KTFA

Henig:  Việt Nam to further contribute to strengthening ASEAN solidarity: ambassador

07:00 | 04/02/2023

ASEAN foreign ministers are expected to propose initiatives and solutions to cope with challenges in the region and the world, strengthen the bloc’s solidarity during their meeting in Jakarta on Feb 3-4.

JAKARTA — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn’s attendance at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (AMM Retreat) in Jakarta on February 3-4 will contribute to enhancing solidarity and consensus in the ten-member grouping, thus elevating Việt Nam’s role and position in ASEAN and international forums, a Vietnamese diplomat has said.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the AMM Retreat, Ambassador Nguyễn Hải Bằng, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to ASEAN, said given the current complicated circumstances, the meeting is expected to offer an opportunity for ASEAN FMs to discuss and reach consensus on the bloc’s orientations.

The ministers are expected to propose initiatives and solutions to cope with challenges in the region and the world, strengthen the bloc’s solidarity, enhance ASEAN’s centrality in the region, and facilitate recovery of the entire association and each member nation, the ambassador continued.

According to Bằng, on the sidelines of the AMM Retreat, Son and his counterparts in ASEAN will pay courtesy calls to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and hold many bilateral meetings.

Since joining ASEAN, Việt Nam has proven its role as an active, responsible member that is willing to lead and contribute to building rules for the bloc.

At the upcoming retreat, Việt Nam will propose initiatives aiming to improve institutional capacity and operational efficiency of ASEAN agencies and review the implementation of the ASEAN Charter for timely adjustment and supplements, towards ensuring that ASEAN Community building efforts are made in an effective and coordinated manner across all three pillars.

Also as part of the community building framework, Việt Nam will join in finalising Timor Leste’s observer status and contributing to building a roadmap for Timor-Leste to secure the ASEAN membership.

According to the ambassador, another important issue at the upcoming retreat meeting is measures to materialise the Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar, and Việt Nam stands ready to engage in the process.

Other issues to be tabled for discussion include orientations to boost cooperation between ASEAN and its partners in the spirit of ensuring and promoting the centrality of ASEAN as well as mechanisms and initiatives of or led by ASEAN, including the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and how to continue urging major countries to soon join the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

The present emerging international and regional issues would also be of great concern as they directly affect ASEAN, he said, noting that the task of the Vietnamese delegation was to raise initiatives in order to build a common stance, helping to ensure ASEAN solidarity and unity.

Speaking of priorities set by Indonesia as ASEAN Chair 2023 that are maintaining ASEAN’s position and consolidating its centrality in the region and the world, and comprehensively spurring economic recovery and growth, turning ASEAN into a bright spot of the global economy, Bằng affirmed Việt Nam’s support for and readiness to contribute to these efforts this year.

Source: VNS    LINK

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Henig:  Trade surplus with America exceeds US$100 billion

07:00 | 04/02/2023

Viet Nam enjoyed a trade surplus of US$100 billion with the Americas for the first time in 2022, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

In the year, trade with the continent accelerated to US$153.9 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 10.7 percent. In which, Viet Nam’s exports to America reached US$128.2 billion, up 12.4 percent and its imports reached $25.7 billion, up 3 percent on-year.

Trade between Viet Nam and major markets in the Americas saw stable growth, such as that with the U.S. up 11 percent, Brazil up 6.6 percent, Canada up 16.5 percent, Mexico up 7.1 percent, Chile up 9 percent, and Argentina up 8.3 percent.

For the U.S. market, the two-way trade trade turnover increased by 11 percent to US$123.86, of which Viet Nam’s exports to the U.S. hit US$109.4 billion, up 13.6 percent compared to 2021.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that 2023 would continue to be a challenging year, thus market situation should be closely monitored and more solutions needed to maintain and expand export markets.

Source: VGP   LINK

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Henig:  Banks plan to pay cash dividends for first time in three years

February, 04/2023 – 08:05

TPBank is due to pay a cash dividend at a rate of 25 per cent instead of a stock dividend like in previous years. This means that shareholders will receive VNĐ 2,500 (US$0.11) per owned share.

HÀ NỘI — Some banks have announced plans to pay cash dividends to shareholders for the first time in three years.

Accordingly, TPBank is due to pay a cash dividend at a rate of 25 per cent instead of a stock dividend like in previous years. This means that shareholders will receive VNĐ2,500 (US$0.11) per owned share.

