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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/10   2009-10-28 - VNA

Rice exports hits 6 million tonnes record

Vietnamese rice exporters have so far this year signed contracts to export six million tonnes of rice, the Vietnam Food Association said on October 27.

The number of rice export contracts has increased rapidly thanks to the growing demand of rice from African and Middle East countries, according to the VFA.

In the first nine months of this year, rice export to Africa reached 1.4 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 98 percent, and 250,000 tonnes to Middle East , up by 65 percent.

Vietnam attends 2009 Asian Livestock Expo & Forum

Vietnamese companies are joining businesses from 42 countries and territories at the 2009 Asian Livestock Expo & Forum being held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct. 27-29.

Besides introducing their products, Vietnamese participants want to seek new technologies to produce safe animal feeds.

The event, also called Asia ’s International Feed, Livestock and Meat Industry Show, is the biggest one of the livestock sector in the region. On the occasion, Malaysian Minister for Agriculture and Food Industry Noh Bin Omar called on countries to closely share experiences in husbandry technologies and information on diseases to have effective control measures in the context of widespread diseases.

Demand for bling rises 50 percent

Demand for wedding rings and jewelry on the domestic market has sharply increased by 30-50 percent in recent times despite climbing gold prices.

Domestic jewelry companies have sometimes faced gold shortages, affecting their ability to produce wedding products, despite stockpiling high volumes of gold for the wedding season. However, their revenues from wedding rings have significantly increased.

Nhat Nam , an official from Bao Tin Minh Chau Joint Stock Company, said that the company’s revenue had recently increased by 30 percent over the corresponding period last year.

On some days, he added, the company sold 800-900 products including 60-100 pairs of wedding rings.

A representative of Phu Nhuan Jewelry JSC (PNJ) agreed that demand for wedding rings and jewellery had been increasing.

Pham Thuy Dung, director of PNJ’s Hanoi Branch said her company’s revenue from wedding rings had increased by 40-50 percent.

This year, couples prefer simply designed wedding rings costing from 2 million VND (110 USD) to 5 million VND (270 USD). Customers no longer like buying a pack of wedding jewelry including necklace, rings and bracelet.

Since September, gold prices have increased to nearly 24 million VND (1.340 USD) a tael, a 20 percent on last year.

In recent days, while gold prices on the world market have declined or slightly increased, prices of gold on the domestic market have kept increasing due to increasing demand on wedding jewelry.

On Oct. 27, gold prices at SJC increased to 23,870 VND (1,326 USD) per tael.

Middle-class market for local businesses

More and more businesses are focusing their attention on middle-income clients in the face of declining purchasing power in the upper-income market.

A number of companies have reported big gains in selling to middle-income earners.

Vissan, for example, had a turnover of more than 20 billion VND (1.17 million USD) after only two months of selling canned foodstuff and sausage products with cheap prices to Hanoi and rural markets.

Bibica said its earnings from cheap price commodities was half of its total turnover. The company is focusing on the production of confectionery for rural areas with prices from 2,000 to 10,000 VND (0.11-0.52 USD) per product.

Minh Long Pottery Company, which usually turns out expensive pottery, has begun offering products such as a 23-dish set for 330,000 VND, which have become popular.

The Viet Tien garment company plans to introduce middle-income product lines with highly competitive prices by the end of this year.

Many other corporations like Vinamilk, My Hao, Casumina and Kinh Do are also reaping high turnover in the middle-income market.

In addition, many super-market chains have also participated in the campaign to attract middle-income clients by introducing products under their own brand and launching promotion programmes.

Vinatex is working together with more than 100 domestic companies and facilities to produce ready-made, inexpensive clothes.

Co.op Mart has introduced more than 200 commodities with its own brand, including foodstuff and clothes. It said turnover from inexpensive goods under its own brand rose by 100 percent against the same period last year.

Duong Thi Quynh Trang, head of public relations of Big C supermarket, said the company would launch the slogan “Wow, Competitive Prices” to advertise its inexpensive brands. Big C will assume responsibility for the quality of the products. Trang said its exclusive inexpensive products had the highest turnover in the store, compared to similar products made by other companies.

Dong Thap boosts trade cooperation with Cambodia

Almost 30 businesses from southern Dong Thap province of Vietnam and Cambodian companies have discussed how to boost opportunities for trade and investment cooperation between the two sides.

