Vietnam’s agricultural sector records progress
Over the past years, Vietnam’s agricultural sector has reaped marked achievements, helping ensure national food security.
Vietnamese staples such as coffee, rice, rubber, cashew nuts, pepper, fruit, seafood, wood and timber products have gained firm foothold in the global market.
Statistics show that the sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) grows about 2.5 percent while its production value expands by 2.73 percent each year.
During the 2013-2017 period, the sector’s total export turnover reached 153 billion USD, with 36.2 billion USD earned in 2017. Seven out of the 10 major products saw export turnover exceeding 1 billion USD.
To create impressive changes in agricultural production, the Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VFU) has signed a cooperation programme with the Ministry of Science and Technology, under which the two sides join hands in implementing scientific and technological tasks during the 2016-2020 period, according to Thao Xuan Sung, Chairman of the VFU Central Committee.
The union’s chapters have carried out technology transfer and scientific application in production, he added.
Thanks to emulation campaigns, many household businesses, farms, small- and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives have been formed, helping hundreds of thousands of households escape from poverty.
The project on vocational training for rural labourers by 2020, approved by the Prime Minister in 2009, has proven effective since nearly 210,000 people had received vocational training as of 2017, the vocational training management department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported.
Leu Vu Dieu, Vice Chairman of the VFU Central Committee, said the union’s chapters have paid due attention to expanding and improving the quality of vocational training services.
They have organised more than 300,000 training courses on scientific and technological application in production for 15 million members and built over 60,000 Vietgap (Vietnam Good Agricultural Practices) models, he said.
At a recent working session with the VFU, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh highlighted the important role of the union in the sustainable development of the agriculture-based economy.
The official urged the union’s chapters to support farmers in developing large-scale production, applying high-tech and ensuring quality and high added values of products, thus meeting requirements of the international integration.
To that end, it is necessary to connect farmers with cooperatives and businesses, he stressed.
Binh also asked the VFU to closely coordinate with ministries, agencies and localities in order to encourage farmers to realise the Party and State’s policies on agricultural restructuring in tandem with the efforts in new-style rural area building and sustainable poverty reduction.
At the same time, the union should pay more attention to improving knowledge and capacity of its members, and protecting their legitimate rights and interests, making them the subject of the industrialisation and modernisation of agriculture and rural areas, he stressed.
Exports of industrial plants’ products remain modest
Vietnam’s agro-forestry export revenue is estimated to reach 40 billion USD in 2018, but contributions from products of industrial plants have stayed modest.
Although Vietnam is the world biggest exporter of cashew and peppercorn, and the second of coffee, the country is expected to earn only 3.5 billion USD from exporting coffee for the whole year, the same as last year’s figure due to a drop in its price.
The country has earned 718 million USD from peppercorn export so far, a slump of 32.5 percent over the same period in 2017 as the price in the majority of markets fell 38 percent averagely.
Meanwhile, so far, Vietnam has shipped abroad 3.4 million tonnes of cassava for 905.2 million USD, a fall of nearly 4 percent in volume and 0.45 percent in value compared to the same period last year.
Exports to China, the biggest market of Vietnam’s cassava, have decreased over 2017.
According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Vietnam’s peppercorn sector should be drastically restructured, while farm areas in ineffective region reduced and quality improved.
At the same time, the export volume of cashew has reached 342,000 tonnes, up 5.9 percent, with a value of 3.1 billion USD, down 3.1 percent year on year.
Due to weakness in the supply of raw materials, Vietnam has imported 1.14 million of material cashew worth 2.25 billion USD from the beginning of this year. Despite its position as the biggest cashew exporters, the country makes up only 18 percent to the global cashew value chain.
According to the Department of Agro-Product Processing and Market Development, in the coming time, the world cashew price will be go up thanks to rising demand at the end of the year and decrease in supply as Tanzania will buy all raw cashew it produces and African countries’ plans to process cashew instead of exporting it as a raw material.
The MARD reported that Vietnam has 10 cashew production hubs accounting for 94 percent of its total cashew areas. It stressed the need to review the planning of the sector, and said it is working with Cambodia to develop cashew material region.
