Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Mekong Delta rice exports up 18 percent

The Mekong Delta of Vietnam exported 670,000 tonnes of rice in the first two months of 2013, earning US$304 million in revenue – an 18 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Asia is the largest market, consuming 65 percent of the total volume, followed by America, Africa, Europe and Oceania.

The average rice price has increased from VND5,200  to VND5,300 per kilogram in recent times.

The Mekong Delta plans to export between 6.5 and 6.8 million tonnes of rice in 2013.

Vietnam’s agro-fishery exports to Japan in focus

A seminar on monitoring the hygiene of Vietnam’s agro-fishery exports was held in Tokyo on March 6 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and the ASEAN–Japan Centre.

At the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Doan Xuan Hung expressed hope that the two countries’ Governments and businesses will work closely together to increase Vietnam’s exports to Japan, especially farm produce and seafood.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Dang Khoa said since Vietnam and Japan signed the economic partnership agreement on investment protection and trade and service liberalisation in 2008, 86 percent of Vietnam’s exports to Japan have enjoyed preferential tariffs.

Vietnam is sparing no effort to perfect the management of food quality, hygiene and safety based on risk analysis and universal supervision, Khoa said.

As one of the world’s leading agro-fishery exporters, Vietnam has shipped its products to 160 countries, earning US$27.5 billion last year. Its total shipment to Japan alone exceeded US$2 billion, Khoa added.

Participants in the event were informed of the food hygiene and safety laws issued by the Vietnam National Assembly which took effect in July, 2011.

To increase farm produce and seafood exports to Japan, Viet Nam needed to ensure that goods met strict food safety and hygiene standards, said Doan Xuan Hung, the Vietnamese ambassador to Tokyo, at a seminar in the Japanese capital yesterday.

Viet Nam’s exports to Japan increased in recent years but still represented only about 1.7 per cent of Japan’s total imports, according to Hung. Many major products of Viet Nam, especially farm produce and seafood, had not yet appeared on the Japanese market.

It was important to make Japanese importers and consumers “feel secure”, an effort that could be helped along by governments and enterprises on both sides, he said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Dang Khoa said that since the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement on investment protection and free trade was signed in 2008, up to 86 per cent of Vietnamese exports to Japan had enjoyed tax incentives. The agreement opened up many opportunities for enterprises processing and exporting farm produce and seafood, he said.
To increase farm produce and seafood exports to Japan, Viet Nam needed to ensure that goods met strict food safety and hygiene standards.—VNA/vns photo

Last year, exports of these commodities to Japan reached over US$2 billion, a result Khoa said still lagged behind potential.

Viet Nam would continue to work on quality assurance and food safety management systems to ensure its goods met strict international requirements, he said.

Masamitsu Nakaizumi, a representative of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, said it was also very important for Viet Nam to pay adequate attention to agricultural development since 80 per cent of its population lives in rural areas.

He said Japan had assisted Viet Nam with expert exchanges and farm produce hygiene improvement projects over the last few years, efforts which he expected to intensify in the future.

Viet Nam was proving a more and more attractive destination for Japanese enterprises with an average per capita income of $1,500, said ASEAN-Japan Centre General Secretary Yoshikuni Onishi.

As the two countries marked their 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the centre planned to carry out a series of projects to foster bilateral economic cooperation as well as trade, investment and tourism relations. Recent conferences discussing the Vietnamese investment environment had drawn great interest from Japanese enterprises, he noted.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that a wave of investment from Japan to Viet Nam had boomed after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Southeast Asian country in 2006, and his visit early this year was expected to spur a new surge of capital. In Hung’s words, the relationship between Viet Nam and Japan was “finer than ever”.

Trade with Bangladesh down

The General Department of Customs has reported that the bilateral trade value between Viet Nam and Bangladesh reached nearly US$390 million last year, down 18.9 per cent over the previous year.

Viet Nam’s exports totaled $353 million, down 20 per cent from 2011, while its imports also declined 11.7 per cent from the previous year to $35.4 million.

The highest valued export commodities included clinker with a total 2012 revenue of $205 million, an 860 per cent surge on 2011, followed by fibres, textiles, iron, and steel products.

