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Vietnam’s int’l trade plagued by Russia-Ukraine conflict



The ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has negatively affected Vietnam’s export and import activities, prompting relevant ministries and enterprises to come up with suitable response plans.

The country’s exports to Russia have been obstructed due to long transport time and troublesome payment process.

Many imported goods from Russia and Ukraine, namely wheat, corn, and fertilizer, have also showed signs of low supply and surging prices.

In 2021, Vietnam exported about US$550 million worth of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products to Russia, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As the conflict broke out last week, many businesses have had to halt their export activities due to transaction risks, a lack of shipping vessels, and high transport costs, and are seeking ways to offload their products or bring them to other markets.

The Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) early this week sent an official dispatch to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to suggest the revision of cashew export goal in 2022 from $3.8 billion to $3.2 billion, about $400 million lower than last year.

Vinacas cited concerns over global political instabilities, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as a reason for its proposal.

The director of a cashew processing and exporting company in Binh Phuoc said that Russian customers have stopped placing new orders, while Vietnamese businesses are also shying away from new contracts due to potential risks.

The shipping process has become more complicated because products cannot be transported directly to Russia, while payment is also challenging after Russia was removed from SWIFT, a secure global messaging network that banks use to make cross-border payments, he explained.

Shipments to Russia now have to go through transit ports in Germany or the Netherlands, and it is also unclear when they will be carried from these ports to Russia, according to Dang Hoang Giang, secretary-general of Vinacas.

The longer transit time, the higher storage cost, Giang added.

With a turnover of $61.8 million, Russia accounted for 1.63 percent of Vietnam’s total cashew export revenue in 2021.

“Although Russia is not a key importer, the conflict has caused a domino effect on other markets and will affect the purchase price of raw cashew material in the country,” Giang elaborated.

Bran prices climb

Bran factories in Vietnam have been looking for domestic raw material suppliers since the beginning of March as global prices have jumped wildly.

Russia and Ukraine are the two main exporters of wheat for food and animal feed production worldwide, thus the reduction of exports from these countries has affected the general prices.

Vietnam imports from Russia and Ukraine many input materials for agricultural production including wheat, maize, corn for animal feed production, and fertilizers.

Wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine account for up to 20 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total import value.

The lack of ships and rising transport costs have forced Vietnamese importers to stop trading with Russia and switch to finding suppliers from other countries such as Australia, South America, and South Africa.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has also caused global prices of wheat and corn to soar by 10-20 percent and fertilizer by over 20 percent.

The Vietnamese agriculture ministry said it is monitoring the situation and working with industry associations and the State Bank of Vietnam to provide necessary support for local businesses.

The agency is also working with importers of input materials to discuss solutions for price stabilization.

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US-based SSA Marine partners with Gemadept to build $6.7-billion logistics centre

The US-based SSA Marine and Vietnam’s Gemadept are collaborating to build the Cai Mep Ha Logistics Center in Vietnam, which is expected to be worth $6.7 billion.



According to local media on September 12, the agreement focuses on the southern Vietnamese port region, particularly the construction of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center.

“The establishment of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center represents not only a leap for Vietnam but for global logistics,” an SSA Marine source stated. “The vision is grand, and the potential is limitless.”

When completed, the complex would span over 2,200 hectares and serve as Vietnam’s top logistics hub. The venture, located in the gorgeous surroundings of Phuoc Hoa district in Phu My town, has a dual-focused blueprint: a cutting-edge logistics center paired with the strategically positioned Cai Mep Ha downstream port.

SSA Marine, the largest US-owned and privately held container terminal operator and cargo handling company in the world, handles 35 million container TEUs per year at its marine and rail terminals and also operates cruise, auto- and Ro/Ro logistics, and IT Solutions.

With 73 years of existence, the firm operates over 250 ports throughout the US, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Asia, and New Zealand.

This modified plan, according to the province’s Department of Transport and consultants, increases the total area from 1,763ha to nearly 2,204ha. The core project space is approximately 1,687ha, including both the logistics center and the downstream port of Cai Mep Ha.

