Tan Son Nhat airport adds more night flights during Tet
|Vietnam Airlines conducts first routine international flight since pandemic|
From now to the end of February, the airport will serve 36 flights per hour instead of 32 ones per hour during the period from 00:00 am to 5:59 am.
The CAAV also asked the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation and Airports Corporation of Vietnam to adjust operation schedules at Tho Xuan, Phu Cat, Chu Lai, Pleiku, Dong Hoi and Tuy Hoa Airports, while making meticulous preparation to ensure optimal service quality for late-night flights.
Earlier, domestic airlines said they will increase the number of night flights before, during and after the Tet holiday.
According to Nguyen Quang Trung, head of Vietnam Airlines’ development planning department, the national flag carrier is adding late night flights during peak time, with the number of flights surging 30 percent as compared to the same time las year.
The move aims to meet growing air travel demand and ease ground congestion at airports, he added.
Tet airfares are 10 percent lower than the previous year, and a wide range of flexible fares have been available for customers, Trung said.
Vietnam Airlines Group, which includes Vietnam Airlines, budget carrier Jetstar Pacific and Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), said it will supply over 414,000 extra seats from January 27 to February 26, 2021 to serve increasing travel demand. This will bring the total seats on flights operated by the Vietnam Airlines Group during the traditional holiday to 2.4 million, equivalent to nearly 12,000 flights.
Vietnam Airlines has increased night flights from 0:00 to 5:30 everyday, with airfares sold at 200,000-300,000 VND (8.69-13.04 USD) cheaper than those for day flights.
Meanwhile, low-cost carrier Vietjet Air decided to add more flights departing late at 23:30 and early at 5:30, as well as provide 1.5 million Tet tickets on all domestic routes. Besides, it has recently opened sales for 1.5 million promotional airfares (from 555,000 VND including taxes and fees).
Bamboo Airways said it recently launched direct flights from Can Tho to Phu Quoc island, and Con Dao island in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. The non-stop service will be operated during the week, using Embraer 195 aircraft. On the occasion, the airline offers special fares on the route, with one-way ticket priced from 49,000 VND on Can Tho-Phu Quoc, and 809,000 VND on Can Tho-Con Dao./.
State budget collection estimated at 134 trillion VND in January
State budget collection was estimated to top 134 trillion VND (nearly 5.83 billion USD) in January, equivalent to 81.2 percent of the figure in the same period last year, according to the General Department of Taxation.
Collection from crude oil reached 2.45 trillion VND, or 8.9 percent of the estimate, while the remainder came from domestic revenue, equivalent to 83.5 percent of the amount in the same period last year.
Collection from house and land rentals, charges and fees contributed 14.1 trillion VND, accounting for 10.2 percent in the domestic segment and equivalent to 95.4 percent of the number in January 2020.
Budget balance of the State Bank of Vietnam stood at 104.85 trillion VND in the month, hitting 11.9 percent of the estimate and 84.7 percent of the figure in the same period last year.
More than 1.48 quadrillion VND was collected for the State budget in 2020, equivalent to 98 percent of the target, according to the Ministry of Finance./.
Vietnam, UK boost trade, energy cooperation
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An recently had a working session with UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward to discuss bilateral cooperation in trade and energy.
Both sides said with delight that the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), which took effect on January 1, will create a new driving force to lift bilateral trade and investment ties.
Last year, two-way trade hit 5.6 billion USD despite the COVID-19 impact, 4.95 billion USD of which was Vietnam’s export. The UK remained the third biggest export market of Vietnam in Europe.
In the near future, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the UK Embassy in Vietnam will continue working closely together to effectively realise the UKVFTA and further improve bilateral trade.
Both sides still maintained the plan to organise the 12th meeting of the Vietnam – UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO 12) in the UK when the pandemic is under control.
Before the meeting, a series of meetings, seminars and dialogues will be held virtually to tackle difficulties in specific areas.
