VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 14 – VietNamNet

India terminates anti-dumping probe into solar cell imports from Vietnam
The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry has moved end an anti-dumping investigation into the import of solar cells from China, Thailand, and Vietnam following a request made by the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA), according to Press Trust of India (PTI).
The Indian Ministry  on May 15, 2021 initiated an anti-dumping probe into solar cells originating from these three nations on request by the Mundra Solar PV, Jupiter Solar Power, and Jupiter International that claimed the panels from the three countries were sold at unfairly low prices, thereby causing damage to domestic manufacturers.
PTI notes that that anti-dumping rules laid out in 1995 allow for termination of a probe in certain situations, including the withdrawal of application by the affected domestic industry at whose instance the investigation was launched.
Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) outlined in a notification that the manufacturers had withdrawn the application through an e-mail dated July 14.
After starting the probe, the Indian Government imposed customs duties of 25% on solar cells and 40% on solar modules, starting on April 1 this year.
According to PTI, the ISMA has submitted to the directorate that the imposed duties cover the entire scope of the product under investigation. In addition, it has considerably alleviated the price pressure suffered by the domestic industry caused by the dumping, though not fully.
In India, while the DGTR recommends the duty, the Department of Revenue will make the final decision to impose it.
“The duty is imposed only after a thorough investigation by a quasi-judicial body, such as the DGTR, in India. It is aimed at ensuring fair trade practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers,” PTI noted.
US opens anti-dumping investigation on Vietnamese paper file folders
     
The US Department of Commerce (DOC) has begun an anti-dumping investigation regarding paper file folders imported from several countries, including Viet Nam.
On November 1, DOC’s International Trade Administration announced they were investigating paper file folders allegedly being sold in the United States at less than fair value.
According to the Trade Remedies Administration from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, products imported from Viet Nam were accused of dumping in the United States based on an investigation request dated October 12, 2022, of the US domestic industry.
On November 2, 2022, the DOC started an anti-dumping investigation on clipboard products imported from Viet Nam, China and India.
The investigation period for Viet Nam was from April 1 to September 30, 2022.
The plaintiff of the lawsuit is the American Union of Clipboard Manufacturers, consisting of two companies, Smead Manufacturing Company, and TOPS Products LLC.
Investigated goods include file folders with HS codes 4820.30.0040 and 4820.30.0020. The alleged dumping margin for Vietnamese exporters is 182.67 to 236.38 per cent.
The DOC has issued a Quantity and Value Questionnaire to nine businesses named in the investigation request to collect information to select a mandatory defendant in the case, with the deadline for businesses to respond to the DOC’s questionnaire before 5 pm Eastern time on November 15, 2022.
In case of necessity, businesses can submit a letter of request for an extension and explanation.
It is expected that the DOC will select the required defendant within 20 days from the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the investigation. The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) will issue a preliminary finding on the matter of injury to the US domestic industry within 45 days of receiving the request for an investigation.
MoIT rejects rumour of gasoline price hitting VND100,000 per litre
     
