Thứ Tư, 20 tháng 6, 2018


Vietnam-EAEU FTA produces positive outcomes
Officials of Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) lauded the upbeat outcomes brought about by the EAEU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EAEU – Vietnam FTA) in more than one year and a half since it took effect.   
The enforcement of the FTA was reviewed at a working session between Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Veronika Nikishina, in Moscow on June 18.
According to statistics of the Vietnam Customs, trade between the two sides hit 3.9 billion USD in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016. Also in 2017, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of nearly 1 billion USD with the bloc. 
In the first four months of 2018, the bilateral trade was at 1.53 billion USD, an annual increase of 35 percent.
Key exports of Vietnam to EAEU were phones – components, computers – electronic devices, apparel, footwear, fruit – vegetables, coffee, cashew nut, and seafood. It mainly imported petrol, oil, steel, fertilizers, and machinery from the EAEU. Commodities of the sides supplement each other, thus limiting the disadvantages usually seen with other FTAs. 
However, the two ministers took note of the low use of incentives brought by the agreement, particularly the Certificate of Origin Form EAV.
They urged more joint efforts to clear hurdles for Vietnamese and EAEU businesses so that they can capitalize on favourable conditions created by the bilateral FTA and bolster bilateral trade towards a value of 10 billion USD in 2020. 
Tuan Anh voiced his concern over the EEC’s safeguard duties imposed on Vietnamese underwear and children’s wear products for nine and six months respectively since March 14, 2018. He noted that Vietnam had repeatedly asked for reconsideration of the duties considering that Vietnamese goods accounted for a low share in the EAEU’s total import of such products, had good quality, and supplemented garment and textile products made by EAEU countries.
The Vietnamese minister asked the EEC to soon lift the duties and make criteria of its safeguard measures more transparent in the future.
Concluding their meeting, the two officials agreed to pour more efforts to effectively implement the EAEU – Vietnam FTA and create maximum favourable conditions for bilateral trade of agro-forestry-fishery goods.
They reached a consensus on speeding up negotiations to build an electronic origin assessment and certification system following the roadmap committed to by both Vietnam and the bloc.   
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Minister Tuan Anh said the FTA is a strong catalyst for trade with Russia, the important comprehensive strategic partner of Vietnam in EAEU. Trade value with Russia currently accounts for about 90 percent of Vietnam’s total trade with the bloc.
He said the EAEU is intensifying its trade and investment with the ASEAN Community in its strategy to expand ties with the Asia-Pacific region, and Vietnam is also building production and distribution chains in this region. Therefore, deeper cooperation with Vietnam will give producers and suppliers in Russia and other EAEU opportunities to join supply chains in the Asia-Pacific.
Vietnamese firms face uphill task to export farm produce to Thailand
A delegation of 30 Vietnamese enterprises, mostly from Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces, attended the recent Thaifex, the leading food, beverage and food technology in Thailand, to introduce outstanding farm produce of Vietnam in the market at a hope to export more products to the country.
Aware that Thailand itself is a major farm produce exporter, the Vietnamese firms chose high quality products with marked differences in quality and taste from Thai products to showcase at the event, including organic products.
Dang Thi Diem Thuy from Vinamit said that the firm brought organic rice, mango and  banana to the fair, which left strong impression on local consumers.
Meanwhile, Co May company from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap introduced its fried basa (pangasius bocourti) fish skin and mushroom deep fried crackers, and Betrimex company of Ben Tre showcased coconut products such as coconut milk and juice.
According to the Asian-African Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, strong growth was seen in the Vietnam-Thailand trade revenue over the past years.
Last year, Vietnam mostly exported to Thailand telephone and accessories, computers, electronic products, crude oil, transport vehicles and spare parts. Meanwhile, Thailand exported many agricultural products to Vietnam, especially fruit. In the first four months of this year, Vietnam imported 203 million USD worth of Thai fruits, up over 28 percent year on year.
The department attributed the rise to Vietnam’s reduction of tax in line with the roadmap under the ASEAN agreement on trade in goods (ATIGA).
Thai products are competitive thanks to their good quality and reasonable prices. Thai businesses have also been active in organising trade promotion activities and invested strongly in distribution channels in Vietnam.
The department held that selling agricultural products to the Thai market is a tough task for Vietnamese firms.
