Firms urged to prepare for impacts of coronavirus
The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade is keeping a close watch on the development of the coronavirus, urging firms to prepare for negative impacts of the epidemic on exports, especially shipments of agricultural products, to China.
Currently, the epidemic had not yet had a significant impact on import and export activities between Vietnam and China, the department said.
However, there were signs that sales of some agricultural products in China had started to slow due to the development of the epidemic. In addition, ongoing strict disease prevention measures also made transportation of goods much more difficult.
The department learned that border gates in Pingxiang, Guangxi which bordered Vietnam’s Lang Son province would close until February 8, except for Friendship Pass which would open on February 3, as an effort to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
The department said traffic as well as cross-border transportation of goods between Vietnam and China might be affected.
The department urged Vietnamese firms, especially those exporting agricultural products to China, to prepare for their partners in China not being able to receive goods. Firms should change delivery methods or seek other markets for their products.
Firms must also regularly discuss with their partners in China to remain updated of any changes to the epidemic, the department said.
The ministry would keep providing updates on the epidemic and its impacts on import-export activities.
Vietnam exported goods worth 41.41 billion USD in 2019, around 20 percent of which came from agro-fishery products.
China was the largest market for Vietnam’s agricultural products./.
State Treasury urged to manage State budget efficiently
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue asked the State Treasury of Vietnam to manage the State budget efficiently, which is critical in promoting socio-economic development.
Speaking at the meeting with the State Treasury on January 30, Hue stressed that the treasury must develop solutions to enhance the efficiency of the State budget, with focus placed on speeding up the disbursement of public investment.
Resources must be spent for the right purposes to achieve socio-economic development goals and ensure the sustainable development of the Vietnamese economy, Hue said.
He urged the treasury to enhance reforms and modernisation as well as focus on developing human resources to better serve residents and businesses.
The State Treasury must issue a development strategy, which must be appropriate to the country’s finance development strategy and socio-economic development strategy to 2030, he said, adding it must contribute to building a stable and strong national finance for the country’s prosperous development.
In 2020, the State Treasury targeted that all State-budget transactions would be conducted online. In addition, cooperation with relevant agencies would be enhanced to speed up disbursement of public investment.
Hue said that 2020 was an important year for Vietnam because this was the final year of the 2016-20 five-year plan to create the impetus for the next five-year period.
The global slowdown was posing challenges to Vietnam, Hue said, urging efforts by the State Treasury to overcome difficulties to have a better year in 2020.
The Deputy PM also visited Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) on January 30, the first working day after Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Hue urged the bank to speed up the digitalisation process to improve service quality and ensure convenience for customers. In addition, MB should focus on developing non-credit services.
MB should strive to maintain the position in the top five commercial banks by operation efficiency of Vietnam, he asked.
MB reported a pre-tax profit of 10 trillion VND in 2019, up 29.1 percent over 2018. Its ratio of bad debt was managed under 1.2 percent./.
Export, import activities soar at start of Lunar New Year
Export and import activities have been busy since the start of the Lunar New Year (January 25), with some product groups reaching an export value of over 1 billion USD each.
About 55 ships have docked at HCM City’s Tan Cang – Cat Lai Port, the biggest port in the country, since that time, carrying around 54,500 20-ft equivalent unit of goods, according to Nguyen Nang Toan, deputy general director of the Sai Gon Newport Corporation.
During the period, goods such as agricultural products and textiles and garments from more than 139 HCM City businesses were loaded on container ships travelling to Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and other markets.
“Even in the first few days of a new year, everyone has been working urgently and excitedly. Many of the first containers of imports and exports have completed customs clearance procedures, signifying a year of positive economic growth and contributing towards reaching the 2020 export goal of 300 billion USD,” Toan told Tien Phong newspaper.
During the Tet period, over 4,000 Sai Gon Newport Corporation staff worked on the scene to ensure goods cleared, supporting the country’s import and export activities.
Tran Anh Tu, deputy manager of the Lao Cai province International Border Gate Customs under the provincial Department of Customs, said that by the end of January 26, more than 1,300 tonnes of agricultural goods had been granted customs clearance for export to China. |
Exports such as computers and electronics, textiles and garments, and phones and components reached over 1 billion USD value each during the period.
