Mining industry faces serious challenges
Once the driving force for economic growth in 2015, the mining industry has been facing great challenges this year.
Some years ago, investors had to struggle for every mining license, simply because mining was considered a profitable industry.
In 2009, Tay Bac Investment & Minerals Company made a modest profit of VND2 billion.
In 2010, the company’s profit soared to VND196 billion, or 200 percent higher than the previous year. Its profit did not jump in the next years, but was still very satisfactory – VND38 billion in 2011 and VND40 billion in 2012.
However, things changed rapidly later when the company shares were forced to delist from the HCMC bourse because it took a loss. Two months ago, the shares were also delisted from UpCom.
The story of Tay Bac reflects the situation of the mining industry. Though witnessing a slowdown, the industry still had a growth rate of 6.5 percent in 2015 compared with 2014.
But things got even worse in the first half of 2016 with the decrease of 2.2 percent, compared to the same period last year of 8.8 percent.
The bad performance of the mining industry explains why Hoa Phat Group returned Tung Ba and Cao Vinh iron mines in Ha Giang province to the State.
According to An Thong Investment & Minerals, a subsidiary of Hoa Phat, the mining cost is very high, while the iron ore price globally has dropped by 30-50 percent compared with early 2014.
As such, though Hoa Phat needs large quantities of ore for its steel plants, it would rather import ore than exploit it domestically.
A report of the Yen Bai provincial authorities showed that 31 out of 32 mining and ore processing companies had to shut down in 2015.
The machines that were bought to serve production lines worth hundreds of billions of dong have been left idle because of production suspension.
In Ha Giang province, only 11 out of 52 licensed mining projects had become operational by the end of 2015.
The other 20 projects had stopped operation, while the remaining are not operational yet.
Even Vinacomin, the biggest miner, also reported a decrease of 2 million tons in the first half of the year.
The same situation is occurring with crude oil exploitation. The exploitation cost is high, while the world’s oil price, though having recovered, only hovers around $50 per barrel.
Pham Dinh Thuy from the General Statistics Office (GSO) predicted that the mining industry would see growth falling by 9 percent by the end of the year.
Thứ Ba, 30 tháng 8, 2016
Hanoi says all will lose in any East Vietnam Sea war
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang delivers a speech at the 38th Singapore Lecture, organised by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), on August 30, 2016. AFP
Quang, who is on a state visit to Singapore, told a forum that recent developments there were threatening regional security.
The Vietnamese leader did not mention any country but there is growing unease over China's actions.
China claims most of the East Vietnam Sea. It has reclaimed reefs and built airstrips capable of hosting military equipment, sparking anger from competing claimants led by Vietnam and the Philippines.
"The [East Vietnam Sea], located at the heart of Southeast Asia, not only brings about many important benefits to nations in the region but it is also a vital route to maritime and air transport of the world," Quang said.
But "recent worrying developments" there "have had a negative impact on the security environment of the region, especially maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight".
"And should we allow instability to take place, especially in the case of armed conflicts, there will be neither winners or losers but rather all will lose," he warned.
Quang was speaking to diplomats, academics and students at a forum organized by the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.
Four Southeast Asian states -- Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam -- as well as Taiwan have competing claims in the sea.
Vietnam has been among the most vocal critics of China's blanket territorial claims. In 2014 China moved a controversial oil rig into Vietnamese territory, prompting protests in Vietnam.
China's activities in the sea have also drawn criticism from the United States, which says it seeks to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which $5 trillion in annual global trade passes.
The sea row has also driven a wedge between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has failed to forge a unified front against Beijing's actions.
Last month the Philippines won a case against China at a UN-backed tribunal in the Hague which rejected Beiijing's claims to most of the sea.
China boycotted the hearing and has refused to recognize the ruling.
