KTFA

Henig:  E-commerce market achieves major breakthrough

06:00 | 15/02/2023

(VEN) – The value of Vietnam’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$40 billion by 2027, representing growth of 28 percent – the highest expansion rate in Southeast Asia, according to the conclusion of Meta and Bain & Company’s annual SYNC Southeast Asia study on the digital economy and the future of e-commerce in the region.

Double-digit growth

Vietnam’s e-commerce market is predicted to record 28 percent growth, the highest rate among Southeast Asian nations, and reach US$40 billion by 2027. The average contribution of e-commerce to total retail has continued to increase at 15 percent, accounting for six percent of Vietnam’s total retail value.

Khoi Le, Meta’s Vietnam Country Director, said Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market has many opportunities in terms of userbase. Vietnam recorded an increase of four million digital consumers in 2022. Eight out of ten individuals of working age are digital consumers. This means there are 60 million active digital consumers in Vietnam.

According to the White Book on Vietnamese E-Business 2022 released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam eCommerce and Digital Economy Agency, the size of Vietnam’s e-commerce retail sector was expected to increase by 20 percent in 2022, reaching approximately US$16.4 billion. In addition, it is anticipated that between 57 and 60 million Vietnamese engage in online shopping, spending US$260-285 per capita.

This outcome is a result of Vietnam’s utilization of the e-commerce development trend and the completion of a progressive regulatory framework governing online buying activities. Since the issuance of Government Decree 52/2013/ND-CP on e-commerce, revenues from retail e-commerce have climbed from US$2.2 billion in 2013 to US$16.4 billion in 2022.

Completing the payment system

According to the Vietnam eCommerce and Digital Economy Agency, e-commerce promotes the growth of electronic payments because 90 percent of goods and products purchased on e-commerce floors are paid for online using bank cards. Despite the pandemic, internet and mobile phone transactions in Vietnam increased by 238 percent.

In its forecast for Vietnam’s e-commerce business, the professional team of e-commerce portal iPrice emphasized the relevance of e-commerce in the future. In addition, the iPrice expert team identified several major trends. These include tailoring the shopper experience as consumers become increasingly reliant on e-commerce companies to help them find the things they need while also streamlining the supply chain to reduce delivery time and improve product quality.

The second trend is the development of cashless transactions. According to a survey by Facebook and Bain & Company, the rate of cash payments (Cash on Delivery) in Vietnam declined from 60 percent in 2020 to 42 percent in 2021, while e-wallet usage increased by up to 82 percent, compared to an 18 percent rise in bank transfers.

Implementing the 2021-2025 National E-commerce Development Master Plan, Vietnam’s industry and trade sector will continue to collaborate with banks to develop e-commerce in the next years, creating favorable conditions for e-commerce platforms.

Specifically, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to improve the legal framework; promulgate policies, regulations, and implement comprehensive solutions to increase the rate of e-payment on mobile platforms and reduce the use of cash; develop infrastructure and solutions to support electronic transactions and integrate payments in e-commerce; and concentrate on the development of payment utilities on mobile platforms.

To create more favorable conditions for e-commerce, the ministry will continue to improve the legal framework and issue policies to increase the rate of electronic payments; provide infrastructure and solutions to support electronic transactions; and develop payment facilities such as e-wallets, QR code, NFC, and POS.

According to the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, as a result of increased coordination between state management agencies, Vietnam’s e-commerce market will become increasingly comprehensive and transactionally secure. This development will foster consumer confidence in Vietnam, creating major breakthroughs in e-commerce between 2023 and 2025.

Viet Anh   LINK

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Henig:  Quang Binh: A land of endless mystery

13:00 | 14/02/2023

(VEN) – Tourism in Quang Binh, a coastal province in North-Central Vietnam, has gained international recognition due to the locality’s reputation as the “Kingdom of Caves”, its unique geological features and the enigmatic tales of its history and myths.

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh boasts thousands of caves within its 1,233 square kilometer boundaries, earning it the moniker “Kingdom of Caves”. Over the past 30 years, the British Caving Association has investigated 400 caves and made stunning discoveries, giving rise to the description of the area’s “endless mystery”.

“Good Morning America from Son Doong”, an ABC Television program, was broadcast live in 2015 from En Cave in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, attracting 60 million viewers worldwide and spreading its reputation far and wide.

