Thứ Sáu, ngày 21 tháng 10 năm 2016

IPR enforcement helps business

Officials of Điện Biên Province’s Market Watch check products on the shelves of a store in the province. Improving enforcement of intellectual property rights would help combat counterfeiting. – VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Tư

HÀ NỘI - Improving enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) would assist the process of technology transfers, develop new products and motivate the creativity of the business community, speakers said during a conference in Hà Nội.
“Việt Nam has recognised the importance of IPR and the fight against counterfeit goods. It is being handled through the establishment of the National Steering Committee on Combating Smuggling and Trade Fraudulence in 2012, which is commonly known as National Steering Committee 389 and headed by the Standing Deputy Prime Minister,” said Đỗ Thắng Hải, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
Hải and other Vietnamese and foreign participants attended a round table yesterday on improving the effectiveness of co-operation among enforcement agencies in the fight against counterfeit products and IPR infringement.
According to Hải, the situation surrounding counterfeit goods and IPR violations has become increasingly complicated with more sophisticated tactics being employed, along with foreign involvement.
He noted that in order to improve the enforcement of fighting counterfeits and IPR violations, all relevant agencies and enterprises need to co-ordinate more effectively and share information about tactics, so they might seriously carry out the Prime Minister’s Decision 19/2016/QĐ-TTg signed May 6, 2016 on the responsibility and co-operation of activities among government agencies in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.
“Moreover, the fight against counterfeits and IPR violations can’t be successful without the effective co-operation from trading and producing enterprises and the involvement of the entire society,” Hải said.
Also speaking at the conference, Lord David Terrence Puttnam, UK Prime Minister’s Trade and Cultural Envoy to Việt Nam, said the enforcement of IPR is necessary to maintain the trust of enterprises in protecting their investments.
He also highlighted the importance of IPR in Vietnamese businesses being successful, as Việt Nam increasingly integrates into the global value chain.
According to Lord Puttnam, the improvement of IPR would boost the process of technology transfers and help develop new products for enterprises.
Statistics from the ministry’s Market Surveillance Department showed that relevant agencies have inspected and identified more than 29,400 cases of intellectual property infringement, as well as fake production and sales from 2012 through early October 2016. Among them, about 2,300 cases involved the products’ use and quality; over 1,530 cases focused on geographic indications; 316 cases on IPR violations and more than 23,000 cases on packaging and merchandise stickers.
“The enforcement of IPR during the recent time has proven more effective, however, it didn’t achieve the desired results,” said Trịnh Văn Ngọc, head of the department.
Ngọc pointed out that inadequate punishment and manpower, lack of co-ordination among agencies and insufficient awareness, were included in the major challenges in dealing with violations of IPR.
Representatives of enforcement agencies suggested the building of a database network to share information and reports.
The one-day conference was held by the Market Surveillance Department and supported by the British Embassy.
Viet Nam News
Vietnam treasures ties with China: Politburo member

The Party and State of Vietnam always treasure the friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with the Party and State of China, Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat Dinh The Huynh stated.

 Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat Dinh The Huynh (L) and Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping

He added that that is based on the country’s foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of relations, and intensive international integration while meeting Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping in Beijing on October 20 as part of his three-day visit to the country.

At the meeting, Huynh congratulated the Chinese Party, State and people on their achievements in Party building and comprehensive reform as well as national management and development following the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

He expressed his hope that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi, Chinese people will gain more attainments in socialism building and door opening path to soon achieve the target of building a well-off society.

The Politburo member noted with joy developments in bilateral ties, especially the outcomes reached during the official visit to China by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the State visit to Vietnam by Xi Jinping in 2015, and especially the official visit to China by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in September 2016.

The official suggested the two countries seriously and effectively actualise common perceptions reached by their Party and State leaders, intensify political trust, improve the efficiency of pragmatic cooperation across fields and enhance people-to-people exchange.

He also called on the two sides to make effort in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, take no actions that complicate and expand the disputes, stringently observe the agreement on the basis principles guiding the settlement of sea-related matters, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), work together with other ASEAN member countries to soon reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), while patiently seeking basic and long-term solutions to the problems in the spirit of respecting each other’s interests and complying with international law.

For his part, Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping hailed Huynh’s visit and the meeting between the two Politburo officials and sent regards to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang and other senior Party and State officials.

He cherished the success of the 12 th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), displaying his belief that under the leadership of the CPV led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnamese people will successfully fulfill targets and tasks set in the Congress’s Resolution and obtain more achievements in the reform process as well as socialism construction.

