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HAGL Agrico shareholders approve new development strategy




The new board of directors of HAGL Agrico for the 2021-25 term. — Photo courtesy of the company

HCM CITY — At an extraordinary general meeting in HCM City last week shareholders of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Agriculture International JSC (HAGL Agrico) approved an increase in the company’s capital by VNĐ7.414 trillion (US$323.06 million) by issuing 741.4 million shares to Trường Hải Agriculture Company (Thagrico), a subsidiary of automaker THACO.

The meeting also approved business plans for 2021 – 23 and elected the board of directors and the supervisory board for the 2020 – 25 term, with Trần Bá ​​Dương, the THACO chairman, named chairman of HAGL Agrico.

Speaking at the meeting, Trần Bảo Sơn, the company’s general director, said since it was established in 2010 HAGL Agrico had focused on growing rubber and oil palm on a total of ​​85,000 hectares in Gia Lai and Đắk Lắk provinces and Laos and Cambodia.

“However, ever, due to the sharp fall in rubber prices, our company fell into a serious crisis, faced many difficulties, lost liquidity, was unable to repay loan principal or interest, and had total debts of VNĐ18.414 trillion ($800.6 million) as of August 3, 2018.

“In that context, we have invited THACO to be a strategic investor to carry out financial restructuring to pay off debts and convert a large area of ​​oil palm and rubber trees into fruit trees.”

Over the past two years THACO has worked with HAGL to resolve the financial difficulties so that HAGL Agrico could pay off debts that have fallen due and develop fruit cultivation.

As of November 30 last year HAGL Agrico had total liabilities of VNĐ16.078 trillion and its accumulated losses as of September 30 was VNĐ2.663 trillion.

“It can be said that HAGL Agrico has escaped from the verge of bankruptcy but still faces great difficulty in paying the above debts. At the same time [we] continue to need [working] capital to take care of the fruit orchards and invest in infrastructures such as irrigation, electricity, transportation, warehouses, cold storage, and internal logistics.

“Therefore, HAGL Agrico continues to restructure.”

He added that the board of directors of HAGL Agrico decided to sell four subsidiaries (An Đông Mia Company and Hoàng Anh Quang Minh Company that own 17,305ha in Cambodia and Hoang Anh Đắk Lắk and Highland Dairy that own 3,439ha in Việt Nam) to Thagrico for VNĐ9.095 trillion ($394.9 million).


An electric pulley cableway system for harvesting bananas at an HAGL Agrico farm. — Photo courtesy of the company

 Under the 2021-23 investment strategy for ​​HAGL Agrico’ s remaining lands of 35,757ha in Laos and northern Cambodia tabled at the meeting, the company will focus on cultivating fruit orchards (banana, mango and pineapple) and breeding cows.

As of the end of last year the company had 13,200ha under banana, mango and other fruits.

It plans to have another 9,700ha under fruits by 2023 (5,200ha under banana, 2,500ha under mango and 2,000ha under pineapple).

By the end of 2023, it will have 21,800ha under fruits and 8,434ha under rubber.

As for livestock breeding, it will carry out beef cow farming based on the semi-grazing and concentrated fattening models with a total herd of 110,000 head by 2023.

The company has also carried out studies to come up with a large-scale agriculture – forestry and livestock development strategy in Laos and plans to establish an industrial park specialising in the processing of agricultural and forestry products in southern Laos.

To accomplish its targets, this year HAGL Agrico will focus on creating a master zoning plan for large-scale farming and husbandry areas. It will ensure topography and soil are suitable for each kind of fruit to facilitate mechanisation and modern management and synchronise technical infrastructure to meet the needs of irrigation, garden care, harvest, transportation, and preservation at farms.

It will plant 1,000ha of banana in Attapeu, Laos, and 1,000ha of mango in Rattarakiri, Cambodia, at a cost of VNĐ500 billion, and focus on tending to existing orchards (5,360ha of banana, 4,000ha of mango) to improve quality and yields.

It is also considering switching from coconut, tangerine, avocado, and dragon fruit to other strategic fruits on more than 1,000ha of land.

It will invest an estimated investment of VNĐ450 billion in barns and pastures for breeding 8,000 cows in phase 1 and spend another VNĐ950 billion in agricultural machinery and equipment, infrastructure, fruit packaging plants, offices, accommodation for workers, kindergartens, medical centres, and others.

The estimated total investment in 2021 will be VNĐ1.9 trillion, while fruit output is expected to reach 154,000 tonnes and latex production will top 11,000 tonnes.

The company’s estimated revenue in 2021 is VNĐ2.109 trillion (VNĐ1.766 trillion from fruits and VNĐ343 billion from rubber latex).

The company focuses on expanding both exports and domestic consumption of fruits, providing clean agricultural products of consistent quality and quantity and gradually closing its value chain to affirm its position in the market.

“With the above development strategy and financial situation of HAGL Agrico, we are sure that in the coming time, the business results of HAGL Agrico will be more efficient and develop sustainably,”  Sơn said.—








Pork price not expected to spike during Lunar New Year



A consumer buys meat at a Hapro supermarket in Hà Nội. — VNA/ Photo Phương Anh

HÀ NỘI —Demand for pork rises in the run up to Lunar New Year (Tết), prices are expected to increase, but not rise to the levels seen last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said out of 5.37 million tonnes of meat consumed during this period last year, 3.8 million tonnes were pork.

Pig production remains healthy, and across 16 provinces the reproduction rate has topped 100 per cent, with more than 27 million animals available.