AFP/TUOI TRE NEWS
Thứ Hai, 29 tháng 8, 2016
Ha Noi student crowned Miss Viet Nam 2016
Do My Linh of the Ha Noi University of Trade was crowned Miss Viet Nam 2016 at the grand finale at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in HCM City last night, Aug 28.
The Ha Noi-born student defeated 29 other finalists from across the country to win the new crown that has 63 pearls and about 3,300 sapphires worthing VND2.2 billion (US$98,000). She also received VND500 million (US$22,000) in cash.
Ha Noi-based student Ngo Thanh Thanh Tu, 22, was named the first runner-up, while 20-year-old Huynh Thi Thuy Dung of HCM City was the second runner-up.
They received VND300 million ($13,000) and VND250 million ($11,000), respectively.
At the grand finale, South Korean pop idol and actor Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji Hoon, performed his hits It’s Raining and My Girl, and songs La Song and 30 Sexy from his latest album Rain Effect released in 2014.
His performances received non-stop applause from nearly 5,000 audiences at the stadium in District 11.
Vietnamese music stars Thu Minh, Ha Anh Tuan, Noo Phuoc Thinh, Dong Nhi, and Toc Tien also presented songs praising the beauty of HCM City and Viet Nam.
The night was broadcast live on Viet Nam Television’s Channel 1 and Channel 9 and 14 local television studios.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 29/8
FPT Corporation earns high revenue
In the first seven months this year, FPT Corporation recorded a consolidated revenue and before tax profit of VND20.93 billion and VND1.42 billion, equal to 93 per cent and 100 per cent of the year-to-date guidance, respectively.
After-tax profit was VND1.20 billion, equal to 101 per cent of the year-to-date (ytd) guidance. After-tax profit attributable to the parent company's shareholders was VND906 billion. Earning-per-share (EPS) was VND1,976 after seven months.
In seven months, overseas markets showed encouraging results with VND3.13 billion in revenue or a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent, and VND9.42 billion in before-tax profit, or a year-on-year increase of 32 per cent. Of this figure, the largest contribution came from the software outsourcing segment with its revenue up 34 per cent year over year.
Besides, the retail segment maintained its outstanding performance, increasing 33 per cent in revenue and 39 per cent in before tax profit, reaching 104 per cent and 111 per cent of the ytd target, respectively.
Crocodile breeders suffer losses amid falling demand
Crocodile farmers in southern Đồng Nai Province have suffered from big losses since the beginning of this year due to weak demand.
Lưu Thị Hương, who is raising about 4,000 crocodiles, said the market price for crocodiles is VNĐ70, 000 (US$3.1) per kilo, a decrease of 70 per cent from last year.
“As the selling price is below the production cost, I have no choice but continue raising crocodiles. However, I feed them very little to reduce their weight,” she said.
“My family is lucky because we have saved money from previous years while other breeders have lost all their money,” Hương said, adding that Chinese traders preferred crocodiles weighing 18 to 20kg.
Hương is not alone in Định Quán District. Many local crocodile breeders have been hit hard by falling prices.
Nguyễn Văn Nhật is another example.
His family invested hundreds of millions of đồng in building breeding facilities and buying baby crocodiles in 2014. Seeing profits from the first harvest, Nhật decided to expand his farm to 300 crocodiles.
Although crocodiles in his farms were for sale, he kept them as he didn’t want to suffer losses.
Nguyễn Văn Chiểu, deputy head of Định Quán District’s Forestry Management Department, said the high price of the meat in previous years encouraged many farmers to build crocodile farms.
The department warned breeders of a poor consumption market and low prices because crocodiles reared in Định Quán District are mainly sold to China in small-volumes.
Local authorities also asked crocodile breeders to find a consumption market so that trade partners can’t reduce their price at will.
According to Chiểu, crocodiles are protected animals and are included in the list of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Floral) which bans the trade of the animals.
It is still legal to farm but breeders have to register with the local Forest Management Department.
