By Minh Phong – Translated by Kim Khanh
|Warnings of fierce winds and storm surges for western Europe, as of 1400 GMT on Feb 9 AFP|
Swathes of northern France were placed on orange alert with people advised to avoid the coast due to possible storm surges.
Britain, which bore the brunt of the storm Sunday with widespread flooding across the north of the country, remained on alert with the Meteorological Office warning of strong winds, heavy rain and snow.
“While Storm Ciara is clearing away, that doesn’t mean we’re entering a quieter period of weather,” Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said.
“It’s going to stay very unsettled,” he said, warning “blizzards aren’t out of the question”.
Transport was disrupted across the country with planes, trains and ferries cancelled or delayed after Ciara brought torrential rains and hurricane-force winds.
The highest wind speed recorded was 150km per hour in the northwest Welsh village of Aberdaron.
At Wet Sleddale Reservoir in northwest England’s Lake District national park, more than 150 millimetres of rain fell in a 24-hour period.
More than 170 flood warnings remained in place early Monday, mostly across northern England and along the southern coast.
The West Yorkshire towns of Hebden Bridge and neighbouring Mytholmroyd were among the worst hit by the storm, with streets inundated and cars submerged in the floodwaters.
As of Sunday evening, 62,000 homes across Britain were still without electricity, the Energy Networks Association said.
WIND FARM SHUT
Dozens of flights have been cancelled or delayed and rail companies have urged passengers not to travel and operated reduced timetables and speed restrictions.
Channel ferry services between Dover and the French port of Calais were halted Sunday until further notice.
In Ireland, which was on orange alert for the risk of flooding in coastal regions, 10,000 homes, farms and businesses were left without power.
Belgium was also on orange alert and around 60 flights to and from Brussels had been cancelled. In the capital, trees and scaffolding were toppled and some buildings damaged but there were no casualties.
The whole Belgian offshore wind farm was shut down as powerful gusts caused the turbines to stop automatically for safety reasons.
In Germany, mainline train services were suspended.
The storm was so violent that “we are forced to completely stop mainline train traffic in Germany this Sunday evening,” Deutsche Bahn spokesman Achim Stauss told AFP.
A train between Amsterdam and Berlin with 300 to 350 people on board hit a fallen tree but was able to reach the nearest station after two hours.
Several airports in Germany had to cancel flights as the storm swept in from the north. Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Hanover were among those affected, while at Dusseldorf, 120 flights were scrapped on Sunday.
About 240 flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol, the third-busiest airport in Europe, were also cancelled, largely affecting KLM, British Airways, easyJet and Lufthansa services.
SPORTS EVENTS HIT
Northern France was bracing for winds of up to 140 kph.
In the Hauts-de-France region bordering Belgium and the Channel, residents were asked to limit their travel and avoid walking in forests due to the risk of falling trees.
Sports events were also hit.
Sunday’s English Premier League fixture between Manchester City and West Ham was called off due to “extreme and escalating weather conditions”, City said in a statement.
The entire Women’s Super League football programme was also called off, as was Sunday’s Scotland-England clash in the Women’s Six Nations rugby tournament.
And for British Airways there was one upside to Storm Ciara – the airline recorded its fastest-ever flight between New York and London, thanks to tailwinds from the storm.
According to flight-tracking website Flightradar24, it completed the transatlantic crossing in a mere 4 hours 56 minutes, the fastest sub-sonic crossing.
MPI proposes a draft decree on procurement bidding under CPTTP
MPI proposes a draft decree on procurement bidding under CPTTP
The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has summited to the Government a draft decree on amending Decree 95/2020/ND-CP providing guidelines on procurement bidding under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTTP).
According to the MPI, the draft decree will amend and supplement some articles of Decree No 95. It aims to guide State companies to execute bidding packages under the CPTTP agreement and EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
However, per the Government’s Resolution No 190/NQ-CP on the provisional application of the UK-Việt Nam FTA (UKVFTA), Việt Nam agreed to temporarily apply the UKVFTA from January 1, 2021.
The agreement was negotiated based on the principle of inheriting commitments in the EVFTA with necessary adjustments to ensure compliance with the bilateral trade framework between Việt Nam and UK. By doing so, the draft decree will avoid amending Decree 95/2020/NĐ-CP many times.
The MPI has asked the Government to revise Decree No 95 as follows.
The first option aims to implement international treaties on bidding and the second option is to execute the bid for public procurement of goods under the CPTTP, EVFTA and UKVFTA.
To boost competitiveness in bidding, the draft decree has stipulated the implementation of bidding related to consultancy services, non-consultancy services and construction services.
In the draft decree, bidding packages specified in Appendix II of the Decree No 95 show State companies will decide to allow intra-regional contractors or contractors from member countries of CPTTP to attend only.
For bidding packages specified in Appendix III of Decree No 95, State companies can allow intra-regional contractors or contractors from member states of the EU and UK to bid.
Regarding the intra-regional procurement bidding for the supply of goods specified in (Appendix II), State companies will decide to allow intra-regional contractors to offer goods originated from member countries of the CPTTP, the UK and EU to attend or allow member countries of CPTTP to offer goods originated from these countries only.
For supply of goods specified in (Appendix III), State companies will decide to allow intra-regional contractors to offer goods originated from member states of the CPTTP, the EU and UK or only allow contractors from the EU and UK to offer goods originated from these countries.
Enhancing added value for rice industry
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has just approved a project on restructuring the Vietnam’s rice industry until 2025 with a vision to 2030.
Accordingly, Vietnam will continue to restructure the rice industry in the direction of improving efficiency and sustainable development towards the objectives of fully meeting domestic consumption demand, being the core in ensuring national food security, and enhancing the efficiency of the rice value chain.
Under the project, Vietnam also expects to adapt to climate change and mitigate the impacts of climate change, make efficient use of natural resources and protect the ecological environment, and increase income for farmers and benefits for consumers, in addition to exporting high quality and high value rice.
The country also plans to keep its rice area at 3.6 to 3.7 million hectares by 2025, with rice production of 40 to 41 million tonnes per year.
The rice industry also aims at exporting 5 million tonnes of rice each year by 2025, including 40% fragrant rice, specialty rice and japonica rice, 20% sticky rice, 20% high quality rice, 15% medium and low-grade rice, and 5% products processed from rice. The percentage of branded rice exports is over 20%.
The country sets the target of exporting 4 million tonnes of rice by 2030, including 45% fragrant rice, specialty rice and japonica rice, 20% sticky rice, 15% high quality rice, 10% medium and low-grade rice, and 10% products processed from rice, with over 40% branded rice exports.
A notable aspect of the project is that the rice export volume has decreased gradually in each period, but the criteria for specialty rice, high quality rice, processed products from rice, and percentage of branded rice exports sees increases year by year.
This shows that the future direction of the rice industry is to reduce the area and output for export towards a focus on improving rice quality and selling prices.
This is the right target which is suitable to the current situation of rice production and export, particularly in the context that Vietnam has signed many free trade agreements (FTAs) with international partners, such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
To make the best use of the advantages from FTAs, the rice industry has to constantly improve product quality to meet the increasingly strict requirements of importing countries.
Rice is a strategic commodity of our country, not only contributing to the economic development but also playing an important role in ensuring national food security. Therefore, promoting the restructuring of this industry is essential to better boost the achieved results while igniting untapped potential.
The solution for the coming time is to develop concentrated rice production areas with identified varieties and the links between production, consumption and export. It is also important to strictly control the production process, obey the limit of pesticide residue, and ensure traceability.
The rice industry also needs to apply advanced technology in terms of post-harvest preservation and processing to reduce losses, ensure uniform quality of rice products, and fully satisfy food hygiene and safety regulations.
Danang focuses on production and export to restore economy
Even as the tourism and services sectors continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, manufacturing and export are expected to help the central city of Danang restore its economy, with several projects gearing up for acceleration.
Stealing the limelight is the Danang City Software Park No. 2 project (first phase), which will have an investment capital of more than VND1,300 billion after the investor pumps more than VND500 billion into the project.
This information was revealed in a report made by the Danang industrial and civil construction projects management board, the project’s investor, which was unveiled at a function held on February 19 at the project’s construction site in Danang City.
As planned, work on the project commenced on October 10, 2020, and it will be completed by August 31, 2022, inclusive of three main buildings ICT, ICT1 and ICT2.
However, Nguyen Huu Ninh, the board’s director, said part of the project will be accelerated and targeted to be completed at least eight months ahead of schedule, to meet demands from businesses.
Specifically, the Danang City Investment Promotion Agency had asked the project’s investor to consider requests by LG, one of the customers at the park, about putting the ICT1 block into operation soon. After a discussion, the investor agreed to hand over the site to the tenant on December 31, 2021, instead of August 2022.
In addition, a representative of the Danang Hi-tech Park said the supporting industry zone located at the park will be put into operation in June 30 this year, paving the way for potential investors to step in.
In addition to boosting projects in the information technology sector, Danang also expects the operational production projects of domestic and foreign investors to be the driving force to restore the city’s economy as well as to contribute to exports.