Vu Kim Hanh, President of the High-Quality Vietnamese Products Association, which brought the Vietnamese firms to Thaifex, said that this is the first time Vietnamese products are introduced abroad using the logos of “high-quality Vietnamese products selected for domestic products” and “high-quality Vietnamese products meeting global integration standards”.
Due to the high requirements, only 60 enterprises in food industry are eligible for the title of “high-quality Vietnamese products meeting global integration standards”.
Hanh held that Vietnamese agricultural products have high potential in expanding markets. However, she advised domestic firms to invest more in building value chain for their products, in order to broaden markets and compete with products of other countries.
Canon unveils new projector range
Canon Marketing Vietnam announced its entry into Vietnam’s exciting projector market at an exhibition entitled the “Big Screen Era” held in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 on June 15 and 16, where customers have the chance to experience the company’s advanced projection technology for home and business.
The event marks the company’s 16th year in Vietnam and sees the projector range inherit Canon’s legacy of imaging excellence. Canon, which already markets a range of products in Vietnam such as cameras, printers, and photocopiers, brings world-leading technology such as Ultra Short Throw, advanced LCOS display screens, lens replacements that suit varying presentation purposes, and simple installation and maintenance thanks to Canon’s modular design.
“Vietnamese consumers have come to love the Canon brand over the past 16 years through our cameras, printers, scanners, and other imaging solutions,” said Mr. Hiroshi Yokota, CEO of Canon Marketing Vietnam. 
“We saw it was time to broaden our offerings to customers in the country. We are focused on maintaining our market leadership across all imaging categories. The ‘Big Screen Era’ exhibition showcases an array of realistic simulation areas that will bring an incredible experience to those who come and see our new Canon projectors.”
The 400 sq m exhibition features seven key areas, each highlighting the important applications of Canon’s projectors. The Interactive Table will give visitors a unique experience with an interaction-integrated projector model, where they can use their hands to paint on the projector’s screen, play games just by tapping, or take notes directly when needed.
The Business Solutions area will replicate a meeting room with a full range of printing equipment, security cameras, and projectors. Logitech will also be participating in this area, offering online video calling solutions. The Family Movie Theater area brings glamorous images from blockbusters or the energetic atmosphere of fiery football matches. This area will be a huge draw to guests given the 2018 World Cup is now underway in Russia.
At The Mobile Game Zone, visitors who love mobile games are sure to become immersed in PUBG and Alliance, the two “hottest” games in Vietnam, on 200-inch screens. The Game Console takes visitors to a dusty race track in the Dirt 4 racing game and thrilling football games in PES 2018’s virtual stadium. In addition to the large-screen gaming experience using Canon projectors, visitors also receive gifts if they win the challenges.
The Creative Painting Wall, meanwhile, will guide visitors on the basic drawing steps on the interactive screen and incorporate Wacom’s drawing board. They will also receive an adorable Chibi portrait of themselves.
5M capital mobilization up 6.2%
Capital mobilization by credit institutions had increased 6.2 per cent since the end of last year by the end of May and was 4.3 per cent higher year-on-year.
Mobilized Vietnam dong (VND) rose 7.4 per cent while mobilized foreign currencies fell 3.1 per cent, according to a National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) report released last month. VND accounted for 91.3 per cent of all funds mobilized under the CI system, after standing at 90.3 per cent at the end of 2017.
Credit has increased 5.8 per cent this year after rising 6.9 per cent in the same period last year. Credit in VND rose 5.6 per cent and accounted for 91.9 per cent of total credit, while credit in foreign currencies rose 8 per cent but accounted for just 8.1 per cent of the total.
Medium- and long-term credit increased 5.4 per cent in the first five months, while short-term credit rose 6.5 per cent; both down only slightly year-on-year. Long-term credit accounted for 52.7 per cent of the total, unchanged from the end of last year.
Borrowers changed slightly. The proportion of household loans fell to 16.6 per cent of the total from 17 per cent at the end of 2017, while the proportion for construction and real estate increased slightly, to 16.3 per cent from 16 per cent.
The NPL ratio was reported at 2.3 per cent at the end of May, after being 2.5 per cent at the end of 2017. Credit institutions have focused on bad debt management this year, primarily using risk provisions, and managed about VND20 trillion ($876.59 million) in bad debts. Collateral accounted for only 1.9 per cent.
Alpha King to change HCMC skyline

Alpha King Real Estate, one of the leading foreign property developers in Vietnam, has prepared the launch of two projects in prime locations on Ho Chi Minh City’s Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1: the Alpha Town office block and the Alpha City premium integrated development.