The fall in earnings of exports to Bangladesh is primarily due to Viet Nam halting rice shipments to the market.-

Real estate giant VinGroup hits record revenue

Real estate giant VinGroup (VIC) posted envy-inducing business results for the year of 2012, despite the lacklustre property market.

According to their 2012 consolidated income statement, the group’s total revenue hit a record of more than VND7.904 trillion (US$378.2 million), a surge of 242 per cent from the previous year.

This result was attributed to rising rental income from Vincom Centre A in HCM City and Vincom Centre Long Bien in Ha Noi, sales of office space in Vincom Centre Ba Trieu and additional revenue from hospitality, beauty and health care services after acquiring Vinpearl.

Sales, whose service revenue totalled almost VND2.84 trillion ($135.9 million).

The group’s net profit reached VND1.847 trillion ($88.4 million), up 72 per cent over the previous year.

At the end of 2012, its total assets were valued at VND55.825 trillion ($2.67 billion), an increase of more than VND20.3 trillion ($971.3 million) over 2011.

The increase came from new real estate projects such as Vincom Centre A in HCM City, Royal City, Times City and Vincom Village in Ha Noi as well as other properties acquired from Vinpearl and other subsidiary companies after merger and acquisition (MA) deals.

However, loans also increased with the issue of $300 million international convertible bonds and additional loans from Vinpearl during the second and third quarters. The group borrowed more than VND21.8 trillion (over $1 billion) from banks and other credit institutions – an increase of VND11.7 trillion ($559.8 million) over 2011.

Based on its total capital of VND55.825 trillion ($2.67 billion), the group’s ratio of debt to total capital was 39.1 per cent.

While the market was constrained by both domestic and global economic difficulties, VinGroup’s general director Le Thi Thu Thuy said, the situation would gradually stabilise and the company’s business would continue to develop this year.

In 2013, VinGroup projects will hand over nearly 8,000 apartments in the Royal City and Times City to customers and put Vincom Megal Mall Royal City, the biggest trade center in Viet Nam, into operation in July.

This year, the group also expects to debut shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange, becoming the first Vietnamese company to list shares overseas.

Province to revoke 8 mining licences

Central Highlands Lam Dong Province’s People’s Committee will revoke eight licences to exploit minerals in Bao Lam District.

Granted to eight companies and individuals, the licenses expired between three and four years ago and cannot be extended.

The companies and individuals have been asked to remove their assets from mineral exploiting areas within 30 days.

Vehicle importers accelerate growth

The number of cars imported into Viet Nam as a movable asset of overseas Vietnamese who repatriate the country had increased sharply in the last two years.

“This reveals a loop-hole in current regulations,” said deputy head of the Viet Nam General Department Customs (GDC), Nguyen Van Can.

Under Circular No 118/2009/TT-BTC that took effect in 2009, overseas Vietnamese who repatriate may import one currently-used private car without paying import tax or VAT.

Under current regulations, import taxes range from 72-82 per cent of the car’s value, and VAT is ten per cent. Car users also have to pay a special consumption tax which is 30 per cent of the vehicle’s value.

Prior to 2010, there were on average 38 cars of this kind being imported into Viet Nam each year. However, from November 2011 to the end of 2012, over 1,200 cars from overseas were imported as movable assets.

“This is unusual,” Can said, adding that another strange point was the cars were imported via minor border gates in remote provinces including Thai Nguyen, Lao Cai, Dak Lak and Long An.

Most of them were luxury or super cars.

Can noted that in mid-2011, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued circular, restricting the import of luxury items including new cars with less than nine seats.

The circular stated that many luxury cars, especially those that did not have official distributors in Viet Nam, were not allowed to enter the country.

Viet Nam has recently slackened restrictions on policies recognising overseas Vietnamese under the Law on Residence, allowing them to have dual-nationality for the first time.

“It’s a loop-hole in current regulations that automobile importers and traders make use of to evade taxes,” Can said.

According to the general department’s Anti-smuggling Investigation Department, their initial investigations found that overseas Vietnamese were taking advantage of the policy to import luxury and super cars.