Tokyo Keiki Precision Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in manufacturing hydraulic equipment components and products (solenoid valves and pumps) at the Danang Hi-tech Park. It targets to earn 678 million yen (almost US$6.5 million) in the fiscal year of 2021, up 10% against 2020.
According to Tokyo Keiki, after gaining sustainability from some overseas markets, including China, the company plans to make products for the Japanese market in the near future.
In the fiscal year of 2020, the company earned 618 million yen. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the company had a large number of inventories. However, everything began improving since December 2020.
Meanwhile, Thuan Phuoc Fisheries and Trading Joint Stock Company obtained total revenue in 2020 of VND2,315 billion, up 10% against 2020. Nguyen Thi Phi Anh, general director of Thuan Phuoc, said the company is constructing a new frozen seafood processing plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang with a capacity of 4,950 tons a year. The plant will be put into operation in the second quarter of 2021.
As production is being restored, the central city expects exports to accelerate.
Reportedly, in 2021, Danang Port JSC will see the throughput (mainly via its Tien Sa seaport) increase by 5% against 2020, while the profit growth will increase at least by 8% compared to 2020.
In 2020, the total volume of goods through ports in Danang reached 11.4 million tons. It earned a profit of VND260 billion.
Danang port regularly welcomes ships from 18 firms around the world.
HCMC: Development of industry, trade attaches with regional economy, innovation
Vice Chairwoman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Phan Thi Thang chaired the meeting for the approval of the implementation plan for the year 2021 of the Department of Industry and Trade with the attendance of representatives of departments and industries of the city.
Reporting at the meeting, Mr. Bui Ta Hoang Vu, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC, said that the industry and trade of the city would strive to meet the basic targets this year.
Specifically, the index of industrial production would increase by 5 percent, with four major industries surging from 6.7 percent upwards compared to last year. Total retail sales and service revenue in the city would exceed VND835.68 trillion, up 10 percent.
Export turnover through border gates across the country would reach US$48.19 billion, up 10 percent. Import turnover would hit $56.47 billion, up 11 percent compared to the estimate of 2020.
The city’s industry and trade would upgrade 100 percent of administrative procedures to level 4, supporting people and enterprises in settling administrative procedures, especially in the process of arranging administrative units at district and commune levels and establishing Thu Duc City under the HCMC.
To achieve the above targets, the department will synchronously carry out solutions to contribute to the general goal of industrial and trade development with a fair growth rate, supporting the recovery of economic growth in the city, at the same time, creating strong changes in economic restructuring towards services – industry – agriculture, in which the service sector’s proportion in the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) will be maintained at above 60 percent.
It will also build and take some measures to develop the industry and trade that foresee the development trend, helping the city to maintain its role as an economic locomotive and the pioneer in innovation nationwide.
The development of the industry and trade will attach with the regional economy, the application of science, technology, innovation, and the in-depth development based on three foundations, comprising developing four key industries, supporting industries, and key industrial products and potential industrial products of the city. The department will develop e-commerce and focus on turning some advantageous products of the city into key export products in the coming time.
As for administrative reform, the department will take the enterprise as the center, and the satisfaction of the people, organizations, and enterprises as a measure of its effectiveness; promote the application of information technology in management and administration activities of the department this year, in which it will research and deploy digitization and paperless meetings.
Vice Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Thi Thang highly appreciated the position and role of the city’s industry and trade in deploying and implementing key programs of the city, making an important contribution to the implementation of the “dual goals” of both preventing the Covid-19 pandemic and realizing the city’s socio-economic development goals in 2020.
As for the plan for 2021, Ms. Phan Thi Thang agreed on the targets, operational directions, and groups of solutions of the Department of Industry and Trade.
The year 2021 is the first year to implement the city’s socio-economic development plan in the 2021-2025 period, and important projects approved by the municipal People’s Committee, such as the development project of e-commerce in the city to 2025-2030, logistics development project to 2025-2030, export development project to 2025-2030, programs to support the development of key industrial products and potential industrial products, and continue to restructure the city in the 2021-2025 period.
Therefore, the work program needs to clearly state the contents of the work to implement the goals and tasks in 2021, clearly assign the responsibilities of each position and prove by actual results and completion time. There should be a strong breakthrough in the administrative sector to raise the level of people’s satisfaction in the implementation process.
Regarding the recommendations of the industry and trade, Ms. Thang approved the policy and assigned the industry and trade to implement two concentrated promotions in 2021 so as to create a boost in attracting domestic and foreign tourists to visit and contribute to building HCMC into a major shopping center of the region and the country.
For recommendations related to administrative procedures, the city will prioritize helping enterprises to develop production and business. As for other recommendations, the HCMC People’s Committee will organize working sessions to collect opinions of competent departments and give specific feedback to the department.
The municipal People’s Committee will soon consider and assign personnel to strengthen the leadership apparatus to create conditions for the Department of Industry and Trade to focus on completing the assigned tasks.
RCEP offers opportunity to expand Vietnamese agricultural exports
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade pact, offers Vietnamese agricultural exporters an excellent opportunity to increase their participation in global value chains, experts said.
Le Duy Minh, chairman of the Viet Nam Farms and Agricultural Enterprises Association, said the RCEP provides the country’s farm produce with access to a larger market and opportunity to improve their competitiveness.
The trade deal brings together the 10 ASEAN member countries, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, which account for 29 per cent of the world’s GDP and have a population of 2.2 billion.
The trade pact promises to help increase Viet Nam’s exports since many of the other members have huge demand for its farm produce and processed foods.
Thanks to the harmonisation of rules of origin between the members, Viet Nam’s exports could meet all the requirements to benefit from preferential tariffs in countries like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, Minh said.
These countries also have relatively similar import standards and consumer tastes, not to mention the lower transportation and logistics costs they offer thanks to their proximity.
It also opens new opportunities for trade with China in new categories such as communications, financial services, logistics, and e-commerce.
Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said the trade deal would further increase the country’s agricultural exports to China, already a major market.
The RCEP removes tariffs on at least 64 per cent of tariff lines.
In 15-20 years Viet Nam will abolish 89.6 per cent of tariff lines while its partner countries will remove 92 per cent of its tariffs.
Other ASEAN members will remove 85.9 per cent of all tariffs for Viet Nam.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, the general director of Vina T&T Company, said the RCEP was enabling talks on opening up export markets to more of the country’s agricultural products.
Commitments and trade facilitation measures under the deal are also expected to promote the growth of new supply chains, thus boosting international standard agricultural production in ASEAN.
However, experts also pointed to a host of challenges such as satisfying rules of origin and quality standards and competition from foreign rivals in both the domestic and foreign markets.
Tung said businesses should view free trade deals, including the RCEP, as a chance to improve their product quality, bolster supply chain management and promote competitiveness.
Vietnamese airlines’ on-time performance hits 94.6 percent
Vietnamese airlines’ on-time performance (OTP) from January 19 to February reached 94.6 percent, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).
Bamboo Airways recorded the highest rate of 96.7 percent, followed by Pacific Airlines (96.5 percent), Vietnam Airlines (96.3 percent), Vietravel Airlines (93.6 percent), Vasco (93.4 percent), and Viejet Air (91.7 percent).
Experts said the figures demonstrate the great efforts by the domestic airlines given the impact of new infections in the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
During the period, the domestic airlines operated 20,944 flights, representing a month-on-month increase of 7.4 percent.
Vietjet Air conducted the highest number of flights among domestic carriers, with 7,881. It was followed by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (6,725), Bamboo Airways (4,008), Jetstar Pacific (1,640), Vasco (518), and Vietravel Air (172).
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the Hanoi-HCM City route remained one of the world’s busiest domestic routes.
It is ranked second globally, with 1.085 million passengers in February, just behind the Jeju-Seoul Gimpo route in the Republic of Korea, according to a report released in February by OAG, a global travel data provider headquartered in the UK.
Ensuring the safety of flights, passengers, airport staff, and crew members remains the top priority of the airlines./.
Long An needs around 1.3 billion USD for transport infrastructure development
The Mekong Delta province of Long An will mobilise some 30 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD) to develop local transport infrastructure during 2021-2025, according to the provincial Department of Transport.
In the next five years, capital will be prioritised for three key transport projects and eight breakthrough projects under the Resolution adopted at the province’s 11th Party Congress. Of the total, over 18 trillion VND will be sourced from the central and local State budget, and nearly 12 trillion VND will be raised from other legal sources.
According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Transport Nguyen Hoai Trung, along with pushing construction of the belt road in Tan An city and DT830 road, the sector is sharpening focus on completing procedures for the building of several important transport projects such as DT 827E road worth 16.5 trillion VND, and DT 830E road worth over 3.3 trillion VND.
Upon completion, the projects are expected to connect local industrial parks and clusters in key economic zones with Long An International Port, Ho Chi Minh City and localities in vicinity, helping facilitate travel and transportation of goods of local people and enterprises./.
Vietnam lures 5.46 billion USD in foreign investment
As much as 5.46 billion USD worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) was injected into Vietnam as of February 20, equivalent to 84.4 percent of the figure recorded in the same time last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As many as 126 foreign projects were granted investment licences with total registered capital of 3.31 billion USD, a year-on-year fall of 33.9 percent.
Meanwhile, 115 existing projects adjusted their investment capital with a total additional sum of 1.61 billion USD, or 2.5 times higher than the same time last year.
