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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS OCTOBER 15/2023 | #daitngscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Viet Nam, a potential global transit hub

With the growth of e-commerce, Việt Nam has become a destination for many manufacturing and logistics firms, creating strong demand for high-quality logistics real estate, said CEO of Cushman & Wakefield Trang Bùi.

Trang said the total warehouse supply in Hà Nội and HCM City is only around 2.02 million sq.m and 5.13 million sq.m, respectively. Industrial parks and logistics facilities in major urban areas, especially in the two cities, are experiencing high occupancy rates with some reaching nearly 100 per cent. The demand for warehouse space is expected to continue growing.

She said Việt Nam is strategically located next to the economic corridor in southern China, which includes prominent regions such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Fuzhou and Guangdong, chosen as the headquarters of major industrial, chemical, trade, and electronic technology companies. Việt Nam’s industrial parks welcomed investment from global electronics companies early on, such as Panasonic (1971), LG Display (1995), Canon (2001), Foxconn (2007), Samsung (2008), Fuji Xerox (2013), and more recently conglomerates like Pegatron, Goertek and Jinko Solar. Việt Nam is currently presented with the opportunity to elevate the value of the manufacturing supply chain.

According to the Ministry of Transport, Việt Nam has a total road length of 595,201 kilometres, with 25,560 kilometres designated as national highways. The expressway network has been expanded to 1,239 kilometres, with roughly 14 new routes and sections under construction, equivalent to 840 kilometres.

The national railway network spans 3,143 kilometres, with 277 stations and two routes linking with China from Đồng Đăng and Lào Cai. The northern region has road, waterway and rail routes directly to Shenzhen, known as China’s Silicon Valley, making it easier for enterprises to expand and allocate production in the area.

Việt Nam’s seaport system has received significant investments in recent years, with modern facilities that meet international standards, notably Hải Phòng and HCM City container ports being among the 50 largest in the world. The seaport system comprises 286 port berths, with a total quay length of over 96 kilometres.

For the first time, shipping companies have been able to provide direct services from Việt Nam to North America and Europe without the need for transhipment through regional hubs like Singapore or Hong Kong (China), saving some US$150-300 per TEU for containers to and from Việt Nam.

The Vietnamese Government has targeted meeting demand for export-import, trade between regions and areas nationwide, as well as cargo transit and passenger transport both domestically and internationally by 2030.

Cushman & Wakefield experts said Việt Nam had the potential to compete with global logistics hubs such as Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Hong Kong (China), and even with Singapore and Shanghai (China), aspiring not only to become a global cargo transit hub but also a vital link in the global manufacturing supply chain.

In the first eight months of this year, the total FDI poured into Việt Nam hit nearly $18.15 billion, up 8.2 per cent year on year. 

Việt Nam has the opportunity to welcome strong transaction flows in renewable energy

Việt Nam is focusing on promoting energy conversion from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

This effort is aimed at meeting the net zero emissions target by 2050. This shift not only helps reduce emissions, but in the long term, also helps the economy develop in a greener, more sustainable direction, according to recent international press and experts.

Mckinsey commented that Việt Nam’s renewable energy development rate could increase exponentially to attract manufacturers and ensure energy security.

It recommended that to support the trend of foreign direct investment, Việt Nam could deploy more renewable energy projects to meet the growing demand for renewable energy from commercial and industrial customers.

Việt Nam even has the potential to become a regional champion in both installed renewable energy capacity and sustainable production.

In an effort to attract finance and capital for energy conversion, the Power Technology website said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently loaned US$13.8 million to support the installation of the rooftop solar system in Việt Nam.

For ADB, this is the first financing for a rooftop solar portfolio in the commercial and industrial segment in Việt Nam.

The VTV online newspapers quoted Christoph Prommersberger, Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Việt Nam, as saying that currently, there were tens of billions of climate finance resources around the world looking for places to invest, and if Việt Nam could leverage them effectively through a well-managed carbon market, it could be a huge help in supporting Việt Nam’s green transition.

To promote energy transition, according to information from Reuters, Việt Nam is building mechanisms and creating policies on carbon credits, completing the National Marine Spatial Planning to facilitate offshore wind development, and building a smart grid that better integrates renewable energy sources.

According to the Business Times, Việt Nam, along with Japan and South Korea, are identified as countries with opportunities to welcome strong transaction flows in the field of renewable energy, contributing to maintaining strong growth momentum and great potential of this field in the Asia-Pacific. 