The payment is expected in the first quarter of 2023. The source is from undistributed profits as of 2021 after disbursing funds according to the audited financial statements.

This is the first bank to consult shareholders on cash dividend payments this year.

TPBank said that accumulated to the end of 2022, the remaining profit and surplus from funds reached more than VNĐ13.36 trillion. Of which, the undistributed profit until 2021 after distributing to funds was nearly VNĐ5.5 trillion.

Last year, TPBank also recorded a 30 per cent growth in profit before tax to nearly VNDĐ7.9 trillion, thanks to an increase in fee income and the recovery of customers whose debts were extended during the pandemic, so risk provisions were reduced.

Previously, Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VIB) said that if it is approved by the general meeting of shareholders and approved by the State Bank, it can pay a cash dividend of up to 35 per cent of the charter capital, meaning that shareholders owning one VIB share can receive VNĐ3,500 in dividends. According to VIB’s representative, the payment rate could be higher if irregular revenues were recorded in 2022.

In 2022, VIB recorded a profit before tax of more than VNĐ10.58 trillion, an increase of 32 per cent over the previous year.

Similarly, Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VPBank) and Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB) also plan to pay cash dividends this year.

VNS    LINK

Henig:  PM emphasises importance of boosting external activities at export market conference

February, 04/2023 – 07:58

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said the Ministry of Industry and Trade should take advantage of the free trade agreements (FTAs) that Việt Nam has joined.

HÀ NỘI – At a conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on expanding the export market in Hà Nội on February 3, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính emphasised the importance of boosting external activities and fostering bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà and Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên also attended the conference.

Chính said the ministry should take advantage of the free trade agreements (FTAs) that Việt Nam has joined to help diversify export markets and maintain traditional markets, such as the US, China, the EU, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN.

Việt Nam needed to expand its export market to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America, South Asia, and Africa and promote supply chain diversification.

Negotiations that are ongoing concerning an FTA with Israel and the opportunities from China’s reopening after COVID-19 must also be exploited.

The PM requested the MoIT implement synchronous solutions to boost exports for commodities with high potential and demand on the global market.

In addition, the sector needed to boost domestic purchasing power by implementing trade promotion programmes on the domestic market and promote the distribution of goods via e-commerce channels.

It needed to focus on calling for investment in modernising the distribution system in rural and mountainous areas to promote Vietnamese goods.

The ministry was also asked to step up market management and the fight against smuggling and trade fraud and take specific solutions to mobilise and bring into full play resources, especially those from different economic sectors.

It needed to coordinate with ministries and sectors to reduce logistics service costs to improve competitiveness.

The leader also stressed the importance of digital transformation, a green and circular economy, and the climate change response while urging the ministry to quickly complete the four master plans on electricity, energy, minerals and oil and gas infrastructure.

At the conference, Minister Nguyễn Hồng Diên said that in 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Trade would focus on implementing programmes to restore and develop the economy, promote disbursement of public investment capital, creating the supply of materials for sustainable product development.

The ministry would focus on solving difficulties for businesses, implementing solutions to removing barriers in terms of credit and administrative procedures to promote economic growth.

It would also promote administrative reform, simplify procedures, and create favourable investment, production and business activities conditions.

According to a report presented at the conference, industrial production recovered in almost all fields and localities last year, of which processing and manufacturing remained the main growth driver with a rate of 8.1 per cent.

Export-import also hit a new record of over US$732.5 billion in revenue, representing a 10-fold rise year-on-year. The trade surplus had been maintained for seven consecutive years, reaching $11.2 billion in 2022.

The total retail sales of goods and services increased by nearly 20 per cent, exceeding the set target by 2.5 times.

Việt Nam is among the top five countries worldwide for e-commerce growth.

At the meeting, the sector proposed the Government continue with policies to boost production and business, attract more foreign investments, and soon build and approve national, regional, provincial and sectoral planning schemes, and further consolidate institutions relating to the sector.

VNS    LINK

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Henig:  Vietnam’s rice export forecast to enjoy another successful year

07:00 | 04/02/2023

Vietnam’s rice export is forecast to continue reaping successes this year as the world’s rice prices remain high at least in the short term as global economic and political uncertainties have resulted in a high demand for rice reserves, according to experts.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, by the middle of last month, Vietnam earned nearly 115 million USD from exporting more than 226,000 tonnes of rice, an increase of over 41% in terms of both volume and value compared to the same period last year.

The country exported ST24 and ST25 rice to the Middle East region with a record-high price of 1,000 USD per tonne, doubling the price of normal white rice.