Firms have social responsibility
Highly capable and diverse boards of directors that adhere to social responsibility are crucial for corporate sustainability, experts said during a forum in HCM City on December 7.
The forum was held by Viet Nam Institute of Directors (VIOD) and Viet Nam Corporate Governance Initiative (VCGI), both of which focus on promoting good corporate governance practices.
Amar Gill, managing director of BlackRock, a New York-based global investment management corporation, said that to achieve corporate sustainability, a company has to focus on its operation and long term vision, and examine its management capability and impact on the environment and society.
In addition to keeping the best interests of shareholders, boards of directors need to carefully monitor business strategy planning and implementation as well as effective resource allocation.
Risk management regarding finance, business operations and climate change is also crucial.
Gill also said that companies must keep track of their impact or “footprint” on the environment and society and minimise the negative impact.
If not, they risk losing their “social licence to operate”, which refers to stakeholders’acceptance of a firm’s business practices.
Vu Thi Thuan, chairwoman of Traphaco, a Vietnamese pharmaceutical company, said that companies should manage their risks well as investors always look to the future.
In the case of Traphaco, the company invested in its own ingredient zones to harvest high quality materials, because it could not afford a shortage of materials or low quality ingredients.
She also said that awareness of the importance of climate change and management to ensure sustainability should be improved.
Boards should also have diversity, including people of different backgrounds and experiences, and both men and women.
“The diversity of board members helps them evaluate issues from a variety of perspectives before making decisions, and complements each other to increase the effectiveness of the boards of directors,” said Dr. Vu Bang, a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group and the chairman of VCGI.
However, Vu Quang Thinh, CEO and board member of Dynam Capital, which specialises in asset management, said that the diversity of many boards of directors in Viet Nam, especially in family-owned businesses, is limited.
Many boards of directors in Vietnamese companies are composed primarily of relatives, as opposed to fully independent members.
Many Vietnamese board members generally have similar backgrounds and experiences, which mean they may be used to a limited number of ways of operating.
Viet Nam’s corporate governance has seen improvement over the years due to development of regulations and assistance from consultant firms and business groups, according to VIOD.
Nonetheless, it is still lackluster compared to other ASEAN countries. More regulations to ensure clarity and fairness, as well as higher quality and responsible boards of directors, are required.
Global integration key to logistics development
The Vietnamese logistics sector must take advantage of global integration to reach its full potential, deputy minister of industry and trade Cao Quoc Hung said at a meeting on Friday.
The growth of the Vietnamese economy is expected to help the logistics sector maintain annual growth of 12-14 per cent, Hung said.
Opportunities for the logistics sector to continue growing include Viet Nam’s participation in the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that took effect on February 2, 2017.
According to WTO economists, the TFA could help cut total trade costs of WTO members by 14.3 per cent, which would benefit developing economies the most.
In April, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc set out some important targets for the logistics sector.
The sector is expected to contribute 8-10 per cent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 and its growth is forecast to reach 15-20 per cent.
The percentage of outsourced logistic activities is predicted at 50-60 per cent, logistic costs are forecast to fall 16-20 per cent and Viet Nam’s ranking in the global logistics sector is hoped to climb above 50.
Currently, ministries and agencies are working to boost the sector’s performance by cutting administrative procedures and business requirements for logistic firms, developing an e-government system and online public services and publishing testing standards for local firms.
On November 9, the PM launched a programme on cost reduction for businesses and assigned ministries and agencies to improve Viet Nam’s logistics efficiency and trade facilitation, as assessed by the World Bank and Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
“All of those solutions aim to create smooth trade activities and reduce logistic expenses for local companies,” Hung stressed.
There are about 3,000 logistic firms in Viet Nam but most are small-sized, he said. Nine out of 10 Vietnamese logistic firms have charter capital of below VND10 billion, 5 per cent have charter capital of between VND10-20 billion and 5 per cent have charter capital of more than VND20 billion.
Of the 3,000 logistic firms, only 360 have signed up to become members of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA).
“Those facts prove Vietnamese logistic companies are not well connected and most of them do business as individuals, not as a community,” the deputy minister said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, the earnings of Vietnamese logistic companies account for 3-4 per cent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP), proving their performance is still modest.