SMEs can borrow loans at preferential interest rate of 1.2% per year

Firms can borrow from the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Fund with a short-term interest rate of 1.2 per cent per year and a long-term interest rate of 4.4 per cent per year, effective from October 4, 2023, the Ministry of Planning and Investment announced.

According to the fund’s representatives, the preferential interest rate is aimed to implement Resolution No 105/NQ-CP dated July 15, 2023, of the Government on tasks and solutions to remove difficulties for the production and business of firms.

Besides the fund, many banks have also continued to provide loans for firms with low interest rates.

For example, from now until May 30, 2024, corporate customers borrowing capital for production and business at SHB will enjoy preferential loan interest rates from only 6.97 per cent per year. Accordingly, SHB will set aside VNĐ5 trillion with interest rates from 6.97 per cent to support firms in supplementing short-term working capital. Enterprises that enjoy the SHB’s incentives include female-owned enterprises and enterprises operating in priority fields such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, exports, high technology, transport infrastructure, education, healthcare and green projects.

At the same time, SHB will also spend VNĐ1 trillion for corporate customers who need loans for car purchases with loan terms of 36 months or more. Based on needs and capital usage plans, customers can choose preferential interest rates from 7.5 per cent per year for the first six months or from 9 per cent per year for 12 months.

According to the State Bank of Việt Nam, deposit interest rates at the last quarter of a year in previous years often increased to attract idle capital to banks to serve the rising lending needs of people and firms for year-end, but this year is different as deposit interest rates at most banks are anchored at low levels and some even continue to decrease.

Specifically, deposit interest rates at some banks such as VPBank, ACB and Bac A Bank have continued to decrease by 0.15 – 0.3 percentage points for many terms since early this month.

The highest deposit interest rate at VPBank is only 5.5 per cent per year for 12-month and 13-month terms, instead of the previous rate of 5.8 per cent per year. Tenors from 6-9 months also decrease from 5.3 per cent per year to 5.1 per cent per year.

At ACB, the interest rate for deposits under VNĐ200 million, with a term of 6-9 months, decreases from 5-2-5.3 per cent per year to 5-5.1 per cent per year. For deposits from VNĐ200 million to less than VNĐ1 billion, the rate is added 0.1 per cent per year while for deposits of VNĐ1 billion or more, the rate is added 0.05 per cent per year. 

Domestic investors open nearly 173,000 new securities accounts in September

Domestic investors registered 172,695 new securities trading accounts in September, marking the second-highest number in over a year, according to the Việt Nam Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation (VSDC).

In the month, domestic organisations opened 90 new accounts, VSDC said.

As of September, the total number of accounts of domestic individual investors surpassed 7.76 million, equivalent to more than 8 per cent of the population.

In September, foreign individual investors and organisations registered 225 and 28 new accounts, respectively, lifting the total number of foreign accounts to 42,711.

The Vietnamese stock market has recorded a bullish third quarter, with consecutive billion-US-dollar trading sessions.

The average trading value in September increased by 11.2 per cent compared to the previous month, and up 85.4 per cent over the same period last year to VNĐ28.62 trillion per session.

The average trading value on the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) and the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX) reached VNĐ25.13 trillion and VNĐ2.38 trillion per session in September, up 12.7 per cent and 9.0 per cent month-on-month, respectively. Meanwhile, the value of each session on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) reached VNĐ1.10 trillion, down 11.3 per cent.

The stock market continued to lure capital inflows in the context that interest rates are declining rapidly, and other investment channels, such as real estate and corporate bonds, remain subdued.

HoSE is exerting every effort to put a trading system developed by the Korea Exchange (KRX) into operation at the end of 2023 in a bid to ensure the smooth operation of the market continuously and effectively.

Signed by HoSE and KRX in 2012, the project is expected to bring new products, trading, and payment solutions to the Vietnamese stock market, such as T 0 settlement, short selling, and option contracts. This will create a premise to solve the bottlenecks and move towards upgrading the market from frontier to emerging. 

Liquidity of private placement for corporate bonds doubles in Sept

After more than two months of operation of the trading platform for private placement corporate bonds, another 56 corporate bond codes were registered to be traded on the system last month, with the transaction value doubling that of August, said the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX).

In September, the total trading volume of private bonds for corporate bonds of the entire market was nearly 37.1 million bonds.

