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Vietnam records lowest GDP growth rate in 30 years

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.81 percent during the first six months of 2020, the lowest first-half growth pace since 2011, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Vietnam’s economy records decade-low H1 growth hinh anh 1

Vietnam’s economy expanded 1.81 percent in the first half of 2020 (Photo: VNA)

At a press conference on June 29, the office reported that in the second quarter alone, the GDP rose by just 0.36 percent year on year, which was also the smallest expansion in Q2 during the 2011 – 2020 period.

This was attributed to the fact that the economy was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in Q2, when the Government ramped up social distancing measures, the GSO noted, adding that the agro-forestry-fisheries sector grew 1.72 percent, industry – construction rose 1.38 percent, while the services sector contracted 1.76 percent between April and June.

During the six months, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector recorded a growth rate of 1.19 percent and contributed 11.89 percent to the overall economic growth. The respective figures for industry – construction are 2.98 percent and 73.14 percent, and the services sector 0.57 percent and 14.97 percent.

GSO Deputy General Director Nguyen Thi Huong said facing complex developments of COVID-19 that have negatively affected all socio-economic aspects, the whole political system, the Government and the Prime Minister have given the top priority to the pandemic fight and showed the determination to protect people’s health and lives, even at the expense of economic benefits.

This is the solid foundation for the Vietnamese economy to sustain growth and avoid contraction, she said, adding that the data show all-level authorities, enterprises and people’s success in concurrently combating the coronavirus, maintaining production and business activities, and gradually bringing the economy to the pre-pandemic status./.



Digital transfomation expected to bring prosperity


Representatives of ministries and Viettel Group pressed the buttons for launching of Viet Solutions 2020 contest. — Photo courtesy of Viettel Group

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has a comparative advantage in digital transformation thank the country’s large number of strong telecommunications and IT businesses and a top official has said it’s time for the country to make a breakthrough in the field.

Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, Minister of Information and Communications made the statement at the launch of the Viet Solutions 2020 contest in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

The contest was organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and Viettel Group to search for innovative technology products or solutions that can integrate into social industries in the national digital Transformation programme.

Viet Solutions is searching for products and applications in telecommunication, health care, education, finance and banking, agriculture, transport, logistics, energy, natural resources and industrial production.

The competition is for people around the world. Candidates will be connected with potential partners and participate in training courses to improve financial management skills and marketing to seek investment.

The initial pilots have been carried out by Viettel for two years. This is also the first time the country’s IT industry has organised an annual contest like this.

“Digital transformation is a universal revolution. Products and solutions will be found, nurtured as well as widely applied and honoured. Digital transformation is the cradle for the birth of Vietnamese digital technology businesses. From here, Vietnamese firms, products and solutions will go abroad and make Việt Nam famous. Therefore, this competition is to find solutions to Vietnamese problems, but also to solve global ones,” he added.

He said the best solution to accelerate digital transformation is to quickly develop platforms, especially Vietnamese ones.

“A successful digital transformation platform can solve problems for millions of people and thousands of businesses. In particular, if data is considered a resource, then this resource must be stored in Việt Nam, by the Vietnamese platform.”

Lê Đăng Dũng, acting chairman cum general director of Viettel Group, said as the largest technology and industrial group in Việt Nam, Viettel will be ready to work with technology enterprises whose products are selected through this competition.

“Việt Nam’s problems are many. This is an opportunity for technology companies. Solving these problems is to contribute to building the digital citizens, digital society and nation that the Government is aiming for. Once we have the same goal, we can share our advantages, complement each other and create a resonance in the community,” Dũng said.

Viettel with more than 100 million customers in 11 international markets will help competitors complete technology products at national and global scales.

The winning team will receive a cash prize of VNĐ200 million (US$8,593). The second and third teams will receive VNĐ100 million and VNĐ50 million, respectively.

In addition, the winning teams also have the opportunity to sign business co-operation contracts with Viettel and enjoy profit-sharing of up to 75 per cent.

Viettel also pledged to sponsor all expenses for the three winning teams participating in the C1 Start-up Cup competition in the US with a total prize value of $50,000 or attending the World Mobile Conference (MWC) 2021 in Barcelona.

Submissions should be sent online at website: from now till September 20. —





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Logistics costs account for up to 25% of farm produce value

Workers process corn for exports – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – High logistics costs have eroded the competitiveness of domestic produce, said Truong Gia Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), at a conference on how to cut logistics costs for Vietnamese farm produce on July 9.

Logistics costs normally account for up to 25% of the value of Vietnamese farm produce.

Stressing that Vietnam is integrating deeply into the global economy, Binh told the conference jointly held by VIDA and the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA) that bilateral and multilateral trade agreements have helped Vietnamese products including farm produce penetrate more foreign markets.

Besides advantages such as abundant natural resources and a diversity of farm produce, small-scale production, low quality and especially high logistics costs have made Vietnamese farm produce less competitive.