Alpha King is a 100-per-cent foreign-owned company operating primarily in the field of developing multi-functional real estate projects, from shopping malls to luxury apartments. Its team of 90 professionals from 12 different countries are experienced in consulting on, designing for, and managing real estate and can be found in countries such as Hong Kong, Australia, China, and the US.

Alpha Town will be the only 35-storey Grade A office block built by a foreign developer in the city’s prime CBD, just minutes away from the central bus station and future metro station and surrounded by major attractions such as Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Square, and Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

Inspired by the “ao dai”, Vietnam’s iconic national dress, Alpha Town artistically reminds one of old Saigon in a modern way and sets a new standard in Ho Chi Minh City for living and working and in entertainment and leisure. Among a city full of block houses, Alpha Town is like a piece of art and will change the city’s skyline. With an open plan architectural design that maximizes open space inside, it will be a workplace where people feel inspired and relaxed.

The project features a generous 2,000 sq m gross floor area (GFA), along with a meter-high ceiling, providing full views of the city. It will be the first office block in Vietnam to apply the most advanced technology in the world, such as facial recognition and guest enrolment systems.

Built for the purpose of altering the view of real estate investment in Vietnam, Alpha City is a premium integrated development comprising residential and retail space. The project sits on one of the last few remaining freeholds in District 1.

Within Alpha City, Alpha Mall is inspired by Saigon street art and block houses and will boast two large atriums, a transparent façade with LED promotion screens, and express elevators.

In order to provide a comfortable and safe living environment, Alpha King’s projects are equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Smart Building (SMART), which also help in the management of design, construction, operations, and marketing.

Alpha Town and Alpha City were selected as the two pilot BIM technology projects by the Ministry of Construction.
HATECO LAROMA to open at end-2019
The Hateco Thang Long Joint Stock Company announced its high-end apartment project, HATECO LAROMA in Hanoi’s Dong Da district, will be in operation by the fourth quarter of 2019.
The project covers a land area of 3,135 sq m and features 281 apartments and a commercial space on 31 floors.
HATECO LAROMA will present a premium living option for local people and expats who are seeking a high-quality apartment in the heart of the city that is exceptionally well-managed and with a full range of amenities.
Among the amenities are a swimming pool, a fitness center, spa facilities, a wine cellar, a children’s playground, a kindergarten, F&B options, and outlets of top quality fashion brands in the world.
HATECO LAROMA was designed by the renowned FINENCO Architects from Italy, with exquisite lines from the landscapes, the building’s exterior, and the corridors to the interior of the apartments.
Hateco Thang Long has appointed CBRE Vietnam as the exclusive agent for consultancy and property management.
Proficient in property management and with an extensive track record in the operations management of hundreds of properties around Vietnam, CBRE’s experienced property managers add value to HATECO LAROMA, bringing higher-quality services and enhancing the lives of residents.
“We believe that our extensive experience in the property management area, our understanding of the market and local needs, and a dedicated, professional team will reinforce the position of HATECO LAROMA in the market and ensure it is a pleasant place to live, work and play,” said Ms. Nguyen Hoai An, CBRE Hanoi Branch Director.
HCMC property market showing signs of declining supply
Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate market exhibited signs of declining supply in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the latest report from the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA).
The total number of eligible projects for capital mobilization was 29, down 9.4 per cent against the 32 projects in the same period of 2017.
The report also noted that declines are seen in different housing segments. Total housing launched on the market was 9,144 units, including 8,690 apartments and 484 low-rise buildings, down 44.5 per cent against the 16,506 units launched in the first five months of last year.
The high-end segment has 3,828 units, down 25.9 per cent on the 5,164 units in the same period of 2017. The proportion of the high-end segment, however, accounts for 41.8 per cent of the market, up strongly compared to 31.3 per cent last year.
The mid-end segment has 3,465 units, down 32.6 per cent against 5,136 units last year and representing 37.7 per cent of the total, up against the 31 per cent in the same period of 2017.
The affordable segment, meanwhile, has 1,881 units, down 69.7 per cent compared to 6,206 units in the same period of 2017 and representing only 20.5 per cent of the total, down by nearly half year-on-year.
Mr. Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of HoREA, predicted that Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate market will continue to grow over the remaining months of 2018 and remain stable, with no chance of a “bubble” appearing. “Affordable housing with one or two bedrooms and priced at less than VND1 billion ($44,000) is the mainstream segment with the highest liquidity in the market,” he said. “The high-end segment will see strong restructuring to match purchasing power. The condotel market and land will continue to be controlled.”
He added that the situation of disputes in apartment blocks will become increasingly complicated and needs to be controlled and handled efficiently and promptly.
The report also revealed that a strengthening of links between businesses and foreign investors and the promotion of cooperation between enterprises is also expected to take place over the remainder of the year.
Quang Binh works to boost tourism development