Can said that the general department of customs had asked the Finance Ministry to revise import requirements and those eligible for tax related incentives.

More criteria would be taken into account including the minimum period of time overseas Vietnamese possess foreign nationalities and their average income.

Customs officers were co-operating with police to examine documents relating to the issue, Can said, noting that any detected violators would be strictly punished.

New opportunities for US investors

Viet Nam has an important position for establishing economic and trade links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Marc Mealy, Vice Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), at a seminar on Viet Nam-bound investment in New York on Tuesday.

Speaking to over 70 representatives from local companies, trade organisations and investment funds, Mealy said the Obama administration’s US Pivot Strategy towards Asia and the possible signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would create more opportunities for US businesses to invest in Viet Nam.

Vietnamese Ambassador Le Hoai Trung, Viet Nam’s permanent representative to the United Nations, described his country’s competitive advantages – a large population, abundant workforce and favourable geographic position – as investment “magnets”.

Citing southern Binh Duong province as the most favourable investment environment in Viet Nam, he said the province had attracted a huge amount of capital from US companies and groups, contributing to national development.

Walter Blocker, one of the first US businessmen to pour capital into the Viet Nam Trade Alliance branch in HCM City since diplomatic ties between the countries were normalised in 1995, shared his success stories and said that Viet Nam had made great strides in reforming the investment environment.

Participants focused on business-related procedures in the Southeast Asian country and Binh Duong province in particular, as well as US-Viet Nam ties.

The seminar was held by Binh Duong-based Becamex ID Corporation with the support of Citibank and the New York-based Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Vo Son Dien, Marketing Director of Becamex IDC Binh Duong, said the seminar aimed to attract investment from funds in the US, as well as small and medium American companies, as almost all the large corporations of the world’s largest economy are already present in Viet Nam.

Japanese firm opens feed plant

Japanese company Kyodo Sojitz Feed (KSF) officially opened a plant in the Thinh Phat Industrial Park in southern Long An Province’s Ben Luc District yesterday.

The plant has total investment capital of US$24 million, to which Sojits Corp contributed 51 per cent and Kyodo Shiryo Co, the remaining 49 per cent. It has a designed annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes.

The company aims to achieve an output of 2 million tonnes in 2020, according to general director Takashi Ishiguro.

Currently it offers pig feed. It will later offer products for poultry and other livestock.

He said his company would focus on markets in Long An and Tien Giang provinces before expanding to the whole Cuu Long Delta.

Retail sales, services up 10.9%

Total revenue from retail trade and services during the first two months of 2013 was estimated at VND422.2 trillion (US$20.59 billion), a surge of 10.9 per cent year-on-year.

Excluding the price factor, according to the General Statistical Office (GSO), retail sales in January and February rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year.

Trade accounted for the biggest percentage of the increase, hitting VND328.2 trillion (over $16 billion – a yearly increase of 10.4 per cent).

The hotel and restaurant sector posted annual growth of 13 per cent, rising to VND48.8 trillion ($2.38 billion) and accounting for 11.6 per cent of the country’s total figure.

The services sector grew 14.5 per cent to VND41.7 trillion ($2.03 billion), making up 9.9 per cent.

Notably, the tourism sector recorded a slump of 4.4 per cent from a year earlier to VND3.5 trillion ($170.7 million) and accounted for a modest 0.8 per cent.

According to GSO, the value of retail sales rose by 16 per cent in 2012 to VND2,324 trillion ($110.7 billion).

While the pace of growth was well below the average increase in recent years of about 20 per cent, it was still viewed as acceptable in light of the current economic difficulties, which have shrunk purchasing power and caused consumers to tighten their belts, the GSO said.

Inventories in manufacturing and processing industries fell this year from 30 per cent in the early months of 2012 to an average of 23 per cent for the entire year, a pattern expected to repeat in the coming months.

Purchases of essential goods and construction materials in HCM City post-Tet has fallen significantly compared to the same period last year.

According to Nguyen Thanh Nhan, director of the Co.op mart supermarket chain, purchases of daily items have shown only slight growth. “Consumers are still holding tight to their budgets, and only shopping for very necessary items,” he said.

