The Vietnam Online Business Forum (VOBF) 2022 was held by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM) in Ho Chi Minh City on May 10, focusing discussions on e-commerce’s role in promoting post-pandemic economic development.

VECOM Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Dung said that along with looking into signs of global recovery, the resumption of global connections, motivation and future technology of e-commerce, participants provided information on new and outstanding technological solutions and trends, market potential, and new populations and regulations. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the growth of e-commerce in many countries, including Vietnam, said Dung.

Nguyen Tan Vuong, Director of Retail Measurement Services at Nielsen Vietnam, said that decisive factors promoting online shopping is good price, promotion and delivery time. Alongside, comments from users and the prestige of the trademark also among the factors affecting consumers’ shopping decision, he added.

Pham Thi Quynh Trang, trade director of Lazada Vietnam, said that e-commerce is one of the channels that help businesses speed up digital transformation and develop business operation in the current situation.

According to a global e-commerce report in the first half of 2022 by, Vietnam has become the second largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia, only after Indonesia.  It pointed out that products with the price of 200,000 VND (8.71 USD)-5 million VND (217.83 USD) are the easiest to be sold on e-commerce platforms, while consumers tend to buy products with higher values and long-term warranty directly at shops and showrooms.

AEON Mall Vietnam to build trade centre in Hue

AEON Mall Vietnam plans to build its first trading centre in the central region,  AEON Mall Hue, covering a total 86,000sq.m, with an investment of 170 million USD in Thua Thien-Hue province’s An Van Duong new urban area.

The provincial People’s Committee said the plan, which was accepted by the local authorities earlier in May, would open for operation in 2023 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties.

It said the province and AEON Mall Vietnam had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a trading centre to boost tourism, trade and attraction of investment from Japan to Thua Thien-Hue.

In 2020, Thua Thien-Hue approved the development of the An Van Duong urban centre in Huong Tra township on 42.6ha.

Last month, during the meeting with the Japanese Consulate General, Yakabe Yoshinori, the province’s leaders called for investment from Japan to the locality in terms of tourism, trade, service, and high-tech industries.

Aviation busy again in April

Domestic airlines operated 30,000 inbound and outbound flights in April, down 2.4 percent year on year, including 12,000 transit flights, a rise of 25 percent over the same period last year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

In the month, Vietnam’s airports handled 6.6 million passengers, down 14.3 percent compared to the same time last year, including 232,000 foreigners, a surge of 502 percent compared to April 2021 when COVID-19 was developing complicatedly in Vietnam and the world.

Compared to the same period last year, the number of international passengers choosing services of Vietnamese airlines rose 214.7 percent, while the number of domestic passengers dropped 18.2 percent.

As for cargo transport, in April, 140,700 tonnes of cargo were transported through Vietnam’s airports, up 18.4 percent year on year. Of this, 27,000 tonnes were transported by domestic airlines.

In April, the CAAV applied measures to ensure aviation security and safety. From March 16 to April 15, the authority handled 17 individuals violating aviation regulations with fine of 110.75 million VND (4,817 USD).

International passengers increase by over 500{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} in Q1

Vietnamese airports welcomed a total of 232,000 international passengers during the first quarter of the year, marking an increase of 502{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} against the same period from last year, according to statistics released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

April alone saw airlines operate a total of 30,000 flights, representing a decline of 2.4{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} compared to last year’s corresponding period.

Furthermore, airports across the country welcomed 6.6 million passengers, including 232,000 international arrivals, representing an annual drop of 14.3{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}.

Compared to the same period from last year, the number of international passengers using local airlines also picked up 214.7{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}, while domestic passengers dropped slightly by 18.2{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}.

With regard to freight transport in April, the volume of goods through Vietnamese airports surged by 18.4{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} to reach 140,700 tonnes. Of the figure, international cargo volume also soared by 45.3{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} to 117,700 tonnes, while the volume of domestic goods hit 23,000 tonnes, down 39.1{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}.

