Business in brief in 22 June
HCM City has welcomed more than 1.8 million overseas arrivals so far this year, up by 10 per cent against the same period last year, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Tourist turnover in the first six months of this year reached VND34,000 trillion (US$1.61 billion), a 15 per cent year-on-year increase and 50 per cent of this years planned target. The citys plans to promote tourism and improve domestic tourist products have now come into fruition. In addition, authorities intend to work closer with south-eastern and south-western provinces and cities to develop local tour services.
A forum to be held in August in HCM City will discuss how Vietnams support industries can stay competitive and take advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community to be formed in 2015. Organised by the Thailand-based Reed Tradex and Japan External Trade Organization, the main topics on the agenda will include an overview of the development of the countrys manufacturing industry and increasing the efficiency of its support industries. Vietnamese executives from the manufacturing and support industries sectors and their Japanese counterparts are expected to take part in the forum to be held at the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon Hotel.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will urge the Government to grant certificates of merit to 70 foreign-invested firms that achieved export turnover of at least US$100 million in 2011. Among the recommended enterprises are Samsung, Canon, Intel and Posco.
Seven companies from France, 9 from Italy and 8 from Spain will share their wines with Vietnamese experts in Ho Chi Minh City (SOFITEL Hotel on June 25) and Hanoi (MELIA Hotel on June 26) at the 2012 Traditional Quality Wine Tasting. More than 200 professionals are expected to attend this unique event which will be jointly organized by the trade commissions in Vietnam of France (Ubifrance), Italy (ICE) and Spain (ICEX). Vietnam is now one of the most dynamic wine markets in Asia. 2011 wine imports grew 56% over the previous year and reached US$77.8 million. Favorable growth perspectives, improving personal incomes as well as a growing tourism industry help to explain why Vietnam has become a very attractive market for wine makers all around the world. France has been Vietnam’s top supplier of wines in the past years, in 2011 alone accounting for 14.8% of Vietnam’s imports, followed by Italy (2.3%) and Spain (0.7%).
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Spain has increased rapidly in recent years, said the Import Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The country earned US$1.1 billion from exports to Spain in 2010 and US$1.55 billion in 2011, up 39.96 percent. According to the department, in the first two months of 2012 alone, the export turnover to Spain hit US$275.98 million, a year on year increase of 34.43 percent. As a huge market, Spain needs large quantities of garments and textiles, footwear, household commodities and seafood, which is a big advantage for Vietnamese businesses. However, experts at the Import Export Department suggested that enterprises need to study the European country’s business culture very carefully to ensure successful negotiations.
A high percentage of employees and businesses withdrew from social insurance participation in the first five months of this year, said the director of HCMC Social Insurance Company, Cao Van Sang. The number of businesses dissolved or temporarily ceasing to pay social insurance had reached to nearly 1,500 over the last five months, Sang added. As a matter of fact, 300,000 employees became jobless. The shift in production and business activities has been abrupt and challenging. The violation of social insurance laws has been rampant, Sang said. So far this year, the HCMC Social Insurance Company received unemployment benefits applications from 45,000 laborers, an increase of 100% over the same period last year. The company has paid unemployment benefits worth of VND 178 billion (nearly US$8.5 million) for 28,000 employees. The company has so far sued 97 companies for their total debt of VND 40.2 billion (US$ 2million) and reclaimed VND11 billion US$ 500,000).
A total of 118 domestic and overseas businesses are showcasing their products at the country’s ninth Automobile and Supporting Industries Exhibition, ’Vietnam AutoExpo 2012’ which opened in Hanoi on June 21. On display at the 10,000-m2 site during the four-day exhibition are trucks, buses, luxury cars and vehicles used in the construction, mining, medical, banking and postal sectors as well as vehicles used by the railway, maritime and aviation industries. There are also 200 stands displaying products from supporting industries such as spare parts and equipment used by automobile manufacturers and assemblers, and welding, casting, plating and painting technologies. During the exhibition, a seminar on how to make it easier to develop Vietnam’s car market will be held on June 22, with many businesses, researchers and policy makers attending to find ways of stimulating the car market.
The new appointed Nigerian Ambassador to Vietnam Mathias Orji Okafor has promised to facilitate a bilateral collaboration between the two countries on rice production and other food items. He stated this yesterday when the Ishiagu Empowerment Initiative from his home state of Ebonyi organized a send forth dinner for him in Abuja. Okafor said that Nigeria will partner with Vietnam which is known as the worlds second largest exporter of rice and the worlds largest exporter of pepper, two products that Ebonyi State has in abundance. Earlier, Abuja branch secretary of the group, Moses Ajah, called on Okafor to excel in his new posting.
HCM City-based private budget carrier VietJetAir announced on Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with CyberSource for a payment services and anti-fraud solution to support its online ticketing services as it looked to expand overseas. The installation of Decision Manager cements formal co-operation between VietJet Air and CyberSource, a Visa subsidiary that provides secure e-commerce payment management services.
The southern province of Tay Ninh made US$121 million in exports during May, lifting export turnover for the first five months of this year to $533 million, up 33 per cent year-on-year, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade. Export items recording high export value included wheat flour, cashew nuts, rubber, garments, plastic and tires. During the period, the province also imported $279 million worth of goods, marking a modest yearly increase of 0.14 per cent, the department said.
The capital city saw growth in export turnover of US$4,856 billion during the first six months of this year, a rise of 7.2 per cent, while import turnover fell by 8.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the Ha Noi Statistics Department. The department reported that rising prices for export products and increasing volumes of exports, along with a gradual recovery in the worlds economy, helped Ha Noi achieve the strong result. Ha Nois export turnover this month increases by 3.4 per cent over last year, hitting almost $1 billion.