The Department manages 375 farms with 140,000 crocodiles, accounting for 90 per cent of the total number of crocodiles reared in Đồng Nai Province, Chiểu said
There was a large number of crocodiles in stock due to low consumption, he said.
Trust vital to fight counterfeit goods
Local businesses have not been active in preventing and fighting against counterfeit goods due to a lack of trust in management agencies effectively resolving the issue.
Le The Bao, chairman of the Viet Nam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection (VATAP) told a workshop held in Ha Noi on August 26 that management agencies had sometimes not thoroughly resolved counterfeit good discoveries and violations of intellectual property rights.
"It can be seen that fake goods and violations of intellectual property rights have become a global issue, affecting benefits to businesses and customers' health," Bao said.
Sharing these ideas, Nguyen Thi Phi Nga, a lawyer from Hogan Lovells International LLP Company said information transparency in resolving the violations has been a key issue in improving effective co-operation between authorities and firms in fighting counterfeit goods.
Nga said the fight against fake goods could be effective if businesses were ready to provide information in a timely manner and received information from management agencies on processes to resolve violations and punishments. "In reality, firms received little information on the process, especially about the fine mechanism. This has reduced their trust in the fight against counterfeit goods," she added.
In the first half of the year, market watch agencies nationwide resolved 2,539 violations relating to fake goods and intellectual property rights, collecting fines of VND59.7 billion, 64 per cent higher than the whole of last year. However, the number is modest in comparison with reality.
A representative from Ha Noi's market watch department said the legal document system has seen overlapping or even conflicting regulations that makes loopholes that allow for the existence of fake goods and intellectual property violations.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the fight against counterfeit goods could not be successful if there is no active participation by business and society. Hả affirmed that market management agencies would always support firms to protect their rights and benefits, and to create a healthy and fair business environment.
"The Government should implement drastic measures to resolve the issue. Especially, management agencies should clarify loopholes allowing violations and review the legal system to better fight against counterfeit goods," he added
First wind power farm in Ninh Thuan gets go-ahead
After years of national and local debate, Vietnam has approved the country’s first wind farm in Ninh Thuan Province – an important step in catching up with energy developments in other parts of the globe.
first wind power farm in ninh thuan gets go-ahead hinh 0 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave the go-ahead on August 27 to move forward with the 90MW wind farm located in the two villages of Bac Phong and Loi Hai in Thuan Bac district with 45 turbines.
The decision comes at a time when climate-change and energy policies are in flux in Vietnam and the national debate centres on how best to collectively fight greenhouse gases and environmental pollution.
The expansion of wind power, said the Prime Minister, especially in areas where winds blow more steadily, is a striking example of how Vietnam is moving to implement pragmatic domestic solutions to producing energy without exacerbating climate change.
The project to be funded by Trungnam Group would be the first wind power project in Ninh Thuan when completed. It has an initial budget of US$172 million but is scheduled to be constructed and funded in phases through the third quarter of 2020.
The first phase according to the construction schedule would be completed in the fourth quarter of next year, if there were no unanticipated problems. It would also generate in addition to electrical power, thousands of jobs for local people, if successful.
South Phu Quoc island transformed into holiday-goers’ paradise
In the past few years the south of Phu Quoc island has become an investment hot spot, attracting real estate projects to Bai Khem and Mui Ong Doi beaches, the trans-sea cable system, and Hon Thom sea entertainment complex, with the total investment of VND20 trillion (US$940 million).
In the past three years Phu Quoc has seen a breakthrough in infrastructure development to become a global hub of tourism. As of the end of the first quarter of 2016, Phu Quoc has 1,700 apartments of a large variety.
Many entertainment projects are being completed to provide tourists with a better choice of activities.
The island has become a coveted investment destination, attracting big developers with billion dollar projects.
Troy Griffiths, deputy managing director of Savills Vietnam, said that besides its unparalleled natural beauty, Phu Quoc has four other advantages that contribute to the breakthrough in investment.