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Sailing to the gate of "Hang Toi" (Dark Cave) in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh

The north central province of Quang Binh, known for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, is working to promote its tourism potential by fostering links with other localities to create new tourism products and attract more tourists.
A series of measures to boost tourism cooperation between the province and the Mekong Delta region were discussed at a conference held in Quang Binh’s Dong Hoi city on June 18.
Endowed with stunning natural landscapes like untouched white sandy beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, coupled with excellent cuisine, Quang Binh province poses huge potential for tourism development, said Vice Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Dang Dong Ha.
Quang Binh has affirmed its tourism prestige as it welcomed 3.3 million tourists in 2017 and the number is estimated at 1.8 million in the first six months of the year, including 85,000 foreigners.
Appraised by international media and experts as one of the leading worth-experiencing destinations in the world, Quang Binh is an attractive place for tourism investors, Ha said, adding that the locality is channeling efforts in promoting sustainable tourism development in companion with improving local livelihoods.
Meanwhile, An Giang, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Soc Trang and Hau Giang in the Mekong Delta region are local tourism and socio-economic hubs. Boasting with famous tourist attractions such as Cai Rang floating market, My Khanh tourism village, Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen Monastery, Binh Thuy ancient house, Phu Quoc island and Son islet, the localities served nearly 22.5 million tourists in 2017.
Therefore, enhancing tourism links between Quang Binh province and the Mekong Delta localities is significant to create favourable conditions for tourism businesses to expand their markets while making tourism as a spearhead economic sector of the provinces.
Solutions to improving tourism products and services were on the table at the event. Participants said that relevant parties should pay due attention to improving tourism service quality, diversifying tourism products and introducing new tourist attractions. 
In addition, tourism businesses were advised to share experience and seek cooperative opportunities.
On the occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation was inked between Quang Binh province’s tourism department and the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Mekong Delta city and provinces.
Accordingly, they will work to improve efficiency of state management and tourism promotion, and build mutual tourism products to attract more tourists.
Seminar talks sustainability reporting for listed companies
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Hanoi Stock Exchange and Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange held a seminar in Hanoi on June 18 to discuss sustainability reporting for listed Vietnamese companies. 
According to the GRI, since Circular No.155/TT-BTC guiding information announcement on securities market took effect on January 1, 2016, sustainability reporting has not been new to listed enterprises, but its quality remains limited. Only several firms are able to make sustainability reports up to GRI standards. 
Nguyen Cong Minh Bao from GRI in Vietnam said GRI has invited Vietnamese companies to the Competitive Trade Programme funded by the Swiss government to support them in sustainability reporting, adding that they will receive free training and access to GRI’s online reporting system. 
Business Development Director of Dragon Capital Pham Nguyen Vinh said investors and international organisations are seeking more non-financial disclosures to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of firms invested by them. 
Le Cong Dien, Director of the State Securities Commission (SSC)’s Public Enterprises Supervisory Department, said the Circular No.155 has requested integrating data about environment, society and corporate governance into the annual business report, towards raising awareness and practices about sustainable development. 
The SSC has continuously refined legal framework to ensure that the securities market runs in an open, transparent and effective manner, he said. 
He said the SSC will direct authorised agencies standardise regulations on sustainability reporting, including factors regarding environment, society and corporate governance, as well as issue a code of rules on corporate governance in line with international practices.
HCM City to carry out int’l credit confidence assessment project
Ho Chi Minh City pays attention to a project assessing its international credit confidence and hopes that it will help raise the city’s position and prestige and expand financial resources to serve its development.
The statement was made by Le Thanh Liem, Permanent Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, at his meeting on June 18 with a working delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings.
Liem thanked IFC for actively coordinating with the city in realising the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding signed in late 2017, including the implementation of the above-mentioned project.