As neighbouring socialist nations led by the communist parties, Vietnam and China share a lot of similarities, he said, adding that the two countries’ Party and State leaders have reached various common perceptions to orient the bilateral ties.

Expressing his delight at recent fruitful developments of the bilateral relations, the host affirmed that China will work together with Vietnam to boost the relationship in a healthy and stable fashion.

The leader urged the two sides to increase the exchange of delegations as well as experience in Party building and national leadership and management, and push forwards the relations between the two Parties and States.

The same day, Huynh held talks Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and Secretary of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee.

The two sides informed each other about situations of their Parties and countries, and screened achievements as well as problems still existed in the Vietnam-China relations in recent years.

They compared notes on measures to fully and seriously realise agreements and perceptions reached by the two countries’ Party and State leaders in a bid to raise the efficiency of the pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Huynh asserted Vietnam’s stance on handling the disputes by peaceful measures and on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and fully respecting diplomatic and legal procedures.

He appealed the two countries to exactly and fully realise the joint perceptions and agreements in the spirit of “words going well with deeds” and seriously follow the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related matters and the DOC, towards reaching the COC.

Huynh also called for joint efforts to soundly address issues concerning fisheries and operations of fishermen, take no actions that complicate and broaden the disputes, not use or threaten to use force and not militarise in the sea.

Following the talks, Liu Yunshan hosted a banquet for Huynh and his entourage.

While in China, Huynh also had meetings with representatives of agencies under the CPC Central Committee and visited the Vietnamese Embassy in the country.
Moody’s reviews eight Vietnamese banks

Moody’s Investors Service has just concluded its review of eight Vietnamese banks.

Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank’ Moody’s rating outlook is stable. 

At the same time, Moody’s affirmed the long-term B1 local currency deposit and issuer ratings of Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam. Its caa1 baseline credit assessment (BCA) was also affirmed. The outlook on the bank’s ratings remains stable.
Under the review, Moody’s upgraded the long-term credit ratings and BCAs of Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank and Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank. The banks’ ratings outlooks are stable.
Confirmation/Affirmation of the long-term credit ratings of five other banks was also done, with their BCAs upgraded by one notch. These five banks are Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade, Vietnam International Bank, An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank, Asia Commercial Bank (and Vietnam Technological and Comm’l JSB. Ratings outlooks of these banks are stable.
Moody’s also confirmed the B3 long-term credit ratings and caa1 BCA for Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank. The bank’s ratings outlook was revised to negative.
Moody’s review of the ratings of eight other banks for upgrade was initiated on September 5, 2016, following Moody’s change of Vietnam’s (B1 stable) banking system Macro Profile to "Weak" from "Weak-." The Macro Profile captures the risks related to the operating and economic environment of the banks.
The BCA of JSC Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam remains under review for upgrade, pending regulatory approvals and finalisation of an announced capital increase. The B1/B2 long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of that bank are not under review.
According to Moody’s, the positive rating actions are broadly driven by the credit agency’s view that the more benign operating and economic conditions for banks in Vietnam (B1 stable) have resulted in somewhat lower solvency and liquidity risks for the majority of Moody’s-rated banks in the country.
Vietnamese banks will continue to benefit from the country’s robust economic growth and from Việt Nam’s enhanced, but still weak, institutional strength. These positive developments support the banks’ funding profiles.
Moody’s has captured the above mentioned macroeconomic improvements by changing the Macro Profile for Việt Nam’s banking system to "Weak" from "Weak-" in early September 2016.
Despite these broadly positive rating actions, Moody’s believes that the banking system in Việt Namremains under-capitalised against the backdrop of rapid credit growth and a high share of legacy problem assets, which are not always adequately disclosed on the banks’ balance sheets. Moody’s expects that these challenges will continue to persist in the medium term, despite some improvements.
Vietnamese spend millions of USD at overseas casinos each year

While Vietnamese state management agencies still argue about whether to allow Vietnamese to go to domestic casinos, Vietnamese transfer hundreds of millions of dollars abroad every year and spend money at casinos.
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A representative of the Ministry of Finance has said the ministry still has not agreed to allow Vietnamese to enter casinos.

The latest draft version of the government’s decree compiled by the ministry says that only foreigners and Vietnamese with foreign passports and legal entry to Vietnam can go to casinos located on Vietnamese territory.

The draft decree also says that investors must have $4 billion at least in investment capital to develop projects with casino. Investors can only build casinos if they develop the projects with service, tourism, and entertainment areas.