The first is the financial incentives, including free land rent and a 50% corporate income tax reduction (10% instead of 22%).
The second is the fast growing infrastructure with sea ports, an airport, good main roads, underground electric wires, and the upcoming cable car system.
The third is the fast growing tourism with a million tourists having visited in 2015. The fourth is the strategic location only one or two hours of flying from nearby main tourism spots.
At the moment, the key developers are hurrying to complete big projects on the island. To the north, there are the Vinpearl resort complex and the Safari.
To the south, there is Sun Group’s real estate and entertainment complex. The south of Phu Quoc is going to see great changes when a series of big projects, such as J.W Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa, Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort, and Condotel Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, as well as the trans-sea cable car system, and Hon Thom sea entertainment complex, are completed.
The local infrastructure is also improving at a rapid pace, becoming a springboard for large-scale projects.
Examples include the US$12-million project to supply water to the south of the island, the renovation of Duong Dong-An Thoi and Bai Thom road with an investment of VND1.7 trillion (US$76.2 million), and the VND600-million (US$27,000) Cua Lap-An Thoi road.
These projects facilitate even the largest endeavours and help the island attract more investors.
Sun Group has invested more than VND20 trillion (US$940 million), which is coming into fruition at the moment, as a variety of projects are almost complete, such as J.W Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa which is expected to open to tourists in the third quarter of this year.
At the end of July, the first model apartments in Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort and Condotel Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay were introduced to the public in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
During the impressive launching event many investors made the decision to buy on the spot.
Dang Minh Tan, from District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, said that his wife and he have been researching the island since the real estate market here started booming.
After visiting Mui Ong Doi and being enamoured by the scenery, as well as witnessing with his own eyes the progress of Premier Village Phu Quoc over the past half year, he decided to buy a beach villa.
“There are cameras on the construction site so we can see the progress of our dream villa every day,” he said.
Dwellers of the villas can fully embrace the sea atmosphere thanks to the glass windows that span from the ceiling to the floor.
They can also enjoy world class facilities, such as the infinity pool that links the two coasts together, restaurants, and the sea club.
Owners can also participate in the timeshare programme and are entitled to 15 days at any Sun Group resort facility.
The upcoming completion of Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort and Condotel Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is going to attract more investment into real estate in south Phu Quoc island.
100 projects to showcase at HCM City Startup Day
More than 100 startup projects across Vietnam are introduced at an annual startup event that kicks off in Ho Chi Minh City on August 27.
The Startup Day 2016, taking place at the Riverside Palace Convention Center in District 4, is expected to attract some 3,000 visitors including investors, incubators, businesspeople, and entrepreneurial organizations.
Running from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, the event sees participants showcase their projects to investors; learn and share business experiences; and connect with relevant units for further cooperation in the future.
Startup Day 2016 also features the finale and award ceremony of Startup Wheel 2016, a six-month contest to choose Vietnam’s top ten startup projects.
Startup Day is organized annually by the municipal Young Businesspeople Association under the leadership of the Vietnam Youth Federation and the Vietnam Student Association.
This year’s event was supported by the municipal Department of Science and Technology and the Ho Chi Minh City Energy Saving Center.
Forum seeks to optimise online marketing for business efficiency
The Vietnam Online Marketing Forum was held in Hanoi on August 26 with the purpose of fostering the development of the market, boosting e-commerce and helping businesses optimise this channel.
Nguyen Thanh Hung, chairman of the Vietnam e-Commerce Association (VECOM), said that online marketing has an intimate relationship with online shopping, but many Vietnamese firms do not pay their attention to this.
Additionally, Vietnamese businesses still largely depend on a small number of providers for cross-border advertising services.
As such, the market share of local online advertising firms is quite modest, he noted.
According to Northern Region Nielsen Vietnam Director Dang Thuy Ha, in Vietnam, last year, online advertising turnover was valued at US$0.33 billion, while retail e-commerce turnover reached US$4 billion.