Nhan forecast that sales in the first six months of the year would not increase.

“Consumers will focus on food and daily items. Sales of clothing, footwear, housework items and cosmetics will not increase. Furthermore, consumers will be more selective,” he said.

Nhan said that shops and stands selling clothing, footwear and eye glasses have had very few buyers.

Even though many shops opened soon after Tet, sales growth remains slow.

An owner of a construction material shop said sales from the 15th of February to now had totalled only VND7million (US$333).

Supermarkets and shopping centres around the city have held promotions to attract buyers after Tet, but they have not been effective.

Prices on most items have returned to normal.

Experts said consumers were unsure about the state of the economy and when it would recover.

Singapore Airlines offers special

Singapore Airlines has teamed up with Vietrantour and Golden Tour agencies to offer a range of affordable international tours.

A four-day tour to Singapore will cost VND10.9 million (US$521), while tours to Bali, Indonesia are priced at VND17.8 million ($851).

Seven days in Australia with visits to three cities will cost VND55.9 million ($2,674). Tourists will be able to travel 10 days in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany for VND64.9 million ($3,105).

The promotion ends in May.

VN firms strive for Russian success
 
The Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in Russia will do its utmost to help its members overcome difficulties, said Tran Dang Chung, President of the association, at a get-together in Moscow on Saturday.

During the meeting, Chung highlighted the association’s achievements in helping Vietnamese businesses map out long-term strategies, penetrate the Russian market and protect fellow members’legitimate rights. He also praised members for attending the Vietnamese Business Forum in the Czech Republic and conducting a market survey in Krasnodar City.

In addition, the association and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) were successful in jointly organising the Viet Nam-Russia Business Forum as part of President Truong Tan Sang’s Russia visit last June, he said.

In 2013, the association will continue participating in a number of social activities to strengthen solidarity and expand the Vietnamese community in Russia.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Pham Xuan Son highly praised the association’s achievements over the past years, as well as its participation in foreign work, which he said helped consolidate the relationship between Viet Nam and Russia.

He mentioned that Viet Nam had began Free Trade Area negotiations with the Customs Alliance of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, creating an excellent opportunity for businesses from both sides.

He said the upcoming visits of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung would strengthen the traditional friendly relations, effective cooperation and comprehensive strategic partnership between Viet Nam and Russia.

Maritime exhibition opens in City

The fourth international maritime exhibition opens today in HCM City’s Tan Binh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Tan Binh District.

The three-day International Marine and Offshore Exhibition or INMEX Viet Nam 2013, formerly known as Maritime Viet Nam, aims to represent the country as an emerging market for the maritime industry in Southeast Asia.

The exhibition brings together the latest products and technology in shipbuilding, maritime engineering, offshore engineering and technology and ports and logistics.

It is expected to attract about 300 companies and brands from 16 countries and territories, including Viet Nam, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the US.

“We are pleased to be part of the next edition of INMEX Viet Nam in 2013, an event which gathers leading players from the international maritime community,” said Marjan Lacet, general manager of HME Singapore branch. “We’re confident that with the quality of industry professionals attending the event over the past years, this is an ideal platform to learn and do business for the maritime industry in Viet Nam.”

Maciej Leszek Ryczko, managing director of Polviet.com and representative from the Poland Pavilion, shared Lacet’s optimism.

“We’re happy to once again be part of the INMEX Viet Nam 2013, the best venue to meet people here,” he said. “We believe the exhibition has better positioned itself to reflect changes in the market, given the quality of its visitors.”

The event continues to receive support from international and regional maritime associations and governing bodies including Holland Marine Equipment, the Institute of Marine Engineers India, the Indian National Shipowners Association, Maritime Norway, the Singapore Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Society of Maritime Industries and VDMA – Marine and Offshore Equipment Industries.

Co-hosted by Informa Exhibitions and Viet Nam Trade Fair Advertising Joint Stock Company, the event is expected to improve networking opportunities, capture visitor interest and encourage interaction in the Vietnamese maritime business community.

Recent research and data suggest that leading ports in HCM City and Da Nang are riding the headwinds, with strong growth set to occur.