Trade with US sees harmonious and sustainable development

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s upcoming visit to the United States and the UN from May 11 to May 17 is viewed as an occasion for both sides to discuss ways to move towards a harmonious and sustainable trade balance and resolve several pending issues related to trade.

Discussing the bright spots in the mutual relationship, Bui Huy Son, minister counselor and head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, said that last year’s two-way turnover exceeded the US$100 billion mark for the first time. This represented an important achievement amid the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting global supply chains.

According to the Europe-America Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, by the end of the first quarter of the year, total bilateral trade turnover will have reached US$29.4 billion.

Of the figure, Vietnamese exports to the US hit US$25.96 billion, up 16.7{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} over the same period from last year. Similarly, the country imported roughly US$3.4 billion worth of goods from the US, a decline of 7.7{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} on-year.

Economic experts have stated that the US economy is showing positive signs of a recovery as a result of its large-scale vaccination campaign, thereby contributing to accelerating the economic recovery process and consumer demand for many types of goods. This move therefore presents a prime opportunity for Vietnam to bolster its exports to the vast market.

Moreover, the nation’s competent control of the COVID-19 pandemic will help to maintain a stable human resource, thereby ensuring production activities as well as the continuity of the supply chain to the US market.

Regarding further investment, as of March direct investment by the US in Vietnam reached US$10.3 billion, thereby ranking 11th out of 141 countries and territories investing in the nation.

Major US enterprises continue to pay close attention to investment in the Vietnamese market, with Intel Group announcing an additional investment of approximately US$500 million in its factory based in Ho Chi Minh City and Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturing partner, making a further investment of US$270 million in the northern province of Bac Giang.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai affirmed that the US has been identified as one of the most vital Vietnamese partners across all pillars of co-operation. In particular, the pillar of economic and trade co-operation has reaped great achievements as a contribution to developing the overall comprehensive partnership in an effective and sustentative manner, thereby meeting the interests of both nations’ people and business communities.

Nok Air of Thailand to resume air routes to Vietnam in July

Thai low-cost airline Nok Air is set to resume flights from Bangkok to destinations across Vietnam from July following a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nok Air Vietnam that had operated direct flights from Thailand to Vietnam since 2015 is planning to re-open the route from Bangkok (Thailand) to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) with an expected frequency of seven round-trip flights each week, starting from July.

The airline has recently appointed Flyone as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in Vietnam. Under the terms of the agreement, Flyone will be the official partner on behalf of Nok Air to sell the airline’s products, provide reservation services, and take care of customers in Vietnam.

TH Group founder in Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen list

Thai Huong, chairwoman of TH Group, is the first and only Vietnamese representative to be listed among the top 10 of Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen.

Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen is a non-profit project launched by CSRWorks International, Singapore’s most trusted name in sustainability consulting, training, and thought leadership.

The purpose of the scheme is to recognise and honour the contribution of exceptional women leaders who are driving change with the goal of making the world a better place.

Many Vietnam-Laos border gates reopen as pandemic subsides

Several border gates between Vietnam and Laos, such as Lao Bao, La Lay and Nam Can, returned to normal operations on May 9.

At the Lao Bao international border gate in Huong Hoa District, Quang Tri Province, on the morning of May 9, truck drivers from Vietnam only needed to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status to be eligible to enter Laos. Earlier, a driver exchange was required at the border gate to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The resumption of normal trading activities also applies to the La Lay international border gate in Dakrong District in this central province.

At the Nam Can international border gate in the north-central province of Nghe An, entry and exit procedures in Laos have been relaxed as well. On the morning of May 9, the provincial border guards conducted entry and exit procedures for over 30 people.

An official of the Nam Can international border gate forecast that the travel demand through the border gate will rise further in the next few days. Before the pandemic, an average of 100-120 people, along with tens of vehicles transporting materials and farm products, passed through the border gate per day.

Vietnam Airlines increases, resumes flights linking with Japan, RoK

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will increase its flight frequency on eight air routes linking Vietnam with Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) starting May 15.

Three routes to the RoK will be resumed from June 1.

Routes connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Japan’s Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya each will see up to two new flights per week.