The Government’s target is to raise the retail e-commerce turnover to US$10 billion in 2020.
To that end, enterprises should bring into full play the online marketing channel.
The Vietnam e-Business Index report 2015 also showed that from this year, e-commerce in Vietnam is entering a period of rapid development. However, this development continues to face obstacles, including consumer confidence, e-payments and online marketing,
At the forum, local and foreign experts from Google, Facebook and Nielsel affirmed that the success in online marketing is to maintain connection with customers and promote products by search engines and online videos, and on social networks.
However, each company should have a thorough grasp of its business to choose suitable strategies, they stated.
Vietnam experiences extensive economic integration
Vietnam is participating more extensively in international economic integration activities, thus helping expand the country’s foreign trade, heard a conference on the country’s international integration in Hanoi on August 26.
Participants agreed that the agreements Vietnam has signed with other nations and international organisations have opened up new and larger markets for economic, trade and investment cooperation.
Vietnam has to date established trade ties with over 200 countries and territories. More than 100 countries and territories are running investment projects in Vietnam, while domestic firms are also investing in projects in more than 70 nations and territories.
However, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said that Vietnam is not really proactive in the integration process and has yet to bring into full play its advantages.
The capacity of grasping opportunities of Vietnamese enterprises remains low. Meanwhile, commitments on market opening are set to create fiercer competition in several fields, including animal husbandry.
Weak production models and methods, along with people’s poor awareness of food safety and hygiene make Vietnamese products less competitive.
If these problems are dealt with, Vietnamese enterprises can stand firm in the domestic market during the integration process, Khanh stated.
He also stressed the need for local governments and businesses to understand FTAs’ contents to avoid disputes with investors.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said that it is necessary to make an overall assessment of Vietnam’s enforcement of free trade agreements (FTA), from preparations to the adaptation of ministries, sectors and products, in order to propose measures to better take advantage of these agreements.
Together with ASEAN, Vietnam signed the framework agreement on ASEAN-China economic cooperation, the ASEAN-Republic of Korea trade in goods agreement, the ASEAN-Japan comprehensive economic partnership agreement, and the framework agreement on ASEAN-India comprehensive economic partnership.
The country also signed FTAs with several countries, and finished negotiations on numerous important agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and FTAs with the Eurasian Economic Union, the EU and the Republic of Korea.
To integrate into the global economy, Vietnam has made progresses in promulgating and adjusting its law to conform with international practice, which makes the business environment more open and transparent, ensure equality between economic sectors and between enterprises, and boost production, business and investment.
Vietnam - first choice of US firms investing in ASEAN
Vietnam has returned to most favoured nation in ASEAN for US businesses operating in the region, after conceding the title to Indonesia for the past two years, according to the 2017 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey (ABOS).
40% of American firms in ASEAN nominated Vietnam as their preferred location to expand into, compared to 38% who favored Indonesia.
The survey highlighted strong optimism among the heads of American firms in ASEAN about Vietnam with 80% of respondents saying they plan further expansion. 72% of American companies in Vietnam described the situation as improving.
As well as the Chamber of Commerce and other Amchams in the region, the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey polled the business sentiment of some 500 senior executives representing U.S. firms in all ten ASEAN member countries.
Real estate transparency needs more improvements
The transparency in Vietnam’s real estate market has got better, but much more efforts are required to promote this index, a specialist of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Vietnam real estate company said.
Vietnam ranks relatively low in JLL’s 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index, 68th out of the 109 surveyed countries.
However, it has climbed in the rankings over the years, said Trang Le, head of JLL Vietnam’s research and development consulting division.
She also cited the World Bank (WB)’s assessment that Vietnam has made progress on land information transparency, but much remains to be done in this regard.
In July, t he WB approved a 150 million-USD credit for the Improved Land Governance and Database Project for Vietnam, which will develop a land information and database system for both the Government and the public. It will also help simplify land services procedures.
