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High-growth sectors identified for future stock market investment


A seminar detailing the state of the market and wise investment choices in the year ahead was recently held in Ho Chi Minh City as a means of pointing out high-growth sectors that require greater investment in the stock market, including education, technology, freight forwarding, renewable energy, and healthcare.

Upon addressing the event, Dr. Le Anh Tu, senior advisor at PwC and deputy chairman of the Economists Club, said the tech sector continues to draw interest and achieved a CAGR of 26.1% throughout the 2015 to 2019 period. He therefore anticipates that this figure will be even higher over the coming years.

Most notably, the local education sector is poised to attract an increasing number of financiers due to spending on education continuing to increase, especially among the middle class, he added.

Furthermore, investment in the sector is also set to increase due to the Government’s policy of encouraging 100% investment by individuals, including foreign nationals.

The healthcare sector is poised to remain attractive as per capita healthcare spending is anticipated to grow from US$194 in 2019 to US$309 in 2024, whilst the ageing population is rapidly increasing, he noted.

According to experts participating in the seminar, there are several fundamental factors which support the development of the Vietnamese stock market.

Moreover, the Vietnamese economy is set to grow by between 6.8% and 7% in 2021. This comes as FDI investment boosts the service sector, coupled with the competent curtailment of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic creating momentum for many sectors looking to boost exports, according to Dr. Nguyen Son, chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository.

“The price to earnings (P/E) ratio is still low compared to other countries in the region, meaning there is still much potential for it to increase further.”

There remains a possibility that foreign capital flows will shift from other markets to the country when its stock market is upgraded to the status of an emerging market, Dr. Son said. It therefore meets seven out of nine requirements set by FTSE Russell for an upgrade. The new securities law also helps to promote the stock market, he said.

As a means of further boosting its development, there should be a focus on strengthening regulations and the IT systems of stock exchanges, thereby improving the capacity of financial intermediaries. This can be done whilst developing fresh products, including pension funds, non-voting depositary receipts and depositary receipts, along with creating a market for the products created by start-ups, he said.

During the course of the seminar, held by the Economists Club, the Ho Chi Minh Securities Corporation, and the Green Plus Joint Stock Corporation, experts also touched upon methods aimed at classifying and selecting stocks for investment.

Also present at the event was Nguyen Truc Son, vice chairman of the Ben Tre Provincial People’s Committee, who granted an investment registration certificate to Green Plus in order to develop a US$1 million functional food plant in the province’s Giao Long Industrial Park.

Russia increases mango, guava, and mangosteen imports from Vietnam

Russia has moved to significantly increase their imports of mango, guava, and mangosteen from Vietnam, with the import proportion of these local fruits in January making up 6.1% of their total import volume, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Mangosteen is one of the types of fruit has seen an increase in imports from Russia
Statistics released by the International Trade Center (ITC) indicate that Russian imports of mango, guava, and mangosteen witnessed a sharp rise throughout the 2016 to 2020 period, with an average increase of 68.4% annually.

This comes after last year saw the import value surge by 187.7% to US$83.46 million in comparison to 2019, with a rise of 612.2% from 2016.

Russia imported the majority of these fruits from Peru in January, with 2,550 tonnes worth US$4.4 million, an increase of 15.6% in volume and 6.7% in value compared to January, 2020, with the import proportion from this market representing 69.4% of the total import volume.

During January of this year, the country was the fourth largest supplier of mango, guava, and mangosteen to the Russian market, reaching 226 tonnes worth US$807,000, a boost of 114% in volume and 62.7% in value compared to January, 2020.

Most notably, the import proportion from Vietnam accounted for 6.1% of total Russian imports, with the market share of Vietnamese guava, mango, and mangosteen in the Eastern European country’s imports rising sharply.

Moving forward, there remains plenty of room for Vietnamese exporters to fully tap into the Russian market as they cannot produce their own tropical fruit and vegetables due to the colder climate.

Moreover, demand from Russian consumers for vegetables and fruit has undergone a surge in recent times, with Russia importing up to two-thirds of the volume of fruit and vegetables each year.

U.S. company wants to develop 9,600 MW power plant in Soc Trang

Millennium Energy Vietnam, a member of the U.S.-based Millennium Petroleum Group, has plans to develop a 9,600 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.

Speaking at a meeting with the leaders of Soc Trang Province on April 20, Sam Chan, chairman of Millennium Energy Vietnam, said the company is committed to using advanced technology and equipment for the project to ensure environmental protection.

Once approved, the project will be divided into two phases and need an area of some 200 hectares to develop. It requires an investment of some US$15 billion and would be the largest project of its kind in the Mekong Delta.

Soc Trang vice chairman Lam Hoang Nghiep suggested Millennium Energy Vietnam build the project in the province’s Dai Ngai or My Thanh industrial zones.

The province will create favorable conditions and provide support in terms of legal procedures, site clearance and compensation for the investor to develop the project.

Nghiep asked Millennium Energy Vietnam to complete a detailed outline of the project and send it to the province for a review before it is submitted to the Government for approval.

Bac Lieu, a neighboring province of Soc Trang, had earlier granted an investment certificate to Delta Offshore Energy Pte. Ltd to develop a 3,200 MW LNG-fired power plant worth VND93.6 trillion (US$ 4 billion) at the Bac Lieu LNG Center.

If approved, the LNG-fired power plant in Soc Trang will have a capacity that is three times larger than that of the plant in Bac Lieu.

