The Vietnamese booth at Carrefour supermarket in Lyon (Photo: VNA)
France’s Carrefour Group and the Vietnamese Embassy in the European country on January 13 launched the Vietnamese booths at all supermarkets run by the French retailer, on the occasion of the Vietnamese traditional New Year (Tet).
At Carrefour supermarket in Lyon city, the Vietnamese booth introduced many agricultural products such as rice, spring roll, noodle, and coffee, along with industrial products.
Traditional fruit tray and Chung (glutinous rice cake) were also prepared to give visitors an insight of Vietnamese Tet.
Attractive promotion programmes were run on the occasion, aiming to encourage more visitors to try the products.
Addressing the launching of the booth at Lyon Carrefour supermarket, Vietnamese Ambassador Dinh Toan Thang said that this activity marks a step forwards in the Vietnam-France economic and trade partnership right in the time as the two sides are marking the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations and the 10 years of strategic partnership.
For his part, Carrefour Director Rami Baitiéh said that Vietnamese goods are always among the top 20 best-selling agricultural products in the international zone of Carrefour.
He said he has directed all member supermarkets to ensure the supply of Vietnamese products to meet their customers’ demand.
Bruno Lebon, Executive Director of Hypermarkets at Carrefour, said that the supermarkets are selling 200 products from Vietnam, adding that the firm plans to organise a number of promotion programmes to better meet the rising demands for Vietnamese products.
Lebon said that Vietnamese rice, coffee and tea are popular among French consumers, and Vietnamese fruits are receiving increasing attention from local shoppers. Therefore, the firm is seeking suppliers of these products.
Last year, Carrefour and the Vietnamese Embassy in France organised three promotion programmes of Vietnamese products.
Electronic firms continue to shift investment to Vietnam
In continuation of moving their production hubs, this year many of the giants in the world of technology and electronics have announced business expansion plans in Vietnam.
Recently, Apple revealed that it will move its MacBook production chain to Vietnam in 2023. It has asked Foxconn, its biggest supplier, to launch a MacBook production chain in Vietnam from May this year, while making plans to produce Mac Pro in Vietnam.
In 2025, about 20% of the total number of iPads and Apple Watches will be produced in Vietnam, along with 5% of the MacBook and 65% of the AirPods. Currently, 25 out of the 190 partners of Apple are running their factories in Vietnam.
Foxconn, after investing 1.5 billion USD in Vietnam, plans to invest additional 300 million USD in Fukang factory in Quang Chau industrial park in Bac Giang province.
Another Apple’s supplier, Goertek has announced its additional 300 million USD investment in Bac Giang. Meanwhile, Lxshare, which will assemble iPhone 15 Pro Max, is running six factories in Vietnam with a total of 40,000 labourers.
At the same time, computer producer Dell is striving to make sure all of its chips are produced outside China.
Electronics firm Pegatron is also building a factory worth about 481 million USD in Hai Phong, while moving its R&D centre from China to Vietnam at a suitable time.
Many other big companies such as OPPO, HP and Brose are also considering the relocation of production plants to Vietnam, while others, including Xiaomi, Bosch, Panasonic, Amkor, Sharp and Compal, also plan to expand its business presence in the country.
Particularly, Korean firm Samsung, after pouring 18 billion USD and launching Southeast Asia’s largest R&D centre in Vietnam, also plans to raise its investment in Vietnam to 20 billion USD in the coming time.
Another Korean electronics company, LG, is also making plans to inject additional 4 billion USD in Vietnam.
Dr. Ho Quoc Tuan, a lecturer at Bristol University, commented that Vietnam is benefiting from the diversification of production locations of international businesses.
Experts attributed the phenomenon to Vietnam’s advantages such as low-cost workforce, and the country’s engagement in 15 free trade agreements covering more than 50 countries, as well as Vietnam’s political stability.
Online banking transactions falter ahead of Tet
The online transaction services of many Vietnamese banks are faltering due to the surge in demand as the Tet Lunar New Year Holiday nears.
A customer of Vietinbank’s branch in Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi, said that she failed to transfer money through Vietinbank’s mobile banking service on January 10.
“When logging into the VietinBank iPay app, I received a notice about the transaction surge which caused the congestion. Several minutes after that the system returned to normal,” she added.
