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Masan Group’s imprint at the Asian Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards 2021

On 19th November 2021, Masan Group received the Community Initiative Award at the Asian Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards (ACES) 2021.

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This award is a testament to Masan’s commitment to community development and sustainability. The eight edition of ACES, which saw a total of 420 nominees and 154 finalists from 15 different countries across the region, was once again held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This accolade is conferred upon organizations that lead programs and initiatives that contribute significantly to communal causes. These projects are executed by the organization with clear objectives at hand focused on the development of the communities at large.

“Sustainability goals should never be looked at as a nuisance, but rather a way to align the financial and community give-back goals posts. Masan Group has done this admirably in its well-thought-out initiatives,” said Dr. Jayanthi Desan, Lead Jury, ACES Awards.

Masan supplies essential goods to meet consumer demand. Photo: Masan
Masan supplies essential goods to meet consumer demand. Photo: Masan

Efforts to maintain production and supply essentials

Masan owns the largest retail chain in the country with nearly 2,500 WinMart/WinMart+ stores and supermarkets. The group also has more than 30 factories and numerous hi-tech livestock and crop farm producing essential items such as food, beverages, meat and meat-based products all over Vietnam.

During the peak of the epidemic, despite facing numerous difficulties in logistics, labor resources, etc., Masan always prioritizes protecting the health of consumers, employees and especially production and retail distribution channel. This is to prevent any potential shortage of stock, contributing to social security.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the group and its subsidiaries has actively implemented many control and relief measures to cope with all situations. Strategic partnership agreements have been signed with suppliers to provide sufficient supply of groceries at stable prices.

Masan also set up 3 lines of defense to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 while still serving consumers’ grocery needs at VinMart/VinMart+.

 

In addition, WinCommerce (a subsidiary of Masan) offered flexible shopping methods, including online sales via VinMart.com website, mobile app, phone ordering, home delivery service or neighborhood groups to connect with local stores at isolated and quarantined areas.

There are nearly 500 supermarkets and VinMart supermarkets/VinMart+ stores in every districts/wards in HCMC. Each ward has at least one VinMart+ store capable of handling hundreds of orders per day. During stressful days of the pandemic, VinCommerce has closely coordinated with city authorities to quickly deliver essential goods to residents.

Contributing more than VND270 billion to epidemic prevention

Focusing on the health of the community, since 2020, Masan has has accompanied the government and people across the country to fight the disease. The group and its subsidiaries regularly implemented many activities to support the epidemic prevention in various ways.

In particular, in June 2021, Masan donated VND60 billion to the government’s vaccine fund, joining hands with to prevent COVID-19 epidemic. During the peak of the epidemic in July an August, the Group continued to sponsor essential medical equipment for more than 15 field hospitals, COVID-19 treatment hospitals, disease control agencies Ho Chi Minh City Police Departments and so on. The group also supported the frontline forces with millions of essential products.

The group has also donated ECMO systems, dozens of high-flow ventilators, tens of thousands of test kits, and personal protective equipment to the Departments of Health of Long An, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Hau Giang provinces, among others. It has also provided accommodations for doctors and nurses at Trung Vuong Hospital.

As of Sep 2021, Masan Group has contributed more than VND 270 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

WinMart+ provides essential goods, applying strict epidemic prevention standards. Photo: Masan

Masan believes in improving the livelihoods of members of communities where it has operations. The Group and its subsidiaries have implemented numerous long-term healthcare, education as well as community development programs.

Various programs to serve communities in long term

Education plays an important role in poverty reduction and Masan Group has presented water purifiers to primary and middle schools in Hau Giang and Long An provinces (Masan Consumer), established scholarship fund for pupil in Ha Son commune, Quy Hop, Nghe An province (Masan Farm Nghe An), presented bicycles to children and teenagers in extremely disadvantaged circumstances (Masan High-Tech Materials).

Especially, Masan has invested heavily into social infrastructure including health facilities, schools, vocational trainings, and mentoring programs, establishing Economic Recovery Fund for people affected by Nui Phao projects and organizing vocational training programs in order to contribute to improving the living standards and social security of local people throughout the country.

“As the leading consumer goods and retail corporation in Vietnam, Masan believes in “Doing well by doing good”. Community Initiatives plays a crucial role in realizing our mission uplifting the material and spiritual lives of 100 million Vietnamese consumers each and every day.” said Masan Group’s representative.