Capital contributions and shares purchases by foreign investors stood at 543.1 million USD, down 34.4 percent.
Foreign investors pumped capital in 17 sectors, with processing and manufacturing holding the lead with over 3 billion USD or 55.7 percent, followed by power production and distribution with 1.44 billion USD (26.5 percent), real estate 485 million USD, and science-technology nearly 153 million USD.
Japan topped the list of 46 countries and territories landing investment in Vietnam, with 1.64 billion USD, equivalent to nearly 30 percent of the total. Singapore came second with 1.07 billion USD (19.6 percent), and the Republic of Korea third with 1.05 billion USD (19.3 percent).
The ministry said the southern province of Can Tho lured the lion’s share of FDI with 1.31 billion USD, accounting for 24.2 percent of the total. Hai Phong city was the runner-up since it attracted nearly 918 million USD, or 16.8 percent. Bac Giang came third with nearly 573 million USD (10.5 percent).
So far this year, the foreign-invested sector has earned 38.07 billion USD from exports, up 34 percent year-on-year, and making up 76.1 percent of the nation’s total export turnover. At the same time, it spent 31.6 billion USD on imports, up 31.2 percent year-on-year, and accounting for 66.6 percent of the country’s total import value. That resulted in a trade surplus of nearly 6.5 billion USD./.
Denmark prioritises supporting Vietnam in green energy development
Denmark prioritises helping Vietnam’s energy sector with green development and transformation, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Højlund Christensen affirmed on February 24.
He was speaking at an online signing ceremony of Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in the supply of pile foundations and logistics ports for the La Gan offshore wind power project in the south central province of Binh Thuan.
Collaboration in projects like La Gan will contribute to expanding and enhancing cooperation between the two countries in sharing information, and improving the capacity of experts and employees, especially in the offshore wind power supply chain, the ambassador said.
The La Gan wind power project, with an estimated capacity of nearly 3.5 GW, is being developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), Asiapetro and Novasia.
It is expected to generate electricity for over 7 million households each year.
According to the BVG Associates, the project will create over 45,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and contribute over 4.4 billion USD to the economy during the course of the project.
The total rate of locally-made components will account for about 45 percent of the supply chain of the project.
As the project will be carried out for many years, more opportunities will be given to Vietnamese contractors to join the supply chain.
Since the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the provincial People’s Committee in July 2020, the project has achieved significant progress, including preparing for a field survey and approving survey license.
With a total investment of 10 billion USD, it is also one of the first large-scale offshore wind power projects in Vietnam./.
Vietnam Airlines plans to spend big on Long Thanh International Airport
The Vietnam Airlines Corporation has said it is planning to invest nearly 10 trillion VND (434.78 million USD) in Long Thanh International Airport, which is now under construction in the southern province of Dong Nai.
Vietnam Airlines Chairman Dang Ngoc Hoa said that, in its development strategy for 2021-2030, the corporation and its member units will set aside resources to participate in the building and operation of infrastructure at the Long Thanh airport, providing full services in air transport for itself and other carriers.
Services include providing aviation fuel, ground technical services, meals, cargo terminal services, aviation logistics, waiting room services, and duty-free sales, which it has already been providing at many major airports via subsidiaries or affiliates.
Hoa said that 30 percent of the total investment in these services at the Long Thanh airport will come from Vietnam Airlines, with the remainder from loans.
The corporation and its members will directly invest in infrastructure construction or cooperate with the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to set up joint stock or limited liability companies to carry out the work.
Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Dinh Viet Thang said the proposal is reasonable since the services suggested are associated with transport services.
He noted, however, that the corporation will have to participate in the tender process.
The first phase of the Long Thanh International Airport, from 2020 to 2025, will receive over 109 trillion VND (4.66 billion USD) in investment and will feature one runway, one passenger terminal, and associated facilities capable of catering to 25 million passengers and handling 1.2 million tonnes of cargo annually./.
Japanese energy firm to hold 11 percent stake of Petrolimex
Japan’s ENEOS Corporation said it has registered to buy 25 million treasury stocks of the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex).
The purchase will be made from March 1-30 in the form of order matching on the stock market.
It previously acquired 13 million treasury shares of Petrolimex, or a stake of 1 percent, from August 27 to September 14, 2020.
A representative said the JX Nippon Oil and Energy Vietnam Co. Ltd., an affiliate of the ENEOS Corporation, currently holds more than 103.5 million Petrolimex shares, equivalent to an 8 percent stake.
Once this latest purchase is completed, the corporation will hold about 11 percent of Petrolimex. Meanwhile, Petrolimex still has 50 million treasury shares.
Earlier, Petrolimex announced it would divest the State holding to 51 percent during 2020 and 2021.
Petrolimex earned consolidated revenue of 123 trillion VND (5.34 billion USD) last year, surpassing the plan by 1 percent. After-tax profit stood at 1.23 trillion VND, down 74 percent year-on-year.
It was honoured by Forbes Vietnam last year as the biggest earner for the fourth consecutive year, one of the top 50 listed companies, and one of the 50 leading brands in Vietnam./.
Q1 GDP growth likely lower than target
Vietnam’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 is forecast to come in at 4.46 percent; 0.66 percentage points below the target set in the Government’s Resolution No 01 in a scenario where the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled during the quarter.
Resolution No 01/NQ-CP on key measures to carry out the 2021 socio-economic development plan and State budget estimates outlines growth scenarios for each quarter and for each sector throughout the year.
The Government set a goal of posting growth of 6.5 percent and increasing workplace productivity by nearly 4.8 percent and health insurance participation to around 91 percent. The rate of multi-dimensionally poor households is expected to fall by 1-1.5 percent.
With the results in the first quarter, if the growth targets in the Resolution for subsequent quarters are reached, 2021’s GDP growth is estimated to come in at 6.37 percent; exceeding the 6 percent target set by the National Assembly but still lower than the target set in the Resolution.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said it is necessary to urgently implement the Resolution to achieve objectives in the socio-economic development plan in the 2021-2030 and 2021-2025 periods.
In a report submitted to the Government in January, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) proposed that priority be given to disease prevention and control in order to ensure the health of the citizenry and minimise the impact of the pandemic on the national economy.
It also proposed measures to promote economic growth through the “three-horse carriage” of investment, exports, and consumption.
The banking and finance sector continues to implement sensible fiscal and monetary policies to ensure macro-economic stability and stimulate economic growth, cut unnecessary expenses, especially regular spending, maintain a reasonable interest rate level and improve credit quality for priority areas, and strictly control credit in areas of potential risk.
Monetary and fiscal policies need to be assessed carefully towards developing support policies for those affected by COVID-19, especially services, tourism, and transport.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is responsible for urgently building and implementing policies to stimulate domestic consumption, improve links between production and consumption in the supply chain, and promote the development of distribution networks associated with the “Vietnamese give priority to Vietnamese goods” campaign, to boost sustainable consumption demand.
It is also working to improve institutions and create favourable conditions for the development of e-commerce and e-payments as well as supporting export enterprises to expand markets through cross-border e-commerce.
Meanwhile, the MPI also proposed continued improvements to the quality of institutions, thus creating an open and favourable business and investment environment for enterprises.
Regarding the management, disbursement, and use of overseas development assistance (ODA), ministries, sectors, and localities must determine project priorities in association with ensuring reciprocal capital, and promote investment projects in the form of public-private partnerships, to attract investment capital from the private sector, especially for transport infrastructure projects.
Localities have been urged to focus on promoting international cooperation, diversifying import and export markets, taking full advantage of free trade agreements (FTA) Vietnam has signed, strengthening defence measures, and building early warning systems to protect domestic production and support businesses responding to trade defence lawsuits./.
Dong Thap develops close to 100 community-based tourism sites
Dong Thap province has developed nearly 100 community-based tourism sites to date and become the third-most attractive locality in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region.
Ngo Quang Tuyen, deputy director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said local people have built effective community-based tourism models that have caught the attention of tour operators and helped diversify local tourism products.
Such models have also contributed to increasing the added value of farm produce and creating jobs with stable incomes, he added.
Most of these 100 sites are located in the districts of Lai Vung, Tam Nong, and Thap Muoi, as well as in Cao Lanh and Sa Dec cities.
Deemed “The land of lotuses”, visitors to Dong Thap should not miss a visit to the lotus field eco-tourism site in Thap Muoi district. There were previously only five families providing tourism services at the site, but their number now counts in the dozens and an average of 10,000 visitors come to admire the fields every month. During peak tourism times, the number of visitors can exceed a thousand a day.
Meanwhile, Tam Nong district, which is famous for its Tram Chim National Park – a Ramsar wetlands site of international importance – is home to about 30 lodging facilities and two eco-tourism sites and welcomes approximately 100,000 holidaymakers annually.
The rich and diverse agriculture for which Dong Thap is known gives it advantages in terms of community-based tourism.
Local agro-tourism sites cover between 5,000 and 10,000 sq m on average and cater to up to 1,000 visitors a day. Total revenue in the 2016-2020 period stood at more than 43 billion VND (1.86 million USD)./.
