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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 3/10   2010-10-03 - Viet Nam Net

Garment exports surpass US$8 billion in nine months
Garment exports earned more than US$1 billion in September, bringing the sector’s total export value in the first nine months of this year to over US$8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.6 percent.

Le Van Dao, vice president of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VTGA) said at a meeting on October 1 that the textile and garment sector will be able to fulfill its set target of US$10.5 billion from exports this year.

Over the past nine months, exports to the big markets have recorded high growth. The EU market has rebounded after a decline while the US market has seen the most orders.

Dao said that garment businesses have orders for the end of this year and even for the beginning of next year. Exports to the Republic of Korea increased to a high of 80 percent, thanks to the impact of the Free Trade Agreement between the RoK and ASEAN.

Although Vietnam signed a similar agreement with Japan, exports to that market have not risen because of its strict requirements on the origin of products.

To fulfill the target of US$19- 19.5 billion from exports by 2015 and US$ 25 -27 billion by 2020, the sector is actively implementing big programmes, such as producing 1 billion metres of cotton for export, planting cotton to increase domestic materials and developing human resources to meet the increasing demands of the sector.

The sector is also promoting its trademark and has distribution networks in 63 provinces and cities as well as in Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnam calls on US to reduce trade barriers
Vietnam hopes that the US will check investigations on imposing anti-subsidy and anti-dumping taxes so as not to cause losses to WTO members.

The call was made at a session on US trade policy at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in September 29 and October 1.

Vietnam representatives applauded the trade co-operation between Vietnam and the US over the past 15 years. Two-way trade value reached US$15 billion in 2009, up 15 times compared to 2001 when the two countries had not signed the Bilateral Trade Agreement.

The US has become Vietnam’s biggest importer in recent years. In 2009, Vietnam exported more than US$11 billion to the US, accounting for one-fifth of the country’s total exports. In the first five months of this year, two-way trade reached more than US$7 billion, including US$6 billion in Vietnamese exports.

The US became the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam in 2009 with total registered capital of US$9.8 billion.

The Vietnam-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement signed in 2007 helped resolve a number of difficulties and expanded investment and trade between the two countries.

Vietnam expressed concern about US trade barriers over the past two years, including imposing anti-dumping tariffs on frozen shrimp, PE plastic bags, and tra and basa fish.

Vietnam and RoK discuss tax policy
More than 118 businesses from the Republic of Korea attended a dialogue on Vietnam’s tax and customs policies on October 1.

The dialogue was organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the RoK Small-and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Association on the occasion of a Vietnamese delegation’s visit to the RoK.

The Vietnamese delegation briefed the audience on Vietnam’s tax and customs policies, incentives, corporate taxes, added value taxes and new regulations on customs procedures.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Do Hoang Anh Tuan, said that tax incentives and relevant policies are of interest to Korean businesses.

More than 70 percent of RoK businesses investing in Vietnam are small and medium sized so they face difficulties accesing policies and dealing with procedures and tax incentives.

The MoF and the General Department of Taxation planned to work with relevant RoK authorities to facilitate businesses easier operations in Vietnam. Vietnamese authorities will also help remove obstacles through the RoK Businesses Association and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam.

Mr Tuan said that this is the first time such dialogue between the two countries.

Gold prices exceed VND31.5 million/tael
The world’s price of gold in New York on October 2 set a new record of US$1,322 per ounce, causing domestic gold prices to continue increasing steadily.

At 10a.m, SJC gold stood at VND31.43-31.48 million/tael, up nearly VND200,000/tael compared to transactions the previous day.

SBJ gold at Sacombank hovered around VND31.39-31.45 million/tael at 10.23a.m. Meanwhile, Thang Long Dragon gold was transacted at VND31.43-31.51 million/tael, surpassing its peak of VND31.5 million/tael for the first time.   

In New York, the world’s price of gold was listed at US$1,322 per ounce on October 2 night, and fell to US$1,317.9 per ounce at closing time.

September 30 marked the end of gold transactions in the third quarter, gold prices increased by 13.8 percent in September and by 28.3 percent in the third quarter.

US reduces anti-dumping tariff on Vietnamese shrimp
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has announced the final adjustment for the anti-dumping tariff on Vietnamese frozen shrimp from February 1, 2008 to January 21, 2009.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) said that the tariff is lower than the rate that DOC announced in August.

The tariff was reduced from 2.96 percent to 2.9 percent from shrimp of the Minh Phu Seafood Joint Stock Company, from 5.58 to 4.89 percent from products of the Nha Trang Seaproduct Company, and from 4.27 to 3.92 percent for other companies.

City company signs Japan partner deal
The Japan Pile Corporation has entered a strategic partnership with local firm Phan Vu Investment Corporation, concluding its contract on September 30 in HCM City.

Under the contract, the Japanese company, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, will become a shareholder in Phan Vu. (PVI) with a 5-percent stake. It will be the first foreign institutional investor of PVI.

The deal value, however, was not disclosed.

According to PVI’s deputy general director Vo Thi Hien, her company has a charter capital of VND150 billion (US$75.5 million).

Last year it earned a net profit of almost VND60 billion from a turnover of VND690 billion. As PVI’s operations also include the pile foundation business, the Japanese partner will cooperate to create new pile products for the Vietnam market, including those with an anti-earthquake feature.