As of January 15, total export value nationwide was 10.8 billion USD, and import value 11.3 billion USD, according to the General Department of Customs. The figures are 18.3 percent and 10.7 percent higher than the same period last year, respectively.
Vietnam’s demand for imported goods spikes during the first few days of the year due to Tet, while exporting activities decline since businesses are on holiday, according to the Customs Department’s Import – Export Duty Department. After Tet, export activities rise.
The Prime Minister has assigned an import and export goal of over 520 billion USD, and a trade surplus of 15-17 billion USD in 2020./.
Steel industry forecast to grow by 6-8 percent in 2020
Vietnam’s steel production was forecast to grow slightly, at about 6-8 percent, this year, reported the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
The association said last year saw signs the global steel market was slowing, and it was expected consumption will not improve in the first quarter of this year.
The crude steel is estimated at nearly 18 million tones and hot-rolled steel output is estimated at 17.1 million tonnes.
It is expected that the country would have to import some raw materials such as iron ore (nearly 17 million tonnes), scrap steel (about five million tonnes) and hot-rolled steel coil (five million tonnes) this year.
Globally, capacity growth may exceed demand growth, leading to shrinking exports and profit.
Many proposed integrated steel projects in ASEAN would lead to a serious oversupply and it would take about 20 years for ASEAN steel consumption to catch up with this capacity, said the association.
The domestic steel industry continued to face challenges due to competitive pressure from increasing domestic supply and imported steel, as well as tightened lending credit to the domestic real estate market and delayed construction work.
Crude steel production and sales reached nearly 1.3 million tonnes in December last year, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to November and an increase of 1.1 percent compared to the same period in December 2018.
Crude steel consumption reached over 1.4 million tonnes, up 9.4 percent over the previous month and up 13.4 percent over the same period in 2018.
Production of finished steel products reached nearly 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of 11.9 percent over the same period of 2018.
Sales of finished steel products reached over 2 million tonnes, up 10.8 percent over the same period in 2018.
In particular, steel exports reached nearly 360,000 tonnes, down 7 percent over the same period in 2018.
A report from VSA said the price of steel production materials such as iron ore increased by 3 USD to 5 USD per tonne by the end of December last year; scrap steel price increased by 15-20 USD per tonne compared to the beginning of November.
Domestic steel selling price is currently at an average of 11,500 – 11,800 VND (0.5 USD) per kilogramme depending on the type of product and businesses./.
Trade via Lao Cai Int’l Border Gate drops sharply
Trade between Vietnam and China has plunged as the latter suspended imports of Vietnamese goods via the Lao Cai International Border Gate from January 30.
The decision was made by China in the face of the prevalence of the new coronavirus (nCoV), according to Director of the Lao Cai province Department of Industry and Trade Do Truong Giang.
China has temporarily shut border markets in Hekou town in Yunnan province that border Vietnam’s Lao Cai province.
From January 25-30, only 3 million USD worth of goods were handled at the border gate, a decrease of more than 40 percent year-on-year.
According to the Health Ministry, as of 12:00 on January 30, 7,819 cases of nCoV infections had been confirmed in 19 countries and territories worldwide, with the death toll climbing to 170, including 162 in Wuhan, where the first cases were found.
As of 15:20 the same day, three Vietnamese people had tested positive for nCoV, raising the total cases in the country to five./.
Sales rise by 10-15 per cent in HCM City during Tet
However, some supermarkets and shops reported that their sales increased by 5 per cent. Many businesses said that amid the difficult economic situation, they were satisfied with the increase.
Traditional markets saw crowds of customers buying food on the days near Tet, with sales increasing by 30-40 per cent compared to normal days.
According to the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the prices of goods in the days near Tet and during Tet in HCM City were relatively stable.
In particular, the price of essential food products such as cow meat, poultry and poultry eggs, and processed products, fell slightly due to an abundant supply, it said.
Nguyen Anh Duc, permanent deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, said the company’s supermarkets had met shopping demand thanks to its early preparation of goods, anticipation of purchasing power and practical discounts.