With a coastline of more than 3,260 kilometres, Viet Nam has huge potential in shipping and other sea-related services.

Viet Nam’s trade with Pakistan set to grow this year

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department for African, West Asian, and South Asian Markets is predicting Viet Nam’s exports to Pakistan in 2013 will slightly increase despite Pakistan’s economic difficulties continuing.

The Department noted that two-way trade turnover between Viet Nam and Pakistan has increased remarkably. Last year, export turnover reached US$174.8 million (up 3.8 per cent on 2011) while import turnover hit $215.8 million (up 38 per cent).

Last year’s slow export growth stemmed from declines in some of Viet Nam’s key export items to Pakistan such as fabrics, pepper, cashew nuts, iron and steel, garments and textiles, and plastics.

Tea products accounted for $45.3 million of export turnover (up 39.3 per cent), seafood $13.5 million (up 36.3 per cent), and rubber $10.2 million (up 161.5 per cent).

The sharp increase in import turnover came from the 53,854 tonnes of cotton imports, triple the quantity and over twice the value of the imports in 2011.

The Pakistani market has great demand for agricultural produce, food, consumer goods and mechanics, equipment and materials

Pakistani consumers do not require strict quality standards, their comparatively low-income earning making price a more important factor.

Vietnamese consumer goods can meet these demands, but some analysts predict that political and economic instability in Pakistan will hinder Vietnamese businesses from increasing exports significantly.

Ha Nam facilitates FDI enterprises

The northern province of Ha Nam will continue adopting more incentives for FDI enterprises – especially those from Japan – in order to secure their long-term investment, Chairman of Ha Nam provincial People’s Committee Mai Tien Dung said.

During a working session on Sunday with representatives from over 70 FDI enterprises of nine countries and territories based in the locality, Dung said the province planned to concentrate on improving infrastructure in industrial zones, training qualified workers and reforming administrative procedures.

Thanks to a number of investment promotion events in Japan over the past years, Ha Nam has attracted Japanese investors into 20 projects.

Daiken Murakami, General Director of Showa Denko Co Ltd and Chairman of Japanese Business Association in Viet Nam, said he appreciated these incentives and pledged to intensify co-operation with local authorities in an effort to draw more Japanese businesses to the locality.

On the occasion, the provincial People’s Committee granted investment licences to two more Japanese businesses and announced a decision on a charity fund for disadvantaged children established by Japanese enterprises.

VinGroup to sell stakes in affiliate

Property developer VinGroup is offering to sell all of the stakes, worth VND4.05 trillion (US$193.8 million), in its affiliate Fortune Trading and Investment Joint Stock Co, the HCM City Stock Exchange announced. Established in December 2012 with initial charter capital of just VND6 billion ($287,000), Fortune Trading and Investment is wholly owned by VinGroup. In February, VinGroup contributed another VND4.044 trillion to the company in cash, property and land use rights.

The company focuses on property development and trading.

Au Viet Securities seeks approval to dissolve

Au Viet Securities Co (AVS) will ask for approval to dissolve the company and sell its assets in a shareholders’ meeting on March 20.

The company plans to cut off four of its businesses: brokerage, underwriting, custody and consultation. It will keep only the self-trading business in order to settle outstanding shares. This year, AVS projects a modest profit of VND8 billion (US$383,000). After dissolution, AVS will cancel its listing on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange.-

ITA set for $55.5 million share offer

Tan Tao InvestmentIndustry Corp (ITA) will issue nearly 115.7 million shares worth a total of almost VND1.16 trillion (US$55.5 million), the company announced on its website.

The issue, projected this month, will be carried out through a private placement with the goal of counterbalancing the company’s liabilities.

At the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in April last year, ITA approved a plan of issuing 140 million shares worth VND1.4 trillion ($67 million) to four companies (Tan Tao University and ITA Fund – For the future, Southern Delta JSC, Tan Duc Construction and Investment Co and Ban Mai production and entertainment) for their 2010-11 capital lending.

MB Bond Fund mobilises $2.4 million

MB Capital Viet Nam Bond Fund (MBBF) raised over VND50 billion (US$2.4 million) from its first public offering of fund certificates, the company announced.

