Thứ Năm, 21 tháng 7, 2016


VN, Singapore hold forum
Nearly 200 business leaders, industry experts, policymakers and Government officials participated in the 2016 Viet Nam – Singapore Business Forum held yesterday (July 20) in HCM City.
The forum was aimed at strengthening trade connectivity to leverage co-operation opportunities for Vietnamese and Singaporean businesses since the two countries have joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Hosted by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), this business platform connected companies in Viet Nam and Singapore, enabling them to explore co-operation opportunities.
The forum also focused on Viet Nam's consistent efforts to improve the investment environment.
Speaking at the event, Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI vice chairman, said: "VSBF 2016 is an important event which will further contribute to the success of multifaceted bilateral co-operation relations between Viet Nam and Singapore, especially after the two countries reached the Strategic Partnership agreement in 2013.
"This is also a practical platform for businesses to promote international economic integration since both countries have become members of the TPP and AEC."
Leow Siu Lin, the Singaporean consul in HCM City, said: "The forum is a valuable platform for the business sectors of the two countries to network and interact.
"Business links are a key component of the bilateral relationship, which was elevated to a Strategic Partnership signed in September 2013.
Dang Xuan Quang, deputy director of Foreign Investment Department, said the forum provided participants with valuable business opportunities and access to resources, capital and a credible business network to promote economic growth in both countries.
Four panel discussions moderated by industry leaders, experts and government officials focused on financial services, processing and manufacturing, real estate development, and tourism and hospitality.
The financial services session discussed the overview of the financial and banking market in Viet Nam 2016; key driver for reform in Viet Nam's banking sector: the application of modern technology; e-commerce trends; and Singaporean banks' offer of access to their full suite of banking solutions to Vietnamese companies.
The processing and manufacturing seminar discussed co-operation between the two countries in manufacturing under the TPP to improve goods exported to member countries; how Viet Nam and Singapore can take advantage of the TPP to further improve investment in processing and manufacturing; and investment in industrial parks in Viet Nam.
One of the most important areas of co-operation between Viet Nam and Singapore is real estate.
Singaporeans have invested in 46 out of Viet Nam's 63 provinces and cities.
Singapore-invested property projects focus on housing, industrial zones and offices for rent. The Viet Nam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) Joint Venture Company is a flagship project in the country.
Viet Nam has seven VSIP-invested industrial parks in six provinces and cities -- Binh Duong, Bac Ninh, Hai Phing, Quang Ngi, Hai Duong, and Nghe An.
Singaporean business eye Danang market

Singaporean business eye Danang market, Fake goods threaten EU investment in Vietnam, Vietnam’s car sales surge 31 percent in June, Vietnam’s exports of mobile phone, parts surge in H1, World’s top telecom brands converge on Hanoi 
Dragon Bridge, Da Nang city.

Singaporean firms have showed their keen interest in hi-tech investment in the central city of Danang at an investment promotion seminar held recently in Singapore.
Those in attendance included 70 representatives from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation, the International Enterprise Singapore, the Young Entrepreneurs Society of Singapore and a large number of investors.
Addressing the event, Executive Director of Singlarity consulting company Michael Dinh said its consumers and partners want to find out about information technology, clean energy and investment in Danang hi-tech park.
Ben Lim, Director of Singapore’s Shado International Group, said the company is running a project in the central province of Ha Tinh and plans to launch an electric bus service in this central city.
As a long-time investor in Vietnam, Chairman of the board of directors of Kinderworld Ricky Tan revealed that the group is poised to build an international-standard education-services complex on a 32ha site in the city.
As the 34 th member of the Association of International Educators, Kinderworld will bring more students from ASEAN, Singapore and the world to Danang, he said.
In a speech, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh expressed the city’s desire to allure foreign investment in high technology, information technology, tourism, trade and logistics.
Singapore is currently largest investor of Danang with 22 projects worth nearly US$782 million, primarily in manufacturing, real estate, construction and education.
Vietnam’s growth in 2016 projected at only 6%
Vietnam’s economy is expected to expand by 6% or less in 2016, according to a report by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR).
The target of 6.7% would be unattainable despite a recovery in trade growth and a bright outlook on foreign investment attraction, said VEPR Director Nguyen Duc Thanh during the release of a report on the domestic economy recently.
Dr Thanh said a slowdown in industrial production made the economy grow at a less-than-expected rate of 5.52% in the first half of the year.
He warned of the risks of trading macroeconomic stability for high growth with the start of a new government term, noting that Vietnam would have to pay a higher price in case of recurring instability.
According to the report, inflation is bound to speed up in the remainder of the year as a result of recovering global commodity prices, domestic price adjustments and money supply increasing in the first six months.
The VEPR advised policy makers to anticipate risks of rising inflation in order to keep money supply in check, warning that credit growth of 18-20% in 2016 could make inflation spiral out of control as in recent years.
The report said although the new government has taken the first steps in widening the development space for private enterprises, it should resolve to create an effective competitive environment and reduce the State sector, in addition to administrative reform.
The VEPR said this is the best way to support Vietnam’s private companies in the context of rapid international integration.
With falling revenues from a number of sources, especially interests from State-owned enterprises (SOEs), the VEPR recommends strong disinvestment from SOEs be made to add to government income.
According to the VEPR, the idea of mobilising gold from the people is creating more instability on the market, and if implemented, will narrow the policy space in case of macroeconomic instability.
The VEPR said in the long term, this idea runs contrary to the effort to fight dollarisation and use of gold in payment, which has just begun to take effect.
Dr Nguyen Duc Thanh said the State Bank of Vietnam should persist in separating gold and foreign currency from circulation and put principles of the asset market into operation.
