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Acecook recalls products exclusive to EU

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Kajiwara Junichi, general director of Acecook Vietnam, at a meeting in HCM City late Saturday. VNA/ Photo Xuân Anh

HÀ NỘI —  Acecook’s recalled noodle products in the EU are exclusive to the European market and are not domestic products, said Kajiwara Junichi, general director of Acecook Vietnam, at a meeting in HCM City late Saturday.

All available products in Việt Nam abide by Vietnamese regulations and are safe for consumers, he said.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on August 20 announced that batches of the Hảo Hảo and Good brand noodles produced by the Acecook Vietnam Company, were being recalled after they were found to contain ethylene oxide, a substance that cannot be used in foods sold in the European Union (EU).

The two products are Hảo Hảo Sour-Hot Shrimp Flavour Instant Noodle Dish (77g, expiration date September 24, 2022) and Good Spare Ribs Flavour Instant Noodle Dish (56g, expiration date November 10, 2022).

“Certain batches of instant noodle products are being recalled due to the presence of the unauthorised pesticide ethylene oxide. This pesticide is not authorised for use in food sold in the EU. Although the consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health, there may be health issues if there is continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time,” the FSAI stated on its website.

“Therefore, exposure to this substance needs to be minimised. Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in stores supplied with the implicated batches.”  

Kajiwara Junichi said Acecook Vietnam had contacted its suppliers and they had asserted they do not use ethylene oxide during production, adding that the company does not allow the use of ethylene oxide in any production process.

Junichi said the substance was widely used to sterilise medical equipment and certain food products. It is accepted by certain countries like the US and Canada.

He said the company had implemented further investigation to ensure the products’ quality and safety.

Việt Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said it was verifying the information, and had requested Acecook Vietnam to report on its production processes and procedures, explaining the difference between products consumed domestically and those exported.

All Acecook Vietnam products circulating in Việt Nam are also being reviewed, the ministry added.

In related news, The Vietnam SPS Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said it had received a warning from the EU stating that the product “Dried noodles with chicken – and beef-spices” produced by Thiên Hương Food Joint Stock Company in HCM City, exported to Norwegian market, also contain ethylene oxide.

After the SPS annoucement, the Ministry of Industry and Trade requested Thiên Hương Food Joint Stock Company to urgently report on its production process to assess the presence of ethylene oxide.

The ministry has request the Food Safety Management Board of HCM City to organise the inspection into Thiên Hương’s product, take samples to test ethylene oxide in products of the company being circulated in the Vietnamese market, and review the entire list of products distributed by the company in the country.

In an interview with news site Zing on Sunday, Thiên Hương Food said that it had sent the product manufacturing process to the management agency as required, adding that it did not allow the use of ethylene oxide in any production process.

The company said that the recalled batch of “Dried noodles with chicken – and beef-spices” was tailor-made exclusively as a partner’s order in Norway.

The company insists that all products are strictly processed, without using ethylene oxide in any stages. The production process now follows IFS, ISO 22000 and HACCP standards.

In addition to providing samples to the management agency, Thiên Hương was inspecting, screening and evaluating on a large scale all stages of raw materials, equipment, processing and manufacturing processes.

The company will also verify the information of processed products in the Norwegian market.

“Once we have the final results, we will quickly announce them,” the company representative told Zing.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/1022237/acecook-recalls-products-exclusive-to-eu.html

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Upcoming incentives create space for tech-led projects

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New regulations on special investment incentives have been unveiled to facilitate more high-tech funding in Vietnam, giving the country a new tool to lure quality foreign investment and retain investors for the long term.

Upcoming incentives create space for tech-led projects
Vietnamese high-tech groups are welcoming added investment from Asia and beyond. VIR Photo: Le Toan

On October 6, the prime minister issued Decision No.29/2021/QD-TTg, in which new and expanded investment projects will be entitled to special incentives. The decision provides the levels, duration, and conditions for application of incentives on areas such as corporate income tax and land rent.