Disbursement of FDI projects increases by 2% over two-month period
The disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) witnessed a positive annual increase of 2% to approximately US$2.5 billion during the first two months of the year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As of February 20, the total newly registered and adjusted capital and the value of capital contributions, and shares purchases made by foreign financiers reached US$5.46 billion, equivalent to 84.4% in comparison to the same period from last year.
February saw the country grant investment licenses to 126 new projects worth US$3.31 billion, a decline of 33.9% from the same period last year.
Most notably, a total of 115 existing projects registered to adjust their capital, marking a 2.5-fold increase compared to the corresponding period from last year, with total additional registered capital reaching US$1.61 billion.
Furthermore, the value of capital contributions and shares purchases by foreign investors dropped to US$543.1 million, a drop of 34.4 % compared to last year’s corresponding period.
Foreign financiers have invested in 17 local industries, of which the processing and manufacturing sectors took the lead with total investment capital reaching more than US$3billion, accounting for 55.7% of overall registered investment capital.
Moreover, electricity generation and distribution ranked second with total investment capital of US$1.44 billion, making up 26.5% of total registered investment capital, followed by real estate, along with science and technology.
Japan tops the list of the 46 countries and territories currently investing in the nation with total investment capital of US$1.64 billion, holding approximately 30% of the country’s FDI, trailed by Singapore, the Republic of Korea, China, Hong Kong (China), and the United States.
Can Tho represents the most attractive location among 43 provinces and cities after receiving US$1.31 billion in FDI, constituting for 24.1% of the overall, followed by Hai Phong, Bac Giang, Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Coffee industry seeks to weather COVID-19 crisis
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, local coffee firms have devised a long-term strategic vision, changed their business mindset, and invested in processing technology in an effort to increase the added value of coffee beans.
Since Vietnam joined the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the coffee industry has experienced three crises, with the first occurring in 1991 when the ICO removed the quota system, causing the price of Arabica coffee to drop from US$4,000 per tonne to US$3,000 per tonne.
The second happened in 2000 when the price of Robusta coffee dropped to US$400 per tonne, and the third took place last year when the price fell by between US$1,300 and US$1,400.
Addressing this thorny issue, almost all coffee businesses have participated in e-commerce trading platforms, marketing the products in London and New York. Private firms have also moved to swiftly set up websites in order to sell their coffee products online, with on-demand home delivery services witnessing rapid growth.
Aside from serving customers at coffee shops, take-away services have also been added to allow customers to increase the efficiency of doing business whilst simultaneously ensuring COVID-19 preventive measures are in place.
Several businesses have also invested in processing roasted, ground, and instant coffee as a means of catering to consumers’ diverse tastes. They have taken advantage of opportunities in exporting coffee beans to markets that the country has signed free trade agreements with.
Besides foreign firms such as Nestle, Olam, Ca phe Ngon, and Tata, several Vietnamese enterprises including Tin Nghia Corporation, Intimex Group, An Thai Company, and Viet My Company have poured capital into intensive processing by building instant coffee factories with popular names.
Most notably, small roasting facilities that specialise in processing specialty coffee for a chain of between 10 and 20 coffee shops by using coffee machines have also witnessed rapid growth.
Furthermore, Trung Nguyen Legend has recently launched its official brand store on Amazon, marking an important step toward bringing local coffee to the world via e-commerce platforms.
With regards to this strategic move, a representative of Trung Nguyen Legend says despite initial encouraging results, there remains a long journey ahead for the group as it attempts to popularize its brand globally, adding that e-commerce channels will develop further in line with consumer trends.
Despite an array of challenges facing the global economy caused by COVID-19, the coffee industry aims to expand markets, participate in supermarket chains in foreign countries to distribute processed coffee, and accelerate the sale of coffee through the e-commerce system.
The industry will boost consumption of coffee products within the domestic market and maintain its position as the world’s second largest coffee producer and exporter, whilst increasing the added value of coffee beans and stabilising the lives of 640,000 coffee growing households nationwide.
Binh Duong firms face recruitment difficulties
Many firms in Binh Duong Province are facing difficulties in finding workers after the Tet Holiday.
It’s estimated that 611 firms in Binh Duong need nearly 71,300 employees, 20,000 more than last year. Over 85% of the firms with trade unions have resumed work and 716,000 out of 774,000 employees have returned to work.
Firms at VSIP Industrial Park want to recruit 20,000 new employees and firms at Ben Cat Industrial Park are in need of 10,000 employees. Dozens of firms have contacted the Labour Confederation of Binh Duong and communal authorities to ask for help.
Firms in major cities like Di An, Thuan An and Thu Dau Mot cities can find new employees more easily while it’s a struggle for firms in remote areas like Bac Tan Uyen or Bau Bang districts. Firms in Binh Duong also face tough competition with firms in nearby cities and provinces. The average wages and bonuses in Binh Duong are considered lower than in HCM City and Dong Nai Province. Moreover, many people still don’t want to go to work yet due to the ongoing outbreak.
Nguyen Hai Dinh from Son La Province said, “I have done some research and realised that the minimum wages are basically the same in all companies so the question is which one has better treatment and bonuses. This is the first time I go to Binh Duong to work so I’m in the dark.”
Binh Duong Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has asked the Employment Service Centre to provide more information both offline and online, contact provinces with a labour source and consult firms about better wages and bonuses to attract employees.
Vocational schools, colleges and universities were asked to help with job introduction. Meanwhile, firms were asked to send HR employees to go find new employees in other regions with the trade unions or ask their own employees to introduce new people.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà
It seems that every time you check your social media or email there are inspirational sayings or wise counsel from friends and strangers alike.
Even if you spent your fair share of time in your younger days going through self-improvement books, you might still feel tempted to read this latest “secret to success and/or happiness” and contemplate its meaning and whether there’s something in there for you to consider.
Not to disappoint you, and at the risk of sounding cynical, but you’re wasting your time.
“Follow your dreams and you’ll be successful!” and “Trust your passion, and success will follow!” might make some sort of sense when you’re young and dreams and passion feel like vehicles that may take you where you want to go to.
But life tells you that dreams are hard to achieve and that passion can fade all-too-quickly.
In a talk when launching his new book, Algebra of Happiness , Scott Galloway, author, entrepreneur, and professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said: “We have speakers here every week, and they all end with some variation of ‘Follow your dreams’. And many of these people have indeed found success and are millionaires.” Or have they?
When you look around for encouragement during the prime of your youth or to get you through a tough period of your life, it’s easy to look up to people you think are happy, successful, respected, celebrated, or whatever.
Everyone and everything, though, has a bright side and a dark side. You don’t get to see the dark side of people celebrated in life, and even if you try and follow their footsteps it could be decades or perhaps eternity before you’re as accomplished as they appear to be.
So, better to try and build your own life from what you have, and keep working at it. Instead of following your dreams or passion, find something you are good at and do it passionately.
When you were young and easily taken in by grand ideas of freedom, daily routines seemed boring and lacking in basic appeal. People inject ideas into your head, such as live life to the fullest, in the moment, or as if tomorrow will never come.
But what if tomorrow keeps coming and you’ve spent all you had and all your energy on today? What can possibly be left for tomorrow?
A popular saying has it: “Sow action, reap habits, sow good habits, reap character, and character defines fate.”
It’s more worthwhile to focus your time, energy, and effort on making your daily life better, more meaningful and more rewarding.
Daily routines are, of course, vital for your well-being. Showering daily keeps you clean, a good meal a day keeps you healthy, a job makes you feel useful and earns you money to live on. And at the end of every single day, a good sleep recharges your batteries.
In between washing, eating, working, and sleeping, there is plenty of time for entertainment, perhaps travel every few months, family visits, or outings with friends. Routines aren’t likely to overwhelm you, and actually give your life a certain structure.
Everyone has read about extraordinary people like Harvard drop-out Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or the man with his eyes on Mars, Elon Musk.
But they are just a few people in an ocean of humanity, and you really don’t have to be like them to have a fulfilling life.
Life can be broken down into years, and the years broken down into days. There are good days and bad days for all. Those pesky daily routines keep you balanced and rested for the next challenge. And a “next challenge” there will always be.
Whether you’re on top of the world or in the pit of despair, at the end of the day you’ll need some shut-eye. A warm comfortable bed, and a deep, sound sleep prepares you for tomorrow, much more so than any words of purported wisdom. VNS
|Projects such as Bunge’s agribusiness are expected to increase in number through stronger US ties. Photo: Le Toan|
In his first few days in office five years ago, President Donald Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was a pillar of the Barack Obama administration’s pivot towards Asia. The remaining 11 member states have since reframed the agreement as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and President Joe Biden’s commitment to rebuilding relations with allies has sparked speculation about the US returning to the fold.
Fitch Solutions under global ratings firm Fitch Group told VIR in a statement that Vietnamese trade would receive a surefire boost should new Biden decide to rejoin the CPTPP.
“Biden stated in 2019 that the US should renegotiate parts of the CPTPP and re-assemble a coalition to counterbalance China’s perceived expansionist policies. The Trump administration withdrew from the original deal in 2017 under the pretext that it would harm US workers. A scenario where the US rejoins the CPTPP would deliver substantial tailwinds to Vietnamese exports to the US from lower tariffs in major export categories,” Fitch said.