Binh Thuan to strictly handle illegal Chinese dragon fruit traders
Standing Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the central province of Binh Thuan, Huynh Thanh Canh, has directed local departments and agencies to strictly deal with Chinese fruit traders illegally operating under the cover of Vietnamese businesses in the locality.
The provincial has set up an interdisciplinary inspection group (or Group 2241) to investigate and deal with Chinese traders who have illegally traded dragon fruit in Binh Thuan since early this year.
At the inspection group’s advice, the provincial People’s Committee has imposed fines worth VND410 million (US$18,600) on 17 Chinese nationals for entering and working in Vietnam without permission from authorised agencies.
The province also fined two Chinese citizens VND50 million (US$2,270) for illegally doing business in Vietnam, seizing 12 tonnes of packed dragon fruit.
Meanwhile, the provincial Migration Management Office shortened the duration of stay in Vietnam for those committing administrative violations for the first time. Those who repeat the offence will be banned from entering Vietnam for certain duration.
Binh Thuan currently has over 26,000 hectares of dragon fruit farms, accounting for 80% of the country’s total dragon fruit area and output.
According to the provincial People’s Committee, 232 organisations and individuals are involved in trading the fruit in the province.
Currently, only about 15-20% of the dragon fruit output is sold in the Vietnamese market, while the majority is exported to China via unofficial trade.
Thailand conducts hearing on stainless pipe and tube antidumping
Thailand’s Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) has announced essential facts on antidumping investigations on stainless pipe and tube products imported from some countries including Vietnam, according to the Vietnam Competition Authority.
DFT also announced that it will conduct a hearing at 10am on July 27 and offer an opportunity for relevant sides to send their opinions to DFT before July 22.
Each side is allowed to register three people to join the hearing before July 22. Only entrants can take part in the hearing, which will be held in Thai language.
On September 17th, 2015, the Thai authorities initiated an antidumping investigation on imports of stainless steel pipe (stainless pipe and tube) from China, Chinese Taipei, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
The products subject to investigation are classified under the following HS codes: 7305.3110, 7306.1110, 7306.1190, 7306.2100, 7306.4010, 7306.4020, 7306.4030, 7306.4090 and 7306.6100.
Petro pump prices continue to drop
The Ministry of Industry and Trade on July 20 announced the price of RON 92 petrol has once again been reduced, this time by US$.029 (VND665) to US$.69 (VND15,303) per litre effective as of 3:00 pm.
Meanwhile the cost of E5 bio-fuel has been reduced by US$.027 (VND604) and now stands at US$.67 (VND14,843) per litre. There has been no change in the charge for diesel oil, paraffin or mazut.
The maximum prices of diesel oil and paraffin are now pegged at US$.55 (VND12,298) and US$.48 (VND10,667) per litre and the price of mazut cannot exceed US$.40 (VND9,001) per kilogramme.
Exhibitions on electrical, energy-saving devices open
The ninth International Exhibition on Electrical Technology & Equipment (Vietnam ETE) and the sixth International Exhibition on the Products and Technologies of Energy Saving & Green Power (Enertec Expo) opened in Ho Chi Minh City on July 20, attracting more than 160 exhibitors at home and abroad.
With 250 stalls, firms displayed energy-saving devices for manufacturing and consumption, including brands such as Dien Quang light bulbs, Rang Dong thermos, Cadivi, and foreign showcases from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey and Germany.
In his opening speech, Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Pham Thanh Kien said the exhibitions have become trustworthy destinations for electrical and eco-friendly equipment manufacturers.
The events will last till July 23.
Local, int’l real estate firms exhibit products in Hanoi expo
The Vietnam International Real Estate Exhibition, VNREA EXPO 2016, kicked off in Hanoi on July 20, featuring nearly 100 booths from nearly 360 domestic and foreign businesses.
On show are new products, services, construction materials and decor in the construction industry. The five-day event also presents real estate and housing projects, and technologies for the sector.
Former Minister of Construction and Chairman of the Vietnam National Real Estate Association (VNREA) Nguyen Tran Nam said the exhibition will be organised annually at the National Architecture, Planning and Construction Exhibition Centre in Ha Noi. A similar event will be held in HCM City in September this year.
This year’s event sees the participation of well-known companies such as Phuc Khang Construction and Investment JSC, Thang Long Air Services Corporation, Capitaland-Hoang Thanh Investment Limited, the Thu Do Investment and Trading JSC, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUD), Viglacera Real-estate Trading Company and Duckshin Housing Co., Ltd. The products displayed at the exhibition come from 36 real estate firms, 126 electrical equipment and smart home technology firms, 83 interior decoration companies and 53 building material firms, and 62 enterprises displaying products from sectors ranging from solar energy to machinery.
VNREA EXPO 2016 is being organised by VNREA in collaboration with the Vietbuild Construction International Exhibition Organisation Corporation (VIETBUILD).
Vietnam ICT COMM 2016 opens in Hanoi
The Vietnam ICT COMM 2016, an exhibition of information and communication technology opened in Hanoi on July 20.
On display at nearly 200 domestic and foreign booths are information and communication technology products, telecom and Internet services and applications, as well as games, software, electronics and ancillary industries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Phan Tam noted that the event is a promising start for Vietnam to carry out a programme to develop broadband telecommunications infrastructure by 2020.
The exhibited products and services at the event are expected to be widely used, contributing to socio-economic development, Tam underscored.
The three-day event creates a venue to link local and foreign enterprises while serving an effective interactive channel for policy-makers and the business community to fulfill the legal environment, which will help branch out the Vietnamese information and communication industry.
Participants at the exhibition will have a chance to share experience in innovation, business management efficiency and the application of IT in trade activities.
Seminars on developing mobile phone apps, network security, job-oriented consultations and ICT resource training are also scheduled at the event.
International electrical technology expo opens in HCM City
The ninth International Exhibition on Electrical Technology and Equipment and the sixth International Exhibition on Products, Technologies of Energy Saving and Green Power opened in HCM City on July 20.