As scheduled in mid-March, JETCO co-chairs Deputy Minister An and UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands will hold an online working session to discuss JETCO 12 implementation and bilateral cooperation plan for the future.
The UK side also wished to hold online dialogues with the MoIT to discuss renewable energy development scheduled for February 24 and early March.
For his part, An took the occasion to highly valued the UK’s commitment in hosting the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is slated for November this year in Glasgow, Scotland.
A plan for renewable energy development was an important content in the Politburo’s Resolution 55-NQ TW issued on February last year on the orientation of the National Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045, he added.
Vietnam aims to ensure an adequate energy supply for socio-economic development and gradually increase the proportion of clean energy use in its energy structure, An said.
The Vietnamese deputy minister stressed the MoIT backs the UK’s efforts in organising the above-mentioned events and dialogues.
Concluding the meeting, the sides agreed to continue studying measures for development cooperation in renewable energy. The MoIT said it is ready to collaborate with and support Vietnamese and UK relevant agencies and firms to hold discussions when necessary./.
January sees establishment of over 10,000 new businesses nationwide
More than 10,000 new enterprises were established throughout January with registered capital of VND155.1 trillion, according to data released by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
In line with the figure, the total new and additional registered capital by firms in January recorded an annual increase of 10.5% to VND395.1 trillion.
The GSO reported that the average registered capital of a new enterprise in January reached a sum of VND15.4 billion, a rise of 3.2% in comparison to the same period from last year.
Furthermore, the GSO outlined that a total of 6,503 enterprises resumed operations in January, thereby representing a decline of 23.2% on-year. This figure brings the total number of newly-established enterprises and businesses returning to operate in January to 16,594, marking an annual fall of 0.9%.
Despite this, 25,752 enterprises either suspended their operations or are poised to finalise dissolution procedures, up 36.4% compared to last year’s corresponding period.
Real estate inventories increase significantly in Q4
The real estate inventories of listed companies increased significantly in the fourth quarter of 2020 over a year ago because many projects were stagnant due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, legal bottlenecks and limited financial capacity of the developers.
The financial report of Dat Xanh Group (DXG) showed that the company earned revenue of VND2.89 trillion in 2020, equivalent to just half of 2019 and reported a loss of VND126 billion – the first loss since the company was listed in 2009.
Inventories increased by 51 per cent to VND10.2 trillion as of December 31, making up for 55 per cent of the company’s total assets. The inventories of completed projects were mainly at An Vien and Luxgarden projects while the inventories of unfinished projects were estimated around VND9.6 trillion. Many unfinished projects did not see any progress in construction in 2020, such as Tuyen Son, Hiep Binh Phuoc – Thu Duc, C1, Gemriverside and Mo Street projects.
The inventories of Phat Dat Real Estate Development Joint Stock Company also increased by 16 per cent to VND9.3 trillion, or nearly 60 per cent of the company’s total assets.
The financial report of An Gia Real Estate Development and Investment Joint Stock Company showed that as of the end of December, the company’s inventories increased 120 per cent against the end of 2019 to around VND5.7 trillion, or 59 per cent of the total assets.
An Gia’s projects with high inventories included The Song, The Westage, River Panorama 1, Panorama 2, Sky 89 and Signial projects.
For Nam Long, inventories rose 40 per cent to more than VND6 trillion, mainly at unfinished projects like Akari City in HCM City, Waterpoint in Long An, Paragon Dai Phuoc, Vam Co Dong and Novia projects.
In the market, the inventories of finished projects were mainly those with prices of more than VND35 million per sq.m.
According to Nguyen Van Dinh, deputy general secretary of the Viet Nam Real Estate Association, in major cities like HCM City and Ha Noi, many projects had prices of around VND25 million per sq.m but now were pushed up to VND30-40 million per sq.m, the sales were not very good.
He cited statistics that only around 26.6 per cent of offerings in the capital city were sold in 2020, compared to 65.4 per cent in 2019, 70.6 per cent in 2018 and 60.7 per cent in 2017.
