KTFA Some “Vietamese News” Posted by Henig at KTFA Tuesday

KTFA:  Vietnam:


Henig:  January surplus signals good foreign trade year


06:00 | 27/02/2023


(VEN) – Vietnam’s total import-export value in January 2023 was estimated at US$46.56 billion, with imports reaching US$25.08 billion, and exports US$21.48 billion, yielding a trade surplus of US$3.6 billion.


Vibrant foreign trade


Positive signs of import, export activities in the first month of the year promise satisfactory results of foreign trade throughout 2023.


The border crossings with China in Quang Ninh, Lao Cai and Lang Son provinces have resumed busy operations after the week-long Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday (January 20-26). On the morning of January 28, 120 trucks carrying import, export goods passed Bac Luan 2 Bridge and pontoon bridge Km3+4 Hai Yen of the Mong Cai International Border Crossing in Quang Ninh Province.


A representative of the Customs Division of the Lao Cai Border Crossing said that during the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday, some 285 customs clearance declarations were received at the Kim Thanh Border Crossing. Given these positive signs and easing of China’s COVID-19 prevention policy, import-export activities through the Lao Cai crossings are expected to thrive in 2023.


On January 28, China resumed customs clearance for import-export activities through five Lang Son Province border crossings: Huu Nghi, Tan Thanh, Chi Ma, Dong Dang, and Coc Nam.


Business confidence


In terms of business activities after the Lunar New Year holiday, the Hoa Phat Group Joint Stock Company, for example, received orders for exports to the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Hong Kong (China), and Cambodia.


Businesses have set export targets for 2023. Vu Duc Giang, President of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said the textile and garment sector expects its export value to reach US$47-48 billion. According to him, this target is based on the following factors: 1) businesses have begun to shift production from knitting to shuttle weaving; 2) businesses are seeking small orders with quick delivery; and 3) export markets have been diversified, including those in the former Soviet Union, Africa, and the Middle East. China is also a major export market of Vietnamese textiles and garments.


Do Ha Nam, Vice President of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), said rice exports are forecast to yield satisfactory results in 2023, especially in the winter-spring crop.


However, experts are urging farm produce exporters to tighten controls and use suitable preservation technology to ensure product quality and origin traceability, and to harvest and transport fresh farm produce to processing factories during the shortest possible time.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade is prioritizing major exports with significant competitive advantages, such as electronics, textiles, garments, leather, footwear, and wood products, along with diversifying and improving product quality.


Phuong Lan    LINK




Henig:  EU manufacturers eye offshore wind turbine plants in Vietnam


09:28 | 28/02/2023


European manufacturers are considering investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Vietnam to build wind turbine plants as the country gears up to exploit its large untapped potential in offshore wind, Reuters cited sources familiar with the situation as reporting.


According to the World Bank Group, Vietnam is seen as a potential major player in the sector because of its strong winds in shallow waters near coastal, densely populated areas.


Three industry sources, who declined to be named because the matter was confidential, named Danish turbine maker Vestas as one of the potential investors. The companies were looking for sites near ports but talks with local authorities and industrial parks were still preliminary as investors were waiting for the country to approve clear rules on offshore wind farms.


“We expect important investments to be decided this year by major global players in the offshore wind sector for the manufacturing of wind turbine components and Vietnam stands a good chance to welcome these,” said Bruno Jaspaert, director of DeepC, an industrial zone in northern Vietnam.


Speaking on the sidelines of a wind conference in Hanoi on February 23, Erik Kjaer of the Danish Energy Agency said Vietnam has a strong steel output, therefore it would make sense to invest in the country as steel is key to making turbines.


Source: VNA     LINK




Henig:  Vietnam, Belgium step up scientific-technological cooperation


06:00 | 28/02/2023


Vietnam wants to step up cooperation with countries that have strengths in science-technology like Belgium, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung has said.


Vietnam wants to step up cooperation with countries that have strengths in science-technology like Belgium, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung has said.