Source: https://e.nhipcaudautu.vn/companies/masan-groups-imprint-at-the-asian-corporate-excellence-sustainability-awards-2021-3342967/

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Exporters told to strictly comply with EU regulations to avoid losses

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The European Union has a large demand for imported agricultural products and, thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Vietnamese businesses have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this.

 However, local businesses need to strictly comply with European regulations to avoid losses when exporting to the region.

Exporters told to strictly comply with EU regulations to avoid losses
The EU applies strict requirements and regulations on imported food products. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh 

For food products, the EU has strict requirements and regulations on product quality and the maximum residue level (MRL) of pesticides.

Trade counsellor Tran Ngoc Quan, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Belgium and EU, said that most regulations across the bloc are similar when it comes to agricultural and food products.

Germany, Austria, the UK, Netherlands and Belgium do have stricter and higher MRL levels than the standard EU regulations, though these vary with different active ingredients, fresh produce and processed products.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that while Vietnamese fruits and vegetables are more competitive than those from countries without a European trade agreement, exporters must focus on improving MRL levels.

Nguyen said: “If enterprises exporting to the EU do not comply with the regulations, they face the risk of increased levels of inspections, supervision and perhaps even being banned from exporting to these markets in the future.

“The EU applies these regulations very strictly. Enterprises that want to export to the EU must obtain certificates and production levels according to GlobalGAP.”

Nguyen added that violators run the risk of incurring heavy losses if they are caught.

According to the new EU regulation No 2021/1900, effective from November 23, the frequency of pesticide testing on Vietnamese herbs and fruits will increase. Of this, 50 per cent of testing will be applied to coriander, basil, mint, parsley, beans corn and pepper and 10 per cent will be applied to dragon fruit.

Nguyen said that as vegetable products in Vietnam often have pesticides, some samples and consignments will be tested for residue. The EU has also increased the frequency of testing, adding that the more enterprises violate the regulations, the more frequent inspections will be. 

He said bans on export to the EU could be applied to violators.

According to a representative of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), the EU’s increase in testing will raise difficulties in exporting to the EU and will invite increased competition from other countries.

“In order to avoid violations, businesses must do better at testing products when exporting, as well as strengthening production links to create a clean and safe raw material area,” said a representative of VPA.

The EU also conducts post-inspections away from ports, so even though goods are being consumed or sold at supermarkets or shops, if they are not of good quality they can still be recalled, said Nguyen.

Using the example of a Vietnamese pepper export enterprise that was refused by Spain when its product was tested at the border gate recently, Nguyen said that if the violation was discovered when the product was already on shelves it would cause larger financial damage to the  Vietnamese exporter. 

Nguyen Minh Lien, General Director of Vinamex Company which purchases Vietnamese goods for export to the EU market, shared that some Vietnamese enterprises do not pay due attention to food safety issues. Lien added that due to the post-inspection of the EU market, some have had to pay fines and incur additional costs due to poor quality products.

In addition, Lien said some basic errors like incorrect packaging leads to products being returned or sold cheaper to other markets.

Lien noted when exporting goods to the EU, Vietnamese businesses must work closely with importers on product quality, packaging and contract inspection to avoid loss and damage.

She said supermarkets in the EU do not directly import goods from Vietnam, so local enterprises should cooperate with importers to arrange products at the warehouse before entering the retail market there.

She also suggested Vietnamese enterprises cooperate to diversify products, ensure sufficient output and take advantage of shared containers when exporting.

Considering EU customers are increasingly interested in buying products from businesses that contribute to community development and the environment, Nguyen said: “Sustainable development should be a long-term direction for export businesses in Vietnam.”

At the same time, even enterprises and manufacturers that follow the GlobalGAP requirements must pay attention to the plant protection ingredients that the EU bans or restricts, as some may be different from the GlobalGAP.

Source: Vietnam News

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/local-exporters-must-strictly-comply-with-eu-regulations-to-avoid-losses-798131.html

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Moody’s upgrades VPBank’s rating to Ba3

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VPBank is one of the leading banks in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of the bank

HÀ NỘI — Global credit rating firm Moody’s Investors Services has upgraded Việt Nam Prosperity Bank (VPBank)’s foreign currency deposits from B1 to Ba3 which is equal to the country’s rating with positive outlook.