“One of the major problems for Vietnamese logistic firms is the underdevelopment of infrastructure and facilities in some provinces that can become trade hubs, however, those areas are not aware of the benefits brought about by logistic services,” Hung said.
Slow infrastructure development would make it more difficult for local firms to expand their networks and work with each other and foreign logistic firms, Hung added.
In addition, Vietnamese logistic companies have found it hard to enter new markets and business segments, according to the industry and trade deputy minister.
“The Government needs to help Vietnamese logistic firms develop and catch up with foreign companies,” he added.
“Logistic firms often have opportunities to work with and learn from foreign businesses, so they are able to develop better strategies and offer products and services with better quality at cheaper price levels.”
“Other tasks include the Government’s efforts to improve its management, simplify and clarify administrative procedures and make the business environment more transparent and convenient,” Hung added.
In addition, it is important to help local businesses expand their networks to other markets so the sector is able to keep up its current growth rate, according to VLA vice chairman Dao Trong Khoa.
Centre founded to support co-operatives
A support centre for co-operative development was opened in Ha Noi on December 6 to help Vietnamese co-operatives get more involved in agricultural value chains.
Nguyen The Phuong, director of the centre set up by the Viet Nam Cooperative Union for Agricultural Consumption (UCA), said it would help co-operatives join sustainable value chains.
UCA Chairman Pham Anh Tuan said Viet Nam had been strongly integrating into the global economy, meaning to bring both opportunities and challenges to the nation, especially for agriculture.
“The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is scheduled to take effect in January 2019. Besides exporting farming products to large markets under CPTPP, Viet Nam’s export products will face challenges posed by competition from products from other CPTPP member nations including Australia, New Zealand and Japan.”
Therefore, Vietnamese goods would have to meet the other countries’ standards while being safe and cheaper than agricultural products from other signatories, or they would lose in the domestic market, said Tuan.
“To do that, it is necessary to boost land accumulation, mass production and high-tech application to improve quality and labour productivity and reduce production costs,” Tuan said.
He said the UCA, founded more than two years ago, would have to do much more to contribute to Viet Nam’s agriculture.
According to the Viet Nam Cooperative Alliance, co-operative groups and co-operatives make up nearly 4.8 per cent of the country’s GDP. There were 21,026 active co-operatives as of June 30 this year, up 934 against the previous year. More than half were in agriculture or agricultural service.
Viet Nam wants to have at least 15,000 agricultural co-operatives and co-operative unions operating by 2020.
Consumers should learn about food safety to protect themselves: seminar
With unsafe foods becoming an increasing risk, it is important for people to know about safe and clean food to protect themselves, Nguyen Thi Hong Minh, president of the Association of Food Transparency, told a seminar in HCM City on December 7.
The seminar, titled “Identify safe food”, sought to raise consumers’ awareness of food safety issues and apprise them about food traceability and production standards and how to read food packaging and labeling information correctly.
Minh said producers of clean and safe food are like saplings which have just started to grow but are being blown away by storms of unsafe food.
She quoted the old dictum “only the seller knows [what they sell] while buyers do not know anything”, saying consumers should acquire basic knowledge to at least understand what food is safe so that they can choose.
Do Lan Nhi, an academic and expert on food safety issues, said consumers should be aware of the words uses on the food packages they buy, especially fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish, since some of them can be misleading.
She said for instance when a producer states on the packaging their production follows Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) processes, it does not mean they are certified by Global GAP.
Some producers claim their production conforms to Global GAP standards, she said, asking, “Does it mean they are a Global GAP-certified producer?”
In the case of Global GAP-certified producers, consumers can easily check all information about their products by entering the GGN codes or their names on the Global GAP database, which is free to access, she said.
However, with Global GAP certification being time-bound, consumers should also look at the date of expiry of the certification to avoid being tricked by outdated certificates, she said.
The seminar was held on the sidelines of the Agricultural Gifts Market, a platform for small organic food producers to present their products to consumers.
Minh said the size of the event is relatively small because most of the participating producers are small and have just started their organic food business.
“They have not found a way to sell their products through supermarkets or food store chains and only sell online or to their friends and acquaintances. Because of this way of doing business, they cannot enhance their size.”
