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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/4   2010-04-01 - VietNamNet/VNA

Festival helps build Vietnamese seafood trademark

 

 
A Vietnam Seafood Festival will be held for the first time aiming to create a chance to boost cooperation and trade between domestic and foreign businesses, helping increase exports and build Vietnam ’s seafood trademark.

 

At a press conference held in Hanoi on March 31, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee To Minh Gioi, Head of the festival’s Organising Board, said that the festival, which will take place in the Mekong Delta city from April 24-27, is a large socio-economic and cultural event for the Mekong Delta in particular and the whole country in general.

 

It will make an important contribution to increasing the competitiveness of Vietnamese agricultural products on the world market, he said.

 

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong, the festival aims to seek new opportunities for Vietnam ’s seafood sector, especially as it is facing many challenges under the increasing competitive pressure that comes with international economic integration.

 

Nearly 20 economic and cultural activities will be held during the festival, including a 500-booth fair exhibiting Vietnamese seafood products. To date more than 200 businesses and localities have registered to attend the fair.

 

A seminar entitled “Vietnamese Seafood: Potential, Cooperation and Development” will focus on five topics, including aquatic farming in Vietnam, future offshore fishing, seafood exports, building up brand names and logistical services for the sector.

 

The Organising Board will present the “2009 Outstanding Vietnamese Seafood Enterprise” Award to those which have shown excellence in overcoming difficulties stemming from the global economic crisis over the past year.

 

Software giant targets 1.2 billion USD in revenue

 

Software giant FPT has announced a revenue target for 2010 of nearly 23 trillion VND (1.2 billion USD) in 2010, an increase of 23 percent over 2009 totals, as well as a profit target of 2.1 trillion VND (110 million USD), representing an increase of 25 percent.

 

“This year, the company will seek high profits in its core lines of business, including information technology services and telecommunication,” said Chairman Truong Gia Binh.

 

Binh also announced that an FPT subsidiary, HCM City-based FPT Information System Co (FIS), last week signed three major contracts worth a combined 13 million USD to provide technology services to several banking and financial institutions.

 

He also said that FPT Telecom would open seven new branches this month, aiming to increase its coverage to 42 provinces and cities nationwide this year.

 

By the end of February, FPT’s profit reached 222 billion VND (11.6 million USD), an increase of over 48 percent from the same two month period last year.

 

In 2009, the software group’s total revenue grew by 11.5 percent to over 18.7 trillion dong (979 million USD), while its net profit totaled 1.4 trillion VND (73.3 million USD), an increase of 33.8 percent on the year.

 

FPT shareholders have approved a 58.3 percent dividend on 2009 profits, of which a 25 percent cash dividend has already been paid in. The remainder would be paid shares before June 30 this year.

 

The group also has plans to offer bonus shares this year at a ratio of 4:1, as well as pay a dividend on this year’s profits of at least 15 percent.

 

Hungarian firms eye ventures

 

Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises were seeking opportunities to establish joint ventures with Vietnamese counterparts and implement business activities by expanding their import-export relations, reported Invest-Element Consulting Co (Invel).

 

So far, joint ventures from the two countries firms have been cooperating in software development and making use of external resources.

 

The company outlined banking, insurance and telecommunications as other potential sectors that enterprises might be able to foster bilateral relations.

 

Invel also encouraged domestic firms to pay adequate attention to product marketing in order to foster their exports in the Hungarian market, which could also act as a bridge for Vietnamese goods to further penetrate the huge markets in Europe . Although bilateral trade between the countries has doubled during the last five years, trade and investment ties are not congruent with the countries potential.

 

Vietnam ’s main export items to Hungary include rice, coffee, processed food, home decoration supplies, wooden products and household electrical appliances.

 

Hungary primarily exports new drugs, medical equipment, energy equipment and food processing technology to Vietnam .

 

These exports would receive a preferential investment environment in Vietnam , said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

 

To date, Hungarian firms have pumped 42 million USD into seven projects in Vietnam.

 

Workshop puts focus on Italian market

 

Italy needs raw materials and energy and is importing them from Vietnam and other countries in Asia-Pacific besides its traditional suppliers in North Africa and the Middle East , a workshop heard on March 31.

 

Italy - Vietnam : Market Opportunities” was jointly organized by the Italian Trade Commission in Vietnam and the Intellectual Property Association of HCM City to discuss the potential of the Italian market for Vietnamese exporters.

 

“If Vietnam can improve the quality and value of their products, it can compete with other countries in exporting to the Italian market,” said Bui Vuong Anh from the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency.

 

Anh has served a five-year term as commercial attaché at the Vietnamese embassy in Rome .

 

But the market was extremely sensitive in terms of products safety, especially the volume of additives and chemicals in food, he warned.

 

“They can detect harmful chemicals on plastic toys that even manufactures are not aware of,” Anh said.