There have been no shortages of goods, especially pork, and no price hikes. In addition, customers did not have to wait a long time to make payment, he said.
On the second and third days of Lunar New Year (January 26 and 27), many supermarkets such as Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food and Vissan reopened, with prices of many kinds of products the same as normal days. However, they opened only a half day, and from January 30, they resumed normal operation.
Convenience stores like Circle K, Ministop and Shop&Go remained open during Tet.
A spokesperson for Saigon Co.op said a lot of customers shopped at Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarkets on its first reopening day on January 26 after Tet. The best-selling items are fresh foods such as meat, fish and vegetables.
Supermarkets also launched many promotions on food and non-food products after Tet to stimulate consumption.
Co.opmart, Co.opXtra and Co.op Food, for instance, are offering discounts from 20 to 30 per cent on average for fresh food, children’s toys, personal care products and beverages, in rotation until February 12.
Shares fall on continued concern over coronavirus
On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE), the VN-Index lost 0.46 per cent to end at 955.15 points.
The index slumped 3.22 per cent to 959.58 points by the end of Thursday’s session.
A total of 116.3 million shares worth VND2.14 trillion (US$92.3 million) were traded on the southern market
On a sector basis, real estate, securities, information and technology, retail, oil and gas, agriculture, food and beverage, construction material, logistics and seafood processing lost ground.
Meanwhile, insurance, wholesale, healthcare, banking, rubber production and construction were among the gaining sectors.
The large-cap VN30-Index dropped 0.83 per cent to close at 868.51 points with 16 of the 30 largest stocks by market capitalisation and trading liquidity falling.
Listed aviation and tourism stocks dropped significantly due to information about the coronavirus pandemic. Two big airlines, Vietjet (VJC) on HOSE and Vietnam Airlines (HVN) on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), decreased by 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.
On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index gained 0.21 per cent to end at 104.33 points.
The northern market index dropped 2.04 per cent to 104.11 points.
FPT technology business profits rise by 30 per cent
Earnings per share was VND4,220, up 19 per cent.
The profit margin was slightly up at 16.8 per cent compared to 16.6 per cent in 2018.
With a digital transformation strategy in place, FPT expects to maintain its growth momentum this year, with the technology business being a key growth driver.
Last year, the segment achieved revenues and profits of VND15.78 trillion and VND1.97 trillion, marking respective increases of 17.8 per cent and 30 per cent.
The telecom segment saw revenues rise by 17.7 per cent to VND10.39 trillion and profits by 24.1 per cent to VND1.8 trillion.
Profits from foreign operations were VND1.89 trillion on revenues of VND11.45 trillion, increases of 26.9 per cent and 25.7 per cent.
The profits accounted for 41 per cent of overall profits.
Businesses crucial to future development of agricultural sector
Strong participation among domestic businesses in the agricultural field has proved that the sector is full of promise whilst enjoying a number of advantages, according to a statement made by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong.
Minister Cuong noted that although agricultural exports have reached the US$40 billion figure, there remains plenty of room for growth with the sector having the potential for market penetration across the globe.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, during the process of restructuring the agricultural sector, businesses have been active in co-operating alongside farmers as they develop into the “nucleus” force within the production chain
The Minister said total global trade in food currently stands at over US$2,000 billion, noting that there is great potential for the country’s agricultural processing sector.
Most notably, more than US$40 billion of agricultural exports comes from raw exports. As a result, if the processing and production chain are able to develop in a strong manner, there remains plenty of room for the agricultural sector to grow stronger in the near future.
At present, coffee exports have reached US$3.5 billion annually, with the processing stage only accounting for 11 per cent, meaning there exists great potential for the future development of the sector.
Currently, the nation’s agriculture field is made up of over 750,000 enterprises, of which several firms and corporations enjoy a strong financial capacity.
Vietnam runs US$100-million trade deficit in January
Vietnam posted an estimated trade deficit of US$100 million in January this year, said the General Statistics Office in a report on the country’s socio-economic performance.
The agency reported that the country exported goods worth US$19 billion in January, dropping by 15.8% from a year earlier while it spent US$19.1 billion on imports, down 14.4%.