Moody’s BCA ratings reflect the independent intrinsic strength of the issuer. This credit rating is assessed based on the macro-environment, financial profile and qualitative assessment factors. In addition to upgrading the BCA rating, Moody’s also upgraded VPBank’s long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings, rising to Ba3.

VPBank’s credit rating was announced after the bank completed the sale of a 49 per cent stake at its VPBank Finance Company Limited (FE Credit) to SMBC Consumer Finance Co Ltd (SMBCCF), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc (SMBC Group) at the end of October. Moody’s assessed that the capital sale brought about a significant improvement in the bank’s credit profile. Notably, according to Moody’s methodology, the bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) increased from 11.4 per cent at the end of September 2021 to 13.5 per cent at the end of October 2021.

In addition to the improved capital base, the bank’s outstanding business results in recent months, despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy, were also highly appreciated by Moody’s. The business results in the third quarter of the year showed that VPBank’s consolidated before-tax profit reached more than VNĐ11.7 trillion (US$513 million), up 24.9 per cent over the same period last year. The parent bank’s pre-tax profit alone reached VNĐ10.8 trillion, representing 75.2 per cent year-on-year increase. The bank’s total consolidated operating income reached VNĐ33.2 trillion, increasing 17.3 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Its consolidated return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) indices continued to be among the top of the market, reaching 2.8 per cent and 21.6 per cent respectively.

Moody’s believed that VPBank’s capital capacity will continue to be stable, as the bank has clearly demonstrated its plan to use capital obtained from the FE Credit deal to promote growth and seek new business investment opportunities. In addition, the assets scale will be further expanded thanks to the profit growth from business activities.

“VPBank’s asset quality and profitability will remain stable over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s said in the announcement, emphasising the belief that VPBank’s asset quality will be well under control as Việt Nam’s economy recovers and vaccination rates increase.

The upgraded ratings from a prestigious international credit rating agency like Moody’s in the context that Việt Nam’s economy has suffered heavy impacts from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated confidence of international organisations in VPBank’s capital base and development plan this year and in the future. This also contributes to strengthening VPBank’s position, while further enhancing its ability to mobilise capital from reputable financial institutions. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/1092062/moodys-upgrades-vpbanks-rating-to-ba3.html

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Rural groceries change business strategy as they compete with foreign supermarkets

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Thanh Ngoc, the owner of a grocery store, was seen comparing the prices of thousands of products with a smartphone.

Rural groceries change business strategy as they compete with foreign supermarkets

Just after a touch on the screen, a truck carrying goods worth tens of millions of dong arrived after some minutes.

Ngoc has been running a grocery in Bien Hoa City of Dong Nai province for many years. Previously, she met wholesalers every weekend to buy goods but now stays at home and places orders. All the products she needs, from toothpaste to shampoo to drinks, are delivered to the door.

“Now I can manage a shopping list with hundreds of items worth tens of millions of dong. I can analyze the purchases of local people in different periods to determine how many products I need for retail and adjust business plans,” she said.

The other two grocery stores in the same area have also been digitized. The digitization allows them to get hundreds of products from suppliers in one order within a day.

The tendency of going online is growing throughout the country. Traditional grocery stores are becoming one of the two B’s in B2B (Business to Business) in the distribution chain.

Nguyen Minh Hanh from Telio Vietnam, an e-commerce platform with retail agents in 26 cities and provinces, said the online trend will continue. The flow of people leaving large cities for hometowns after the pandemic is expected to increase goods consumption in rural areas and provinces with smaller populations.

Vo Duy Phu from VinShop said the strong development of technological platforms plus the pandemic have accelerated digitization in the retail industry.

For many of the 80,000 grocery owners, this is the first time they are using smartphones to make transactions, thus creating a revolution in the retail industry.

Online groceries are becoming common in every neighborhood as they benefit both sellers and buyers.

A representative from VinShop said with the support of technology, goods can circulate faster from manufacturers to consumers, and the problems of traditional retail can be settled with digital technology.

“One-touch purchases can help restrict contact during the pandemic. You can stay at home and compare the prices of thousands of products. Goods are delivered door to door. These are the values that digitization brings,” Phu said.

A Nielsen’s report showed that Vietnam has more than 1.4 million grocery stores and 9,000 traditional markets. 

Tran Chung

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/rural-groceries-change-business-strategy-as-they-compete-with-foreign-supermarkets-798186.html

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