More than 150 investors contributed capital to the fund, three of whom are foreigners. The fund is preparing dossiers to apply for an operational licence from the State Securities Commission (SSC). Managed by the domestic company MB Capital and Japan’s United Investments, MBBF is one of the first two open-end funds licensed by SSC to sell fund certificates to the public. Its portfolio focuses on bonds and valuable papers issued in Viet Nam.

Ca Mau to boost seafood exports

The southernmost province of Ca Mau will launch a broad range of measures to expand the seafood export market this year, said Ly Van Thuan, Secretary General of the Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors.

In addition to organising fact-finding trips for delegations to study over 20 markets worldwide – including the US, the EU and China – the province will send experts to explore potential new markets such as India, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia, the Middle East and South America.

In the first two months of this year, businesses signed 23 contracts worth nearly $10 million with partners from the RoK, Japan, Russia and Canada.

Le Van Quang, Director General of Minh Phu Seafood Export Co., said Viet Nam’s aquatic products are known throughout the world, with those from Ca Mau Province enjoying a particularly favourable reputation.

Ca Mau’s seafood export turnover stood at $950 million in 2012. The province sought to reach $1 billion this year.

IIB signs deals with VN banks

The International Investment Bank (IIB) has signed cooperation agreements with several Vietnamese financial institutions.

On Friday, representatives of IIB and the Agricultural Bank of Viet Nam (Agribank) agreed to exchange views on future cooperation and facilitate joint projects.

Previously, IIB and the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) signed a comprehensive co-operation agreement that provided BIDV with a 50 million euro ($65.4 million) credit for project and trade assistance.

SHB offers loans to buy rice

Sai Gon-Ha Noi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) has launched a lending programme for purchasing paddy and rice for storage from the 2012-13 winter-spring crop with a preferential interest rate of 10-11 per cent per year. The programme will offer credit lines up to VND2 trillion (US$96 million).

From February 20 until March 31, enterprises operating in the rice sector that fully meet the conditions of the programme will be given priority in accessing these loans.-

Report forecasts 5.5% GDP growth

“When it comes to monitoring the country’s progress, evidence of achievement and commitment is more important than promises,” concludes the latest macro-economic report from HSBC Viet Nam.

Inflation has slowed from a high of 23 per cent in August 2011 to single digits since May 2012, according to the report, which offers a cautiously optimistic portrait of the country’s economic situation. Imports also slowed due to weakened domestic demand. Viet Nam currently has a trade surplus of US$1.7 billion, driven by a gradual rebound of textile and manufacturing exports.

“In 2013, we expect the bright stars of Viet Nam to support a 5.5 per cent expansion of GDP,” HSBC analysts wrote.

Vietnam-Bangladesh trade down 18.9 percent

The General Department of Customs has reported bilateral trade value between Vietnam and Bangladesh fell to nearly US$390 million in 2012, a year-on-year decrease of 18.9 percent.

Vietnam’s exports totaled US$353 million, down 20 percent from 2011, while its imports also declined 11.7 percent from the previous year to US$35.4 million.

The highest valued export commodities included clinker with a total 2012 revenue of US$205 million (an 860 percent surge on 2011), followed by fibres, textiles, iron, and steel products.

The fall in the earnings of exports to Bangladesh is primarily due to Vietnam halting rice shipments to the market.

Some other commodities experiencing a decrease in export revenue included fabrics, machinery, and equipment and components.

Pharmaceutical imports (US$9.1 million) and chemical imports (US$6,6 million) both recorded turnover growth over the reviewed period.

Ukraine backs joint ventures with Vietnam

Ukraine will enhance economic and trade relations with its traditional partners and support Ukrainian–Vietnamese joint-venture enterprises, announced Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.

At a March 5 meeting with officials from Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in Kiev, Kozhara said through its overseas diplomatic and trade missions, Ukraine will boost economic and trade ties with its traditional trading partners including Canada, Israel, Turkey and Serbia, and back Ukrainian enterprises to produce goods with Vietnamese and Columbian firms.