Vietnam ETE 2016 and Enertec Expo 2016 feature nearly 250 booths set up by more than 160 local and international exhibitors in the fields of green energy and electrical equipment, including from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, and Germany.
Several conferences would be held on the sidelines of the events, Pham Thanh Kien, director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said.
With increasing investment to improve their production technologies, Vietnamese firms in the energy and electrical equipment sectors make advanced products which meet not only domestic quality standards but also export standards, he said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, said besides the opportunity to showcase their technologies and products, the two exhibitions also offer local and foreign exhibitors a chance to compare notes and explore business opportunities.
Organised by the department, the HCM City Power Corporation, and C.I.S Viet Nam Advertising and Exhibition Joint Stock Company, the exhibitions, on at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7, will go on until July 23.
Over 1,000 booths showcased at VNREA EXPO 2016
More than 1,000 booths displaying new products and technologies from 360 enterprises are participating in the Viet Nam International Real Estate Exhibition, VNREA EXPO 2016.
The enterprises comprise 186 local firms, 94 ventures and 80 firms from 12 countries and territories.
The expo kicked off yesterday in Ha Noi, aiming to promote trade and introduce real estate projects as well as new products and services in the construction, building materials and interiors sector.
Nguyen Tran Nam, chairman of the Viet Nam Real Estate Association (VNREA), said the event would be organised annually at the National Architecture, Planning and Construction Exhibition Centre in Ha Noi. A similar event will be held in HCM City in September this year.
"The organising board wants to deliver an early alert on development trends in the property market. Estate developers should pay attention to the social housing market segment, offering small-scale and medium prices to suit the incomes of the majority of people," Nam said.
The expo has showcased housing, interiors and building material products. Several prestigious property developers have participated in the five-day exhibition, including Hai Phat, HUD and Viglacera Land.
Seminars on various topics, such as sources of capital for the domestic real estate market, investment potential and opportunities in the market, as well as issues related to providing low-income housing, will be held during the event.
Real estate experts will provide ideas on establishing a policy system to develop the real estate market and field questions on this and related subjects. The expo will also honour outstanding designers, real estate products and trading floors in localities nationwide.
Fake goods threaten EU investment in Vietnam
In Vietnam, the trade of fake goods is pervasive with many market analysts estimating that the overwhelming majority of retail consumer goods sold are counterfeit and likely to have been produced in China.
There is a widespread saying among the business communities in the US and EU that if a product produced in one of their economies sells in Vietnam “it probably will be illegally duplicated in China or another Asian country.”
If one purchases a Swiss Rolex watch, Italian Gucci handbag or a wide variety of American products such as Duracell batteries, Gillette razor blades, Safeguard soap, Head & Shoulders shampoo or Ensure nutritional supplements in Vietnam they are undoubtedly imitation and not the real thing.
Currently, if a foreign company suspects counterfeiting of its products in Vietnam and has evidence to prove it, the individuals involved in the operation seldom go to jail, said Le Ngoc Lam, deputy director of the Ministry of Science and Technology Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Department.
However, the country’s enforcement agencies and the courts have been actively issuing decisions with harsh civil sanctions on the infringers serving as good precedents and clear warnings on future violations.
Mr Lam said the legal system is getting tougher on IP rights violators, largely in part, because of the far-reaching implications this has for the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement and foreign investment.
The trade pact, signed earlier this year, currently in the process of ratification by the signatory member countries and on tract for coming into effect in 2018, has high legal requirements on IP protection standards and enforcement measures
Many retailers from EU countries, said Mr Lam, have expressed their hesitation, if not outright refusal, to invest in the Vietnam retail sector unless and until their wares, have been extended the legal protections found in the developed world.
Factually, a number of retailers from the EU such as Metro Group based out of Germany and French mass retailer Casino Group have this year exited the country’s retail market, demonstrating the appeal of the country’s retail sector currently is weak.  
A similar analysis and conclusion for EU investment in the manufacturing sector could be made, though using Vietnam as a manufacturing hub, carries with it a different risk assessment than entering its retail market.
Thus, there can be little doubt that increases in foreign investment from the EU as a result of the trade deal, will ultimately depend on the effectiveness of intellectual property protection and enforcement in Vietnam.
Mr Lam said presently in Vietnam, rights holders mainly seek administrative relief and border control measures before the Ministry of Science and Technology Inspectorate or the Vietnam Intellectual Property Research Institute as opposed to pursuing lawsuits before civil courts.
They view that an administrative route takes less time and money to prosecute compared with civil actions, taking into account the unclear legal precedents of IP disputes and lack of experienced judges.
The non-binding opinions of these administrative agencies are then included in the customs record, which effectively prevent the physical entry or exit of infringing goods at the country’s border crossings.
However, administrative decisions only result in the fine and destruction of infringing goods without compensating the rights holders for their damages or even payment of legal fees, said Mr Lam.
As a result, the country should expect to see an increase in litigation in courts in patent area over the next couple of years.
With agriculture accounting for well over 50% of the country’s economy, it should come as no big surprise that the first major patent suits took place in this area. In these cases, the courts have issued decisions in favour of the foreign agro-science companies, which set precedents for future judgments.
There are also movements afoot from various quarters to amend the criminal code criminalizing all intentional IP right infringements as harmful acts or conduct to Vietnamese society, Mr Lam concluded.
Opportunities for food and beverage businesses boost trade
Both domestic and foreign food and beverage enterprises will have a chance to promote trade and expand business while attending the Vietfood & Beverage and ProPack international exhibition, scheduled for August 10-13 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The exhibition will feature 500 booths of 425 new and well-known firms from 20 countries and territories worldwide, including China, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, Taiwan (China), Thailand, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam, said the Vietnam National Trade and Advertising Company (Vinexad).