At the workshop on trade and investment promotion held in Phnom Penh on Oct. 27, participants introduced each other to areas of potential and opportunity for cooperation, and ask questions on legal issues, customs, finance and banking.

Sharing a common borderline with Cambodia, Dong Thap province is ideally suited to boost trade promotion, expand into the market and consume products in Cambodia, Chairman of Dong Thap People’s Committee Truong Ngoc Han said at the workshop, which was held by the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and the Dong Thap Province Trade and Investment Promotion Centre.

A memorandum of understanding on enhancement of investment and trade was signed right after the workshop by senior officials of Dong Thap province and the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, companies from both sides agreed trade contracts worth 1 million USD at the workshop.

Earlier, at a meeting with Cambodian Vice Prime Minster Men Sam On, Chairman of Dong Thap People’s Committee Truong Ngoc Han pledged to push up activities at gates along the borderline between Dong Thap province and Cambodia ’s Prey Veng province.

Dong Thap province has helped build infrastructure for provincial road 102 in Cambodia , linking from the Dinh Ba-Bontea Chak Krey border gate to the trans-Asia highway.

Exports continue to rise in October

Export turnover in October recorded an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous month, restraining the year-on-year drop in the past ten months at 13.8 percent as compared with 14.3 percent in the first nine months of this year.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the ten-month export turnover reached 46.3 billion USD, including 4.75 billion USD in October alone.

Positive signs of recovery were seen in various items though they are still suffering from the impact of the global economic crisis. For example, electronic and computer accessories fetched up 2.2 billion USD in the past ten months, a year-on-year increase of 0.1 percent; garments and textiles, the country’s key export staple, earned 7.5 billion USD, a drop of only 1.5 percent.

Many other items recorded even higher increases in export turnover over the same period last year, such as pepper, up 49 percent, rice, 32 percent, coffee, 16.8 percent and tea up nearly 23 percent, despite the narrowing of their export markets.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has concluded that the targeted growth rate of 3 percent for this year’s export turnover is out of reach as the slump in prices fetched for exports has been sharply felt and markets have narrowed due to the global economic slowdown.

Export turnover for the whole year is estimated at 56.7 billion USD, a drop of 10 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, imports in the past ten months were on track to increase, resulting in a deficit of almost 8.8 billion USD.

Economic pundits said the trade deficit has increased, particularly in recent months, because producers have been storing up materials for production to anticipate the increase in consumption at the year’s end and the recovery of the world economy.

In a report on socio-economic development in 2009 and the plan for 2010, presented at the on-going sixth session of the 12th National Assembly, the NA’s Economic Committee estimated Vietnam’s export turnover would reach 60 billion USD in 2010, up 6 percent over 2009, thanks to the recovery of the world economy shoring up demand and driving up the prices of many commodities.

Norwegian group launches ship maintenance plant

Goltens Vietnam under Norway’s Goltens group, a world leader in providing services for ship maintenance and offshore projects, on Oct. 27, inaugurated its first local plant in the Dong Xuyen industrial park in Vung Tau city, in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The plant’s 1,400 sq.m-workshop was built in an area of 5,900 sq.m at a cost of 2 million USD.

Addressing the inaugurating ceremony, Goltens Southeast Asian regional Managing Director Tom Boyle said that his group has poured a maximum investment in Vietnam as it is a strongly-growing market.

The company plans to train highly-skilled Vietnamese workers at the newly-launched plant to later supply other plants of the group across the world.

Goltens Vietnam , the 22nd member of the Goltens group with outfits in 16 countries world-wide, plans to build another 1,400 sq.m workshop on the area. It is scheduled to be put into operation in 2011.

Other news

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Vietnam Airlines adds new flights   2009-10-28

Vietnamese clothes producers conquer Cambodian market   2009-10-28

Dumping claims threaten wood exports   2009-10-28

Shipbuilder not fine in 2009   2009-10-28

Vietnam’s dragon fruits are returning to Japan   2009-10-28

Taming beasts for Saigon’s tables   2009-10-28

More stimulus: Who’s for, who’s against?   2009-10-28

Demand for bling rises 50%   2009-10-28

Cashew exports fall nearly 10%   2009-10-27

Foreign and domestic bankers pursue VIP clients   2009-10-27

Retain tax cuts next year, car makers plead   2009-10-27

Vietnam’s Techcombank raises $118 mln in dong bonds   2009-10-27