She said with event like this they could hopefully reach more consumers and establish trust to eventually become bigger businesses.
The market, being held at the Saigon Innovation Hub in District 3, concludes at 5pm on December 8.
Shrimp by-products should be used
The Government should have policies to support research and processing that would use shrimp by-products as high-value products, experts have said.
For every kilo of shrimp, processing plants leave out 35-50 per cent of by-products, including heads and shells.
Shrimp output was more than 720,000 tonnes last year, and the processing industry produced 320,000 tonnes of by-products from them, they said.
This is a waste, researchers said, adding that by-products contain many nutrients that can be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and animal feed production.
Many new products with a high-profit margin could enter the market if there was a comprehensive research investment strategy, they said.
Phan Thanh Loc, deputy chairman of Viet Nam Food Company, said many developed countries had successfully developed products from fishery by-products.
The application of technology increases the value of shrimp by-products by many times.
One kilo of shrimp heads sold to animal feed producers and businesses just earn a few thousand dong. However, if technology is used to extract nutrients from shrimp heads for use in the food industry and animal feed, businesses could earn over VND20,000 on every kilo of shrimp heads, he said.
In particular, if businesses extract chitosan, which is used in making food wrapping film, they could earn much more money, he added.
Dr. Trang Sy Trung, rector of Nha Trang University, said that shrimp heads and shells were still considered waste and used mostly to make food for animals instead of for other purposes.
Studies have shown that the nutrient content in shrimp by-products is high: 8 per cent lipid, 20 per cent chitin and 48 per cent protein.
Scientists from Nha Trang University have conducted research to develop useful products from shrimp by-products for the agricultural, aquaculture and pharmaceutical sectors, including chitosan solutions for treating fungi on mango and chili.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, research institutes, universities and companies have researched and invested in products made from shrimp by-products but the results have been modest, with the output being mostly raw products.
Businesses and scientists said there were few specific policies for supporting the processing of shrimp by-products and marketing of products made from the by-products.
They suggested that the Government provide support to increase the use of these by-products by more enterprises and researchers.
Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology coordinated with Nha Trang University and Viet Nam Food to launch a fund for supporting the development of the shrimp by-product sector in Viet Nam.
The fund’s main purpose is to support research and the training of human resources, with the aim of developing high-value products from shrimp by-products.
Vietnamese SOE privatization is 85% below expectation
Total asset valuation of those enterprises being privatized so far stood at VND29.7 trillion (US$1.27 billion), of which, the state capital amounted to VND15.4 trillion (US$660.95 million).
As of November, local authority has approved the equitization scheme of 12 out of the target of 85 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to a report of the Ministry of Finance.
Total asset valuation of those enterprises being privatized so far stood at VND29.7 trillion (US$1.27 billion), of which the state capital amounted to VND15.4 trillion (US$660.95 million).
The report informed that a total of 21 SOEs raised VND21.6 trillion (US$927.6 million) through their respective initial public offerings (IPOs), while the government has approved the restructuring plan of 35 SOEs.
The number of wholly state-owned enterprises in Vietnam is projected to be reduced by five times from 500 currently to 100 by 2020, according to Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Hieu.
According to Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), the largest brokerage house in the country, Vietnam’s effort to raise funds from the public-sector reforms is expected to triple in 2018 – 2020 compared to levels seen in the 2011 – 2017 period.
Specifically, the total proceeds from IPOs and the share sales of SOEs in the next two years are expected to reach US$26.3 billion, 2.75 times higher than the funds raised for the whole 2011-2017 period. Of the total, the value of IPOs will reach US$9.7 billion, while the total amount of divestment could hit US$16.6 billion.
”Vietnam could end up being the only country in the world that embarks on a new wave of SOE reform in 2018 – 2020, placing large and profitable SOEs on public offer,” stated SSI.
CJ and Lotte seek business expansion in Vietnam
A growing number of South Korean enterprises want to commit long-term business in Vietnam.
Senior officials of leading South Korean corporations, including CJ Group and Lotte, have expressed wish for business expansion in Vietnam, during their respective meeting with Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
CJ Logistics, a subsidiary of CJ Group, is considering investing in food safety, show business and logistics in Vietnam, stated Park Keun Tae, CEO of CJ Logistics in the meeting on December 12.