This is also an opportunities for well-known domestic businesses like Habeco, Sabeco, Tan Hiep Phat Group, Vissan and Vifon to consolidate their positions on the market along with introducing their latest products, seeking partners and learning about customers’ demands.
This year, domestic manufacturers will bring to the exhibition clean products cultivated and processed in line with environmentally-friendly and non-toxic standards such as organic rice, honey, bird nest and cereals.
Highlight of the event will be the display of processed poultry products from the Associations of Poultry Processor and Poultry Trade in Poland and the European Union. The associations’ member businesses will provide consultations on bio-farming methods as well as new methods in food processing and preserving.
Business-to-business (B2B) meetings will be organised during the exhibition to connect domestic and foreign poultry businesses.
The food and beverage processing industry has great potential in Vietnam. Being a tropical agricultural country, Vietnam has abundant resources – a significant input for the processing industry. A large domestic consumption market with low labour costs coupled with strong equitisation of food enterprises has made the sector full of vitality, according to the organising board.
The exhibition was first held in 1996. After 19 exhibitions witnessing significant and rapid changes in the market, from the initial purpose of serving consumers' basic needs, the food and beverage industry has become a sector with considerable market share accounting for 15% of the gross domestic product, and it will continue to grow.
World’s top telecom brands converge on Hanoi
A Telecommunications Exposition running July 20-23 in Hanoi at the International Exhibition Centre has attracted nearly 150 companies from more than 15 countries, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
At a July 14 press conference, the MoIT told reporters that a few of the global brands that have registered to attend are Ericsson, Frost and Sullivan, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Runsystem, and GlobalSign APAC.
Leading local companies VNPT and FPT will also participate in the event.
The MoIT said the telecommunications industry is a strategic, fundamental and leading industry in supporting national economic development that helps to improve communication at all levels, an important power in advancing changes to the way the economy works.
Over 1,000 entrepreneurs gather to sharpen leading skills
More than 1,000 domestic and foreign business people were brought together at the 6th meeting of the Business Network International (BNI), seeking to learn from each other’s experience and sharpen their managerial knowledge and skills.
Under the theme “Trust to Abundance”, this year’s gathering, in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau on July 15-16, is the biggest of its kind so far.
Various activities were held during the meeting such as sharing investment opportunities in Ba Ria – Vung Tau, leadership training, fund-raising for impoverished students, and team building.
BNI Vietnam was established in 2010 and is home to 2,400 members at 60 representative offices in 22 cities and provinces nationwide, including those in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, Lam Dong, and Ba Ria – Vung Tau.
From August 2010 to June 2016, BNI Vietnam helped businesses to forge links and gross over 11.49 trillion VND (505.56 million USD) in revenues.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau boasts competitive advantages, notably the deep seaport system, favourable transport network, and abundant human resources.
It will focus on developing the gas-power-fertiliser industry, support industry, environmentally friendly industry, seaport, hi-end tourism and hi-tech agriculture.
TPP members, Mexico work to boost trade ties
A group of trade representatives of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members in Mexico will be set up in an effort to boost trade ties with the host country.
Under an initiative by Vietnam, the group will be responsible for holding seminar and business forums between the ten TPP member states making their presence in Mexico and the host country.
Vietnam’s initiative was discussed at the meeting on July 15 with the participation of ten commercial counsellors and commercials attachés from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam.
The group will also work with state agencies, associations and trade offices in Mexico with regard to the trade deal or economic, trade and investment issues and exchanged information between the members of the group.
All TPP countries, except for Brunei, have established the trade presence in Mexico, including, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
According to Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy, trade between Mexico and other eleven TPP member states totalled 557.55 billion USD in 2015, representing 71.87 percent of its foreign trade.
Mexico exported to its TPP partners 327.94 billion USD worth of commodities, accounting for 86.16 percent of the total export revenue while its imports from the partners exceeded 229.7 billion USD, or 58.12 percent of the total import revenue.
Vietnam is currently the fifth largest trade partner of Mexico among the TPP members with bilateral trade reaching 3.86 billion USD in 2015.
The TPP was concluded on October 5, 2015 after seven years of negotiation. It was signed on February 4, 2016 and is in the process of being ratified by each member state. The ratification procedures will take about two years.
The TPP members will account for 30 percent of global trade and about 40 percent of the world’s economy.
Vietnam’s car sales surge 31 percent in June
Vietnamese people bought more than 24,400 cars in June, an increase of 31 percent compared with the same period last year, the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said.
Passenger cars were the market leaders with sales of 12,916 units, following by commercial cars with 10,325 units and special-purpose vehicles with 1,180 units.
In the first half of this year, nearly 126,800 cars were sold, a 31 percent year-on-year increase. On average, about 700 cars were bought each day.
Truong Hai Automobile Joint-Stock Company (Thaco) continued to monopolise the market last month, with sales of 9,246 units, claiming 42.3 percent of the market share.
Thaco said it produced 51,000 cars in the first half of this year and developed 11 new models of buses, tour cars and trucks.
Thaco plans to design a new bus under the national brand later this year as a Vietnamese brand promotion strategy in the ASEAN Economic Community and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Two truck and bus manufacturing plants will be built later this year, with a capacity of producing 16,000 buses and 100,000 trucks per year, while the production capacity of the Kia Thaco plant will be raised from 28,000 to 30,000 cars, and of Vina Mazda to 30,000 vehicles.
Thaco’s sales were more than double of Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV), which ranked second with sales of 3,979 units, claiming 18.2 percent of the market share.
These were followed by Ford Vietnam, Honda, GM Vietnam and Mercedes-Benz Vietnam with sales of 2,369 units, 869 units, 765 units and 655 units, respectively.
The top five best-selling cars in the first half of this year were Ford Ranger, Toyota Vios, Toyota Fortuner and Toyota Innova, besides Mazda.