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) rejected a rumour that gasoline price could go as high as VND100,000 (US$4) per litre after it was circulated on a number of social media platforms.
MoIT has been working closely with the Ministry of Finance, the other partner in a joint authority to manage fuel prices in Viet Nam, since the beginning of the year to support fuel traders and to ensure a stable and ample supply to all fuel stations across the country, according to the ministry.
The two ministries have been in the middle of a review process to determine fuel prices and further adjustments are expected to address traders’ grievances regarding financial losses and difficulty in securing supply.
Fuel prices in Viet Nam largely followed free-market principles with minimal intervention by the state, according to MoIT deputy minister Do Thang Hai.
Addressing the grievances, the deputy minister said the global oil market had become disrupted with prices fluctuating in large margins since the beginning of the year. It had made some traders import fuel in much larger quantities than usual, sometimes at significantly higher costs.
As oil prices went down, fuel prices in the domestic market started stabilising and eventually returned to the previous year’s level. As traders’ profits suffered, they were forced to cut bonuses to retailers.
The state had no say in traders’ incentives given to retailers but it had an obligation to set retail prices as fuel is considered an essential commodity with a significant influence on inflation and other macroeconomic factors.
As for retailers’ ongoing financial difficulties, the ministry had recommended several solutions to the Government and measures should be implemented quickly to help resolve them.
In a response to recent calls to scrap the country’s petrol stabilisation fund, Hai said the fund was still needed to manage and stabilise socio-economic activities, at least for the near future.
Some industry experts have also voiced support for keeping the fund, saying it serves as a cushion in periods in which the global oil prices are volatile, preventing domestic prices from shooting up uncontrollably.
Other factors include rising operational costs, primarily influenced by logistics, which has affected most economic sectors.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance has asked traders to produce cost reports to help determine the range of potential price adjustments in the future. The finance ministry’s stance, for the time being, is that adjustments are necessary to support traders and retailers but they can only roll out incrementally during price cycles, which are set at 10 days per current regulations. 
F88 secures US$60 million loan
Personal financial service provider F88 has secured a loan worth US$60 million, or nearly VND1.5 trillion, from two international financial organizations.
Of the total, US$50 million is borrowed from CLSA Capital Partners via Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Funds, and the balance from Lendable.
F88 obtained the loan from Lending Ark for the first time, while this is the second loan that Lendable, through its financial investment fund, has extended to F88. The first loan of US$10 million was disbursed in early 2022.
F88 is set to use this financing to grow its loan book and develop its distribution network.
Between January and September, F88’s loan book grew 246.4% compared to the same period last year. In addition, the continued development of F88’s distribution network, resulting in 300 new points of sale in 2022, helped F88 reach its target of 800 outlets by October 2022.
Since the beginning of 2022, F88 has raised US$70 million from two major international financial institutions in Asia and Europe. The firm looks to launch its initial public offering in 2024, when the number of points of sale amounts to 1,400, and its business capitalization reaches US$1 billion.
Packaging industry to grow at 12.3%
The packaging industry is expected to grow at 12.3% a year until next year, according to the Vietnam Packaging Association.
The growth is driven by the growth in F&B, consumer goods, exports, and e-commerce.
The Vietnamese market offers huge opportunities to foreign investors, according to Khieu Duy Hai, director of market research and consulting of FiinGroup.
The industry posted average growth of 11% a year in 2017-21, and achieved revenues of 13.2 billion USD last year, he told a recent seminar in Ho Chi Minh City.
The industry has four segments — plastic, paper, corrugated, and glass packaging – with plastic holding the largest share, according to Hai.
Knowing the long-term growth potential of the Vietnamese market, many foreign investors have been entering the market and expanding via mergers and acquisitions.
Green packaging has huge growth potential due to the EPR (extended producer responsibility) scheme that encourages packaging producers to manage collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging they send into the market, the Environment Protection Law and CSR commitments by producers.
Nguyen Ngoc Minh Thy, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Packaging Association, said the industry was making efforts to accelerate digital transformation and automation of manufacturing to improve its efficiency and product quality.
Vietnam – Angola Economic Forum bound for HCM City this week
The Vietnam – Angola Economic Forum will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 17 with the theme of “Investment – Trade – Tourism: Partnership for Sustainable Development”.
The event will be held as part of initiative schemes launched by the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to implement economic diplomacy and develop joint co-operation relations in a deeper, practical, and effective manner.
The forum is anticipated to become an ideal venue for the business community, experts, and government leaders of both sides as they seek solutions to ramp up trade and tourism promotion.
A trade connection programme will be held during the event to help businesses exchange issues of mutual concern, with a specific focus on a number of fields such as farm produce processing, especially agricultural products and seafood, marine aquaculture.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by the Angola Agency for Private Investment and Promotion of Export, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the Angolan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the event.  
Vietnamese businesses attend vegan fair in London
Approximately 20 Vietnamese firms attended VEGFEST 2022 on November 12 – 13 in London in the UK, seeking to strengthen trade promotion and effectively gain entry into the UK market.
They introduced a range of typical Vietnamese products such as rice, coffee, tea, cashews, dried fruit, dried noodle, instant noodle, spices, and vegetarian food, along with environmentally-friendly products like wooden straws and paper cups.
Notably, those Vietnamese enterprises that were unable to directly take part in the fair had the chance to display their products and profile at VEGFEST 2022 through the Vietnamese Trade Office in the UK.
Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in the UK, said that VEGFEST presented a golden opportunity for plant-based food enterprises as they seek new business partners.
Fair organisers also allowed participating enterprises to gain access to a database of all exhibitors and visitors, providing a valuable source of information for them to expand business co-operation opportunities, said Cuong.
Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, deputy director of Minh Tien Group, stressed that the opportunities for Vietnamese exporters in the UK market remain huge. However, she suggested local firms develop a strategy for increasing the value of export items, especially organic products, in order to meet the requirements of the market.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnamese agricultural exports to the UK have recorded rapid growth over recent years, with export turnover expected to rise 12% this year to US$1 billion.
So far, more than 500 Vietnamese agricultural products have hit the shelves of UK supermarkets.
VEGFEST 2022, one of the UK’s most prestigious vegan events, attracted the participation of up to 230 exhibitors, 100 speakers, and 10,000 visitors.
Overseas tours popular for Tet holiday
Travel demand for the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday in late January next year is expected to be very strong, according to travel agencies.
Trần Quốc Bảo, deputy director of Saigontourist Travel Service Company, said the company has been developing products and services for Tết holiday since September.
Advance holiday season bookings for domestic and overseas tours receive discount prices, he said.
Saigontourist will offer more than 300 tour packages, and it expects to serve more than 20,000 travellers through the holiday.
BenThanh Tourist said that tour prices would rise by 10-15 per cent compared to normal days due to higher airfare prices and soaring fuel prices.
Early bookings for the Tết holiday have reached 60 per cent of its target, the company said.
Nguyễn Minh Mẫn, director of communications and marketing department at TSTtourist, said outbound trips to Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the US and Europe have seen a strong rebound in recent months.
Travel agencies are hopeful of strong growth during the year-end holiday season and a full recovery next year, he said.
Nguyễn Nguyệt Vân Khanh, marketing director at Vietravel, said outbound tours had the highest revenue growth in recent months.
Short-haul tours to Northeast Asia will attract a large number of Vietnamese travellers during the holiday, she said.
Lê Trương Hiền Hòa, deputy director of the city’s Department of Tourism, said the department has focused on communication and marketing activities at home and abroad to lure tourists during the year-end and Tết holiday season.
The city will exploit historic and cultural heritage attractions citywide to make them unique tourism products, Hòa said. 
UNIQLO opens two new stores in Hanoi
  