The rating of international credit confidence for the city is an unprecedented issue, he said, adding that the city hopes IFC and S&P, the world’s leading providers of credit ratings, will work to ensure the project is implemented as scheduled.
He emphasised the wish that the rating result will contribute to the city’s development through helping investors and international financial organisations have right assessments on the city’s capacity and potential as well as attracting more resources to serve the local socio-economic development programmes.
Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, affirmed that this is the most favourable time for Ho Chi Minh City to have international credit rating and become a model in mobilisation of resources for development.
Speaking highly of the city’s dynamic development, Kelhofer stated that credit confidence rating will create opportunities for the city to mobilise cheaper and more diverse capital resources.
The project will also help boost other development projects and programmes in the city, especially in the fields of financial management, and policy making.
Tien Giang: Investment sees 2.3-fold increase in H1
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang raked in a total investment of more than 7.2 trillion VND, or 316.8 million USD, in the first half of 2018, a 2.3-fold increase from the same period last year.
Over 97.2 percent of the amount, or 7 trillion VND (308 million USD), have been poured into 18 new projects, according to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Duc.
As a result, the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has so far lured over 70.9 trillion VND (3.12 billion USD) in investment in a total of 282 projects, including 2.3 billion USD in FDI in 116 projects.
Nearly 370 new enterprises have been established in the province in the January-June period with a total registered capital of more than 2.58 trillion VND (113.52 million USD), up 31.5 percent and 89 percent, respectively.
Such remarkable progress is largely owing to the province’s adoption of new policies to improve local business climate and attract both domestic and foreign investors.
Tien Giang has partnered with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to analyse and assess the province’s business environment, said Duc. It has collected opinions from experts, policymakers and businesses on the status of local business climate and come up with solutions to improve it in 2018 and the following years, he noted.
The province has been mobilising all necessary resources to develop transport infrastructure, expand support for local businesses and foster the application of information technology to promote public administrative reforms. These move aims to provide investors with faster, more convenient and cost-saving public services and facilitate the development of e-government.
The province has also worked to enhance the effectiveness of its investment incentives, particularly in terms of taxation, credit provision, land and human resources and encourage the use of advanced technology and the development of agriculture as well as the production and distribution of farm produces.
Furthermore, the provincial and district leaders have held regular dialogues with local investors to update them with latest information on the local socio-economic situation alongside new regulations and reforms; and to learn about their obstacles.
Made-in-Vietnam tyres present in 128 markets
Made-in-Vietnam tyres have been rolling in 128 countries and territories worldwide, according to Vice President of the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA) Vo Hoang An.
Last year, the country earned 920 million USD from tyre exports, up 44.2 percent from 2016. Local tyre production enjoyed a trade surplus of 564 million USD in 2017, doubling the amount gained in the previous year.
Highest export revenue was recorded in the exports of passenger car tyres with 591.5 million USD (accounting for 64.3 percent), followed by truck tyres with 146.2 million USD (15.9 percent), motorbike tyres with 77 million USD (8.4 percent) and bike tyres with 6.4 million USD (6.6 percent).
The top 10 leading tyre exporters in the country included two domestic companies: the Southern Rubber Industry Joint Stock Company (Casumina) and Danang Rubber Company (RRC).
Some 424,000 tonnes of rubber were shipped abroad at a value of 620 million USD in the first five months of the year, up 17.4 percent in volume but down 12.4 percent in value as compared to the same period in 2017. 
China, India and Malaysia are the three largest rubber consumption markets of Vietnam. They make up market shares of 58.1 percent, 7.5 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. 
Report from the VRA showed that Vietnam was home to 971,600 hectares of rubber which yielded more than 1.08 million tonnes of rubber latex in 2017, accounting for 8.3 percent of the world’s total production. 
Besides rubber products, the rubber sector brought home 2.25 billion USD from the export of rubber latex and 1.9 billion USD from rubber wood exports.-
Conference to promote Soc Trang’s investment potential
A conference on investment and start-up promotion will take place in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on June 19, aiming to call for investments to the locality. 