According to Seck Yee Chung, vice president of the Singapore Business Group (SBG), with the aim to boost the growth of startups, tech companies, and other innovative sectors, the Law on Investment 2020 supplemented the sectors that will be entitled to such funding incentives. The sectors include, among others, high-tech and sci-tech enterprises, innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development centres, and investment in technical facilities for SMEs.

“Decision 29 has provided further guidance on the requirements and specific incentives applicable to these projects and, in general, I believe this new regulation will help promote investment in Vietnam,” he added.

Sophie Mermaz, head of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCIFV) in Hanoi, said, “Considering that French companies are at the cutting edge of technological progress and innovation in sectors such as digital, energy, and pharmaceuticals, a push for technology and know-how transfer to access a market as vibrant as Vietnam is more than welcome.”

The CCIFV, as one of the largest foreign business associations in Vietnam, is promoting and supporting investors wishing to do business in Vietnam and it greatly welcomes the positive announcement, Mermaz said. “We strongly believe that Vietnam is rapidly emerging as one of the world’s new manufacturing hubs. Through our business centres and associated consultancy services in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, we strive to entice tech and innovative companies to set up in the new ASEAN hub that is Vietnam,” she added.

The new regulations on special investment incentives may also facilitate Vietnam to fulfil its commitments under a wide range of free trade agreements (FTA) it has signed. In particular, the EU-Vietnam FTA is expected to strengthen Vietnam’s competencies by fostering further European high-tech and innovation investments, which are important to accelerate the development of the local industrial and digital economy in line with the country’s development strategy.

Benefiting from maturity 

According to Guru Mallikarjuna, managing director of Bosch Vietnam, Vietnam has a favourable economic outlook for German investors, especially with ample advantages for further industrial and high-tech development, such as availability of a competitive labour force, preferable age brackets, and increasing focus on capacity training and development trajectory. In addition, direct effects from FTAs promote Vietnam’s standing even stronger with fewer trade barriers with countries in the EU and Asia, representing a huge purchasing power of billions of potential customers.

“The pandemic has also accelerated digitalisation, leading to higher productivity and promoting leaner production footprints that are closer to end markets,” Mallikarjuna said. “In response to this shift Vietnam, with the right pandemic management strategy, can present itself as a prime candidate for global and German investors.”

He did add, however, that it remains a valid argument that Vietnam’s supply chain could benefit from further maturity and expert availability – but the country is well on its way to addressing this matter to sharpen its competitive edge.

Specifically, for German investors and manufacturers, this is thought to be an opportunity rather than a challenge, providing that they act boldly and imaginatively to leverage the forefront capabilities that German industries are known for, in Industry 4.0 technologies and system quality. Through embracing next-generation digital technologies such as automation, advanced robotics, and more, not only will it enable German firms to significantly improve speed and productivity, but will also promote a much leaner and more flexible supply chain that is located in close proximity with end users of ASEAN’s growing markets, according to Mallikarjuna.

The new regulations on special investment incentives are being offered in the hope of aligning Vietnam’s efforts to attract high-quality investment in the Industry 4.0 era. However, there are still some concerns as to whether certain conditions under the decision would be workable. Chung from the SBG pointed out that in order to enjoy the incentive corporate income tax rate of 9 per cent for 30 years, the project must be in business lines eligible for exceptional incentives, and with a total investment capital of at least VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion), with at least VND10 trillion ($434 million) being disbursed within three years.

Given the significant size of investment capital to be disbursed within a short period of time, the number of projects that can meet the conditions for entitlement to this particular incentive is likely limited. It remains to be seen, in practice, as to how meaningfully this regulation will be interpreted and applied.

Chung also noted that the regulation on investment incentives is a significant effort from the government to facilitate foreign investment, especially in tech sectors, into the country. However, in addition to regulations on investment incentives, tech transfer and investment into a particular market, including Vietnam, depend on the various policies and circumstances.

“These can include support from the government, whether on a business-friendly environment, legal framework on protection of intellectual property rights, cybersecurity, and also taxation. In addition, the country’s ability to manage future crises can be a factor that the investor will consider before making a decision,” Chung stated.

Taking advantage 

As Vietnam is reopening its economy, the new investment incentives also give confidence for foreign financiers to retain investment in Vietnam after the implementation of tough coronavirus prevention measures.

