Henig:  Vietnam, China’s Hainan province strengthen trade ties

06:10 | 26/02/2023

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and the visiting Secretary of the Party Committee of China’s Hainan province, Shen Xiaoming, reached consensus on measures to strengthen trade ties at a meeting in Hanoi on February 22.

The host official expressed his belief that as the world’s biggest free-trade port, Hainan will play an increasingly important role in trade between Vietnam and China, helping increase Vietnam’s exports and reduce the trade imbalance.

He suggested establishing a trade promotion office of Vietnam in Hainan’s Haikou city; accelerating the opening of the Chinese market to Vietnam’s agricultural products, especially fresh coconut which is in high demand in the province; and cooperating in agricultural processing.

Dien asked Hainan to give assistance and preferential treatment to Vietnamese enterprises to capitalize on e-commerce incentives and take part in major international expos in Hainan.

For his part, Shen voiced his support for Minister Dien’s proposals and affirmed that he will order relevant agencies and localities of Hainan to coordinate with the Vietnamese side to step up the establishment of a trade promotion office in Vietnam.

He also pledged to assign his province’s agencies to work with the Chinese General Administration of Customs to promote the market opening to fresh coconut from Vietnam.

Regarding the upgrade of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Hainan administration, the Secretary showed his support for negotiations to sign the MoU to help facilitate Vietnam’s trade ties with Hainan and China as a whole.

In 2022, trade revenue between Vietnam and Hainan reached 1.35 billion USD, up 56% year on year. That comprised 695.2 million USD in Hainan’s exports and 658 million USD in Vietnam’s exports, respectively rising 171.9% and 7.5%, according to data from the Chinese province.

Source: VNA    LINK


Henig:  197 enterprises receive High Quality Product – Global Integration Standards certificates

February, 24/2023 – 13:03

Amid international economic integration, it is vital for farm producers and retailers to meet internationally recognised standards to gain access to local and international markets, experts said.

HCM CITY — Amid international economic integration, it is vital for farm producers and retailers to meet internationally recognised standards to gain access to local and international markets, experts said.

The Vietnamese High Quality Product – Global Integration Standards programme initiated by the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products helps farmers and enterprises gradually adopt good agricultural practices to access demanding markets, said Vũ Kim Hạnh, chairwoman of the association.

Launched in 2016, the programme has so far granted certificates to 197 enterprises, including 135 enterprises in the food sector and the remaining 62 enterprises in non-food sectors, Hạnh said at a conference held on Wednesday to review the implementation of the programme over six years.

A set of criteria for Vietnamese High Quality Product – Global Integration Standards based on Vietnamese and global Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP and GlobalGAP) has been developed by the programme to improve the competitiveness of local firms.

The programme has frequently provided training and updated information to enterprises, with a focus on food safety, consuming trends, capacity building, digital transformation, and standards for exporting products to demanding markets.

Nguyễn Quân, president of the experts council of Vietnamese High Quality Product -Global Integration Standards, said local enterprises must achieve local and international quality management systems and standards to access global supply chains and regional markets.

He encouraged enterprises to participate in the programme to take Vietnamese products into the global markets.



Henig:  HCM City People’s Committee to remove bottlenecks for foreign businesses

February, 26/2023 – 11:18

The People’s Committee of HCM City held a meeting to resolve obstacles for foreign enterprises.

HCM CITY — The People’s Committee of HCM City held a meeting to resolve obstacles for foreign enterprises.

Đào Minh Chánh, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, reported that by 2025 the city aims to be a modern, smart, service and industrial-oriented city, maintaining its role as the economic locomotive with a per capita GRDP reaching US$8,500.

To achieve this goal, the city authority proposed five solutions.

The first solution is to develop the economy rapidly and sustainably by transforming its hi-tech parks, industrial parks, and export processing zones into centers for high technology, creativity, digital economy, green economy, and circular economy, and concentrate on high value-added products and stages that can join regional and global value chains.

The second solution is to focus on the synchronous development of economic sectors, promoting the private economic sector, building large enterprises with national and global brands.

The third solution is to promote its role as a driving force and leader of public investment, combining capital sources from the private sector, foreign investment, sponsors, and international financial institutions.

The fourth solution is to improve the quality of planning, management, and implementation, develop urban sustainability, and promote the construction of modern infrastructure.

Specifically, the city will complete the construction of national highways, which include completing and putting into operation urban railway line No.1 by 2024, and completing Ring Road No.3 by 2026 and Ring Road No.4 by 2030. In addition, the city will also invest in the HCM City-Mộc Bài Expressway and the HCM City-Chơn Thành Expressway, among other projects.

The fifth solution is to emphasize the development of culture, society, education and training, healthcare, and the improvement of people’s quality of life.

James Ollen, Managing Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) in HCM City, said the southern hub’s authorities need to have policies to develop high technology and industries with high-added values, improve local supply chains, develop digital economy services, and develop lifelong education.

