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Deputy Finance Minister calls for hastening of equitisation process


Deputy Minister of Finance Huynh Quang Hai has called for continuing to review existing policies to promptly identify difficulties in the equitisation of and divestment from State-owned enterprises (SOEs), stepping up enterprise renovation and raising a sense of responsibility in State management of the field.

He said the issuance of Decree No 150/2020/ND-CP on the transformation of public non-business units into joint stock companies will serve as an important legal foundation for the years to come.

According to the Finance Ministry’s Department of Corporate Finance, equitisation and divestment has remained slow, with several targets from the 2016-2020 period yet to be met. Some 178 firms have had their equitisation plans approved, with a total value of over 443.5 trillion VND (19.28 billion USD).

In 2020 alone, 91 businesses were yet to fulfil equitisation.

The department attributed the tardiness to the issuance of several mechanisms and policies that lead to more time being needed to approve land use plans, as well as less attention being paid to the endeavour./.

Foxconn invests in 270-million USD laptop plant in Bac Giang

Foxconn Singapore PTE Ltd will build a 270-million USD plant to produce laptops and tablets at Quang Chau industrial park in the northern province of Bac Giang.

The company was among four projects of Singaporean and Hong Kong investors with total capital of nearly 570 million USD awarded investment certificates at a ceremony on January 18.

Besides Foxconn, Risesun Investment Pte.Ltd (Singapore) will pour 75 million USD in a plant to produce plastic and composite products and 6 million USD into another factory to manufacture PVC decorative films at Hoa Phu industrial park.

Ja Solar Investment (Hong Kong) Limited invests 210 million USD in a photovoltaic manufacturing plant at Quang Chau industrial park.

Addressing the ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong pledged to provide investors with the best technical infrastructure and services while facilitating administrative procedures for those landing investment in the locality.

He affirmed Bac Giang will organise regular dialogues with enterprises so as to remove bottlenecks for them in a timely manner.

The official took the occasion to ask the investors to carry out their projects in line with schedule, prioritise of high technologies in production, as well as work to balance benefits of their companies and the workers.

The investors should work with local authorities to receive timely support, and fully access preferential investment policies in the province, he added.

General Director of Foxconn in Vietnam Zhuo Xianhong, on behalf of the investors, pledged to abide by Vietnamese laws as well as implement the projects in line with registration.

He hoped to receive support from competent authorities in Bac Giang province.

Vinamilk exports plant-based and condensed milk to China

Vinamilk said it exported ten containers of plant-based milk to China in the early days of 2021 and five more containers of condensed milk will soon depart for the world’s largest market.

It is believed to be a good start for Vietnam’s largest dairy producer this year.

Ten containers of high-quality plant-based milk – almond-flavoured soymilk and red bean-flavoured soymilk – have arrived in China and been available at local convenience stores while the State-owned corporation is ramping up production to deliver five containers of condensed milk before the Lunar New Year Festival.

In April last year, Vinamilk dispatched to China its first shipment of Ong Tho (Longevity) Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, which has been well-received in the neighbouring country.

Last week, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that Truong Tho Dairy Factory, a member of Vinamilk, was granted with codes for exporting to China sterilized milk, modified milk, sweetened condensed milk and other condensed milk products. It is the third factories of the firm licensed to do so to date.

Vinamilk shipped plant-based milk products to China for the first time in late 2020, said the company’s International Business Director Vo Trung Hieu. Thanks to positive feedback from Chinese consumers, the Vietnamese dairy producer has received more orders from China in early this year, he added.

China is a big, promising but very competitive market, so Vinamilk must be mindful in every step that it takes to gain a foothold in this market, Hieu noted.

Last year, Vinamilk exported more than 240 million USD worth of products, up over 8 percent from 2019. Its products have been available in 56 countries and territories so far.

China is the biggest milk importer in the world. In 2019, the country imported 39.43 million tonnes of milk and milk products. Of which, imported fresh milk was about 750,000 tonnes and milk powder was 650,000 tonnes.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation predicted that the demand for milk and milk products of this market would increase around 45 percent by 2025.

PVPower to divest entirely from eight affiliates

PetroVietnam Power Corporation has announced plans to divest from several of its member units, including eight subsidiaries it wants to sell its entire stake in, according to a statement from the Board of Directors.

PVPower (POW) plans to divest all capital from Nam Chien Hydropower, Song Hong Energy, Petroleum Urban Development; Song Tranh 3 Hydropower, EVN International, Petroleum Mechanical and Electrical, Vietnam – Laos Electricity, and Petroleum Equipment – Machinery.

In 2021 – 2025, it aims to reduce holdings to at least 51 per cent in Hua Na Hydropower, Nhon Trach 2 Petroleum, PV Power Service, and PV Power REC.

POW will also divest from DakDrinh Hydropower to less than 65 per cent of the capital or the entire contributed capital.