He unveiled the country’s priority policies on boosting economic cooperation with European Union (EU) member states and defining the forms of its relationship with the Custom Union that includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Kozhara highly valued the Ukraine–EU meeting in Brussels on February 25 which he said has paved the way for the country to sign cooperative agreements with the EU and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with its traditional partners.

Garment businesses receive orders until Q3

Garment businesses’ are seemingly more optimistic about their prospect of production and export business after receiving many orders for the second and third quarters of this year, according to the Import and Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

However, domestic consumption remains at a low level with sales of clothes for adults staying at 149.2 million units in February, a 19 percent decrease from January’s figure although the total sales in the past two months rose to 367 million units, up 0.7 percent from last year’s same period.

In the meantime, the industry’s export revenue hit US$2.84 billion, an increase of 38.4 percent from a year earlier.

In the coming months, MoIT will focus on ironing out snags in productions for enterprises and expanding the delivery network to meet consumer demand.

In addition, it will apply modern technology and use local materials and equipment to reduce costs and post all product prices online as required by MoIT.

Tra Vinh exports red dragon fruit to the US

Tra Vinh has started shipping red dragon fruit to the United States.

Nguyen Van Than, a leading exporter in the province claimed to have 4 tonnes of red dragon fruit shipped to the US market.

Vo Van Hanh, Chairman of the Duc My commune people’s committee said the local authorities will co-ordinate with relevant agencies to establish a red dragon fruit export cooperative to help farmers improve cultivation techniques.

Tra Vinh currently has more than 60 hectares of red dragon fruit, grown mostly in Cang Long, Cau Ke, Tieu Cau and Chau Thanh districts.

Conference on investment in Vietnam held in US

More than 70 representatives from companies, funds and trade organizations in the US have attended a conference in New York on February 5th to promote foreign investment in Vietnam.

The event was organized with the support of Becamex IDC Binh Duong, the Citibank and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Vietnamese Ambassador Le Hoai Trung, Head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN cited Binh Duong province as a case in point that has succeeded a huge amount  of capital from US companies and groups into the Vietnam-Singapore industrial zone.

Many US representatives showed keen interest in administrative procedures for investment the province and the country as a whole.

Walter Blocker, Chairman of the Vietnam Trade Alliance (VTA), which is operating in Ho Chi Minh City, has been one of the first US businesspeople coming to Vietnam after the two countries normalized their diplomatic ties.

He said Vietnam has made considerable progress in reforming their investment environment and his company is reaping the benefits.

Marc Mealy, Deputy Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), underscored Vietnam’s important role in connecting economy and trade within the bloc.

He said the US government’s policy towards Asia and the best possibility of its signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will provide chance for US businesses to invest in Vietnam.

Vietnam interested in Japanese satellite technology

The Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hosted a March 4 seminar on monitoring satellite networks in Tokyo, attended by Vietnamese and international experts.

Participants at the event shared their expertise in satellite technologies, with the aim of minimising damage caused by natural disasters and maximising the communication benefits of this modern technology.

The seminar drew the full attention of delegates, especially those coming from Southeast Asian nations that have prioritised the development of satellite technology to boost economic growth.

The focus of discussions was on policies regarding the use of satellite earth-monitoring technology and worked out measures to boost cooperation in this field.

The Japanese government appreciates the benefits of space technology where it is used in a peaceful manner to improve people’s living conditions.

Pasco, a representative of Japan’s space technology industry, introduced an Integrated Mobile Ground Station which consists of a large antenna mounted on vehicles and can provide early warnings on natural calamities.

Director of Vietnam’s National Satellite Centre Phan Anh Tuan was impressed with the ground station technology, saying it would work well in the Vietnamese terrain if appropriate off-road vehicles are employed.

Cayaman Esperanze, a delegate from the Philippines, said that her country is considering the application of the ground stations to cope with frequent national disasters, such as floods, storms and earthquakes.

ADB helps develop secondary cities in Vietnam

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide additional US$100 million in technical assistance for the development of secondary cities in three central and Central Highland provinces.

The bank announced the aid at a conference in central Quang Nam province’s Tam Ky city on March 5 to review its Secondary Cities Development Project.