Vietnamese rice further penetrated demanding markets like Japan and the EU.

According to experts, more than 80% of rice varieties in Vietnam are fragrant high-quality rice, which is an important factor that helps increase Vietnamese rice’s value and accessibility to markets.

This year’s rice prices are forecast to return its peak in 2019 thanks to periodical factors and increasing demand for rice reserves in countries, including such populous nations as China and India.

Moreover, Vietnamese rice exporters are taking advantage of free trade agreements.

Pham Thai Binh, General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stocks Company, said that before the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, Vietnamese rice exported to the EU was taxed at high rates, from 5% to 45%, depending on countries.

As the result, it was difficult for Vietnamese rice to compete with those from Cambodia and Myanmar as the EU has exempted import taxes for those countries.

Meanwhile, although Thailand’s rice is heavily taxed but its branding is strong and long-lasting, resulting in its high competitiveness, Binh said.

According to analysts from BIDV Securities Company (BSC), unfavourable weather conditions make major rice exporters like India and Pakistan reduce export volumes while major rice importers like China increase imports.

Vietnam and Thailand are expected to hold negotiations to discuss rising rice prices in the context of increasing prices of input materials.

Last year, Vietnam exported nearly 7.2 tonnes of rice, gaining 3.49 billion USD.

Source: VNA   LINK

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Henig:  Greening foreign investment

06:00 | 03/02/2023

(VEN) – The government’s declared commitment to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 has prompted a wave of high-quality, sustainable foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

FDI remains key development driver

According to a report by the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in the first 11 months of 2022, the capital of new FDI projects, capital increases of ongoing projects, and capital contributions and stock purchases by foreign investors totaled more than US$25.1 billion, equaling 95 percent of the commensurate period sum in 2021. The processing and manufacturing industry led the way with total investment of US$14.96 billion, accounting for 59.5 percent of registered investment capital. Along with newly registered capital, the adjusted capital grew 18.9 percent. Notably, FDI disbursement reached US$19.68 billion, up 15 percent over the same period last year and a five-year record.

The growth momentum of the adjusted capital signals foreign investors’ confidence in Vietnam’s economy and investment environment. What is more, the realized disbursement of foreign investment has spawned economic growth and improved production capacity, while connecting Vietnamese enterprises with global production and distribution chains. More importantly, the flow of investment capital into the high-tech sector is in line with Vietnam’s goal of improving the quality and efficiency of foreign investment cooperation.

Alain Cany, Chair of the European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocharm) in Vietnam, suggests that rather than looking at new investment figures, Vietnam should focus on high levels of disbursement. European businesses in Vietnam are much more optimistic than before the pandemic given Vietnam’s flexibility in efforts both to repel COVID-19 and to support business activity. Therefore, investor commitment is reflected not only in pledged capital but in the disbursed sums.

Matsumoto Nobuyuki, Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Ho Chi Minh City, commented that among roughly 600 Japanese enterprises operating in Vietnam, some 60 percent expected profits in 2022. Revitalized from the post-pandemic recovery, the number of profitable businesses in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors increased compared to 2021. In comparison with the Asia and Oceania regions, the number of businesses with optimistic forecasts in Vietnam is higher.

The improved business profits are attributed to the post-pandemic recovery. However, the production efficiency improvement and the increased domestic purchasing power also contribute to Vietnam’s growth, Nobuyuki noted.

Attracting green, sustainable FDI

Despite the global decline in foreign direct investment, Vietnam is an exception, reflecting investor confidence in its medium and long-term growth prospects.

Along with strong government determination to advance a green economy, Vietnam also has opportunities to attract investment projects of high technology and low impact on the environment from investors in developed nations. In fact, these investors are increasingly interested in environmental and sustainability issues, highlighting Vietnam’s advantages for their investment decisions.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment reports that from the end of 2021, the quality of projects has shifted in line with Vietnam’s green growth goals. The Danish Pandora Group’s new LEGO plant, for example, is Vietnam’s

first carbon-neutral factory that uses only renewable energy.

“We perceive a much larger wave from Europe to Vietnam and there will be a wave of business and potential investors to explore Vietnam, especially in the green domains and green industries,” Cany predicted.

According to foreign investors, the macroeconomic background is stable, placing the new FDI inflows in the “green” mainstream serving sustainable development and accompanied by investment in human resources, science and technology and the sector ecosystem.

Ngoc Thao    LINK