 

Exhibitions were important gateways for Vietnamese business to get access to the Italian market, he said.

 

“There are 200 international fairs specialising in single products held in Italy every year,” Anh added.

 

Vietnam has potential to expand trade with Italy given that the latter largely trades with Europe and the US and is trying to shift towards countries in the Asia-Pacific, according to Martino Castellani, head of the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade’s Intellectual Property Rights Desk.

 

Italy is trying to diversify its trade with other partners, especially in the Asia-Pacific, North Africa and the Middle East , following the financial crisis,” he said.

 

Textile and garment, leather, agricultural products and foodstuffs accounted for 76 percent of Italy ’s imports from Vietnam , he noted.

 

Trade between the two countries topped 1.5 USD last year, with the balance in favour of Vietnam .

 

Italy sees Vietnam as one of the main bridges to get access to the Asia-Pacific apart from China and India ,” Anh said, highlighting the European nation’s commitment to Vietnam as a strategic commercial and investment partner in Asia . But Italian investment in Vietnam remains insignificant compared to some other countries, ranking 33 rd with 156 million USD.

 

Many Italian investors were now moving from China to Vietnam , Anh said, noting that some giants like maker of barcode readers Datalogics were already based here.Scooter-maker Piaggio is considering moving base to Vietnam from Singapore.

 

Vietnamese goods secure firm foothold in Cambodia

 

A fair showcasing high-quality Vietnamese products and exports will take place in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh from April 3-7.

 

The fair, the ninth of its kind, is not only a trade promotion activity but also serves as an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to affirm the quality and foothold of their products in the neighbouring market.

 

Director of the Business Studies and Assistance Centre (BSA) Vu Kim Hanh said this year’s event is expected to see a larger number of participating companies than previous years.

 

Various cultural, sports and social activities will be organised during the occasion, such as art performances and provision of free medical checks-up and medicines to the poor in Phnom Penh , Kandal and Takeo provinces, Hanh added.

 

As part of the fair, 100 Cambodian distributors and agents will meet with 100 producers and 100 entrepreneurs from Vietnam to seek partnerships and increase Vietnamese investments in the country.

 

The Cambodian commercial counsellor in Vietnam , Yeav Kim Hean, said Vietnam now has an important advantage to boost the flow of its goods to Cambodia when local consumers are shifting from Thai products to those imported from Vietnam .

 

According to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the market share for Vietnamese goods in Cambodia has climbed by 40 percent over the past three years with aquatic products, construction steel and processed farm produce taking lead from 67 percent to 80 percent.

 

Vietnam ’s export staples to Cambodia include instant noodles, plastics products, cigarettes, confectioneries, maize seeds, home appliances, fruits and vegetables, construction steel, agricultural machines, fertilizers, pesticides, consumer goods and processed farm produce. Meanwhile, it mainly imports garment materials, automobile spare parts, wood and rubber from Cambodia .

 

Vietnam and Cambodia have set a target of 2 billion USD in two-way trade this year.

 

Binh Duong attracts additional 312 million USD in FDI

 

The southern province of Binh Duong attracted 312 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first quarter of this year, according to statistics released by the provincial People’s Committee at a meeting on March 31.

 

Of the sum, 157 million USD were poured into 21 newly-licensed projects and 156 million USD was additional funding injected into 32 operating projects.

 

Up to date, the province had 1,922 FDI projects with total investment capital of 13 billion USD.

 

The number of FDI projects in industrial zones stood at 1,042 with over 7.1 billion USD in capital, accounting for 55 percent of the total FDI.

 

In the first three months, the southern province attracted more than 1.8 trillion VND (roughly 95.1 million USD) in domestic investment, raising the total registered capital to over 60.7 trillion VND (3.1 billion USD) from 9,012 local enterprises.

 

Stricter rules for commercial banks in the pipeline

 

The State Bank of Vietnam is drafting a circular to tighten control over the expansion of commercial banks’ networks in a move to minimise risks to the banking industry.

 

According to the draft circular, commercial banks will be permitted to open a maximum of five transaction offices and branches within their first year of operations.

 

The new transaction offices and branches will also have to observe specific regulations regarding the efficiency of their business activities, operational safety, scale and financial capacity.

 

Commercial banks must ensure adequate profits in the year before they plan to open up more transaction offices or branches and have bad debts of less than 3 percent. In addition, eligible banks must have effective management systems and a secure information technology infrastructure.

 

Previously, in 2005, the central bank issued Decision 888 to limit the number of branches and transaction offices opened by commercial banks. However, the outcomes from this have to date experienced many shortcomings.

 

Industry analysts say that expanding networks helps domestic commercial banks gain an advantage. However, this could reduce the efficiency of their operations and even undermine the entire banking system if any expansion is beyond their capacity in terms of capital and administrative abilities.



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