Many projects remained unfinished and did not see any progress in construction in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, legal bottlenecks and limited financial capacity of the developers, according to Dinh.
Le Hoang Chau, President of HCM City Real Estate Association, said that the inventories of listed enterprises alone did not fully reflect the real inventories of the property market.
Increasing inventories would weigh on enterprises in particular and the whole economy in general, Chau said.
However, Dinh said that the progress of many projects would be sped up in 2021, creating more supply for the market when the legal frameworks were tackled and improved financial capacity of developers.
Remittances to HCM City hit 6.1 billion USD in 2020
Remittances to Ho Chi Minh City still rose by 12 percent year-on-year to 6.1 billion USD in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the State Bank of Vietnam’s Branch in HCM City.
The figure is around 600 million USD higher than the forecast by financial organisations.
In recent years, remittances to the city have grown by 8-10 percent on average each year, mostly those from the US, Europe, Australia and Taiwan (China).
In particular, remittances from the US to HCM City have so far accounted for around 30-40 percent of the country’s total./.
Exchange rate revised down 1 VND
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,144 VND per USD on February 4, down 1 VND from the previous day.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,838 VND/USD and the floor rate, 22,450 VND/USD.
The opening hour rates at some commercial banks saw a slight decrease.
At 8:25 am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,900 VND/USD and the selling rate at 23,110 VND/USD, both unchanged from February 3.
BIDV cut both rates by 15 VND, listing the rates at 22,910 VND/USD (buying) and 23,110 VND/USD (selling).
At Vietinbank, both rates were adjusted down by 10, offering 22,868 VND/USD (buying) and 23,115 VND/USD (selling)./.
January’s industrial production index rises by 22.2 percent
The index of industrial production in January is estimated to enjoy a year-on-year rise of 22.2 percent, according to the General Statistics Office.
Specifically, production of the processing and manufacturing industry increased by 27.2 percent, while that of electricity production and distribution rose by 16.3 percent.
In the contrary, the mining industry posted a decrease of 6.2 percent.
In the first month of 2021, the production of television sets witnessed the largest output increase at over 106 percent year-on-year, followed by phone components, rolled steel and automobiles.
As of January 1, the total number of employees in the industrial sector rose by 1.1 percent month-on-month, but declined by 1.4 percent year-on-year.
To support industrial production, the office proposed ministries, sectors and localities continue speed up administrative procedure reform and help businesses in finding import and material markets./.
Vietnam Airlines to tighten COVID-19 prevention during Tet
Vietnam Airlines announced on February 3 that it will intensify COVID-19 prevention and control measures during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
All passengers must have their temperature checked before boarding, fill out a health declaration, and wear a facemask throughout the flight.
They must also abide by social distancing measures at check-in areas and will be given sanitized wipes.
Flights from Cat Bi Airport in the northern port city of Hai Phong will have seating spread out and only serve water.
Flights from Cat Bi and Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to the central city of Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport will be fully sterilised immediately after landing.
At the end of every day, all Vietnam Airlines aircraft will be thoroughly sprayed with CH2200 disinfectant.
The Vietnam Airlines Group and its members – Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and VASCO – will implement all pandemic control measures in line with guidance from and the regulations of relevant health agencies.
Two locally-infected cases were confirmed late January 27 in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces after 55 days without any case of community transmission in Vietnam. The number of cases has increased rapidly over the past several days, with cases detected in other localities including Hanoi.
Local authorities and the health sector are implementing drastic measures to contain the outbreak./.
Vietnam an economic success story: Khmer Times
Cambodia’s Khmer Times newspaper published an article on February 1 saying that, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Vietnam is viewed as an economic success story and its growth has been among the highest worldwide over the last decade.
For its economic achievements, the country has been described by many international organisations as “a legendary story,” “a rising star”, or “Asia’s brightest economy”.
Such achievements have been recognised and appreciated by the international community, it said.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said Vietnam has created a “legendary story” in poverty reduction, with its human development index (HDI) of 0.63 in 2019 ranking it 118th out of 189 countries and among those with the highest growth in the HDI.