As of the end of September 2020, PVPower reported VND21.79 trillion in revenue, down 17 per cent year-on-year and an after-tax profit at VND1.48 trillion, down 40 per cent from a year ago. 

KIDO Foods’ profit jumps 10 per cent

Kido Frozen Foods Joint Stock Company (Kido Foods) has announced a growth of nearly 10 per cent in after-tax profit for 2020, reaching nearly VND157 billion (US$6.8 million) despite facing many challenges caused by COVID-19.

The company revenue reached in 2020 was VND1.3 trillion ($56.2 million). Although net revenue slightly fell by 7.3 per cent over that of last year, the pre-tax profit still represented 100.1 per cent of the annual target, reaching over VND200 billion ($8.6 million).

The company attributed the achievement to its timely measures that it had taken, including re-structuring its distribution system.

In addition, the company reviewed its product categories, developing trendy products that bring high profits. Product diversification was also carried out.

This year, KIDO Foods confirmed that it would continue developing a distribution system to new areas. New products will be also produced and more advanced technologies will be invested to meet the demand of the market.

Marketing activities to attract consumers will be carried out in 2021.

KDF, formerly known as KIDO one-member limited company, was established in 2003, operating mainly in the field of ice cream, yogurt and frozen food production.

At the end of December 2020, KDF was officially merged with KIDO Group to build and enhance its position, and financial and management capacity.

With support from the KIDO Group, KIDO Foods targets to become the number-one food corporation in Viet Nam.

Last month, KIDO Group issued 23,088,000 KDC shares to convert KDF shares to implement the merger with the Group.

The stock transfer is expected to be completed within the first quarter of this year. 

Petrolimex’s profit falls to five-year low

Vietnam’s largest petroleum retailer Petrolimex has reported that earned almost 1.27 trillion VND (55 million USD) in pre-tax profit in 2020, equivalent to 81 percent of this year’s target and down nearly 76 percent from 2019.

Under the double impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in oil prices in 2020, Petrolimex failed to hit its profit target for the year and recorded the company’s lowest annual profit figure since 2015.

Total consolidated revenue was estimated at 123 trillion VND, surpassing the whole-year goal by 1 percent, but the achievement was 35 percent lower than the 2019 revenue.

The company contributed 38.5 trillion VND to the State budget in 2020.

In 2021, the group will implement its divestment plan and reduce the State’s ownership. Currently, the State holds 81.89 percent of Petrolimex’s capital, a figure expected to be cut to 51 percent.

Petrolimex will soon deploy the divestment of the group at Petrolimex Construction and Trade Corporation./.

Thailand records new COVID-19 cases

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported 369 new cases on January 18, mostly through active testing in Samut Sakhon province.

Of the new cases, 357 were domestic infections while 12 others were imported cases.

A total of 269 local infections have been detected in Samut Sakhon, mostly being migrants.

Thailand has so far confirmed 12,423 coronavirus infections, including 10,134 domestic cases.

As many as 9,206 COVID-19 patients have fully recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 3,147 others are being treated in hospitals. The country’s death toll from the coronavirus stands at 70./.

Myanmar attracts over 348 million USD in foreign investment in Q1

Myanmar attracted investment capital of over 348 million USD from permitted foreign enterprises in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year starting October, according to figures of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

In the reviewed quarter of the current fiscal year, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave the go-ahead to 23 foreign investment enterprises.

During the period, the manufacturing sector attracted most investment capital with over 158 million USD, followed by the hotel and tourism sector with more than 81 million USD and the electricity power sector, over 48 million USD, the DICA figures showed.

In the last fiscal year, Myanmar attracted over 5.5 billion USD in investment from 245 permitted foreign enterprises.

Singapore, China and Thailand are top leading investors in the Southeast Asian nation.

Regionally, the Yangon region attracts 60 percent of the investment from both home and abroad, followed by Mandalay region with 30 percent./.

Vietravel Airlines ready for commercial flights

The Vietnam Travel Aviation Company Limited (Vietravel Airlines), Vietnam’s sixth carrier, will open ticket sales for commercial flights starting from 1:00 on January 19.

Passengers can purchase tickets at its website,

To commemorate the occasion, the new carrier will offer 50,000 tickets at VND 0 (excluding taxes and fees) from January 19 to 25 or until tickets are sold out.

General Director of Vietravel Airlines Vu Duc Bien said that its first commercial flights are scheduled to take off on January 25, with most routes seeing two flights a day.

The airline will increase flights and expand its network in the time to come, especially during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Vietravel Airlines recently added a second Airbus A321ceo to its fleet, with a third expected to arrive on January 21./.

Businesses join efforts in assisting people affected by pandemic, natural disasters

Up to 4,200 workers affected by COVID-19 will receive support from a programme jointly launched by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Sai Gon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) and local authorities.