The market prices of many models with engine displacement between 1,500cc and 2,500cc were sharply cut.
TMV cut the price of Corrola Altis models by 48-59 million VND (2,147-2,600 USD) each, with the prices now ranging from 747 million VND to 933 million VND.
Other Toyota models the prices of which were cut were Yaris, Vios and Hiace. Meanwhile, the firm raised the prices of Fortuner models by between 32 million VND and 38 million VND to reach 1.04 billion VND and 1.23 billion VND. The price of Land Cruiser VX increased by 870 million VND to touch 3.72 billion VND.
A small survey conducted by online newspaper showed that agents cut the prices of many models in the sedan segment.
An auto sales person in Hanoi, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the prices of models with engine displacement of 1,500cc to 2,500cc had been reduced. The agent did not make any profit, but still accepted the low price to close its revenue account for the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, a representative of an FDI auto firm said the price cut was being implemented only by agents. They accepted cut in profits to increase revenue and hoped to receive a cash bonus from the automakers.
Agents said they had to reduce the prices of many models because there was fierce competition among companies to claim and maintain market shares.
Some businesses have announced price cuts. Meanwhile, some others do not cut the price themselves, but give the ‘green light’ to agents to cut prices, while promising to give them cash bonuses in return for increased revenue.
Five major motorbike manufacturers sold more than 1.44 million motorbikes for the first six months of the year, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (VAMM).
VAMM includes five members, Honda Vietnam Co Ltd, Piaggio Vietnam Co Ltd, Vietnam Suzuki Corporation, SYM Vietnam Company and Yamaha Motor Vietnam Co Ltd.
VAMM’s figures released in a report on July 11 did not include export sales or market share of each auto manufacturer.
The five manufactures provide a wide range of products, including scooters, cubs and clutch gear motorbikes.
Last year, total sales volume of the five members reached more than 2.84 million units.
Canadian cherry introduced in Ho Chi Minh City
A Canadian cherry festival opened in the SC Vivocity trade centre in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 on July 16, aiming to introduce Vietnamese consumers with cherry grown in British Columbia, a western state of Canada.
Speaking at the event, jointly held by the Canadian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Co.op Extra supermarket chain and Nam Chan Food Corporation, Canadian Trade Counsellor Barbara Nadea said that the Canadian government has invested strongly in cherry production and successfully developed nutritious cherry varieties.
Currently, British Columbia has more than 300 family cherry farms covering a total area of 4,000 hectares. Canadian cherry has met food safety and origin standards to be sold in Asian and European markets.
According to Duong Minh Quang, Deputy General Director of Co.op Extra, Canada is among leading countries in fruit producing, storing and processing with advanced and environmental friendly technology.
Co.op Extra and Vietnamese importers hope to provide Vietnamese consumers with high quality and safe products and variety of choices in food, farm produce and fruits, he added.
Last year, the Canadian Embassy held a similar festival in Hanoi. In 2015, Canada exported over 1.7 million USD worth of cherry to Vietnam, a 50-percent rise over 2014.
Demo day helps startups attract seed capital
A demo day was held in Hanoi on July 16 as part of a business acceleration project following the Silicon Valley model, aiming to help startups attract seed capital to stimulate their growth.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said to have a successful startup environment, the relationship and cooperation capacity between startups and investors are the prerequisites.
The number of startups receiving investment depends on investors’ capacity and the money they will spend. Startup founders’ ability of creating a business with rapid and sustainable growth is also a necessary condition for a successful startup environment.
The business acceleration project looks to develop those founders’ capacity of building startups and call for investors’ seed capital, helping them have sufficient funding to try different business strategies, he added.
He said he hopes the demo day will provide a precondition for successful connectivity between investors, investment funds and potential startups, helping startups to strongly develop in the future.
At the event, 11 potential startups presented their product and business ideas to persuade investors.
In the first demo day in 2014, nine startups presented their ideas, and four of them received capital from funds and angel investors. Those four startups generated profit almost five-fold what they had earned before the event.
Real estate expo to take place in Hanoi
The Vietnam International Real Estate Exhibition – VNREA EXPO 2016 – will take place at the National Architecture, Planning and Construction Exhibition Centre in Hanoi from July 20-24.
According to the organising board, there will have around 1,000 booths from 12 countries and territories, introducing new products and technologies from 360 enterprises, including 186 local firms, 94 ventures, and 80 foreign firms.
Nguyen Tran Nam, VNREA President said the event will be organised annually in Hanoi and HCM City. A similar event will be held in September in HCM City.
Products displayed at the exhibition come from 36 real estate firms, 126 enterprises on electrical equipment and smart home technology, 83 enterprises related to interior decoration, 53 enterprises involved with building materials, and 62 enterprises displaying a range of products from solar energy to machinery.
VNREA EXPO 2016 is held by the Vietnam National Real Estate Association (VNREA) in collaboration with the Vietbuild Construction International Exhibition Organisation Corporation.
German state believes in bright outlook for cooperation with ASEAN
Officials of the German state of Baden Württemberg expressed optimism about cooperation prospects between the state and ASEAN countries at a recent meeting with the member ambassadors of the Berlin ASEAN Committee (BAC).
Minister-President of the state Winfried Kretschmann spoke highly of ASEAN’s efforts and accomplishments in building an ASEAN Community with unity in diversity.
He expressed delight at the comprehensive cooperation outcomes between the two sides, noting that the state’s Minister for Economics Nicole Hoffmeister - Kraut will lead a business delegation to Vietnam and Singapore this November to create new momentum for bilateral partnership.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Economics said the state has strength in machinery and automobile manufacturing, information technology, renewable energy, and health care, describing them as promising for cooperation between the German state and ASEAN.