The domestic sector reported an estimated trade deficit of US$2.4 billion while the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector posted a trade surplus of roughly US$2.3 billion.
The former’s exports were down 11.4% from a year ago to US$6.31 billion this month while FDI firms generated US$12.69 billion worth of outbound shipments, down 15.7%.
According to Dau Tu newspaper, import and export activities usually feel the impact of long holidays, especially the Lunar New Year that always sees a sharp rise in consumer goods imports, leading to a trade deficit.
A number of Vietnamese exports which witnessed year-on-year increases included electronics, computers and components (US$2.6 billion, up 5.6%), and timber and wooden products (US$1 billion, up 1.4%).
Meanwhile, the exports of textiles and garments dropped by 21% to US$2.6 billion, phones and their parts also worth US$2.6 billion, down 22.4%; and footwear worth US$1.6 billion, down 9.7%.
Importers spent around US$3.7 billion on electronics, computers and their parts, down 8.5% against the previous year; US$3.2 billion on machinery, equipment and components, down 6.8%; and US$1.1 billion on phones and parts, down 9.5%.
In January, the United States remained Vietnam’s largest export market, spending US$4.8 billion on Vietnamese goods, marking a year-on-year drop of 7.6%. Following were China with US$3.7 billion, up 32.8%, and the European Union with US$2.6 billion, down 30.8%.
In contrast, China was the largest supplier of the Southeast Asian nation as it sold some US$6.2 billion worth of goods to Vietnam, down 7.1% from a year ago.
The republic of Korea came next with shipments to Vietnam worth US$3.2 billion, followed by the Association of Southeast Asian nations with a combined value of US$2.4 billion, down 22.8% and 10.8%, respectively.
An Giang province promotes agro-fishery exports
International economic integration has helped An Giang’s key exports such as agricultural and fishery products, as well as frozen vegetables and fruits occupy many major markets like the US, the EU, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
In 2019, An Giang’s export revenue amounted to 890 million USD, increasing 5.95 percent over a year earlier.
The province’s key exports gaining high revenues include frozen sea foods with 113,000 tonnes for 273.5 million USD; rice with 454,200 tonnes for 223.8 million USD; vegetables and fruits with 9,500 tonnes for 16 million USD; and garments for 130 million USD.
Five years after the start of the implementation of the agricultural development with an application of high technology for the 2012-220 with a vision to 2030, by now An Giang province has formed many areas for the production of its key agricultural products such as rice (jasmine, glutinous), fruit trees (banana, mango), aquatic products (tra fish, shrimp), and safe vegetables.
Thanks to that, An Giang’s exports have reaped many successes, including in the scale and rate, with export revenue increasing every year. In 2016, the province’s export revenue was only 700 million USD but the figure rose to 890 million USD in 2019, with agricultural and fishery exports increasing annually.
In 2020, An Giang plans to increase its key exports for 930 million USD, and raise the figure in subsequent years.
The provincial People’s Committee has asked the departments and authorities to take this as a key task for the current stage to help enterprises weather the difficulties and boost export in the time to come. The province has also defined that the current urgent need is to boost official key exports and bring export revenue to 1.2 billion USD in 2025.
However, the province’s exports are currently facing various challenges caused by technical barriers from its markets, as well as the severe competition from regional and world countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, etc.
According to the An Giang Department of Industry and Trade, currently the province’s exports are mainly not deeply processed, with low competitiveness and without a trademark. Meanwhile, the growth in its export revenue is slower after each year.
Besides, An Giang’s main exports depend much on China, which makes up over 70 percent of its export value. As China is raising its technical barriers in terms of quarantine, the requirement in this field will become more severe.
In 2020 and subsequent years, An Giang province will pay special attention to the improving of quality and added value of its key exports such as rice, aquatic products, vegetables and fruits, and having at least two products with trademarks.
For its key products to become spearheads, Vice Director of the An Giang Department of Industry and Trade Phan Loi said the province will support farmers and enterprises to shift to the direction of high quality and added value, adding it will boost the application of scientific advances so as to diversify the processing of the exports.