The total trading value of private placement for corporate bonds reached nearly VNĐ9.5 trillion (US$388.4 million), equal to an average value of more than VNĐ99.22 billion per session, nearly double that of the previous month.

Specifically, bonds with the highest trading value were those of VinFast Trading and Production JSC with nearly VNĐ3.7 trillion, followed by bonds of Luxury Living Furniture Trading Company Limited with a trading value of over VNĐ2.6 trillion, BIDV’s bonds of VNĐ1.11 trillion, and Vietcombank’s bonds of VNĐ822.43 billion.

As of the end of September, 102 corporate bond codes of 29 issuers were traded on the trading system at HNX.

During the period, the largest issuers were VinFast Trading and Production JSC with a registered trading value of VNĐ14.12 trillion, Capitaland Tower Company, VPBank (VNĐ10.68 trillion), and Vietcombank (VNĐ7.24 trillion).

HNX recorded four more members joining the system last month, including VPBank, Tiền Phong Securities Corporation, BIDV Securities Company, and DNSE Securities JSC, bringing the total number of members to 13.

On the primary market, there were 26 successful issuances of private placement for corporate bonds on the domestic market with an issuance value of more than VNĐ29 trillion.

HNX cooperated with Vietnam Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation in mid-September to organise a conference to disseminate regulations on bond registration, depository, and trading registration of private issuance for corporate bonds. The aim was to disseminate and guide the implementation of relevant regulations on participating in the private corporate bond market.

At the conference, Nguyễn Hoàng Dương, Deputy Director General of the Department of Banking and Financial Institutions (Ministry of Finance), said that the private issuance for corporate bond trading system had helped enhance market liquidity, while the data on the system would serve the post-inspection work of state management agencies for violations that may arise in the market. 

SBV withdraws VND146 trillion via bond sales

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the central bank, has drained nearly VND146 trillion from the banking system through 13 recent short-term bond auctions.

In an auction conducted on October 9, the SBV sold 28-day G-bonds worth VND5,000 billion to four out of 10 bidders with a coupon rate of 1%, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The volume of G-bonds successfully offered at this auction is lower than that of previous auctions in terms of winning bidders and coupon rates.

The SBV’s G-bond issues are believed to cope with the huge amounts of idle cash in the banking system in the short term and ease pressure on foreign exchange rates between the Vietnam dong and the U.S. dollar.

Following the recent back-to-back short-term bond issues by the SBV, the pressure on exchange rates has eased slightly. The central exchange rate between the dong and the dollar quoted by the SBV on October 10 was VND24,069 per dollar, down VND5 compared to the end of last week.

Opportunities ample in Hanoi’s real estate market – report

Savills Hanoi said in a recent report that there remain opportunities in Hanoi’s real estate market, with landlords having plans to create dynamic mall concepts and international retailers eyeing the capital city for future expansion.

The recent launch of Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi with 233 retail stores has provided impetus for the restructuring of several shopping centers and retail spaces in Hanoi.

Blending leisure, entertainment, and brand-building experiences in malls is expected to create dynamic hubs for shoppers, according to experts.

Data showed that shopping centers accounted for 62% of the net leasable area (NLA) in Hanoi in the third quarter of 2023, totaling 1.1 million square meters.

In addition, the city has seen growing demand for offices meeting green standards, particularly with the adoption of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles.

Some 68,400 square meters of green office space will be made available by the end of 2025, driven by upcoming developments like 27-29 Ly Thai To, Grand Terra, and Tien Bo Plaza.

Savills forecast that the Hanoi office space would witness more than 256,000 additional square meters from 13 projects by 2026, with Grade A office spaces comprising 77% of the supply.

Regarding the hotel sector, Hanoi’s tourism reached its peak in July this year with seasonal domestic visitors, although international visitors are still below pre-Covid levels, said Troy Griffiths, deputy director at Savills Vietnam.

In September, average hotel room rates increased by 22% year-on-year, reaching VND2.7 million per room per night.

The opening of 3,720 new hotel rooms through 17 under-construction developments in Hanoi, including 12 five-star and 2 four-star projects, is expected to make a major push to attract tourists. Leading brands like Marriott and Hilton will account for 29% and 26% of the total rooms, respectively.

Meanwhile, foreign direct investment inflows continue to drive demand for serviced apartments in the city. In the third quarter of this year, stocks of new Grade A projects, totaling 6,158 units, increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2022.

The monthly rent rose by 2% year-on-year at VND578,000 per square meter.