At working sessions with Belgian partners, including Hub.Brussels, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) and John Cockerill Group in Brussels on February 20, Dung said Belgium has substantial potential to cooperate and support Vietnam in new technologies and renewable energy, especially circuit manufacturing.


Dung led a delegation from ministries, innovation centres, research institutes and universities to Belgium from February 18-21, aiming to concretise the outcomes of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to the European country in December 2022 regarding innovation cooperation.


Hub.Brussels, the Brussels Agency for Business Support, offers a wide range of free advice, services and tools to help projects be successful.


Dung lauded cooperation between the agency and the Vietnam National Innovation Centre (NIC), which have agreed on experience exchange in order to raise innovation and startup capacity of Vietnam and the European Union (EU).


He suggested Hub.Brussels help NIC in operations, and opened its representative office at NIC Hoa Lac to step up the bilateral cooperation in innovative startup ecosystem development.


The minister assigned NIC and the Vietnam Innovation Network in Europe (VINEU) to partner with Hub.Brussels in devising an exchange programme for Vietnamese startups this year.


Annelore Isaac, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Hub.Brussels, expressed her belief in cooperation between the two sides, which would cover health care and construction, and affirmed that the agency stands ready to support Vietnamese startups.


On this occasion, Hub.Brussels, NIC and VINEU signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in innovation and startup.



At another working session with IMEC, a leading R&D and innovation hub in Europe in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, Dung stressed that his ministry wants to promote cooperation between IMEC with Vietnamese organisations and enterprises, especially in the semiconductor R&D, thus helping Vietnam join the global semiconductor supply chain.


He suggested IMEC join hand with NIC and Vietnamese educational institutions to organise cooperation programmes for students and engineers in the semiconductor industry.


A MoU on collaboration in the semiconductor industry was also inked by IMEC and NIC on this occasion, under which IMEC will consider building an R&D centre in the Southeast Asian nation.


Driven since 1817 by the entrepreneurial spirit and passion for innovation of its founder, the John Cockerill Group developed large-scale technological solutions to meet the needs of its time.


Meeting with John Cockerill representatives, Dung emphasised that Vietnam hopes for comprehensive cooperation with the group in energy, saying it should become Vietnam’s strategic partner through cooperation programmes as well as R&D and investment projects.


John Cockerill’s leaders said the group wants to make comprehensive and strategic investment in Vietnam, thus further serving the Southeast Asian and Northeast Asian markets.


The group expects to focus on solutions regarding energy transition, including biomass, hydrogen and low-carbon ones, they noted.


John Cockerill and NIC reached a MoU on this occasion, under which the Belgian group would invest in green hydrogen R&D at the Vietnamese centre and labs for biomass fuel products, and develop products relating to cooling technology in power plants and industries.


Source: VNA     LINK


Henig:  Q1 economic growth drivers


06:00 | 28/02/2023


(VEN) – Investment, domestic consumption and foreign trade were the three drivers of Vietnam’s economic growth in February and the first quarter of 2023. The Government, ministries, sectors and localities are taking action to promote these forces.


Opportunities and challenges


According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), by the end of January 2023, the Vietnamese economy continued to show positive signs with the macroeconomic situation remaining stable. Specifically, the consumer price index (CPI) grew 0.52 percent compared with December 2022 and 4.89 percent year-on-year; in the monetary market, credit grew 0.65 percent by January 17 compared with the end of 2022; the banking system’s liquidity was ensured.


In January, State budget revenue reached 11.3 percent of yearly projection, foreign direct investment reached US$1.2 billion, triple the result of January 2022, and trade surplus was estimated at US$3.6 billion.


Production and trade continued recovering thanks to high consumer demand during the Lunar New Year holiday (late January). Agricultural production remains stable. Total retail sales of consumer goods and services grew 20 percent year-on-year. The supply of goods is abundant with almost no major price changes.


However, due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday and the impact of the global economic uncertainty, industrial production and import-export activities faced numerous difficulties. The January index of industrial production (IIP) equaled 92 percent of that in January 2022, while total foreign trade value was lower compared with December and January 2022.