Besides, An Giang province will accelerate the attraction of investment from enterprises to the production of rice and develop large-scale and organic production, focusing on the cultivation of banana and mango.
In the work of attracting investment, An Giang province will be selective and prioritise projects of high and modern technology, friendly to the environment and not land intensive but use high-quality labour force.
Carmaker VinFast to roll out new automobile models this year
The VinFast company of the Vingroup has said it plans to roll out various luxury and high efficiency models this year in an attempt to help deal with noise and air pollution in major urban centres.
The Lux V8 was put on show at the Geneva international automobile exhibition last May, and will be produced with a limited quantity. Meanwhile, the electricity-powered VinBus will hit the streets of major cities of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in March this year.
A leading official of VinGroup said the production of the safe, comfortable and high-quality electric buses is a solution to the poor public transport infrastructure in Vietnam.
VinGroup hopes to join hands with others in solving the noise and air pollution in metropolis centres and create a healthy and modern living environment for the people in Vietnam, he added.
Vietnam’s unsold luxury apartment inventory among lowest in ASEAN
Vietnam’s inventory of unsold luxury apartments was among the lowest in ASEAN last year despite double-digit surges in price, a new report says.
The inventory of luxury apartments in Saigon as of Q4 2019 was 677 units, and that of Hanoi was zero, the lowest among ASEAN countries surveyed by real estate consultancy firm CBRE Vietnam.
“The price of luxury segment is catching up with those of developed markets in the region such as Bangkok; yet, the market is still appealing to investors due to limited supply,” a CBRE report says.
The average selling price for this segment was $6,308 per square meter in Q4 2019, up 10 percent year-on-year.
This made Vietnam one of the leading countries in terms of luxury apartment growth potential in the region, the report says.
Prices have risen as supply has dwindled. Last year, just two new projects were launched in the country, compared to five in 2018. This pushed the absorption rate of newly launched projects in this segment in recent quarters to above 70 percent.
Limited land banks in downtown areas of major cities associated with restrictive legal framework on issuing development certificate for projects will narrow new launches in the luxury segment in such areas over the next couple of years, the CBRE report says.
Prices will continue to increase at 10 percent annually due to lack of supply, it adds.
The luxury segment accounted for 6 percent of new apartment launches in Ho Chi Minh City last year, compared to 2 percent in the affordable segment, it notes.
Orfarm opens agri-tourism
Two seemingly unrelated economic fields, agriculture and tourism, have partnered harmoniously to generate unique products, attracting domestic and particularly foreign visitors and opening a new way for Vietnam’s agricultural sector to add more value to its products.
It was the very first time for most of them to visit the production facility of an organic food brand, listen to the introductions, and observe the entire production process with their own eyes.
ORFARM’s approach to food is unique and all products with its label are grown and bred in accordance with the Japanese eco-friendly EM technology™ (Effective Microorganism). The technology is based on the idea of a coexistence with native and originally-dominant microorganisms, as opposed to an exclusion of them.
Bui Bich Lien, CEO of Thuy Thien Nhu farm, said that based on the suggestions from previous visitors who had attended field trips and were impressed by the company’s methods, ORFARM has decided to merge organic farming and tourism into an organic agri-tourism model since early 2019.
This model targets high-income customers, who are already enjoying ORFARM’s products, with many of them being foreigners living in Vietnam. Besides visiting and enjoying the products from the farm, the guests could stay overnight and directly participate in one of the steps of production, the breeding and harvesting of the farm’s products.
“What visitors harvest themselves here, will be the ingredients for their meals. In addition, they can buy food from the farm as special gifts to bring home from the trip. We suppose this model will attract visitors because it gives a lot of new experience and serves a broader purpose than common tourism models,” said Lien.
While ORFARM is one of the pioneers of this new symbiotic model, many other agricultural businesses also pay attention to develop tourism activities and help raise consumers’ awareness of their products.
“In the near future, we plan to extend our bio-agricultural tourism to other destinations, so that there will hopefully be many more people to benefit from the green and environmentally-friendly EM technology™. This contributes to forming new and special tourism models while promoting the full value of organic agriculture,” Lien shared with VIR.
