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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/10   2010-10-13 - VNA

Int’l research firm sees potential in VN’s solid waste market

Research and Markets company has affirmed that solid waste management industry in Vietnam was potential and the industrial solid waste management market would continue to grow fast.

In a summary report posted onto, the leading supplier of international market research and market data wrote: "Vietnam is currently one of the fastest growing and untapped solid waste management markets in the Asia-Pacific region" and "The share of urban population further increased which infused municipal solid waste generation growth to reach new height."

The report showed that fast industrialization and urbanization has been promoted in Vietnam with urban population rising to 31.7 million and accounting for 37 percent of the national population in the first half of 2009. This trend has intensified in 2010.

It added that among the sectors, industrial solid waste is growing at the fastest rate in the country. Sectors including, food and beverages, wearing apparel, tanning and dressing of leather, wood and products of wood, fabricated metal products are the backbone of Vietnams industrial sector and together represent 65 percent of all industrial employment and 57 percent of all industrial firms in the country. Amid the fast developments in industrial production, the industrial solid waste generation has reached an estimated 5.7 million tonnes in 2010 and has been anticipated to post phenomenal growth at 19 percent during 2011-2014.

It wrote: "The government has approved the waste management strategy outlining specific plans to 2025. The plan states that any organization or individual releasing waste that causes pollution must pay for damages. By 2025, the government aims for developments of solid waste recycling plant in all cities for households to dispose and treat their waste. In addition, to control pollution, 100 percent of solid waste from urban areas and toxic and non-toxic industrial solid waste will be collected and treated. Besides, 90 percent of construction solid waste and rural residential solid waste also aimed to be collected and treated."

According to the Research and Markets company, the business and social environment in Vietnam has become favourable for foreign investments owing to the WTO accession and relaxed regulatory policies.

HCM City hosts trade and technology conference

Vietnam’s Trade and Technology Conference 2010 opened in Ho Chi Minh City on October 13, attracting 200 representatives from businesses operating in technology, banking and finance.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Duc Lai said that over the past 10 years, Vietnam’s Information Technology and Communications (ICT) sector has thrived and obtained an annual growth in revenue of over 20 percent. This year, the sector is expected to earn 8.8 billion USD.

According to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Van Lang, the focus of the development strategy on science and technology for the 2011-2020 period is to build and develop a sustainable sector, tap into the country’s human resources, culture and natural resources and ensure the country fully integrates into the international scientific community, helping to improve local human resources in the long term.

During the two-day conference, the participants will take part in group discussions on important issues for the future of the Vietnamese technological sector, including the States role in developing technologies and introducing the necessary legislation and tax policies.

Leaders from leading technology companies discussed global technological trends in the next five years and shared their views on opportunities and challenges that the companies are facing in emerging markets.

The conference also witnessed the signing of two cooperative agreements, between Hoa Lac Hi-tech Zone and the company SAVVi and between the IDG Venture Investment Fund and DFJ Vina Capital.

Steel sales slip in September

Steel sales in September surprised experts by dropping 41 percent over August to 283,000 tonnes.

"September’s decline was not expected. We forecast that the price of steel ingots would go through the 600 USD per tonne mark but instead it dropped to 580 USD," said the Vietnam Steel Association’s Deputy Chairman Nguyen Tien Nghi.

Nghi added that due to the low price of pig iron on the world market, Vietnamese consumers are still waiting for further reductions.

Because of this, the decline has continued into the first few days of this month.

Meanwhile, he added, traders have been selling off their steel stocks.

Due to the situation, many companies and agencies have cut prices by roughly 300,000 VND (15 USD) per tonne to stimulate the market.

According to a report by the association, the price, excluding value-added tax, is now standing at about 13.6 million VND (697 USD) per tonne.

The association said the situation would steady itself in the second half of October, as the rainy season ends and demand for construction steel picks up.

"In addition, when steel stocks are sold out, traders will be forced to renew their supplies and consumption will increase," Nghi said.

He added that demand on the world market is also increasing which would help push the price back up.

Talking about sales for the whole year, Nghi optimistically said that they would increase by 15 percent over last year.

"Because of high consumption in previous months, the dip in September will not affect sales for the whole year," he explained.