UNIQLO has opened two new stores, UNIQLO Vincom Royal City and UNIQLO Vincom Tran Duy Hung, in Hanoi this week.
The quick launch of two new stores is part of UNIQLO’s brand recognition strategy in Vietnam, through a plan to boost operations by launching three new stores in a row in Hanoi this autumn and winter.
With the launch of two new stores, UNIQLO has increased the number of retail stores in Vietnam to 15, and the reach of the online store UNIQLO.com, after nearly three years in the country.
Osamu Ikezoe, General Director of UNIQLO Vietnam, said the simultaneous opening of the two stores would contribute to bringing the LifeWear philosophy to more and more customers in potential new development areas of the capital of Hanoi.
Hanoi Logistics Association established
     
The Ha Noi Logistics Association held the first congress for the 2022-25 term late last week.
The association will become a bridge between the Ha Noi authorities and the ongoing logistics activities in the area, advising on policies related to the development of logistics activities in the capital.
At the first meeting, the congress elected the executive board of the association for the 2022-25 term, consisting of 16 members.
Tran Duc Nghia, director of the Delta International Joint Stock Company, was trusted by the meeting to be elected president of the association for the first term.
Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of Ha Noi’s Department of Industry and Trade, highlighted the importance of the establishment of the association, saying that there are 25,000 firms in the city operating in the logistics sector but they only meet 25 per cent of demand.
The association is expected to help boost the development of the sector, she said. 
Ca Mau focuses on clean agricultural products
     
Ca Mau Province has expanded its area under the shrimp – forest and shrimp – rice models to farm clean products for export and ensure farmers earn sustainable incomes.
The southernmost province has developed models that use advanced farming techniques and increase co-operation among stakeholders in production and consumption.
In recent years its agriculture has adapted to market requirements, thus increasing the value of its products.
Many local shrimp processing companies have signed contracts to develop value chains with co-operative teams and co-operatives with a total of 3,500 household members.
They supply raw materials and teach the households techniques for farming shrimp, and buy their shrimp for processing.
This also helps the households develop certified shrimp farming areas.
The province People’s Committee has allowed the Minh Phu Seafood Corporation and Loc Troi Group to tie up with Thoi Binh District and other localities to pilot a link-up between companies and farmers adopting the shrimp-rice model.
Thoi Binh has 18,500ha under the model, the largest area in the province.
Farmers there breed black tiger shrimp or white-legged shrimp in the dry season and grow rice in the rainy season on the same fields.
Many have also been intercropping giant river prawns and rice for almost five years now.
To improve the efficiency of the model, district authorities have trained thousands of farmers in it since 2020.
The rice varieties, which include ST 25 and ST 24, winners of awards as the world’s best, have short maturity periods and can resist saltwater and drought.
Great potential for Viet Nam to develop billion-dollar ginseng industry: President
     
Viet Nam has great potential to develop a ginseng farming and processing industry that generates billions of US dollars, said President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the opening of the Lai Chau Ginseng Fair 2022 in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau last weekend.
Ginseng is a typical herb of Lai Chau, found at a height of 1,400-2,200m above the sea level.
Initial research results show that Lai Chau ginseng has a very high Saponin content. Particularly, it has 7.78 per cent of Majonoside – R2(MR2), an anticancer active ingredient, along with anticoagulant substance silphioside E.
Lai Chau ginseng has received a plant varieties protection certificate by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Currently, Lai Chau has 38,000 ha of area suitable for ginseng farming. The province has developed more than 100 hectares of ginseng farms in Muong Te, Sin Ho, Phong Tho and Tam Duong districts.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes
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