In fact, the CPTPP may offer great windfalls to the US. Statistics from law firm Duane Morris Vietnam LLC showed that the population of the CPTPP countries exceeded 513 million people as of October 2020. The CPTPP countries account for nearly 45 per cent of US total exports and 37.6 per cent of US general imports in 2014. By cutting over 18,000 taxes in regards to CPTPP, there would be a great benefit for American importers and exporters by enabling them to enter new markets.
As the United States International Trade Commission estimates, the US exports of goods and services to the world would expand by $27.2 billion by 2032 thanks to the CPTPP, while US imports would expand by $48.9 billion.
Oliver Massmann, general director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, pointed out various benefits for the US if it rejoins the CPTPP. He took public procurement as an example. “Dropping the CPTPP means that the US has lost access to government procurement of other CPTPP countries, which amounts to $1.47 trillion,” he said in a letter recently sent to President Biden.
Massmann cited the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database in October 2019 as stating that in Vietnam, government procurement’s percentage of GDP in 2019 was 12 per cent or $40.87 billion.
The great advance of the CPTPP will be that even Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei, which have not agreed to coverage of their government procurement before and are currently not covered by an existing US free trade agreement or government procurement agreement of the World Trade Organization, have undertaken to do so.
“This is a key export opportunity for US goods producers and services companies. Currently Chinese companies profit the most. About 90 per cent of power, mining, manufacturing, ferrous, and chemical projects of state-owned companies in Vietnam are awarded to Chinese contractors,” Massmann noted.
Early this month, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh held phone talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Both sides agreed bilateral ties have advanced across fields over the past 25 years, and pledged to cooperate in deepening ties “in a more comprehensive manner, with a focus on economy-trade-investment, overcoming war consequences, enhancing maritime capacity, fighting COVID-19, and adapting to climate change.”
It is expected that in 2021, there will be more connections and talks between both nations’ high-level leaders, investors, and enterprises.
Adam Sitkoff, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi (AmCham) told VIR that he expected US-Vietnam trade and investment cooperation to further flourish thanks to several reasons including the US new administration’s positive stance towards both nations’ bilateral ties.
“As major investors here, American companies have an interest in Vietnam’s continued success. It is a new year and we welcome the incoming leaders in both countries,” Sitkoff said. “American investors are optimistic about business prospects in Vietnam and we support efforts to create a modern economy that will attract future investment and high-paying jobs for Vietnamese people. We will continue to work on lowering barriers to trade, to help the Vietnamese government make it easier to do business, and to create a high-standard, transparent, and stable business environment to ensure that all investors have fair access to that opportunity.”
Statistics from Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that as of January 20, US investors registered over $9.51 billion in Vietnam for more than 1,000 valid projects, making the US the 11th-largest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian nation. In January alone, the US ranked fourth in investment in Vietnam, with total newly-registered capital of $122.2 million.
Currently many US firms are exploring opportunities in Vietnam, such as Morgan Stanley, ACORN International, General Dynamics, Nue Capital LLC, BlackRock’s Asian Credit, Lockheed Martin International, Smart City Works, Google, Columbia University, and USTelecom.
Fitch Solutions believed that the incoming Biden administration will have largely positive implications for Vietnam.
“The impact on Vietnam’s trade growth should be positive, given that Biden will take a more pragmatic approach towards Vietnam’s growing trade surplus with the US, which means a lower risk of punitive trade tariffs than under Trump’s currency policies,” the Fitch Solutions statement read.
“Trump-era trade tariffs on Chinese exports and rising geopolitical tensions between China and the West have also set in motion a relocation of manufacturing to Vietnam, which is likely to continue. Should the US decide to join the CPTPP in the coming years, Vietnam would also benefit from accelerated trade expansion with the US.”
Fitch Solutions further explained that Biden is likely to take a more pragmatic view towards trade developments with its economic partners.
“In particular, we believe that the Biden administration will come to understand that Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US will grow as more manufacturers relocate to the Southeast Asian nation due to the ongoing US-China trade war. Furthermore, while there is bipartisan support in the US for a hardline stance on trade with China, we believe that a desire by the Biden administration to rebuild its relations with its allies would see an easing of the trade tensions with allied countries generated by the Trump administration. Therefore, we believe that the Biden administration will entail lower risk of further US tariffs on Vietnamese exports.”
In 2020, total export-import turnover between Vietnam and the US was $90.1 billion, up from $76 billion in 2019.
Hurdles need removing
Sitkoff from AmCham in Hanoi told VIR that though Vietnam and the US have many common foundations to further cement their trade and investment ties, he hoped Vietnam’s government will take more drastic action to remove obstacles currently facing investors.
“It is critical that US companies and investors here in Vietnam encounter an equal, level, and predictable playing field as a solid foundation, not only to attract new investment, but also to maintain and grow the investment that is already here,” Sitkoff said.
“In addition, we recommend that foreign investment limitations, an overly restrictive legal framework, and burdensome administrative procedures should be carefully reviewed and selectively relaxed to encourage increased US investment,” he suggested. “In our view, by opening its market to more US goods and services, Vietnam can help to rectify the growing trade imbalance between the two countries in a manner that benefits both countries.”
According to AmCham, one of the biggest hurdles for foreign firms including US ones in Vietnam is the tax system.
“While Vietnam’s corporate income tax rate of 20 per cent is competitive, data shows that filing and paying taxes in the country is still too high a burden compared to neighbouring countries. Too many companies are also suffering from what seems to be unfair and non-transparent reassessments with penalties and interest,” said an AmCham statement recently sent to the government. “We hope to see real progress on advanced pricing agreements which create the stability and predictability necessary for integrating into global supply chains.”
By Thanh Dat
Vietnam needs over US$128 billion for power investment next 10 years
|A drone is used to inspect a power transmission system in Vietnam. The country will need an estimated US$128.3 billion for developing the power system in the next decade|
The Institute of Energy, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, on February 22 continued to collect feedback over the plan from the relevant agencies.
According to the plan, during the 10-year period, Vietnam will need to pour some US$12.8 billion on average into the power sector per year. The total investment for the following 15 years from 2031 to 2045 will be some US$192 billion, including some US$140 billion for power sources and US$52 billion for the grid.
The draft zoning plan also revealed that Vietnam will continue to import electricity from China, Laos and Cambodia in the next 10 years.
The State-run Vietnam Electricity Group is purchasing electricity from China through two 220kV power lines, with 1.5 billion kWh of power being bought annually during the 2016-2020 period. This northern neighboring market can sell up to 3,000 MW of electricity or more to Vietnam from now until 2030.
Petrol prices rise under latest adjustment
The Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance revised petrol prices upwards as of 3pm on February 25, marking the first increase since the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
The retail price of E5RON92 bio-fuel rose nearly 700 VND to 17,031 VND (0.74 USD) per litre at a maximum, while that of RON 95 increased over 700 VND to 18,084 VND per litre.
Diesel 0.05S and kerosene, meanwhile, are now no more than 13,843 VND and 12,610 VND per litre, up by around 800 VND and 700 VND, respectively.
According to the two ministries, the prices of petrol and oil in the global market have been rising strongly for 15 days, hence the adjustment.
The two review fuel prices every 15 days to ensure domestic prices are in keeping with the global market./.
Aquatic product exports forecast to reach $9.4 billion in 2021
Vietnam’s aquatic product exports are expected to rake in 9.4 billion USD this year, a surge from 8.5 billion USD in 2020, driven by a strong rebound in demand of export markets and the support of free trade agreements, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP).
Analysts of FPT Securities JSC (FPTS) predicted Vietnam to continue increasing shrimp output in 2021, reaching 730,000 tonnes, up 4 percent year-on-year.
Stable supply will be an advantage for Vietnamese shrimp exporters to expand their market shares in export markets.
The prices of exported shrimps are also forecast to rise slightly by 5 percent to an average of 9.6 USD per kg, according to an FPTS report.
Meanwhile, experts from BIDV Securities Company said that it is difficult for Vietnam’s shrimp sector to enjoy high export growth in 2021, as the production of competitive countries such as India and Ecuador begin strong recovery, especially when the two countries’ shrimp prices are 10-15 percent lower than that of Vietnam.
However, the shipment of shrimps to the EU, which accounts for 21 percent of Vietnam’s total shrimp export turnover, is expected to be supported by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The tariffs imposed on frozen shrimps were slashed to zero percent immediately after the EVFTA became effective on August 1, 2020, while those on processed shrimps will reduce to zero percent from January 1, 2027.
The output of Vietnam’s tra fish is also forecast to maintain uptrend this year.
FPTS expects that the export will bounce back thanks to increasing demand of Vietnam’s main importers such as China, the US, and the EU.
Vietnamese businesses’ efforts to focus on value added processed products which meet all requirements on food safety and origin traceability of products will be paid off, with the export value of processed tra fish to surge in 2021./.
HCM City to focus on developing industrial, trade sectors
The HCM City People’s Committee set targets and approved operational orientations and solutions for this year for its industrial and trade sectors at a meeting on Monday.
They include 5 per cent growth in industrial production, with its four key industries (food processing, pharmaceutical chemicals-rubber-plastic, mechanical engineering, and electronics) growing by at least 6.7 per cent.
