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Deputy PM supervises work on HCMC’s first metro line project

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs  Pham Binh Minh (C) and a working team supervise the progress of HCMC’s first metro line – PHOTO: TNO

HCMC – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and a working team supervised the progress of HCMC’s first metro line, which links Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

Accompanied by representatives of the HCMC government, Minh and the working team visited the construction sites of Saigon Hi-Tech Park Station, Ba Son Underground Station and a tunnel connecting Ba Son and Opera House stations, VietnamPlus news site reported.

Speaking during the on-site inspection, Deputy PM Minh, who is also a Politburo member, expected relevant units and contractors to continue their work on the project so it can be put into operation as scheduled.

Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the Management Authority for Urban Railways of HCMC, said that HCMC’s metro line system is planned to comprise eight metro lines with a total length of 220 kilometers and three tramways or monorail lines.

The city needs an estimated US$25 billion to develop the entire metro line system, he added.

The first metro line is 73.5% complete, Cuong said, adding that the contractors, engineers and workers are trying to complete 85% of the workload this year.

However, the process of shipping metro trains to Vietnam and the return of foreign experts to the country have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, he noted.

The authority proposed that the Government consider making special rules for foreign experts so they can enter Vietnam for work to ensure the project is on schedule.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/77383/deputy-pm-supervises-work-on-hcmc%e2%80%99s-first-metro-line-project.html

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Eased regulations set up EVFTA agriculture benefits

Though Vietnam’s agricultural sector will receive attention from the forthcoming EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, it needs to overcome some challenges to enjoy optimum preferential treatment.

1499 10 eased regulations set up evfta agriculture benefits

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, told VIR that Vietnamese rice products exported to the European Union are currently subject to tariff rates of between 5 and 45 per cent. European importers are responsible for tariff payments so they often increase Vietnamese rice prices to make profit.

In the time to come, Vietnamese rice products will see mostly duty-free tariff quotas as soon as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is implemented. This will help increase the competitiveness of Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU market as importers can now lower the price for European consumers.

Binh said that Trung An is currently exporting less than 10,000 tonnes of fragrant rice to France, Poland, Russia, and Denmark. The company is expected to increase its export volume to 12,000 tonnes of fragrant rice to the EU once the agreement comes into force, expected to be in August.

The company has made investments in the cultivation process to produce pesticide-residue-free rice for the EU market. Most recently, the company has successfully placed its Trung An rice brand name on packaging to promote Vietnamese rice to EU consumers.

Meanwhile, Do Thi Thanh Thuy, representative of Nam Viet Corporation, said that the company is exporting pangasius, or basa fish, to the EU, Middle East, South America, and Asia. Each month, the company exported $7 million worth of products to Europe. With upcoming official enforcement of the EVFTA, the company expects to boost its export volume to the EU by 30 per cent.

Nicolas Audier, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), told VIR that agricultural goods represent some of Vietnam’s biggest exports to the EU market where cashew nuts, coffee, fruit, vegetables, and seafood are sold in large quantities. So, once the EVFTA is implemented and tariffs begin to fall, there will be huge opportunities for Vietnamese exporters to grow their market share. For instance, three years after the EVFTA’s entry into force, tariffs on processed agro products will fall from 37 to 6 per cent, and for fisheries from 60 to 15 per cent. After seven years, both will fall even further to just 2 per cent each.

On the same note, a representative of Nafoods Group said that the EVFTA will be a major boost to Vietnam’s exports, helping to diversify markets and export commodities, especially agricultural and aquatic products, where Vietnam has many competitive advantages. Accordingly, all exported products will benefit from tax incentives and trade facilitation, including Vietnam’s key agricultural products like rice, coffee, honey, livestock, fruit, and seafood.

Nafoods is currently exporting juice and individual quick-freezing (IQF) products which are produced and processed from fruit materials such as passion fruit, mango, dragon fruit, and banana. It means the company will enjoy the preferential treatment once the EVFTA takes effect.

In 2019, the export revenue to the EU market accounted for 45 per cent of Nafoods’ total export revenue structure. In the first six months of 2020, its export volume has increased by 50 per cent on-year. After a period of research and evaluation, Nafoods has carried out investment to raise production capacity of existing factories. The increase aims to meet the demand of international markets including the EU with more than 30,000 tonnes of finished products a year. In 2022, Nafoods will complete the development of a fresh fruit packaging factory and cold storage as well as the installation and operation of a drying production line. The company is expected to increase its revenue from value-added products by 150 per cent and dried products by 100 per cent. By optimising production lines, its IQF and juice products will increase by 30-50 per cent of the production capacity against 2020.

However barriers will still be in place that Vietnam is required to overcome if it is to unlock the full potential of the EVFTA. Thuy from Nam Viet said that some barriers are strict and unnecessary. “We proposed that the government should work closer with the EU to lower the technical barriers and ease administrative processes to help Vietnamese exporters,” Thuy added.