Many Military Bank customers also recently complained about errors they faced with their online transfers.
The same situation also occurred at Tienphong Bank and National Citizen Bank (NCB) on January 6.
Tran Minh Hai from Cau Giay District, Hanoi, said that he was unable to log into his NCB account several times. This affected his payment.
According to the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (Napas), his organisation records around 15-16 million transactions per day, much higher than the same period last year.
Banks have upgraded their systems, but some of them still face errors. However, these problems are often quickly settled.
The Vietnam News Agency cited a survey recently conducted by digital payment giant Visa as saying that 65 percent of Vietnamese are carrying less cash and a third say they would stop using cash after the pandemic. Almost 76 percent of consumers now use mobile wallets and even more (82 percent) use cards.
As of the end of 2021, 95 of all financial institutions in Vietnam had developed their own digitalisation strategy. Currently, over 80 banks offer customers e-banking services; 44 banks offer mobile banking services; and 45 fintech firms offer payment intermediary services. Across the country, there are currently over 90,000 stores that accept QR code payments and nearly 300,000 point-of-sale terminals.
Da Nang looks to expand cooperation with RoK
Consul General of the Republic of Korea in the central city of Da Nang Kang Boo-sung had a working session with Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Quang on January 13.
During the meeting, Quang said he hopes the RoK diplomat will pay attention to promoting Korean firms to invest in the city, especially in high technology, and research and development of information technology.
According the secretary, the RoK remains the fifth largest foreign investor in Da Nang, especially in terms of tourism.
RoK businesses will enjoy many incentives if they invest in high-tech parks, Quang said, adding that municipal authorities will create favourble conditions for Korean citizens to live and work in Da Nang.
For his part, Kang said he will try to implement effectively cooperation documents signed between two countries, noting that his office will organise activities to promote the image of Da Nang and its tourism potential to Korean people.
He wishes to strengthen cultural exchange between the two countries to promote mutual understanding, saying that a Vietnam – RoK festival will be held in Da Nang this year.
The diplomat expressed his hope to expand economic ties between the two sides in the coming time, stressing that his agency will try to encourage Korean businesses to invest in Da Nang.
HCM City an attractive destination for Hong Kong investors: forum
Ho Chi Minh City is an attractive destination with numerous opportunities for foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong (China), heard the Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City Investment & Business Forum and Networking Dinner held in the city on January 12.
Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of HCM City, said that strong growth has been seen in the partnership between the city and Hong Kong across all fields, especially economy, trade, investment and tourism.
Amid the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, bilateral trade between Hong Kong anđ Vietnam still maintained a good growth momentum in 2022. Currently, Hong Kong is one of the major trading partners of Ho Chi Minh City, ranking 8th out of 117 countries and territories with direct investment in this city.
As of the end of 2022, Hong Kong investors run 619 direct investment projects worth 3.23 billion USD in the city, accounting for 5.79% of the total FDI the city attracted in the year, mostly in manufacturing-processing and real estate.
Hoan underlined that HCM City has enjoyed stable growth. Last year, the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanded 9.03% year on year, making up 22% of the country’s GDP and 28% of the State budget. Its per capita GRDP in 2022 reached nearly 7,000 USD, double that of the country’s average.
He said that the city is focusing on reforming administrative procedures, promoting digital transformation and improving investment environment to attract more FDI and investors, including those from Hong Kong.
With around 10 million population and the growth of the middle class, Ho Chi Minh City is a huge and potential market for businesses.
Cao Thi Phi Van, Vice Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of the city, said that the city is not only a promising investment destination but also a gateway for businesses to reach other markets in Southeast Asia.
As the city is calling for investment to many large-scale projects in various fields, including urban infrastructure, innovation and hi-tech agriculture, this is a good time and a chance for foreign investors to invest in the city, she said.
Jonathan Choi, Chairman of the Hong Kong-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Sunwah Group, Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Chairman of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Entrepreneurs’ Union, noted in his opening remarks that Sunwah Group has been operating in Vietnam since the 1970s and its Vietnam Headquarters is in Ho Chi Minh City, the most dynamic and vibrant city in Vietnam.
The Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City Investment & Business Forum and Networking Dinner is an international forum co-organized by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macao Bay Area Entrepreneurs Union (GBA Union), the Hong Kong – Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (HKVCC) and the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC).