VACC seeks reason for steel price upsurge

The Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors (VACC) has proposed the Government Office promptly direct the relevant ministries and agencies to launch a probe into the rising prices of steel to minimize the losses of local construction firms.

Some VACC members are on the edge of bankruptcy and afflicted as steel prices have been on the rise since late 2020, resulting in the proposal, according to the association.

The price of each ton of steel has soared by up to 40% against that seen in late 2020. The Viet My steel sells for VND18.4 million per ton in Danang City, while the price stood at VND13.1 million per ton at the end of last year.

Vietnamese contractors have faced difficulties in the upsurge as most investors signed construction contracts with fixed prices that cannot be adjusted up, said VACC Chairman Nguyen Quoc Hiep.

VACC said that the steel price set by the Danang Construction Department for payments of projects was VND13.8 million per ton, while the market price of steel had risen to VND17-18 million per ton.

Steel accounts for 10%-30% of the total value of each civil construction project, so the fluctuation in steel prices severely affects contractors.

Many construction firms and contractors said that the surge in steel prices had hurt the effectiveness of the projects previously signed with their partners and caused losses to contractors.

Quang Trung, deputy director of Long Giang Construction Foundation JSC, said that the firm missed at least three projects due to the surge in steel prices, the local media reported.

Hoa Phat steel was priced at VND16.5-16.7 million per ton on April 22, while Southern steel sold for VND16.6-16.7 million per ton and the price of Pomina steel stood at VND16.9-17.2 million per ton.

The Vietnam Steel Association’s March report showed that the price of steel would continue to rise until the third quarter of 2021 due to the supply shortage from China and India. The association also said that while the domestic supply was not short, the steel price surge was a result of the high price of materials that increased in line with global prices.

PV Power look for EPC contractor for Nhon Trach 3 and 4 thermal power plants

Vietnam’s second-largest electricity producer, PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), and the managing board issued the bidding information to call for investors for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) package for Nhon Trach 3 and 4 thermal power plants. 

The EPC contract of Nhon Trach 3 and 4 is expected to be implemented in three years.

The bidding is expected to start at 14:00 PM on July 6, 2021.

The project, which is invested by PV Power, combines 18 bidding packages. It has a total investment capital of VND32.48 trillion ($1.4 billion), VND24.73 trillion ($1.1) of which is allocated for the EPC contract.

According to the plan, the two thermal power plants will cover an area of 34 hectares with generation capacity of 750-800MW each.

Nhon Trach 3 will occupy nearly 16.6ha, while the second power plant will spread over 17.4ha (excluding the complex area, surface water, and public service buildings).

Each plant will use 570,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) year, imported via the Thi Vai storage terminal.

Nhon Trach 3 is expected to start commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2023, while Nhon Trach 4 is expected to start commercial operation in the second quarter 2024.

The Nhon Trach 3 and Nhon Trach 4 thermal power plants have been approved by former-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to complement the adjusted Power Development Plan VII (PDP7) in Decision No.212/TTg-CP dated February 13, 2017 and by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the adjustment of Nhon Trach Power Station under Decision No.3453/QD-BCT dated September 6, 2017.

Vietnam possessing advantage in AI field

Besides major AI investments by operational firms in Vietnam, the involvement of a new player in the country will not only contribute to realising the country’s national strategy on research and development and AI application, but also encourage foreign investment capital inflow in the sector.

South Korea’s Naver Corporation and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) – Vietnam’s leading research university – in late March launched the AI International Research Centre under the Symposium on Information and Communication Technology, marking the first Southeast Asian AI research centre in Hanoi. Accordingly, the two parties will together build and operate the centre with the purpose to deeply research and train a high-quality labour force in terms of AI.

Along with implementing a search to create core “Make in Vietnam” technology, the centre will also focus on developing AI applications for different sectors and industries in order to promote Vietnam’s digital transformation and the Industry 4.0 process. The deal between Naver and HUST are motivation for South Korean enterprises in the AI sector arrive to Vietnam to expand their operation in the context the country’s demand on developing the AI sector is also increasing.

Vietnam has seen increase in such investment inflow from South Korea as well as other countries under deals between domestic and foreign investors. Notably in March 2020, Samsung officially kicked off construction of the largest research and development (R&D) facility in Vietnam.

The new centre will become the largest for the tech giant in all of Southeast Asia, becoming a leader towards researching, deploying, and applying new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, the centre will also be a place to train high-tech human resources and especially technologies such as AI and big data.

Jeong Sam Yong, general director of Samsung SDS Vietnam, said that the group is interested in joining Vietnam’s digital transformation process, and that becoming the strategic shareholder in domestic tech group CMC Corporation is a bold example.

“Samsung is assisting Vietnam in implementing IT solutions and applying management software in production operations. In addition, the group supports telecommunications and system integration solutions,” Yong said. “In the future, the group will promote the construction of smart cities and smart buildings thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) applications, cloud computing, and AI in Vietnam.”

A year ago FPT Corporation signed an MoU with Hancom Corporation, the largest productivity software manufacturer in South Korea. The two parties will work together to develop six sectors: office software for the Vietnamese market, smart cities, AI, IoT, education, and self-driving vehicles.

Around the same time, VinAI Research, VinGroup’s AI research arm, announced addition of a cutting-edge supercomputer to its AI computing platform. The machine, a 5-petaflop accelerated data centre in a box, is the first deployment of such a system in Southeast Asia.