SBV seeks investors for SCB restructuring

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is seeking investors for the restructuring of Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), which has been put under special supervision for over a year.

The Government has presented a report to the National Assembly, saying that the SBV has been working with ministries and agencies to implement multiple measures to ensure the stability of the banking system and safeguarding the rights and interests of SCB depositors.

Drawing from the assessment report and the proposed restructuring plan for SCB, the SBV is searching for investors to restructure the bank before submitting the plan to the Government for consideration.

Following a year of special supervision, SCB’s operations have been gradually stabilizing. The bank is currently focused on developing a comprehensive restructuring plan.

Pangasius exports to CPTPP market to see positive growth this year

Vietnamese pangasius exports to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) market are anticipated to record positive growth this year, according to details provided by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).      

Statistics indicate that the CPTPP market imported pangasius products worth nearly US$9 million from the nation in the first half of September, duly representing an increase of 17% on-year and recording positive growth for the first time since the beginning of the year.

Several markets, including Japan, Mexico, and Canada, all witnessed double-digit growth in the reviewed period, with import revenue rising by 75%, 59%, and 16% to reach US$1.3 million, US$2.4 million, and US$3 million, respectively.

During the eight-month period, the CPTPP bloc imported pangasius products worth US$158 million from the Vietnamese market, down 3% compared to the same period from last year.

Mexico topped the list of countries in the CPTPP bloc in terms of importing Vietnamese pangasius with turnover reaching US$7 million, down 4% on-year. This was followed by Canada, Japan, and Singapore with turnover recording US$4 million, US$3 million, and US$2.8 million, respectively.

As of September 15, Vietnamese pangasius exports to the CPTPP market reached US$167 million, marking a decline of 32% over the same period from last year.

Experts assessed that with these positive signs being seen recently, pangasius exports to the market will enjoy promising growth ahead in the remaining of the year.

Furthermore, the UK’s entry to CPTPP is expected to become a driving force to strengthen the value and supply chain in the bloc, accelerate the process of trade liberalisation in the region, and create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to make further inroads into CPTPP member countries moving forward.

China is largest consumer of Vietnamese pepper over nine-month period

China was the largest buyer of Vietnamese pepper over the past nine months of the year, with its purchasing volume increasing by nearly fourfold, according to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA).      

VPA statistics show Asian countries purchased 114,343 tonnes from Vietnam, accounting for 55.9% of the country’s total export volume and representing a year-on-year rise of 39.9%.

China alone imported 55,958 tonnes, making up 27.4% of the total export volume and witnessing an increase of 373.6% year on year.

It was followed by the United States (37,431 tonnes, down 9.1%), the United Arab Emirates (9,327 tonnes, down 30.1%), India (9,238 tonnes, down 18.5%) and the Philippines (6,020 tonnes, up 24.7%).

Elsewhere, the export of Vietnamese coffee to the Americas and Europe fell 7.5% and 7.1% respectively, while that to Africa inched up 9.3%.

However, Vietnamese pepper exports to Turkey rose 70.8% to 3,495 tonnes and those to France went up 31.4% to 2,849 tonnes.

According to the International Pepper Community, the output from leading pepper producing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and India is all forecast to decrease compared to 2022. However, economic uncertainties coupled with high inflation forced global consumers, especially in the US and EU, to tighten their belt, resulting in a fall in pepper imports.

Vietnam spends nearly US$3 billion on cashew nut imports for processing

Vietnam spent nearly US$3 billion purchasing cashew nuts for processing for exports and domestic use over the past nine months, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Cambodia is the second largest supplier of cashew nuts to Vietnam, shipping 609,000 tonnes valued up to US$830 million over the past nine months of 2023.

Statistics show businesses imported 2.33 million tonnes of cashew nuts worth US$2.73 billion between Jan. – Sept., 2023, up 42.1% in volume and 16.2% in value year on year.

Of the total, they purchased 700,000 tonnes worth US$765.5 million from the Ivory Coast, up 84% in volume and up 54.5% in value, making the Western African nation the largest supplier of cashew nuts to Vietnam.

The Ivory Coast was followed by Cambodia that supplied 609,000 tonnes valued up to US$830 million to Vietnam, down 13% in volume and down 23% in value.

Besides the Ivory Coast, other African suppliers such as Ghana and Nigeria saw their cashew nuts exports to Vietnam go up in both volume and value. Statistics indicate the Ghanaian exports rose 64.9% in volume and 40% in value, while the Nigerian exports climbed 134% in volume and 89.7% in value.