According to VLA general secretary Nguyen Duy Minh, logistics costs accounted for 16.8% of Vietnam’s gross domestic product in 2017. Factors that lead to the high costs included high transport costs, underdeveloped logistics infrastructure, highly specialized inspection costs and informal fees.

Minh cited a report as indicating that logistics costs make up 21% of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable supply chain. Among the logistics costs, transport costs account for 61%, while loading, storage and packaging costs account for 20%, 14% and 5%, respectively.

Vo Quan Huy, general director of Huy Long An Company, said that the company exported 14,000 tons of bananas to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea last year, with logistics costs accounting for 30% of post-harvest costs. In the first half of 2019, logistics costs shot up by 45% due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Le Van Quang, board chairman of Minh Phu Corporation, said it costs VND41 million to transport a container of shrimp from Vietnam to the United States and VND16 million to Japan. However, transporting the container from HCMC to the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau costs VND10 million, while it costs VND80 million to be transported to Hanoi.

Quang pointed out that there are too many toll stations in Vietnam, leading road transport costs to soar. Sea and waterway transport is much cheaper but the port system is underdeveloped. Therefore, he suggested the Government invest more in developing the sea and waterway port system to help enterprises reduce logistics costs.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said there should be regional logistics plans to promote a connection between localities and develop modern logistics centers.


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Hanoi condominium market has recovery in Q2

The new launch of condominiums in the second quarter of this year (Q2) nearly tripled that of the previous quarter, showing recovery of sales activities,

according to CBRE Vietnam’s quarterly report on the Hanoi market released on Tuesday at an online press conference.

In Q2 Ha Noi’s market had a total of 5,100 sold units, more than double that of the previous quarter. — Photo

In terms of segments, 88 per cent of units launched in Q2 were in the mid-end segment while the remainder were high-end products.

Sales momentum was relatively positive in Q2 compared to the previous quarter, with more than 50 per cent of units launched during the quarter having been absorbed.

In Q2, there were a total of 5,100 sold units, more than double that of the previous quarter. The sales picked up in Q2 thanks to the social distancing order removed.

Diversification in sales channels such as online channels combined with direct marketing via sales events has boosted sales during the quarter, according to CBRE.

Especially, applications in project management and online sales have been successfully developed by many companies. Those technology platforms help to introduce projects, deal with customers and carry out online sales process.

In addition, investors and property trading floors can also receive sales data and information analysis to build suitable sales and marketing strategy, Robert Vu, CEO of, a popular property website in Viet Nam, said on Wednesday at a press conference releasing a report on the domestic property market in Q2.

Local buyers are the key focus of developers during the first half of the year as foreign sales have been disrupted due to the suspension of international flights.

The segment of property for foreigners buying or renting significantly slowed down due to the reduced number of foreigners travelling in Viet Nam and a significant amount of foreigners going home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nguyen Hoai An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam told Viet Nam News.

“However, in the Ha Noi market, there were many experts of foreign companies coming back to work in Viet Nam by charter flights. Therefore, the experts must rent serviced apartments and hotels, leading to occupancy rates in many serviced apartment projects increasing from the end of the second quarter.”

The hotel segment in Ha Noi was in a better situation, although it still struggles, she said.

“The prospects of this property market for foreign customers would depend on the ability to re-open international flights and borders between Viet Nam and other countries,” An said.

The CBRE also reported that the Ha Noi market had about 5,600 units launched in Q2, leading to a total new launch during the first half of around 7,200 units – down 65 per cent year on year (y-o-y).

The new supply in the first six months declined significantly compared to the same period of last year due to COVID-19 disruption, said CBRE Viet Nam.

Selling prices in the primary market in Q2 averaged US$1,379 per sq.m (net of VAT), up by 3 per cent y-o-y. While mid-end products from township developments see higher selling prices due to an increasing amount of amenities, landscape and infrastructure, this segment witnessed the highest y-o-y growth of 4 per cent among segments.

The level of new supply is expected to stay at around 18,000-20,000 units in 2020, lower than 30,000 units at annual average for many years, according to the CBRE.

Nguyen Hoai An, director of Hanoi Branch, CBRE Vietnam said that: “The lower level of new supply this year allows sales to catch up quicker with the new launch which had remained at a high-level over the past five years.”

This year, total sold units might be lowered to around 15,000-17,000 units in Ha Noi due to modest sales performance in the first half of this year.

The primary pricing is forecast to remain flat in the second half of this year since new supply is heavily dominated by mid-end segment and higher competition in this segment making it harder to escalate selling prices.

According to, the number of searches for mini apartments (with an area of less than 45sq.m) at the end of Q2 increased by more than 200 per cent compared to February 2020.

This reflects the growing trend of more young people and families wishing to own affordable apartments. This is also a reason for investors to build studio apartments and mini apartments, according to this website. — VNS


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