Growth in aquatic exports to China marks new record

Thursday, 17/11/2022 14:54
Vietnam’s aquatic export revenue to China has grown impressively so far this year, contributing to the success of the fisheries sector, reported Vietnam News Agency.
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Illustrative image (Source: VNA) 

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Vietnam enjoyed a record revenue of over 1.2 billion USD from China, making fisheries one of the three agro-forestry-fisheries products with highest export value in the market.

However, the figure fell to under 1 billion USD in 2021 due to impacts of the pandemic.

But since the beginning of this year, fisheries exports to China have recovered. Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that in the first 10 months of this year, those to China exceeded 1.3 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 82%, marking a new record.

Explaining the situation, experts held that the “Zero COVID” policy of China has greatly affected the country’s fisheries sector, while the demand for the product is high.

According to the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, China imported 13.5 billion USD worth of aquatic products in the first nine months of this year, a rise of about 40% year on year.

The department forecast that the increase is likely to continue in the remaining months of this year.

Shrimp is one of the aquatic products with strongest growth so far this year. In the first eight months of this year, China spent 3.77 billion USD to import this product, a rise of 66.3%. The spending in August alone is 680 million USD, a record level for a month.

China’s spending on Vietnamese shrimp in the January-August period reached 198 million USD, a surge of 98.5% year on year.

Dr. Ho Quoc Luc, Chairman of Fimexvn, said that in reality China is the largest shrimp importer in the world. However, the country also has a strong domestic shrimp industry, he said, advising Vietnamese businesses to make clearer assessments on this giant market.

Three Vietnamese among top 1,000 global scientists

Three Vietnamese have been named in a list of 1,000 leading global scientists in terms of research publications over the last 13 years, reported Vietnam News Agency.

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From left: Assoc. Prof. Tran Xuan Bach, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Hoang Son, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phung Van Phuc (Source: vnexpress.net) 

The rankings were released by Research.com, a reputable academic research portal.

Among the honourees, Assoc. Prof. Tran Xuan Bach from the Hanoi Medical University, with his publications on community health, ranks third and is the only Vietnamese to be present in the top 10. He was also the youngest to be granted the Associate Professor title in Vietnam – at the age of 32 in 2016.

Specialised in mechanical engineering and aerospace, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phung Van Phuc from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology ranks 958th. He used to be named among the world’s 100,000 most influential scientists for four consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Hoang Son from the Vietnam National University - Hanoi ranks 190th. Working in computer science, he was also among the world’s best 10,000 scientists for three straight years, in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Recently, a group of professors from the US-based Stanford University also published a list of the world’s 10,000 most influential scientists, including 37 Vietnamese. Of the 100,000 most influential in terms of lifetime achievement, there are seven Vietnamese, namely Prof. Nguyen Minh Tho (Ton Duc Thang University), Tran Tinh Hien (clinical research unit at the Oxford University), Prof. Nguyen Xuan Hung (HCM City University of Technology), Prof. Nguyen Dinh Duc (Vietnam National University - Hanoi), Assoc. Prof. Le Hoang Son (Vietnam National University - Hanoi), late Prof. Hoang Tuy (Institute of Mathematics), and Prof. Nguyen Ba An (Institute of Physics and Electronics under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology).

US becomes second largest Vietnamese trading partner

The United States has risen to become the country’s second trading partner, with trade turnover exceeding US$100 billion, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

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At the event (Photo: sggp.org.vn) 

This information was released at the annual Vietnam - US Trade forum, as organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and the ASEAN - US Business Council.

As part of his opening speech at the forum, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that bilateral trade turnover between the two sides has increased by roughly 248 times, climbing from US$450 million in 1995 to nearly US$113 billion in 2021. This statistic has been recorded despite the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and complicated developments which caused the supply chain disruption, with this figure expected to increase even more by the end of the year.

The US has been the country’s largest and most important export market for many years, while the nation has developed into the eighth largest trading partner of the US.

For many years, the North American country has consistently been one of the largest investment partners in the Vietnamese market, with nearly 1,150 operational projects with total registered investment capital of more than US$10.3 billion, ranking 11th out of 141 investment economies in the country.

Agreeing upon this issue, Phan Thi Thang, vice chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, shared that there are currently 533 direct US investment projects throughout the southern city, with a total investment value of more than US$1.36 billion and 1,109 indirect investors. This is in the form of capital contribution, share purchases, and capital acquisition of domestic enterprises with the value of contributed capital reaching nearly US$635 million.

Capital from US investors therefore plays an important role in the southern metropolis’s socio-economic development, creating favourable conditions for the city as it seeks to strengthen international economic ties and improve capacity in scientific and high technological development activities.

Along with investors, there are 116 representative offices of US traders which are also operating very effectively in the city, as well as serving as an important bridge to boost investment, trade promotion, and the enhancement of export and import development between the two sides.

In terms of trade, the total import and export turnover between the southern city and the US grew from US$5.1 billion in 2013 to US$8.9 billion in 2021.

The first 10 months of the year witnessed import and export turnover between the city and the US hit US$7.99 billion, up 11.1% on-year.

Currently, Ho Chi Minh City is in the process of implementing many important projects, with a strong determination to maximise the potential and advantages for the city to develop in the new period. This is being done with a logistics industry development project, an export development project, policy proposals to promote the development of the digital economy, the sharing economy and the circular economy, and a project to build the southern metropolis into a smart city.