It is expected that businesses will continue to import a large quantity of cashew nuts in the remaining two months of the year to meet export orders and support domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, Vietnam exported 1.25 million tonnes of cashew nuts in the nine-month period, earning US$3.13 billion, down 8.3% in volume but up 0.7% in value.

Vietnamese agricultural products enter billion-dollar markets

Vietnamese businesses have taken advantage of some countries’ stoppage in the supply of agricultural products to export agricultural products to enter billion-dollar markets.

When India, which is the world’s largest exporter of rice, announced a ban on exporting non-basmati white rice in a bid to calm rising prices at homes and ensure domestic food security in July, it created momentum for Vietnam’s rice exports to surge. Many businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity to not only increase output but also the value of exported rice.

Vietnamese-branded rice has been displayed in supermarkets in major markets such as the United States, Europe, Japan, and Korea. Distribution systems of Singapore, Japan, Australia and the United States show that the price of Vietnamese branded packaged rice ranges from US$1,600-$1,800 a ton, much higher than raw exported rice at only about $500-$600 per ton, General Director of Loc Troi Group Nguyen Duy Thuan. As a result, in the first 9 months of 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said rice exports reached $3.66 billion, an increase of 40.4 percent.

Not only rice but many precious medicinal herbs such as ginseng, Ngoc Linh ginseng, cinnamon, anise, Panax notoginseng, and Lai Chau ginseng also have great export value. For example, cinnamon and anise products have an export value that increases rapidly each year and is estimated to reach $300 million by the end of this year.

Vietnamese Commercial Counselor in the United States Do Ngoc Hung said that Vietnamese cinnamon and anise are currently being used quite commonly in products with high added value such as essential oils, foodstuff, cosmetics, functional products, and coffee in the US market. The export turnover of cinnamon and anise to the US market reached $50 million accounting for 35 percent of the country’s total cinnamon and anise import market share.

Another potential market is the export market for Halal food – food deemed permissible under Islamic law. According to assessments, the global halal market is estimated to grow to $7,000 billion and is expected to increase to about $10,000 billion before 2028. The Halal product market is widely distributed around the world with hygiene criteria of food safety, quality and environmental protection. Vietnamese businesses are considered to have many advantages in exploiting the Halal market because it is one of the largest agricultural and aquatic product exporting countries in the world, said Director of the Center for Investment and Trade Promotion in Ho Chi Minh City Tran Phu Lu.

Market potential is diverse, but Vietnamese agricultural products are mostly exported as raw materials. According to Mr. Tran Phu Lu, the reality of food export by businesses into the Halal market is just the beginning of exploration. Every year, our country has about 50 companies certified with Halal products

The key products are seafood, beverages, canned foods, confectionery, vegetarian foods and pharmaceuticals. Therefore, businesses need to proactively accelerate production transformation, approach new standards and constantly innovate products to keep pace with consumer trends that are changing every day in the market.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Trade Counselor in India Bui Trung Thuong said that in India, cinnamon and anise products account for 80 percent of the country’s import turnover. However, because it is an export of raw materials, instead of being able to dominate the market, on the contrary, import partners forced Vietnamese businesses to decrease prices. Therefore, if Vietnam’s agricultural and medicinal resources are processed into refined products with Vietnamese brands, it will not only increase value but also have the ability to dominate the export market. Besides, businesses that have developed the market must maintain the market. To do that, it is necessary to pay attention to the secrets of product processing technology.

A representative of Huong Viet Xua Company said that in the past, many Vietnamese products were imported by India, China, Thailand, and Korea such as salted roasted cashews, cinnamon essential oil, and spices of all kinds but up to now, these products are rarely exported to the markets of these countries because their own enterprises have produced them themselves.

Many businessmen from other countries have returned to invest in domestic factories after studying in Vietnam. Some of them even opened a plant in Vietnam to produce and export back to their countries, competing directly with Vietnamese businesses.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first 9 months of 2023, agricultural products are a product with stable export turnover, reaching more than $19 billion, an increase of 16.7 percent over the same period last year. With this growth momentum, agricultural products are assessed to contribute positively to the recovery of the economy.

Vietnam ramps up imports to diversify in energy security

Vietnam is pushing to import electricity from neighbouring countries due to worrying power shortage concerns for the near future.
 