As of present, CJ has invested over US$500 million with 26 subsidiaries in Vietnam, including food – catering, pharmacy – biology, transportation – home shopping, entertainment – communication, Park informed.
In 2017, the groups’ combined revenue in Vietnam reached US$1.1 billion and created jobs for 8,000 employees.
In a meeting with Hwang Gag Kyu, deputy CEO of Lotte Group, Ngan expected Lotte to continue to invest in smart city in Vietnam, adding that the country is under huge pressure for transport infrastructure development, especially the North-South highway project, while the group should also consider to invest in logistics systems, start-up project and M&A activities, Ngan continued.
Hwang stated Lotte is currently exploring options to develop smart urban projects, hotels, resort and shopping centers and logistics in Vietnam.
Lotte Group on October 23 announced that it will inject around W50 trillion (US$44 billion) in all of its foreign and domestic business units over the next five years, including Vietnam.
Since 2008 to present, Lotte, through its division Lotte Mart, has invested VND8.9 trillion (US$389.3 million) in Vietnam to build 13 malls and super markets, as well as other business expenses including advertisement, marketing, promotion and administration.
Representative of Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ), one of the four largest business association in South Korea, said a growing number of South Korean enterprises want to commit long-term business in Vietnam, in turn contributing to the country’s development.
PV Oil proposal of large-scale state capital divestment proves attractive: Brokerage
The company has yet to succeed in selling stake to strategic investors.
PetroVietnam Oil (PV Oil)’s recent proposal for a large-scale state capital divestment would be a potential investment opportunity in the market, stated Bao Viet Securities Company (BVSC).
According to the divestment plan approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, state-run energy giant Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) will own 35.1% of PV Oil’s charter capital, 20% of chartered capital to be placed in public auction and sell 44.72% of charter capital to strategic investors.
So far, PV Oil, Vietnam’s second largest petroleum distributor, has offered to sell 20% of its charter capital as prescribed in the initial public offering (IPO) for VND4.1 trillion (US$184 million) in proceeds, exceeding the government target of raising at least US$122 million. However, the company has yet to sell 45% of stake to strategic shareholders.
Through this deregulation process, PVOil is expected to raise a total of US$400 million.
A number of investors are interested in becoming strategic shareholders of the company, such as Vietjet, HD Bank, SK Energy (South Korea) and Idemitsu (Japan).
Nevertheless, due to a lack of time for the divestment procedures, PV Oil has failed to fulfill the state’s requirement of completing within four months. In the meantime, PV Oil has submitted the proposal of extending time for divestment to the government, ministries and departments but was not approved.
Thus, the company has yet to succeed in selling stake to strategic investors. PV Oil’s representatives stated that the company has drawn up the plan and reported large-scale divestment instead to PVN. On the UpCOM, PV Oil’s stock has increased for five consecutive sessions to VND15,400 VND (US$0.66) per share.
South Korea’s leading oil company SK Energy has become the latter’ second largest shareholder and is second only to PVN being the state capital representative with 80% stake.
EIB reports heavy transactions
Eximbank (EIB) stole the limelight today, December 4, as the bank saw up to 37 million shares changing hands within just an hour in the afternoon phase, giving a boost to the VN-Index and turnover on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange.
EIB hit the intraday high of VND15,000 before retreating and closing at VND14,150, up 2.2% against the previous session. Its matching volume soared to a three-year high of over 38.9 million shares, though the bank had no supporting news.
The VN-Index rose for the second day, adding 7.25 points, or 0.76%, at 958.84, with trading volume and value on the southern bourse improving 8% and 12% at 227.4 million shares worth VND5 trillion, respectively. Notably, the put-through market contributed nearly VND1.4 trillion to the overall value, in which lender TCB saw 20.5 million shares traded at the floor price of VND25,300.
However, the banking sector saw only three gainers – EIB, TCB and VPB – while the remaining five banks declined and STB closed at the reference price. MBB ranked second for liquidity with 7.7 million shares changing hands, losing nearly 0.7% at VND22,000.
VIC, a leading property enterprise, and its associated firms were key contributors to the market’s rise. VIC added a slight 0.1% at VND82,000 while housing developer VHM jumped 5.5% at VND82,000 and retailer VRE gained 4.3% at VND32,700 on matching volume of 3.7 million shares.