Moreover, the water surface area has been reduced to about 202ha. In addition, land initially reserved for clean energy storage will be repurposed for logistics and port functions.

The strategic planning adjustment aims to extend the port to handle 250,000-ton ships. Logistics and port operations will be redefined on the 198 ha of land, together with possible water surface areas.

Gemadept and SSA Marine are the leading investors, although seven others are interested. Geleximco, ITC, and Besix-Boskalis-Hateco, a Vietnam-EU collaboration, are said to be involved.

Upon completion, this hub will optimize import and export transportation costs across road, sea, rail, and air transit nodes. It aims to receive, store, process raw materials, package, label, and distribute commodities for adjacent industrial zones, notably the CM-TV port cluster, Vung Tau Port, and the southeast coastal port region.

Source: VIR


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Vietnam’s Hai Phong City attracts extra $1.4 billion in foreign investment



Several enterprises from South Korea and Japan were granted investment certificates on Friday to develop FDI projects at industrial parks in the northern port city of Hai Phong, with a total pledged capital reaching nearly US$1.4 billion.

The investment certificate handover ceremony was attended by Le Tien Chau, secretary of the municipal Party Committee.

The Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board presented an investment certificate to Ecovane, a subsidiary of the South Korean chemicals maker SKC, to develop a hi-tech biodegradable material factory project worth $500 million.

Other key projects receiving the certificates at the event included a BW ready-built factory worth $60 million and a $40-million auto parts manufacturing plant by China’s CCTY Bearing Company.

Besides, Japan’s Kyocera Document Solutions Inc was approved to pour an additional $237.5 million into its machine and equipment manufacturing plant project, raising the project’s total investment to $425 million.

The municipal Economic Zone Management Board also finished the selection of investors for two social housing projects worth a combined $400 million, whose work is expected to begin this year.

Once completed, the social housing projects will offer more than 8,000 apartments to around 22,000 people, contributing to the city’s efforts to ensure social security and stable accommodations for low-income employees.

Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre

In the year to September 20, industrial parks and economic zones in Hai Phong had attracted roughly $3.1 billion of investment, reaching 120 percent of its 2023 target, said Le Trung Kien, head of the city’s Economic Zone Management Board.

Up to now, over 1,000 FDI projects worth a combined $28 billion have been developed in this northern port city, which granted investment certificates to 45 FDI projects with a total pledged capital of nearly $2.1 billion and 11 DDI (domestic direct investment) projects with a total cost of some $600 million last month.

The city’s Economic Zone Management Board previously had a working session with South Korea’s Chungbuk Free Economic Zone, which sought to cooperate with businesses active in Hai Phong as well as support them in technology transfers and human resources training.

The investment in semiconductor technology in Hai Phong is expected to advance further as SKC, the chemical unit of South Korea’s SK Group, inked a memorandum of understanding with Hai Phong to study the investment environment for advanced semiconductor materials, secondary batteries, and some other eco-friendly materials.

SK Group is the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea, just after Samsung, focusing on four main areas including energy and chemicals; telecommunications; semiconductors and other advanced materials; pharmaceuticals and logistics services, according to the Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board.

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VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000



VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000

VinFast VF 6 is introduced in an even in Ho Chi Minh City on Sep. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nhan

Vietnamese automaker VinFast has launched its fifth electric car, the VF 6 crossover in the small-car segment, with base prices starting at VND675 million ($27,800).

The Plus version, which offers a range of 399 kilometers compared to the base’s 381 kilometers, costs VND765 million.

The battery costs VND90 million for each version.

Any customer who does not buy the battery can lease it for VND1.8 million a month, with a maximum monthly distance of 1,500 kilometers.

Sales begin October 20 and deliveries will be scheduled for the end of this year.

The VF 6 is in the same price range as the Hyundai Creta (starting at VND640 million) and the Kia Seltos (from VND599 million).

The B-segment (European classification’s smallest-car category) is rife with competition in Vietnam thanks to offerings by Japanese, South Korean, German and Chinese brands all seeking a bigger share.


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