With total funding of more than 4.2 billion VND (181,300 USD), the programme will come to 28 cities and provinces nationwide from now to the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, the corporation said on January 18.

Earlier, under the programme, 1 billion VND was presented to central localities hit by floods and storms.

Bennett Neo, Sabeco General Director, said the programme aims to help workers overcome difficulties and enjoy a happy Tet festival with their families.

Meanwhile, VinaCapital Foundation has recently announced the second phase of a campaign to help Nam Tra My district in the central province of Quang Nam deal with consequences of natural disasters.

More than 4.8 billion VND has been mobilised for the campaign, launched in October 2020.

More than 12,000 residents in Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces benefited from the first phase of the campaign./.

Laos targets 3.8 billion USD from tourism revenue in 2021

The Lao government has set a revenue target of over 3.8 billion USD for the tourism industry in the next five years, with about 15 million tourists visiting the Southeast Asian country after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

According to its new socio-economic development plan report, the Lao government said if the country does not have enough COVID-19 vaccines, the target will be reduced to 1.5 billion USD in revenue, and around 6 million in arrivals.

The Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondent in Vientiane quoted the report, saying that the number of visitors to the country increased to 4.79 million in 2019 from 4.23 million in 2016. The figure was estimated to reach only 980,000 in 2020 due to travel restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As part of efforts to revive the tourism sector, the Lao government launched an initiative to stimulate domestic tourism demand.

The tourism industry will play a more important role in the Lao economy in the 2021-2025 period.

Laos is seeking to further strengthen tourism integration and cooperation, and coordination with its neighbours in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will also focus on developing ecological, cultural and historical tourism, while improving the quality of tourism services and products, towards increasing incomes for local people./.

Routes leading to Long Thanh airport to be built

The southern province of Dong Nai will build four routes linking localities with the area of Long Thanh International Airport whose construction began earlier this month.

According to Nguyen Bon, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Transport, the construction of the roads, each stretching 45-60m, is expected to cost thousands of trillions of Vietnam dong.

The routes include three directly leading to the airport, notably one running from the intersection with road DT 763 in Dinh Quan district, Dong Nai province, to National Highway 51 in Long Thanh district.

The route, with investment of 2.3 trillion VND (99.2 million USD), has been regarded as a strategic road connecting Long Khanh city and such districts as Dinh Quan, Thong Nhat and Cam My with the airport.

The other aims to connect localities in the eastern part of Dong Nai, and ease overloads for National Highways 1A and 20, and the Dau Giay intersection.

Dong Nai also plans to expand and upgrade seven routes in order to facilitate the trading of goods among 32 industrial parks in the province.

Cao Tien Dung, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said Dong Nai has seen Long Thanh airport as the driver for its districts and cities to grow further, saying the province will develop a synchronous, modern transport network to optimise potential and advantages generated by the airport.

Construction of the first detail of Long Thanh International Airport started on January 5.

The airport will be built in three phases over three decades, and is expected to become the country’s largest airport.

In the first phase, one runway with a length of 4,000m, taxiways, an apron, and a passenger terminal with other auxiliary works sprawling 373,000 sq.m will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year.

The airport is designed to have four runways, four passenger terminals, and other auxiliary facilities to ensure a capacity of 100 million passengers and 5 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2040.

Covering a total area of more than 5,580ha, the airport will straddle six communes in Long Thanh district. It is expected to cost 336.63 trillion VND (14.5 billion USD), with the first phase needing over 109 trillion VND.

Around 4,800 households and 26 organisations are expected to be relocated to make way for it.

Located 40km to the east of Ho Chi Minh City, Long Thanh airport is expected to relieve overloading at Tan Son Nhat international airport in the southern metropolis, now the country’s largest airport./.

Remittances from Vietnamese migrant workers reach US$4 billion annually

The yearly amount of remittances sent by Vietnamese guest workers to Vietnam from abroad is between US$3 billion and US$4 billion per year, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Nguyen Gia Liem, deputy director of the Department of Overseas Labor Management under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs told a recent workshop on ensuring the rights of Vietnamese migrant workers” that sending guest workers abroad has contributed to creating jobs whilst also improving the lives of both workers and their families.

Liem also revealed that Vietnamese migrant workers mainly operate in fields such as construction, manufacturing, nursing, cleaning, agriculture, and fisheries, with the majority going to markets such as the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), the Middle East, and Malaysia.

Most notably, the number of Vietnamese labourers working abroad has steadily increased each year, especially over the last five years which has seen an annual rise of approximately 10,000 people.

He went on to reveal that the department has initiated plans to send roughly 90,000 Vietnamese workers abroad in 2021, with between 120,000 and 150,000 workers a year in the future.

In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to continue building and fine-tuning the legal system regarding migrant workers, while stepping up international cooperation by stabilizing and developing traditional overseas labour markets with a  major focus on  jobs that ensure good working conditions, safety and high income for employees,  Liem emphasized.

