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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/10   2010-10-04 - VNA, ND

Garments continue topping list of exports


Posting an export turnover of 8 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, garments continued taking the lead amongst export staples since the beginning of 2009.


The export of garments to the Republic of Korea saw the highest growth rate of 84 percent, mainly thanks to a reduction in tariff in line with the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement, while the export to the US , which accounts for 55 percent of the industry’s revenues, also grew by 20 percent.


In particular, garment exports to the European market have bounced back in the past three months, at 7 percent, following a long period of dropping.


Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Garments and Apparel Association (Vitas) Le Van Dao said a number of domestic garment companies have received orders for the first half of 2011, plus prices have risen by 10-15 percent year-on-year.


A representative of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Viet Hung Garment Joint Stock Company said the business has recently signed contracts to export 1.2 million items to Japan in early 2011.


Vietnam ’s garment firms will also have the opportunity to boost exports and investments to Laos and Cambodia as the European Union (EU) has decided to grant references in terms of material origin to the two nations.


With these advantages, Dao said the industry is likely to reach the yearly target of 10.5 billion USD in export turnover right in November.


To achieve sustainable development, garment businesses have also paid due attention to the domestic market by participating in programmes which are designed to encourage local consumers to use Vietnamese goods and bring Vietnamese goods to rural areas.


Many supermarkets under the Vietnam Garment and Textile Group have embarked on plans to expand foothold in the domestic market in an effort to record a retail sale growth rate of between 17-20 percent in 2010.


Footwear industry submits strategy


The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) has submitted to the Government a strategy to develop the sector from now till 2020 with a vision to 2015 which focuses on the support and material industries.


Lefaso President Nguyen Duc Thuan said the strategy aims at ending the sector’s dependence on foreign materials and technologies, and shifting from sub-contracting to direct contracting.


Under the strategy, the sector will need 18.8 trillion VND (989 million USD) to produce shoe trees and footwear models, and expand the production of materials including leather and leatherette.


The plan is expected to help the sector earn 8.5 billion USD from exports by 2015 and 11 billion USD by 2020 by boosting the localisation rate to 65-75 percent from the current 50 percent.


Thuan explained that the strategy was developed because the sector has been suffering from a serious shortage of materials for many years due to the lack of a support industry.


The country currently has only 30 enterprises, including five with foreign investment capital, producing tanned leather, the main material used by the footwear sector. These enterprises can only meet 30 percent of the material demands of domestic footwear enterprises.


Thuan further explained that the sector has to cope with the EU’s anti-dumping tax on Vietnamese footwear.


In an effort to boost exports, Lefaso has carried out many promotional activities, including hosting the 29th international conference of the Asian footwear sector, and the international fair for footwear materials and machines


As customers are shifting their attention from China to Vietnam , Vietnamese shoe makers currently have export orders until the first quarter of 2011.


In the first nine months of the year, the sector earned over 3.6 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year increase of 23 percent. The figure is expected to surpass 5 billion USD by the end of the year.


Province cuts red tape for investors


Binh Duong province has made every effort to improve its infrastructure and administrative formalities so as to attract more foreign investors, said chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Hoang Son.


The province had also taken advantage of its geography and offered incentives to lure foreign invested projects.


The province attracted more than 846 foreign invested projects with registered capital reaching 7.3 billion USD between 2005 and 2010, bringing the total number of projects in the province to date to 1,966 capitalised at 13.5 billion USD, said Son.


Investors include Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho Asian Group, with a total investment capital of 360 million USD and Thailand ’s Siam Cement Group, which specialises in producing packages, with a total investment capital of 140 million USD. Malaysian property developer SP Setia Berhad Group invested 620 million USD in the My Phuoc eco-urban project and a 60 million USD beverage factory was financed by Japan ’s Kirin Acecook Vietnam .


The strong attraction for foreign invested projects was a positive sign, as it made a very important contribution to the province’s economic development and generated high industrial value, said director of the Department of Planning and Development Huynh Van Trai.


Local authorities have worked with vocational schools to train skilled workers to meet the greater labour demands that come with more foreign invested projects.


Paik In Ki, chairman of the Republic of Korea ’s Financial Investment Association in Binh Duong, said foreign investos were pleased to invest in the province as they could see good infrastructure and good support from local authorities which helped investors to be successful. His company would continue to act as a bridge to provide other Korean businesses with a deep understanding of the province’s investment climate and raise their investment in the province.


Binh Duong has developed 28 industrial parks covering 8,751ha.


Prominent projects in the province include the 3.5 trillion VND (179.5 million USD) My Phuoc-Tan Van road, which is currently under construction. The road will be a major transportation route to international airports and seaports.


Kang Myong Jun, diretor of DJV Ltd Co, Automotive Manufacturing & Wholesales-Parts, Automotive Repair & Service, said apart from good infrastructure, other facilities such as accommodation and urban areas were also important for luring foreign investors.


Gold hits new high 


The price of gold in Vietnam set new record of nearly VND31.6 million a tael (1.2 ounces) on October 4 though global price made a slight correction.


Most gold shops bought the metal at VND31.5 million and sold at VND31.55 million, an increase of VND50,000 a tael over the last weekend.


In Hanoi, Phu Quy Jewelry Co. purchased SJC-brand gold of the Saigon Jewelry Co. at VND31.5 million and sold at VND31.57 million as of 9 am local time.


At the same time, Sacombank Jewelry Co. fixed the price at VND31.52 million for buying and VND31.56 million for selling.


Domestically, gold fetched VND200,000 a tael higher than global prices.


Trading on bullion market was muted as gold shops remained poorly patronized.


The US dollar selling price on free market rose by VND20 per dollar to stand at VND19,650 while buying price climbed to VND19,620 per dollar.


Meanwhile, commercial banks also raised the greenback’s purchasing price. State-owned Vietcombank and Eximbank collected dollars at VND19,490, and VND19,480 respectively.


Internationally, the precious metal shrank as rally to records prompted investors to sell the metal to book profits.


Gold for immediate delivery shed $2.8 an ounce over the closing price in New York to trade at $1,316.9 an ounce as of 9:15 am Vietnamese time.


Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust reduced by 2.5 metric tons to 1,302.3 metric tons on October 1, the company’s website showed. However, the metal still hit an all-time high of US$1,322 an ounce despite this movement of the world’s largest exchange-traded fund.



The euro exchange rate against the greenback stood at $1.38 a euro, almost unchanged as of last weekend.


A weakening dollar continued to be the key factor that backed gold prices. It lost 2 percent last week, while gold gained 1.7 percent.


Debasement pressure on the greenback increased due to the US sluggish economic recovery. Last week, two Federal Reserve officials said that the country would probably need to take action to spur the recovery and avert deflation.


Crude oil fluctuated around $81.6 a barrel this morning.


Car carrier ship handed over to Israel


The Violet Ace, a car carrier ship, has been handed over to Israeli Ray Shipping Company Ltd by the Ha Long Shipbuilding Company.


The ship has the capacity to transport up to 4,900 cars per voyage.


It is 185.6 metres long and 32.26 metres wide with 36.1 metres in freeboard heigh, and can travel at a maximum speed of 19.8 nautical miles per hour.


The Violet Ace was designed by the Italian Naval Progetti Design Institute and supervised by the Norwegian DNV register.


It was designed and built to operate with a 1A1 grade automatic system, the highest class used for car carriers.

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