The project is expected to accelerate land governance reforms and ensure the transparency of relevant procedures and information for property investors, thereby improving the local investment climate.
Transparent information about real estate projects has been recorded in the housing segment recently.
However, transparency promotion efforts have yet to be truly successful. Though property developers have played a more active role in publicising their project information, there is still a lack of concrete and strict regulations that can ensure information accuracy, Trang Le said.
The strong technology development and the property market’s attractiveness to investors will contribute to the transparency improvement in the future, she added.
Vietnam looks to foster exports to Australia: diplomat
Vietnam needs to devise more measures to improve the quality of farm produce in order to meet technical standards of Australia, towards promoting export to the nation, a Vietnamese diplomat has stressed.
In an interview with Vietnam News Agency reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 29th Diplomatic Conference in Hanoi, Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Luong Thanh Nghi highlighted strong development in the bilateral ties in recent years, especially after the two nations established a comprehensive partnership in 2009, which was agreed to lift to the next level six years later.
Economic, trade and investment collaboration between the two countries has recorded fruitful outcomes, with an annual increase of over 10 percent in two-way trade turnover since the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement ( AANZFTA ), which both countries are parties, became effective in 2010.
At present, almost goods of Vietnam exporting to Australia and vice versa are enjoyed zero tariff.
Vietnam’s export turnover to Australia increases between 5 billion USD and 7 billion USD per year, with crude oil, frozen aquatic products, coffee and pepper being Vietnam’s key exports to Australia.
Vietnam shipped lychees to Australia from 2015, while beginning to sell Cat Chu and Hoa Loc mangos in the country in August this year.
These are positive signals for Vietnamese farmers because their products can make inroads into one of the most choosy markets in the world, Nghi said, adding that this will pave the way for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to other markets such as the US, Japan and New Zealand.
However, the ambassador pointed out difficulties concerning quarantine and food safety facing to Vietnam, saying that Vietnamese agencies, businesses, farmers, and scientists need to take initiatives in agricultural production in order to better the quality of goods to meet requirements of foreign markets.
Thanh Hoa to expand e-tax payment services
The central province of Thanh Hoa is striving to raise the rate of businesses using online tax payment services to 95 percent by the end of 2016, as part of efforts to simplify administrative procedures of the local tax sector.
According to Le Ngoc Son, head of the provincial Department of Taxation, the application of the online tax declaration and payment is an important progress of the tax sector’s administrative reform, which facilitates tax payers.
So far, 7,486 enterprises, or 90.7 percent of total operating businesses in the locality, have registered to pay tax online.
The department has set three targets of providing online taxation services to 95 percent of local enterprises, and raising the rate of tax payment transactions as well as the monthly tax paid through the Internet to 95 percent by this December, said Son.
To this end, the provincial People’s Committee has asked departments and localities across the provinces, as well as local organisations and businesses to coordinate with local media to strengthen communications on online tax payment as well as benefits from e-tax payment.
At the same time, a hotline has been opened to support tax payers in dealing with problems they face when doing online tax transactions, while encouraging them to use the service.
Quarantine no longer required for eggs
Eggs, both fresh and processed, such as salted eggs and balut, are no longer required to undergo quarantine as of mid-August if they are sold in the domestic market.
Quarantine is still required for eggs being exported.
This was announced in a circular issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on animal quarantines, aiming to reduce administrative procedures.
Egg suppliers will take responsibility for the quality of their products, and government agencies will perform inspections and issue penalties if violations are detected.
People, however, are concerned about unqualified eggs being sold in the market, particularly those carrying diseases that threaten human safety and wellbeing.
Head of HCM City’s Animal Health Department Phan Xuân Thảo warned of the high risk of avian influenza when the circular takes effect, as local authorities would lose control over eggs and egg products.