Myanmar attracts over 348 million USD in foreign investment in Q1

Myanmar attracted investment capital of over 348 million USD from permitted foreign enterprises in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year starting October, according to figures of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

In the reviewed quarter of the current fiscal year, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave the go-ahead to 23 foreign investment enterprises.

During the period, the manufacturing sector attracted most investment capital with over 158 million USD, followed by the hotel and tourism sector with more than 81 million USD and the electricity power sector, over 48 million USD, the DICA figures showed.

In the last fiscal year, Myanmar attracted over 5.5 billion USD in investment from 245 permitted foreign enterprises.

Singapore, China and Thailand are top leading investors in the Southeast Asian nation.

Regionally, the Yangon region attracts 60 percent of the investment from both home and abroad, followed by Mandalay region with 30 percent./.

Companies collect 17 billion USD via bond issuance in 2020

As many as 277 businesses were involved in bond issuances in 2020, mobilising 403.5 trillion VND (17.4 billion USD), via some 2,200 issuance tranches, the Hanoi Stock Exchange has announced.

In December 2020, there were 98 registrations for bond issuance with a total registered value of 75.35 trillion VND, 4.2 times higher than the previous month. Of them, there were 47 successful issuances from 35 enterprises, raising 34.7 trillion VND, accounting for 45.7 percent of the total registered value.

The banking group was still the largest issuing group in the month, successfully issuing more than 19 trillion VND, accounting for 55.13 percent of the total value of issued bonds.

Next was the real estate and construction with proportions of 5.88 percent and 4.38 percent, respectively. Other types of businesses accounted for a total of 28.35 percent of the value of bonds issued in December 2020./.

EVNNPC named stable Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer by Fitch Ratings

The Vietnam Electricity Northern Power Corporation (EVNNPC) has been recently assigned a Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘BB’ with a Stable Outlook by Fitch Ratings.

EVNNPC’s rating is based on the consolidated credit profile of Vietnam Electricity (EVN, BB/Stable), which owns 100 percent of the company, in line with Fitch’s Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (PSL) Rating Criteria.

The consolidated rating approach is driven by the strong integration of EVNNPC’s credit profile with that of its parent. Fitch assesses EVNNPC’s Standalone Credit Profile (SCP) at ‘BB’, the same as that of EVN and the Vietnam sovereign rating (BB/Stable).

EVNNPC’s rating is aligned with that of its parent, EVN. Under Fitch’s PSL criteria there are strong linkages between the two, as EVN fully owns EVNNPC and has extensive influence over the company’s business plans, profitability and financial profile.

Do Nguyet Anh, CEO of EVNNPC, said that the rating is of great significance for the development as well as production and business activities of the corporation.

It will help the corporation’s mobilisation of investment to serve development, she added./.

Co-working space expects huge rise in demand

Many businesses have struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but co-working spaces have bucked the trend and are expected to expand in the coming time, fuelled by companies seeking flexible leasing contracts, according to Savills experts.

Director of Savills Hanoi Matthew Powell said co-working spaces that provide flexibility for various kinds of businesses will develop, explaining it is sparked by the outbreak as well as demand for communication and exchange within the firms.

Meanwhile, structural changes in the retail sales sector have added a certain number of spaces for the office market, he said, flexible office models could branch out in tandem with the retail sales market since they revolve around shared amenities such as public transport, parking lots, restaurants, and entertainment.

Shared office space is normally operated under month-to-month leasing contract. However, the market saw strong surge in demand for this kind of office, and most of which came from mid-term contracts.

A survey from Savills showed that as of July 2020, demand for co-working spaces doubled that recorded in April, while 41 percent of office operators relished their exciting prospects for the office market in the next 12 months.

Savills experts expected growth of the office market will be promoted by foreign firms, insurance and e-commerce businesses who recorded strong development amidst the pandemic.

Matthew Power said demand for office is on the rise, and it will go up further in 2021, as the pandemic is under good control together with upbeat signs in local macro-economy and demography./.

Big tyre exporters not subjected to US anti-dumping duties

Major Vietnamese tyre exporters have not dumped passenger tyres in the US, according to the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s latest affirmative preliminary anti-dumping duty determinations for passenger vehicle and light truck tires from the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They consist of Sailun, Kenda Rubber, Bridgeston, Kumho Tire, and Yokohama Rubber, accounting for 95.5 percent of Vietnam’s total tire export turnover to the US in 2019.

Meanwhile, the dumping rate for Vietnam-wide entity is at 22.3 percent.

The decisions have created advantages for the sector amid fierce competition from China and Thailand. The rubber sector also benefits from the decisions as a large number of its products are used to make tyres.

The DOC is expected to issue its final decisions on May 14 this year.