Mermaz from the CCIFV said that Vietnam does have advantages in the fast-evolving international supply chain. The country remains in a good position as it has been open for foreign direct investment (FDI), and related regulations have been favourable. The economy is likely to bounce back strongly in 2022, attracting strong demand for relocation.

Despite the complexities of the pandemic, FDI keeps growing in terms of capital investment. Vietnam’s favourable conditions for doing business has cemented its position as a safe and stable destination for investment. “We aim at helping companies make informed decisions when beginning their operations in Vietnam and will continue to do so when the 2022 economic rebound takes place,” Mermaz added.

In the same vein, Chung said that the safety measures introduced to manage the pandemic outbreaks have seriously affected the business of many companies and investments in Vietnam. However, he believed that Vietnam is still an attractive destination for foreign investment. In 2020, Vietnam was one of the few Asian countries to continue to grow and attract new foreign investment despite the impact on the global economy.

“The country’s position in the global supply chain remains important, as investors look at other Asian countries outside of China for production activities. That being said, in order to compete with other countries to attract foreign investment, the government should continue to support companies in Vietnam, whether by way of incentives or ensuring a fair and transparent environment to do business in,” he said.

Source: VIR

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/upcoming-incentives-create-space-for-tech-led-projects-784871.html

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IT giant FPT reports high profits over first nine months of 2021

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FPT’s new headquarters on Phạm Văn Bạch Street in Hà Nội. — FPT.com.vn

HÀ NỘI – Information technology giant FPT has recorded VNĐ24.95 trillion (over US$1 billion) in sales and VNĐ4.57 trillion ($198 million) in pre-tax profits over the first nine months of 2021, up by 17.9 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Both revenue and profit enjoyed positive growth, with the technology and telecommunications sectors providing the primary impetus.

FPT’s technology sector accounted for 22.1 per cent of its revenue and 30.4 per cent of its pre-tax profit.

Overseas, sales increased in all of the major markets, especially in the US and Europe, due to high COVID-19 vaccination rates and steady economic recovery. FPT has consistently received substantial orders.

Revenue from digital transformation reached VNĐ3.94 trillion over the nine months, up by 59.6 per cent, thanks to growth in key technologies such as cloud computing (Cloud), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and low-code.

FPT secured 16 projects totalling more than $5 million by the end of the third quarter this year.

After three quarters of 2021, the group has achieved 72 per cent of its revenue target and 74 per cent of its profit target for this year, indicating that it is on track to meet its full-year targets.

FPT’s telecommunications sector has generated revenue of VNĐ9.23 trillion, an increase of 11 per cent with a pre-tax profit of VNĐ1.78 trillion, a 21.9 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Due to increased profits from PayTV, combined with the postponement of infrastructure investment due to the pandemic, the pre-tax profit margin of telecommunications services, including broadband and other services, continued to improve in the first nine months of 2021, reaching 20.8 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/1063618/it-giant-fpt-reports-high-profits-over-first-nine-months-of-2021.html

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Vietnam to build $305mn airport in northern resort town

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued a decision on Thursday to approve the construction of an airport in Sa Pa, a famous resort town in the northern Vietnamese province of Lao Cai, at an estimated cost of almost VND7 trillion (US$305 million).

The project, developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) format, is located on a 371-hectare plot in Cam Con Commune, Bao Yen District.

The first phase of the construction will start this year and will build the airport to a capacity of 1.5 million passengers a year before doubling it to three million passengers following the second stage in 2028.

The government will be charged with site clearance while private companies will undertake construction of the project. 

The government will contribute VND2.73 trillion ($119.8 million), or 39 percent of the funds, and private investors will cover the rest. 

Construction is expected to last four years and the investors are forecast to break even after 46 years. 

Sa Pa Airport is one of six new airports approved for construction by 2030.

Vietnam has 22 airports at present.

In the first six months of 2021, Lao Cai welcomed 1.1 million tourists, up 21 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/business/20211022/vietnam-to-build-305mn-airport-in-northern-resort-town/63719.html

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