It will also assist in the management of the holding company model.

In the fourth quarter, Japan Pile Corp will organise training courses for PVI staff in Vietnam and receive trainees in Japan as well.

The Phan Vu Investman Corp is expected to list in the HCM City bourse in the fourth quarter this year.

Three more exports join US$1 billion club
Coal, rubber and steel had all recorded an export turnover of over US$1 billion by September this year, raising the number of members of the US$1 billion club to 13, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The others include garments, footwear, crude oil, seafood, gemstones, wooden products, electrical goods, computers, machinery and vehicles.

Over the past nine months, the increasing prices of many commodities have helped to raise the country’s total export turnover to US$51.5 billion, up 23.2 percent year-on-year and four times the amount set out in the NA’s plan.

Around 48 percent of Vietnam’s exports went to the Asian market, followed by America with 23 percent and Europe on 22 percent.

The country saw its lowest trade deficit in recent years, around US$8.85 billion in the first nine months, equivalent to 16.7 percent of total export turnover.

Workshop increases Vietnam-India strategic partnership
Vietnam and India have a great potential for cooperation in services, pharmaceuticals, oil refinery, transport, agriculture, information technology, tourism, education and production of fine art articles, said a workshop in New Delhi.

Trade and economic ties between India and Vietnam have seen a rapid growth in recent years with two-way trade rising from US$489.2 million in 2003 to over US$2 billion in 2009, participants stressed at the September 30 workshop entitled India-Vietnam strategic partnership: tapping potential for expanding cooperation.

The two countries expect to bring the bilateral trade to US$2.55 billion this year. Vietnam’s exports to India are mainly tea, coffee, rubber, coal, computer hardware and electronic appliances, while its imports from India steel, livestock feeding, pharmaceuticals, machinery equipment, cotton, leather and textile products and pesticide.

However, participants stressed Vietnam and India have yet to fully tap their potential in trade and economic ties, urging the two countries to overcome existing difficulties, such as tax levels, customs procedure and transport.

First container ship docks at Dung Quat Port
The Pacific Gloria carrying goods from Singapore docked at the Dung Quat Gemandep Port on October 1. 

This is the biggest container ship to dock at the port so far. The 9,000-tonne ship brought more than 100 containers of goods for businesses in the Dung Quat Economic Zone and other IZs in Quang Ngai and neighbouring areas.

The port was built in 2008 at an investment of nearly VND580 billion and with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of goods per year.

Dung Quat Gemandep is a professional port which receives container ships and other freighters. However, due to low demand for transporting of goods in Dung Quat IZ and other IZs in the region, the port has not been fully exploited over the past two years.

HALICO opens representative office in Laos
The Hanoi Liquor joint stock company (HALICO) opened a representative office in Laos capital city, Vientiane, on September 30.

Attending the opening ceremony were Nam Viyaketh, Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ta Minh Chau, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos, high ranking officials from Vientiane, and around 200 guests.

Ho Van Hai, Director of HAICO, briefed his guests on the 100-year history of the company and expressed his hope that the representative office in Vientiane will acquaint the Lao people with HALICO’s high quality products.

The company also wants to build a factory in the country to increase trade between Laos and Vietnam and generate more jobs.

Minister Viyaketh congratulated HALICO on its new representative office and promised to provide the company with preferential conditions for doing business in Laos.

Hanoi makes good use of Japan ODA
Hanoi has made very good use of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) in its socio-economic development, said Tsuno Motonori, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) office in Vietnam.

Mr. Motonori made the statement while visiting some projects funded by Japan’s ODA in the capital on September 30. He said since Japan resumed providing ODA to Vietnam, Japan has given priority to the development of Hanoi, with a focus on modernizing the transportation infrastructure, improving the water quality, and developing the industrial sector and healthcare services.

As Hanoi has prepared for its millennial anniversary, Japan has increased its ODA to strategic projects like Nhat Tan bridge, a new passenger terminal at Noi Bai International Airport, the Noi Bai – Nhat Tan connector road, and an urban railway system in Hanoi.

These projects will contribute to modernizing Hanoi’s traffic system and boost its economic growth, he said.

Direct air route between HCM City and Istanbul launched
Turkish Airlines has announced that it will launch a direct air route from Istanbul in Turkey to HCM City with four flights departing every week.

The airline said that passengers can connect Eastern and Western Europe, West Europe, the le East, Africa and the US.

The flights will depart at 20:55 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and transit at Bangkok in Thailand. 

Oolong tea processing plant opens in Lam Dong
The foreign-invested Haiyih Ltd company on September 30 inaugurated Vietnam’s leading Oolong tea processing plant in Da Lat city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

Ha Thuy Linh, director of the Haiyih company said that at a total investment of over VND35 billion, the plant covers 12,000 sq.m and produces over 4,300 tonnes of fresh bud tea per year.

According to the company, once put into operation, the plant will achieve an annual turnover of about US$7 million, generate jobs for 500 local workers and ensure material-supply contracts for 260 farmer households in the area.

Oolong is a high-value tea with price ranging from VND500,000 to VND4.5 million per kilogram.

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