Per the preliminary antidumping duty determinations, exporters have dumped passenger tyres in the US at rates of 14.24 to 38.07 percent for the Republic of Korea, 52.42 to 98.44 percent for Taiwan (China), 13.25 to 22.21 percent for Thailand, and 0 to 22.30 percent for Vietnam.

As a result, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be instructed to collect cash deposits from importers of passenger tyres from the nations based on the preliminary rates.

The US imported nearly 4 billion USD worth of tires from the four in 2019, with 469.64 million USD from Vietnam./.

Khanh Hoa’s tourism sector looks forward to rebound in 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic has costed Khanh Hoa province a negative growth of 10.5% and budget collection shortage of over 25%. Tourism is the hardest hit sector in the locality. The locality has sped up several stimulus programmes to rock the market in the coming time.
Around 138 tourism and hospitality firms and over 1,100 accommodation facilities now operate in Khanh Hoa province. Many of them shut down during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the picture was not so gloomy due to Vietnam’s success in containing the pandemic. Local tourism sector still survived with revenue from domestic visitors.

In the coming time, Khanh Hoa province looks to introduce stimulus tourism packages and new tourism products and services to attract visitors. In the instant future, it has deployed a contest for new logo and slogan for Khanh Hoa’s tourism sector to renew the province’s image in visitors’ eyes.

COVID-19 vaccines have sparked hope of economic recovery globally, especially in tourism industry. Khanh Hoa province, whose spearhead economic sector is tourism, is also looking forward to a big rebound in 2021./ 

Quang Binh asked to improve business environment to lure more investors

Quang Binh should give greater attention to administrative reform as well as e-government and smart city building, thus creating a transparent and open business environment to lure more investors, stated Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at the central province’s investment promotion conference on January 18.

Lauding efforts of the locality in holding the event, the Deputy PM asked ministries and sectors to assist Quang Binh in restructuring and developing the industrial sector and implementing major projects.

He reminded investors and businesses to speed up disbursement of investment capital and focus more on environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

On the occasion, the Deputy PM handed over the Government’s decision approving the 48-trillion-VND Quang Trach II Thermal Power Plant Project invested by Vietnam Electricity.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (first, right, front line) hands over investment licence of the 800-million-VND Bao Ninh golf course project to representative of Truong Thinh Group (Photo: VNA)

At the event, Quang Binh gave green light to 35 projects with total capital of about 93 trillion VND (3.96 billion USD).

On the occasion, the province also launched two major projects, one on building Nhat Le 3 Bridge and a coastal road, and another on expanding Dong Hoi Airport.

Quang Binh is calling for investment in 62 projects in agriculture, industry, energy, trade, tourism and infrastructure development in the 2021-23 period, .

The province has great advantages considering its strategic location in the East-West economic corridor, serving as a gateway to Laos and Thailand. It is also considered an ideal adventurous tourism centre in Asia with more than 300 caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park./.

Vasco resumes flights connecting HCM City – Rach Gia

The Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), a member of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation, resumes its route between Ho Chi Minh City and Rach Gia on January 18 in a bid to serve rising travel demand for Lunar New Year holiday (Tet).

ATR72 aircraft will be used to operate five flights on the route each week. One-leg ticket is set from 590,000 VND (25.49 USD), taxes and fees included.

Flights are scheduled to take off from HCM City at 5: 25 am and at 6:55 am from Rach Gia City in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. Strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures will be applied before, during and after flights to ensure health and safety for passengers and the community.

The country will enjoy a seven-day Tet holiday starting from February 10. Due to the pandemic, travel agencies are now focusing on domestic tours for the festive event./.

Work starts on FLC Quang Binh Beach and Golf Resort

Work started on a five-star hotel complex and an international convention centre, two key components of the FLC Quang Binh Beach and Golf Resort (FLC Quang Binh), in Quang Ninh district, the central province of Quang Binh, on January 17.

The 500-room FLC Grand Hotel consists of two buildings, offering first-class facilities, such as an infinity pool, international-standard restaurants, a sky bar and cigar lounge, and an outdoor stage, said Vice Chairwoman of FLC Group Huong Tran Kieu Dung at the ground-breaking ceremony.

The FLC Quang Binh International Convention Centre, meanwhile, is expected to become the province’s leading multifunctional conference centre with a hall providing nearly 1,200 seats.

The 2,000-ha FLC Quang Binh has a total investment of 20 trillion VND (864.1 million USD). It will run the length of the province’s 5-km beach and own a six-star villa resort complex and high-class golf courses.

Quang Binh is dubbed the “Kingdom of caves” with hundreds of caves of various sizes as well as incredible mountain scenery and sprawling beaches.

It is home to Son Doong cave, accredited as the world’s largest and most beautiful natural one by the World Records Union and the World Records Association, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

The province was also chosen as one of the filming destinations of Hollywood blockbuster movie “Kong: Skull Island”.

