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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/9   2008-09-10 - VNA

Over 80 businesses to attend int’l construction fair in China

More than 80 Vietnamese enterprises will take part in an international trade fair on construction machinery (Bauma China 2008) in Shanghai , China , from November 25-28.

Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on September 10, Dang Kim Giao, Director of the Ministry of Construction’s Information Centre, said the fair will not only be significant for Vietnamese enterprises but also help foreign businesses to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam .

The biennial event, which began in 2002, is a rendezvous for worldwide suppliers and policy makers in the fields of industry, trade and service.

During the last fair, large companies from China , Germany , the US , Japan and the Republic of Korea met with and planned to cooperate with Vietnamese partners.

Also at the press conference, Manfred Wutzlhofer, CEO and General Director of the Munich International Trade Fair (MMI), spoke highly of the development of Vietnam’s construction market and affirmed that MMI considers Vietnam as a strategic market to expand its operation.

Vietnam may be considered one of the most important markets in Asia, after China and India , he said.

Over the past years, Vietnam ’s construction sector has made remarkable progress, especially in urban and housing development.

The country’s real estate market has attracted the largest portion of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital, which was 21.4 billion USD in the first seven months of this year. The figure accounts for over 48 percent of the country’s total registered FDI compared to 35 percent in 2007.

Catfish exports to earn 1.2 billion USD

Vietnam ’s catfish exports are expected to earn 1.2 billion USD in 2008, accounting for 29 percent of the country’s total seafood export value, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

However, the catfish farmers in the Mekong Delta have been badly affected by their own unplanned development. For instance, earlier this years, they suffered from an excess of supplies, and a few months later exporters hesitated to sign new export contracts for concerns of supply inadequacy.

VASEP says the current scarcity is not too serious, because producers have been forewarned, and farmers begin to benefit from higher prices and resume their investment in production.

Local catfish producers are encouraged to ensure their materials by self-supplying or signing contracts with farmers. However, the existing shortage of material catfish is expected to last until next year’s first quarter.

The association says it will annually make public the demand for catfish exports, from which the local agencies and producers can develop their own production plans. Market analysis and forecast will also be improved to protect businesses and farmers from dumping.

To ensure the industry’s goal of 1.5 billion USD in export value of this commodity in 2009, as much as 1.2 million tonnes of catfish are in need to produce 600.000 tonnes of fillet.

Over 11 trillion VND for 2009 agricultural investments

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported that over 11 trillion VND in total is needed for investments in agricultural development for 2009.

MARD said it plans to raise almost 4 trillion VND from domestic sources, over 3 trillion VND in foreign investments and another 4 trillion VND from the issuance of Government bonds.

The money is scheduled to be invested in upgrading dyke systems and building dams and dykes against flooding as well as reservoirs to fight droughts in the Red river delta. Projects subject to the investment scheme are to help shift production structure and irrigation projects in service of aquaculture and salt production.

Vietnam increases exports to Chile

Vietnam’s exports to Chile increased 25.9 percent to over 40 million USD in the year’s seven months, according to Chile’s export-promotion agency (ProChile).

Vietnam’s export staples to the Latin American country include sports shoes, shirts, coffee, printers and cotton fabric.

Chile exported a total amount of goods worth over 65 million USD in the January-July period, a year-on-year increase of 3 percent, ProChile said, adding that this helps bringing the two-way trade between Vietnam and Chile to over 106 million USD or 9.6 percent gain in the period.

Last year, Vietnam’s exports to Chile reached over 55 million USD and its imports from the country worth over 107 million USD.

Thai company acquires stakes in securities firm

Seamico securities of Thailand will acquire a major stake of the Thanh Cong Securities Company (TCSC) under a strategic cooperation contract signed on September 9.

The acquired stakes, account for 49 percent of the total, will include 25 percent bought at 11,500 VND per share, and the remaining will be new issued shares.

Both sides will assist each other in technology solutions, business development strategy and personnel training.

Dragon fruit on its way to US market

Binh Thuan province in the central coast is taking the final steps to export dragon fruit to the US market after its Ham Minh cooperative has been chosen by US importers as the sole supplier.

