Project on restructuring the Vietnam's rice industry until 2025 approved. (Photo: baodautu.vn)

Accordingly, Vietnam will continue to restructure the rice industry in the direction of improving efficiency and sustainable development towards the objectives of fully meeting domestic consumption demand, being the core in ensuring national food security, and enhancing the efficiency of the rice value chain.

Under the project, Vietnam also expects to adapt to climate change and mitigate the impacts of climate change, make efficient use of natural resources and protect the ecological environment, and increase income for farmers and benefits for consumers, in addition to exporting high quality and high value rice.

The country also plans to keep its rice area at 3.6 to 3.7 million hectares by 2025, with rice production of 40 to 41 million tonnes per year.

The rice industry also aims at exporting 5 million tonnes of rice each year by 2025, including 40% fragrant rice, specialty rice and japonica rice, 20% sticky rice, 20% high quality rice, 15% medium and low-grade rice, and 5% products processed from rice. The percentage of branded rice exports is over 20%.

The country sets the target of exporting 4 million tonnes of rice by 2030, including 45% fragrant rice, specialty rice and japonica rice, 20% sticky rice, 15% high quality rice, 10% medium and low-grade rice, and 10% products processed from rice, with over 40% branded rice exports.

A notable aspect of the project is that the rice export volume has decreased gradually in each period, but the criteria for specialty rice, high quality rice, processed products from rice, and percentage of branded rice exports sees increases year by year.

This shows that the future direction of the rice industry is to reduce the area and output for export towards a focus on improving rice quality and selling prices.

This is the right target which is suitable to the current situation of rice production and export, particularly in the context that Vietnam has signed many free trade agreements (FTAs) with international partners, such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

Drug market forecast to grow by 15%

The pharmaceutical industry grew by just 2.8% last year, much lower than its average 11.8 percent growth in the last five years, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Drug market forecast to grow by 15%. (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

It is expected to recover and grow by 15% this year, mainly due to a rapidly ageing population and increasing incomes, analysts at SSI Securities Corporation said.

According to a report by the company, social distancing and strict control at hospitals last year meant people with minor ailments did not go for treatment due, resulting in lower sales of both prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The incidence of health checks was 10-15% down until the fourth quarter.

Then, in the final quarter, after the pandemic was controlled, people again began going to hospitals that the number visiting hospitals went up by 5% year-on-year.

Last year there was a short supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China and India due to social distancing and lockdowns and higher demand for them globally, causing drug prices to rise.

India and China account for 55% of the global API supply and nearly 70% of Vietnam’s requirements.

The prices of most APIs increased by 5-8% and pharmaceutical companies’ gross profit margin decreased by 1-3% points in 2020 since they could not increase prices to compensate for this.

Vietnam set for hospitality recovery in 2021: Savills

January started on a positive note, with city hotels seeing increased MICE and event bookings, while in some resorts corporate bookings started to return, Vietnam News Agency quoted figures of Savills Vietnam.

Photo for illustration. (Source: hanoimoi.com.vn)

“The market in 2021 is expected to be broadly similar with most of 2020, at least until borders reopen to leisure and business trade. Hotels have adapted by considerably reducing operating costs to establish lower breakeven points. The good news is that several destinations are still performing at acceptable levels,” Mauro Gasparotti, Director of Savills Hotels APAC, said.

Performance in December and January was positive for destinations like Phu Quoc or Vung Tau, which have the essential appeals to both local leisure travellers and year-end company trips. In addition, over the past few months there has been very encouraging growth of MICE demand in city hotels. Some city hotels have used promotions, such as “staycation” packages, or F&B deals to nurture local demand, which have supported performance, he said.

According to Gasparotti, the market is in a slow recovery. Local demand, even if delivering a strong rebound, has not proven steady enough to support hotel and resort performance. Weekends have been acceptable, but weekday demand is low. Most hotels, by cutting costs, have tried to find lower operational breakeven points, and only a few will be able to see a decent result for 2020.

Expectations for 2021 are positive but mainly focused on the third quarter and fourth quarter when travel restrictions are anticipated to be eased, with corporate guests and independent travellers from neighbouring countries able to return and partially support the hotel and resort market.

The recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Hai Duong and Quang Ninh have seen preventative measures reinstated across the country. Van Don International Airport was closed after 10 security personnel were found to be infected./.

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