However, Nguyễn Văn Trọng, deputy director of the Livestock Breeding General Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said prices would rise as demand grows.

Currently, live pigs are priced at VNĐ83,000-85,000 (US$3.5) per kilo but Trọng said although prices would rise, they would not reach levels seen last year.

He also said there would not be any expected shortages of the meat, but they were stepping up measures to preventing illegal exports to China. 

According to the Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country imported nearly 226,000 tonnes of pork last year, a year-on-year increase of 260 per cent.

The main import markets are from Russia, Poland, Brazil, Canada, the US, Germany and Spain.

This year, 600 tonnes of pork have been imported to supplement supplies for the Tết market.

More than half a million pigs were imported from Thailand for slaughter from mid-June last year to January 13 this year. —


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HCM City, southern provinces step up efforts against fake goods, contraband as Tết approaches



Smuggling and trade fraud are on the rise ahead of Tết, which falls on February 12. —VNA/ Photo.

HCM CITY – Officers tasked with preventing fake goods, trade fraud and smuggling in HCM City and southern border provinces have been forced to work hard ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 this year.

Last week the HCM City customs department discovered 14 steel containers that consignee V.V Steel Company described wrongly to evade tax.

The company, in Long An Province’s Đức Hòa District, made a declaration that would have allowed it to enjoy 0 per cent tax instead of the 10-15 per cent it had to pay, equivalent to VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000).

Now, besides the tax it will also have to pay a penalty of 20 per cent of the amount.

Smuggling and trade fraud are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Trương Văn Ba, director of the HCM City Market Surveillance Department, said last year 25,538 violations had been discovered involving loss of tax revenues of VNĐ5.8 trillion.

Competent agencies filed charges in 113  cases.

According to Steering Committee 389 of HCM City, inspections had been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic but specifically target warehouses, yards and sites where large volumes of smuggled goods are likely to be concealed, improving the efficiency of prevention efforts.

According to the city police, local militia have been urged to look out for dubious activities and crack down on the trade in prohibited, smuggled and counterfeit goods.

Drugs, weapons, illegal firecrackers, unsafe and violent toys, and cigarettes are in the sights of officials.

The city border guard force, the Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention, naval squadron No 28 under the Việt Nam Border Defence Force, and border forces in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu and Tiền Giang provinces will look out for possible violations at estuaries, sea ports and sea borders .

The city is also calling on businesses and consumers to join hands in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

Cross-border smuggling

Border authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of An Giang, Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp are stepping up efforts to keep out smuggled goods, which usually increases during the year-end period.

The contraband is mostly cigarettes and sugar brought in through the Châu Đốc City border in An Giang Province.

Smugglers transport the goods from Cambodia in boats, motorbikes and trucks at night to evade officers, but if spotted are not averse to attacking them.

Kiên Giang Province’s Hà Tiên City also sees smuggling of goods from across the border, usually late at night.

Smugglers travel in groups and transport large quantities of contraband, mainly foreign-made cigarettes.

Authorities have discovered hundreds of cases of smuggling and confiscated tens of thousands of packs of cigarettes and other goods.

Fishing boats are used to illegally transport and sell oil and petrol at sea.

Hundreds of thousands of litres of oil of unknown origin have been seized by local agencies, who have also collected billions of đồng in fines.

The An Giang Province steering committee for anti-smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods said troops were patrolling border gates, trails and crossings to prevent smuggling. –



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Ensuring information security for cloud computing a key national goal



Cloud computing will be the main orientation of the country to focus on in the coming time. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Information and Communications has determined that the cloud computing platform is a key part of telecommunications infrastructure to focus on in the coming years.

The ministry has also defined cloud computing as the digital infrastructure for the development of a digital government, digital economy and digital society.

“This is one of the main orientations of the country to focus on in the coming time,” said Nguyễn Khắc Lịch, deputy director of the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications, to local technology website

It is forecast that the cloud computing market in Việt Nam will reach US$500 million by 2025 with a growth rate of about 30-40 per cent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a “push” to promote the development of the cloud computing market and the growth rate of the market hit 40 per cent last year.

Cloud computing is a relatively large “pie” for businesses to compete for and as for the nation, with the importance of new generation telecommunications infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and the ‘Make-in-Việt Nam’ policy, domestic businesses must master this infrastructure.

Lịch said that to develop Vietnamese cloud computing platforms in the right direction, Việt Nam was one of the few countries that have issued a set of technical criteria to evaluate and choose a cloud computing solution for e-government.

The set of technical criteria consists of 153 standards, including 84 technical criteria and 69 information security criteria.

“A cloud computing platform that meets these benchmarks is considered to be a modern and secure platform,” said Lịch.

Lê Hoài Nam, deputy director of Viettel IDC, said with cloud computing services, the market has grown quite rapidly in recent years.

As for Viettel, the growth rate was twice compared to normal from 60 to 80 per cent.

However, Nam said that the story of information security for cloud computing was not only important for Việt Nam but also the world.

This field in Việt Nam was still new, so people were still worried.

However, in addition to financial investment, there was a need for a system of technical staff because the technology was changing and all certificates required by customers are constantly updated. With large service providers such as VNPT and Viettel, the sustainability of service delivery infrastructure will be ensured, he added.

Tống Mạnh Cường, product manager of VNPT IT, said there were two issues, which were whether users paid to use safe services or not and the trust factor.

Enterprises believe that to stimulate demand for cloud computing services, the Government should have activities to promote digital transformation.

The Government, ministries and agencies besides enterprises, should boost non-business public units like the departments of information and communications to deploy public cloud technology.


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