To date, four such projects have been licensed. Of these, the project in Quang Nam has just kicked off, while the construction of the complex in Van Don still has not begun; only a resort has been built on Phu Quoc Island. 
The latest draft version of the government’s decree compiled by the ministry says that only foreigners and Vietnamese with foreign passports and legal entry to Vietnam can go to casinos located on Vietnamese territory. 
The project in Ba Ria – Vung Tau – The Grand Ho Tram Strip is the only operational casino which has received clients for the last three years.

Investors seem to have become impatient. They said that if going to casinos is still prohibited in Vietnam, Vietnamese will go abroad to gamble, and will take dollars.

The participants at a recent workshop heard that the amount of dollars Vietnamese take abroad every year, mostly to Hong Kong, Cambodia and Singapore, is hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some experts believe the figure could be up to one billion dollars.

Michael Kelly from ACDL, said that casinos, if controlled well, would attract tourists to Vietnam and be big tax payers. He has suggested opening casinos to Vietnamese in a pilot program for three years.

He believes that three years would be long enough for Vietnam to learn from experience and create reasonable policies.

Professor Ha Ton Vinh also thinks that Vietnam needs a time long enough to collect information and analyze it.

He commented that the government of Vietnam was considering carefully the measures to manage casinos, but will not know for sure how things would go until implementation.

Kelly said if the government allows investors to develop projects on a trial basis, it needs to treat all investors equally, with no discrimination against foreign or Vietnamese.
Nam Phuong, VNN

Thứ Năm, ngày 20 tháng 10 năm 2016

Vietnamese goods could ‘sink’ together with Chinese goods

Some Vietnamese products face risks of becoming defendants in lawsuits filed by import countries that suspect Chinese goods are brought to Vietnam before they are exported to third countries in order to avoid anti-dumping duties.
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Australia on October 7 released a decision on initiating an anti-dumping and anti-countervailing investigation on galvanized alloy steel imports from Vietnam.

Prior to that, the Competition Administration Department (CAD), an arm of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), said that cold rolled steel and carbon steel have been sued by some US companies.

In the petition to the US Department of Commerce (DOC), the plaintiff points out that since the day the US began imposing high anti-dumping and anti-countervailing duties on Chinese steel (200 percent and 256 percent, respectively), Chinese exports to the US have been on sharp decrease.

Meanwhile, the exports of these kinds from Vietnam have been increasing rapidly.
Some Vietnamese products face risks of becoming defendants in lawsuits filed by import countries that suspect Chinese goods are brought to Vietnam before they are exported to third countries in order to avoid anti-dumping duties.
US companies believe that Chinese manufacturers tend to bring the steel to Vietnam, where they implement simple production phases before shipping to the US to avoid high duties.

Besides steel, some other products such as plastics, wooden furniture and granite, are also in the same situation.

The representative of a Vietnamese granite company said some months ago, Turkey concluded that some Vietnamese companies tried to evade the anti-dumping duty the country now imposes on imports from China.

As a result, the country decided that the anti-dumping duty applied to Chinese products would also be imposed on exports from Vietnam.

“Vietnamese companies got involved in the misfortune and lost the Turkish market,” he commented.

Threat to Vietnamese goods

Experts have voiced their concern that Chinese trade fraud will harm honest Vietnamese enterprises.

Nguyen Tri Hieu, a renowned economist, said he doubts some Vietnamese businesses lend a hand to Chinese businesses to commit trade fraud.

“The companies import finished products, pack them and label them with ‘made-in-Vietnam’ products. After that, they export the products with Vietnamese C/O (certificate of origin),” he explained.

An analyst has warned that Chinese trade fraud have had adverse effects on Vietnamese export products.

“I know many honest enterprises have become victims of unfair investigations. They have lost prestige and their products face doubts about quality by foreign partners,” he said.

Vietnam’s wooden furniture exports to the US once faced the same situation. However, Vietnamese products later escaped the anti-dumping duty after Vietnamese manufacturers could prove that the input materials were not from China.

Chi Mai, VNN

Mekong Delta adopts smart rice cultivation model

Smart rice cultivation used in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang helps farmers adapt to climate change. (Source: VNA)

HCM City - Experts have recommended that the Mekong Delta should expand “smart” rice cultivation to reduce production costs and increase profits. 

The delta, the country’s rice granary, began a smart-rice pilot programme for this year’s summer-autumn crop with 65 participating farmers in the delta’s 12 provinces as well as Can Tho City. 

The farmers, who used the model on an area of 0.5 ha each, were instructed in farming techniques, including use of proper seeds and fertilisers. 

