|Vietnam produces 60% of the total volume of pepper consumed worldwide. (Illustrative image)
Vietnam exported 267,000 tonnes of pepper in 2023 for USD912 million, up 16.6% in volume but down 6% in value.
The US made up 23.5% of Vietnam’ total export earnings between January and November 2023, followed by China (14.1%), India (5.4%) and Germany (4.3%).
The Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA) reports that Vietnamese pepper has a strong competitive advantage over the similar product from other producers such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, thanks to incentives from the EU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA).
Currently, the import tax on ground or cracked pepper exported to the EU is slashed from 4% to 0%.
In addition, Vietnam’s pepper industry is highly appreciated for its processing capacity with the rate of processed products accounting for about 30% of total export turnover.
VPSA forecasts that pepper exports would remain at a low level because the local supply is no longer abundant, that would eventually fuel the price of this agricultural item. This year’s pepper crop is set to decrease by about 10-15%, estimated at 160,000-165,000 tonnes.
Vietnam Value hits USD431 billion, up in global ranking
The Vietnam Value has moved up one spot to 32nd out of 100 strong national brands globally, with its value hitting USD431 billion, reported VOV News.
|The Vietnam Value has moved up one spot to 32nd out of 100 strong national brands globally (Illustrative image)
Many reputable international organizations have highly appreciated the Vietnamese economy’s sound performance in 2023 and its future positive outlook, said Tran Van Son, minister and head of the Government Office, at a press briefing in Hanoi on January 5.
He cited Fitch Ratings’ December 2023 announcement saying this organisation upgraded Vietnam’s long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to BB+ from BB, with a stable outlook.
The upgrade reflects the country’s favourable medium-term growth outlook, underpinned by robust foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, which Fitch Ratings expects will continue to drive sustained improvements in its structural credit metrics.
According to Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy, Vietnam continues to be considered a bright spot in the national branding picture, recording with the fastest value growth rate of 74% in the world in the 2019-2022 period.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19, the Vietnam Value rose 29%, 21% and 11% in 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively to USD319 billion, USD388 billion and USD431 billion.
Vietnam is increasingly perceived as a safe and stable place to invest as many manufacturers look to relocate operations in Asia to Vietnam, according to Brand Finance.
The country has gained momentum and is known as an attractive destination for foreign investment thanks to its successful fiscal and monetary policies and investment in human capital.
Two former royal palaces to open door to visitors during Lunar New Year
After a period of restoration, Thai Hoa and Kien Trung Palaces, two important palaces of the former Nguyen Dynasty, are set to open to visitors during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, known locally as Tet, reported VOV News.
|Photo for illustration. (Source: VOV News)
Thai Hoa Palace, located in Hue Imperial Citadel, was built in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long (1762-1820). The building, that is symbolic of the power held by the Nguyen Dynasty, served as a venue for many important imperial events, such as coronation ceremonies, the emperor's birthdays, and receptions held for foreign ambassadors.
The palace has been recognised by UNESCO as a Documentary Heritage under the Memory of the World Program in the Asia-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, Kien Trung Palace, which was built between 1921 and 1923 during the reign of King Khai Dinh (1885-1925), once served as the living and working space of Bao Dai (1913-1997), the last king of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945).
Hoang Viet Trung, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said Thua Thien Hue province will try to open major monument restoration works specifically during Tet to welcome visitors.
“We are fully preparing stories of the palaces and related artifacts of Vietnamese dynasties to serve tourists on the occasion,” he noted.
Vinhomes kicks off its first social housing project in Hai Phong
|National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (centre) and representatives from agencies and localities at the ceremony to kick off Vinhomes' social housing project in Hai Phong city. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam’s biggest listed property firm Vinhomes JSC on January 6 held a ceremony to kick off its first social housing project in Hai An district, Hai Phong city, reported Vietnam News Agency.
“Happy Home Trang Cat” is the social housing project with the largest scale and utility infrastructure in Hai Phong with the provision of 4,300 houses, thus contributing to solving the housing need of tens of thousands of local workers.
|“Happy Home Trang Cat” is the social housing project with the largest scale
Covering an area of 28.14 ha, the project includes 27 apartment buildings from 7 to 9 storeys, and nearly 300 houses along with modern utility services such as outdoor sports areas, children's playgrounds, gardens. Commercial and service works, and schools are also built inside the area, along with a medical station and other available infrastructure in the area. It has a total investment of 5.8 trillion VND (238 million USD).
The project is expected to be completed in five years./.