Japanese company to develop solar electricity in Binh Phuoc

Japan’s WWB Corporation will build a solar power plant in Dong Phu district, the southern province of Binh Phuoc, according to Binh Phuoc province’s People’s Committee.

Covering 50ha in Tan Hoa commune, the plant has a capacity of between 75 and 100MW.

Nguyen Van Loi, General Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said the province welcomes the project and pledges to create all possible conditions for the investor to implement the project.

Vietnam has enormous solar potential, especially in its central and southern parts. It has average solar irradiation of 4-5 kWh/squ.m/day, which is comparable to Thailand and the Philippines, which are more developed solar markets in the region, as well as to mature international markets like Spain and Italy.

The Vietnamese Government has recognised this potential and aims to significantly increase renewable energy production including solar power.

Under its newly revised Power Development Plan for until 2030, which includes ambitious development targets for renewables in general and solar energy in particular, the capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) shall increase from around 7 megawatts (MW) now to 850MW by 2020 and 12,000 MW by 2030.

Vietinbank Laos opens branch in Champasak

The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade in Laos (Vietinbank Laos) has upgraded its transaction office in Champasak province to a branch.

Speaking at the September 20 opening ceremony, Nguyen Van Thang, Chairman of the Board of Director of Vietinbank, said the upgrade aims to help the branch be more proactive in business and expand its transaction offices in southern Laos with a variety of products.

Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Laos Vatthana Dalaloi appreciated Vietinbank Laos’ business results and social contributions in Laos, saying that the opening of the Champassak branch is an important step in its business expansion plan as Champassak is one of the provinces with high economic growth rate.

Dao Minh Tu, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, said the event vividly manifests the deepening Vietnam-Laos relationship and marks Vietinbank’s strategic step in the dynamic Lao market.

Beginning operation in February 2012, Vietinbank’s branch in Laos was upgraded to Vietinbank Laos on August 2015.

Credit policy helps boost northwestern regional development

More than 2.2 million eligible households in the northwestern region received loans totaling more than VNĐ44.9 trillion (US$2 billion) from the Bank for Social Policy over the past five years.

Loan recipients include poor households, near-poor households and other social welfare beneficiaries, including over 1.5 million ethnic minority households. These statistics were announced at a conference held yesterday in the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai to review the implementation of credit policy in the northwestern region during 2011-15.

During the time period reviewed, the average credit growth rate in the region reached 12.6 per cent, 2.8 per cent higher than the national average.

The credit project has contributed to implementing target programmes in the region, including poverty reduction, job generation, new rural area construction and human resources development.

The programme has helped 318,000 households exceeding the poverty line, created jobs for nearly 114,000 workers, including 6,000 labourers working abroad, and built more than 681,000 safe water supply stations and toilets in rural areas.

Nearly 61,000 houses were built for poor households and other social welfare beneficiaries in the region, thanks to the credit programme.

As a result, the poverty rate in the region dropped from 34.58 per cent in 2010 to 14.97 per cent in 2015.

The Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs, Nguyễn Văn Bình, told conference attendees that the Party and State highly appreciated the encouraging results of the Bank for Social Policy, which has supported localities in carrying out socioeconomic development plans, particularly in sustainable poverty reduction, ensuring social security and political stability.

Bình, who is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, asked conference participants to discuss a number of issues, including shortcomings and possible solutions for implementing credit policy in the region.

Measures to expand and improve the efficiency of credit activities and socioeconomic development for the region during 2016-2020 were also high on the agenda of the conference.

New tariff for VJEPA available

Viet Nam’s new import tariff, part of the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) for 2016-19, has come into force.

Accordingly, the duty for lip and eye make-up products of Japanese exporters will fall from 11 per cent to 4 per cent by the end of March 2019.

The duty will decline from 4-7 per cent to 1-3 per cent for shampoo and from 8-15 per cent to 3-11 per cent for toothpaste.

Tax rates for clothes and accessories for children will be cut from 5.5 per cent to 2 per cent and the rates for blanket, bedspreads and table covers will decline to 1 per cent from 3 per cent.

Several goods such as vitamin, weed killers and emergency aid toolkits will continue to enjoy a zero per cent import tax rate.

Decree No 125/2016/ND-CP, which was issued on September 1 and came into effect the same day, states that the tariff is to be applied for goods directly transported from Japan into Viet Nam.

Special treatment is also given to Viet Nam, in case goods listed under the tariff are imported from non-tariff zones into the domestic market.

Goods must also meet origin regulations, as stated in the agreement, and exporters are to have certificates of origin, in a form stipulated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

VJEPA was the first bilateral free trade agreement that Viet Nam entered into after the country joined the World Trade Organisation in January 2007.

The agreement covers comprehensive contents, including trade in goods and services, investment and improvement of the business environment.

When VJEPA came into effect in October 2009, Viet Nam committed to eliminate some 90.6 per cent of tariff lines for Japan within 16 years, while Japan pledged to eliminate some 94 per cent of tariff lines for Viet Nam within 10 years.

Kyohei Takahashi, president of the Japan-Viet Nam Economic Committee, said while its working group met Viet Nam’s senior leaders in Ha Noi late last month that trade between the two countries had quadrupled since the agreement came into effect.

Among ASEAN member countries, Japan had poured the largest amount of investment into Viet Nam, he added.

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, showed that Viet Nam topped the list of countries where Japanese firms intend to invest in the next five to 10 years.

Decrees carrying new tariffs for several other trade deals, including the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and an agreement between Viet Nam and Laos, have also came into force this month.

New tariffs for ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand, ASEAN-China and ASEAN-South Korea trade deals are also available.

Vinalines to auction its bulk carrier in October

Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) will conduct an auction to sell bulk carrier Vinalines Global on October 5.

The carrier, built in 1994 with a capacity of 70,000 DWT, will be auctioned at the starting price of nearly VND59 billion (US$6.4 million), which does not include 10 per cent of value-added tax and other expenses.

Vinalines Global is one of six old ships that Vinalines expects to sell this year. The others are Vinalines Trader, Vinalines Fortuna, Vinalines Star, Vinalines Ocean and Vinalines Ruby.

Vinalines bought Vinalines Global in January 2008 at a price of $71 million from India’s Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd.

In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Transport, Vinalines said it expected the sale of ships would help it cut losses and improve the fleet’s operation result.

It is estimated that the six carriers will be sold at a very low price in comparison with their initial price.

DHG off-loads all treasury shares for $1 million

DHG Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DHG) announced that it sold its entire 222,380 treasury shares, earning VND22.9 billion (over US$1million), during the period from August 18 to September 16.

After selling the shares at an average price of VND102,977 per share, DHG no longer has any treasury share. The firm said the transaction was undertaken to raise capital.

In July 2015, DHG purchased the treasury shares at an average price of VND78,805 per share.

Based in Can Tho Province since 1974, DHG is one of the leading drug makers in Viet Nam.

Currently, the State Capital Investment Corporation, with 43.31 per cent stake, is DHG’s largest shareholder, followed by Taisho with 24.5 per cent, Franklin Templeton Investment funds-Templeton Frontier Markets Fund with 9.44 per cent and Portal Global Limited Holding with 7.7 per cent.

DHG reported marked net revenue of VND3.6 trillion in the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2015, posting a year-on-year decrease of eight per cent. Of this amount, the company’s net revenue in Q4 of 2015 reached VND1.149 trillion.

Following the announcement in May of the 35 per cent dividend for 2015, DHG shares surged by more than 23 per cent from VND82,000 to some VND100,000 per share on the HCM City Stock Exchange.

After the first half this year, DHG’s sale reached VND1.7 trillion, an increase of 15 per cent, and profit after tax hit VND300 billion.

World famous brands share experiences with Vietnamese SMEs

Viet Nam ranked in first place on the interaction between users and enterprise fan pages on Facebook’s ecosystem, according to Huynh Kim Tuoc, Facebook’s team lead of Emerging Markets, SEA.

Tuoc said this at a meeting in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

Also, according to Tuoc, the country ranked in second place on export and advertisement through Facebook and 18th for business on the Internet.

The meeting, organised by US-ASEAN Business Council and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), discussed how to enhance capacity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through technology innovation.

The meeting attracted more than 100 SME leaders and representatives from large corporations, including Facebook, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Google.

Speakers shared instances of how SMEs should use digital tools, such as digital payment, digital marketing, cloud computing and technological innovation in developing enterprises.

A representative from Coca-Cola said the meeting served as a foundation for multinational corporations to share their experiences with the SME community in Viet Nam.

“We hope to be able to continue bringing new value, contributing to the success of Vietnamese enterprises,” the representative added.

“Each Vietnamese enterprise, despite the sectors they are working in, can become an e-commerce enterprise as the country has available online customers. These customers are all expecting the presence of enterprises in the e-commerce environment,” a Google representative said at the meeting.

International Pharma-healthcare expo opens in HCM City

A wide range of pharmaceutical and healthcare products and equipment are on display at the Pharmedi 2016 that opens on September 21 in HCM City.

The 11th Vietnam International Exhibition on Products, Equipment, Supplies for Medical, Pharmaceutical, Hospital and Rehabilitation will have 600 booths set up by more than 350 exhibitors from 25 countries and territories.

The products on display will be divided into four major categories: Pharmex (pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical materials, and pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging equipment), Medex and Hospex (hospital furniture and equipment, surgical instruments, diagnosis, and rescue and physiotherapy equipment), Analytex (analysis and laboratory equipment, image processing and analysis equipment, bio-technology applications, and medical waste treatment system), Beautycare (aesthesis equipment, beauty-care products and spa and massage products and equipment).

Several seminars presented by leading experts from the Ministry of Health, including on “Decree on medical equipment management” and “Spinal surgery with minimal invasion,” will be held alongside.

Vietnam’s biggest medical and healthcare expo will run through September 24 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7.

Vietnam eyes expanding economic links with Russia

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has suggested deeper links in economics, trade, culture, and tourism between Vietnamese localities and their Russian counterparts, including Saint-Petersburg.

At a meeting with Mayor of Saint-Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko on September 20 as part of his ongoing visit to Russia, the official said that t he Vietnamese Government will create favourable conditions for Russian investors to operate in Vietnam.

He highlighted close ties between the two countries’ ministries, sectors and localities, saying that this reflects the strong Vietnam-Russia relations.

Bilateral cooperation should promote sustainable development, he stressed, noting that investment and trade links between the two counties will be enhanced when the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union takes effect on October 5.

Both nations need to accelerate the implementation of existing commitments and promote new cooperation schemes, he said.

The Deputy PM suggested the Saint-Petersburg leader make it easy for Vietnamese goods and service suppliers to make inroads into Russia’s second largest city through Made-in-Vietnam goods fairs in the country.

Mayor Poltavchenko said Saint-Petersburg welcomes Vietnam’s investment projects. He committed to arranging meetings between representatives from Vietnamese firms and the city’s retailers to foster partnerships among them.

Vietnamese businesses can introduce their commodities to Russian customers at the annual Christmas fair in Saint-Petersburg, he said, adding that Vietnamese firms should take advantage of the fact that western countries are imposing sanctions against Russia to enter the Russian market.

During his stay, Deputy PM Dung will attend the 19 th meeting of the Vietnam – Russia Intergovernmental Committee in Saint-Petersburg on September 21.

In the first seven months of this year, two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia hit 1.6 billion USD, up 3 percent year-on-year.

VGCL urged to look ahead to trade deals

Chairman of the Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has urged the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) to better protect the interest of workers ahead of pressures from upcoming free trade agreements.

The VGCL should forecast and confront challenges that may face workers during the integration process, and it should organize measures for better adaptation, Nhan said at a working session with the VGCL on September 20.

As upcoming trade changes loom, trade unions should also focus on promoting movements to increase production and improve workers’ productivity, he said.

Nhan added that the VGCL needs to continue developing trade union organisation, expanding membership with small- and medium-sized businesses and developing a qualified trade union staff who are pioneers in building a harmonized relations between workers and their employers.

He affirmed that the Vietnam Fatherland Front will continue coordinating with the VGCL to review the adoption of regulations on social insurance by businesses and to contribute opinions to the process of amending the Labour Law, which plays an important role in the nation’s social life and legal system.

The VGCL proposed that the Fatherland Front collaborate closely in building laws and regulations that work for workers, and also increase supervision over issues relating to social and health insurance.

The VGCL reported that it has more than 9.2 million members as of May this year. In the first seven months of the year, trade unions at all levels carried out more than 11,300 inspections over the implementation of worker-related policies and organized law consultancy for over 141,000 workers.

Trade unions at all levels worked with relevant agencies to quickly deal with emerging issues in labour relations and to tackle difficulties in production and trade activities. The goal is to stabilise employment and income for workers, it said.

Vietnam Social Security (VSS) will provide data as evidence for labour unions to sue enterprises that tried to avoid paying insurance for their employees.

This is part of a cooperation agreement signed on September 20 by VSS and the VGCL to ensure the rights and benefits of employees.

Every enterprise with more than 10 employees is supposed to jointly pay for their workers three types of insurance, namely social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

However, insurance debts have been reported as enterprises delay or avoid paying insurance for their employees.

VSS’s statistics shows that accumulated insurance debt by the end of July was some 14 trillion VND.

Last year, insurance debt in Vietnam reached more than 7.6 trillion VND (339.2 million USD).

Bui Van Cuong, President of the VGCL, said 102,900 enterprises and organisations across the country were reportedly in social insurance debt, affecting 2.66 million employees.

He said labour unions, on behalf of the employees, could sue employers who did not pay for insurance under the Civil Procedure Code approved last year, which came into effect in July this year.

“Data provided by VSS included the list of insurance debtors and their debts, which could be used as evidence to sue employers violating rules,” Cuong said.

Previously, social security agencies were empowered to sue insurance debtors, but under the Law on Social Security 2014, which came into effect in January this year, the social security agencies could no longer do so.

Accordingly, in the first six months of this year, almost 1,400 cases related to insurance debts of some 300 million VND were taken to court by VSS but had not been resolved.

VSS General Director Nguyen Thi Minh said suing insurance debtors was an effective measure to curb violations and ensure employees’ rights.

The courts had helped insurance agencies collect 16.3 percent of insurance debts from enterprises, she said.

Tourism to become key economic sector

Tourism is set to become the country’s key economic sector.

The information was released by the Office of the Government on Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue’s decision at a meeting to discuss a draft project on developing the sector.

The Deputy PM instructed the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to coordinate with the office to complete the draft project, including an evaluation of the sector’s pros and cons, especially in infrastructure, environment, products and manpower.

The Deputy PM also requested restructuring measures for the sector between 2016-2020 with a focus on three key areas, including completing tourism development policies, boosting manpower and devising incentives to attract investment in the area.

The ministry will submit the draft project to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc before September 24, 2016.

According to statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam welcomed more than 6.45 million foreign visitors in the first eight months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 25.4 percent.

Chinese visitors topped the list with more than 1.75 million holiday-makers, followed by the Republic of Korea with more than one million visitors and Japan with 482,358 tourists.

The number of domestic tourists in the period was 43.1 million visitors, a 22.5 percent year-on-year rise.

RoK textile firm starts operation in Ben Tre

Unisoll Vina company under Hansoll Textile Ltd. of the Republic of Korea began operating in Giao Long industrial park, Chau Thanh district, the southern province of Ben Tre, on September 20.

The 50 million USD company, the largest in terms of investment capital in Ben Tre, started building its garment and textile workshops in April 2013.

It is operating four workshops, equipped with 96 production lines run by 5,500 workers, producing 4 million items per year.

The company expects to have 10 workshops, with 236 production lines and over 16,000 workers to produce 16 million products per year by 2018.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Truong Duy Hai called on relevant bodies to facilitate the firm’s operation.

He also urged the company to operate in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Since 2001, Hansoll Textile Ltd has also invested in the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai under its policy of expanding investment in Mekong Delta provinces.

Compliance with disclosure requirements grows

Listed companies have been better in complying with information disclosure requirements, improving the transparency of Vietnam’s stock market, a survey has found.

The survey, conducted annually to assess the level of compliance with disclosure requirements of listed stock market firms, was published by the Vietnam Association of Financial Executives and financial information services provider Vietstock.

Of 639 companies listing shares on the HCM Stock Exchange and Hanoi Stock Exchange, 118, or 18.5 percent, fully completed disclosure obligations in the securities market during the period of July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, the survey showed.

This is an impressive improvement compared with the rate of 9.7 percent in 2015, 6.6 percent in 2014, 4.2 percent in 2013 and 3.3 percent in 2012, the report’s authors said.

“2016 has marked a remarkable growth both in number and proportion of enterprises fully complying with disclosure requirements and regulations. This result reflects improvement in transparency and growth of Vietnam’s stock market,” they said.

Disclosure is the act of releasing all relevant information pertaining to a company that may influence investor interest. This is also an important gauge to evaluate investor relations of listed companies.

All the companies violated one of these obligations, including slow submission of quarterly, semi-annual and annual financial statements; late reporting of resolutions of 2016 annual shareholder meetings; failure or delay in organising shareholder meetings; slow announcement of shareholder meeting documents; incomplete and out-of-date information on the company’s websites.

Many big companies failed to adhere to disclosure obligations, including Big 10 (the 10 largest companies by market value on the HCM Stock Exchange) like Vietinbank, Vietcombank, lender BIDV, PV Gas, and steelmaker Hoa Phat Group.

At the other end of spectrum, dairy giant Vinamilk, the biggest listed stock, insurer Bao Viet Holdings and private equity Masan Group were found in compliance with the rules.

Focus on multi-level marketing laws

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will accelerate the completion of management policies and documents to tighten multi-level marketing regulations while limiting licensing for the activity, said Minister Tran Tuan Anh.

Anh said that not all multi-level marketing firms violated regulations or collapsed. However, the 1.2 million participants in the network could have big impacts on both participants and consumers.

“Multi-level marketing is complicated and has risks if we do not tighten management policies,” he added.

“It is the reason that the Government should review Decree No 42/2014/ND-CP as well as investigate shortcomings of regulations on the location and headquarters of multi-level marketing firms,” he said.

Trinh Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Competitive Management Department told the conference held in Hanoi on September 19 to review multi-level marketing activities, and that by this month, the country has 50 licensed multi-level marketing companies.

In the first half of the year, multi-level marketing firms had total turnover of 4 trillion VND (177.7 million USD), contributing 452 billion VND to the State budget.

Of which, the foreign firms had turnover of 1.8 trillion VND, accounting for 45 percent while the domestic ones had 2.2 trillion VND.

The number of people participating in the activities in the six month period was 500,000, a reduction of 57 percent from the same period last year.

Tuan added that Decree No 42/2014/ND-CP which took effect on July 1st 2014 has shortcomings as multi-level marketing has caused problems in reality.

There were nine multi-level marketing companies that had their licences withdrawn and were fined several thousand billion dong.

Check-ups from the departments of Industry and Trade nationwide in the first half of the year showed that 26 out of 48 investigated had signs of violations with total fines of around 4.5 billion VND.

The most common violations included operations without licenses, and organising large-scale conferences and training without permission from the departments.

Nguyen Thanh, Director of Thua Thien Hue Province’s Department of Industry and Trade said the regulation allowing multi-level marketing firms to operate without branches and representative offices has caused difficulties in management and check-ups.

The investigations on the companies have encountered difficulties especially in remote and mountainous areas, Thanh added.

The ministry on March 9th 2016 promulgated Directive No 02 on enhancing the check-ups and supervision on the activities.

It found that fines in the Decree No 42/2014/ND-CP have not been strict enough to prevent the violations.

The ministry has been collecting opinions from relevant agencies for the revised Decree No 42/2014/ND-CP to submit to the Government for approval.

Japan firm to invest in Da Nang education

Japanese JP Holdings company plans to invest a high quality kindergarten education project in the central city of Da Nang from next year with an estimated capital of US$5 million.

Chairman of JP Holdings, Ogita Kazuhiro said in a meeting with the city’s leadership last week.

Ogita Kazuhiro said the project will be built in the city in three phases between 2017-19, and provide education facilities for 600 kids with an international education standard.

He said JP Holdings focuses on investment in high quality education system with 220 education projects have been developed so far.

Vice chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Dang Viet Dung said the city drew only 12 foreign-invested projects in education with total investment of $172 million.

Japanese language teaching has been taught at some junior secondary schools following the city’s foreign language teaching programme for 2012-20.

In August, the American University in Việt Nam – the first education institution under the US curriculum in the central Viet Nam – was launched in the city with total investment of $142.2 million in Ngũ Hành Sơn District.

The central city will construct the first kindergarten project at Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone in Lien Chieu district under the fund of $3.5 million from Half the Sky Foundation from the US.

Red River Holding to divest from VHC

Red River Holding investment fund, backed by the French Artemis group, has registered to sell two million VHC shares of Vinh Hoan JSC, a Vietnamese aquaculture company, until October 5.

The sale is part of its divestment plan and transaction methods are put-through or auction.

Red River Holding owns more than 9.8 million VHC shares, currently (equivalent to 10.7 per cent authorised shares).

If the sale is successful, the fund’s ownership will be down to 8.5 per cent, equal to 7.8 million shares.

Red River Holding had divested from a number of other Vietnamese businesses besides VHC, such as Vicostone , Hoa Phat and bedding company Everpia. It still has stake in FPT and Minh Phu Seafood.

The fund sold 500,000 VHC shares on August 17.

Jean Eric Jacquemin, chief executive officer of Red River Holding, is also a member of the Board of Management at Vinh Hoan JSC.

Vinh Hoan JSC’s works include cultivating, processing and exporting catfish, including tra and basa fish, rice; collagen and gelatin.

Thai consumer goods flood Vietnam market

Thai goods are flooding Vietnamese market and much sought after by Vietnamese customers for high and stable quality and reasonable prices.

According to latest statistics from the Industry and Trade Information Centre, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Thailand hit US$7.84 billion in the first eight months of this year, up 6.2% over the same period last year. Of the figure, imports from Thailand were valued at US$5.41 billion, up 4.4% and exports to the market were US$2.43 billion, up 10.3%.

Import products from Thailand are diversified, including home appliances, machines, equipment, tools, automobiles and spare parts, plastic materials, computers, electronics, petroleum, fruits and vegetables.

Home appliances and components led among import products with a value of US$681.6 million, trailed by machines, equipment, and tools (US$525.4 million) and automobile spare parts (US$437.1 million).

Most import products saw higher growth rates compared to the same period last year, some products even obtained a sharp growth like fertilizer (up 116%), mental products (up 72%), CBU cars (63.8%) and fruits and vegetables (up 62.4%).

According to experts, Thai products dominating the domestic market because they are cheaper than Japanese and Korean products while their quality is higher than Vietnamese and Chinese goods.

Vietnam makes headway into US clothing market

With increased shipments of clothing, overall exports to the US rose 1.83% to US$6.51 billion in the first seven months of 2016, according to data from the US Department of Commerce.

Although the growth of clothing exports to the US is not high, the upward trend is encouraging, say many leading market analysts, who optimistically think consignments from Vietnam to the US could jump overall 10% for the whole of 2016.

Achieving 10% growth is still possible, says Vo Tran Thi Huyen, plant manager at Tex-Giang JSC, as work orders are coming in bulk and for higher value-added apparel items this year.

However, the bulk of the growth in the ratio of US imports from Vietnam as a percentage of total imports will come in large part by way of a reduction of the ratio of imports into the US market from China.

Year-to-date through July, worldwide imports of clothing into the US have actually shrunk by 4.98% to US$60.23 billion from US$63.39 billion for the corresponding seven-month period in 2015.

Of the top 10 markets that the US imports garments from, only Vietnam and Bangladesh showed growth in import consignments of 1.83% and 1.12%, respectively, for the period.

Markets showing a year-on-year drop in imports into the US market for the seven-month period included China down 8.49% to US$21.39 billion, India minis 0.97% to US$4.39 billion and Pakistan lower by 10.67% to US$1.59 billion.

Spending by US consumers declined slightly in July, while department store sales also fell from a year ago, according to Business Insider. US companies blamed a variety of temporary factors such as delayed inventory shipments, bad weather, and fewer international tourists for the slowdown.

However, Business Insider reports that Americans are increasingly spending less on clothes and home furnishings, a trend that could hurt the Vietnam clothing exporters in years to come.

While lower gas prices mean US consumers theoretically have more disposable income, the US Department of Commerce recently reported that retail sales were flat as shoppers have other priorities.

A recent report by Morgan Stanley shows that millennials are spending more on expenses like rent, mobile phones, and personal services than young people a decade ago. This leaves less money for buying clothes, said Business Insider.

Seminar on ‘digital marketing’ held in Hanoi

The US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) hosted a digital-marking seminar on September 21 in Hanoi that focused on using social media and websites to market small businesses.

seminar on ‘digital marketing’ held in hanoi hinh 0 Representatives from Coca Cola, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google presented the seminar.

The purpose of the conference was to educate local Vietnamese businesses on the use of cloud computing and e-services in digital marketing, said Nguyen Khoa My, a public relations officer for Coca Cola.

Whether it’s retail, farming, manufacturing or wholesale, marketing through social media has become an important way for small businesses to connect directly, and quickly, with their customers.

This knowledge along with the ability to apply it in everyday business situations will afford local companies more opportunities to become better, stronger, and more competitive business managers.

Kevin O’Kane of Google in turn noted that using social media, websites, is just a great way for a company to get its story, it’s narrative, into the public’s hands, and that’s imperative nowadays for local companies.

Staying up to date on the most recent technologies, tools, and trends helps professionals remain competitive in their field, noted Mr O’Kane.

Workshop raises public awareness of sustainable development

Initiatives on sustainable marine development were raised at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20 that aimed to improve public awareness of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2016-2030.

The event was jointly held by the SDG Action Campaign, the Young Professionals Programme of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), SEA Media Co. Ltd. and the centre for social media and community.

Participants said the initiatives presented at the workshop will contribute to raising social responsibility of the Government, businesses and the community to create sustainable values in socio-economic development.

The conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is one of the 17 SGDs adopted by 193 UN member states in September 2015, covering social, economic and environmental aspects through 2030.

On the basis of the goal, Sea Media Co. Ltd. has joined hands with the centre for social media and community to launch a contest on sustainable maritime tourism in order to create applicable products while encouraging young Vietnamese to take actions to build a clean and sustainable environment.

Jasmine Jaruphand from the SDG Action Campaign affirmed that the SDGs ensure no one be left behind, adding that as many as 2 billion people will be familiar with the goals.-

VSIP Nghe An builds office area

The Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park Joint – Venture Co. Ltd. kicked off the construction of an office area at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in central Nghe An province on September 20.

The office area, which has an area of 2,500 sq.m and is scheduled to complete in September 2017, is a modern workplace of VSIP Nghe An’s staff and representatives of 12 departments and agencies of Nghe An.

The construction of VSIP Nghe An began in September, 2015, and is the largest project in the locality with an investment capital of 1,600 billion VND (71 million USD), covering an area of 750 hectares.

The park has attracted three enterprises with a combined capital of 235 billion VND (11 million USD).

On the occasion, Nghe An authorities granted investment certificates to enterprises operating in the industrial park.

Workshop raises public awareness of sustainable development

Initiatives on sustainable marine development were raised at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20 that aimed to improve public awareness of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2016-2030.

The event was jointly held by the SDG Action Campaign, the Young Professionals Programme of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), SEA Media Co. Ltd. and the centre for social media and community.

Participants said the initiatives presented at the workshop will contribute to raising social responsibility of the Government, businesses and the community to create sustainable values in socio-economic development.

The conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is one of the 17 SGDs adopted by 193 UN member states in September 2015, covering social, economic and environmental aspects through 2030.

On the basis of the goal, Sea Media Co. Ltd. has joined hands with the centre for social media and community to launch a contest on sustainable maritime tourism in order to create applicable products while encouraging young Vietnamese to take actions to build a clean and sustainable environment.

Jasmine Jaruphand from the SDG Action Campaign affirmed that the SDGs ensure no one be left behind, adding that as many as 2 billion people will be familiar with the goals.


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