Flights from/to Da Nang and Tokyo will take to the skies again from July 1.

As the result, the carrier will operate 25-30 weekly flights from Hanoi and HCM City to major cities of Japan.

Vietnam Airlines will add 3-4 flights per week into routes linking Hanoi and HCM City with Seoul capital city of the RoK from May 15.

It is to resume the Hanoi-Busan and Da Nang-Seoul routes from June 1, and the HCM City-Busan a month later.

EU doors open wider for Vietnamese wood, furniture

Viet Nam has ample opportunities to boost exports of wooden products and furniture to the EU market in the post pandemic period, experts say.

Speaking at a seminar organised on Tuesday by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), its deputy director Nguyen Tuan said the EU was among the top 15 importers of wooden furniture, handicrafts and interior and exterior decoration products from Viet Nam.

As of 2020, Germany remained Viet Nam’s leading European importer of interior and exterior wood products with 22 per cent of imports, followed by the Netherlands (13 per cent), the UK (12 per cent) and France (11 per cent), Italy (4.6 per cent) and Belgium (4.5 per cent).

However, the pandemic has strongly impacted economies around the world, including the EU, affecting exports to this major market.

Furthermore, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has triggered an economic crisis in the EU, directly affecting people’s lives, changing tastes, needs and trends in shopping and consumption of the products.

The industry has seen slight growth in the first quarter of 2022, with exports of wood and wooden furniture rising 3 per cent year on year to US$3.94 billion.

HCM City businesses hope government will help revival
HCM City businesses are seeking assistance from authorities to revive production and overcome problems such as lack of workers and high raw material costs.

Dao Quoc Cuong, permanent director of sewing machine manufacturer Juki Co Ltd has asked for help in finding workers.

The number of workers who quit after Tet in 2021 and 2022 was double that in the period before COVID-19 began, he said.

The company is struggling to replace them even as it keeps getting numerous orders.

Ho Uyen, public relations director of Intel Viet Nam and Malaysia, said the National Assembly Standing Committee had issued a resolution to increase workers’ monthly overtime cap from 40 hours to 60 hours to help businesses struggling to sustain production post-COVID.

However, this would be valid only until the end of 2022, and foreign businesses were asking the city to apply it after 2022 too, she said.

Pham Phu Truong, chairman of the HCM City Young Entrepreneurs Association, said in addition to issuing support policies and packages, the city should also make sure it reaches businesses quickly.

The city should also provide financial aid for businesses seeking to make the digital transformation to encourage them to do it, he said.

Ly Kim Chi, chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said the city should help businesses expand their supplier and customer bases by organising events to bring them together in other provinces.

The city should also focus on investing in transport works to improve connectivity, she said.

Nguyen Thi Kim Ngoc, deputy director of the city Department of Trade, said there were policies in place to restore supply chains, stimulate demand and facilitate trade.

At the start of the year HCM City launched a programme to facilitate socio-economic recovery and development for 2022-25, she said.

Nguyen Van Lam, deputy director of the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said the department’s 127 job centres were focusing on introducing skilled workers to businesses.

Since the start of the year it had consulted and helped over 16,000 people find jobs, he said.

Nguyen Duc Lenh, deputy director of the State Bank of Viet Nam’s HCM City branch, said for 2022 there was a VND424 trillion (US$18.39 billion) credit support package for businesses, and VND40 trillion was disbursed in the first four months.

Businesses in HCM City are grappling with COVID-related problems and also the recent challenges brought by the Russian-Ukraine conflict and China’s tough COVID-19 policies. 

Real estate market needs diversifed capital raising channels to ensure development
It is necessary to diversify capital sources for the real estate market to reduce dependence on banking credit while the credit flow should be directed to target segments to ensure healthy market development, experts have said.

According to the Viet Nam Real Estate Association, the real estate market contributed around 14 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2019-21 period and had a spillover effect on about 40 other important economic sectors.

Doan Hong Nhung from the Viet Nam National University, Ha Noi, said that in developed countries, every US$1 increase in real estate investment would promote other economic sectors by $1.5-2.

