business and investment environment for domestic and foreign enterprises, thus attracting confidence of many foreign investors, she noted.
With the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching 350 billion USD, Vietnam is seen as an attractive market for foreign investors, Hue said.
With the prospect of being approved by the European Parliament in the coming time, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) will create unprecedented favorable conditions for Italian businesses, she added.
The Vietnamese Embassy and the Trade Office in Italy are ready to support Italian firms in deploying investment and trade cooperation activities with Vietnam, the ambassador affirmed.
In his speech, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa Valter Tamburini said Italian companies in Pisa are interested in the Vietnamese market, adding that many of those have successfully invested in the Southeast Asian country.
The two countries’ firms should establish cooperative ties in the fields of fashion, agriculture, automobiles and tourism, which are strengths of Italy, he said.
Previously, Hue had a meeting with Vice Mayor of Pisa city Raffaela Bonsangue, during which the Vietnamese diplomat urged the Pisa authorities to create favourable conditions for Italian enterprises to expand economic and trade cooperation with Vietnam./.
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