The event aimed to strengthen the investment and cooperation ties between Hong Kong and Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.
The Business Forum and Networking Dinner in Ho Chi Minh City is part of a business trip to Vietnam from January 8-14 by the Hong Kong delegation of more than 60 entrepreneurs and high-level representatives from various sectors including financial services, manufacturing, real estate, education and training, and many more.
Taiwan’s StarLux launches route to Hanoi
StarLux Airlines of China’s Taiwan began operating the first flight from Taipei to Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airports on January 13, marking the launch of a new route between the two cities.
The flight will be conducted on a daily basis and last for three hours.
The opening of the new route, which connects Hanoi with the largest urban area of Taiwan, is expected to promote cooperation in terms of tourism development as well as economic, cultural and educational exchanges between the two sides.
The carrier is the first international airline to open a regular route to Hanoi in 2023 and one of the five international airlines to open a route to Hanoi after two years of being affected of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, airlines such as Thai Smile Airways, Fly Gangwon, and Myanmar Airways have launched routes to Hanoi.
With the presence of Starlux Airlines, the Noi Bai International Airport now hosts 58 international and domestic airlines carrying passengers and cargo, linking Hanoi with 60 foreign and 17 domestic destinations.
Agricultural sector advised to tap into FTAs to boost exports
The agricultural sector is aiming to develop a circular agricultural economy whilst fully utilising incentives from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreements (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to increase exports in the future.
The tasks were unveiled at a conference held in Hanoi on January 13 in order to review the numerous achievements of the agricultural sector in the presence of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan.
Statistics show the sector’s added value last year reached 3.36%, recording its highest increase over recent years.
Agro-forestry-fishery exports for 2022 surged by 9.3% year-on-year to US$53.22 billion, resulting in the trade surplus of over US$8.5 billion, making up over 75% of the entire economy’s total trade surplus.
Most notably, the sector has been proactive in simplifying administrative reforms, improving the local business climate, ramping up trade promotion, and strengthening linkages of agricultural product value chains as a means of boosting exports.
Amid global difficulties including inflationary pressure, high production costs, climate change impact, as well as the impact of the Russia – Ukraine conflict, the entire sector’s growth rate is estimated to stand at 3.0% this year, with agro-forestry-fishery exports expected to bring in US$54 billion.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien revealed that the current export market structure to China, the United States, Europe, Japan, and the Republic of Korea accounts for 19.2%, 24.5%, 40%, 8%, and 4.7%, respectively.
He went on to underscore the importance of brand development as a way of further increasing exports via official channels moving forward.
Industry insiders also emphasised the necessity of enhancing the application of high technology in production, improving the overall quality of human resources, and actively getting involved in international integration in future.
WEF 2023 – Chance for Vietnam to share vision, experience with international community
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2023 will be a chance for Vietnam to share with the international community its vision on common efforts in settling emerging global challenges, as well as Vietnam’s policies and experience in international integration and socio-economic development, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, told Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the forum.
The diplomat said that the event will also offer a chance for Vietnam to call for investment and resources from international organisations, economic groups and investment funds in the world and Switzerland in particular.
Ambassador Mai highlighted that amid numerous crises and challenges in the world political and economic situation, Vietnam has emerged and been recognised by the world as a bright spot in the region and the world, not only for its strong commitment and consistent implementation of green transition, energy transformation, digital transformation for post-pandemic recovery, and sustainable development, but it also for the country’s impressive performance.
The country’s GDP expanded 8.02% in 2022, the highest in the past 12 years, with the scale of the economy exceeding 400 billion USD for the first time, ranking 30th globally.
Vietnam stood at the 23rd position in the world in terms of the trade scale and has become the largest ASEAN trade partner of three economic centres, namely the US, China, and the EU.
Vietnamese economic growth in 2023 is forecast to reach 6.3%, leading Southeast Asian nations, she noted.
According to Ambassador Mai, the WEF 2023, slated for January 16-20 in Davos, Switzerland, is taking place when the world is facing plenty of challenges, such as a cost-of-living crisis, economic recession, economic decline, climate crisis, disruption caused by climate change, a food crisis, and increasing social polarisation. Along with these issues, many problems are deepening divisions and dividing the geopolitical landscape.