The Tiền phong ( Vanguard) newspaper reported that egg firms were not happy with the quarantine removal because in order to supply “qualified” eggs to the market, they had invested billions of Vietnamese đồng in equipment and technology.
An owner of an egg firm in HCM City told the newspaper that he had bought egg-processing equipment worth VNĐ2 billion (US$90,000).
“Eggs that are processed, packed and labelled before entering the market are usually VNĐ200–300 more expensive than unprocessed or unpacked eggs,” he said.
“Without a quarantine certificate, consumers are likely to take for granted that all eggs are the same and safe for human consumption,” he said, adding that consumers would pay more attention to price.
An egg seller on Phú Hữu Street, District 5, assumed that there is now no difference between quarantined and non-quarantined eggs, allowing her to reach out to farms to buy eggs and retail them.
Another retailer in Bà Chiểu Market, Bình Thạnh District, said that previously, she had to buy eggs from wholesalers or agents at Levels 1 or 2 to ensure that the eggs were quarantined.
She said she had paid a wholesaler VNĐ2,200 for an egg that was originally priced at VNĐ1,700.
Moreover, she previously had to pay a small amount of money for each egg to be quarantined and granted a certificate.
She said she also felt annoyed when animal health officials arrived at her stall every morning to collect the quarantine fee.
Nguyễn Thị Hòa, a farm owner in southern Đồng Nai Province, said that without the quarantine, she could bring her eggs to HCM City for direct sale instead of going through wholesalers and brokers.
Previously, the government had intervened in controlling egg quality as farms usually operated on a small scale without any quality management programmes. But for the last decade, farms have been able to meet the requirements for quality, so the government’s intervention is unnecessary anymore, according to Hòa.
She said egg quarantine removal would help lower egg prices and that consumers could now buy cheaper eggs.
Ministry approves northern seaport plan
The Ministry of Transport has just approved a detailed plan of seaport group 1 in the northern region by 2020 and vision till 2030.
According to the plan, the group 1 comprises four seaports namely Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh and Hai Thinh-Nam Dinh.
Of them, Hai Phong national seaport is expected to become the international gate for an estimated 109-114 million tons of goods by 2020 and will increase to 178-210 million tons a decade later.
Quang Ninh national seaport will serve 65.5-75.5 million tons of cargo by 2020 and 121-142.5 million tons by 2030.
The volume of goods via Thai Binh seaport will reach 2 million tons by 2020 and 6.25 million tons ten years afterward.
Hai Thinh-Nam Dinh seaport will handle 0.5 million tons by 2020 and 6.25 million tons by 2030.
VN becomes hotpot in world investment map
Southeast Asian countries were praised for abundant potentials by attracting billions of USD investment.
The Chinese economy felt back in July, 2016 with declining import and export by 12.5% and 4.4%.
According to an updated report of the UN on trade and development, investors are more and more interested in “Developing Asia.” Last year's US$ 765 billion of FDI to developing countries included US$ 541 billion absorbed by Asian nations, especially three potential markets of Viet Nam, Myanmar, and India.
Viet Nam has become a special target over the past time. In Q1, the country attracted US$ 11.3 billion of FDI. A large number of FDI projects focused on the areas of processing and real estate, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The Financial Times reported that Viet Nam was listed in the Top 14 of FDI recipients by scoring 6.45 points; followed by Hungary (with 4.32 points) and Romania (with 3.48 points). Viet Nam’s competitors in the Southeast Asian region included Malaysia (with 2.86 points) and Thailand (with 2.43 points).
Quang Ninh pledges to facilitate enterprises
The northern province of Quang Ninh has taken numerous measures to facilitate local enterprises, a local senior official has pledged.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long made the statement at a conference on August 22 with the participation of representatives of around 500 enterprises.
Administrative reform, establishing the Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) and e-government system at all levels are among the efforts to better the business climate and enhance the competitiveness of local enterprises.
The local authorities also requested sectors and localities at all levels cut meeting time by 30 percent, instead they should be conducting more dialogues with enterprises to remove their difficulties.