Most speculative stocks declined on poor turnover due to strong profit taking pressure. FLC, a real estate company, was the most liquid stock in this group with 6.9 million shares traded, adding 0.6% at VND5,400, followed by construction firm ROS with matching volume of 2.3 million shares.
The HNX-Index of the Hanoi Stock Exchange broke its four-day winning streak, losing 0.23% versus the day earlier at 107.39. Turnover on the market slumped 15% in volume and 20% in value to 36.6 million shares worth VND525 billion.
Large caps and blue chips put the most pressure on the northern index, in which lender ACB fell 0.6% at VND31,100 on matching volume of nearly 2.8 million shares. For other banks, SHB dropped 1.3% at VND7,600 and NVB slid 1.9% at VND10,300, reporting matching volume of 3.6 million shares and 1.2 million shares, respectively.
VCG, a construction and export-import firm, was the top gainer as it climbed 7.3% at VND31,100 and took the lead for liquidity with 5.2 million shares changing hands. Meanwhile, building materials enterprise VGC added 4.7% at VND17,400 on volume of around four million shares.
Investors expect Govt to share risks in PPP projects
Investors participating in the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) 2018 in Hanoi today, December 4, proposed the Government share their risks incurred in infrastructure projects executed under the public-private partnership (PPP) format.
At the forum, Kenneth Atkinson, chairman of the British Business Group in Vietnam, said British enterprises were keen on using the PPP model. However, they needed a guarantee of the effectiveness of these projects that would allow them to receive benefits and prevent potential risks during the projects’ execution.
The foreign exchange risk is among the top concerns of investors. If foreign investors have to take this risk, the project execution costs could surge.
Atkinson proposed the Vietnamese Government set up a specialized agency in charge of infrastructure development and apply global practices.
According to Ryu Hang Ha, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, under the PPP format, private enterprises will benefit from the investment, construction, maintenance and operation of public facilities, while the Government will cut taxes and provide part of the investment.
Although the Vietnamese Government, in May, issued Decree 63/2018/ND-CP on investment in the PPP form, with administrative procedures for these projects being simplified, a Government guarantee of risk sharing has yet to be offered, remarked Ryu.
The Government’s improvement of regulations to reduce possible risks for investors undertaking PPP projects will definitely enhance the efficiency of these projects, Ryu added.
Speaking at the forum, Koji Ito, chairman of the Japan Business Association in Vietnam, said that infrastructure development was an essential requirement of Vietnam’s long-term economic development plan. The use of the PPP format is one of the most effective ways to achieve this target.
He also suggested the Vietnamese Government be subject to part of the currency risk. The Government should identify key projects, which will receive State capital, Ito remarked.
Regarding the loans for PPP projects, Tony Foster, head of VBF’s infrastructure working group, noted that multiple regulations have hindered the execution of many PPP projects. This has raised concerns for lenders, affecting the mobilization of capital for PPP projects.
Foster pointed to major obstacles in the capital mobilization process, including the restriction of the land use rights of foreign lenders, the lack of foreign exchange risk sharing by the Government and taxes on the interest from foreign loans, among others.
The VBF’s infrastructure working group proposed the new law on PPP investment, which is being drafted by the Government, should include specific regulations on these issues.
According to a report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment on the execution of PPP projects over the last two decades, some 200 projects have been executed under the PPP format, including 158 traffic infrastructure projects, nine projects in the power sector and five wastewater treatment projects.
HCMC on hook for VND53t this month for State budget
The HCMC departments of tax and customs this month have to collect VND53 trillion from individuals, organizations, and companies for their business and import-export activities to meet the assigned target for budget collections.
Of this, the municipal Tax Department has to collect revenue from domestic sources amounting to nearly VND41.6 trillion (excluding crude oil), while the other department is responsible for the remainder.
In the year to November, the city’s domestic collections hit an estimated VND200 trillion, which accounts for 83% of the target, according to a report on the city’s budget expenses and receipts in the January-November period and the budget revenue target.