Numerous large international groups are also investing for R&D activities in Vietnam along with their operational activity. German technology giant Bosch already boasts two R&D centres in Ho Chi Minh City.

These investments are playing a major role in Vietnam’s goal of nurturing its high-tech sector and becoming an AI research and development leader by 2030 as similar as the target mentioned in the national strategy on R&D and application of AI approved by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month.

The strategy outlines that by 2025, Vietnam is to become a centre for innovation, as well as development of AI solutions and applications. The country will establish two national innovation centres for AI and simultaneously increase the number of innovative related startups and total investment in the sector. In addition, Vietnam is also focused on upgrading and forming 10 new key research and training institutions on AI. As per the strategy, Vietnam expects to rank among the top four countries in ASEAN and in the top 50 worldwide in R&D and application of AI by the end of the decade. The country has plans to set up 10 renowned AI centres as well as develop three national centres for big data storage and high-performance computing, connecting domestic data centres and high-performance computing centres to create a shared network.

In order to realise the targets, the government has asked to “allocate resources on developing essential AI products and services that Vietnam possesses a competitive advantage in; and strategise key investments in AI application in fields related to national defence and security, natural resources and environmental management, and public services. Besides this, it is necessary to vigorously develop AI application enterprises and AI startups,” the strategy noted.

Developing AI is also a part of the economic target by 2030 as defined by the 13th National Party Congress. Vietnam determines that the rapid and sustainable development on the basis of science, technology, innovation, and digital transformation is one of three key elements in the country’s development strategy.

Choi In Hyuk, COO of Naver said, “Naver has been impressed with Vietnam’s growth in the science-technology sector in recent years and we see that it has potential to expand AI personnel training.”

Collaborations required to achieve wood industry goals

As the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set forth an ambitious target for 2021 after the poor results from last year, experts from wood and timber associations are calling for more cooperation between foreign-invested and domestic enterprises in the industry, backed by preferential policy mechanisms that enable close cooperation.

Chinese companies have been using Vietnam as a transit port leading to soaring export turnovers, so much so that it has caused suspicion among international partners, especially the US. The issue has attracted more attention as US Customs recently discovered that Finewood Vietnam Co., Ltd. imported plywood from China, brought it back to the factory to change the label to a Vietnamese one, and then exported it to the United States.

Along with that, the enterprise also allegedly acted as a forged address issued in Vietnam, even though the goods are not imported into the nation nor have they been exported out of its territory.

Amid the ongoing US-China trade war, Vietnam has new opportunities for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam’s wood industry, including the recent expansion in the number and export value of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) here.

Data from Forest Trends and some wood associations shows that by the end of 2020, the wood industry has received 63 new projects with the total registered capital of nearly $327.7 million, as well as an increase in total additional capital of $193.6 million, while share purchases within the sector reached a volume of $244.8 million. Although these numbers are all lower than the 2019 figures, last year’s figures reaffirm the industry’s attractiveness in FDI activities.

In Vietnam, the increase in such activities within the industry is partly the result of next-generation free trade agreements and the country’s favourable geographic location in the Asia-Pacific economic region. The industry’s FDI increase is also a direct result of the government’s preferential policies and investment attraction programmes in recent years.

Vietnam has more than 3,600 enterprises directly involved in exporting wood and products thereof, reaching an export value of $12.31 billion in 2020. Of which, 653 FIEs are directly involved in exporting, accounting for 18 per cent of the total number of exporters, with a turnover of $6 billion, accounting for 51 per cent of the total export turnover of the industry.

Compared with the 2,676 domestic enterprises and their $5.9 billion in export turnover, FIEs outperformed these in terms of export scale. This superiority can be attributed to the differences in the production scale, technology application, and management skills, as well as the used investment capital and market access of FIEs. However, to date no reviews or studies have been looking more in-depth at these aspects.

FDI remains an inseparable part of the wood industry, although some related activities carry huge risks that have been hurting the industry. Recognising the seriousness of under-investment and shadow investments, Vietnam’s authorities have been working hard to control the situation and introduce risk reduction measures.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in February sent a document to municipal and provincial people’s committees to call for stricter control of anti-origin fraud actions against wood products.

The MPI also requested local authorities to inspect foreign-invested projects to reduce the risk of origin fraud and prioritise the selection of projects with superior technology, while consulting with timber associations about investment projects and carefully considering investment projects with fraud risk factors.

However, effective implementation of this call requires localities to pay due attention to FDI activities in their administration, including establishing inspection and monitoring mechanisms with the participation of related stakeholders.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development set a target for the wood industry, with the export value of forest products expected to be $14-14.5 billion by the end of 2021, up about 9.6 per cent on-year.

Cao Cam, an analyst of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association, found that the signals from the US market up to this point were clear. The Office of the US Trade Representative is investigating the Vietnamese wood industry following regulations, based in part on the allegation that underground investments are taking place in the wood industry to enjoy import tax benefits from the US.

“Such fluctuations from the US market will have an impact on the entire wood industry, affecting the industry’s goals,” Cam said.

Currently, the US is the most important export market for Vietnam’s wood industry, with its share within the total export turnover to this market in 2020 reaching well over 60 per cent.

Foreign direct investment in the Vietnamese wood industry

Influenced by COVID-19, by 2020, foreign-invested projects in the wood industry decreased in both quantity and capital in all new forms, including capital increase, capital contribution, and share purchase.

The industry received 63 new projects capitalised $372.7 million, down 36 per cent in the number of projects and 49 per cent in capital compared to 2019.