Therefore, it remains necessary for the investment participation of businesses from the US, Thang went on to say.

On the other hand, many argue that co-operation between Vietnamese provinces and state governments is an important focus as part of efforts to step up extensive co-operation between Vietnam and the US, thereby contributing to the implementation of the goals and commitments of both nations’ senior leaders.

Over the years, the enhancement of ties and cohesion at a state level, such as with Oregon, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and California, has helped to establish comprehensive co-operation frameworks and facilitate trade and investment exchange activities. These primarily focuses on imports and exports, trade, industry and energy, the enhancement of information sharing on potential business opportunities, support projects, and activities of enterprises of the two countries.

Therefore, it can be considered essential to deal with this issue to help businesses increase their ability to co-operate and trade with each other.

Vietnam earns international plaudits for its anti-inflation efforts

Inflation is currently being well controlled in Vietnam thanks to an active and flexible monetary policy, coupled with self-control in the supply of basic necessities in the country, reported the Voice of Vietnam according to foreign experts.

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Illustrative photo (Source: VOV) 

Supply chain disruption globally caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent conflict between Russia and Ukraine has sent energy and food prices skyrocketing around the world.

Starting from developed economies, inflation has become a common story among many countries globally. However, for Vietnam, inflation has been kept under control thanks to an active and flexible monetary policy with self-control shown in the supply of basic necessities in the country.

Pemba Tshering Sherpa, communications officer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), assessed that Vietnamese inflation was lower than that of most countries in the region.

Until recently, inflation has been mostly limited to certain goods such as fuel and fuel-intensive services such as transportation.

Sherpa said that consumers had largely been unaffected by the rise in global food prices due to ample domestic supply, lower pork prices from last year's peak, and the focus on consuming rice, a habit which is still cheaper than wheat and other grains.

According to Sherpa, the reduction of environmental tax and other taxes and fees on petroleum products, such as preferential import tax and special consumption tax, helps to reduce the impact of rising world oil prices on Vietnamese households and businesses.

Furthermore, the freezing of prices for some services, including electricity, healthcare, and education, has also contributed to keeping inflation under control so far.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Minh Cuong, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) office in Vietnam, stated that the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) raising the deposit interest rate ceiling and the lending rate ceiling, as well as widening the exchange rate band from ±3% to ±5%, are completely appropriate steps. Indeed, these are being taken as a means of stabilising macro conditions to ensure medium and long-term growth.

According to the assessment of  Andreas Hauskrecht, Clinical Professor of Business Economics at the Kelly School of Business under the US’s Indiana University,  the country has done a good job in curbing inflation, expressing his appreciation for the decisions of the SBV in this regard. Inflation, especially core inflation, in Vietnam is both low and stable, he added.

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Illustrative photo (Source: VNA) 

Prof. Hauskrecht said that Vietnamese management agencies have responded well to the impacts of COVID-19 as a way of keeping inflation in check.

Sherpa went on to note that Vietnamese policies have been well-functioning as they support recovery efforts in the post-COVID-19 transition.

However, risks remain amid a significant slowdown in global demand, thereby increasing domestic inflationary pressures and growing pressure on the Vietnamese currency.

These challenges therefore require a shift from a more favourable policy stance to a more cautious one, with a particular focus on maintaining macroeconomic and financial sector stability.

Sherpa also made recommendations on policies and measures for the Vietnamese economy, emphasising that in the short term, monetary and fiscal policies must be carefully communicated.

In terms of currency, the SBV should continue to focus on price stability, particularly after the decision to widen the exchange rate band.

Foreign exchange reserves should also be preserved in response to market turmoil that may worsen in the future.

The SBV should primarily rely on raising domestic interest rates and lowering the ceiling on credit rates in a bid to curb inflation, even if it means somewhat lower growth.

The IMF also encouraged the nation to maintain its inflation target at 4% by 2023 to demonstrate its strong commitments to ensuring price stability.

Fiscal policy must be flexible in the face of growing uncertainty, Sherpa said, adding that the country should rely on targeted transfers to the most vulnerable households and businesses, as opposed to deploying additional broad-based fiscal stimulus measures that would boost inflation. In addition, protecting the stability of the financial system must also be regarded as vital, she added.

Furthermore, the unusually high levels of inflation in many advanced economies could prompt many central banks to continue to raise interest rates in an aggressive manner.

In response, the SBV may face pressure to continue raising the domestic exchange rate.

Cuong assessed that the nation needs to be flexible, continue to adjust the exchange rate band, and raise interest rates at an appropriate level. The problem is which tool will be used in the near future, he emphazised.

Measures aimed at reducing lending interest rates in the 2022 to 2023 period in the economic recovery package will be difficult to implement, although other measures such as tax reduction and extension remain effective. The nation also needs to consider the objectives of its fiscal policies, Cuong stated.

Moving forward, the country needs to manage the foreign exchange and banking markets, learning the lessons of the 2008 to 2010 financial crisis in order to avoid putting too much pressure on monetary policy.

However, the most important thing is that the confidence of foreign investors and people continues to increase and the measures that Vietnam takes are still effective.

Prof. Hauskrecht said that, until the time when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) starts to change the monetary policy and lower interest rates, the nation will have more room to introduce additional stimulus measures.

According to him, the country needs to maintain stable interest rates, reasonable fiscal policy, and prudent monetary policy in the immediate future./.

Compiled by BTA

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