As of the beginning of 2020, the province had had about 370 lodging service providers, few of which were rated 4- or 5-star./.

Russia to resume flights to Vietnam, India, Finland, Qatar

Russia is set to resume flights to Vietnam, India, Finland, and Qatar on January 27 with several flights per week, the Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center said on January 16.

The centre noted that after discussing and taking into consideration the epidemiological situation in certain countries, it decided to resume international flights on the basis of the reciprocity principle, starting on January 27, with Vietnam (Moscow-Hanoi, twice a week), India (Moscow-New Delhi, twice a week), Finland (Moscow-Helsinki, twice a week, as well as St. Petersburg-Helsinki, twice a week), and Qatar (Moscow-Doha, twice a week.).

It was reported that the decision was made based on announced criteria, including no more than 40 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 of the population within 14 days.

As of late January 16 (Vietnam time), Russia had recorded more than 3.5 million COVID-19 cases, including over 65,000 deaths. The respective figures for Vietnam were more than 1,500 and 30, India over 10.5 million and 152,000, Finland over 40,000 and 600, and Qatar over 147,000 and 240, according to the reference website

Difficulties still ahead for coffee sector: insiders

The export of coffee declined in both volume and value last year due to certain difficulties that are forecast to linger on for the time to come, insiders have said.

Nguyen Viet Hai, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Coffee – Cocoa Association (Vicofa), told a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on January 15 that in the 2019 – 2020 crop, 1.61 million tonnes of the bean was shipped abroad at the average price of 1,740 USD per tonne, bringing home 2.8 billion USD.

The figures respectively fell 5 percent, 0.4 percent, and 5.3 percent from the previous crop.

The export volume of processed coffee (roasted and ground coffee, instant coffee) dropped by over 17 percent to 110,000 tonnes, resulting a fall of 8.7 percent in value to more than 443 million USD, he pointed out.

Hai noted coffee prices remain unstable, leading to a plunge in the purchase of the produce from farmers in the 2020 – 2021 crop. Fresh coffee is currently priced at 6.7 million – 6.9 million VND (about 289 – 298 USD) per tonne and coffee bean, 32 million – 32.5 million VND per tones, which has continued exposing farmers to difficulties.

Vicofa Chairman Luong Van Tu cited experts as forecasting that the coffee market may recover in the time ahead but very slowly because the COVID-19 pandemic remains complicated and many regions around the world have yet to resume tourism activities. Domestic consumption still falls short of expectations as many coffee shops have had to shut down due to the lack of customers.

Meanwhile, coffee production has also endured impact of storms, climate change, ageing trees, he added.

Facing that fact, Vicofa will carry out some programmes to improve the sector’s efficiency, Tu said, elaborating that it will step up coffee re-cultivation, increase support to help businesses capitalise on export chances under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and boost the export of processed coffee for higher value.

Efforts will also be augmented to stimulate domestic demand to overcome the current trying time, he said.

For his part, Thai Nhu Hiep, Director of the Vinh Hiep Coffee Company, held that Vietnam now has a number of opportunities to expand its presence in major markets like the EU, Japan, and the Republic of Korea thanks to FTAs.

However, he noted, to make use of those chances, the coffee sector needs to standardise farming, harvesting, and processing and ensure quality and food safety meets importers’ requirements.

In the domestic market, specific quality standards are also necessary to differentiate coffee and coffee products added with other farm produce in order to promote fair competition and a true coffee culture, according to Hiep./.

Q1 rice export outlook remains promising

High hopes are pinned on Vietnam’s rice export in the early months of 2021 after the price of its 5-percent broken rice exceeded 500 USD per tone last year, the highest since the end of 2011.

The country’s rice export is likely to grow further in the first quarter of this year since the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to increasing food demand in a number of Vietnam’s major markets in Southeast Asia and Africa which have placed more orders for Vietnamese rice, according to Nguyen Quynh Nga from the Vietnam Institute of Industrial and Trade Policy (VIOIT).

Meanwhile, China’s rice imports are expected to bounce back due to a sharp increase in domestic price and unfavourable weather. China’s rising demand will offer a good opportunity for Vietnam, particularly given that the two countries have established a hotline to facilitate the trade of agricultural products which was disrupted by COVID-19.

Vietnam’s newly-signed trade deals, such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), are also expected to boost rice shipments and heighten its value internationally.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s rice output totalled 42.8 million tonnes in 2020, down about 0.2 percent because of the shrinkage of some 192,000 hectares in farming areas. However, the productivity rose by 50 kg per hectare from a year earlier.

The country exported 6.15 tonnes of rice for 3.07 billion USD last year, down 3.5 percent in volume but up 9.3 percent in value year-on-year.

The areas of high-grade rice varieties have expanded to 74 percent, compared to 50 percent in 2015, as a result of the country’s efforts in improving the value of the Vietnamese rice.