The goal of the meeting, in the words of Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, is to discuss ways to address fragmentation and increasing trust erosion at both global and national levels through increasing ties between governments and businesses, thereby enabling a strong and sustainable recovery.
This year’s meeting agenda focuses on solutions and public-private partnerships which can deal with the world’s most pressing challenges, whilst encouraging world leaders to work together on issues relating to energy, climate and nature, investment, trade, infrastructure, advanced technology, employment, skills, as well as social and health issues, along with geopolitical cooperation in a multipolar world.
Ambassador Mai said that Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha will attend the event from January 16-17, which will be the first trip abroad by Ha since he took office.
Ha will give speeches at discussions on food and water security, and this represents a good stepping stone to draw the attention of the international community on food security before the country hosts the fourth Global Conference on Sustainable Food System in April.
In addition, the Deputy PM will co-chair a Vietnam-WEF global business forum which will focus on green and creative transformation.
During his stay, Ha will hold a number of bilateral meetings, including those with Prof. Schwab; Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP); and Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations of the World Bank (WB).
Ambassador Mai said that since Vietnam and the WEF set up their relations in 1989, leaders of the two sides have paid great attention to bolstering the ties across all fields.
Vietnam has attended the WEF at a high level, including the Prime Minister level at four WEF Annual Meetings in Davos, the same level at four WEFs on ASEAN, she said, adding that the country hosted the WEF ASEAN Summit in 2018, the first WEF-Mekong Conference in 2016, and the WEF East Asia Conference in 2010.
In line with the COVID-19 pandemic containment efforts, the two sides held the first National Strategic Dialogue in 2021 with the aim of strengthening the public-private partnership as a key driver in the comprehensive recovery and sustainable and inclusive development plan.
The two sides are also working for the signing of a Vietnam-WEF cooperation agreement in the new period, creating a framework for deeper and more extensive partnership.
The Vietnamese side always highly values the WEF’s recommendations and cooperation with Vietnamese Government agencies in the fields of sustainable development, digital transformation, and innovation, she said, underlining that the country hopes that the WEF will continue to assist Vietnam by offering access to advanced knowledge and resources in order to serve the sustainable development goals and make effective use of new growth drivers.
Deputy PM Ha’s participation at the WEF 2023 manifests the efforts of Vietnam – a dynamically developing country, a reliable friend and partner, and a responsible member of the international community which is ready to engage itself in the settlement of global challenges, Ambassador Mai stated.
Resilience crucial for domestic economy in new situation: Minister
Improving the resilience of the economy and creating a premise for the building of a self-reliant economy in association with active and extensive international integration are of special significance for Vietnam, especially in the new situation, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, the minister noted that last year, the macro-economic situation was stablised, with inflation reined in and all major balances ensured. The consumer price index (CPI) expanded 3.15%, he said, adding that the country’s GDP growth reached 8.02%.
At the same time, the financial and currency markets remained stable. Interest and exchange rates were regulated in line with market developments, and liquidity and credit growth mediated. These moves helped remove bottlenecks in capital flow, he noted.
However, he said that the economy faced many difficulties last year, especially in the last months, mostly due to complicated fluctuations in the world.
The minister said that in 2023, the global economy will continue to experience complications, and inflation is forecast to create headwinds.
In that context, the ministry will continue to coordinate with other ministries and sectors to give advice to the Government and the PM on management measures and policies in short, middle and long terms. The aim is to ensure macro-economic stability, support businesses and boost economic growth, and complete the institutions, he said.
At the same time, the ministry will complete the development directions for six key economic regions, while speeding up the implementation of the three strategic breakthroughs and the 12 groups of tasks and solutions stated in the socio-economic development plan for the 2021-2030 period. This should improve domestic production capacity, labour productivity and the efficiency, competitiveness, and self-resistance of the economy against new external factors and challenges in the medium and long terms.
The minister highlighted a number of lessons learnt in 2022 that can be applicable for 2023, including keeping a close eye on developments in the domestic and international situation, staying confident and actively preparing plans to respond to all possible circumstances.
For Vietnam, a developing country, the improvement of resilience of the economy which creates a premise for building an independent and self-reliant economy associated with proactive and active international integration holds special significance, especially in the new situation, he stressed.
The minister underlined the need to focus on speeding up the implementation of key tasks and solutions for 2023 on the spirit of solidarity, discipline, flexibility, innovation, and efficiency.