It was also ranked 8th on a list of the world’s best economies to invest in 2019 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), up 15 places compared to 2018, while its competitiveness was ranked 67th out of 141 countries and territories, up 10 places compared to 2018.
A new report from the World Bank Group pointed out that Vietnam’s Human Capital Index increased from 0.66 to 0.69 between 2010 and 2020, higher than the average of countries with similar income levels.
According to the UN Sustainable Development Report 2020, Vietnam is the only Southeast Asian country to achieve five UN action targets.
The article said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has been commended globally thanks to introducing containment measures that eased economic and human losses.
Vietnam is regarded as a bright spot in the “gloomy” global economy, becoming one of the 10 economies posting the highest GDP growth last year.
Apart from the CPV’s leadership, achievements are also attributable to the solidarity of the whole society, it said.
Regarding the freshly-ended 13th National Congress of the CPV, the article said it continued to set forth sound orientations to take Vietnam towards prosperity and affirm its important position in handling common issues in the region and the world.
The congress is expected to realise the country’s strategic targets by 2030 when the CPV marks its 100th establishment anniversary, while serving as a foundation for socio-economic orientations by 2045, when Vietnam celebrates its 100th founding anniversary, the article said./.
Enterprises vow to ensure sufficient goods during Tet: Ministry
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has directed localities, enterprises, and relevant agencies to review the supply and demand of goods and establish supply plans for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, especially in the context of the ongoing new outbreak of COVID-19.
It has also requested that units implement programmes to ensure market stability, focusing on ensuring the supply of pork at stable prices, conducting programmes to link supply and demand and send goods to rural, mountainous, and island areas, strengthening inspection and control in the market to fight smuggling and trade fraud, and guaranteeing food safety.
The ministry has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the supply and demand of certain products to meet the needs of the people.
Programmes linking supply and demand have been carried out with the participation of producers and distributors nationwide in order to support the consumption of agricultural products and at the same time ensure sufficient goods at stable prices for market stabilisation programmes.
Meanwhile, authorities in a number of cities and provinces, together with businesses, have planned to set aside goods to meet consumption needs in remote, border, and island areas.
Regarding pork, localities have directed businesses to seek adequate sources and adopt import plans to ensure sufficient supply during Tet.
According to the ministry, 26 localities nationwide plan to implement price stability programmes, meeting about 20-35 percent of market demand.
The People’s Committees of Hanoi and HCM City have directed businesses to increase supply in case of unexpected requests or prepare contingency plans in case the COVID-19 becomes more problematic.
Most enterprises, especially foreign-invested ones, are committed to providing enough goods without shortages or interruptions and extending service times at points of sale for price-stabilised goods during the holiday.
Notably, all products on the list of price-stabilised goods are made-in-Vietnam, the ministry said./.
HCM City posts economic growth in January
Ho Chi Minh City’s economy saw a variety of bright spots in the opening month of 2021 despite the ongoing complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan said that total retail sales of goods and revenue from consumer services in January reached nearly 120 trillion VND (5.2 billion USD), up 4 percent year-on-year, while State budget collections totalled 42.5 trillion VND, up 2.86 percent.
According to a report from the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, almost all sectors posted growth. Exports turnover enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 16.4 percent, while the index of industrial production increased 34.5 percent. A total of 3,309 enterprises resumed operations, up 119.5 percent.
Production value in the agro-forestry-fisheries sector hit 988 billion VND, up 2.2 percent against January 2020.
To maintain economic growth during February, the city will continue working on the twin targets of COVID-19 prevention and control and economic development.
It will actively implement the 13th National Party Congress’s Resolution and the 11th municipal Party Congress’s Resolution through specific programmes and plans.
It will also prepare sufficient goods and ensure food safety and hygiene for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday./.
EU firms show optimism about Vietnam’s business climate in 2021
The latest Business Climate Index (BCI) unveiled by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam on February 3 indicates that EU companies in Vietnam ended 2020 with overall optimistic view about the country’s business climate.