Aside from the meeting with Baden Württemberg officials, the BAC delegation met with the chambers of commerce and industry of the state’s Karlsruhe and Stuttgart cities, and the state’s international cooperation promotion agency Baden-Württemberg International.
At the working sessions, the German side highly valued the economic partnership prospect between the state and ASEAN and also voiced interest in Vietnam.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Doan Xuan Hung informed the hosts about the new government of Vietnam and its resolve to initiate the second wave of reforms to promote the country’s industrialisation and modernisation.
This is a big opportunity for German and Baden Württemberg businesses, he stressed.
On this occasion, he also met with leaders of Daimler group, which has invested in Vietnam since 1995 and has recorded rapid growth there in recent years.
Baden Württemberg, the third largest state of Germany, reported a GDP of 460 billion EUR and an economic growth rate of 3.1 percent in 2015 – the fastest rate in the country, whose economy grew by 1.7 percent on average. It is also holding 30 percent of Germany’s patents and home to globally famous brands like Bosch, Daimler and SAP.
State plantations restructured slowly
Additional legal framework is needed to speed up the restructuring of State-owned plantations in Việt Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hà Công Tuấn has said.
The Politburo of the Communist Party of Việt Nam and the Government issued a resolution and decree on State-owned plantations two years ago as the plantations did not operate as effectively as expected, causing wastage to State-resources, particularly in land and funding use, according to the official.
As many as 150 agriculture companies and 134 forestry companies owned by State are subject to restructuring. However, until the end of last month, 14 of those companies had not completed their restructuring plans or their revised plans had not been approved by the Prime Minister, Tuấn said at a conference held on Thursday.
By the end of last year, State-owned agriculture and forestry companies across Việt Nam had a total asset value of VNĐ40.517 trillion (US$ 1.81 billion), and average pre-tax profit in the period 2012-2014 was VNĐ2.797 trillion ($125.41 million).
Their accumulated losses totalled VNĐ1.071 trillion (US$48 million), accounting for four per cent of equity.
Deputy Minister Tuấn said at the conference reviewing the plantation restructuring that localities across the country were struggling to find direction for future development.
He said that the Government’s decree on restructuring of State-owned plantations – Decree 118/2014/NĐ-CP – should be reviewed and amended.
For example, regulations on the bankruptcy of agriculture and forestry companies, and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) of such companies should be added to the decree.
The shortage of funding for measuring land areas that the State-owned plantation are managing also hindered the restructuring, localities reported.
The Government planned to allocate VNĐ 1 trillion (US$44.84 million) for localities to measure and re-identify boundaries of State-owned farms but until now, just VNĐ450 billion ($20,170) has been disbursed.
Localities revealed they were unable to arrange funding for the measurements as they faced financial difficulties.
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ said that the restructuring was important to avoid the waste of land and forest, as well as to increase the turnover of agriculture and forestry production.
He asked relevant agencies to study and boost reforestation in areas where trees had been chopped down to make room for hydropower plant projects.
In cases where there is no land remaining for reforestation in localities where hydropower plans are located, the plant investors must give the localities money for reforestation in other places, he said.
By June 20, the country had planted 23,622 hectares of forest, 11,338 hectares of which were contributed by hydroelectricity projects.
Textile firms blast formaldehyde directive
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been urged to retract a directive, which experts say creates unnecessary obstacles for textile and garment manufacturers.
The directive, which took effect in December 2015, regulates the acceptable levels of formaldehyde and aromatic amines derived from azo dyes in apparel materials imported for local production.
Under the circular, formaldehyde levels in textile materials must not exceed 30 mg/kg in textile products for children under 36 months of age; 75 mg/kg for textile products in direct contact with human skin; and 300 mg/kg for textile products not in direct contact with human skin.
The new circular sets the same limits as one from November 2009, which it replaces, but adds requirements for sampling methods to reflect updated test methods and relevant quality management requirements.
Nguyen Minh Thao, head of the CIEM's Business Environment and Competitiveness Division, said the ministry's requirement has forced enterprises to comply with a time-consuming and costly procedures for the past seven years.
After reviewing relevant legal documents, her research group found that the issuance of Circular 37 was contrary to the current Law on Product and Goods Quality, Thao told Thoi Bao Tai Chinh (Viet Nam Financial Times) Online.  
Under the law, the ministry is only allowed to issue regulations related to the inspection of formaldehyde content in textile products if the products are on the list of commodities under the ministry's management.
However, textile products are not on the list of potentially unsafe goods under the ministry's management.
On November 24, 2015, the ministry promulgated Circular 41 to supplement the textile products on the list as a "band-aid" solution.
Pham Thanh Binh, former head of the General Department of Viet Nam Customs' Post-Clearance Inspection Division, said "Circular 41 was issued and came into effect after Circular 37, thus Circular 37 is baseless."
The Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) complained that the requirement has cost garment enterprises much time and money. In particular, the long customs clearance time interrupts production and, in some cases, causes firms to miss delivery deadlines.
The complicated procedure will force enterprises to raise product costs, so their competitiveness will also be harmed, according to VITAS.
A formaldehyde content check usually takes three to seven days and the examination fee for one sample is approximately VND2 million (US$90).
Statistics from Tan Son Nhat Airport Customs show that customs officers examine about 8,000 imported shipments of apparel per year for formaldehyde content, but just six cases of non-compliance have been found.
VITAS complained that the percentage of non-compliance never reached one per cent, but their products have undergone exhaustive examinations for years.
Ideas seek funding at Ha Noi get-together
A demo day was held in Ha Noi on July 16 as part of a business acceleration project based on the Silicon Valley model, aiming to help startups attract seed capital to stimulate their growth, reports.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said that in order to have a successful startup environment, the relationship and cooperation capacity between startups and investors are prerequisites.
Startup founders' ability to create a business with rapid and sustainable growth is also a necessary condition for a successful startup environment.