At the same time, it is necessary to stick to the viewpoints, targets and directions by the Party and State. These tenets maintain economic stability, reining in inflation, promoting growth, ensuring major economic balances, and closely coordinating fiscal and monetary policies as well as other macro-economic policies to suit the real situation, he said.
The official also pointed to the need to complete institutions, remove bottlenecks and optimise all resources for development, while making breakthroughs in institutions, human resources and infrastructure. Meanwhile, it is crucial to restructure the economy, promote science-technology, innovation and digital transformation, he said, adding that economic development must be made harmonious with environmental protection and defence-security protection.
Vietnam remains among top investment destinations globally: EuroCham
Despite the Business Climate Index (BCI) falling to 48.0 points in the fourth quarter of 2022, Vietnam remains among the top global investment locations, according to the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
The BCI figure for quarter IV represents a drop of 14.2 points compared to three months prior and 25 points from quarter I of 2022.
“Things were definitely less positive in the fourth quarter of 2022 than they were earlier in the year,” said Alain Cany, chairman of EuroCham.
“Although the situation is very likely to continue in this direction in 2023, this shouldn’t be viewed as a cause for concern. In fact, Vietnam’s economic opportunities continue to exceed those of its regional and international peers. This is evident from the fact that so many of EuroCham’s members consider Vietnam central to their global investment strategies,” added the EuroCham representative.
“It is also encouraging to see that foreign direct investment from Europe and around the world remains high and continues to grow, especially in Vietnam’s green industries and manufacturing. It is clear that, with this FDI, Vietnam’s strong economic fundamentals, and its commitment to sustainability, the country is still among the top investment destinations in the world. As a result, the European business community remains confident in the Vietnamese market,” he noted.
Though the Vietnamese economy grew by 5.92% in the fourth quarter of 2022 and 8.02% for the whole year, this data comes amid continued global economic volatility as a result of a perfect storm of factors such as a slowdown in global growth, interest rate hikes, sustained inflation, and bruised consumer confidence.
EuroCham invites its 1,300 members, who represent virtually all sectors of the Vietnamese economy, to provide quarterly feedback on the local business environment and forecasts for their own businesses in the Vietnamese market.
With only 27% of respondents anticipating economic stabilisation or improvements to be made during quarter I, the BCI results also suggest a growing sense of pessimism. Compared to projections made in quarter IV, when 42% shared this sentiment, this marks a 15-point decline. Over the past quarter, the number of people who anticipated an economic downturn has also doubled.
In total, 41% of respondents stated their company is shifting operations from China to Vietnam, up from 13% in quarter III. Furthermore, approximately 35% of respondents ranked Vietnam among the top five global investment destinations for their company, with 12% stating that the country was their firm’s top international investment site.
The three most significant regulatory barriers to foreign companies operating in the Vietnamese market include a lack of clarity regarding rules and regulations (51%), administrative issues (41%, as well as visa and work permit difficulties (30%).
In spite of these difficulties, 58% of BCI respondents were satisfied with the attention policymakers pay to the needs and requirements of business when setting relevant policies.
In terms of what the country should do to improve its FDI attraction prowess, reducing administrative difficulties at 70% retained the top spot. This has been the case since this question was first raised with BCI respondents in quarter II of 2022. In addition, the issue of reducing visa difficulties for foreign experts has become increasingly pertinent, increasing by eight points from quarter III of last year.
According to the survey, 63% of respondents believed they are sufficiently knowledgeable about the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Moreover, nearly half of respondents maintained that the EVFTA is relevant to or very relevant to their business, indicating no significant change compared to quarter III of 2022.
BCI participants also reported that new generation free trade agreements had led to a positive effect on the growth of their businesses, their financial health through tariff reductions, and the overall strength of their supply chains.
This latest BCI showed some concerns regarding the EVFTA’s administrative procedures, a lack of understanding of the agreement, and technical barriers, which have combined to trade have all decreased.
Deputy PM advises Samsung to invest more in Vietnam
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai received President of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Samsung Electronics Park Hark Kyu in Hanoi on January 13 and suggested that the Korean firm expand its investment in Vietnam to tap opportunities from the sound partnership between the two countries in all fields.