However, the capital source for the property market remained largely dependent on banking credit, Viet Nam Real Estate Association’s Deputy President Pham Nguyen Toan said.

Dang Hung Vo, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said that the market was falling into a supply and demand imbalance with limited supply but increasing demand.

The real demand for housing was huge, plus many flocked to invest in real estate to earn profit, Vo said, urging caution on the possibility of a land price fever and control on capital raising for the real estate sector.

The central bank’s move to tighten credit flow into real estate was considered a solution to limit speculation, ensure market transparency and prevent a market bubble, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Banking Association Nguyen Quoc Hung said.

However, this policy was making it difficult for home buyers and developers who had real demand for capital to access loans from banks, he said, adding that priority should be given to diversifying channels and improving mechanisms to raise capital for the real estate market.

Le Xuan Sang, Deputy Director of the Viet Nam Institute of Economics, said that developing the capital sources for the real estate market should focus on improving the existing channels such as banking credit and corporate bond issuance while promoting new channels such as real estate investment trust (REIT).

Sang, however, said that the credit and corporate bond issuance should not be tightened immediately but depend on each segment to raise appropriate regulations to prevent triggering large-scale market fear.

Economic expert Dinh Trong Thinh said that the credit flow should be directed to affordable homes, especially social housing projects and housing projects for workers to meet the demand for urbanisation and attract labour for key industrial and economic zones.

Lending should be prioritised for buyers who had not owned a home and for developers who had good capacity and are capable of bringing products to the market quickly, Thinh said.

According to Ngo Tri Long, former Director of the Ministry of Finance’s Price and Market Research Institute, it is necessary to implement a set of solutions to improve the capital sources for the real estate market.

Real estate companies issue no bonds in April
The tightening of capital flows into the real estate sector has caused real estate businesses to halt the issuance of bonds in April.

This is according to data announced by the Viet Nam Bond Market Association (VBMA) in April.

VBMA said that by the end of April 29, the market had 23 private placement tranches of bonds with a value of VND16.47 trillion (US$717.9 million) in the month.

The majority of businesses issuing bonds in April were commercial banks with a value of VND14.94 trillion, accounting for 90.7 per cent of the total issued value. In this group, MBBank was the biggest issuing bank with VND4.6 trillion of 3-year bonds and Sacombank was behind with VND2.5 trillion of 3-year bonds.

The energy, transportation, manufacturing and financial groups also participated in private placement in the past month, but the volume only accounted for less than 10 per of the total issued value.

Notably, according to statistics from VBMA, in April, there were no bond issuances by real estate companies. This was contrast to March when real estate companies were still leading with 46.7 per cent of the total value of bonds issued in the month.

SCG Q1 sales revenue up 25 per cent
SCG, a conglomerate in the ASEAN region, has announced a sales revenue of US$ 4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter thanks to higher sales across all businesses.

During the period, the Thai company’s profit also saw a quarter-on-quarter rise of 6 per cent to $268 million, driven by the improved business performance of the cement-building materials business and higher non-chemical equity income.

On a year-on-year basis, its revenue from sales increased by 25 per cent from higher sales revenue across all businesses, mainly from higher product prices in line with the market.

However, its profit for the period fell by 41 per cent, mainly due to rising feedstock costs from the chemical business in Q1/2022, along with the fact that the chemical industry had better performance in Q1/2021 thanks to the winter freeze, resulting in supply shortages in the US.

Notably, SCG’s revenue from outside of Thailand, together with exports from Thailand, amounted to $2 billion, up 30 per cent year-on-year or equivalent to 44 per cent of the total revenue from sales in the three months.

Hoa Phat Group achieves VND8.2 trillion (US$356 million) after-tax profit in Q1
Hoa Phat Group achieved VND44.4 trillion in revenue, up 41 per cent over the same period last year while its after-tax profit posted 17 per cent year-on-year increase to VND8.2 trillion in the first quarter of the year.

Its steel production and related products contributed 90 per cent to the group’s overall results.

