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Pandemic speeds up digitisation, technology transformation



The COVID-19 pandemic does not slow down technological transformation or digitisation, but in fact speeds them up, companies said.

The disitalisation and technology transformation are speeded up during COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS Photo

The COVID-19 pandemic does not slow down technological transformation or digitisation, but in fact speeds them up, companies said.

Speaking to Viet Nam News, Angus Liew, general director of Gamuda Land HCMC, said: “Digitisation is the future of mankind, not only for real estate but also for all other business sectors, and people’s lifestyles as well. It’s an irreversible trend. Nowadays we can see everyone is talking about AI, industry 4.0, etc.”

Technology was the backbone nowadays and governed every aspect of doing business, from operational systems to mechanisms to interact with customers.

His company had put a lot of efforts and resources into developing technology and innovation.

“Technological transformation is one of our top priorities.”

Soon, possibly in the first quarter of 2022, Gamuda Land Vietnam planned to launch a mobile app, ‘GL Lifestyle.’

“This app is much more than just a technological product, it is itself an online ecosystem. Whatever features and services we have in our townships can be accessed through this app. It also connects our retailers and F&B, lifestyle and educational services with users.

“Training activities, conferences and seminars within our organisation are fully organised online. Proposals and approval procedures are proceeded with electronically, and applications and approvals can be done anytime, and from anywhere from any device whether you are in the office or at home.

“We have also fully processed procurement on digital platforms, including tendering, pitching and awarding.”

Gamuda had expanded sales on digital platforms soon after COVID first began. Customers could find property deals on the company’s website and the sales team assisted them in real time.

The company’s headquarter in Malaysia was focused on technology transformation.

“It helps to make our operational system more agile and smart than previously. Thanks to it, Gamuda Land has sustained itself through difficult times and overcome challenges.

“Technology helps keep our operations running, and allows us to achieve our goals though there are many interruptions in the supply chain.

“Considering IT the backbone of our business, we always have a weekly discussion about how technology can be upgraded to enhance our business performance and what new solutions can be applied to strengthen and improve our process.

“We will continue to develop our existing digital systems to make them smarter and friendlier to users. The solutions being developed at the Gamuda head quarter like enterprise resource planning, industrialised building system, digital engineering, data warehouse, etc. will soon be implemented in Viet Nam.”

Recently Bibica Joint Stock Company launched digital retail platforms, connecting producers, distributors, retailers, and customers as part of a programme in response to the Ministry of Information and Technology’s digitisation and digital economy development efforts.

A highlight of the paltform is the rewards points alliance model to connect customers, stores, manufacturers, and other partners in the alliance.

Customers are able to receive rewards and gifts from Bibica and its partners.

As for sellers, they can reach a large number of customers through the platform.

This is the first model in the Vietnamese retail industry that takes care of customers and cross-marketing, according to the company.

It is very popular in Japan where 60 million members and nearly a million shops take part in it.

Truong Phu Chien, chairman of Bibica, said his company was acutely aware of the role and importance of digital transformation, and constantly strives to increase the use of information technology in all its business activities.

“The new solution is meant for Bibica to quickly and directly assist distributors, agents at all levels and consumers with easily buying goods online amid the Government’s strict social distancing directive to fight the epidemic.

“The pandemic has severely affected manufacturing and distribution across the board. This app is a practical step to help us take care of and support our agents and stores across the country at this difficult time. “

More and more individuals too are using technology in their daily lives for things like buying food and making cashless payment to avoid exposure to COVID.

A recent Visa report titled Consumer Payment Attitudes highlights a growing interest in digital banking and other new payment technologies.

It said digital banking has a strong following among Vietnamese consumers with 77 per cent being aware of it and 31 per cent actually using it.

The driver of adoption is the convenience of being able to bank at any time without having to visit a bank.

At the same time there is growing interest in emerging payment methods. Biometric payments using fingerprint scans, voice and facial recognition and retina scan are a subject of particular interest.

Eighty three per cent of Vietnamese are now aware of the existence of these payment methods and a vast majority are also interested in trying them.

Numberless cards are also gradually gaining recognition with 62 per cent of consumers now aware of the existence of this option and 77 per cent saying they would use them.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has given a tremendous push for all forms of cashless payments across small-ticket categories,” Dang Tuyet Dung, country manager for Visa Vietnam and Laos, said.

“These trends have found extremely fertile ground among Viet Nam’s young and adaptable population, with Gen Z consumers showing significant trust and excitement in new payment services and consumption channels like social commerce.”

The significant interest shown in digital payments would help drive adoption and put Viet Nam on the path to a cashless society, providing advances in safety, security and convenience, the Visa study said.

Source: VNS



Vietnam trade to climb to new peak



Vietnam trade to climb to new peak

A container ship is seen at Tan Cang Cai Mep Terminal in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Photo by VnExpress/Dang Khoa

Vietnam’s trade could reach a record high of $600 billion in 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has said.

This would be 10 percent higher than last year as against a government target of 4-5 percent, it said.

It had reached $510 billion as of Oct. 15 with a marginal deficit.

Vietnam, which has been recording a trade surplus for years, has been suffering a deficit this year as social distancing and travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 hurt exports.

So the final value would be dependent on curbing Covid-19 and recovering manufacturing and exports, the ministry said.

If there are no more major outbreaks in the remaining months and southern-based companies regain their growth momentum, the deficit could be wiped out and there could even be a surplus, it added.

Several large FDI plans announced recently seem to substantiate the ministry’s forecast.

South Korean electronics giant LG Display in August announced an additional investment of $1.4 billion in its manufacturing facility in Hai Phong this year.


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HDBank affirms position among top 5 prestigious banks in Việt Nam



With its outstanding business results and accompanying the economy in overcoming the pandemic, HDBank affirms position among top five prestigious banks in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of the bank

HCM CITY — HDBank has once again been honoured as one of the most prestigious private institutions in the country by Vietnam Report, affirming its position as among the most dynamic banks in terms of growth.

The award was presented at the Vietnam Top 50 Public Companies (VIX50) in 2021 ceremony organised by Vietnam Report on October 21 in Hà Nội.

Techcombank, ACB, VPBank, and TPBank also won awards.

The awards were based on three criteria: financial capacity as shown in the latest year’s financial statements; communications prestige assessed by media coding method; and surveys of relevant stakeholders done in June 2021.

HDBank did well in all three criteria.

Its positive business results in the first six months of 2021 was a bright spot.

Overcoming the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, HDBank achieved 82 per cent of its full-year profit target in the first nine months.

Its total assets as of September 30 were worth over VNĐ346 trillion (US$15.2 billion), up 26.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Return on equity (ROE) was 24 per cent compared to 21.1 per cent in September 2020. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and liquidity were maintained at high levels, with CAR (according to Basel II) at 13 per cent, far above the minimum requirement of 8 per cent.

The bank’s total operating income in the first three quarters topped VNĐ12.1 trillion ($532.3 million), 23.6 per cent up from the same period last year. Operating costs continued to be optimised with the cost to income ratio reduced to 39 per cent from 43.8 per cent a year earlier.

Its standalone and consolidated non-performing loan ratios were below 1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, both lower than in a year earlier.

Services continued to be its bright spot in the first nine months, as net income rose 88.6 per cent year-on-year.

Notably, net income from services for the parent bank more than tripled from the same period last year thanks to growth in the bancassurance and payments services segments.

This helped HDBank develop in a more comprehensive way, no longer depending on credit while minimising risks and improving the revenue structure in a sustainable manner.

In the first nine months of the year, HDBank actively undertook digital transformation to promptly meet the transaction needs of customers in the context of the pandemic.

To help prop up the economy, since the pandemic outbreak HDBank has earmarked over VNĐ42 trillion to support individual and corporate customers.

Besides preferential interest rates, the bank has also offered support in terms of waiver and reduction of various fees.

In August, it won the Best Bank and Best Digital Transformation Bank in Vietnam in 2021 awards at the Global Brand Award. —


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Covid-19 pandemic and the goal of 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025



The target of having 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025 may be difficult to achieve as many obstacles and the Covid-19 pandemic have affected business seriously. A strong recovery and reform program is needed to encourage Vietnamese businesses.

Một trận 'đạn pháo' và giấc mơ 1,3-1,5 triệu DN vào năm 2025

In early 2021, the Government assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to develop a resolution on enterprise development for the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030, which targets 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025.

According to the Vietnam General Statistics Office, by the end of 2020, the country had about active 810,000 enterprises. To achieve the target, Vietnam must have 100,000-150,000 new businesses coming into operation annually.

This year, due to the heavy influence of the Covid pandemic, a large number of enterprises has withdrawn from the market. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, the number of active businesses will be lower than that of 2020. The question is the target will be fulfilled?

Unified anti-pandemic policy needed

Entrepreneurs complain that with the policy “each locality is a fortress to prevent the epidemic”, many provinces have prioritized the fight against the epidemic with the desire to achieve “zero Covid-19” and this has affected business and production operations.

In many localities, hundreds of pandemic checkpoints have been set up at entrances and highways, which have hindered circulation of goods. The Vietnam Association of Logistics Service Providers lamented that as provinces apply different epidemic prevention measures, goods transport has been seriously affected, doubling the burden on businesses that have had to struggle to survive in the pandemic.

The characteristic of production and business activities is chain connections, regardless of administrative boundaries. Therefore, when local governments apply different policies and regulations on social distancing and goods transport and some provinces even close their doors to ensure “zero Covid”, input materials cannot reach factories and goods are kept in stock. This is seen as the fastest way to push enterprises to the risk of bankruptcy.

Recent statistics from the General Statistics Office show that in January-September 2021, up to 90,300 enterprises withdrew from the market, up 15.3% over the same period of last year.

On average, 10,000 enterprises were leaving the market each month. In fact, the number may be higher because when provinces implemented strict social distancing, many businesses could not complete closure procedures.

This situation has never happened in the past 10 years. Experts estimate that from now until the end of 2021, the number of businesses that will stop operating or be dissolve will be around 120,000.

Prolonged lockdowns have hit the economy hard. However, when switching to “living with Covid-19”, there are still many obstacles. In some provinces, the risk of “sub-license” rises again, making it difficult for businesses to resume operations.

Ly Kim Chi, Chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said that businesses are already exhausted. If local governments issue more sub-licenses and regulations that cause difficulties for business operations, enterprises will “collapse” completely.

Another challenge for business and production recovery is labor shortages, as tens of thousands of migrant workers have left cities to return to their hometowns to avoid the pandemic.

Stronger reform

Một trận 'đạn pháo' và giấc mơ 1,3-1,5 triệu DN vào năm 2025

Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that in 2017 the Institute had proposed that the Government remove three quarters of the existing 4,000 business conditions. However, in official documents issued later, the Government only asked to reduce and simplify 50% of these. In 2018, ministries and branches began reducing and simplifying business conditions under the Government’s direction.

“But I don’t think that it really works because we recommended removing and abolishing, not simplifying business conditions,” Mr. Cung said. Therefore, there has been no substantive impact on the business environment, and no positive effect on enterprises. Half-hearted reform has led to the risk that business conditions are recovering.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) commented that the recent reform and reduction of business conditions and support for enterprises to enter the market has not been substantial. Ministries and state agencies claimed to have cut business conditions by up to 60%, but it is on paper only. In reality it’s only about 30-40%. The market entry procedures are still complicated and overlapping.

In 2016, the Government issued Resolution 35/NQ-CP on supporting and developing enterprises, which set a target of having 1 million enterprises operating by the end of 2020, but it failed. According to experts, the main reason is that the business environment still has many barriers for enterprises to enter the market.

Therefore, in the period of 2021-2025, if there are no drastic reforms in the business environment and to changes in behavior detrimental to production and business activities, the dream of having 1.3-1.5 million enterprises by 2025 will be unreachable.

Facing difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses need a strategy to restore safe production and business activities in the new anti-epidemic state. It is important for Vietnam to take action now, to maintain its competitiveness on regionally and globally, and not to fall behind in the economic recovery process.

Economic experts said that it is necessary to take action immediately and have a comprehensive economic promotion program. Otherwise, recovery will be slow and painful.

Tran Thuy


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