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Business in brief
Date :  09/10/2018
(Sourced from various news agencies)
  • Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said Vietnam would likely approve the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the National Assembly meeting this month. Phúc was quoted by Nikkei in his Hà Nội office on Saturday ahead of a visit to Tokyo for Tuesday’s Mekong-Japan Summit. Nikkei reported that the approval could be a major step towards implementing the trade deal, also known as TPP11. Vietnam’s ratification would be the fourth of six needed for the deal to take effect. Mexico, Japan and Singapore have already ratified the trade deal as of July 18. Other signatories include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and Peru. The CPTPP will come into effect 60 days after at least six member countries ratify the trade pact. (VNS)
  • Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko will co-chair the third meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Committee on Industrial, Trade and Energy Cooperation in Tokyo, Japan on October 10. At the event, the two sides will review the implementation of the contents committed at the previous meeting, such as the establishment of working groups on the auto industry, support industry, and energy and cooperation in seeking solutions to increase the added value for the Vietnamese food industry. Regarding the specific cooperation measures in the future, the two sides are expected to discuss the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between market management agencies of the two countries, the organization of the second Textile Dialogue in Japan, and collaboration on improving the value chain of Vietnamese agricultural products and foodstuff. (VOV)
  • Vietnam imported 11,172 cars between January and September, up 5,142 units from the same period last year. According to General Department of Vietnam Customs statistics, more than 10,800 – 92 per cent – were imported from Thailand and Indonesia. The remainder came from Japan, the US and Germany. Vietnamese businesses spent US$2.5 billion importing auto parts in the period. Japan was the largest source of imported car components, with Japanese imports valuing at $591 million for the first nine months of the year. Japan was followed by South Korea at $560 million and China at $465 million. The parts from Thailand, India and Indonesia were mostly electric cables and steel imported by Toyota, Ford and Nissan for use by domestic car makers. Vietnamese businesses also imported tires, rubber and leather for use in trucks and passenger cars. Electrical equipment was imported from China. (VNS)
  • The timber and forestry products processing industry set a target of earning US$9 billion from wood exports this year and increasing the value to US$25 billion by 2025. The target was revealed at a launch ceremony of the 16th Hoa Mai (Apricot Blossom) furniture design competition organized by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA) on October 8. The exports of wood and forestry products hit a record high of US$8 billion last year. The Hoa Mai annual competition is one of the most reputable awards of the industry. This year’s event will take place from October 2018 to March 2019. The contest will be held in two rounds: “Design idea” and “Making samples”. The 20 best ideas in the first round will go through to the second round. The jury members will be famous domestic and foreign designers. HAWA president Nguyen Quoc Khanh said the industry aims to shift from 80% OEM manufacturing to 80% of ODM manufacturing by 2025. (VOV)
  • The Government should reconsider its ban on the import of wheat infected with cirsium arvense, a kind of weed, participants told a seminar in HCM City on Monday, warning it would have an adverse impact on businesses. Lý Kim Chi, chairwoman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said the association received complaints from many businesses about difficulties they would face because the Plant Protection Department recently issued an official communication saying wheat imported from Russia, the US, Canada, and Australia that contain cirsium arvense will have to be re-exported or be banned starting on November 1. The association plans to gather the opinions of businesses and experts about the regulation and submit to the Government for consideration. According to the customs department, Vietnamese businesses imported 3.13 million tons of wheat worth US$743 million in the first seven months of this year, up 2.2 per cent in volume and 16.6 percent in value compared to the same period last year. (VNS)
  • More than 150 government officials and business leaders from the UK and Vietnam will gather at the UK-Vietnam Business Forum to be held in London on October 9. The UK-ASEAN Business Council and the Vietnamese Embassy in London will co-host the forum to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of UK-Vietnam diplomatic relations. The forum will feature a keynote address by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. It will discuss Vietnam’s future economic outlook and opportunities for UK businesses. This event will be an excellent opportunity to find out more about this dynamic market in Southeast Asia, network with government officials and business leaders and hear first-hand from British success stories in Vietnam. (VNA)
  • The 18th International Co-operative Alliance - Asia Pacific regional workshop for managers opened at Saigon Co.op’s head office in HCM City on Monday. The three-day event, which has the theme “Management of Consumer Co-operatives in Asia-Pacific”, is being attended by 50 delegates from Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. The workshop will feature discussions on retail sales, pricing, brands, trade and supply chain management, small and medium-sized modern retail models, and specific retail models for each country in the region. A Saigon Co.op executive will introduce its small-scale retail models such as Co.op Food and Fair Price shops, which it is focusing on growing. The visiting delegates will visit Coopmart Lý Thường Kiệt supermarket, Bạch Mã Co.op Food store in District 10, Co.op Smile convenient stores, and two joint venture models between Saigon Co.op and NTUC Fair Price of Singapore: Co.opXtra Sư Vạn Hạnh hypermarket and 24h Cheers convenience store in HCM City. (VNS)
  • Vingroup’s retail arm, VinCommerce, has completed the acquisition of the Fivimart supermarket system, according to a Vingroup press release published on October 8. It has acquired 100 per cent of Fivimart from its operator, the Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company, to own all 23 Fivimart supermarkets. These stores will be soon renamed to VinMart, the supermarket brand of Vingroup. Besides continuing to sell consumer goods, food, home appliances and cosmetic utensils, these new supermarkets will also sell safe and fresh food and products with Vingroup’s brands such as VinEco agricultural products, VinMart Cook’s pre-processed foods and VinMart Home consumer goods. The deal between VinCommerce and Fivimart came after retail giant AEON terminated its deal with Hanoi-based Fivimart after four years due to losses, selling its 30 percent stake in Fivimart. (VNA)
  • Kobiton, a mobile testing platform developed by Vietnamese engineers, has successfully raised US$3 million in seed funding from three US companies, venture capital investor Kinetic Ventures, technology company KMS Technology and venture fund Service Provider Capital. Created in 2016 by a group of five engineers, Kobiton enables companies to test and assess the quality of mobile apps, optimizing output and saving costs. This year Kobiton moved to Atlanta, the US, with 40 members, including more than 30 Vietnamese engineers. The company plans to use this first $3 million in external financing to expand sales and marketing to introduce Vietnamese technology products to reach the $50 billion US mobile app market. (VNS)
  • ADEN, a Pan-Asian facility management company, has agreed to acquire the Vietnam subsidiary of international facility management company OCS to strengthen its leading position in the country. The transaction will also enable OCS to focus on its core markets. It is subject to regulatory approval. Through this acquisition, ADEN will significantly enhance the integrated facility services it offers key account customers in the strategically important Vietnamese market. OCS Vietnam is a technical and hygiene services provider with major clients in Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng and HCM City. Shanghai-based ADEN, which provides food service and security solutions in addition to maintenance, cleaning and integrated facility management, will become available to the clients of OCS in Vietnam. OCS Group employs more than 87,000 people around the world. (VNS)
  • The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) will put its entire stake, equivalent to nearly 255 million shares, in Vinaconex up for a public auction on the Hà Nội Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter. The shares are equivalent to a 57.7 per cent stake in Vinaconex. Shares in Vinaconex, listed on the northern bourse as VCG, rose 2.6 per cent to VNĐ19,700 (US$0.84) on Monday. Domestic and foreign investors and financial intermediaries will be invited to bid for the shares. Financial intermediaries will need to divulge the number of foreign investors they are representing as well as the number of shares purchased to ensure foreign investment caps are adhered to. Vinaconex owns a property with a foreign investment cap of 49 per cent. (VNS)
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