President of the Quang Ninh province Association of Enterprises Pham Van The spoke highly of the local authorities’ efforts to facilitate local enterprises, saying that this assistance is crucial for boosting local business development, thus contributing to the province’s socio-economic development.
In the first eight months of this year, the province recorded 820 newly registered firms with a total capital of 5.61 trillion VND (250.45 million USD), up 18 percent from the same period last year.
The locality’s economic growth hit 9.2 percent, a record figure in recent years. Budget collection reached 62 percent, up 4 percent against the set target.
From July 1, 2016, Quang Ninh has applied online public services for 509 procedures of the provincial-level departments and sectors, and digital certificates in settling administrative affairs and transferring documents among administrative units.
To date, 100 percent of administrative documents were transferred through the internet among agencies at all levels.-
Promising seaweed industry needs adequate investment
With its value in nutrition and medicine, Vietnamese seaweed has seen strong market demand, requiring producers to seek measures to boost production and exports.
In 2015, Vietnam had over 10,000 hectares of seaweed farm, including 8,200 hectares of gracilaria. However, the country’s total annual natural seaweed output is only 56,000 tonnes of fresh seaweed or 8,000 tonnes of dried seaweed.
Seaweed production in the southern provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, the two largest seaweed producers, has been low at only 3.5 tonnes per hectare of fresh seaweed each year, due to a lack of adequate investment.
Tran Cong Khoi, deputy head of the Department of Aquatic Farming under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, held that in order to increase seaweed yield to meet export demand, it is necessary to expand seaweed farming in the sea as well as around islands and in lagoons, which also benefits the environment there.
At the same time, seaweed processors should improve their technologies and diversify their products to meet the increasing demands of foreign markets, while offering technical training to seaweed farmers and enhancing seaweed varieties, he said.
According to the Institute for Biological Technology and Environment under Nha Trang University , more than 800 species of seaweed have been found in Vietnam , including over 400 species of red Rhodophyta algae, 180 species of green and 140 species of brown algae.
Ngo Dang Nghia, director of the institute, said that seaweed is rich in nutrients, which provide various vitamins, protein, fibre and minerals. Some kinds of seaweed can also help eradicate radioactivity from a human’s body, he said.
Seaweed is used as a foodstuff and in food processing, as well as cosmetics and medical industries, said Nghia.
Vietnam, China’s locality boost links
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) last week signed a cooperative agreement with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade’s (CCPIT) Ningbo city chapter to lay the foundation for the two countries’ businesses to accelerate cooperation.
The signing took place at a seminar held the same day aiming to enable Vietnamese and Chinese enterprises to seek and expand respective markets across electricity, electronics, mechanics engineering, chemicals, apparel, beauty products, trade, finance, and real estate.
VCCI Vice Chairman Hoang Quang Phong said bilateral trade between Vietnam and China has incessantly increased over the past years. China has been Vietnam’s leading export market since 2004, in such products as computers and spare parts, natural rubber, coal and rice.
Phong said two-way trade in the first seven months of this year reached nearly 38.2 billion USD, a year on year increase of 1.3 percent, of which imports were 27.3 billion USD, down 3.4 percent and exports were nearly 10.9 billion USD, up nearly 15 percent.
According to Chairman of the CCPIT’s Ningbo city chapter Chai Lida, Ningbo is one of the most developed cities in China, only after Shanghai. The locality has strength in areas like apparel, machinery and gear manufacturing, and seaport.
The chairman revealed that by the end of July 2016, Chinese investors poured over 10.8 billion USD into 1,475 projects in Vietnam, focusing on processing, industrial manufacturing, mining, services, agriculture-forestry-fishery, aquaculture processing, health, and education.
He proposed speeding up the development of a Ningbo industrial park in Vietnam and preparations to organise an international trade exhibition by the Chinese locality in Vietnam in the coming time.-