Thanks to that, the shipments of high-grade rice made up more than 85 percent of the total, resulting in the growth of average rice price from 440 USD per tonne in 2019 to 496 per tonne in 2020./.


Dong Nai IPs attract $226m FDI in new year

Industrial parks in the south-eastern province of Dong Nai attracted foreign direct investment of more than US$226 million in 11 projects in the first 10 days of the new year, according to the provincial Industrial Zones Authority.

Three new projects accounted for $190 million with the other eight being existing projects that added $36 million to their investment.

The FDI investment in the province’s IPs hit a record high in the past five years in the first days of the year, the authority announced.

All the investors are committed to bringing in the money this quarter and getting their projects on stream by the end of this year or next year.

The largest investment include $100 million by South Korea’s Hansol Electronics at the Ho Nai Industrial Park to manufacture and assemble liquid crystal display (LCD) modules and assemble printed circuit boards.

Another large project, worth $60 million, is for manufacturing high-quality packaging by Japan’s Ojitex at the Loc An – Binh Son Industrial Park.

The two investors had other projects in Viet Nam and invested in the new ones to expand production, Pham Van Cuong, deputy head of the authority, said.

Foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s business climate and province’s investment and business environment were the reasons for the big FDI inflows, he said.

The province also offered investors comprehensive support in completing investment procedures, he said.

Cao Tien Dung, chairman of the province People’s Committee, said industrial development and FDI attraction would be given priority for the next five years.

The average occupancy rate in the 32 operational industrial parks (IPs) in the province is more than 80 per cent.

Three new IPs with a combined area of 6,500 hectares are planned in Long Thanh and Cam My districts.

Construction of the Long Thanh International Airport and a series of expressways such as Ben Luc – Long Thanh, Dau Giay – Phan Thiet, Dau Giay – Lien Khuong, and Bien Hoa – Vung Tau will enhance the province’s competitiveness in the eyes of foreign investors.

It hopes to attract $700 million worth foreign investment this year besides VND2 trillion ($86.3 million) in domestic investment.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the province exceeded its target for investment attraction last year with more than $402.2 million in FDI and VND2.3 trillion ($99.2 million) from domestic investors. 

Viet Nam maintains stable exports to Israel in 2020

Viet Nam earned an estimated US$700 million from exporting goods to Israel in 2020 despite difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Vietnamese Trade Office in the Middle East country.

The figure was a slight reduction from the $774 million reported last year, but still a positive result in the context that the Israeli market witnessed fluctuations, disturbances and difficulties amid political instability and negative impacts from the pandemic.

Notably in November last year, Viet Nam’s export value to Israel surged by 27.2 per cent compared to the prior month, reaching $51.04 million.

Turnover of most key export items rose strongly in the month, with coffee up 108.6 per cent, footwear 35 per cent, phones and accessories 31 per cent, textiles and garments 21.4 per cent, cashew nuts 16.9 per cent, and seafood products 3.3 per cent.

Israel, with a population of only 9.3 million, is the third-largest export market of Viet Nam in the Middle East, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey. 




UK investors eye renewable energy in Vietnam



Investors from the UK were showing significant interest in investing in renewable energy projects in Vietnam, especially wind power, 

expecting the Vietnamese Government to introduce long-term support policies as well as simplification of procedures for project implementation.

UK investors eye renewable energy in Vietnam hinh anh 1

A wind farm in Binh Thuan province (Photo: VNA)

British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said at the UK – Vietnam Renewable Energy Dialogue on Wednesday that clean energy was becoming a global trend, adding that every 1 investment USD in clean energy would help generate from 3-8 USD.

The Vietnamese Government in 2015 approved the renewable energy development strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2050 which aimed to increase the percentage of renewable power from 35 percent in 2015 to 38 percent in 2020 and 43 percent in 2050.

The Government also introduced incentive policies to encourage the development of wind power, biomass energy, energy from waste and solar power.

Hoang Tien Dung, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority, said developing renewable energy was important in the context that sources for hydropower were being exhausted, thermopower was limited due to commitments to global climate change and gas-fired power had high production costs.

According to the draft national power development planning for 2021-30 period with a vision to 2045, Vietnam had large potential for renewable energy development which was estimated to amount up to 855GW, mostly solar power (434GW), and wind power (375GW). The potential for off-shore wind power was estimated at 158GW.

Off-shore power was attracting increasing interest from foreign organisations and investors, Nguyen Ninh Hai, Head of the Renewable Energy Department under the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority, said.

Hai said that as off-shore wind power was a new thing to Vietnam, the Ministry of Industry and Trade was cooperating with some research organisations to have a comprehensive evaluation about the off-shore wind power development potential in the country.

Bui Vinh Thang, Director of Mainstream Renewable Power Vietnam, said that the Government’s planning and policies played a very important role for renewable energy investors, especially in wind power and off-shore wind power.