Khai also highly valued Samsung’s launching of Southeast Asia’s largest R&D centre in Hanoi in December 2022.
Highlighting that Vietnam is prioritising the attraction of projects with high technologies, innovation and widespread effects, he stressed that the Vietnamese Government always creates optimal conditions for foreign investors to operate in the country in a long term.
The official proposed that Samsung, basing on its achievements in Vietnam, will continue to expand its investment in the country in the time to come.
The Vietnamese Government and the administrations of localities that Samsung bases will always listen to the firm’s opinions and give it best support, he stated.
For his part, Park underscored that Vietnam is the most important hub of Samsung in the world, adding that Samsung made a wise decision to build its factory in Thai Nguyen. The Vietnamese Government has given great support to Samsung to effectively operate in the country over the years, he said, stressing that Samsung has called on its subsidiaries to continue to invest in Vietnam.
Park raised proposals to Deputy PM Khai regarding the application of global minimum corporate income tax.
He also took this occasion to extend New Year wishes to Vietnamese leaders and people.
Vietnamese fruits introduced at festival in China’s Tianjin city
Nine Vietnamese fruits, namely durian, mangosteen, mango, dragon fruit, longan, pineapple, water melon, banana, and jackfruit, are being displayed at a festival which takes place in Tianjin city of China.
Addressing the event, Ambassador Pham Sao Mai stressed that this is one of the specific activities to effectively realise the common perception of high-ranking leaders of the two Parties and the two countries on strengthening bilateral economic and trade cooperation, contributing to promoting the Vietnam – China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that as of November 2022, trade between Vietnam and China hit 162.2 billion USD, up 8% year-on-year. Vietnam continues to top the list of the largest trading partners of China in ASEAN, and ranks sixth in the world.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs, the country spent 1.39 billion USD on importing fruits from Vietnam in the first 11 months of 2022, up 44.4% year-on-year.
These results have significantly contributed to boosting the bilateral trade ties, the ambassador said.
Tianjin is a gateway of Northeast China, which has great demand for agro-aquaculture products and tropical fruits – a strength of Vietnam.
The embassy will continue to serve as a bridge, thus supporting and promoting exchange and cooperation between Vietnamese localities and Tianjin in the coming time, Mai added.
For his part, Deputy Mayor of Tianjin Yang Bing said Vietnamese fruits are very popular with Chinese people.
He stressed that the municipal administration will create favourable conditions for foreign businesses, including those from Vietnam, to expand their market in China, thus further boosting the bilateral trade ties.
At the event, the two sides’ businesses signed cooperation agreements on fruit import-export.
Agriculture establishes itself as important pillar of economy: PM
Agriculture has affirmed its role as an important pillar of the economy, helping build an independent and self-reliant economy with active, intensive, and effective integration into the world and bring a prosperous and happy life to people, according to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
The Government leader made the remark while addressing a hybrid conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on January 13.
Minister Le Minh Hoan reported that the sector has shown strong determination, made great efforts, carried out flexible and creative solutions, and reformed its mindset to overcome difficulties and challenges to achieve targets.
In 2022, the sector’s total value grew 3.36%, the highest in many years. In particular, agriculture expanded 2.88%, fisheries 4.43%, and forestry 6.13%. The forest coverage stood at over 42% while the rate of new-style rural areas more than 73%.
Agro-forestry-fishery exports reached 53.22 billion USD, up 9.3% from a year earlier. That resulted in a trade surplus of over 8.5 billion USD, accounting for more than 75% of Vietnam’s total trade surplus.
For 2023, the sector targets a GDP growth of 3%, agro-forestry-fishery exports 54 billion USD, the rate of new-style rural areas 78%, and forest coverage stable at 42%, Hoan noted.
In his speech, PM Chinh hailed the sector’s contributions to Vietnam’s common success in 2022.
He pointed out that apart from advantages, the country will continue facing numerous difficulties and challenges in 2023. The sector should strive for a growth rate of 3.5% and exports of 55 billion USD, higher than last year’s figures.
He emphasised the task of developing ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilised farmers while considering farmers as the centre, agriculture as the impetus, and rural areas as the foundation for the sector’s development.
Agriculture and rural development need to focus on promoting product brand building; boosting digital transformation, green transition and circular economy; connecting with cultural and tourism development; diversifying products, markets, and supply chains; improving product quality and the participation in global value chains; and multiplying effective models, the leader went on.