In terms of capital contribution and share purchases, in 2020 there were 122 capital contributions and share purchases from foreign enterprises, with capital contributions amounting to $244.80 million, a decrease of 57 per cent in quantity and 23 per cent in capital compared to 2019.

Also last year, foreign-invested projects saw 52 capital increases, with a total capital rise of $193.64 million and an increase of 73 per cent in quantity but a drop of 3 per cent in capital compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, in 2021 the wood industry is predicted to continue to be an attractive destination for foreign investment. FDI inflows mainly from Asian markets such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore focus on the southeastern provinces. The average investment per project is small and investments focus on wood products like furniture such as beds, wardrobes, and kitchen cabinets, as well as plywood.

Dr. To Xuan Phuc, an expert at Forest Trends, said that the cooperation between national associations, domestic enterprises, and FIEs is “vital to effectively carry out the supervision to eliminate risks of under- and shadow investments in the industry.”

According to Phuc, the superiority of FIEs in Vietnam should also be summed up and utilised to create spillover effects in the industry. In his opinion, the wood industry should call for studies to examine the factors that make up the dominance of FIEs and create a mechanism for these factors to spread to the whole industry.

Phuc also mentioned that pervasiveness requires a “suitable mechanism and policy environment, that allows for the exchange of information and experiences between FIEs and domestic enterprises.” Thus, the current policy mechanism for the industry would need to change. He also said that it is important “to allow FIEs to become official members of associations, creating opportunities for them to comment on the industry’s development.”

Phuc believed that Vietnam’s wood industry will develop sustainably if both sides are acting as a unified entity through new mechanisms and policies that will contribute to spill-over effects. Besides this, such a unified entity would also contribute to positioning and minimising risks in FDI activities.

Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association commented that in 2021, the mentioned risks will affect the whole wood industry. “Meanwhile, the industry’s significance with around $14 billion exported goods and jobs for half a million workers cannot be ignored,” he said.

“If the wood industry has many stakeholders, it will be stronger. However, there is a possibility that money flows to both sides – the investors and Vietnam,” Phuong said.

Finnish businesses look to cooperate with SP-ITC on seaport development

Vietnam’s International Transportation and Trading JSC (ITC), which operates the SP-ITC International Container Terminal in HCMC, and the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam joined a working session on April 21 at the terminal to discuss cooperation between ITC and Finnish firms in the logistics sector, especially in the field of seaport equipment.

Since it was put into operation in September 2016, the SP-ITC International Container Terminal has become a leading gateway for import and export commodities in the southern key economic zone. Especially after the European-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, the volume of goods shipped from Vietnam to the European Union as well as to Finland has risen tremendously, including textile-garment, footwear, furniture items and coffee, said an ITC representative.

Also, the amount of goods imported from Finland into Vietnam has been on the rise, such as wood and wooden products and paper, and the SP-ITC terminal remains one of the top ports in the country among importers and exporters.

According to the Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto, Finnish enterprises viewed Vietnam as an ideal entrance to tap the ASEAN market as well as the southern China market, adding that the SP-ITC terminal operating effectively over the past years will prompt Finnish firms to make further investments in Vietnam. The Finnish Ambassador hoped that the EVFTA will continue to promote bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU, especially Finland.

He also emphasized on cooperation opportunities between Finnish tech firms and manufacturers of seaport operating equipment with ITC. With Finland being known for its technology and SP-ITC’s strategy to constantly deploy advanced technology to improve its operations, the two sides can cooperate in research and development.

In response, an ITC leader said that the company will continue to develop deep water port projects across the country in the upcoming period and the two sides will definitely have plenty of opportunities to cooperate in the technology sector via ITC’s projects.

Located in the Dong Nai River, SP-ITC is the first private international terminal in HCMC and can receive vessels of up to 45.000 DWT.

Mekong Delta provinces promote development of fishery logistics services

The Mekong Delta has a large fishing ground, gathering lots of fishing vessels in the whole country. To help fishing vessels to have favorable trading places and promote the development of logistics services, localities are focusing on building and upgrading fishing port systems.

Song Doc Estuary is one of the largest and busiest estuaries in Ca Mau Province, where many fishing boats from inside and outside the province gather to anchor. The largest fishing port of the province – Song Doc – is located here. This port is capable of receiving about 45,000 tons of seafood per year. It has the main wharf of 100 meters in length and a bridge of over 50 meters and is capable of receiving 600CV vessels.

According to the Management Board of Ca Mau Fishing Ports, Song Doc Fishing Port has been upgraded but failed to keep up with demand because lots of fishing vessels with a length of above 15 meters concentrates in this estuary, leading to a huge demand for loading and unloading seafood. Sometimes it is impossible to clear all the goods in a short time, causing product quality to reduce and the rate of loss to increase.

Meanwhile, Ganh Hao Fishing Port in Dong Hai District in Bac Lieu Province is now degraded and overloaded after many years of use. Therefore, Bac Lieu Province has upgraded and expanded it with a capital of VND180 billion, of which, the central budget provides VND120 billion. The construction is carried out from 2017 to 2021, with the goal to upgrade Ganh Hao Fishing Port to meet the Class-I fishing port standards. However, the construction of this fishing port is forecasted to be unable to complete as planned, due to many arising problems that have not been resolved completely, including design adjustment and delayed site clearance. According to the Management Board of the investment and construction of agricultural and rural development projects in Bac Lieu Province, which is also the management unit of Ganh Hao Fishing Port, if the project is not completed by the end of this year, the Government may withdraw the support capital.