The BCI picked up 6 points in the fourth quarter of 2020 to reach 63.6 percentage points for the whole year, the highest since the outset of COVID-19. The index stood at a record low of 27 percentage points in the first quarter of last year, following the first wave of COVID-19 in Vietnam.
The BCI steadily grew throughout the year as the result of Vietnam’s successful containment of the novel coronavirus and the enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which took effect in August. The two factors have improved confidence in local economy and boost business activities.
According to the BCI report, about 57 percent of surveyed EuroCham members believed the Vietnamese economy is likely to stabilise and improve in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 39 percent in the third quarter of last year.
A more optimistic sentiment is also seen among European business leaders compared to the last three month of 2020. One third of the surveyed company members forecast that the number of their employees would increase in this quarter while 57 percent planned to maintain the same level of headcount. Some 30 percent believed investment is likely to expand and 43 percent expected increases in the volume and revenue of orders.
Some 70 percent said they have benefited from the EVFTA since the trade deal entered into force last year. About 33 percent, however, said public administrative procedures are likely to be their biggest obstacle to maximize advantages from the pact.
EuroCham Chairman Nicolas Audier said the latest BCI provides a positive outlook on Vietnam’s business climate and perspectives for 2021. Confidence of the business community on the economy has been strengthened over the last year, showing the Vietnamese government’s swift response to COVID-19 and promotion of the EVFTA, he said, adding that these would lay basis for the country’s economic growth over the next five years.
European business leaders expect growth in both investment and trade brought about by the EVFTA, he continued, they also expect that several barriers would be removed to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the trade deal./.
Vinamilk records great performance last year despite COVID-19
The Vietnam Dairy Products JSC – Vinamilk (VNM), the largest dairy company in Vietnam, posted a gain in revenue and profit in the fourth quarter of last year and the whole of 2020 despite disruptions due to COVID-19.
Vinamilk’s fourth quarter financial report showed an increase of 1.3 percent year-on-year in net revenue to 14.4 trillion VND. In 2020, its consolidated net revenue rose nearly 6 percent against 2019 to 59.6 trillion VND.
Of which, the company’s net revenue from domestic sales was at 50.8 trillion VND, up 6.9 percent year-on-year, while net revenue from international sales slightly increased by 0.35 percent to nearly 8.8 trillion VND.
Last year, Vinamilk’s foreign trade posted good performance as it expanded businesses to new markets like the Republic of Korea, China and Singapore, regardless of uncertainties due to the pandemic.
In April, the company official exported the first batch of condensed milk to China, less than two months after being given the green light to export to the world’s biggest market.
Vinamilk’s products were first introduced to Chinese consumers in October last year. And it has been cooperating closely with its Chinese counterparts to export a wide variety of products from milk to other drinks.
It was also allowed to sell products to the Eurasian Economic Union, including Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
In the fourth quarter, the dairy producer’s also spent more in sales and management activities. The cost was up 7.9 percent to 4.5 trillion VND and it climbed nearly 7.1 percent to 15.4 trillion VND in 2020.
Its profit after tax gained 2.7 percent year-on-year to 2.2 trillion VND in the fourth quarter of last year, and increased by 6.5 percent to 11.2 trillion VND in 2020. Its profit after tax margin was at 15.5 percent.
In 2020, the company also completed a merger and acquisition deal with GTNFoods JSC (GTN). Vinamilk bought over 3.4 trillion VND of GTN shares at the end of 2019.
US firms eye expanding investment in HCM City
More and more US businesses have been looking to pour capital into or expand their existing investment in Ho Chi Minh City, especially in hi-technology, electronics, and telecommunications, as well as other areas where the city has strengths.
Municipal authorities have granted a certificate to the US’s Intel Products Vietnam (IPV) Co. Ltd, allowing it to add 475 million USD to its project in the city’s hi-tech park and bring the total to over 1.5 billion USD.