As a country with an intensely developed agricultural sector and around 60 per cent of its population living in rural areas, Vietnam gains a lot of advantages by developing agri-tourism. The new models could, make use of its many products such as fruit-laden orchards, farms, fresh fruit gardens, and traditional villages.
According to Lien, agriculture is still a major source of income for farmers. However, tourism based on agricultural advantages contributes to increasing the value of these products, helping them to stabilise their lives as well as preserving traditional values of rural areas.
ORFARM, known as the country’s first Vietnamese-made organic food brand since 2013, boasts showrooms in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Foreign arrivals to Vietnam surge 32.8 percent in January
The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in January is estimated to expand 16.6 percent month-on-month and 32.8 percent year-on-year, reaching 1.99 million, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
This marked the highest figure so far due to high travel demand for the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
Foreign visitors to the central city of Da Nang by sea (Source: VNA)
Of the total, those travelling by air increased by 38.9 percent, while arrivals by sea rose by 231.5 percent.
In January, tourists from Asia accounted for 77.4 percent of the total, 39.9 percent higher than that of the same period last year. Arrivals from China surged by 72.6 percent, while those from Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia climbed 40.1 percent, 20.4 percent, 19.3 percent, 11.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
The number of European visitors in the reviewed period witnessed a yearly increase of 11.5 percent. Of which, those from Russia saw the highest rise of 16.1 percent, followed by Germany, the UK and France with respective expansions of 9.6 percent, 8.7 percent and 5.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of tourists from America was up 19 percent year-on-year, mainly from the US, the GSO said.
It added that in the last days of January, Vietnamese travel agencies attended the International Tourism Fair (FITUR 2020) in Spain.
Vietnam’s participation at the event is hoped to actively contribute to attracting more Spanish-speaking visitors to the Southeast Asian nation.
Foreign investment inflows post triple-digit growth in January
Foreign investment inflows posted triple-digit growth (179.5%) to US$ 5.3 billion in January, the General Statistics Office (GSO) on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, disbursed volume of foreign investment was estimated to increase by 3.2% to US$1,6 billion compared to the same period last year, according to the GSO.
The number of newly-established enterprises decreased by 17.9% to 8,276 but the registered investment capital rose 76.8% to VND 267.2 trillion.
The GSO said total export-import value was estimated to dip by 12.9% against the same period last year to US$ 38.1 billion, of the total figure, export revenue was estimated at US$ 19 billion.
Foreign arrivals rose to unprecedent high of nearly two million, statistical data shows.
Binh Thuan targets over 7 million tourists in 2020
The south central province of Binh Thuan aims to lure more than 7 million visitors, including 850,000 foreigners, in 2020.
The locality also targets 18.3 trillion VND (790.7 million USD) in tourism revenue.
In a bid to realise the goals, the tourism sector will develop standout products such as sea-based tourism and sand dune ecosystem.
Along with carrying out the project on building Binh Thuan into a national tourism-sport hub, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will channel focus on promoting local image as a safe, friendly and quality destination, and developing new tourism products such as eco-tourism, experience tourism and community tourism.
At the same time, the province will create favourable conditions for businesses to land investment in local typical tourism products.
A multitude of tourism promotion programmes will be organised this year, including the second “Binh Thuan – green convergence” event with various activities like street festival, food festival, firework display and hot air balloon performance, among others.
In addition, Binh Thuan will organise many training courses to improve capacity of tourism human resources.
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that in 2019, the province hosted more than 6.4 million tourists, comprising 775,000 foreigners, up 11.39 percent from the previous year.
Revenue from tourism reached over 15.1 trillion VND, a year-on-year rise of 17.5 percent.
Last year, the province attracted additional six tourism projects, raising total valid projects in the sector to 383 with total registered capital of more than 59 trillion VND. There were 24 foreign-invested projects valued at over 561 million USD.
Binh Thuan province is currently home to 550 lodging facilities with 16,500 rooms./.
Ca Mau tourism creates trademark, becoming spearhead economy
2019 is a year in which Ca Mau tourism harvested “good fruits”. The strong acceleration of Ca Mau tourism has created a trademark among visitors.