Recently, after the field trip to remove difficulties for Ganh Hao Fishing Port, Mr. Pham Van Thieu, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Bac Lieu Province, asked functional departments to advise on the adjustment of the design of the fishing port, consider the source of capital allocated for the project to implement quickly, especially the arrangement of capital for site clearance. Mr. Thieu also directed that when the project of upgrading and expanding Ganh Hao Fishing Port is completed, it must serve the operation of vessels well because this is a project that contributes to helping Bac Lieu Province to enrich and thrive from the sea.

The water of Ca Mau is one of the four key fishing grounds of the country. Currently, there are five fishing ports in the area. Of which, three fishing ports are of Class-II, namely Ca Mau, Song Doc, and Rach Goc fishing ports, and two fishing ports of Class-III, namely Cai Doi Vam and Ho Gu fishing ports. In the Mekong Delta, many fishing ports have been built or upgraded and expanded, but have not been as effective as expected yet.

According to the departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mekong Delta provinces, over the past time, the management, exploitation, and operation of fishing ports have always been paid attention to. Thanks to that, fishing vessels in and out of fishing ports for loading and unloading seafood, the control of output, and other issues at wharves have more changes than before. Besides, the coordination between fishing ports and functional sectors is also better, helping to monitor the loading and unloading output quite closely. However, the departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mekong Delta provinces also acknowledged that the proportion of products exploited through ports remained fairly low. Due to the custom, fishermen mainly sell seafood at spontaneous terminals or barns of enterprises, making it difficult to control fishing vessels in and out the ports. Moreover, there is a shortage of human resources for the management and operation of fishing ports and storm shelter anchorage areas, and the quality of staff is not high, mainly based on practical experience. The capacity of loading and unloading goods at fishing ports is also limited with a small number of stevedores and the job being carried out by hand instead of machines.

Amid these shortcomings, Mr. Nguyen Quang Khai, Director of the Management Board of Ca Mau Fishing Ports, said that to promote more effectively fishing ports, the unit has asked the authorities to adjust the planning at the fishing ports in the direction of expanding seafood processing establishments, increasing the added-value of seafood products, investing synchronously in infrastructure, especially connecting roads to fishing ports for vehicles with a load of over 10 tons to circulate conveniently. Mr. Khai also proposed to continue investing in the construction and upgrading of fishing ports. In which, there are some fishing ports qualified to become Class-I fishing ports. At the same time, they should implement well the provisions of the 2017 Law on Fisheries, accompany the whole country in removing the yellow card of the European Commission over illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

 Vietnam-Taiwan textile exhibition to open in HCM City next week

Garment products from Vietnam and Taiwan (China) will be showcased at the Vietnam-Taiwan Textile and Garment Industry Exhibition held in HCM City from April 26-27.

The event, co-organised by the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) and the Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad) under both direct meeting and online meeting platforms, aims to strengthen cooperation between Vietnamese and Taiwanese enterprises in the textile and garment sector.

There will be 16 Taiwanese textile manufacturers participating in the event via Zoom, exchange experiences with and introducing products to Vietnamese enterprises with interpretation support.

Taiwanese enterprises have constantly researched and improved techniques to produce fabric types using dyeing technique treatments that can save energy, water and reduce the influence on the environment. They have also applied innovative technologies in production to produced fabrics with many outstanding features such as being antibacterial and using environmentally friendly materials from oyster shells and recycled plastic.

In 2020, Taiwan’s largest textile and garment export market was Vietnam, with an export turnover of up to US$1.9 billion and accounting for 25.3 percent of the country’s total export turnover of textiles and garments. The top five export markets, including Vietnam, mainland China, the United States, Indonesia and Hong Kong, account for 60.3 percent of Taiwan’s total apparel exports.

Taiwan’s largest and second-largest sources of textile in 2020 were mainland China and Vietnam, accounting for 43 percent and 14 percent of total textile imports and valued at $1.46 billion and $467 million respectively. The main import items from mainland China and Vietnam were clothing and accessories.

The Vietnam-Taiwan Textile and Garment Industry Exhibition will be held at Saigonexpo Showroom at No 92-96 Nguyen Hue street, District 1 in HCM City with the participation of nearly 60 Vietnamese enterprises and 16 Taiwanese manufacturers.

Vietnamese enterprises to advance responsible business practice 

The level of awareness of Vietnamese small enterprises on responsible business practice is lower than that of large ones, according to a latest survey.

More than half of total Vietnamese enterprises at all scales plan to advance responsible business practice (RBP) in accordance with international standards, according to the latest study released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam,

It is part of the Study on Corporate Awareness and Implementation of Responsible Business Practice in Vietnam in 2020.

According to the UNDP, the concept of RBP is considered as the minimum compliance with regulations in business activities to prevent and address negative impacts on people and the earth, making contribution to the sustainable development of society. 

Specifically, about 71% surveyed State-owned enterprises (SOE) will surely accelerate the implementation of RBP in the near future. Nearly 60% small and medium businesses plan to adhere to RBP in three key pillars of management, labor and environment, Vu Van Tuan, the team leader of the survey, told Hanoitimes at the announcement ceremony on April 22 in Hanoi.  

Exporting businesses make up 11% of the respondents, who best applied domestic and international RBP for working with leading foreign groups and having to meet the high requirements of their partners. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected global supply and international brands, requiring Vietnamese suppliers to meet high social and environmental standards,” Do Quynh Chi, Director of the Research Center for Employment Relations, said.  