The project, which kicked off in July 2012, aims to address critical urban development issues of Tam Ky city, Ha Tinh city of central Ha Tinh province, and Buon Ma Thuot city of the Central Highland province Dak Lak in order to develop them into regional economic hubs, thus fostering balanced regional development.

So far, the first two phases of the project have been completed, focusing on defining approaching methods as well as proposing components in sub-projects and long-term investment mechanism for each benefiting city.

Thousands find employment through Job Exchange Floor

Nearly 1,000 people have found employment at the first Job Exchange Floor organized this year on March 5 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Job Exchange Floor attracted 79 businesses with demand for 5,500 workers. Of these, 56 companies recruited online via websites www.vieclamvietnam.gov.vn and www.vieclamhcm.net.

Businesses mainly recruited in fields like sales, security guards, customer care, mechanics, information technology, electronics, telecommunication, goods delivery, accounting, protocol, interpretation, management, driving and unskilled labor.

By 5pm of the same day, the floor saw 2,762 jobseekers with 1,693 being interviewed. Of them, 569 people met job requirements, while 414 others found jobs online.

Blue ear disease, rodents pester farmers in central region

Blue ear disease has spread among pig herds in 13 districts in Quang Nam and Quang Tri Provinces while rodents are ravaging rice fields in Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces in the central region.

Trieu Dong Commune of Trieu Phong District in Quang Tri Province is the worst hit.

Le Canh Tuong, chairman of the People’s Committee in Trieu Dong Commune, said that 268 pigs have been infected with the blue ear disease so far and 41 have already been exhumed.

Nguyen Van Bai, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Department in the province, said that the blue ear disease is now   spreading to Quang Tri Town and Hai Lang District.

Authorized organs in the province have rushed to vaccinate 250,000 pigs against the disease, and are guiding residents to prevent and cope with it. They have also destroyed infected pigs, sprayed disinfectants and banned slaughter, transport and trade of pigs and pig products in disease hit areas.

The basic reason for this outbreak is because residents bought pigs of unclear origin to breed, which then died and transmitted the blue ear disease to other pigs in theirs and surrounding farms.

The People’s Committee in Quang Tri Province has spent another VND1.2 billion (US$57,000) to purchase vaccines to tackle the disease.

Meantime, rodents are ravaging rice fields in Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue Provinces.

Prior to start of the winter-spring crop, Thua Thien-Hue Province had launched a campaign to kill 100,000 rats, while Quang Tri Province wiped out 119,600 by laying traps or using rat poison. However, they have once again rejuvenated and multiplied far too quickly.

Tran Van Tan, deputy head of the Department of Plant Protection in Quang Tri Province, said that rats have multiplied far too rapidly.  This is partly due to poor flooding last year, creating conducive conditions for rats to breed.

Vietnam’s US business attraction on table

A US business official has highlighted Vietnam for its important position in establishing economic and trade links with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Marc Mealy, Vice Chairman of the US-ASEAN Business Council, made the remarks at a seminar on Vietnam-bound investment in New York on March 5, with the participation of over 70 representatives from local companies, trade organisations and investment funds.

The chairman said the Obama administration’s US Pivot Strategy towards Asia and the possible signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will create more opportunities for US businesses to invest in Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Le Hoai Trung, Vietnam’s permanent representative to the United Nations, pinpointed his country’s competitive advantages – its large population, abundant workforce and geographic position – as its investment “magnet”.

A number of US firms and groups have established footholds in Vietnam’s southern Binh Duong province, which has the most favourable investment environment in the country, the diplomat added.

Walter Blocker, among the first US businessmen to pour capital into the Vietnam Trade Alliance branch in Ho Chi Minh City since diplomatic ties between the countries were normalised in 1995, shared his success stories. Vietnam has made great strides in its investment environment reform, he added.

Participants at the seminar focused attention to business-related procedures in the Southeast Asian country and Binh Duong province in particular, as well as to US-Vietnam ties.

The seminar was held by Binh Duong-based Becamex ID Corporation with the support of Citibank and New York-based Manhattan Commerce Chamber.

Source: VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VIR

By vivian