Vice Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Thu said the province is focusing on building a safe dragon fruit processing circle at enterprises which have received the EurepGap certificate in order to meet US requirements. Qualified products must be recognised free of insect damages and going through radiation disinfection.

Ham Minh cooperative itself has received the certificate on GlobalGap-standards agricultural production, in addition to the EurepGap recognition.

The cooperative also underwent a thorough examination on its entire production and packaging process by a US quarantine delegation from the Department of Agriculture in 2006. The inspection has contributed to its licence to export the local specialty to the world’s largest economy from July, 2008.

Along with efforts to register the dragon fruit trademark to the US early next year, the province is bracing for other problems related to customs procedures and anti-dumping law.

The fruit has taken a firm foothold in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Europe and Middle-east.

In addition to the US, Japan is also eyeing the fruit. In a recent visit to Binh Thuan, businesses from Osaka city talked of investments in a system to solve the fly biting problem and assistance in the fruit promotion in the Japanese market.

Next to the dragon fruit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s scheme on trade promotion in the US market are longan and rambutan.

The US Department of Agriculture has prioritized the above-mentioned duo out of 10 types of fruit it has intended to import from Vietnam . The US side has also asked the Southern Fruit Research Institute to deploy a project for BlobalGAP standards longan and rambutan production as soon as possible.

Preparation accelerated for Thailand Gulf belt road

The southern province of Kien Giang is speeding up site clearance for the building of a belt road running along the Gulf of Thailand to link Vietnam with Cambodia and Thailand.

The project, scheduled to start early 2009 and complete five years later, is estimated to cost 328 million USD sourced from loans by the Asian Development Bank and the Republic of Korea, non-refundable aid of Australia and corresponding capital of Vietnam.

The belt road will run through Kien Giang and Ca Mau provinces in Vietnam with a total length of 220km.

SHB seeks to become leading retail bank

The Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) said it will pour around 3 million USD into an information technology modernisation project in a bid to become one of Vietnam’s leading retail banks by 2010.

SHB is currently preparing for listing on the Hanoi Securities Trading Centre after it received permission in principle from the Hanoi bourse early last week.

The bank will open five more branches in the central provinces of Nghe An and Khanh Hoa, the Central Highlands provinces of Lam Dong and Gia Lai and the southern province of Dong Nai, bringing its total transaction offices to 42 across the country.

By the end of August, the total savings deposits SHB raised from the public and businesses had reached more than 8.12 trillion VND and its total lending, over 5.7 trillion VND.

Construction of Vietnam’s second largest suspension bridge starts

Construction of the first span of the Phu My cable-stayed bridge crossing over the Sai Gon River in Ho Chi Minh City started on Sept. 9.

The bridge, the second largest of its kind in Vietnam, will have a length of over 2 km and a width of 27.5 m. The six-lane bridge will be built at a cost of over 2 trillion VND.

Other projects to build approach roads will coincide with the construction of the bridge, which is expected to be completed in October 2009.

First electronic portal offers information on foreign markets

The Ministry of Industry of Trade launched an information portal on foreign markets at and on Sept. 9.

The portal, built with the assistance from the European Union, is the first and only one in the country to provide market information relating to almost all countries and territories as well as economic-trade organisations worldwide.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said that in the context of Vietnam’s active integration into the international economy, information of foreign markets are useful for businesses to design their proper trade promotion programmes and business strategies.

Ambassador and Head of the European Commission’s Delegation Sean Doyle said the portal is a typical example of the Vietnam-EU cooperation in improving competitiveness for Vietnamese businesses and intensifying exports.

A seminar to introduce the portal will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on Sept. 12.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also plans to build a Vietnam Export Portal in 2009 in order to accelerate export activities.

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Domestically-made cosmetics selling better thanks to inflation   2008-09-10

HSBC to establish subsidiary bank in Vietnam   2008-09-09

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Banks pour hundreds billions VND into stocks   2008-09-09

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Vietnamese, Guangdong sign projects worth 1.6 billion USD   2008-09-09

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/9   2008-09-09