The business acceleration project looks to develop those founders' capacity for building startups and to seek seed capital to provide entrepreneurs with sufficient funding to try different business strategies, he added.
At the event, 11 potential startups presented their product and business ideas to persuade investors.
VIB offers fast-track loans for SMEs
Vietnam International Bank (VIB) has launched a new campaign for fast-track loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which may be approved within 48 hours of submission of all documents.
The programme is part of the bank's strategy to prioritise corporate loans and offer SMEs easy and flexible banking products to help them gain more business opportunities.
Accordingly, SMEs which need short-term loans for their production and business activities, can access VIB credit packages with a preferential interest rate. The firms can receive loans worth up to 80 per cent of their value of mortgage assets.
In order to facilitate corporate customers, VIB has also launched other outstanding banking services such as payment accounts, property insurance, online banking services and SMS banking. Corporate customers, who use one of these services, can enjoy preferential interest rates and get consultancy on suitable business solutions besides other attractive benefits and incentives.
"SMEs are our core customers. Therefore, we have focussed on developing products and services to best serve this customer segment," VuongThiHuyen, VIB's head of wholesale banking, said.
"We believe that the bank's fast-track loans will help SMEs expand their production and business activities, sharpen their capacities in current competitive business environment," she said.
Phu My Hung launches Riverpark Premier
With two show houses, Phu My Hung Development Corporation on Saturday (16.7) launched a new project named Riverpark Premier.
Among the most beautiful and luxurious projects in the Phu My Hung City Centre, Riverpark Premier is designed by Germany's Korn Architects, who had earlier designed Riverpark Residence and Green Valley.
The construction will be done by POSCO E&C Vietnam, one of South Korea's leading construction companies.
By signing up the famous design and construction firms, Phu My Hung affirmed that Riverpark Premier would be the first of a new version of high-end projects to come out in the near future.
Low construction density, green space and amenities are competitive advantages of Riverpark Premier
The company added that this would be the last riverside project in the City Centre's HillView District, the most vibrant area in the Phu My Hung City Centre.
With three buildings (one oval-shaped) ranging from 13 to 22 floors, the project will have 268 condos, four penthouses, three duplex flats and 13 shop houses.
Phu My Hung is increasingly building larger flats: It revealed that units in Riverpark Premier will range from 112sq.m to 231sq.m. When finished in the last quarter of 2018, the project will offer full facilities including an infinity swimming pool, clubhouse, children's playing yard, yoga centre and gymnasium and a walking area.
Riverpark Premier is designed under new trend mixing Resort and Residence, which brings new experience to their customers
Though not yet open for sales, the project has attracted a lot of interest thanks to its close proximity to the city, river, main streets, parks, and schools.
It has Nguyen Duc Canh to the east, the river to the west, the Saigon South International School and Lawrence S. Ting School to the south and Riverpark Residence and parks to the north.
Riverpark Premier would be the last riverside project in the City Centre's Hill View District,
Uniquely, customers can buy condos facing eighth different directions - north, north-west, east, north-east, south-east, south, south-west, and west.
Like other projects in the Phu My Hung City Centre, this one has convenient transport options. By the time it is finished, many more transportation projects would have been completed.
The roads leading from District 7 to District 4 will be upgraded, with Le Van Luong and Nguyen Tat Thanh streets widened. More bridges will be built between Districts 7 and 4 and Districts 4 and 1.
Thu Thiem Bridge 4 will be built between Districts 7 and 2.
Many other roads will be built to connect with surrounding areas to reduce traffic jams.
Phu My Hung said Riverpark Premier would open for sales by the end of this month -31/7/2016.
Thousands to attend Ha Noi technology expo
Techmart Ha Noi 2016, a technology and equipment exhibition, will take place in the capital from September 28 to October 1, the event's organizers announced at a news conference last week.
The forthcoming expo is expected to draw about 390 enterprises, focusing on information technology, automation, engineering and machinery along with agro-forestry, fisheries and pharmaceuticals. Foreign businesses will display their products at about 50 booths.
The event will also include seminars and workshops on food safety and new technologies in biology, health and pharmacy.
A seminar to introduce mechanisms and policies to support business will also be held on the sidelines of the event.
Organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Techmart has facilitated closer co-operation between scientists and business to enhance the use of technology and improve competitiveness for international economic integration and sustainable development over the past 13 years.
More than 450 contracts and MoUs, worth VND380.6 billion (US$17 million), were signed at the national-scale Techmart Viet Nam 2015. According to the management board, the previous expo saw much co-operation forged between participants, many research results were exchanged scientists found new markets for their technology.
Vietnam catfish farmers indebted as demand from Chinese market drops
Catfish farmers in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have suffered losses and are heavily indebted as the Chinese market, their primary purchaser, has stopped buying.
The price of catfish in the region has constantly plunged over the past month, with one kilogram of the food currently selling at VND16,000 (US$0.71) to VND17,000 (US$0.76).
Even with the fish price having hit a record low in the last five years, local farmers are still struggling to sell their products due to the absence of consumers.
According to Nguyen Van Dan, an official in Thot Not District, Can Tho City, the total area for catfish farming in the locality is estimated at 400 hectares.
“Local farmers could face up to billions of dong in losses [VND1 billion = $44,420] with the current price,” Dan said.
Losing about VND600 million (US$26,652), Tran Thi Lan, a resident of Thot Not District, considered herself lucky as many farmers have not been able to sell their fish to any buyer.
Nguyen Huu Nguyen, a member of a fishing cooperative in Chau Phu District, An Giang Province, stated that the situation was unprecedented.
Businesses have been ignoring catfish farmers’ call for help while merchants have only been making empty promises, said Tam, another member of the cooperative.
“We have to borrow money to afford food and other necessities, adding even more to our massive debts,” Tam complained.