The targets for growth in retail sales of goods and services and exports are 10 per cent, Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said.
Non-financial targets include improvements in administrative procedures for businesses and the public, he said.
His department would adopt comprehensive solutions to achieve the targets, help revive the city’s economic growth and create a major transformation in its economic structure so that the services sector accounts for over 60 per cent of the economy.
It would envisage and carry out solutions that enable the city to maintain its leading role in the country in terms of the economy and innovation, he said.
With respect to administrative reforms, it would enhance the use of IT in administration, he said.
Phan Thi Thang, vice chairwoman of the city People’s Committee, hailed the achievements of the industrial sector in 2020, saying it had greatly contributed to the city’s achievement of its dual goals of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic but also sustaining socio-economic growth.
She urged the department to speedily achieve administrative reforms and implement two promotion programmes that would attract local and foreign tourists and make HCM City a major shopping centre in the country.
The city would prioritise easing administrative procedures to facilitate businesses’ functioning, she added.
Enterprises change to deal with the prolonged pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global activities, some industries and businesses have applied technology and new working practice to limit its influence.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman of the Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), said his company had been forced to adapt to new methods.
“As the Government has accelerated the industrial revolution 4.0, the leather, shoe and handbag industry has applied flexible methods to update its production, sales and export in the new situation.
“We have built a new online 3D design and trade interface for samples, which was made by Vietnamese designers, researchers and developers.
“It has not only helped the industry to get new orders but also created an opportunity to prove to major brands in the world that Viet Nam has the capacity to comprehensively design and develop global supply chains.”
Last year, he said, the fashion industry completed 90 per cent of their plan thanks to Government’s efforts controlling the pandemic, the many free trade agreements (FTAs) that were signed such as EVFTA, RCEP and UKVFTA and also the efforts of each business in changing themselves.
According to Lefaso, the total export turnover of the leather, shoe and handbag industry in 2020 reached about US$19.5 billion, down 11 per cent from 2019 and the export turnover returned to the levels of 2018.
The US and EU markets, which account for 70 per cent of the total export volume of the industry were the markets most affected by the pandemic.
The leader of Lefaso said in the new context, buyers changed ordering method so the suppliers like Viet Nam were forced to change their capacity to meet production and delivery needs. Local producers suffered from more severe conditions such as 30 per cent shorter delivery time, lower on-board delivery (FOB) prices and better supply chain transparency.
Adapting to the news changes, at this time of the year, Thuan said the industry was seeing good signs with many businesses receiving orders for this year and the industry aimed to achieve an export turnover of more than $20 billion to offset the losses caused by the pandemic.
As for the textile and garment industry, Le Tien Truong, chairman of Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said: “The supply chain and operation modes are rearranged in the post-COVID period of 2021-2023.
“It is expected that until the middle or the end of 2023, the textile market will return to the threshold of 2019.”
Truong said in the period “the characteristics of the market and the competition are completely different” as the digital transformation and the application of IoT would be the necessary conditions in businesses as online methods increased strongly with the support of remote size testing technology and many applications on smartphones.
Truong said: “The competitive advantage of traditional and large enterprises is in danger of being erased after a period of suspension due to the interrupted chain in the pandemic, competitors will start at the same line at a new starting point.”
According to Truong, Vinatex is determined to digitally transform their entire operating process including production management, inventory and logistics. At the same time, it has also improved production capacity under OEM model and training and retraining workforce in new conditions, especially ensuring financial safety for long-term development.
Nguyen Tuan Linh, director of Mr Linh Adventure Travel, said that tourism revenue last year decreased by 90 per cent compared to 2019.
Linh said many tourism firms had taken the time to rebuild their system and develop a new form of business. Linh said his firm was working with the idea to build an app providing a travel guide for foreign visitors to Viet Nam called Vietnamguide.travel, in order to provide information to foreigners before travelling to Viet Nam.
Linh said the app was currently being built and expected to be available to the market in the second quarter of this year.
Hau Giang plans $99.5m spending on industrial, logistics development in 2021
Setting up an industrial park and a logistics centre this year is part of a development plan for 2021-25 that Hau Giang Province in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has just unveiled.
The plan seeks to maximise the province’s potential and available resources and develop manufacturing, logistics, trading, and, especially, agricultural and aquatic processing.
The plan is focused on building comprehensive infrastructure for industrial parks and clusters, and soliciting investment in environmental treatment projects, projects that use advanced and environment-friendly technologies, processing vegetables and fruits, manufacturing, and energy.
It envisages establishing an industrial park and making zoning plans for industrial parks for completing procedures for setting them up, including for the establishment of two new industrial clusters and expanding one, all this year.
It also aims to efficiently implement national and local trade promotion programmes simultaneously.
A number of renewable energy projects and projects in industrial parks and clusters are expected to start construction this year.
With respect to logistics, the province plans to complete waterway and road transport infrastructure with high connectivity to meet cargo transportation needs and focus on developing supply chains for certain products, making them a driving force for socio-economic development.
It will build a logistics centre and spend the entire amount earmarked for waterway and road transport development projects this year.
The plan is expected to cost VND2.29 trillion (US$99.5 million) this year, with the central and local governments providing VND 353.1 billion and VND 58.4 billion, and enterprises the rest.
Viet Nam imposes anti-dumping tax on sugar imported from Thailand
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has decided to levy a temporary anti-dumping tax of 44.88 per cent on unrefined sugar and 33.88 per cent on refined sugar imported from Thailand.
The taxation on sugar cane imported from Thailand is an opportunity to revive the domestic sugar industry. This is also considered an important decision to help the sugar industry overcome a very difficult period.
This tax rate will be regularly reviewed to ensure a fair, competitive environment if there is a strong shift from importing refined and white sugar to importing raw sugar in order to avoid anti-dumping tax and anti-subsidy at a higher level.
The decision comes after the Ministry of Trade in September initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation for imported sugar from Thailand on the basis of the documents requested by the Viet Nam Sugar and Sugarcane Association (VSSA) and domestic sugar producers.
It later found that Thai businesses shipped nearly 1.3 million tonnes of subsidised sugar to Viet Nam last year, an increase of 330.4 per cent compared to the previous year.
The sharp increase in import volume caused serious damage to Viet Nam’s sugar industry, forcing plenty of sugar processing mills to halt operations and lay off workers.
According to the ministry, as many as 3,300 workers have lost their jobs and more than 93,000 farmers have been affected by the inefficient operation of sugar mills.
The ATIGA (ASEAN Free Area Agreement), took effect from January 1, 2020, reducing the import tax on sugarcane from 80 per cent to 5 per cent on unprocessed sugar and white sugar. This has led to a massive import of sugar. According to the (VSSA, the total amount of sugar cane imported into Viet Nam has increased rapidly, reaching approximately 1.5 million tonnes, double the amount of sugar produced domestically. Of the volume, a considerable amount is imported from Thailand.
Nguyen Van Loc, the association’s acting general secretary , said that the drought affected sugarcane productivity, in June the Thai Government had agreed to provide US$317 million to the Thai sugar industry. This funding is equivalent to about THB1,419 per tonne of sugarcane, helping the Thai sugarcane price remain at a very competitive level. Thai sugar cane is massively imported into Viet Nam, causing many difficulties for domestic sugar companies as well as for sugarcane farmers across the country. Previously, the production capacity of domestic sugar mills was about 1.5-1.6 million tonnes, so far it has fallen to half.
Loc adds that before ATIGA integration, Viet Nam had 41 sugar mills in the North, 300,000 ha of sugarcane and 300,000 farmers, but currently it has only 25 sugar mills in operation. However, many of these sugar mills are also in a state of “clinical death”.
Loc further said that sugar mills under the VSSA were very happy with the decision to impose tax on sugarcane imported from Thailand by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
He said that: “Many domestic sugar mills have actively invested in technology, built chains with farmers to produce competitive products. However, subsidy and dumping fraud have been found after the investigation, which is the reason why sugar enterprises are struggling.”
Loc believed that the taxation is reasonable because now the domestic sugar price was approximately similar to the Thai sugar price. By doing so, Viet Nam’s sugar industry is competitive with sugar imported from Thailand and other countries.
This decision will help create a fair environment and playing field, as well as stop the industry’s slump. More importantly, it will help create sustainable livelihoods for sugarcane farmers in remote and border areas.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, sugar companies are also recommended to rebuild links with farmers, re-establishing quality raw material areas after a long hiatus due to a prolonged period of capacity reduction. However, the restoration of the sugarcane growing area cannot be completed in a short period of time. It will take at least three years, so businesses need to assist farmers in improving their lives to become more engaged with sugar cane.
Phan Van Chinh, an expert of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, recommended that sugar businesses need to make better use of byproducts of the sugarcane industry (cane tops, bagasse, filter mud and molasses).
Viet Nam transitions from successful pandemic containment to strong economic recovery: AMRO
Viet Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rebound to 7 per cent in 2021, riding on a recovery in external demand, a resilient domestic economy and increased production capacity, according to the preliminary assessment by the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) after its virtual annual consultation with the Vietnamese authorities in the last two months.
Amid heightened uncertainty, continued policy support is essential to bolster the nascent economic recovery and facilitate the transition to the post-pandemic “new normal”.