Vice President and General Director of IPV, Kim Huat Ooi, affirmed that it will not reduce the size of its factory in Vietnam and plans to continue pouring in huge sums in the future.
IPV is one of ten Intel production facilities worldwide and receives the largest high-tech investment in Vietnam coming from the US.
According to Hua Quoc Hung, head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA), the city’s industrial parks are home to eight foreign-invested electronics projects with capital over 20 million USD. The largest is a plant worth 1.066 billion USD belonging to the US’s First Solar Co., Ltd.
Statistics show that over 160 US businesses are now investing in HCM City.
The southern hub is an attractive destination for new investment flows from multinational corporations, especially US tech firms moving their production out of China.
Its sound technology infrastructure, smart transport, and skilled workforce are advantages helping the city be more attractive in the eyes of investors.
Municipal authorities have rolled out specific orientations to strengthen cooperation with the US in the 2020-2025 period, focusing on expanding US investment in the city’s scientific and technological services supply chain, promoting innovation, turning the city into a smart city and an international financial centre, and forming a creative and interactive urban area in the city’s east.
Analysts have said the city needs to showcase its unique advantages in order to stand out among investment destinations so as to attract more foreign investment, especially from the US./.
Purchasing Managers’ Index dips to 51.3 in January
The Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 51.3 in January, down from 51.7 in December, to signal a softer improvement in business conditions at the start of 2021.
According to the latest survey from Nikkei and IHS Markit revealed on February 1, although business conditions in the Vietnamese manufacturing sector improved at the start of 2021, growth was softer than at the end of 2020. Production, employment and purchasing activity were all broadly unchanged in January, while new orders increased at a slower rate.
Meanwhile, a lack of shipping containers and raw material shortages meant severe supply-chain disruption, which in turn contributed to the fastest rise in input costs since June 2018.
The survey showed new orders continued to rise, extending the current sequence of expansion to five months. There were some reports of customers increasing the size of their orders. That said, the rate of growth eased from December. Meanwhile, new export orders were broadly unchanged, with weakness noted in markets where coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers remained elevated.
January saw a broadly stable picture for manufacturing production. While the rise in new orders supported increases in output at some firms, others reported that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to lead to falls in production.
The aforementioned increases in size of some orders started to impart pressure on capacity during January. Although backlogs of work decreased for the twelfth successive month, the rate of depletion was the softest in this sequence.
According to the survey, manufacturers kept their workforce numbers broadly unchanged, following a rise in December. Some firms raised employment in response to higher new orders, while others noted a reduction amid the pandemic and staff resignations. Purchasing activity was also little changed.
Efforts to secure inputs were stymied by severe disruption to supply chains again in January. In fact, the extent of the latest lengthening of delivery times was the greatest for almost a decade, except for during the worst of the COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April last year. Firms often reported a lack of shipping containers, as well as shortages of raw materials.
Issues with shipping and raw material supply added to inflationary pressures. The rate of input cost inflation quickened for the fifth month running and was the fastest since June 2018.
Output prices, meanwhile, increased for the fifth successive month, albeit at a modest pace that was much weaker than that seen for input costs.
Efforts to guard against raw material price rises led firms to increase their stocks of purchases, the second month running in which this has been the case.
On the other hand, stocks of finished goods decreased, and to the greatest extent in five months.
Although manufacturers remained confident regarding the 12-month outlook, sentiment dipped to a five-month low amid concerns about the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Where firms were optimistic, this reflected hopes for a reduced pandemic impact and plans for investment and production expansions.
“The Vietnamese manufacturing sector struggled to gain momentum at the start of 2021, as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and substantial disruption to supply chains hampered operations. The data suggest that while the Vietnamese economy remains one of the better performers globally, there are significant headwinds that could prevent a return to the stellar growth rates seen pre-pandemic in the near-term at least,” Andrew Harker, Economics Director at IHS Markit, said./.