Last year, the country consumed nearly 4.2 million tonnes of steel.

Vietnam’s business confidence index rebounds

Vietnam’s business confidence index (BCI) rebounded in the third quarter, up three points over the last quarter and 37 points against the third quarter in 2008.

The survey was conducted by Vietnam World Vest Base Financial Intelligence Services (WVB FISL) and the PetroVietnam Finance Investment and Consultancy Company (PVFC Invest).

After surveying 262 companies in 11 key industries of the country (of which over 70 percent were medium and small-sized businesses), the result signalled a recovery and improved investment potential for Vietnam’s economy in the near future, compared with the first six months of the year.

When asked to make a forecast about the country’s economy in the next 12 months, 84.35 percent of those interviewed said the economy would be better and none believed they would see a worse economy than during the past six months.

Compared with the second quarter, the number of optimistic businesses increased by 7.19 percent and that of pessimistic ones decreased by 1.85 percent.

As many as 60 percent would increase their employment and invest more in fixed assets while 72 percent believed that their revenues and profits would rise in the next 12 months, the survey said.

However, over the last quarter, the number of businesses who were worried about revenues and profits were up 0.06 percent and 1.96 percent, respectively.

The result also showed that many domestic businesses were still concerned about the adverse effects to their business operations of inflation and fluctuations in the exchange rate between the US dollar and Vietnamese dong.

Vietnamese company builds trade centre in Laos

The Lao franchise of the Vietnamese An Phu joint stock company broke ground for the construction of a commercial centre in Vientiane on October 12 in the presence of Lao Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Somsavad Lengsavad.

The That Luong complex has been designed with a seven-storey and two-basement shopping centre, a six-storey and two-basement block of buildings reserved for offices and apartments for rent, and tree and entertainment parks.

The 58.68 million USD project is scheduled to be completed in December, 2012.

Vientiane Mayor Sombath Yialiheu said at the ground-breaking ceremony that the project has helped boost relations between Laos and Vietnam.

Vietnamese Ambassador Ta Minh Chau emphasised that the project has illustrated Vietnamese enterprises’ increasing interest in investment in Laos and economic relations between the two countries have been faring well.

The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) representative took this opportunity to present Vientiane with a check for 100,000 USD to help celebrate its 450 th founding anniversary.

Business partners support competition reform

A partnership agreement called, “Corporate Alliance on Administrative Procedures Reform and Competitiveness” was signed in Hanoi on October 12 by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).

In announcing the agreement, the two organisations said they share a common interest in promoting the business environment in Vietnam to benefit businesses and stimulate economic growth.

The launch of the Corporate Alliance is a key step in providing a platform to engage the private sector in building a strong network of partners, mobilising resources to improve advocacy and support for government-initiated administrative procedures reform, and improving Vietnam ’s competitiveness at large.

“EuroCham firmly believes in the power of partnerships and collaborative efforts for a more competitive Vietnam and is fully committed to working together with both government agencies and the corporate sector through this initiative,” said Alain Cany, EuroCham Chairman.

VCCI and EuroCham will be the lead organisations in the alliance, and other technical and corporate partners to provide business expertise, financial resources and communications, he added.

Meanwhile, VCCI’s Vice Chairman Pham Gia Tuc said VCCI will work closely with multinational corporations and national companies to identify, design and implement alliance activities that leverage the strengths of the corporate sector and improve Vietnam ’s business environment, and especially its competitiveness.

Within the framework of cooperation, EuroCham will provide professional knowledge, resources and networks of members and partners at both national and European Union levels.

The chamber will also support government-initiated administrative reforms as a member of the consultative council for administrative reforms, creating conditions for cooperation between the alliance and EuroCham’s member businesses, partners and European government institutions.

To date, several EuroCham member companies have already committed to supporting the alliance, including Holcim ( Vietnam ) Ltd., HSBC Bank ( Vietnam ) Ltd., FrieslandCampina Vietnam , GlaxoSmithKline Pte. Ltd., Mercedes-Benz Vietnam Ltd., Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam , Prudential Vietnam , Schneider Electronic Overseas Asia Pte. Ldt., Siemens Ltd. Vietnam , Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever Vietnam and Sanofi-Aventies.

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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/10   2010-10-12

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