Among the respondents, about 81% of the State-owned enterprises (SOE), mainly large-scale  ones, fully understood the concept and the implications of  RBP. Meanwhile, the level of awareness of Vietnamese private small enterprises on RBP is much lower.  

Delegates are discussing about the responsible business practice in Vietnam. Photo: Phi Nhat

“Vietnam has made a lot of progress in adhering to labor responsibility compared to the previous 20 years. In the past, local enterprises considered applying RBP as a deed of charity,” Chi added.  

Local enterprises are still facing with barriers to implement RBP. Adhering to RBS comes at a huge cost for businesses in the textile industry, placing them in disadvantageous positions.  

Most of respondents agreed that a National Action Plan would be the best way forward to provide support and consistency for RBP implementation in the future, Tuan said.

“The role of the government in directing and leading the process of advancing RBP is very important, meanwhile relevant ministries and branches need to work together to draw up the plan.” 

Addressing the launch, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Sitara Syed highly appreciated the Ministry of Justice for leading the formulation and adoption of Vietnam’s first National Action Plan on Responsible Business Practices by 2022.  

The National Plan will be guided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in which UNDP will support this process and convene ample consultations with key stakeholders on the priority areas of the National Action Plan.  

Tuan commented this would also allow for longer term investment plans in Vietnam, giving communities and other stakeholders the confidence, they need to be sure their rights are being protected. 

The study on RBP focuses on labor, environmental, and governance issues, with the data being collected through focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a survey with nearly 280 respondents.  

It aims to provide inputs for the design of interventions that are grounded in evidence, target real gaps in awareness and implementation, and guide strategy towards a more favorable and sustainable business environment that respects people, protects the planet and brings prosperity to Vietnam. 

The study was part of the Responsible Business Week (April 19-24) and in commemoration of the Earth Day (April 22).

Vietnam imposes anti-dumping duty on Chinese aluminum imports 

The domestic industry has been affected due to the dumping of Chinese aluminum imports in recent years.

Vietnam extends anti-dumping duty imposition with rates from 4.39% to 35.58% on some aluminum products from China, after one year of charging the duties to safeguard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports. 

About 18 Chinese aluminum manufacturers and exporters are subject to the renewed imposition that will take effect from April 25. 

 An aluminium factory of Thu Do Group., JSC in Thanh Tri district. Photo:
The decision was made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), extending the imposition of duties from 2.49% to 35.58%, which took effect from September 28, 2019. 

The move is aimed at protecting domestic production and ensuring the lawful rights of local manufacturers and related industries using such products, according to the ministry. 

An investigation, launched in January, revealed that Chinese dumping activities had seriously hurt domestic aluminum producers, with some having to suspend production. 

In September 2019, the MoIT decided to impose anti-dumping duty on aluminum and non-alloy aluminum products in forms of bars, rods, extruded, treated and untreated surface, processed and unprocessed.

Those products are used to make aluminum doors, wattle walls, warehouses, interior or exterior decorations, structures in houses and constructions. 

In 2018, the volume of extruded aluminum bars imported from China to Vietnam doubled that of 2017. 

Besides, the Vietnamese government also will levy an anti-dumping of 19.25% for South Korean aluminum imports. This tax rate is similar to the one applied from the end of October 2019.

Kien Giang to spend 1.3 million USD on improving cooperatives

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang will spend nearly 30 billion VND (1.3 million USD) this year to support the development of the collective economy and new cooperatives.

Nguyen Giang Thanh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the province will focus on improving the operational efficiency of cooperatives.

It will provide professional skills in management, production and business for members of cooperatives and co-operative groups.

It will also organise trade promotion activities for the products of cooperatives and co-operative groups, which will be provided a part of the cost of participating in trade fairs, exhibitions and forums at home and abroad.

The province will help cooperatives and cooperative groups with brand names and origin traceability, and provide them with a part of the cost of renting places for showing and selling their products.

The province will offer support to four cooperatives to build facilities for agricultural processing this year. They include the Tan Huy Hoang Aquaculture Breeding Co-operative in Ha Tien City, the Go Quao Youth Organic Agriculture Cooperative and the Thuan Phat Handicraft Cooperative in Go Quao District, and the Hieu Phat Agriculture Service Cooperative in Vinh Thuan District.

Tan Huy Hoang, for instance, will be given financial support to build a workshop for initial processing of products and packaging of products, as well as other production facilities.

Kien Giang, the country’s largest rice producer, has 2,228 cooperative groups, including 1,989 agriculture cooperative groups which have a total farming area of nearly 72,000ha and create jobs for 7,000 labourers.

Many cooperative groups rotate rice cultivation and shrimp breeding in the same fields, engage in aquaculture, breed cows, make handicraft products, grow flowers, or provide irrigation services.

They operate effectively and can be developed into cooperatives, according to the province’s Cooperative Alliance.

Under the 2012 Cooperative Law, a cooperative group must have at least three members, and a cooperative should have at least seven members.

The province has 462 cooperatives, including 410 agriculture cooperatives, up 200 cooperatives against 2016.

The agriculture cooperatives cultivate rice and other crops on a total of 59,517ha, accounting for 12.8 percent of the province’s total farming land, according to the province’s Co-operative Alliance.

The cooperatives have helped their members to apply advanced farming techniques and reduce the number of input materials used in agricultural production. This has increased the income of their members by 700,000 – 3.2 million (30 – 140 USD) per hectare a crop.