Vietnam Electricity (EVN) started the construction of the Monsoon-Thanh My 500kV transmission line project on September 30, with a total investment of $45.26 million.

The line is expected to be put into operation by the end of 2024 and will transmit a maximum capacity of about 2,500MW, contributing to improving the operating capacity of the national power system through importing electricity from Laos.

According to the power purchase agreement (PPA), for the first phase, the line will receive electricity imported from Laos wind power sources with a capacity of 600MW, and the expected average annual electricity output is about 1.7 billion kWh.

EVN had previously asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to complete a dossier on importing electricity from hydroelectric and wind power plants in Laos such as the Nam Mo hydroelectric plant cluster and the Houay Kaouan hydroelectric plant.

As of August, EVN has signed 19 PPAs with investors to buy electricity from 26 power plants in Laos to sell electricity to Vietnam, with a total capacity of 2,240MW.

Negotiating the purchase and sale of electricity from Laos is of great significance, the state utility has said. By 2025, very few new power sources will be introduced, so, during the peak dry season of 2025, the power supply in the northern region will be difficult to maintain. Electricity capacity may be short by 3,630MW and output short of about 6.8 billion kWh in May-July 2025.

Therefore, the group believes that adding imported electricity sources from Laos to the northern region will contribute to enhancing the ability to ensure electricity supply in the next couple of years.

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien explained that in the newly approved Power Development Plan VIII, there is a direction to export renewable energy electricity to neighbouring countries to ensure economic efficiency. In addition, the mobilisation of domestic renewable energy power sources will be thoroughly implemented by the power industry, if those projects ensure full legal framework.

In addition to Laos, Vietnam has imported electricity from China for many years, also considered a long-term measure to ensure electricity supply. Vietnam imports electricity from China mainly through the border gates at Ha Giang and Lao Cai provinces. However, due to limitations on 220kV lines, increasing capacity to import electricity from China is not possible.

In a June conference, energy expert Ha Dang Son said that electricity shortages were warned of two years ago, especially for the north.

“There is a big risk to the power supply because the north has almost no new sources. Even the Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant took nearly 10 years to be successfully connected to the grid, and it also often encounters problems. Renewable energy in the north is simply more difficult to build than in the central region or the south,” he said.

Energy behemoths set stage for new commitments

Major names in global energy are boosting interest in pumping money into offshore wind ventures in Vietnam in line with increasing net-zero ambitions.
 
British multinational oil and gas giant BP is one of those pursuing its ambitions to develop offshore wind power projects in this country.

An MoU in the research and transfer of wind power technology between BP and Quang Ninh Department of Science and Technology was signed within the framework of the Techconnect and Innovation Vietnam event on September 30.

Alessandro Antonioli, country head for offshore wind at BP based in London, said at the event that the northern province of Quang Ninh, an emerging industrial base in northern Vietnam, had many good natural conditions to build wind power plants. Besides this, the province also attracts millions of tourists each year and is also a locality with the ability to draw in investment and develop clean energy sources.

“Going forward, we will work with the local authorities to discuss solutions to promote investment, and connect with other stakeholders in the area to collect data and develop energy plans. Wind is suitable for the province’s economic development situation,” he said.

Last year, BP and Vietnamese private group Sovico proposed a 3GW offshore wind project in the same province. Under that, three phases will be used to build the farm: the first will take place in the 2027-2030 period and have a 500MW capacity; the second and third phases will follow in the 2030-2035 period and have a combined 2,500MW capacity.

By 2030, 6GW of capacity is required by the nation’s Power Development Plan VIII. To make this possible, work is being carried out to finish the maritime spatial plan and other legal foundations needed for Southeast Asia’s first offshore wind farms. Given the lengthy lead periods involved with offshore wind projects, it is imperative that this framework is established as soon as possible, BP’s Antonioli said.

“The prerequisite factor is policy improvement. Wind energy developers not only need money but also need policies to develop,” he added.

He proposed that in addition to support from the government through a complete policy framework and reasonable licensing process, power purchase agreements should also be able to borrow capital and find capable financial investors.

In March, BP also signed an MoU with VinFast to explore collaboration opportunities in providing integrated energy and mobility solutions for the Vietnamese company and its customers globally. The pair will also explore working together to advocate for commercial and private access to renewable energy sources to power electric vehicle charging networks.