The group produced 2.16 million tonnes of crude steel in the three month period, increasing 8 per cent over the same period last year. Sales volume of finished construction steel, steel billet and hot rolled coil (HRC) reached 2.17 million tonnes, representing 12 per cent year-on-year increase.

Vietnam to return to pre-pandemic growth after one more year: Nielsen

Vietnam is recovering its economy after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and it will take the country about 12 more months to reach a growth rate as in the pre-pandemic period, according to the market research company Nielsen.

At the Vietnam Online Business Forum 2022 held by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association on May 10, Nguyen Tan Vuong, a representative of Nielsen, said the period might be shortened with the Government’s effective policies, Tuoi Tre Online newspaper reported.

According to Nielsen, the pandemic has divided consumers into five groups: jobless ones, those losing jobs but have found new jobs, cautious people, those who have not been hit by the pandemic and those seeing their incomes rising. These groups account for 25{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}, 24{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}, 35{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5}, 10{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} and 5{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} of the total, respectively.

Although a majority of people have been facing the impact of the pandemic, many experts attending the Vietnam Online Business Forum 2022 agreed that the pandemic had fueled the development of ecommerce, thus accelerating the economic recovery.

VIB to issue over 543 million bonus shares

Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VIB) planned to issue over 543.6 million bonus shares to existing shareholders at 35{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} from the owner’s equity to increase charter capital.
The bank has announced May 16 as the last registration date for receiving the bonus shares. The ex-dividend date will be May 13.

After the bonus share issue, VIB is expected to raise its charter capital from VND15.531 trillion to VND21 trillion.

This plan comes from the bank’s capital needs for investment projects in technology systems, networks, and credit extension, meeting the capital adequacy ratio in business.

Based on its plan of raising charter capital successfully, VIB eyes VND10.5 trillion of profit for 2022, up 31{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} against the 2021 figure. Its total assets, total outstanding credit, capital mobilization targets will rise 30{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} at VND402 trillion, VND265 trillion, and VND280 trillion, respectively.

Be, Cake jointly offer consumer loans with preferential rates to driver-partners

Be Group, the Vietnamese owner and developer of ride-hailing app Be, has inked a deal with digital bank Cake by VPBank to offer Be driver-partners consumer loans with special interest rates starting from 1.67{4e908c29df01d999f087e4f922633998e2ded1c72f05851cd6252034960daee5} per month.

This is the first time in Vietnam that a digital bank offers consumer loan packages with preferential lending rates to ride-hailing drivers.

Under the deal, Be driver-partners can take out collateral-free loans of VND3-20 million (US$130-870) for three to 24 months without application fees.

Through the digital bank’s big data processing system and the Be Group ecosystem, it will take Be drivers 30 seconds only to register for a loan. If they are eligible for a loan, their application will be approved within two minutes and the money will be disbursed after one working day. This whole process will take place online on the BeDriver app, thus Be drivers will not have to conduct in-person transactions to obtain loans.

Customs sector to increase inspection of fuel import hubs, medical supplies

Head of the National Steering Committee for Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud (National Steering Committee 389) and the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Customs has requested the Customs Departments in provinces and cities to strengthen inspection, examination, investigation, timely detection and prevention of illegal acts in business activities, export, import, temporary import for re-export, transit petroleum and import biological products, supplies, and medical equipment.

The Office of the General Department of Customs yesterday informed that after Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Head of the 389 National Steering Committees and the Ministry of Finance issued the direction, the General Department of Customs has issued a written request to the general departments of customs in provinces and cities, the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department and the Post-Clearance Inspection Department to strengthen inspection, examination, investigation, timely detection, and prevention of illegal acts in their operations of business activities, export, import, temporary import for re-export, transit of petrol and oil, and import of biological products, supplies, and medical equipment for the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic on all routes, especially border crossings.

The Post-Clearance Inspection Department under the Vietnam Customs, the Inspection and Inspection Department were asked to strengthen the inspection and examination of petroleum importers and enterprises importing biological products, supplies, and medical equipment to prevent violations.

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


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