Since then, major media agencies from across the world have visited Quang Binh. The province subsequently teamed up with Legendary Pictures to produce “Kong: Skull Island”, a VND7 trillion investment with global impact. Quang Binh was also ranked eighth among 52 most enticing Asian locations by the New York Times Magazine. “The New York Times Travel Show has provided the province of Quang Binh a free booth in New York,” says Nguyen Ngoc Quy, Director of the Quang Binh Department of Tourism. Other activities that have piqued broad interest include the Miss World Peace contest, which brought representatives of 80 countries to this “mysterious” land in September, and Alan Walker’s “Alone Pt.2″ music video, which has received hundreds of millions of views and is expected to reach nearly one billion views.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Quy, the BBC’s Landmark Natural History Series has filmed in Quang Binh and will reach an estimated 800 million people. A global Google Doodle celebration of Son Doong cave on April 14, 2022 was coordinated by Google Arts & Culture in 17 different countries and territories. “If you Google ‘Phong Nha’ or ‘Son Doong’ and click, you get detailed tourism information about the area. Our heritage is celebrated in 17 nations, ” Nguyen Ngoc Quy remarked.

Architect Tran Ngoc Chinh, former Deputy Minister of Construction and President of the Vietnam Urban Development Planning Association, describes Quang Binh Province as a secure, alluring, and one-of-a-kind tourist destination. Quang Binh is a location with multiple opportunities and advantages for tourism development, a territory with historic traditions and valuable geological qualities. Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave, a twice-recognized UNESCO world natural heritage site, and Son Doong Cave have attracted a large number of businesses and tourists from all over the world.

In terms of natural resources for tourism development, Quang Binh is regarded as a leading locality nationwide. According to a recent survey of travelers performed by Booking.com, Quang Binh is one of the Vietnamese localities with the highest tourism competitiveness ranking.

UNESCO recognized Phong Nha Cave a World Natural Heritage site in 2003 and again in 2015, contributing further to Quang Binh’s tourism economy.

Xuan Hoai   LINK

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Henig:  More Vietnamese farm products exported to Europe

11:30 | 15/02/2023

The central province of Quang Tri shipped its first batch of 15 tons of organic rice at a price of US$1,800 per ton to the European Union (EU) on February 13.

In the coming time, between 30 and 50 tons of this type of rice will be shipped to the European market every month.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that the nation exported nearly 7.3 million tons of rice last year, earning US$3.54 billion, up 6.9 percent.

Viet Nam still has many opportunities to increase the export of agricultural products, including fruits and vegetables, to the EU as it is the only country in the Asia Pacific region that has a free trade agreement with the EU.

After the European-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into effect, the tax rate for many kinds of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables was reduced from 10-20 percent to zero.

The country has exported many kinds of fruits to the EU, including dragon fruit, passion fruit, coconut, durian, longan, lychee, mangosteen, and seedless lemon.

Earlier, the first batch of 11 tons of Dien pomelo from the Yen Thuy district was transported to the United Kingdom on February 9 by Longdan, the largest importer of Vietnamese products in this country.

Viet Nam has emerged as a major Southeast Asian supplier of farm produce and aquaculture products to the UK since the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) came into force on May 1, 2021.

As part of the UKVFTA, some 85.6 percent of tariff lines for goods imported by the UK from Viet Nam were eliminated in January 2021, and 99.2 percent will be removed by January 2027, according to the UK Department for International Trade.

The UK imports from Viet Nam amounted to US$6.06 billion last year, rising by 5.2 percent over 2021, reported the General Department of Viet Nam Customs.

Source: VGP    LINK

Henig:  More expressways to be built in the north central & central coastal region by 2025

08:00 | 15/02/2023

The Ministry of Transport has set a target of completing and putting into operation the eastern North-South expressway by 2025, bringing the total length of highways in the north central-central coastal region from 193km to 1,390 km, said Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thắng.

The ministry will also complete coastal roads.

According to Thắng, in the period of 2005-20, capital from the central and local budgets, and other sources to invest in transport infrastructure in the region reached about VNĐ246 trillion (US$10.5 billion).

As a result, the region’s transport infrastructure system has changed markedly with many important works being built and put into operation.

In terms of roads, the Hồ Chí Minh Highway was put into operation while National Highway 1 was expanded and two projects of upgrading sections of La Sơn-Hoà Liên and Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi on the North-South Expressway with a total length of 193km were carried out.

Regarding railways, 1,462 km of existing railways were upgraded to ensure connection of all localities in the region.

Meanwhile, in terms of maritime, the ministry invested into building nine first class seaports, four second class seaports and one third class seaport. Inland waterways are exploiting 11 routes with a total length of 670km, including the coastal waterway.

Regarding aviation, this is the region with the largest density of airports in the country, with five international airports and four domestic ones.

Along with the achieved results, the region’s transport infrastructure system still has some shortcomings and inadequacies which have not met development needs.