The event will be attended by Party and State leaders, representatives from ministries; sectors, localities, international organisations, foreign diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, trade and investment promotion organisations, financial and credit  institutions, economic associations and groups, and firms in and out the country. 
The event will update participants on Soc Trang’s investment support policies, investment-related information and the list of projects calling for investments, towards attracting a maximum of investment sources to fully tapping potential and strength of the locality. 
Soc Trang boasts great potential of agriculture development thanks to soil and climate. The agricultural economy with key farm produce has significantly contributed to the locality’s economic growth. 
The locality’s total rice output in 2017 reached 2.11 million tonnes, of which the proportion of specialty rice accounted for 46.07 percent. 
It is home to more than 74,000 hectares of aquaculture land, 50,000 hectares of which were set aside for brackished-water shrimp breeding, mostly in coastal areas. 
The livestock sector has been developing strongly in the locality. Especially, the dairy cow-breeding project in 2013-2020 has proved effective and expanded to many districts and towns, with total number of 9,720 cows and total yield reaching 2,880 tonnes of milk per year. 
Soc Trang has also strengths for marine economic sectors such as clean energy, seaport and shipping services.  The Mekong Delta province has built a master plan to develop its coastal economy until 2020 with vision until 2030.
The province is asking for the Prime Minister’s approval to construct a deep-water seaport in the locality and encouraging investors with strong financial capacity to get involved in the project.
The province will prioritise connectivity among the seaport system, urban areas, industrial parks and tourism sites along the Hau River, while developing spearhead economic sectors like aquaculture cultivation, sea tourism, energy industry and thermoelectricity.
As aquaculture is a major pillar in local economic development, the province will build a pilot irrigational model for specialised shrimp farming in Tran De district and Vinh Chau town. 
Earlier this year, the Super Wind Energy Cong Ly Soc Trang Joint Stock Company began building a wind farm in Lai Hoa commune, Vinh Chau town. The project has a total capacity of 98 MW and is invested in three phases at a total cost of more than 5.39 trillion VND (237 million USD).
Regarding tourism development, the province has joined hands with Con Dao district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to operate a speedboat connecting the two localities. In addition, investment has been promoted at many eco-tourism sites like Ho Be-Vinh Chau and Mo O-Tran De.
Soc Trang: Business Incubator’s new office inaugurated
A new office was officially opened for the Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre of Soc Trang province’s Business Incubator on June 18.
The office is located at No 479A, Le Duan Street, Commune 9, Soc Trang city, the same name province.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Le Thanh Tri, Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province, said the pilot project Business Incubator, funded by the Government of Canada through the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Project, has been effectively carried out in Soc Trang to support local enterprises and startup businesses.
The office will serve as a contact point for organisations in the province and across the country to facilitate the development of a local startup ecosystem in the coming years.
Since 2011, through the Global Affairs Canada, the Government of Canada has provided 10 million CAD in financial assistance for Soc Trang to implement the SME Development Project, said Charlene Laurenece, First Secretary of the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam. The project has greatly contributed to supporting the growth of local enterprises and developing a better business climate and startup ecosystem in the province.
At the event, the provincial Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre inked a memorandum of understanding with six partners, including startup businesses, colleges and state agencies, paving the way for cooperation in supporting and developing the local startup community in the province in the time ahead.
Lang Son to host Chi Lang Custard Apple Festival
A festival to honour Chi Lang custard apples will be held in northern Lang Son province in mid-August prior to the launch of Lang Son specialities and custard-apple week in Hanoi.
It was said at a press conference in Hanoi on June 18 by the Lang Son provincial People’s Committee and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The festival will showcase many famous farm produce of Lang Son including anise, Dong Mo fermented bamboo shoots, forest honey and especially Chi Lang custard apple.
This year’s event will highlight organic custard apples meeting VietGap standards, create a value chain of Chi Lang custard apple and attract more investments to develop Lang Son’s key agricultural products.
Chi Lang custard apple has become one of the most delicious fruits in the north. The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam under the Ministry of Science and Technology granted a certificate to “Chi Lang custard-apple” brand in 2011. 
The Organisation of Vietnam Records listed the fruit among 50 best specialities in Vietnam in 2013.
HCM City to host 3rd Denim&jean show