According to the fish farmers, local residents have tried every measure to minimize their losses, some of whom were even forced to abandon their farms to find other jobs.
During an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Le Chi Binh, vice-president of the An Giang Fishery Association, said many processing businesses in the province have begun raising their own fish, meaning that they would stop buying from local farmers.
These firms also sold their catfish that were not used as material, resulting in a hike in supply and drop in price, Binh continued.
“This is the consequence of conducting business separately without proper planning and coordination,” he elaborated.
According to Phan Kim Sa, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade in Dong Thap Province, the situation has been exacerbated because local firms compete with farmers to sell their fish to the Chinese market.
“Several entities shot themselves in their feet as they began to lower their prices,” Sa said.
He also mentioned a possibility that Chinese traders have manipulated the catfish market by steering local companies from behind the scenes.
China was previously anticipated to replace the US and European markets to be the top consumer of Vietnamese catfish, evidenced by the high demand in the first months of 2016, causing the price to reach VND27,000 (US$1.2) per kilogram, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) stated.
As local famers and businesses boost their operation to meet the demand, Chinese buyers have already started disappearing, the VASEP added.
Vietnam’s exports of mobile phone, parts surge in H1
Vietnam earned nearly US$17 billion from exports of mobile phones and spare parts in the first half of the year, a year-on-year surge of 16%, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
The agency said that the shipments accounted for 20.7% of Vietnam’s total export revenue, which reached more than US$82 billion in the same period, posting a 5.7% increase year-on-year.
Garment ranked 2nd with nearly US$11 billion, up 6.4% over last year.
Computers, electronics and parts ranked 3rd with nearly US$7.9 billion, followed by shoes with US$6.3 billion and wood and wood products with US$3.2 billion
Exports of other commodities, which contributed significantly to total export value two years ago, have seen a sharp decline.
Crude oil export gained more than US$1.1 billion, down by nearly 47% over last year. Export of cameras and parts earned the same amount, a year-on-year decrease of nearly 7%.
Vietnam – Singapore investment cooperation promoted
The 2016 Vietnam – Singapore Business Forum (VSBF) is a significant foundation to connect trade and investment between the two nations, Singaporean Consul in Ho Chi Minh City Leow Siu Lin said at the VSBF that opened in the city on July 20.
Leow Siu Lin highlighted the importance of business connectivity in Vietnam – Singapore bilateral relations, saying that it contributes to boosting multilateral cooperation, in areas such as trade, investment, finance, education and human resources development.
Echoing the Singaporean diplomat’s view, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Doan Duy Khuong said the event will further contribute to the success of multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, especially after the two countries reached a strategic partnership agreement in 2013.
It is also a practical platform for businesses to promote international economic integration since both countries have become members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the ASEAN Economic Community, Khuong added.
The key topics discussed during the event include financial services, processing and manufacturing, real estate development, tourism and hospitality.
Koh Chong Yu, Director of the Singapore Trade Development Board, (IE Singapore) in Ho Chi Minh City highlighted investment potential in the Asian nations, including Vietnam.
Singaporean enterprises wish to promote cooperation with Vietnamese ones in real estate, retail, restaurant – hotel services and petroleum and oil, she added.
As of April 2016, Singapore ranked third among foreign investors in Vietnam, with a total investment exceeding 36 billion USD in 1,600 valid projects.
The Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is among the most effective projects in the country.
UK helps Vietnam implement int’l arbitration standards
The UK’s Commonwealth Fund will help the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice enhance its capacity via a project on implementing international arbitration standards.
The move aims to boost Vietnam’s economic development by improving the domestic investment and business climate, the Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army) newspaper cited a press release issued by the UK Embassy on July 20 as saying.
UK Ambassador Giles Lever noted his hope that with the technical assistance, the ministry will outstandingly carry out the project’s activities.
Outcomes brought about by the project are expected to exert long-term impacts on policy and rule building in Vietnam in order to increase the efficiency of the recognition and observance of decisions made by international arbitrators in the country, he said.
According to the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC), arbitration is conducted in 146 countries. In Vietnam, up to 124 legal proceedings were resolved by the VIAC between 1993 and 2014.
Vietnam has 288 arbitrators, along with seven centres in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.
Deputy PM receives German Siemens representative
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on July 20 received Lisa Davis, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG.
At the reception in Hanoi, Dung praised the dynamic development of Siemens and hoped the corporation would continue making more contributions to the socio-economic development in Vietnam.
Dung said Vietnam is in the process of industrialisation and modernisation with the goal of achieving a high growth rate and rapid development, which require a network of infrastructure and a solid energy industry.
He spoke highly of Siemens’ introduction of advanced technologies for clean energy and renewable energy to Vietnam and recognised the group’s active participation in electricity projects and oil and gas projects.
The Deputy PM recommended that Siemens work with the Ministry of Industry and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group in order to learn the relevant information and conditions to supply equipment for projects under Vietnam’s laws.
Lisa Davis appreciated the support of the Vietnamese government, ministries and sectors for Siemens, particularly the government’s efforts in enhancing investment and the business environment.
Exhibitions on electrical, energy-saving devices open
The ninth International Exhibition on Electrical Technology & Equipment (Vietnam ETE) and the sixth International Exhibition on the Products and Technologies of Energy Saving & Green Power (Enertec Expo) opened in Ho Chi Minh City on July 20, attracting more than 160 exhibitors at home and abroad.
With 250 stalls, firms displayed energy-saving devices for manufacturing and consumption, including brands such as Dien Quang light bulbs, Rang Dong thermos, Cadivi, and foreign showcases from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey and Germany.
In his opening speech, Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Pham Thanh Kien said the exhibitions have become trustworthy destinations for electrical and eco-friendly equipment manufacturers.
The events will last till July 23.

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