PM Chinh also underlined the importance of coordinating with other ministries, sectors, and localities to link producers with consumers; optimise free trade agreements, especially the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); continue removing barriers to enter new markets; and pay due attention to the domestic market.
In addition, it is also necessary to step up sustainable ocean farming and exploitation, strongly carry out recommendations to persuade the European Commission to lift the “yellow card” warning against IUU fishing, increase forest production and development, effectively implement the national target programme on new-style countryside building, foster agricultural cooperation with international partners, and proactively defend Vietnam’s rights, interests, and farm produce, the Cabinet chief went on.
He expressed his belief that with the ministry and localities’ determination and efforts, as well as farmers and businesses’ support, the sector will make stronger progress and gain more achievements in 2023.
Binh Duong: VSIP III to be developed into green, smart industrial park
Chairman of the People’s Committee of the southern province of Binh Duong Duong Vo Van Minh had a working session with CEO of Semncorp Development of Singapore Kelvin Teo on January 12 to discuss the firm’s investment in Vietnam – Singapore industrial park projects in the locality.
According Teo, the investment model of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) Joint Venture has developed successfully in Vietnam in general and Binh Duong in particular.
Semncorp is particularly interested in developing projects in VSIPs in Binh Duong, especially developing VSIP III into a green and smart IP without industrial waste, he said.
Binh Duong province’s investment environment is increasingly favourable thanks to the right planning, which focuses on industrial and urban development and promoting service sector, Teo said.
According to Minh, Semncorp’s investment focuses on developing industrial park infrastructure chain.
He suggested the group continue its research and implement new projects in trade, urban development, and transport infrastructure associated with developing VSIPs.
So far, Binh Duong has been home to 4,085 investment projects with a total registered capital of 39.7 billion USD from 65 countries and territories. The province ranks second among the localities nationwide in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) capital.
Taiwan (China) tops the list of foreign investors in Binh Duong with 863 projects worth over 6.2 billion USD. It was followed by Japan with 341 projects (5.8 billion USD), and Singapore with 277 projects (5.4 billion USD).
The VSIP III has just drawn more than 1 billion USD from LEGO Group, whose factory is expected to be put into operation in early 2024.
RoK construction firms interested in Vietnamese market
With the domestic housing market entering a period of stagnation, many construction companies of the Republic of Korea (RoK) have amended their business strategies, in which many choose Vietnam as their destination, the RoK’s Newdaily newspaper reported.
In its recent article, the newspaper wrote that one of the overseas markets that Korean construction companies are paying most attention to this year is Vietnam.
With the National Master Plan to 2030 with a vision to 2045, Vietnam is striving to become an advanced country by 2045. To this end, it plans to invest in transportation, energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and infrastructure. The scale of the infrastructure industry is also expected to grow at an average annual rate of 9.8% from 5.2 billion USD last year to 11 billion USD in 2030.
Currently, construction companies that stand out in Vietnam such as GS E&C, Daewoo E&C, and Lotte E&C are strengthening their local presence by conducting large-scale development projects in Ho Chi Minh in the south and in Hanoi in the north, the newspaper wrote.
In addition to Hanoi, Daewoo E&C, the first Korean construction firm to be present in Vietnam (in 1991), is showing some signs of targeting southern Vietnam while considering investment expansion in Binh Duong province near Ho Chi Minh City.
Food and agricultural product fair for Tet opens in Hanoi
A fair showcasing Hanoi’s range of food and agricultural products officially opened on January 13 in order to serve local people during the upcoming Lunar New Year festival (Tet).
The event attracted the participation of 130 enterprises, cooperatives, and business households from Hanoi and 16 provinces and cities nationwide.
It serves to support firms and manufacturers to gain access the capital’s consumer market, thereby seeking partners, expanding distribution systems, and fully tapping into the potential of the domestic market.
Simultaneously, it has contributed to stimulating consumption demand during the Lunar New Year 2023, thereby helping to effectively deploy the “Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods” campaign.
Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, emphasised that the fair is a practical activity to ramp up the domestic demand and increase retail sales of goods and services in the capital.
In addition, it provides a platform to connect manufacturers across the countries with distribution channels in Hanoi.