Three growth drivers


According to the MPI, given the increasing difficulties challenging Vietnam’s efforts to control inflation and maintain macroeconomic stability, Vietnam should focus on promoting investment, domestic consumption and foreign trade.


To promote investment, the prime minister has ordered the acceleration of major national projects and the improvement of the investment and business environment to create a new space for socioeconomic development. At the same time, the Government has applied fiscal policies to provide businesses with support, helping them reduce input costs and output prices in order to control inflation. Appropriate monetary policies are helping manage credit and keeping interest at a reasonable level to facilitate investment in production and trade. The disbursement of public investment capital will also be accelerated.


To promote domestic consumption and foreign trade, the industry and trade sector will facilitate business access to capital and credit, and strengthen domestic purchasing power through effective implementation of trade promotion programs. The distribution of goods on digital platforms and e-commerce will be expanded to boost domestic sales.



At the same time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will accelerate negotiations on bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms, bring into play the role of overseas Vietnamese trade offices, and support localities, associations and businesses in taking advantage of free trade agreements to increase exports. Technical barriers will be removed to facilitate business access to new markets.


Digital transformation in the field of trade promotion will be accelerated to connect supply and demand, as well as to build and develop Vietnamese brands in foreign markets. Attention will also be paid to logistics services, e-commerce, and especially cross-border trade.


Nguyen Hoa     LINK




Henig:  Bond issuers seek solutions to delay bond debt payment


February, 28/2023 – 09:06


The volume of mature bonds of businesses will peak in the period of 2023 – 2024 and bond issuers are taking different actions to proactively remove difficulties.


HÀ NỘI — The volume of mature bonds of businesses will peak in 2023 – 2024 and bond issuers are taking different actions to proactively remove difficulties.


NoVa Real Estate Investment Group Joint Stock Company (Novaland, HOSE: NVL) has just announced that it has reached an agreement with its “bondholder” Dallas Vietnam Gamma Ltd. The companies have negotiated and reached an agreement to reduce the number of outstanding bonds and warrants through a swap agreement.


Accordingly, Dallas Vietnam Gamma Ltd will receive a portion of shares in two member companies of Novaland, namely Thành Nhơn Real Estate Investment Company Limited and Mũi Né General Investment Joint Stock Company in exchange for the cancellation of a corresponding number of bonds and warrants.


Previously, in mid-2022, Dallas Vietnam Gamma Ltd bought 4,435 convertible bonds and 185 warrant-linked bonds from Novaland. Novaland’s consolidated financial statements for the fourth quarter of 2022 showed that Dallas Vietnam Gamma is Novaland’s bondholder with a long-term debt of VNĐ4.62 trillion (US$193 billion) as of December 31, 2022.


BCG Energy Joint Stock Company – a member of Bamboo Capital Group Joint Stock Company (HOSE: BCG) also recently said that it had reached an agreement with investor Hanwa Energy Corporation Singapore Pte Ltd on changing the bond payment term.


According to BCG Energy, considering changes in market conditions, the two parties have negotiated to convert part of the bonds into debt with the final payment term being changed to June 30, 2023, instead of September 4, 2022.


As of December 31, 2022, BCG Energy had paid all the interest and VNĐ45 billion of the principal to Hanwa Energy Corporation Singapore Pte. The remaining principal debt, equivalent to $3 million, has been agreed by BCG Energy and Hanwha Energy to be settled under a joint agreement of both parties. Previously, on September 4, 2019, BCG Energy privately issued a convertible bond package to Hanwa Energy Corporation Singapore with a value of VNĐ115.75 billion.


In addition to actively negotiating with lending partners, some businesses also actively increased coupon rates for bond lots to stabilise investor sentiment. In addition, many businesses also plan to repurchase the issued bonds before maturity.


According to a recent report by Vietcombank Securities Company (VCBS), by January 2023, out of VNĐ1.19 quadrillion of corporate bond outstanding loans, the largest amount of outstanding loans belonged to the real estate industry which is accounting for 37 per cent, followed by banks making up 32 per cent.