The intra- and inter-regional transport infrastructure connecting the horizontal axis in the East-West direction is still limited. Railway connection with seaports has not been effective and some seaports and airports have not been exploited effectively, making it unable to promote its role as a hub for trans-shipment and transit of goods for the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) region and the Associate of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The main reason is the lack of linkages and synchronous planning, and investment plans for infrastructure development among localities in the region still lack in synchronisation do not pay attention to intra- and inter-regional connectivity.

In addition, investment resources have not met requirements, there are not yet strong enough mechanisms and policies to mobilise transport infrastructure investment, and the system of institutions and policies is still inadequate.

Thoroughly grasping the viewpoints and goals of the 13th Party Congress and Resolution No.26-NQ/TW with the goal that by 2030, the north central – central coastal region will reach a synchronous and modern socio-economic infrastructure, the Ministry of Transport will continue to closely coordinate with ministries, branches and localities to focus all resources on developing the region’s transport infrastructure, Thắng said.

The ministry determines to complete and put into operation the eastern North-South expressway by 2025, increasing the total length of highways in the region from 193km to 1,390 km as well as complete coastal roads and renovate and upgrade existing national highways in the medium-term public investment portfolio.

By 2030, the sector will complete the horizontal axis expressways with large traffic such as Vinh – Thanh Thủy, Khánh Hoà Buôn Ma Thuột, call for investment in expressways of Cam Lộ – Lao Bảo, Đà Nẵng – Thạch Mỹ – Ngọc Hồi – Bờ Y and Quy Nhơn – Pleiku, and upgrade key national highways connecting East and West, especially those connecting with major seaports.

The current North-South railway will be further upgraded, along with preparations for investment to start the priority sections of the North-South high-speed railway, a railway connecting the region with Tây Nguyên region and international border gates of Vũng Áng – Mụ Gia and Mỹ Thụy – Lao Bảo, and the restoration of the tourism railway line of Tháp Chàm – Đà Lạt.

The ministry will focus on improving the efficiency of coastal waterway transport corridors and waterways connecting to seaports as well as building new airports at Phan Thiết and Quảng Trị and develop national, regional and international-standard logistics systems connecting with seaports, airports, international border gates and key economic corridors.

Source: VNS   LINK

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Henig:  Taking advantage of opportunities, promoting agricultural exports

08:00 | 15/02/2023

China’s reopening of border gates since January 8 to boost the trade of goods, including the trading of agricultural products, is good news for Vietnamese agricultural exporters. However, opportunities also go with challenges if businesses wish to effectively exploit this vast market.

To Ngoc Son, Deputy Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department (the Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that China is the leading important market and the number one trading partner of Vietnam. Import-export turnover between Vietnam and China reached 175.5 billion USD in 2022, accounting for 24% of Vietnam’s total import-export revenue.

Regarding the agricultural sector, China is the largest export market of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits (accounting for 53.7% of the total), cassava and cassava products (91.47%), and rubber (71%). China is also the third largest export market of Vietnamese seafood (after the US and Japan).

The leading important market

The China Customs has so far granted 2,492 product codes to enterprises producing and processing agricultural products in Vietnam, more than 2,000 codes for growing areas and 1,438 codes for packing establishments for agricultural products for export to the Chinese market. China has opened its border on January 8, 2023, after a period of limited trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so agricultural export activities between the two countries have become more active.

According to Lao Cai Border Gate Management Board, the total import and export value through Lao Cai Border Gate reached nearly 82 million USD in January 2023. As many as 6,713 vehicles carrying agricultural products were handled through the Kim Thanh II International Border Gate in January 2023, with a total import and export value of nearly 59 million USD.

Exports are mainly fresh agricultural products such as dragon fruit, banana, watermelon, rambutan, and jackfruit. In January 2023, nearly 600 trucks of dragon fruit were brought to Lao Cai for export to China. More than 800 trucks of agricultural products are cleared in Lang Son Province every day.

Deputy Director of Plant Protection Department, Huynh Tan Dat said that the positive export signals from the beginning of this year were partly due to the phytosanitary protocols signed between the two countries regarding agricultural products, including: banana, durian, mangosteen, black jelly, rice bran and rice. The Department is negotiating with the Chinese side to sign a protocol on the official export of some traditional fresh fruits such as watermelon, dragon fruit, mango, jackfruit, longan, lychee, and rambutan. The two countries are also negotiating techniques for the official export of medicinal herbs, pomelos, some citrus fruits, and coconuts.