Still, Eurocham chairman Audier argued that products exported to the European market will need to meet the EU’s stringent safety requirements, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Food safety is critical, and consumers must have confidence that the produce sold and consumed meets these high standards.

Therefore, it is essential that domestic producers are aware of these standards, and this will require information-sharing and capacity-building from both the Vietnamese authorities and foreign business communities.

A second, related challenge is the international image of Vietnamese produce. While Vietnamese cuisine is popular around the world, the perceptions of Vietnamese agricultural produce – in particular concerning issues such as the use of pesticides – could be improved, according to those in the industry. If Vietnam can meet these high food safety standards, it will help to grow the positive reputation of Vietnamese produce.

“One further issue is the EU’s yellow card warning for illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. However, we know that both the government and the fishing sector are working hard to address concerns around the traceability of fish, and I hope that this will be resolved soon,” Audier explained. “Indeed, I am confident that Vietnam is more than capable of overcoming these challenges and realising the full benefits of the EVFTA for its agricultural sector.” VIR

Thanh Van

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/eased-regulations-set-up-evfta-agriculture-benefits-656147.html

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Vietnamese enterprises seek to export consumer goods to China

Enterprises at the teleconference. Vietnamese enterprises are seeking cooperation opportunities with their peers in Zhejiang Province of China to export consumer goods to the Chinese market. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese enterprises are seeking cooperation opportunities with their peers in Zhejiang Province of China to export consumer goods to the Chinese market.

Speaking at an online conference on July 9, Vũ Bá Phú, director of the Trade Promotion Department, said that in recent years, China has been continuously the largest export market of Việt Nam among more than 200 countries and territories having import and export activities with the Southeast Asian country.

In the first five months of this year alone, in the context of the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries promptly took many measures to maintain trade as well as implemented initiatives to promote business exchanges via online platforms, bringing bilateral trade to more than US$44.35 billion, up nearly 2 per cent over the same period in 2019.

According to Phú, Việt Nam has close and direct trade relations with many provinces and cities of China, with Zhejiang, with a population of 57 million, being a very important trading partner.

In order to support Vietnamese and Chinese enterprises to promote bilateral trade, Phú said his agency has opened a trade promotion office in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province.

This is Việt Nam’s second trade promotion office in China, established in 2018 after the first one in Chongqing, helping Zhejiang firms seek long-term business and investment collaboration opportunities with Vietnamese counterparts.

Sharing the view with Phú, Zheng Rongxin, head of the Chinese council’s Hangzhou branch, expressed his wish that the two sides will enhance their friendship and cooperation to maintain a mutually beneficial trade environment.

After the conference, businesses of both sides engaged in an online session during which Vietnamese companies introduced Zhejiang importers to Việt Nam’s high quality products such as fresh and dried fruits, aquatic products, beverages and natural rubber gloves.

The conference was co-organised by the Trade Promotion Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade – Hangzhou branch, the event drew the participation of nearly 50 Vietnamese and Zhejiang enterprises.

The online trading session will last until July 10.

According to the statistics of Việt Nam Customs, in the past two years, two-way trade turnover between Viet Nam and China reached more than $100 billion per year. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/749430/vietnamese-enterprises-seek-to-export-consumer-goods-to-china.html

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Selling pressure pushes back stock market rally

Employees monitor share prices at HCMC Securities Corporation – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Strong selling pressure dragged the local stock market down today, July 10 with the benchmark VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange losing 5.25 points, ending its streak of five consecutive winning sessions.

Closing the day, the VN-Index fell by 0.6% against the session earlier to 871.21 points, with losers doubling gainers by 258 to 131. Trading volume on the southern bourse dropped by 4.87% to 291 million shares while value dipped by 7.63% to VND4.84 trillion.

Major drags on the stock market included property firm VHM, which declined by 1.7% to VND79,400, lender TCB down 2.4% to VND20,450, retailer VRE down 1.8% to VND27,150 and gas stock GAS down 1.2% to VND74,300.

Many other bluechips such as lender CTG, tech firm FPT, steelmaker HPG, real estate developer NVL and mobile phone retailer MWG inched down approximately 1%.

Brewery SAB, the biggest gainer of the previous session, grew a fractional 0.5% today to close at VND206,000.

Real estate stock HQC still took the lead on the southern bourse by liquidity with 18.86 million shares traded, closing the day up 1.76% to VND1,730.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index lost 0.5 points, or 0.43%, to end at 115.66 points, with 70 gainers and 77 losers. Trading volume dipped by 34.15% to 30.47 million shares while value fell by 20.85% against the previous session to VND328 billion.

Similar to the Hochiminh Stock Exchange, the northern market saw many bluechips lose ground, such as lender ACB down 1.2% to VND24,000, property firm CEO down 5.9% to VND8,000 and stone manufacturer VCS down 1.1% to VND63,900.

Property group HUT was the most actively traded stock on the northern bourse with 2.72 million shares changing hands. Securities company SHS came second with 2.68 million shares traded.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/77551/selling-pressure-pushes-back-stock-market-rally-.html

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