The 3rd edition of Vietnam Show will take place at Riverside Palace, Ho Chi Minh City on June 27-18, heard a press conference on June 18.
The event, jointly organised by the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS) and Balaji Enterprises of India, will introduce the world’s latest fashion trends and achievements in the Denims industry.
According to Vice Secretary of VITAS Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, the event will see the participation of over 40 reputable firms specialising in producing denims, accessories and textiles from Vietnam and more than ten countries and territories, including India, Switzerland, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, China and Singapore. 
By signing many free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the European Union (EU) - Vietnam FTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam becomes one of the leading attractive destinations for investors who are interested in textile and garment industry, Mai said.  
The show is quite attractive to retailers, fashion brands and textile companies from around the world, especially those from the EU and the US, she said, adding that it will provide a good chance for exhibitors to seek and set up partnerships. 
Sandeep Agarwal, CEO of Balaji Enterprises, highlighted the theme “Rock and Roll” of the event, which will look back on the formation and development of Denims and Jeans industry in connection with Rock and Roll music over the past years. 
In the framework of the event, six seminars will be held with the participation of international experts who will focus their discussion on the future of denim supplies, the denim supply chain link for sustainable development, and the conversion from Analog to Digital.
180 businesses attend AgroViet 2018
About 180 local and foreign businesses are expected to attend the 18th International Agriculture Trade Fair 2018 (AgroViet 2018) scheduled for June 28 to July 1 in Da Nang.
The information was released at a press conference in Hanoi on June 18, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
With a focus on hi-tech products to support sustainable development of the agricultural industry, the event aims to expand international cooperation and serve as a bridge between businesses and consumers while offering opportunities to fully tap the domestic market.
The event will also introduce cutting-edge technologies in agricultural production and high quality agro-forestry-seafood products and handicrafts.
AgroViet 2018 is one of the biggest annual trade promotion activities of the agricultural industry. This year’s event also draws the participation of 18 Thai businesses.
Dao Van Ho, Director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized that beyond introducing the potential of farm produce, the event also helps to strengthen connectivity among businesses operating in the fields of processing technologies and post-harvest preservation.
Mr Ho noted that the event also helps in creating safe agricultural products for export and domestic consumption, leading to increased product value and developing the agricultural sector towards advanced-technologies and international integration.
A seminar introducing agricultural eco-tourism products in Da Nang city will be held during the event.
Australia a land of opportunity for Vietnamese wood
Vietnam’s wood enterprises have plenty of opportunity to bolster their exports to the Australian market due to its increasing import demands, favourable geographic position and preferences brought by free trade agreements (FTAs).
The General Department of Vietnam Customs reports that exports of wood and timber products hit US$3.37 billion during the first five months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 11.3%. Australia was one of the top ten importers of Vietnamese wood and timber products with a value of more than US$66.7 million 11.3% higher than the corresponding period last year.
According to the statistics from the International Trade Centre, the Oceanian nation imported US$362.8 million worth of wooden furniture from major markets such as China, Vietnam and Malaysia during the first quarter, up 6.4% over last year’s same quarter. But, the statistics show that Australia’s imports from China displayed a drastic upturn and a fall in imports from Vietnam in the above mentioned period, which demonstrates that Vietnam’s wooden furniture has not yet met the tastes of Australian customers.
IBISWorld - a global business intelligence leader specializing in industry market research and procurement and purchasing research - has announced the results of a review of the 2013-2018 period, showing that Australian customers tend to favour low-cost furniture as local producers failed to compete with imported products in terms of prices due to high labour and material costs. 
Therefore its furniture industry is following a slow upward trend while imports are seeing strong growth. Particularly, Australian customers pay no or little attention to the origin of products but rather pay heed to the quality, designs and prices of products.
The Vietnamese Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasizes the need for Vietnamese businesses to fully grasp opportunities to the highly lucrative market by improving their technology, research, and product designs and quality, and reducing prices in order to suit Australian customers’ tastes.

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