Many cooperatives have developed value chains for the province’s key products as well as linkages with companies that buy products.

The Tan Hung Agriculture Cooperative in Chau Thanh District’s Giuc Tuong Commune has cooperated with companies to grow rice and secure outlets for its members.

Le Minh Hai, chairman of Tan Hung, said the cooperative’s rice growing areas have farm contracts and the members no longer worry about outlets.

“The life of cooperative members has improved and no one is poor,” he said.

The Rach Gia Organic Agriculture Cooperative in Rach Gia City rotates rice cultivation and shrimp breeding under organic standards on a total area of 50ha in An Bien District.

The cooperative’s three rice products – Kim Thien Loc Nang Huong rice, Kim Thien Loc red brown rice and Kim Thien Loc black brown rice – have been certified as four-star OCOP products under the country’s one commune – one product (OCOP) programme in which the highest level is five stars.

The cooperative produces 125 – 130 tonnes of the three rice products a year and sells them mostly to supermarkets.

Tran Thanh Dung, chairman of the province’s Cooperative Alliance, said the province will develop cooperatives that produce the province’s key products with value chains and high export value.

“The province encourages cooperatives in sectors and fields suited to the economic zoning plan and with linkages [with companies] to produce high-quality products with brand names for export,” he said.

The province plans to establish 15 new cooperatives, including nine agriculture cooperatives, and 50 cooperatives groups this year.

The province aims to have more than 85 percent of its cooperatives see profits this year./.

Seminar identifies high-growth sectors in stock market

Education, technology, freight forwarding, renewable energy, and healthcare companies are expected to maintain their growth, offering stock investment opportunities, a seminar heard in Ho Chi Minh City on April 24.

Speaking at a seminar on the market in 2021 and wise investment choices, Dr Le Anh Tu, senior advisor at PwC and deputy chairman of the Economists Club, said the tech sector has always attracted interest, and achieved CAGR of 26.1 percent in 2015-2019.

He expected the figure to be even higher in the coming years.

The education sector is expected to attract investors since spending on education would continue to increase, especially by the middle class, he said.

Investment in the sector would also increase thanks to the Government’s policy of encouraging 100 percent investment by individuals, including foreign.

The healthcare sector would remain attractive since per capita healthcare spending is expected to increase from 194 USD in 2019 to 309 USD in 2024 and the ageing population is increasing rapidly, he said.

According to experts at the seminar, there are many fundamental factors backing the development of Vietnam’s stock market.

The economy is likely to grow at 6.8‐7 percent in 2021, FDI investment has boosted the services sector and the competent curtailment of the Covid-19 epidemic has created a momentum for many sectors to boost exports, said Dr Nguyen Son, Chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository.

“The price to earnings (P/E) ratio is still low compared to other countries in the region, meaning there is still much potential for it to increase further.”

There is a possibility of foreign capital flows shifting from other markets to Vietnam when its stock market is upgraded as an emerging market, Son said. It currently meets seven out of nine requirements set by FTSE Russell for the upgrade.

The new securities law has also helped promote the stock market, he said.

To further boost its development, there would be a focus on strengthening regulations and stock exchanges’ IT systems, improving the capacity of financial intermediaries, developing new products such as pension funds, non-voting depositary receipts and depositary receipts, and creating a market for start-ups’ products, he said.

At the seminar, held by the Economists Club, the Ho Chi Minh Securities Corporation and Green Plus Joint Stock Corporation, experts also talked about methods to classify and choose stocks for investment.

Also at the event, Nguyen Truc Son, Vice Chairman of the Ben Tre Provincial People’s Committee granted investment registration certificate to Green Plus for developing a 1 million-USD functional food plant in the province’s Giao Long Industrial Park./.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes



Legal changes expected to increase appeal of Vietnam’s real estate market

The global economic slowdown, the impact COVID-19 pandemic, and internal difficulties have put Vietnam’s real estate market in a tough situation.



Responding to the situation, Vietnam has issued policies on economic recovery and development, particularly for the recovery of the real estate market.

Speaking at a recent workshop seeking measures to increase the attractiveness of the market held by Nha dau tu (Investors) magazine, its Editor-in-Chief Nguyen Anh Tuan said that Vietnam is considering amendments to the Land Law, the Law on Real Estate Business (amended) and the Law on Housing (amended). These moves should bring positive changes to the market.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tuong Van said that on average, the construction and real estate industries contributed about 11% of GDP in recent years, in which the real estate industry directly made up about 4.5%. 

Foreign investment in this field has continuously increased and made an important contribution to the development of the market.

Up to now, FDI capital in the real estate sector has reached 66.4 billion USD, accounting for 15.1% of total FDI capital in Vietnam and continuously maintaining the 2nd or 3rd position in FDI attraction. However, in the last few years, the real estate market has faced many difficulties and challenges.

Van said the Ministry of Construction has presided over the drafting of the Law on Housing (amended) and the Law on Real Estate Business (amended). These are two laws of great significance, attracting the attention of people and the business community at home and abroad.

The amendment and completion of the two laws will have a positive impact on the housing and real estate market, drastically improving confidence in the investment environment, and creating transparency and stability for the housing market in Vietnam. 

“Once approved, the amended laws will also help Vietnam’s real estate market become more attractive to foreigners living and working in Vietnam and foreign investors,”  Van confirmed.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said that real estate is one of the fields that have attracted many foreign investors to Vietnam. Currently, investors from 48 countries and territories are investing in the real estate market in Vietnam.

