By Dr. Tung Bui, Faculty Director of Vietnam Executive MBA, University of Hawaii There has been a bit of discussion about bananas lately. In Vietnam, the recent success of growing quality bananas and the export of high-yield banana flowers and leaves from the commune of Tan Long, Huong Hoa, Quang Tri, have been praised as a successful initiative by local farmers to reduce poverty. Bananas are one of the most important and traditional fruits in Vietnam. According to the FAO, annual commercial production of bananas is just over one million tons. This number seems small. And statistics should take into account the large number of additional bananas grown by family farms in small production outputs, for local and family use. According to Reuters, the global export market of bananas is worth $7 billion. If Vietnam wants to join the world's top producers of bananas for a share of this growing market, it has to quickly modernize its production. According to the United Nations, Uganda, China, … [Read more...] about NEWS BRIEF & COMMENT: The Chiquita-Fyffes Merger: Should Vietnamese banana farmers adopt mass production or product diversification?
* Vietnam may fail to achieve its goal of attracting at least US$15 billion of committed foreign direct investment this year amid a faltering global recovery and a domestic growth slowdown. "It will be very hard to meet the target," said Do Nhat Hoang, head of the Foreign Investment Agency at the Ministry of Planning and Investment. "We are facing domestic economic difficulties, fueled by unfavorable developments in global markets that have negatively impacted foreign investment this year," he told reporters in Hanoi on Wednesday. * Progress in free-trade talks between the European Union and Vietnam may trigger a resurgence of investment in the Southeast Asian nation from companies within the 27-nation bloc, the EU's top representative in Vietnam said. Early headway in negotiations would boost interest in Vietnam even before an accord is signed, Ambassador Franz Jessen, head of the European Union delegation to Vietnam, said in an interview. * Several banks are waiting for the … [Read more...] about News briefs
TNK-BP expands eastern front with Conoco Vietnam bid Russia's TNK-BP, developing a gas project in Vietnam acquired from its major shareholder BP, has also bid for ConocoPhillips assets in the Asian country, TNK-BP's head of upstream operations Alexander Dodds said on Monday. "We did put a bid in," Dodds told a news briefing in response to a question. TNK-BP, a 50-50 joint venture between BP and a quartet of Soviet-born businessmen, has already taken over some gas assets in the South China Sea from its British co-owner and expressed its interest in expanding in Vietnam. It has said it will bid for one block of nine blocks on offer by the Vietnamese government in a tender which opens this week. State oil and gas group Petrovietnam has already said it will bid for the ConocoPhillips assets, three oil fields and one gas field which are further north in the South China Sea. Their location at a fair distance from TNK-BP's Vietnamese base means they are likely to be a low priority for … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/12
VWS proposes taking less waste for treatment Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS), facing strong public criticisms over a foul smell from its waste management facility in southern HCMC, has written to the HCMC government proposing taking less waste for treatment from next week. The company said in a document sent to the city government on Wednesday that from October 10, it would scale down the daily volume of garbage it receives from the current 5,000 tons to 3,000 tons, which was exactly the amount its Da Phuoc integrated waste management facility handled a day before the city government allowed it to manage an additional 2,000 tons in November 2014. This 2,000-ton volume was transferred from Phuoc Hiep waste treatment complex in the outlying district of Cu Chi. According to VWS, this is a necessary step to reduce the volume of waste it treats amid public criticisms over the spread of the odor from Da Phuoc. The recent heavy downpours, especially on September 26 and 27, have caused leachate … [Read more...] about Social News 9/10
Hanoi office rents down slightly in Q3 Hanoi’s office segment has experienced a slight decline in rental prices according to the latest report from Savills on the capital’s real estate market in the third quarter, released on October 12. The report showed that average rents fell 0.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter due to downward adjustments to both Grade A and C office space but increased 3 per cent year-on-year. Average occupancy showed an improvement of 2.2 ppts quarter-on-quarter and 2.8 ppts year-on-year, mostly due to Grade B increases of 2.9 ppts quarter-on-quarter and Grade A increases of 2.3 ppts quarter-on-quarter. Hanoi’s office stock remained stable quarter-on-quarter but increased 9 per cent year-on-year. In the final quarter of the year one project will enter the market, supplying approximately 11,300 sq m. Total take-up was approximately 23,000 sq m. Grade B led with approximately 18,000 sq m followed by Grade A with 8,400 sq m and Grade C with 4,300 sq m. It is expected … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 14/10