VCBS also added that the volume of corporate bonds maturing in 2023 is estimated at over VNĐ250 trillion, a significant decrease compared to the third quarter of 2022 due to the proactive repurchase by issuers before maturity. The acquisition value of the banking and real estate industries in the fourth quarter of 2022 reached VNĐ35 trillion and VNĐ24 trillion, respectively.


Experts from VNDirect Securities Joint Stock Company said that in the context of tightened monetary policy and increasing financial costs, some bond issuers have few opportunities to access capital for financial restructuring and meeting short-term debt obligations. Liquidity risk is concentrated in a number of volatile sectors such as real estate.


Cấn Văn Lực, a member of the National Financial Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said that businesses need to step up negotiations with investors to extend the debt payment maturity.


The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has also recently proposed that the Government consider allowing enterprises to pay principal and interest on bonds in shares and real estate products.


According to the ministry, if an enterprise cannot pay the bond principal and interest in cash, they can negotiate with investors to use other assets on the principle of complying with the provisions of civil law. This payment method must be approved by the bondholders and the enterprise must disclose information and take responsibility for the legal status of the assets used to pay the principal and interest of the bonds.


To assist enterprises in mobilising capital for production and business activities and debt restructuring, the Ministry of Finance shall propose to the Government to allow previously issued bonds with an outstanding balance to be changed in expiration term, the maximum time is two years.


— VNS     LINK




Henig:   Door wide open for processed, manufactured products to enter UAE


February, 28/2023 – 10:31


Dubai is stepping up urbanisation and infrastructure development, leading to higher demand for electricity and energy in industrial and trade sectors. The development of smart grids and upgrade of transmission lines will also boost the UAE’s electrical cable market.


HÀ NỘI — Products of the processing and manufacturing industry of Việt Nam now have great chances to enjoy stronger export to the UAE, which has high demand for imports.


Dubai is stepping up urbanisation and infrastructure development, leading to higher demand for electricity and energy in industrial and trade sectors. The development of smart grids and upgrade of transmission lines will also boost the UAE’s electrical cable market.


The UAE’s electrical cable market was valued at US$192.48 billion in 2021 and is forecast to grow by some 4.2 per cent on average between 2022 and 2030. Therefore, electrical cables are a highly potential product for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in and export to the middle eastern country, said Trương Xuân Trung, an official of Việt Nam’s Trade Office in the UAE, as cited by the Công Thương (Industry & Trade) newspaper.


Among other processed and manufactured products, Việt Nam can also boost the shipment of handbags, suitcases, and wallets, he suggested.


In 2022, footwear exports to the UAE brought home $185 million, rising nearly 50 per cent from a year earlier; textiles and garments $132 million; timber and wood products $27 million, statistics show.


The Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City has registered to take part in a woodworking fair in the UAE in 2023. This event, which will gather many international exporters and importers, will be a good chance for Vietnamese firms to seek partners, Trung said.


In addition, some agricultural and fishery products of Việt Nam are holding a big market share in the UAE and can be exported more to this market.


Data in 2022 show that fishery exports to the UAE increased by over 18 per cent year on year. Việt Nam is currently the biggest exporter of frozen tra fish fillet there, with an over 50 per cent market share. Such fruits as dragon fruit, watermelon, and seedless lime from the Southeast Asian country are also dominating this market.


However, the UAE is a market with fierce competition in terms of prices and quality, the official noted, adding that the Islamic country requires food and beverage imports to have Halal certificates, and also imposes high import tariffs, up to 50 per cent, on sugar-sweetened beverages.


Despite considerable challenges, Trung held that the UAE is attractive enough for Vietnamese firms to capitalise on since it is a highly open market, has few tariff barriers, and serves as a point of transit for goods to reach the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Europe.


Besides, the UAE is a party to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), whose members share a common customs law system, so when Vietnamese goods are exported to this market, they can enter other GCC members without having to pay more taxes.


The UAE has asked Việt Nam to consider the early signing of a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement so as to further facilitate Vietnamese products’ entry into the Middle Eastern country, according to Trung.


— VNS     LINK