To get high-quality FDI real estate investors, Vietnam needs to focus on several solutions, including perfecting legal regulations on the real estate market. This includes new types of real estate such as smart cities, resort real estate, real estate combined with healthcare, condotels, and officetels in line with international practices.

The country should target investors that have good financial capacity and solutions associated with green and sustainable economic transformation, he said.

Investors have a responsibility to the environment and society during the investment process in Vietnam, he added.

In addition, the flexible and systematic management of monetary policy tools is needed to meet the credit capital demand for the development of the real estate market, creating favourable conditions for businesses, home buyers, and investors to access credit sources.

Reducing lending interest rates is also a solution, according to the official.

He said that along with the continued improvement in infrastructure which facilitates the development of the real estate market, Vietnam needs to improve the business investment environment, and promptly remove difficulties relating to policies, especially for projects that use large areas of land and have been long delayed.

Source: Vietnamplus


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Vietnam’s VinFast to deliver EVs to Europe this year as EU probes China rivals

Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast plans to ship its first EVs to Europe this year after receiving regulatory approval as the European Union considers imposing tariffs on its Chinese rivals.



Under the plan, about 3,000 of its VF8 crossovers would be delivered to France, Germany and the Netherlands in the fourth quarter of this year from VinFast’s factory in northern Vietnam, a person familiar with the plan told Reuters. The source declined to be named because these details were not yet public.

The Nasdaq-listed company’s plan to expand into Europe would represent a four-fold increase from a previous unmet target of delivering 700 cars by last July, and comes as the EU probe into Chinese EV makers creates a possible gap in the market.

If fulfilled, Europe could become VinFast’s biggest overseas market this year. The company had shipped about 2,100 EVs earlier this year to the United States and planned to ship more VF9 models, according to its first filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the listing.

“We expect to deliver the first VF8 models to French, German and Dutch customers in the fourth quarter of this year,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinFast’s chief executive, said, adding the company’s other models VF6, VF7, and VF9 would be launched in the European market next year.

Thuy did not indicate the number of VF8 sport utility vehicles (SUVs), but the person familiar with the matter said it would be around 3,000 vehicles, including some for Israel.

The loss-making company repeatedly revises its targets.

The VF8 SUV has already been approved by a European regulator as compliant with EU standards, and can be sold within the 27-country bloc, Thuy said.

The company is also completing the procedures to obtain the voluntary Euro NCAP safety rating, she added.


Europe is one of the biggest markets for Chinese automakers, which shipped almost 70,000 EVs in the first seven months of this year, nearly triple the same year-ago period, according to consultancy Inovev.

Should the EU probe conclude that punitive duties on China-made EVs are warranted, VinFast could find its cars are more competitively priced.

Its VF8 model will start at 50,990 euro ($54,218) in France. The China-made Tesla  Y model, which is also threatened with EU tariffs, starts from 46,000 euros.

VinFast’s expansion into Europe is part of a global plan that includes building new factories in the United States and in Indonesia and targeting also India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Just before its Nasdaq debut in August, the company stepped up deliveries of cars in the second quarter, with a total number of 11,315 EVs made available to clients by the end of June, largely to the domestic market thanks to a scheme to turn its cars into green taxis in Vietnam’s main cities.

VinFast’s reported second-quarter revenue rose 131.2% to $327 million. Its net loss in the quarter was $526.7 million, down 8.2% from the same period last year.

VinFast, which is part of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, was formed in 2017 and began making EVs in 2021 after dropping its manufacturing of cars with internal combustion engines.

Source: Reuters


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Vietnamese innovation start-up fest debuts in Australia to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties



Techfest 2023, Vietnam’s biggest annual event for innovative start-ups, was organized for the first time in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

The 2023 International Techfest was co-held by Monash University, the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology, and the National Agency for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development.

The event took place as part of an ongoing working visit to Australia by a Vietnamese delegation, led by Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat, to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2023 in Victoria.

The tech festival was also meant to contribute to bringing Vietnamese innovation startups to the global market.

Members of the Vietnamese delegation and Australian representatives attend the 2023 International Techfest organized in Australia on September 20, 2023. Photo: Monash University
Members of the Vietnamese delegation and Australian representatives attend the 2023 International Techfest organized in Australia on September 20, 2023. Photo: Monash University

The 2023 International Techfest acted as a platform to strengthen relations between Monash and Vietnam, and deepen connections with the Vietnamese student and research community.

The event attracted the participation of thousands of businesses and people, creating a vibrant atmosphere, and demonstrating the determination and spirit of joint efforts to promote innovation activities.

“On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Australia, we brought Techfest to Australia in a bid to support Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Australia, as well as introduce Vietnamese companies to Australian partners,” Minister Dat told the opening ceremony of Techfest Australia 2023.

“Techfest is also the platform to establish favorable conditions for Australian companies to enter the Vietnamese market,” he underlined.

The event gave a special opportunity to Vietnamese start-ups to learn operation management processes, equipment, tools, and the latest technology research in Australia.

Monash University interim president and vice-chancellor Professor Susan Elliott AM said that Techfest helped deepen the university’s long-standing connection to, and collaborations with Vietnam, and cement the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Vietnam ranks 48th out of 132 countries in the Global Innovation Index, positioning its economy in the top 4 among Southeast Asian nations, said Pham Hong Quat, head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development.

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