“Viet Nam’s economic growth slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic but is expected to rise to 7 per cent in 2021,” said AMRO’s lead specialist Dr. Seung Hyun Luke Hong.
“The rebound is expected to be underpinned by a recovery in external demand, a resilient domestic economy, capital inflows, and increased production capacity,” Hong said.
After a disrupted second quarter, Viet Nam’s economy started to pick up in the third quarter of 2020 thanks to the rebound in manufacturing activity, which was boosted by robust export growth. Meanwhile, domestic consumption also bounced back following the relaxation of mobility restrictions, along with the recovery benefited from acceleration in the disbursement of public investment.
However, the AMRO team also pointed out some risks and vulnerabilities for the rebound in 2021. They include uneven recovery of the global economy which may jeopardise the recovery in external demand, susceptible domestic demand to the risk of further waves of COVID-19 infection, impairment of the balance sheets of the business sector and the hit on unemployment and labour market.
On the financial front, there is a risk that a deterioration of the banking system’s asset quality will erode its relatively thin capital buffers. Vulnerabilities may also emerge from the sizeable consumer loan segment and from a sharp rise in the holdings of corporate bonds by banks.
The team recommended the Vietnamese Government provide greater fiscal support through both revenue and expenditure measures to bolster the nascent economic recovery if the growth momentum were to weaken.
Targeted support to micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households also needs to continue and be regularly reviewed for its relevance and effectiveness, it said.
Meanwhile, given the benign inflation outlook, it is essential that monetary policy remains supportive of economic recovery, keeping financing costs affordable for households and businesses. On the external front, with high uncertainties in the post-pandemic global recovery, the authorities should strengthen the external buffer through greater flexibility in the exchange rate.
Lastly, the team said it is essential to ensure continued support for long-term development issues, such as infrastructure development, human capital development, social safety net, and particularly public health, while carefully managing risks to long-term fiscal sustainability.
Increasing export value of livestock products
Vietnam’s export value in terms of livestock products (pork, chicken, eggs, processed meat, sausages, and honey) reached approximately US$300 million in 2020, according to the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This result remains modest compared to its potential, so how to increase the export value of livestock products remains a challenge for the industry.
According to the Department of Livestock Production, Vietnam has about 520 million poultry, nearly 5.9 million cows and 27.3 million pigs. Despite the positive growth in the number of livestock and poultry, the export value of these products has yet to meet expectations.
According to experts, the most difficult standard for Vietnamese exporters to meet is livestock products must come from a disease-free area.
So far, Vietnam has only 32 disease-free sites including 31 district-level and one provincial-level site, alongside 138 commune-level disease-free sites and 1,662 farm-level disease-free sites.
There still remains many hidden epidemic risks, for example, from October 2020 to present, the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) on buffalos and cows has appeared for the first time. Meanwhile, Vietnam has small-scale and scattered animal husbandry with poor governance, resulting in a reduction in productivity and increases in production costs.
The control of diseases, food safety, and environmental factors still face many shortcomings, particularly in household farming and scattered slaughtering. Dangerous diseases such as African swine fever has not been controlled with a high potential risk of outbreaks on a large scale, leading to increasing input costs for livestock production.
Many livestock facilities have not treated waste properly, causing environmental pollution and a precious wasting organic fertilizer source for crops. In addition, the number of small, manual, and unsafe slaughterhouses is still higher than industrial variants.
Due to small-scale and scattered production, it is difficult to apply advanced technology in production while the management skill level in livestock farms is weak due to a lack of training facilities.
In particular, production costs are higher than other countries in the region and the world, making it difficult to compete with foreign products. The consumption of livestock products has to go through many intermediaries, pushing the selling price up while producers are often underpriced.
According to Acting Director of the Department of Livestock Production Nguyen Xuan Duong, the organisation of livestock production under value chains accounts for only a low proportion while a lot of livestock material, especially feed and veterinary medicine has to be imported in large quantities, resulting in a reduction in the added value of domestic production.
The forecasting for and estimation of the livestock market are still inadequate and the proportion livestock products exported is low compared to other agricultural products.
Director of the Department of Animal Health Pham Van Dong said that the State should invest in building livestock production areas ensuring disease safety and food safety to contribute to boosting the export of livestock products to other markets in accordance with the regulations of the World Organisation for Animal Health.
While developed countries mainly organise large-scale farms, small-scale livestock production still accounts for a large proportion of production in Vietnam, so it is necessary to divide livestock production into two groups to devise appropriate solutions and orientations.
Regarding household production, it is advisable to gradually switch to bio-safe breeding and the raising of indigenous pig specialties on the basis of promoting hybrid advantages, and making use of agricultural residue as well as boosting chain management.
Regarding industrial husbandry, it is necessary to improve the productivity and quality of the sow herd, and improve the raising process to lower product costs. It is also important to foster relationships with partners across the world regarding investment in science and technology to increase the added value of livestock products.
Vietnam should invest more in factories that produce and process safe livestock and poultry meat according to the 3F (feed-farm-food) standards.
Meanwhile, the relevant agencies need to regularly exchange information and foster market promotion. In the current context, enterprises should look to the production and export of processed products. Thus, they must make synchronous investment in cold-storage warehouses and modern production lines meeting international standards.
At the same time, it is necessary to restructure breeding and raising techniques in accordance with environmental protection standards.
To have more good-quality livestock products, capable of competing and exporting with a higher added value, we need to have specific planning, more realistic policies, and standard breeding processes in the future.
At the same time, it is necessary to invest in deep research to link production with the needs and requirements of each export market. The livestock sector should continue to expand and export products to markets with high levels of potential such as the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.
Rapid changes are needed to adapt to the increasing impact of climate change, complicated developments in diseases and incremental changes in science and technology.
If the above solutions are implemented well, the livestock industry will have the opportunity to continue to create products with competitive prices, high quality, and increased export value in the future.
Export of agricultural products of Covid-19-hit localities faces difficulties
Ministries, industries, and enterprises have been seeking ways to boost domestic consumption to solve difficulties in the consumption of agricultural products of farmers in Covid-19-hit areas. However, the export of agricultural products through Hai Phong Port still encounters problems.
On February 23, Masan Group said that the retail networks VinMart and VinMart+ of this group had been actively participating in supporting the consumption of safe agricultural products for farmers in Hai Duong Province. Currently, VinMart and VinMart+ in the North were selling some agricultural products of Hai Duong, such as tomatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, cabbage, and guava without profits with expected consumption of about 70 tons per week. In pandemic-hit areas, namely Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces, VinMart and Vinmart+ had been prioritizing the implementation of the price stabilization program, promotions, and discounts of up to 40 percent for fresh products and essential foods. Particularly, the price of frozen basa fish fillet fell as much as 39 percent to only VND59,900 per kilogram; frozen squid declined by 21 percent to only VND109,900 per 500 grams; white radish dropped by 31 percent to only VND8,900 per kilogram; tomatoes sank by 22 percent to only VND9,900 per kilogram.
According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Van, Head of Communications at Central Retail Vietnam, currently, the Big C and Go! supermarket chains of the group are promoting the consumption of agricultural products to support farmers in Hai Duong Province to reduce economic losses. Big C and Go! supermarkets are applying a promotional program for agricultural products of Hai Duong from now until the end of the crop, with expected consumption of about 70 tons per week.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Director of Co.op Mart Hanoi, said that from February 22 to now, besides selling at supermarkets in the area, Co.op Mart Hanoi had also organized more stalls to rescue agricultural products of Hai Duong at 10 points of sale of the Hanoi Cooperative Union. It is estimated that the supermarket will compensate the costs to sell about 200-300 tons of agricultural products to support Hai Duong Province.
On February 23, the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) Central Committee launched the campaign “Together with farmers to consume agricultural products” to assist people in difficult circumstances because of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The campaign has been implemented in 13 provinces and cities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and will last until mid-March, with the peak focusing from February 24 to March 5.
Ms. Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Acting Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Hanoi, said that the department had connected 32 commercial enterprises, 34 markets in Hanoi with 59 production facilities to purchase agricultural products from Hai Duong. At the same time, the department coordinates with the Department of Transport and the Hanoi Municipal Police Department to facilitate vehicles transporting agricultural products of farmers in Covid-19-hit areas to the city for consumption. Up to now, the affiliated units under the department have purchased and consumed more than 400 tons of agricultural products.
It is recorded at the MM Mega Market Vietnam supermarket chain that the network has put on sale agricultural products of farmers in Hai Duong Province from February 22 in Hanoi, with a volume of about 5-6 tons per day and is expected to also sell them in Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh cities in the next 1-2 days. In HCMC and the Central Vietnam markets, it is expected that there will be two rescue shipments each week with a total volume of about 70 tons.
Suggesting Hai Phong City opening doors for agricultural exports
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hai Duong Province, although many localities have been actively supporting Hai Duong farmers to consume agricultural products in the domestic market, the province still has about 90,000 tons of onions, garlic, carrots, and leafy vegetables remained unsold because it is in the harvest time. For many years, agricultural products raised and grown in Hai Duong are under contracts between enterprises and farmers, mainly for export. It is expected that by the end of February, about 80 percent of agricultural products will be exported through Hai Phong Port to Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, according to the signed contracts and shipping schedules.