Over 1 billion USD worth of Gov’t bonds raised in January
The State Treasury raised over 23.49 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD) worth of Government bonds via 12 auctions on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) in January.
The successful rate of bids was 90.36 percent.
Interest rates of bonds in successful bids decreased on the maturities of 5 years, 10 years, 15 years and 30 years, with reduction ranging from 0.11 – 0.15 percent each year.
On the secondary G-bond market, the average trading value reached 15.174 trillion VND per session, up 8.16 percent month-on-month and the highest since the beginning of 2020.
The total outright purchases of G-bonds in the month hit over 1.82 billion bonds valued at 202.1 trillion VND, down 5.42 percent in value from December last year.
Meanwhile, the total volume traded via repos reached over 957.7 million bonds, worth more than 101.3 trillion VND, down 6.97 percent from the previous month.
Foreign investors made outright purchases of over 8.75 trillion VND, and outright sales of 5.93 trillion VND./.
Digital transformation no longer optional for small firms: seminar
Vietnamese enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones, should embrace digital transformation to survive but also improve their production and trading processes and business efficiency in the industry 4.0 era, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a seminar heard in HCM City on Wednesday.
Tran Phu Lu, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City (ITPC), said Viet Nam has some 800,000 enterprises, of which SMEs account for 95 per cent and contribute 45 per cent of GDP.
When the pandemic broke out, over 90 per cent of SMEs were affected, with their revenues dropping by more than 50 per cent, and about 24 per cent had to suspend operations, he said.
“Now digital transformation is no longer an option but a critical need for SMEs. The Covid-19 epidemic forces businesses to transform from traditional to new economic models with the application of science and technology and new technologies.”
Tran Thai Son, an executive at the HCM City Union of Business Associations, said digital transformation is the application of digital technologies to improve management efficiency, customer experience and employees’ efficiency.
“Customer behaviour has changed… your competitors are adopting digital transformation. If you don’t transform your business, you will lag behind.”
SMEs incorrectly think only large enterprises need to embrace digital transformation and that it is some kind of miracle that helps transform the businesses immediately, he said.
Nguyen Dinh Thang, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Association for Information Processing, and chairman of Hong Co Group, said Vietnamese businesses are aware of the importance of digital transformation and have made some investment. However, their transformation has only just begun; many companies are still in the planning stage.
Lu said a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2020 in 14 Asia-Pacific countries found that SMEs with a high degree of digital transformation saw revenues and productivity increase significantly.
It also found that 72 per of Vietnamese SMEs are seeking to transform to bring new products and services to the market compared to just 32 per cent the previous year, he said.
Delegates at the event said while digital transformation is costly businesses could choose technologies that are suited to their demands and budgets.
Vu Anh Tuan, general secretary of the HCM City Computer Association (HCA), said, “Finding an appropriate digital transformation solution is an important factor that decides the success of digital transformation.”
Enterprises should not wait until they grow to switch to digital technology, particularly amid the Covid-19 pandemic and highly competitive business environment.
Son said enterprises need to identify their objectives and priority areas to transform first.
Thang called on the Government to create a sound legal framework to facilitate digital transformation.
The seminar was organised by the ITPC and HCA.
Seminar talks up Polish market potential for Vietnamese exports
Poland is a promising export market for Vietnamese goods, especially with the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement taking effect last year, experts have said.
Speaking at the seminar on exports to the EU in HCM City last week, Tran Phu Lu, deputy director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), said: “With a population of more than 38 million, Poland has a young and highly skilled workforce, good infrastructure, friendly business environment, and strong economic growth prospects, and provides great access to the promising 500-million EU market.”
Since joining the EU in 2004, the country had achieved great results in terms of economic reforms, improving business climate and accelerating economic growth, he said.
According to the figures from the World Bank, Poland’s GDP in 2019 was US$596 billion, making it the 10th largest economy in the EU. Its economy grew at more than 4 per cent a year in 2014 – 19 period, driven by strong domestic demand, consumer confidence and a vibrant labour market, though in 2020 GDP was forecast to decline by 4.25 per cent due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the World Trade Organization, Poland is the 23rd largest exporter and 20th largest importer in the world.