HCM City should also have a consistent policy on simplifying administrative procedures related to visa issuance for foreigners, he noted.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Văn Mãi affirmed that the city is focusing on improving the investment environment, clarifying the administrative responsibilities of agencies and the public duties of each public servant.

The city will pay heed to speeding up digital transformation in connection with improving the investment environment, thus creating the most favorable conditions for businesses, he said.

Basic activities of the local authorities are expected to be operated on a digital platform by 2025, Mãi said, adding that the city has officially implemented digital economic development and increased the proportion of the digital economy in its economy in 2023.


Henig:  UK’s joining CPTPP will benefit agreement members: Vietnamese minister

February, 24/2023 – 17:59

Việt Nam’s hosting the next round of talks in Phú Quốc late this month will contribute to accelerating the process

HÀ NỘI — The UK’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will bring about wonderful trade and investment opportunities to each CPTPP member, while affirming the deal as a model of economic cooperation in the region in the 21st century, a Vietnamese official has said.

During his phone talks with Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade of the UK, on February 23, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên stressed that Việt Nam would continue its coordination with other CPTPP members to soon conclude the negotiations on the UK’s joining the agreement.

For her part, Badenoch said joining the CPTPP was one of her top priorities as the Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade of the UK, and thanked Việt Nam for its cooperation and support for the process.

Việt Nam’s hosting the next round of talks in Phú Quốc late this month would contribute to accelerating the process, especially in the context of the two countries celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties this year, she noted.

Badenoch expressed her hope that CPTPP members and the UK would handle the pending issues during the meeting to end the negotiations in principle.

After the four rounds of talks held online in 2022, the next meeting is scheduled for February 27 in Phú Quốc, off the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang.



Henig:  MoF proposes decree amendment to allow bond payment conversions

February, 25/2023 – 09:34

Converting the bond debt into properties will help realty enterprises reduce inventories and the pressure of cash flows.

HÀ NỘI — Due to the stagnant bond market, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed a decree amendment to allow enterprises to convert bond payments into assets, including real estate.

The corporate bond market remained quiet in the first month of this year, with a large number of maturing bonds. Of which, half of the bonds – VNĐ104 trillion (US$4.37 billion) maturing out of around VNĐ205 trillion – were issued by property developers.

According to FiinRatings, only one batch of private placement bonds worth VNĐ110 billion was successfully issued by Phan Vũ Investment Corporation in January. These bonds’ term is five years, with a nominal rate of interest of 10.5 per cent a year. And Asia Pile Holdings is the batch’s sole bondholder.

Nguyễn Tùng Anh, head of the Credit Analysis and Green Financial Services Department of FiinRating, said that low demands and supplies on the market were attributed to the steep reduction in the size of bond issuance.

In the midst of the market’s stagnation, Novaland recently proposed a solution for its two batches of bonds that are to due by extending the principal payment date for an appropriate period of time or converting the principal with the company’s real estate.

According to the property developer the solution is force majeure as the market still has many unpredictable fluctuations which is in line with the document relating to bond issuance.

It assured that the proposal was legal and in accordance with the decree’s directives.

Therefore, it was expected that the decree amendment would help the bond market recover.

“The new decree is required due to the high liquidity pressure enterprises faced at the end of last year when 12 issuers in the real estate and energy industries breached debt obligations such as late payment of interest and/or principal,” Tùng Anh said.

Similarly, Dr. Lê Đức Chí of the University of Economics HCM City’s School of Finance stated that the conversion of bond debts into properties would be a necessary solution because it would help companies reduce inventories, relieving pressure on cash flows.

Risks in bond payment by properties

However, bondholders may refuse to agree to convert bond debts into real estate debt, according to Phạm Đức, an attorney of the HCM City Bar Association.

He said that with this kind of payment, bondholders would be at a disadvantage because they would not receive interest, while assets have extremely low liquidity, especially when the property market is merely frozen and the volatility of realty prices is unpredictable in the future.

“If bondholders insist on cash payments but the enterprises are unable to settle, the enterprises’ bank loans will become bad debts. They, then, can’t access capital to retain and develop their projects,” he said.

“Bondholders and enterprises still can reach consensus on the payment method for real estate if businesses pay both principal and interest, then offer a reasonable price for the converted property,” Đức suggested.

Analysts said that the payments in real estate meant switching from financial transactions of borrowing and paying in cash to buying and selling assets. Therefore, the transaction must satisfy regulations, including legally completing and meeting the criteria of an agreement to buy and sell.

Bondholders were recommended to learn about and choose reputable enterprises.

If the enterprise proposed exorbitant prices for the properties, bondholders should resolutely demand payment in cash. If the enterprise was three months behind on bond payments, bondholders could sue and ask the court to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against it.

Experts also suggested that the Government should take effective measures to solve the problems of real estate and bonds at their root, such as transparency or legal problems with projects. Only then could the bondholders accept the bond payment in real estate.