By Quoc Hung – Translated by Kim Khanh
By Quoc Hung – Translated by Kim Khanh
Thanh Nien Street, located between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake , is brightly lit at dusk.
The street is renowned for its beauty, with the blackboard trees that line it providing ample shade and its ancient temples adding a sense of spiritual tranquility.
Tran Quoc Pagoda is seen at 7 p.m.
Located on a small peninsula on the east side of West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, at nearly 1,500 years, is known as the oldest pagoda in the capital.
Adding to the architectural beauty and historical significance of the pagoda is a Bodhi tree said to be the “offspring” of the original tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in India.
Long Bien Bridge, a symbolic Red River crossing, was designed and built by French firm Daydé-Pillié in September 1898. It opened to traffic in 1902, running more than 1,691 meters, with a rail track in the middle and road transportation on either side.
During the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the bridge had some of its parts damaged and even destroyed by enemy bombing. The Vietnamese government fixed the damage, building the spans still in use today.
Octagon House, built in 1901, used to host the French army’s trumpet shows. The structure lies inside the Ly Thai To flower garden area, encompassing the streets of Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Lai, Le Thach and Ngo Quyen.
Turtle Tower, an iconic symbol of Hanoi in the middle of Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, shines at night.
Hoan Kiem Lake, which spreads across 12 hectares (30 acres), is named for the legend of a golden turtle god showing up at the lake to take back a sword it had given King Le Loi in the 15th century to help fight Chinese invaders.
Hanoi’s St. Joseph Cathedral is located at 40 Nha Chung Street. Built between 1884 and 1888, it has been a place of worship for Catholics in the capital for more than a century.
The Chuong Duong Bridge interchange at night.
Connecting Hoan Kiem District and Long Bien District, Chuong Duong Bridge is 1,230 meters long with four two-way traffic lanes.
Built from 1983 to 1986, the bridge was the first in Vietnam designed and built without foreign technical assistance.
Hanoi Museum, part of Vietnam National Convention Center, is located on Pham Hung Street in Nam Tu Liem District. The building was completed in 2010 with an inverted pyramid design.
A view of Landmark 72 and other high-rise buildings amid the foggy cityscape.
Landmark 72 on Pham Hung Street is the country’s second highest building, after Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The growth was fuelled by an expansion of 7.5 percent in manufacturing sector, 3.7 percent in information-communications, finance-banking and professional services.
The construction sector contracted by 20.2 percent year-on-year, improving from the 35.9 percent decline in the previous quarter. The improvement came on the back of a pickup in public and private sector construction activities in the first quarter as compared to the previous quarter, said the Singaporean Ministry of Industry and Trade .
Last year, Singapore’s gross domestic product suffered a 5.4 percent contraction, marking the first recession since 2001.
In a report released in February, the ministry forecast that Singapore’s economy will recover gradually this year and achieve a growth of 4-6 percent./.
In their end-of-term report, JICA experts identified the urban planning for the area surrounding Lien Chieu Port, a transport connectivity plan, a plan to find suitable locations for terminals, the feasibility of a public-private partnership, a model for effective management and operation of this port, and an appropriate investment plan harmonising interests of both State and private sector.
Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Le Quang Nam said the Prime Minister, in his decision to give the in-principle approval, requested the municipal People’s Committee to promptly carry out procedures to select capable investors to build and run terminals of Lien Chieu Port in line with legal regulations.
He said JICA’s participation and assistance in preparing for the project are highly necessary that will create a prerequisite for the development of this port.
Shimizu Akira, Chief Representative of the JICA Vietnam Office, said Lien Chieu Port should be put into use as soon as possible, adding that the consultancy group will take into account the city’s opinions to perfect the port development plan.
He also expressed his hope for continued cooperation from local authorities in this issue.
The common infrastructure component of the Lien Chieu Port project was approved in principle by the Prime Minister on March 25, 2021, aiming to build infrastructure for common use in the port so as to create a foundation for developing a seaport in the Lien Chieu area.
It is expected to have total investment of more than 3.4 trillion VND (147.4 million USD) and be carried out from 2021 to 2025.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the committee.
The board asked that favourable conditions continue to be created for the clinical test of COVID-19 vaccines, while plans of production should be put in place in order to quickly produce vaccines once the testing proves successful.
Hailing the Health Ministry for its vaccination efforts and dealing with post-vaccination reactions, the board directed the health, public security, and national defence ministries to continue closely controlling immigration pending a policy regarding “vaccine passports”.
Many at the meeting reiterated that prevention measures continue to play an important role in the current context.
Ministries, agencies, and localities are urged to direct medical stations, schools, lodging facilities, factories, and markets to remain vigilant and seriously follow prevention and control measures.
Vietnam reported 16 imported cases of COVID-19 on the evening of the same day, raising the national count to 2,733.