According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, by the end of 2019, Ca Mau welcomed over 1.6 million tourist arrivals and earned 2.495 trillion VND (about 107 million USD), respectively increasing 16.2 percent and 13.4 percent against 2018. This is attributed to the promotion work and creative working style of the sector.
Currently roads are connecting Ca Mau city to the cape of the same name, while the Ca Mau Cape tourism complex is seeing more major and significant cultural and historical projects. The comprehensive zoning of the Ca Mau Cape National Tourism Complex has been approved by the Prime Minister, and a resolution of the Ca Mau provincial Party Committee on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector issued. Those are favourable conditions for Ca Mau tourism to make acceleration.
Director of the Ca Mau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Hieu Hung said for tourism to continue affirming its position and with its determination to turn Ca Mau tourism into an economic spearhead sector, provincial authorities are boosting promotion work, upgrading infrastructure, maintaining and developing the model of community-based tourism, and improving the quality of tourism services.
Ca Mau tourism creates trademark, becoming spearhead economy hinh anh 2
Besides, they are also paying special attention to the preservation and promotion of the relic values in close association with the tourism development, turning the relics into tourist attractions.
According to a representative of the centre for the promotion of investment and support for enterprises of Ca Mau, at the recent 2019 Ho Chi Minh City International Tourism Fair, together with other Mekong Delta localities, Ca Mau popularised and called for investment to a number of projects on culture, sport and tourism. Prominent among the projects area those on the U Minh Ha National Park in U Minh and Tran Van Thoi district, the Ca Mau Cape Culture and Tourism Park in Ngoc Hien district, and the water sports complex in Ca Mau city.
Tourism is among the key sectors that enjoy investment incentives by the provincial authorities, with preferential policies on land rent, land rent service prices, service income tax, and import-export tax.
Ca Mau province has pledged every favourable condition for investors who come to explore and make investment into the locality. Besides, it is also pushing up administrative reform, shortening the time to clear the procedures and making clear the settlement of investment procedures.
The Ca Mau provincial People’s Committee held the Ca Mau Cape Culture and Tourism Week 2019 from December 10-15 with a series of significant activities. Those were aimed at creating a special focus that helps popularise tourism and attract tourists to the southernmost tip of the Motherland.
Chairman of the Ca Mau provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tien Hai said in order to create a strong and extensive spill-out effect, the committee is directing relevant departments and authorities to join hands with the media in accelerating the popularisation work on Ca Mau tourism, along with the holding of exhibitions to popularise the images of Ca Mau land and people to tourists inside and outside the country.
The Ca Mau Cape Culture and Tourism Week 2019 saw important activities like food festival in association with the Ca Mau Trade and Tourism Fair which drew the participation of many enterprises from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and the Republic of Korea, as well as those from localities in the Mekong Delta./.
Can Tho possesses many advantages for foreign-invested firms: official
Can Tho has a lot of advantages for foreign businesses to invest in the Mekong Delta city, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Quang Manh said while meeting with Motoyuki Nakamura, director general of Tri Viet company, on January 30.
Manh said many Japanese companies are interested in Can Tho, but the number of businesses investing in the city has yet to meet expectation due to their concerns about transportation, logistics and transport costs.
To ease these concerns, the official announced key investment projects being carried out in the delta.
He said the Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway will be opened to traffic by the end of 2020, while the construction of transportation routes connecting the region’s coastal corridor is also underway.
Most recently on December 21, Can Tho international airport had two more air routes to Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. Can Tho is scheduled to expand the air route connecting with Japan’s Tokyo in the second quarter of 2020.
With these conditions, Japanese businesses could be confident to invest in Can Tho, Manh said, adding that local authorities will spare no effort to promote investment activities.
Nakamura said his sports equipment producing company raked in about 20 million USD in 2019 and generated jobs for over 900 workers. Its products are mainly exported to the US, Japan, Russia, and Canada.
After 12 years of operating in Vietnam, the company moves to expand operation in the coming time, he added./.