Its main export markets are Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, and the US, and it imports mainly from the EU, China, Russia, the US, and the UK.
Last year Viet Nam’s trade with Poland was worth $2.115 billion, up 17.6 per cent from 2019 despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with exports accounting for almost $1.77 billion.
Piotr Harasimowicz, head of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency office in HCM City, said Viet Nam was the 19th largest exporter of goods to Poland with the major items being computers, electronics and spare parts, garments and textiles, coffee, and footwear.
The EVFTA, which took effect in August last year, offers opportunities to boost bilateral trade, he said.
“Under the EVFTA 71 per cent of tariffs are immediately removed by the EU on Vietnamese exports and the rest will be removed within seven years, which will help Vietnamese goods conquer the EU market, especially the Polish market.”
Dang Thai Thien of the city Department of Customs said Vietnamese firms needed to improve in terms of quarantine and food safety, technical barriers, origin of goods, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and those related to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing if they want to export to the EU.
Experts said fisheries businesses needed to pay close attention to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing regulations.
Tuna exports to the US increase
Viet Nam’s tuna exports increased strongly in the first month of this year, especially to the US market with many orders.
According to tuna export enterprises in Khanh Hoa Province, in January, they saw an increase of 3-5 times in tuna import orders and even 10 times compared to December 2020, especially for the US market.
Nguyen Thi Thu Thanh, director of Ben Vung Seafood Co, Ltd., said the company received many orders to export tuna to the US in January. However, the local companies have faced shortages of raw materials for processing tuna products due to a strong reduction in tuna output in many countries such as India and Singapore. This has led to higher prices of raw tuna.
At present, the price has surged to US$5 per kilo of tuna from $3.5 in November 2020. Le Buu Quoc, head of the Thinh Hung Co, Ltd’s Procurement Department, said that the higher price of imported raw tuna and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed the price of tuna up in the domestic market. But businesses still had to buy the material at high prices for processing export products.
Quoc said the company had received many orders to export tuna products to the US, mainly for supermarkets, while restaurants in the US, especially high-end establishments, had not reopened.
Amid the pandemic, export orders to the US helped the company maintain stability in production. Meanwhile, the export price had increased by about 4 per cent compared to the previous month.
T&H Nha Trang Co, Ltd. is also receiving orders for tuna from many markets. Therefore, this company has also increased the purchasing price of tuna to VND115,000 per kilo to encourage fishermen to catch the fish.
Huynh Dac Tri, director of the T&H Nha Trang Co, Ltd., said the tuna export markets were under normal operations, excluding the European market that was still tightly controlled. Of which, the consumption of fresh tuna products from Viet Nam was stable.
“The US market has not reduced demand. Therefore, the domestic tuna exporters are increasing purchases of raw material to fulfil export contracts because they face a serious shortage,” said Tri.
Nguyen Trung Hieu, head of the Management Board of the Hon Ro fishing port and the South Central Coast seafood market, said in January, most tuna fishing vessels achieved higher output than the previous month.
Specifically, each fishing vessel caught from 30-40 units of tuna fish on average, or 1.2-1.5 tonnes, with some managing 50-80 units of tuna or 2-3 tonnes. Purchasing price of tuna ranges from VND110,000-115,000 per kilo, an increase of about VND10,000-20,000.
According to the Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on the global and Vietnamese tuna industry.
VASEP said that tuna exports in 2021 could not recover due to continuing developments of COVID-19.
Currently, the pandemic is not under control and moreover there is a risk of a rebound, so the global tuna market is expected to not yet recover.
However, the EU market will continue to be the lever for Viet Nam’s exports of tuna products, such as canned tuna, fresh and frozen tuna, to the EU market in 2021.
Viet Nam gained a total export value of $649 million in 2020 from exporting tuna to 108 markets in the world. The value fell by 9.8 per cent year on year.
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