Similarly, the customs department’s collection of import-export taxes was an estimated VND96.7 trillion for the given period, while its assigned target for the whole year amounted to VND108 trillion.
Accordingly, the total budget collections of the two departments in January-November reached some VND300 trillion, accounting for approximately 88% of the target, placing increasing pressure on them to hit the target within the final month.
A representative of the customs department told the Saigon Times that it would be hard to hit the year’s target as the amount needed for budget collection this month surpasses the figures of previous months, at VND11.3 trillion.
Meanwhile, in the last two months, the collections amounted to some VND10.5 trillion monthly despite the increasing export turnover, while the revenues collected in August and September only averaged out at VND8.7 trillion per month.
However, the customs department is adopting all possible solutions to hit this year’s target, confirmed the representative.
The departments have to collect revenue from staple products, tax arrears and anti-trade fraud activities.
As for staple goods, which are considered the main source of revenue, automobiles with nine seats or fewer are an outstanding product. The automobiles will be delivered to local buyers this month and will contribute some VND4 trillion in taxes to the State budget, according to the customs department.
Also, the city is expected to collect additional revenue from consumer products that generated high import turnover during the 11-month period and are forecast to continue surging this month, meeting the rising demand of local residents for the upcoming Tet holiday, the representative added.
Breakthroughs yet to happen in HCMC
12 among 85 enterprises being equitized in 2018
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Finance, 12 among 85 enterprises have been approved the equitization plan by authorities with total value of VND 29.7 trillion, of which state capital reached at VND 15.4 trillion by the end of November 2018.
The progress is slow in compared with this year’s plan with expectation of at least 85 enterprises to be equitizated
The Ministry of Finance also said that 21 enterprises sold their shares for the first time with total public auction value of VND 13.8 trillion, earning VND 21.6 trillion.
There have been 35 enterprises being approved for restructuring according to the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 707/QĐ-TTg dated on 25 May, 2017.
By the end of November 2018, 7 among 62 enterprises were transferred to State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) with the total value of state capital of VND 206 billion in accordance with Decision No. 1232/QĐ-TTg dated on August 17, 2017 of the Prime Minister.
The number of enterprises have to hand over to SCIC based on the regulation is 35 out of 62. Corporations and groups have withdrawn VND 5 trillion, earning VND 10.5 trillion.
HCM City ties up with VN-focused Hong Kong tourism site
The HCM City Tourism Promotion Centre has tied up with Hong Kong-based Fayfay.com to attract travellers from Hong Kong and to promote Viet Nam’s tourism.
On Thursday, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the e-commerce travel site dedicated to Vietnamese travel experiences.
The MOU comes at a strategic time after visitors from Hong Kong to Viet Nam hit a record high in the first 10 months of this year.
“Hong Kong will be our focal market in coming years, and we hope that travellers from Hong Kong will be inspired to visit HCM City thanks to the exceptional activities and experiences showcased on Fayfay.com,” Tran Ngoc Dong Quan, deputy director of HTPC, said.
“Together with Fayfay.com, we hope to make a significant contribution to tourism in Viet Nam and HCM City through joint promotional events, roadshows and media familiarisation trips.”
Kingston Lai, co-founder of Fayfay.com, said: “HCM City is an important destination on Fayfay.com and we look forward to partnering with HTPC to showcase the city’s vibrant lifestyle and unique architecture, rich culinary scene, and authentic local experiences.”
As an e-commerce platform dedicated to Viet Nam travel experiences, Fayfay.com not only focuses on curating on-the-ground packages but also provides all the travel essentials.
On the site, travellers can find several resources such as immigration support, SIM cards and private transportation.
The website is full of opportunities to book memorable hands-on activities such as lantern-making and silversmithing.
Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, said China was an important inbound market for the city’s tourism.
Last year, HCM City welcomed 532,644 people from China or 13.3 per cent of all Chinese visitors to Viet Nam, a year-on-year increase of 33 per cent.
In the first six months of this year, the number of Chinese visitors to the city was 495,356, a 21.8 per cent year-on-year rise.
Chinese travellers to Viet Nam usually stay for six to seven days, spending an average of US$639 per trip.
With an increasing number of direct flights between Viet Nam to major Chinese cities, it was expected more and more travellers from China would come, she added.
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