Belgium workshop looks into EVFTA, EVIPA
A workshop was held at the headquarters of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels, Belgium, on January 28 to clear up parliamentarians’ concern regarding the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
The event, which took place before the two deals are approved at a plenary session of the EP scheduled for mid-February, brought together the EU’s trade commissioner Phil Hogan, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, Chairman of the EP’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange, INTA’s rapporteur to EVFTA Geert Bourgeois, EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti, and nearly 120 delegates who are European parliamentarians and representatives of EU organisations and business associations.
Phil Hogan said the economies of Vietnam and EU members are reciprocal. Therefore, the agreements would help the EU enhance its access to the Vietnamese market and pour more investment into the Southeast Asian nation.
He described the signing of the deals as a milestone in the EU-Vietnam relations, expressing his hope that they will sail through the EP during the upcoming plenary session.
Speaking at the workshop, Khanh said trade accounts for more than 200 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), and has helped nearly 30 million Vietnamese people escape from poverty over the past two decades.
Vietnam has actively committed to implementing the multilateral trade policy despite the increasing protectionism, he said, elaborating opportunities generated by the EVFTA to European firms once the deal comes into force.
The pact will benefit not only businesses but also consumers and labourers, he stressed.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade submitted the dossier recommending the ratification of the two agreements to the National Assembly, the official said.
According to Geert Bourgeois, the ratification of the agreements will reflect that the EU is a trust-worthy partner in the negotiation and signing of FTAs.
He lauded the Vietnamese Government’s commitments regarding rights of employees, human rights and the environment, and called for the strong support of European parliamentarians and the Vietnamese legislature so that the deals will be ratified and become effective.
Some European parliamentarians expressed their concerns over such issues as rights of labourers, possible impacts of some Vietnamese agricultural products on EU member countries, the popularisation of benefits brought by the FTA among Vietnamese small-and medium-sized enterprises.
Their concerns have been cleared up by representatives of EU organisations operating in Vietnam, trade commissioner Phil Hogan and Deputy Minister Khanh./.
CPTPP not proving a hit across the board
Vietnam has been unable to gain export growth to all CPTPP member countries, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
A year since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect, Vietnam had seen strong growth in exports to some CPTPP member countries, but not all.
In 2019, export value surged by 28.2 percent year on year to 3.86 billion USD to Canada, 26.8 percent to 2.84 billion USD to Mexico, 20.5 percent to 1 billion USD to Chile and 40 percent to 350 million USD to Peru.
Vietnam had a slight increase at 1.1 percent in export value to Singapore and faced export value reduction to some other CPTPP countries, such as Australia (down 12 percent to 3.5 billion USD) and Malaysia (down 3 percent to 3.3 billion USD).
Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said the first impact of the CPTPP for Vietnam was to accelerate reform in institutions, meeting requirements of the global economy and trade.
However, in a VCCI survey of 8,600 local enterprises, up to 70 percent of them had little knowledge of the CPTPP.
This survey has also pointed out that 84 percent of the enterprises lacked information about the commitments in the free trade agreement.
Meanwhile, textile, footwear, fisheries and wooden products were considered commodities that would have a lot of opportunities to boost exports thanks to tariff rules in the agreement, but it hasn’t turned out that way.
Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said the textile and garment industry has not taken full advantages from the CPTPP to increase exports because of issues meeting rules of origin in the agreement.
This agreement requires certification on local origin from yarn onward to enjoy preferential tariffs, while the domestic textile and garment industry annually imports about 99 percent of cotton and 80 percent of fabric for its production, he said.
According to the Import-Export Department, in 2019, the textile and garment industry spent 13.3 billion USD on fabric imports, up 4 percent year on year, 2.4 billion USD on yarn imports and 2.6 billion USD on cotton imports.
The industry achieved a total export value of 39 billion USD in 2019, lower than expected.
Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) admitted importing input materials has made local producers struggle to take advantage of free trade agreements like the CPTPP.
Giang was quoted by Dau tu (Investment) newspaper as saying that the biggest challenge for the textile industry was input materials, because it still has to import materials for annual production.
The industry needs the Government’s help to build industrial clusters on production of materials for the textile and garment industry, he said./.
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