The new cases include one Indian expert, one American expert and 14 Vietnamese citizens who were sent to quarantine right upon their arrival.
Meanwhile, 2,445 COVID-19 patients have been given the all-clear, and the death toll remains at 35.
Among patients still under treatment, 16 have tested negative for the novel coronavirus once, 18 twice and 18 thrice.
A total 38,743 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined across the country.
The Health Ministry continues to urge all people to follow the 5K motto – Khau trang (wearing facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfecting) – Khoang cach (keeping distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (making medical declaration), in order to live safely amid the pandemic.
|Digiworld aims to grow 25 per cent on average annually in the next decade|
Two months ago, Digiworld’s executive told securities firms that a partner producing and assembling Xiaomi tech products is opening a plant in Vietnam’s northern port city Haiphong, and that the plant would commence operation in the second half of this year.
Albeit the information was not yet confirmed by Digiworld’s leadership at the company’s recent annual general shareholders’ meeting on April 4, the company’s CEO Doan Hong Viet was quoted as saying, “This is informal information; Xiaomi and Digiworld will be making an official announcement on a suitable timing in the future.”
In fact, Digiworld is the exclusive distributor of all Xiaomi products in the Vietnamese market. According to Viet, home appliances would be one of hte key segments of Digiworld by 2024 with the target of holding a “remarkable market share”, in which TV sets would secure the largest share in value.
The home appliances market, with teh main items being TV sets, refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, and the like, has been totally untouched by Digiworld until the present. Viet explained that the overly high import duty of about 15 per cent was the reason why Digiworld had yet to engage in importing products for distribution and wholesale in the Vietnamese market.
|At the recent AGM, CEO Viet also lifted the curtain on Digiworld’s intention to venture into other product segments to realise the target of reaching a market cap in the billion-dollar range.|
“If there was a plant assembling Xiaomi products in Vietnam, the tariff barrier would disappear, providing the bedrock for us to break into this up-and-coming segment. This will be the answer for the question how Digiworld would attain an annual growth pace averaging 25 per cent in the upcoming decade,” said Viet.
On the sidelines of Digiworld’s annual general meeting (AGM), Viet said that the company will be making an official foray into the home appliance wholesale market late this year or early next year. Hence, this new segment will make no contributions to the company’s revenue and post-tax profit targets which have been set at VND15.2 trillion ($660.87 million) and VND300 billion ($13 million) for 2021.
“Digiworld is the exclusive distributor of Xiaomi and Huawei products in Vietnam. If we succeed in grabbing about 5-10 per cent market share of the TV market, which is now valued at about VND40 trillion ($1.74 billion), that would be remarkable. For the time being, we are distributing Xiaomi items in this segment,” said Viet.
The Chinese TV market is dominated by Xiaomi. In Vietnam, the TV market belongs to three top players – Samsung, Sony, and LG.
According to figures by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department, the domestic home appliances market is valued at about $12.5-13 billion and the purchasing demand for household electronic items and kitchen devices will remain high at least to 2025.
At the recent AGM, CEO Viet also lifted the curtain on Digiworld’s intention to venture into other product segments to realise the target of reaching a market cap in the billion-dollar range.
Accordingly, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals through acquiring firms possessing distribution channels which Digiworld doesn’t have is the tactic helping the company to realise its 25 per cent annual growth target.
Digiworld was also reported to have been working with several consultancy firms and “targeting” several firms for M&A but has yet to reach the stage of “making an announcement”.
Last year, consumer goods fetched Digiworld VND265 billion ($11.5 million), only 2 per cent of the company’s total revenue, fulfilling only 53 per cent of the projection.
The solution for this disappointing performance is “giving priority to finding new products as well as engaging in M&A”.
Digiworld’s putting investment into pawnshop chain Vietmoney is an example. The company has been using Vietmoney’s outlets as a lever to stimulate business activities.
Accordingly, in September 2020, Vietmoney announced wrapping up its Series A funding round from Digiworld Venture and Finnish equity fund Probus Opportunities.
These two partners were reported to co-manage a 30 per cent stake in Vietmoney and have seats at Vietmoney’s Board of Management.
According to Digiworld’s report, the partners have put VND50.5 billion ($2.2 million) to possess a 21.86 per cent stake in Vietmoney.
“To grow into a billion-dollar company, we are seeking growth across the board, from consumer goods to supplementing new brands, customers, and sales channels. We are also constantly searching for new models towards realising the target of shaping a complete consumer ecosystem,” said Nguyen Hai Khoi, Digiworld’s investment director.
Khoi shares that Vietmoney is providing personal financial solutions that could effectively serve Digiworld’s consumer goods segment.
Statistics by fintech firm FiinGroup show that around 48 per cent of the Vietnamese population have low income of below $300 per month, a potential segment for consumer lending firms.