Focusing on exploiting key products

Deputy General Director of Dong Giao Foodstuff Export Joint Stock Company (DOVECO) Pham Ngoc Thanh said that the company’s export of agricultural products to the Chinese market in 2022 posted a growth rate of 130% compared to 2021 thanks to a focus on key products such as: fresh passion fruit, processed passion fruit, passion fruit juice, and banana products. In addition to fresh fruits, DOVECO is also focusing on deep processing to improve the added value of products.

Pham Ngoc Thanh said that it is very important to promote, advertise and introduce products to Chinese partners, including the active participation in trade fairs in China to promote the export of vegetables and fruits to the market. It is the fastest way for Chinese consumers to access Vietnamese agricultural products. As such, DOVECO wishes the authorities to continue to create conditions for Vietnamese businesses to participate in product and trade promotion programmes in the future.

Dr. Tra My, President of the provisional Vietnam Business Association in China, emphasised that enterprises need to pay attention to product quality and have a branding plan for agricultural products which have great effect on the selling price of products. Enterprises should also focus on exporting via sea thanks to many advantages over focusing on road transport at present.

For the promotion of products, the provisional Vietnam Business Association in China has invested in establishing a Vietnamese booth in China, helping businesses display preliminarily processed and finished products for free. In the coming time, the provisional Vietnamese Business Association in China will coordinate with other agencies to organise the first Vietnam-Shanghai investment and trade forum, scheduled for April 2023, focusing on the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to China.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said that China’s reopening of the border from January 8, 2023 is good news for businesses of the two countries, but without improvements to the quality and product design and cost reduction, Vietnamese enterprises will still face many challenges.

Therefore, enterprises need to strictly comply with the technical requirements and combine with local agricultural agencies to build raw material areas, in addition to coordinating with packing facilities and agencies specialising in granting planting area codes to meet requirements from the Chinese market. Businesses should actively contact with agencies such as the border gate management board to obtain information on the progress of customs clearance to avoid congestion and ensure the quality of agricultural products, customs clearance time and transport costs.

Source: NDO    LINK

Henig:   VIMC reported all-time high profits, restructuring considered

February, 15/2023 – 10:22

The Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) reported its profit exceeding US$130 million in 2022, for the second year in a row.

HÀ NỘI – The Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) reported its profit exceeding US$130 million in 2022, for the second year in a row.

While the final figure was still not yet made public while under audit, VIMC, the country’s largest State-owned maritime logistics corporation, said 2022 had been a good year for business.

Last year, VIMC’s total shipping volume was estimated at 21.8 million tonnes, 13 per cent over the yearly target; cargo throughput via seaports was estimated at 124 million tonnes or 93 per cent of the yearly target; container volume was estimated at 5.8 million TEUs or 97 per cent of the yearly target.

That put the corporation’s consolidated revenue at $653.9 million, 20 per cent over its annual objective and a 5 per cent increase over the previous year. VIMC’s earning in sea shipping was estimated at $81.2 million, a 71 per cent increase in the same period in 2021 and 44 per cent above 2022’s target.

Once the financial audit is finalised, VIMC will likely be looking at a yearly profit north of $135 million, nearly 25 per cent above its set target, according to a statement released recently by the corporation.

VIMC operates a fleet of 59 ships, including four oil tankers (accounting for 5 per cent of VIMC’s total tonnage), 10 container ships (7 per cent of total tonnage) and 45 dry cargo ships (88 per cent of total tonnage). A majority of its fleet was either built or purchased prior to 2010 with an average service life of 20 years.

Restructuring

The corporation attributed recent success to restructuring efforts with a clear objective focusing on its core businesses and Việt Nam’s booming export economy in the last decades.

VIMC identified its core businesses as sea shipping, port operation and maritime services.

In response to an earlier proposal by the corporation to reduce the State’s share in VIMC from 99,47 per cent to 65 per cent in the near future, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said such a decision could not be made in a short time.

“VIMC is, directly or indirectly, involved in the management and operation of 14 seaports across the country and therefore, plays an instrumental part in the country’s socio-economic development, as well as national security,” said deputy minister of industry and trade Nguyễn Xuân Sang.

“The decision to reduce the State’s share in the corporation must be thoroughly reviewed and studied,” he said.

Commenting on the proposal, the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises recommended that the State’s share in the corporation remain the same at least for the 2021-25 period.

“Maintaining the State’s shares in VIMC is to ensure the corporation will continue to play a leading role in the establishment and expansion of the country’s supply and logistic networks, as well as efficient use of key resources,” said a spokesperson from the committee.

The committee recommended the State maintain a minimum 65 per cent majority at the corporation in the future. VNS    LINK