However, at present, agricultural products, foodstuffs, and raw materials for the production of enterprises in Hai Duong Province face difficulties in the stage of transporting and commuting from Hai Duong to Hai Phong Port. Specifically, although Hai Phong City has allowed goods from Hai Duong to be transported into Hai Phong from February 18, it requires strict conditions. For instance, drivers of vehicles transporting goods from Hai Duong must have negative test results for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the last three days and have to stay under concentrated monitoring. Cargo trucks must have specific contracts and orders and be disinfected. These requirements have caused many cargo trucks from Hai Duong to Hai Phong to turn around.
From February 16 up to now, the competent authorities of Hai Duong Province have continuously sent dispatches to relevant ministries and agencies to request support. At the same time, the provincial People’s Committee signed four official letters to Hai Phong City proposing it to create the best conditions for containers to carry goods, especially Hai Duong’s agricultural products to Hai Phong Port for export. In particular, Hai Duong Province proposed that for goods carried by container trucks, the solution is to replace the trucks and drivers from Hai Duong with trucks and drivers from Hai Phong.
The dispatch sent by the Department of Transport of Hai Duong Province to the Ministry of Transport and the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam on February 22 also proposed a solution for trucks carrying agricultural products of Hai Duong. Accordingly, after disinfection, container trucks will go directly to the port for unloading goods, while drivers and co-drivers do not get off their trucks. After unloading, they will return to Hai Duong immediately.
Regarding this issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has sent a written dispatch to propose the Prime Minister to direct the Ministry of Health to provide unified guidance on the circulation of people, goods, and vehicles between pandemic-hit localities and other localities, avoiding the situation that each locality applies a different way as currently. At the same time, it should mobilize testing units to support Covid-19-hit provinces, ensuring maximum testing services for the needs of drivers and goods escorts in the shortest time, and lessening cargo traffic congestion. As for localities, the MoIT suggested that they should prioritize SARS-CoV-2 virus testing for drivers and goods escorts, at the same time, strictly comply with the Prime Minister’s directive on the implementation of measures to support goods circulation, and not let the situation of freight ban take place in the area.
Mekong Delta provinces boost shrimp exports
The Department of Industry and Trade of Ca Mau Province on February 23 informed that the situation of shrimp processing and export in the area from the beginning of this year to now has been more optimistic with the shrimp processing and export output both increasing.
Specifically, in the first two months of this year, shrimp processing output in Ca Mau Province was estimated at 26,600 tons, an increase of over 38 percent compared to the same period last year. By taking advantage of free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with many countries, Ca Mau’s shrimp export turnover from the beginning of this year to now is estimated at US$106 million, up 13 percent over the same period.
Similarly, the situation of shrimp processing and export in Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, and Soc Trang provinces has also got many positive signs. A shrimp exporter in Bac Lieu Province said that currently the EU market is very potential and has positive growth. The company had signed some orders with partners and was under negotiation to sign more. This year, the company would strongly aim at the EU market because the export prices in this market are fairly high.
Currently, the input source of raw shrimps in this region is quite stable, and the workforce meets the needs of production activities of enterprises. Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic situation in some countries in the world has changed positively, so it is forecasted that shrimp exports are confirmed to be improved by many provinces in the Mekong Delta.
Record-breaking remittances, other contributions by overseas Vietnamese
A whopping US$6.1 billion in remittances to HCMC last year, along with foreign direct investment (FDI) and other contributions are among expatriates’ contributions keeping Vietnam’s economy afloat, according to Mr. Peter Hong, standing vice chairman and secretary general of Business Associations of Overseas Vietnamese (BOAAV).
The record-high remittance exceeded experts’ forecast and was a 12 percent increase from 2019’s $5.5 billion, contributing to socio-economic development and effective results of the Covid-19 epidemic prevention.
At the same time, HCMC greatly values the knowledge of diasporas and holds annual events to gather their opinions. The most successful conference was back in 2016 with 47 practical ideas that have been implemented since.
The Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese (BAOOV) and 38 member branches worldwide in the Covid-hit 2020 continued to promote Vietnamese goods and develop distribution channels abroad.
HCMC plans to make full use of press power to continue attracting talents from expatriates.
Vietnam Railways urged to complete auxiliary facilities of North-South railway route
The upgrade of the North-South railway, a core part of national transport system, is expected to improve the performance of Vietnam railway industry.
The Ministry of Transport has urged the Vietnam Railways (VNR) to complete upgrading auxiliary facilities of the Vietnamese North-South railway project by the end of this year.
According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong, these facilities, with an investment of VND7 trillion (US$304.3 million) funded by the state budget, include the reapair of weak bridges along the railway route, the upgrading of essential infrastructure on the Hanoi-Vinh and Nha Trang-Ho Chi Minh City sections and the expansion of stations on Vinh-Nha Trang route.
Dong said as the North-South railway has been in operation for more than 100 years, its out-of-date infrastructure has prevented trains from running faster.
“The implementation of these projects has become urgent in order to ensure safety. The upgrade of the North-South railway is expected to improve short-distance cargo and passenger transport, then raise the industry’s revenue,” he added.
The railway industry is forecast to continue facing challenging time in 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has thwarted a plan to restore the railway sector as it outbroke at the peak traffic times in the summer and Tet holiday.
In 2020, the VNR estimated a loss of VND3.2 trillion (US$139 million) in equity in its two subsidiaries, Hanoi Railway Transport and Saigon Railway Transport, due to the shortage of guests, according to VNR’s Chairman Vu Anh Minh.
A plan to restructure the VNR in terms of finance, investment, human resources and technology and services, which was submitted almost three years ago for approval, is still “pending”, according to the VNR.
More than 50% of workers optimistic about Vietnam’s economic prospects
Optimism about economic growth, however, is inversely proportional to respondents’ working position.
A recent report from recruitment firm Navigos suggested more than 50% of workers are optimistic about Vietnam’s economic prospects this year, while 31% say the economy will decline.
However, the report, which was conducted base on a survey on 6,000 employees from 35 working fields, suggested “optimism about economic growth is in inverse proportion to respondents’ working position, i.e: the higher the respondents’ position, the less optimistic.”
Under the report, nearly 58% of fresh graduates are optimistic about Vietnam’s economic stability or growth. The figures in Team Leader/Supervisor group and Heads/ Deputy Heads of department are 53% and 50% respectively.
At C-level, 51% think the economy will stabilize and grow, but nearly 35% say it will decline.
Meanwhile, the survey revealed 26% of employees experienced pay cuts from 10-50% compared to their salary before the Covid-19 pandemic, while 74% still enjoy the same income level.
The senior group, namely the Executive Board, C-level, is the most impacted by the pandemic. As such, 40% of respondents belonging to this group went through salary reduction at different rates. The group of Director/Associate Director is at the second place with 32% suffering pay cuts.
Navigos’ research also pointed out the fact that only 30% of employees were satisfied with the current benefits, and 20% were dissatisfied with the current situation.
Looking forward in 2021, 61% of employees are expected to get a pay raise by 3-20%, and 10% to face salary reduction.
When asked whether candidates are looking for a new job or not, 52% of respondents said they would seek for a job in the next 3-6 months;13% would find a job within the next 12 months.
Given the current difficult economic situation, 13th-month salary is now at the first place among bonuses or benefits that employees receive as 82% of respondents voted for it, followed by health and medical care benefits and travel, meal and cell phone allowances at 51% and 31% respectively.
For employees, 74% of respondents said that the criterion ‘salary, bonus and welfare’ is the most important factor they consider when switching their jobs, followed by promotion opportunities and training and development opportunities at 37% and 34% respectively.
Vietnam 5G smartphones go on sales in US
A subsidiary of Vingroup has gradually materialized its goal of expanding business in the global market.
Three Vietnamese smartphone models produced by VinSmart, a subsidiary of the conglomerate Vingroup, has gone on sales at the wireless carrier AT&T’s retail systems in the US.
The latest models, named Maestro Plus, Motivate and Fusion Z, are sold at prices ranging from US$39 to US$89 in the US market. According to VinSmart’s survey, American consumers are willing to pay for new-technology devices with diverse prices.
Last October, Vingroup signed a contract to produce two million smartphones for AT&T. Earlier, its subsidiary exported the first batch of smartphones to the US as part of the plan to export 5G-enabled smartphones to the market this year.
The Vietnamese company announced the establishment of a joint venture with automotive parts maker Magna International to manufacture electric motors last December. VinSmart planned to purchase South Korea’s LG Electronics’ smartphone business for its expansion as the tech company considered selling its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Brazil to expand its emerging sectors such as electric vehicle and vehicle component categories.
However, the deal recently collapsed mostly due to the price difference, according to KoreaTimes. “With Vingroup offering a lower price than expected, LG will move on to find another buyer,” an official from LG was quoted as saying. “The company’s smartphone production lines overseas such as in Vietnam and Brazil can be realigned to manufacture home appliances.”
VinSmart was at the fifth position with a 11% market share in terms of smartphone sale in the last quarter of 2020 in Vietnam, according to the latest report of the smartphone market in Q4 by Canlays, a Singaporean market share company.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes