Business in Brief: VietNam

HCM City promotes trade, investment in key areas

The southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City is becoming an attractive destination for many countries worldwide in term of investment, trade, tourism and cultural exchange, heard at a trade promotion conference in the locality on September 7.

According to Director of the city’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) Pham Thiet Hoa, the conference asserted the city’s consistent viewpoint in bolstering trade and investment relations with partner cities and creating strong impressions on international enterprises and tourists.

HCM City is considered as the country’s economic locomotive. Since 1988, the city has had 6,268 valid foreign direct investment projects, with a combined registered capital of 40.8 billion USD.

The locality is offering numerous incentives to attract investment in services and industries with high technology and added value, he said.

Le Bich Loan from the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) said that the park is calling for investment in several areas, including microelectronics, information technology, bio and nano tech, new energy, accuracy mechanics and automation. As of August 2016, the park had licensed 101 projects with total capital of 5.56 billion USD. Total export turnover of hi-tech products from its enterprises reached 17 billion USD.

Another key economic project of the city, the Quang Trung Software City (QTSC), is now home to 135 domestic and foreign businesses.

QTSC Director Nguyen Hai Long highlighted projects appealing for investment in the fields of software development, data centre, incubator centre, business process outsourcing (BPO), research and development (R&D), banking and insurance.

Potential projects in the areas of transportation, health and education were also introduced to domestic and foreign investors at the event.

Masayuki Inoue from Japan’s Osaka working delegation highly valued potential projects presented at the conference, adding that many Osaka enterprises wish to find trade and investment cooperation in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City officially became a member of the Business Partner City (BPC) – Osaka in 1997.

HCM City outlines strategy to attract investment

Pham Thiet Hoa, director of HCM City’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, said the city was working to create the best conditions to attract more investors by developing a clean land fund, improving the quality of infrastructure, and expanding the number of industrial parks and export processing zones.

Speaking at an investment seminar yesterday in the city, Hoa said investment priority would be given to nine key sectors: transport (warehousing, port services, maritime logistics and import/export); finance (banking, insurance, credit); postal, telecommunications and IT; real estate; consulting services and science-technology; travel; medical services; commerce; and education and training.

Sectors with high-tech content and high added value, such as mechanical engineering, electronics/IT, chemicals/rubber and food processing, will also be given more emphasis.

Other areas the city plans to give priority to include the biotech industry, clean technology, energy savings, and the fashion and design industries.

Preferential policies will be created to attract investors to the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, Hiep Phuoc Port Urban Area, Binh Quoi-Thanh Da Urban Area, and urban railway lines.

Pham Quoc Trung, a representative of the Management Authority for Urban Railways, said the city had 11 railway line projects, including metro, tramway and monorail lines, with total length of 229 kilometres.

Funds are needed for Metro Line No 2 (phase 2), Metro lines No 3a and 3b, Metro lines No 4 and 4b, tramway No 1, monorail No 2 and monorail No 3.

Le Bich Loan, deputy head of the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park’s management board, said that all of the 300ha under the park’s first phase had been leased, and the second phase of 613ha was now under construction.

The park’s investment priorities are in the fields of microelectronics, semiconductors and ICT; precision mechanics and automation; biotechnology applied to pharmaceuticals and the environment, new and advanced materials and energy; and nanotechnology.

Preferential treatment for investors includes lower corporate income taxes for 15 years, and import duties and VAT exemption for imported goods.

Lam Nguyen Hai Long, director of Quang Trung Software City (QTSC), the country’s first and largest software park, said that new QTSC branches were being planned. These would connect HCM City to other provinces and contribute to the development of Viet Nam’s economy and the IT industry.

The QTSC 2 project is slated to begin in 2017 with a total area of 250ha and total investment of US$1 billion. Key investors would be sought for a new data centre, and R&D and utility services.

Representatives from the city’s Health Department also called for investment in Cu Chi General Hospital, Hoc Mon General Hospital, Orthopedic Hospital, Cancer Hospital’s second facility in District 9, Tan Kien-Binh Chanh Hospital cluster projects and a pediatric hospital, among others.

The seminar was part of the Business Partner City (BPC) Conference 2016, with representatives attending from 14 partner cities, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Seoul, Melbourne, Auckland, Shanghai, Tianjin and Osaka.

Masayuki Inoue, director general of Osaka’s Economic Strategy Bureau, said by exchanging information, BPC partner cities would have more opportunities to develop trade and investment.

The Business Partner City network helps promote business interaction within the Asia–Pacific region, contributing to economic development of each member city.

Business matching was organised in HCM City yesterday, where executives of more than 100 city-based businesses met with 28 counterparts from Japan, the Philippines and Australia in the trading, manufacturing and services sectors.

HCM City has 6,268 FDI projects, with total investment capital of $40.8 billion.

Singapore is the city’s largest FDI investor, followed by Malaysia, British Virgin Islands, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Vietnamese urged to better understand UAE market

Vietnamese should take the initiative to join business forums and participate in trade fairs and exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to understand the market, experts have said.

Besides this, Vietnamese trade offices abroad, including those in the UAE, need to provide enterprises with the latest market information on specific products they can offer consumers, Director of HCM City Trade and Investment Promotion Centre Dinh Thiet Hoa, said.

In order to tap into the market successfully, Vietnamese firms should pay attention to the preservation of goods to ensure their quality, while establishing effective supply chains which connect farmers, traders and logistics service providers, Dinh Cong Tuan, General Manager of Viet Nam-Dubai Tradehub (Vietgate) Co, which helps Vietnamese firms ship products to Dubai in UAE, said.

The UAE was described as a lucrative market for Vietnamese goods thanks to strong economic growth, low import taxes and huge consumption demand.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in the UAE, bilateral trade between Viet Nam and the bloc topped US$6.2 billion in 2015 and was likely to grow 20-22 per cent this year.

Viet Nam’s major exports to the bloc included pepper, rice and coffee, followed by electronics and computer spare parts, textiles and garments, shoes and footwear, and seafood products.

Pham Trung Nghia, commercial counselor and head of Viet Nam’s Trade Office in Dubai, said Viet Nam’s agricultural products were increasingly winning the hearts of UAE consumers, with the Vietnamese dragon fruit dominant in the UAE market. Vietnamese bananas and pineapples were also increasingly being ordered.

Eleven win first-ever sugar bids

At the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s first-ever auction on sugar import quotas yesterday, eleven firms won bids.

Viet Nam must import 85,000 tonnes of sugar this year, following its commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The commitment includes 40,000 tonnes of raw sugar and 45,000 tonnes of refined sugar.

The first-time public auction was created to ensure transparency, the ministry said.

According to Phan Thi Dieu Ha, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Import-Export Department, there were 22 valid bids out of 25 participants.

Three companies won bids for import quotas of raw sugar, namely Bien Hoa Sugar Joint Stock Company, Thanh Thanh Cong Tay Ninh Sugar and Sugarcane Company and Khanh Hoa Sugar Company, securing a total import quota of 39,998 tonnes.

Eight winners for import quotas of refined sugar included URC Viet Nam, Puratos Grandplace Viet Nam, Perfetti Van Melle, Coca Cola Viet Nam, Nestle Viet Nam, Vinamilk, Sanofi Synthelabo Viet Nam, and a member of Trung Nguyen Group.

For sugar within quotas, tariffs were set at 5 per cent on goods imported from ASEAN countries. From other countries, the tariffs were 25 per cent on raw sugar and 40 per cent on refined sugar.

For sugar outside quotas, tariffs were placed at 80 per cent and 85 per cent on raw and refined sugar, respectively.

Sugar prices have been on an upward trend since the year’s beginning, up between 20-30 per cent over the same period last year, due to drops in output of 2015-16 crop caused by drought and salt invasion, according to the ministry.

Previously, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed to import an additional 200,000 tonnes of sugar and received the Government’s approval for an additional import quota of 100,000 tonnes, a move that augments the WTO’s 85,000 tonne quota and Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s 30,000 tonnes from Laos.

Sugar stockpiles were estimated to surpass 400,000 tonnes in July, according to Viet Nam Sugar cane and Sugar Association, which estimated that sugar imports and smuggled sugar might push supply surplus to 200,000 tonnes this year.

Vu Thi Huyen Duc, the association’s deputy president said that sugar output for the coming 2016-17 crop was expected at 1.4 million tonnes, 50 per of which was refined sugar.

Japan collaborates with Danang on Lien Chieu Port upgrade

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan has agreed to provide assistance to Danang Port in connection with a feasibility study of proposed renovations to the Lien Chieu Port.

japan collaborates with danang on lien chieu port upgrade hinh 0 The Danang Port plans to renovate the Lien Chieu Port to ease congestion at the overloaded Tien Sa Port.  Efforts are currently underway to complete the upgrade to the port by 2020.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment in turn has announced it will work with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to fund the project, which it said is expected to cost US$360,000.

Vietnam sticks importance to developing green economy

The Vietnamese Party and State always pay great attention to developing a green economy, has said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

At a recent reception in Hanoi for members of the Vietnam Association for the Conservation of Nature and the Environment (VACNE), the Deputy PM praised the initiative for holding a forum on green development in Vietnam.

He asked businesses to implement regulations on protecting the environment while developing the economy.

“The 12th Party Congress Resolution underscores the importance of protecting and effectively utilizing natural resources responding to climate change,” Hue said.

He asked the Association to enhance its operations and increase international co-operation and people-to-people exchanges in order to mobilize more external resources to attain Vietnam’s goals for sustainable development and climate change adaption.

7M trade surplus with US at $17 billion

Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US stood at $16.8 billion in the first seven months of this year, figures from Vietnam Customs released on September 5 reveal.

Total trade was $21.3 billion, $2.5 billion higher year-on-year with Vietnam’s largest export market. Seven types of export goods exceeded turnover of $1 billion, the highest being textiles and garments, with $6.5 billion, representing 49.4 per cent of the total export value for textiles and garments.

Following was footwear, with turnover of over $2.55 billion, then phones and components with $2.33 billion, computers and electronic items with $1.63 billion, wood and wooden products with $1.5 billion, and machinery, equipment and tools with $1.13 billion.

Trade with G20 countries over the seven months, meanwhile, increased 3.6 per cent year-on-year and accounted for 77 per cent of the country’s trade.

Export turnover was $75.22 billion, a 9.4 per cent year-on-year increase and accounting for 77.8 per cent of the total. Phones and components reached $2.32 billion, computers and electronic items $1.04 billion, and seafood $715 million.

Total import turnover from G20 countries in the seven months was $73.2 billion, a decline of 1.7 per cent year-on-year and accounting for 77.3 per cent of Vietnam’s total. Machinery, equipment, and tools fell $967 million, phones and components $449 million, petrol $387 million, and steel $14 million.

Vietnam’s trade surplus with G20 countries was therefore $2.02 billion, down from $5.7 billion in the first seven months of last year.

The two main export items to G20 countries were phones and components and textiles, accounting for 34 per cent of total export turnover. The five main import items were machinery and equipment, computers and electronic products, phones and components, fabric, and iron and steel, whose value accounted for 53 per cent of total import turnover from G20 countries.

China was Vietnam’s largest trade partner in the first seven months, with trade totaling $38.18 billion, up 2.4 per cent up year-on-year. The US followed, with $25.74 billion, up 10.6 per cent, then the EU with $24.87 billion, up 6.1 per cent.

International Travel Expo opens in HCM City

The 12th International Travel Expo HCM City opens today (September 8) in HCM City.

The three-day event will have 280 booths set up by 32 international tourism agencies, 38 local travel firms and 31 cities and provinces across the country, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the city Department of Tourism, said.

There are airlines, hotels and resorts, and tour companies from 22 countries, including Cambodia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE.

Jack Wei, general manager of Informa Exhibitions, the co-organiser of ITE HCMC, told Viet Nam News.

Every year ITE HCMC brings together international and local buyers and sellers of outbound and inbound travel products, according to Jack Wei, general manager of Informa Exhibitions, the co-organiser of ITE HCMC.

Every year ITE HCMC brings together international and regional buyers to meet exhibitors for outbound and inbound businesses,

“We are hosting over 300 buyers, which is more than 40 per cent higher than last year. We have a 15 per cent increase in the number of sellers this year.”

More than 3,200 pre-scheduled appointments have been made between sellers and buyers during the two trade days, he said.

“ITE has grown since its inaugural year. At its launch, we only had two international pavilions from Thailand and Cambodia and 65 buyers.”

“Today, ITE HCMC is recognised as the most established international travel event in Viet Nam.”

Lav Ahuja of Balaji Tours, Kolhapur, India, who attended at the buyer-seller meeting yesterday (September 7), told Viet Nam News: “We are going to meet seven companies from Cambodia and Viet Nam at a buyer meeting.

“We have very good expectations from the meeting. We hope to bring a group of Indian tourists to Viet Nam.

“A lot of people in Kolhapur city do not know about Viet Nam as a tourist destination and a good place to visit.

“I see there are some Indian restaurants here in HCM City. So now it is quite easy because Indian tourists need Indian food when they go to any country.

“We plans to send a group of tourists from Kolhapur within the next two months.

“There is very good potential to bring tourists from India to Viet Nam.”

Do Vu Hoang Tung, director of sales and marketing at Sea Links City Resort & Golf in the coastal city of Phan Thiet, said it is a great opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet and explore co-operation possibilities.

Local travel firms, hotels and resorts can get up-to-date on market trends and meet international and domestic partners, he said.

Nearly 200 foreign travel company executives and tourism journalists have been invited to visit the expo.

It is on at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre in District 7. Three buses have been arranged to ferry members of the public from District 1 to the venue on September 10.

Ho Chi Minh City calls for investment on HCMC- Can Tho High- Speed Railway

Within the framework of a visit to Japan, Deputy Standing Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang called on Japan to invest in Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho high speed railway during a meeting with Japanese Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Hisayuki Fujii on September 6.

Mr. Tat Thanh Cang said that the infrastructure development could not satisfy the development demand of the city’s economy and society. Therefore, he hoped that Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan will invest in developing  urban infrastructure systems in Vietnam.

With population of over 10 million people, the Mekong Delta is a potential region for economic development. So, the project of HCMC- Can Tho Railway will contribute to the regional economic development.

Excepting for technology and experience support, the city leaders called for ODA investment projects from MLIT in the key’s constructions.

Mr. Hisayuki Fujii pledged that MLIT will support investment into the HCMC- Can Tho railway system.

At the meeting with Vietnamese Embassy in Japan, Mr. Tat Thanh Cang said that nearly 100 Japanese enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City focus on supplier industry, economy & society and trade every year.

Mr.Tat Thanh Cang asked ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong to continue support the city in luring investment on fields of electronic,  electrical engineering and  medicinal chemistry.

How Government divests capital from lucrative firms

The process of capital divestment from such lucrative State companies like Vinamilk, Sabeco and Habeco will be the test for the wish to build a developmental Government of integrity, according to economic expert Pham Chi Lan.

Recently, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc decided that divestment of State capital from big companies must be done transparently and openly. The Government chief asked such companies to conduct initial public offering before selling the State capital.

In an exclusive interview with the Government Online Newspaper, Ms. Lan held that the order is “right and necessary” in the current context.

She said that equitization and divestment orientations have been introduced years ago but the process is slow. Though the Government has almost reached the target of equitization, the State still holds big amount of capital at companies.

On the other hand, equitization and divestment have still been a close process in many cases with limited transparency, she added.

It will be difficult for the Government to restructure the banking system and public investment if it failed to restructure State companies because State companies account for the largest share of non-performing loans and cross-ownership in banks, and many feature with low investment efficiency, she said.

Many equitized companies have tried to bypass initial public offering as it forces them to be more transparent.

Ms. Lan said the PM’s order of compulsory initial public offering should be strongly and widely supported, especially by agencies of the Party and the National Assembly.

Local companies struggle shifting from cheap and fast

Foreign corporate chains have descended on Vietnam and are now dominating the once completely local retail markets, says the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Associations.

Foreign chains now account for more than half of the nation’s retail sales, says the Association, and many local producers have started complaining they are struggling to get their products on retail shelves nationwide

Vu Vinh Phu, chairman of the Hanoi Association of Supermarkets, was recently widely quoted as saying that a supermarket in the northern city of Hai Phong experienced a revenue drop of over 30% in the six months following the opening of a foreign supercentre at a nearby location.

Local manufacturers and retailers are failing to make the transition from cheap and fast to quality and sustainable, says Mr Phu. As a result, products from countries such as Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Thailand are becoming more and more popular.

Le Thi Thanh Lam, chief financial officer of Saigon Food Joint Stock Company, is one of those who doesn’t believe local companies have the savvy to compete with the foreign competition.

Mr Lam points out that the Thai Central Group and Berli Jucker Corporation (BJC) based out of Thailand have swept in and gobbled up more than 50 supermarket and convenience store chains.

Not only does Saigon Food have to compete with all of the products from Thailand entering the market they have to compete with foreign producers in Japan and the RoK who are selling their goods through AEON and Lotte.

Mr Lam thinks the solution is for the government to step in and form a department to assist companies like Saigon Food distribute their products and negotiate agreements with the foreign retailers to sell their products.

Nguyen Thi Nga, CEO of Viet Herbs Joint Stock Company, is another who doesn’t like competition.  She doesn’t like the fact that she sends lists of her company’s products to many supermarkets, waits for months for them to respond, only to be rejected.

Mrs Nga, would prefer the government force foreign retailers to sell her company’s products.

Le The Bao, president of the Vietnam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection, also thinks the government should interject itself into the situation and create a distribution channel for local manufacturers and retailers.

Competition is just too stiff for local companies, says Bao, because of the sheer number of companies vying to get their products on the retail shelves of the major foreign retailers.

He says from his experience, those stores don’t want to work with individual companies, but want to work with a distributor and he contends the government should establish a distributorship to represent local companies.

If every local brand brought their product to the big foreign stores, he says, they would have to cut a check for each brand. So the big grocers want local companies to work through a distributor.

The big foreign retailers have a stranglehold on local brands stores, said Mr Bao and the nation needs to find a way to force them to carve out sections of retail space in their establishments specifically for local brands.

Premiere: First arrival of 2M Alliance in Vietnam

A container ship so large – almost one-half a kilometre long, wider than a six-lane motorway and taller than a 20-storey skyscraper – will dock this October offshore the Cai Mep International Port.

The new Triple E ship, which has just come into service this past summer, owned by 2M Container Alliance, has the capability to carry 18,000 6.1-metre (20ft) containers, known as TEUs – three times as many as the biggest container ships of 15 years ago.

Today, if all the containers on the Triple E were stacked on top of each other they would touch the stratosphere – 47 kilometres above the earth. If they were unloaded on to a single train it would need to be 110 kilometres long. Inside, you could squeeze in 36,000 cars.

Because it’s so vast, the Triple E – which stands for economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved – are able to move goods more cheaply and efficiently than current ships.

But, they are far too big for most of the world’s ports.

No port in North America, South America or Vietnam is currently able to take the vessels, nor the Panama Canal locks – designed for the last generation of container ships – which are due to open in 2017.

The Triple Es can barely squeeze through the Suez Canal, and will most likely only be used on a China to Europe route bringing in goods and returning with cargoes of scrap metal and plastic waste for recycling.

Only a handful of European ports, including Felixstowe and Southampton in the UK, are equipped to handle these large ships and those that cannot will have to invest hundreds of millions if they plan to accommodate them.

The introduction of 2M Alliance ships into Vietnam might make a major impact on the nation’s exports as goods are transported directly Europe, which would help reduce transport costs and transit time, but it would cost the country hundreds of millions of US dollars to restructure ports to accommodate them.

Pack, print and foodtech expo to improve competitiveness

Two annual exhibitions by the packaging and printing and food processing industries will be held in HCM City next month.

The VietnamPack&Print will feature equipment, machinery and services related to packaging systems, carton manufacturing, jet printers, and printing quality control machines while Vietnam Footech will showcase additives and chemicals and food manufacturing technologies.

Mỹ Lan Group will show off their high-speed, high-security, environment-friendly technologies and Japan’s UCHIDA will showcase its digital printing solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Organisers Vinexad and Chan Chao of Taiwan said the event would be a forum for buyers and producers to get together.

A seminar on quality management in the printing industry will be held on its sidelines.

More than 250 companies from Việt Nam, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China have hired 440 stalls at the exhibition, which will run from October 12 to 15 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in District 7.

Vietjet to offer 2,100 zero-fare air tickets at HCMC Travel Expo

Visitors to the 12 th Ho Chi Minh City International Travel Expo (ITE HCMC) will have a chance to get up to 2,100 zero-fare tickets for all Vietjet’s domestic flights to and from HCM City.

To buy these tickets, customers will have to take part in challenges in two “golden hour time frames”: 12pm – 2pm and 3pm – 4pm.

Vietjet’s pavilion opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm on September 8, 9 and 10. During these days, visitors can also enjoy flamenco dancing performances, lucky draws and photo taking sessions with beautiful Vietjet flight crew.

Entitled “The Gateway to Asia”, the ITE HCMC 2016 is expected to house more than 280 booths of airlines, hotels, resorts and travel agencies as well as attract more than 30,000 visitors. The event has been one of the most established and fast-growing International Travel Expos in the region.

Not only does Vietjet bring millions of opportunities to travel by plane at affordable prices, but it also stays hand-in-hand with social, cultural and entertainment activities, offers amazing promotions as well as taking part in many corporate social responsibility projects in order to bring back more benefits to the community.

Currently, the low-cost carrier boasts a fleet of 40 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 350 flights each day. It has already opened 53 routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, China and Myanmar. It has carried nearly 25 million passengers to date.-

Microsoft showcases IT solutions to accelerate digital transformation in healthcare sector

The 15th annual Hospital Management Asia (HMA) conference has just opened in Ho Chi Minh City, with with the presence of over 1,000 delegates from 30 countries, who are senior healthcare administrators and medical professionals.

The purpose of the two-day HMA 2016 is to share understandings, skills and give practical advices to hospital managers in Asia, thus the sessions focused on offering hospital and healthcare managers the opportunity to learn specific tools and techniques to optimise hospital management, presenting skills-related workshops, run by experienced professors and industry experts to solve practical issues, providing a forum to update and review best management practices in hospitals and showcasing the latest products, services and professional solutions that can increase the productivity and improve the quality of health-care services.

As a trusted advisor and the world’s leading IT partner, within the framework of the conference, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Health Innovation Lab, an Asia Pacific transformation initiative.

“Microsoft believes in accelerating digital transformation by providing complete, end-to-end services for developers, start-ups and researchers looking to co-innovate and co-sell their solutions, all within the category of health. This starts from conceptualization to creation, and even to the commercialisation of the product in Vietnam. This is a one of a kind innovation hub that focuses on leveraging Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, including Internet of Things (IoT), Advanced Analytics and Cognitive Services. In addition, there will be ongoing hackathons, boot camps, as well as innovation events which individuals and organisations can leverage,” said Nguyen Tuan Anh of Microsoft Vietnam.

“The application of technology inventions will help address current challenges of health industry. Microsoft, with global health solution development professionalism and complete infrastructure platform, especially the practices in Asia, will help hospitals and health facilities in Vietnam with new means to optimise the manpower and resources, which will bring out the best services.”

Founded by CLAS Expara Vietnam Accelerator (CEVA) in partnership with Microsoft, Microsoft Health Innovation Lab brings together an ecosystem of industry partners such as local and global digital health companies, biomedical multinationals, academia, as well as venture capitalists which help in connecting and digital transformation of hospitals and health facilities in an optimum way, including:

Provide best patient care services while controlling cost increase challenges such as limited budget, new payment models, personnel expansion or security threats control.

Maximise efficiency based on both experience and ability of health professionals along with current IT platform.

Microsoft’s cloud computing platform meets the highest standards of security, privacy to help protect patients’ health information.

With the use of IoT devices to take health measurements, caregivers can monitor patients beyond hospitals and clinics, help health facilities expand the access permission for patients who need healthcare whether they are in cities, remote areas or at home with lower overall costs.

This not only broadens and improves the cooperation between health professionals, doctors, nurses and patients, but also expands the access to secure information, action information for authorised health experts, allowing them to make announcement and lucid decision faster.

Cloud-based analysis of the data can identify when measurements surpass acceptable thresholds so caregivers can contact patients to take corrective action before problems become serious enough to require hospitalisation.

“When connecting individuals, hospitals infrastructure and other systems that creates an ecosystem of patient care, the hospital will increase high quality health and affordable access to more Vietnamese. These solutions will transform and raise the overall quality of care in the country, which means expanding access to healthcare, while being able to reduce unnecessary hospital and clinical visits,” Callum Bir, director of the Healthcare Industry Sector at Microsoft Asia–Pacific stressed.

“Microsoft is endeavouring to every individual, every health care organisation to achieve more by enabling digital transformation. Our unique approach towards co-innovation in Vietnam together with our partners will positively impact every individual and organisation but also create value to the society and overall economy “.

Budget deficit to expand over remaining months

The pressure on the budget deficit will likely increase in the remaining months of this year due to the anticipated rapid rise of investments in capital construction.

This was stated in a report by the National Financial Supervisory Commision (NFSC).

NFSC in its latest economic report said budget deficit, as of August 15, totalled nearly VND111.5 trillion (US$4.98 billion), equivalent to 43.8 per cent of the estimate for the entire year.

Although budget deficit dropped by VND1.135 trillion against the same period last year, NFSC said that budget deficit would expand in the remaining months as investments in capital construction were rapidly rising.

Disbursed investments in capital construction saw a significant increase in August, following Government Resolution 60/NQ-CP, dated July 8, NFSC said.

As of August 15, disbursement in capital construction investments was equivalent to 42.2 per cent of the estimate, compared with the 36.2 per cent for the seven-month period.

Budget collection from crude oil and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) was struggling due to low fuel prices as a result of stagnant state stake divestments.

Viet Nam’s crude oil selling price averaged $41 per barrel, $19 lower than the estimated price.

According to the Ministry of Finance, only VND10 trillion, or one third of the National Assembly’s plan, was added to the national coffer from selling stake in SOEs in the first eight months of this year.

The ministry’s statistics revealed budget collection in August totalled VND69.49 trillion, falling by VND28.9 trillion from the previous month. State revenue totalled VND649.46 trillion in the first eight months, or 64 per cent of the estimate.

The finance ministry said it would improve budget collection in the remaining months of this year by tightening tax management, especially tax arrears.

Conference on Vietnam-Japan potential

There is huge potential for Vietnamese and Japanese firms to cooperate in many areas, including use of information and communication technologies in agriculture and food processing, a conference heard in HCM City on September 6.

Kondo Boboru, CEO of Brain Works Group, said with their increasing incomes Vietnamese consumers are looking for quality food products.

With their ICT expertise, Japanese firms can join hands with Vietnamese firms to create a food value chain from production to consumption, yielding products of high quality and ensuring traceability.

In addition, Vietnamese firms can cooperate with their Japanese counterparts to build brands for their products, he told the media on the sidelines of the 52nd Asia Business Conference.

Vietnam is in the top three countries in ASEAN in terms of investment opportunities, according to the CEO.

Besides, it is perceived by Japanese investors as a friendly destination.

Japan ranks among the top investors in Vietnam though the number of Japanese companies investing in the country is low compared to those from the Republic of Korea.

He has been doing business in Vietnam for 20 years and wants to promote tie-ups between the two countries’ businesses.

Organised by the Brain Works Group, the conference attracted nearly 150 Vietnamese and Japanese firms, including many Japanese firms in the fields of construction, ICT, real estate, agriculture, and food.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency, Japan was the third biggest investor out of 65 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first eight months of the year, with 1.46 billion USD, or 10.1 percent of the total FDI.-

Govt acts to help struggling Dung Quat Oil Refinery

The Government has increased tax incentive for gasoline produced by Dung Quat Oil Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai.

In a decision just issued to adjust the tax policy for Dung Quat, the refinery’s gasoline products are sold at prices nearly equivalent to those of imported items from South Korea under special tariffs in line with the bilateral free trade between Vietnam and the Northeast Asian country, and 10% lower than those of imports from ASEAN nations.

Between end-2015 and the first quarter of this year, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (BSR), the operator of Dung Quat Oil Refinery, wrote to the Government many times seeking to lower import duties on its fuels and reduce its tax payment to the State budget.

Tariff cuts for fuel imports from certain markets have encouraged domestic fuel wholesalers to step up imports but slash purchases from Dung Quat. This would spell trouble for BSR’s equitization process.

According to the Prime Minister’s decision issued in 2012 on a financial mechanism for BSR, the enterprise is allowed to enjoy a 7% tax lower for gasoline, 5% for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 3% for petromechical products from 2012 to 2018 to support its operation.

In case import tariffs on the products are lower than tax incentives, Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN), the parent company of BSR, will acquire oil products of Dung Quat and offset losses for BSR.

In recent years, PVN has spent thousands of trillions of dong covering annual losses for Dung Quat as import taxes on oil products have plunged, prompting imports.

From end-2015 until now, imported fuels have had an edge over domestic products though the same import tariff is imposed on gasoline.

Since the beginning of this year, a 0% import tariff has been applied to kerosene, jet fuel and heavy fuel. Under the free trade agreement between Vietnam and South Korea, the import duty of 10% has been imposed on gasoline, 5% on diesel, kerosene and jet fuel, and 0% on heavy fuel oil.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a meeting with BSR late last month said the Government would discuss a proper fuel tax mechanism for Dung Quat Oil Refinery to improve the competitiveness of its fuels.

Decision 1725, which was issued on September 3, took effect in the same date. In the next four months, besides tax incentives, the Government keeps unchanged other incentives for BSR such as corporate income tax of 10% in 30 years, a tax exemption in four years and a tax reduction of 50% in nine years.

Speaking to the Daily, BSR chairman Nguyen Hoai Giang hailed the decision as it will help Dung Quat’s fuels stay competitive. From next year, the local producer and foreign firms will join a level playing field.

The decision was informed on September 5 when the retail price of RON 92 gasoline was hiked by VND700 a liter to VND16,070 a liter.

G-bond coupons drop sharply in August

Winning coupons of Government bonds with different tenors fell sharply in August against previous months as this year’s debt issuance target has been almost met.

Last month, the Hanoi Stock Exchange held 27 G-bond auctions and mobilized roughly VND32.8 trillion (US$1.47 billion), a month-on-month pickup of 44.7%.

Of the sum, the State Treasury raised over VND31.2 trillion and the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy collected VND1.59 trillion.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Development Investment Fund issued five-year municipal bonds worth a combined VND500 billion but they found no buyers. Financial organizations wanted high coupons, at 6.77%-8.25% a year.

Meanwhile, the coupon of five-year G-bonds dipped by about 0.34 percentage point to 5.76-6.48% per year and that of seven-year debt dropped by some 0.02 percentage point to 6.34-6.6% per year. Ten-year debt carries an annual yield of 7.5%, and 15- and 30-year debt saw their coupons unchanged at 7.65% and 8% per year, respectively.

Until now, the Ministry of Finance has realized 92.68% of the full-year target for G-bond sales with five- and 15-year bond issuances exceeding their plans.

The State Treasury is expected to meet the 2016 debt sale target in the third quarter, and this explains why bond coupons have declined over the past three weeks.

Financial organizations forecast bond yields would fall slightly or move sideways in the last month of quarter three.

On the secondary bond market, outright transactions edged up 9.8% in August from a month earlier while repurchase transactions skidded 1.6%.

Foreign investors acquired VND7.9 trillion and sold VND5.5 trillion of bonds via outright transactions, resulting in net purchases of VND2.4 trillion.

The annual coupon of one-year bonds slid to 4.057%, two-year debt 4.945%, three-year debt 5.222%, five-year debt 5.807% and seven-year debt 6.363%.

The 10-year and 15-year bond yields stayed the same at 7% and 7.67% per annum, respectively.

Source: vietnamnet