Benjamin Dubas, a representative from Lightsource BP, said that renewable energy investors expected the transparency and stability of policies in the long term to invest in Vietnam, especially feed-in tariffs (FIT).

According to Dung, FIT pricing was applied to accelerate investment in renewable energy in the first stage in Vietnam but this mechanism would not be maintained for a long period and be replaced by competitive bidding when the technology development helped push down prices of solar and wind power.

He added that the national power development planning which was being completed would give priority to renewable energy on the basis of ensuring balance of power sources and the power transmission between regions.

The ministry expected to continue receiving support from the UK in renewable energy, especially off-shore wind power which the UK had experience in and Vietnam had large potential.

By the end of 2020, the total renewable energy output accounted for around 25 percent of the total output worth 69,000MW of the Vietnam’s power system. There were 148 solar power projects with a total capacity of more than 8,800MW, 100,000 rooftop solar power projects with a total capacity of 9,300MW, and 11 wind power projects with a total capacity of 511MW./.VNS


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Mitsubishi pulls out of central Vietnam coal plant



Mitsubishi pulls out of central Vietnam coal plant

The logo of Mitsubishi Corporation is displayed at the entrance of the company headquarters building in Tokyo, Japan, April 26, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Issei Kato.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp has decided to pull out of a coal-fired power plant in central Vietnam amid growing international concern about environmental impacts.

The Japanese trading house will pull out of the 2-gigawatt Vinh Tan 3 project, planned to be located in the southern province of Binh Thuan, because of climate change targets, Reuters reported, citing two anonymous sources.

Without mentioning Vinh Tan 3 specifically, Mitsubishi said in a statement that it was committed to reducing its investment in coal power in line with international climate goals.

The 2-gigawatt plant was originally scheduled to come online in 2024.

OneEnergy, a joint venture of Mitsubishi and Hong Kong’s CLP group, holds a 49 percent interest in the $2 billion project. State-owned utility Vietnam Electricity owns another 29 percent. Chinese companies are handling materials procurement, construction and equipment delivery.

This marks Mitsubishi’s first withdrawal from a coal plant project. The trading house has said it will not build any new facilities of this type after Vung Ang 2, a Nikkei report said.

Mitsubishi still has a stake in the Vung Ang 2 coal power plant being built in the central province of Ha Tinh, which is more widely known after being subject to critical scrutiny by environmental and other groups as well as investors.


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Unable to cover expenses during Covid-19, owners sell hotels at cheap prices



Many offers to sell coastal hotels in Da Nang have appeared on real estate forums these days. Most of them are located in districts Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son.

Unable to cover expenses during Covid-19, owners sell hotels at cheap prices

A hotel put up on sale

On just one real estate website on February 22 many ads were listed.

A 4-star hotel on Vo Nguyen Giap street, 600 square meters, with 19 stories, 125 rooms and 2 conference rooms is offered at VND440 billion.

Hotels on the major streets of Ha Bong, Tran Bach Dang, Ho Nghinh, Vo Nguyen Giap and Ho Xuan Huong are offered at tens or hundreds of billions of dong.

Hoang Lam, the owner of a hotel on Tran Bach Dang street, said accommodation service providers have been hit hard by Covid-19.

“We have been struggling to survive by cutting costs. However, as capital is getting exhausted, hotel owners have to liquidate assets to pay bank debts,” he said.

“Selling hotels is unavoidable as there is no source of revenue, and the operation cost is high,” he said.

Do Van Hien from Dana Hotel, a broker, said a lot of hotels in Da Nang have been put up for sale since the second Covid-19 outbreak.

“The hotels for sale are 2-4-star. The prices have fallen by 20 percent and buyers are mostly from northern provinces,” Hien said.

According to Hien, 3-star hotels are priced at VND20-100 billion, while 4-star hotels are at least VND280 billion. The value of hotels depends on the locations, area, quality, numbers of rooms and brands.

The transactions of 4-5-star hotels, which have strong brands, are confidential. Hotel owners only work with prestigious brokers, and buyers have to prove their financial capability.

Hien said no one wanted to sell hotels in 2016-2019 because they could make a high profit from the business. But since 2020, guests are coming in dribs and drabs, and operation costs and loan interest rates are high.

Cao Tri Dung, chair of the Da Nang Tourism Association, admitted that tourism services have become nearly frozen and many hotels have been put up on sale.

“The pandemic resurgence before Tet blocked sources of guests. Ninety percent of clients cancelled or postponed plans to come to Da Nang,” he said.

He said this is common in a market economy, and that it is time to restructure the accommodation segment.

According to Da Nang People’s Committee, the total number of guests staying at accommodation facilities in the city in January 2021 was 251,094, a 65.6 percent decrease compared with the same period last year. 

Ho Giap


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