They also learned how to pump water into their fields to destroy pests before sowing rice seeds. 

Speaking at a seminar held in Can Tho early this week, Mai Van Quyen, a programme consultant and former head of the Southern Institute of Agricultural Science, said that reducing the quantity of sowing seeds was a mandatory part of the programme. 

All of the farmers had reduced the quantity of seeds to 74-82 kilos per ha in the summer-autumn crop, he said. Farmers who planted rice under traditional cultivation method used 104-200 kilos of seeds per ha. 

The reduction of seeds had helped farmers cut costs, reduce disease and produce better rice, Quyen said. 

The quantity of fertiliser used was also less compared to traditional growing methods, while the yield of paddies was 0.5-1 tonnes higher than that of traditional cultivation methods. 

Tran Van Khoi, acting director of the National Agricultural Extension Centre, said agricultural production in the delta was facing difficulties because of drought and salt water intrusion caused by climate change.

Farmers using the model have had higher profits in the summer-autumn rice crop, according to the delta’s provincial agricultural extension centres. 

Farmer Phan Thien Khanh from Can Tho’s Thoi Lai District said he had once used 200-250 kilos of seeds per ha but had cut back to 60-80 kilos under the new method. 

His profits rose 5 million VND (230 USD) per ha compared to profits under the traditional cultivation method. 

Dong Van Tiep from Hau Giang province’s Long My district said he earned a profit of 22 million VND (1,000 USD) per ha by participating in the programme.

Tiep said he would apply the smart rice cultivation model to the rest of his 2016-17 winter-spring rice crop.-VNA

Global cold chain to grow 7% annually through 2020

The global cold chain market is projected to grow at a combined annual growth rate of 7% from 2016, to reach a value of US$234.49 billion by 2020, according to a report from Research and Markets.

 global cold chain to grow 7% annually through 2020 hinh 0

The report analysed the cold chain market in terms of type, application, temperature range, technology, and region.

It said the primary factors that have and continue to drive growth and success of the global cold chain are factors such as an increased demand for chilled and frozen food and beverages due to changing consumer preferences.

Furthermore, the report concluded that factors such as increasing disposable incomes and rapid urbanization in emerging markets such as Vietnam have also heightened the demand for frozen food and hence for cold chain services.

Based on application, the report classified the cold chain market into five segments –  fruit and vegetables; bakery and confectionery; dairy and frozen desserts; meat, fish and seafood; and others.

The cold chain market was further segmented into chilled and frozen.

With the increasing international trade of perishable food products, particularly from Southeast Asia, the report noted, the demand for cold chain is expected to continue to experience enhanced market growth.

Cold chain, said the report, plays a singularly key role in storage and transport of meat, fish and seafood products as they require refrigeration right after slaughter, during processing, and during packaging.

Vietnam: The future of the cold chain industry

Per Julien Brun, general manager of CEL Consulting, the increased demand for frozen and pre-packaged foods in Vietnam is expected to drive the cold supply chain to exponential market growth over the next few years.

Citing a recent report from the Directorate of Fisheries, Mr Brun said the average rate of loss for farm produce in Vietnam has averaged 25%-30% of total value over recent years, even as high as 45% for some fruit and vegetables and 35% for many seafood products.

Mr Brun pointed out that over the past decade, the scale of the frozen food supply chain in Vietnam has increased 4-fold, which has barely scraped the surface of this lucrative market. The increase, he said, has primarily been concentrated in the southern region in support of aquaculture.

The expansion of the cold supply chain for frozen food in the local retail marketplaces throughout the remainder of the country such as for transporting products to restaurants and supermarkets has been severely restricted.

The solution to the problem, he said, is to let competition, the profit incentive and other open market forces come into play. 

The cold chain market in Vietnam has been and is expected to continue to attract  increasing expansions and acquisitions by key global players such as Americold Logistics, LLC (US), Preferred Freezer Services (US), and Nichirei Logistics Group Inc. (Japan).

The cheap and low quality supply chain logistics of using motorbikes lacking cold storage technology to transport products nationwide that have little regard for food safety will soon be a relic of the past as Vietnam moves on to a whole new modernized world.

It’s important for small business owners throughout Vietnam during this transition, said Mr Brun, to realize that they much too often opt for what they perceive to be the lowest cost alternative- only to find out that because of the lack of quality control and food safety, it leads to higher losses.

The losses caused by shortened product life and the lack of a cold supply chain is a factor that small businesses across the Southeast Asian nation must consider and open their eyes to the realization that it is more profitable for them to opt for cold storage transport only.