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Smart logistics key for competitiveness improvement: Experts



To meet the demands of domestic trading and import-export activities, the logistics sector is working towards professional and competitive services meeting international standards, in which smart logistics development is considered the key solution.

Smart logistics key for competitiveness improvement: Experts hinh anh 1Goods loading at Delta International JSC in Hanoi (Photo:

Hanoi – To meet the demands of domestic
trading and import-export activities, the logistics sector is working towards
professional and competitive services meeting international standards, in which
smart logistics development is considered the key solution.

According to Director of the Import-Export Department under
the Ministry of Industry and Trade Phan Van Chinh, local logistics firms have
been increasingly aware of the need to speed up digital transformation and
apply technology into their business operations, aiming to cut cost and
increase competitiveness.

Supply chain director at Nestle Vietnam Nguyen Tran Hoang
Yen said that digitalisation has helped the firm better connect with the global
market and optimise goods transport and distribution activities in the
domestic market.

Nestle has launched its Cargoo app to connect manufacturers,
importers and shipping lines, enabling them to follow the transportation
process of each order and track the goods information, book ships and manage
all related documents, she said.

Meanwhile, Marketing Director of the Saigon Newport Corporation
Truong Tan Loc said that the firm has launched a system of e-port and
e-warehouse, while applying artificial intelligence (AI) in customer services,
thus improving its service quality.

However, as 90% of the logistic firms are small- and medium-sized
enterprises, the application of smart logistics has remained limited.

Pointing to major barriers hindering smart logistics
development in Vietnam, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association
Le Quang Trung mentioned limitations in mindset and confusions in selecting
suitable technologies as well as a shortage in financial and human resources
and a lack of harmonious policies for digital transformation.

Experts held that strengthening the application of IT and modernising
management and operation methods as well as using logistics optimising
platforms are among the effective measures to reduce logistics cost and improve
service quality.

Loc said that domestic logistics firms should work closely
together to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnam’s logistics sector by building
a shared database on Vietnam seaport system with connections with other ports
in the region and the world.

At the same time, the State and localities should further
simplify administrative procedures, while building a joint database and processing
administrative procedures online, he said, stressing the need for updating the
legal system to encourage businesses to develop new services and technologies.

Director of Northern Operations Division at Lazada Vietnam Nguyen
Trieu Quang said that logistics businesses should standardise their processes
and build a sustainable ecosystem to grasp opportunities from the booming
e-commerce, while improving the delivery experience from every touchpoint.

Vice Director of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry
of Industry and Trade Tran Thanh Hai underlined the need for coordination and
strong linkage among not only logistics firms but also all relevant agencies
in order to successfully promote the application of digital technology./.



Stock market sees signs of rallies in second half



The stock market is expected to see more investment opportunities for the medium and long term in the second quarter of 2023, according to analysts.

Stock market sees signs of rallies in second half hinh anh 1A woman performs a transaction on mobile phone at Bao Viet Securities’ office. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi –
The stock market is expected to see more
investment opportunities for the medium and long term in the second quarter of
2023, according to analysts.

In its latest report, BSC Securities Company said that the market witnessed
strong divergence among industry groups in the first quarter of the year.
Particularly, the financial, material, and energy sectors all posted better
performances than the benchmark VN-Index.

The securities firm also lowers its GDP growth forecast to 5.8% in the positive
scenario, compared to 6.7% in early 2023, and to 5.3% in the negative scenario,
the report said.

Many signs show that production activity is weakening while the real estate
industry is still facing many challenges. In the first four months of the year,
import and export value growth also declined.

However, the macro situation has shown some positive signs, as
inflation was controlled stably with the CPI data in April up only 2.84%, the
benchmark exchange rate was under control, and FDI capital inflows improved.

The macro factors will create favourable conditions for the
central bank to continue lowering the policy rates to support the economy.

The State Bank of Vietnam on May 23 announced another rate cut of half
a percentage point. And the decision is expected to have a positive impact on
the stock market in the long term, said Nguyen Minh Hoang, director of the
Analysis Department at VietFirst Securities.

“As the central bank cut interest rates as expected for the third time, it
is already priced in. So in the near term, the market will not show a strong
response,” Hoang said.

“However, the move helps reduce the borrowing cost for businesses,
increasing the credit cycle and supporting the economy. So it will have a long
term impact on the market.”

The expert also said that given the lower interest rate environment, flows of
cash running to savings in 2022, when interest rates were high, are now likely
to find other investment channels, including the stock market.

“It will also create expectations even for industries which are now weak
in the market. For example, the manufacturing, retail, import-export groups are
the groups seeing better prospects in the second half of 2023,” Hoang

Activities to boost disbursement of the State budget and accelerate
disbursement of public investment in the second half of 2023 will be the
driving force behind the economic recovery and growth plan in the period of
2023-25, according to BSC Securities.

In the first four months, disbursement of budget capital is estimated at 131.2
trillion VND (5.59 billion USD), up 18% over last year and equal to 19% of the
year plan.

The Government is making considerable efforts to promote public investment. BSC
expects that directly affected industries such as infrastructure construction,
building materials, and indirectly affected groups, including commercial real
estate, industrial parks, and seaports, will benefit.

BSC also expects foreign investors to maintain their net buying position in the
second half of 2023 when corporate profits will gradually improve compared to
the first quarter and monetary and fiscal policies help the economy grow.

Meanwhile, the issues related to bonds and the real estate market have been
gradually resolved.

In the long term, foreign investors still show considerable interest in the
Vietnamese market as it continues to receive some additional capital flows from
the Fubon ETF and the China Trust Vietnam Opportunity Fund from Taiwan.

In terms of industry valuation, some groups show more attractive valuations
than in the past, such as banking, real estate, industry, fisheries, oil and
gas, and retail.

On the contrary, some industry groups with higher valuations than in the past,
such as textiles and garments, basic resources, seaports, and aviation
services, will be strongly affected by profit prospects this year./.


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Firms hesitate to access loans due to weak consumption demand

The SBV last week cut its policy rates for the third time this year to prop up economic growth. The bank cut its refinance rates from 5.5 to 5.0 per cent.



Firms are more concerned about weak consumption demand than interest rates, so they hesitate to borrow to expand production and business despite the rate cut.

The State Bank of Vietnam last week cut its policy rates for the third time this year to prop up economic growth. Accordingly, the bank cut its refinance rates from 5.5 to 5.0 per cent and its overnight electronic interbank rate from 6.0 to 5.5 per cent.

The SBV’s move was made in the context of economic and business difficulties.

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Economic Committee Vu Hong Thanh said the socio-economic situation in the first four months of 2023 saw difficulties and challenges that continued from the fourth quarter of 2022. It, therefore, put great pressure on macroeconomic management and the ability to meet the growth target for the whole of 2023.

Vietnam’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023 was very low. The country’s main industrial production and export centres saw a decrease or insignificant increase, which means it is extremely difficult to meet the full-year growth target. The weak aggregate demand has directly affected the total supply of the economy. Some key drivers of the country’s growth such as exports, foreign direct investment, and industrial production all recorded declines.

According to the General Department of Customs, in the first four months of 2023, exports to major markets all declined. Specifically, exports to the US – the largest market – decreased by 21.6 per cent while shipments to China, Europe and ASEAN also dropped by 12.9 per cent, 8.9 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively.

During the period, exports of staples recorded a sharp decline for the first time in many years. Wood and timber products hit the deepest decline of 30.6 per cent, followed by aquatic products at 29.3 per cent, textiles and garments at 18.1 per cent and footwear at 15.5 per cent.

Regarding garment products in particular, at the Banking Forum 2023 held recently, Truong Van Cam, vice chairman and general secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) talked about what has never happened to Vietnam’s textile industry before.

According to Cam, the gloomy economic situation is having a great impact on consumer demand and business orders. Since the end of the third quarter of 2022, the textile and garment industry has begun to absorb the blows of inflation and the global economic recession, which has caused both order and price to decrease by 20-30 per cent on average, and some even reporting a decline of up to 40-50 per cent.

Cam forecast the decline in orders and export turnover of the textile and garment industry could last until the third quarter before gradually recovering in the fourth quarter.

Bach Thang Long, permanent deputy general director of the Garment 10 Corporation, said at present, clothing enterprises did not have the right to choose. They would accept all orders, regardless of high-end or low-end goods. The important thing now would be to maintain produce and retain workers to wait for the market to recover.

Market shrinks

In the context of such weak demand and despite the interest rate cut, there is a question that what will businesses borrow for when there is no consumption demand?

This issue was mentioned by Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, chairman of the HCM City Business Association (HUBA) when he talked to the press on the sidelines of the HCM City Economic Forum held in early May.

According to Hoa, the economic situation is changing too quickly. Enterprises cannot export goods, and both domestic and foreign demand are narrowed.

At the end of last year and even at the beginning of this year, firms kept complaining that it was difficult to access loans. However, now it is on the contrary as it is not difficult to access capital but firms do not know how to use bank loans effectively due to low consumption demand. Therefore, they do not have the need to borrow money yet.

In the opposite direction, banks also need to pump capital into the economy. If they hold a lot of money, they will be stuck. The bank is forced to lower interest rates.

Talking about firms in HCM City in particular, Hoa said about 50 per cent of firms in the city were facing difficulties. They have to cut production and operate moderately.

On the side of experts, Dr. Dinh Trong Thinh said firms would borrow as long as the interest rates are cheap enough for them to make a profit.

In addition, it should be noted the current high lending rate is partly because banks mobilised a large amount of capital with high costs from the second half of last year. When the cost of the mobilised capital gradually becomes cheaper, the lending interest rate would also gradually decrease to support more actively for individuals and firms, Thịnh said.

Referring to the difficulties of the export market, on the sideline of the National Assembly’s meeting on May 23, Tran Hoang Ngan, member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group and secretary of the HCM City’s Party Committee, said the foreign market was very precarious when the world economy was on the decline, export firms, therefore, needed to take into account the domestic market with 100 million people.

According to Ngan, in the world, countries with populations from a few tens of millions to more than 100 million people often have to control economic openness moderately. Meanwhile, Vietnam has a population of about 100 million people, but the openness of the economy is up to 200 per cent, double GDP. Ngan considers this a dangerous and risky factor.

Ngan believes that the global world has many uncertainties. Large openness will make Vietnam wobble with the world fluctuations. It is necessary to seriously consider controlling openness if the country wants to build an independent and self-reliant economy.

Ngan suggested the Government pay attention to the social security support package, which would help reduce difficulties for workers with job cuts, disadvantaged households, and families under preferential treatment policies. Moreover, the package would help stimulate demand and increase aggregate demand for the economy.

At an NA meeting on Wednesday, Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc on behalf of the Government reported a Government’s proposal to continually implement the 2 per cent value-added tax (VAT) reduction policy.

Specifically, the Government proposes to reduce the value added tax (VAT) by 2 per cent for some groups of goods and services, which are currently applying the 10 per cent VAT rate, from July 1 to December 31 this year.

The VAT reduction policy, which was also implemented in 2022, is expected to be approved to stimulate domestic aggregate demand and partially offset the drop in export demand. 

Source: Vietnamnews


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Hai Phong breaks ground on over 2,500 social housing units



The administration of Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam on Sunday broke ground on a 10 block social housing project, with a total of 2,538 apartments in An Duong District.

The social housing project, part of the Trang Due urban area, commercial service, and social housing project, will span Le Loi and Quoc Tuan Communes in the district, with Saigon – Hai Phong Industrial Park Joint Stock Company being the developer.

The project, which will cost more than VND1.594 trillion (US$68.5 million), includes ten 15-story buildings. Each apartment will have a total area of 26-55 square meters.

Low-income earners will be prioritized to buy the budget apartments and given support in accessing bank loans to buy the homes.

The project is slated for completion in the final quarter of 2025.

The municipal administration underlined the importance of the project to fulfill its goals of satisfying the demand for low-cost apartments, offering affordable accommodations to low-income earners as well as helping manufacturing businesses maintain stable human resources.

Nguyen Duc Tho, vice-chairman of the Hai Phong People’s Committee, said the northern port city was assigned by the prime minister to develop 33,500 budget apartments during the 2021-30 period.

An artist’s impression of the social housing project in An Duong District, Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam

An artist’s impression of the social housing project in An Duong District, Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam

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