Danish energy behemoth Orsted is one of the European businesses spearheading efforts to enter the offshore wind market in Vietnam. One of the biggest offshore wind energy providers in the world, the group started working with another local private T&T Group to investigate related projects.

Meanwhile, energy groups such as Equinor and Sumitomo have all shown ambition in offshore wind in Vietnam.

Farmers reluctant to re-herd pigs for fear of low price, diseases

This time of the year is when farmers start to re-herd pigs to prepare for Tet holiday. However, this year witnesses a clear reluctance among farmers owing to a dive in live pig price and various diseases.
 
Dong Nai Province is considered the capital of pig breeding in Vietnam with around 3,000 farms. At present, many households are temporarily halting their farm activities, leading to a drop of 8 percent of pig quantity compared to this time last year.

Farmer Nguyen Van Trung from Thong Nhat District shared that the live pig price now is VND51,000 – 54,000 per kilo (US$2.08 – 2.21), a drop of VND7,000 ($0.29) a kilo as opposed to 2 months ago. Meanwhile, the prices of fodder have increased continuously. Therefore, farmers can experience a financial loss of VND1 million ($41) per pig, so they are no longer interested in restocking the herd.

A similar story can be found in Tay Ninh Province. Nguyen Dinh H. from Tan Chau District shared that even though his family has prepared the barn to raise pigs, chickens, and ducks, the prices of breeds and fodder are too high whereas livestock prices are going down, making him reluctant to invest.

Deputy General Director of C.P. Livestock Co. Le Xuan Huy shared that the pig herd of the company also sees a quantity drop as some of their partner farms cannot satisfy environment-related criteria. Adding to that is the possible outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) on both pigs and humans, and hence farmers are not confident enough to re-herd their livestock. The good news is the company is still able to ensure sufficient pork for the upcoming Tet holiday.

General Director Nguyen Ngoc An of Vissan JSC. informed that his company’s plan this year is the same as last year’s one to provide about 1,000 – 1,500 pigs to the domestic market on Tet holiday. Vissan has signed contracts with farms for a stable pig supply. Also, there is no need to worry about pork shortage because of the predicted weak purchasing power next year. As to the low live pig price, farmers are afraid of ASF and tend to sell their pigs at the weight of 60-70kg to avoid financial damage; so when the disease is under control and farmers are more confident to restock their herds, this price will certainly go up.

The Dong Nai Province Division of Animal Health blamed the drop in the pig quantity on high fodder and low live pig prices. In addition, as many businesses are temporarily closing due to a lack of orders, there is a reduction in the pork demand for industrial meals. Besides the possible outbreak of ASF, many districts in the province are checking farms and determinedly relocating troublesome ones to new places, creating certain disturbance to pig herds.

Meanwhile, in Tay Ninh Province, some large-scale pig farms are still carrying out the re-herding process, and the province now has 300,000 pigs in 40 such business farms as well as 100 small-scale family farms. Obviously, fluctuations in fodder prices do not have much influence on enterprises, which are financially capable. They still have sufficient capital to raise livestock for the peak time.

The situation is brighter in the Mekong Delta, where farmers are more eager to re-herd their livestock for the market at the end of this year and the upcoming Tet holiday.

Compared to this time last year, Tien Giang Province is experiencing a rise of 3 percent in pig herds to reach over 290,000 pigs and is predicted to continue this upward trend to serve the market on Tet holiday next year.

Hau Giang Province is also seeing bustling pig raising activities. At present, the total number of cattle here is 145,000, accounting for 90 percent of the time before the ASF outbreak. The functional agencies in the province actively update knowledge for farmers and strictly monitor the disease status of livestock herds.

According to the Department of Livestock and Husbandry (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), it takes 4-6 months to raise a pig to adulthood. In order to ensure sufficient pork for the next Tet holiday, the local authorities should carefully instruct farmers on re-herding.

Lately, the prices of live pigs have seen a considerable drop in all regions of Vietnam to only VND48,000 – 51,000 per kilo ($1.97 – 2.08).

Meanwhile, Head of the Department of Livestock and Husbandry Duong Tat Thang assured that there will not be any pork shortage at the end of this year and beginning of next year since the total quantity of pigs nationwide is 27 million. The national pork output until September 2023 was 3.63 million tonnes, a rise of nearly 7 percent compared to this time last year. Plus, Vietnam is able to import pork if the retail prices are too high as it is now enjoying import-export tax rates of nearly 0 percent.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs reveal that in the first 8 months this year, about 12,200 tonnes of pork worth $30.5 million were imported, an increase of 29 percent in quantity and 56 percent in value as opposed to this time last year. This is the fourth consecutive month that Vietnam has experienced pork import growth in 2023.

Wood and timber sector anticipating strong finish to year

Wood and timber firms have reported an uptake in orders and are taking measures to increase exports in the build up to vibrant year-end shopping season.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade show that the value of Vietnam’s wood and timber exports hit around $1.2 billion in September, down 7 per cent compared to the previous month, but up 6.7 per cent on-year.

The agency believes that the prospects for wood exports will improve amid burgeoning demand for new furniture to welcome the new year. Businesses in the sector have also received more positive feedback from their export partners and several firms in Ho Chi Minh City have acquired new orders, increased shifts, and recruited more labour.

Nguyen Chanh Phuong, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City, said, “Vietnamese firms have increased their imports of wood materials, with the volume increasing between 5-10 per cent each month since May. This strongly suggests that firms are actively preparing for an upswing of orders for the end of the year.”

Le Manh, chairman of Leglor Services Trading Production Co., Ltd. revealed that his business partners from the US have increased orders with the company recently. “Although the order size is modest and our turnover is about 20-30 per cent lower compared to last year, these are still encouraging signs for the sector,” said Manh.

D’Furni JSC has secured enough orders to be all full capacity for the final quarter of 2023 and first quarter of 2024, thanks to the company’s supply of a wide range of wooden furniture for homes, offices, restaurants, schools, and hospitals, “We are taking advantage as global players move their supply chains from China to other countries. Vietnamese firms are being proactive with this change,” said Vu Tien Thap, D’Furni’s director.

Tran Hoai Huu, director of Gia Nhien Co., revealed that the company has been attending trade exhibitions since August, resulting in new potential partners. “To entice and retain customers, our company is diversifying its product designs and offering more competitive pricing, such as offering 5-7 per cent price discount until the end of the year,” said Huu.

The total value of wood exports for the year is expected to be approximately $14 billion, a bit below the target of $17 billion set at the start of 2023.

First 22 pioneering enterprises of Vietnam earn US-funded customised technical assistance

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and US Agency for International Development (USAID) have handed over cooperation pacts to the first 22 Vietnamese pioneering enterprises (PEs), who will receive customised technical assistance worth 150,000 USD in total from the USAID’s Improving Private Sector Competitiveness (IPSC) project.

The handover took place as part of a forum on pioneering entrepreneurial spirit fostering sustainable Vietnam held by the MPI and USAID on October 13.

The event also saw 10 firms honoured as winners of the Vietnam ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) Initiative. The firms, selected based on their initiatives, will receive training support and intensive consultations to enhance their capacity and understanding of ESG and other sustainable business models so that they can finalise a plan to implement their initiatives. 

Addressing the forum, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong lauded efforts of the business community in adapting to trends and taking the lead in technological innovation, green transition, environmental protection, and climate change response, contributing positively to Vietnam’s realisation of sustainable development goals and commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

These are the new economic sectors that will create new values and new drivers for economic growth, Dong said.

USAID’s Mission Director for Vietnam, Aler Grubbs, stated that USAID is committed to promoting economic growth and enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector in Vietnam. Through close collaboration with the MPI to support Vietnamese enterprises in promoting sustainable business practices and ESG implementation, USAID has helped them improve their competitive capabilities, achieve long-term development goals, meet international standards, and deeply engage in global value chains to build a sustainable and prosperous Vietnam.

Hanoi introduces products at Australia’s Home Show

Hanoi’s Industry and Trade Department and the Vietnamese Consulate General in Sydney have collaborated to open the “Hanoi- Vietnam” pavilion at Sydney Home Show – Australia’s largest home improvement expo from October 13-15.

The activity aims to help Hanoi’s businesses, producers and exporters introduce their goods and services to foreign customers as well as seek business opportunities. The event is an opportunity for Hanoi to show its potential to attract investment.

Exhibitors from Hanoi also attend forums, conferences, and seminars held on the sidelines of the event. In addition, their products are also promoted on the expo’s website.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Acting Director of Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, said that Australia is a very potential market. Vietnam and Australia are among leading trading partners of each other.

She hoped that via the expo, Hanoi businesses, especially those operating in handicrafts, wooden furniture, stone furniture and other home products, can find new cooperation opportunities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes

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