Vietnam, Germany eyes cooperation in farming, innovation

Sunday, 26/02/2023 20:15
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung led a Vietnamese delegation to visit Germany from February 23 to 25, working with German departments on measures to concretize cooperation with Europe's largest economy, especially in agriculture and innovation, reported Vietnam News Agency.
Le Manh Hung (L), head of the Vietnamese ministry' enterprise development department, and Alina Grumpert, Director of the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a common cooperation framework under the witness of Minister Nguyen Chi Dung (standing, third, from left). (Photo: VNA) 

At the working session with Alina Grumpert, Director of the German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA), Dung proposed the union support Vietnamese agricultural enterprises to improve their competitiveness, apply science and technology, promote innovation to improve added value and product quality.

Grumpert said in the context that Vietnamese farming products have to compete fiercely with their competitors, improving the entire value chain is essential.

Talking about measures to assist Vietnamese enterprises, Tobias Fausch, IT director of BayWa – one of the largest German corporations in trade, logistics and services for agriculture and energy, noted one of their biggest advantages is the enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) from August 2020.

Building an institutional dialogue system, with better tax rates, will help Vietnam's farming products access large markets, he added.

The GAA and German firms said they are committed to supporting Vietnamese businesses in the field. The German side will coordinate to bring them to Germany to learn about the local technological transition and application models in agriculture.

While in Germany, the delegation also toured the Adlershof hi-tech park in Berlin, and the Infineon Semiconductor Group, one of the 10 largest of its kind in Germany. 

On February 25, the delegation met with Chief of the State Chancellery and State Minister of Saxony Oliver Schenk, discussing measures to meet the demand for skilled labour; cooperation in semiconductor industry and high technology; and economic transformation toward sustainability.

Hoa Binh attracts investment projects valued at more than 2 billion USD

The northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh on February 26 granted 15 investment licenses worth nearly VND48 trillion, equivalent to more than 2 billion USD, to businesses, reported VOV News.

 Hoa Binh hands over 15 investment licences worth more than 2 billion USD to businesses on February 26. (Photo: VGP)

These projects specialize in the fields of tourism, food processing, cement production, industrial park infrastructure, urban development, among others.

The licenses were presented at an investment promotion conference held by the Hoa Binh provincial Party Committee on February 26.

Addressing the event, Secretary of the Hoa Binh Provincial Party Committee Nguyen Phi Long noted in addition to general preferential policies, Hoa Binh has also offered businesses a number of other attractive incentives.

The incentives include an exemption from corporate income tax for the first four years, a 50% reduction of the corporate income tax in the next nine years, an exemption and reduction of land rent and water surface rent, and an exemption and reduction of import and export tax.

In addition, the province has also issued a policy to encourage investment in the agricultural sector in line with the Government’s decree 210 dated December 19, 2013 that encourage investment and the application of high technology in agriculture.

Delegates at the event. (Photo: VGP) 

Hoa Binh encourages investment in hi-tech agriculture, food and farm produce processing, trade and services, tourism, as well as supply chain development, said Long.

He assured that Hoa Binh rolls out the red carpet to welcome both domestic and foreign investors, and it accompanies along with investors for win-win cooperation.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested that to attract investors, Hoa Binh should prepare necessary conditions such as traffic infrastructure, complete infrastructure at industrial parks, information infrastructure and human resources in association with perfecting institutions and laws, and improving the business investment environment.

The Prime Minister also suggested that investors properly fulfill their commitments, disburse investment capital quickly, well implement corporate culture and say no to negatives.

Vietnam’s 2022 smartphone shipments fall to 2015 levels

People shop at a Mobile World store in Hanoi (Photo: VNA) 

Vietnam’s smartphone market saw a dip in shipments by 15.6% in 2022, marking a significant decline in the industry, Vietnam News Agency quoted figures of the International Data Corporation's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Despite the slight improvement in volume to 13.4 million units, this figure is still comparable to the 2015 market when it was still in a growing phase.

In the last quarter of 2022, the market took a sharp downturn, with a 50.3% drop year over year to 2.6 million units, the lowest figure recorded since the third quarter of 2021, when the industry grappled with supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer demand weakened considerably, exacerbated by high inflation and economic uncertainties. The underwhelming figures come as a surprise as the fourth quarter of the year is typically a robust period for the market.

"The rising cost of living and growing macro-economic concerns resulted in significantly low consumer demand, dampening any rebound in 2022 when Vietnam re-opened," said Thanh Vo, Research Analyst for Client Devices at IDC Vietnam. "This has led to a cautious start in 2023 as vendors rethink their portfolio of devices amidst profitability concerns."

Apple was a bright spot in 2022, being the only top smartphone vendor to weather the decline with a positive growth due to the high demand for the iPhone 14 series despite the production issues in China affecting the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max supplies.

Photo for illustration
 Photo for illustration

Samsung declined 4.9% quarter over quarter, but it made a remarkable effort in the market downturn. Its Galaxy A-series phones contributed the largest to Samsung's shipments, with the Galaxy A04, Galaxy A13, and Galaxy A23 being the most popular. Samsung's share increased to 40.4% in 4Q22 from 34% in the third quarter of 2022.

OPPO kept its second position with a 21.3% share by units in the last quarter of 2022, despite a slight 0.3 percentage point drop quarter over quarter. Its shipments declined for the second straight quarter with a 21% and a 38.9% year-over-year drop. OPPO's affordable smartphone range, such as the A17k, A57, A77s, and A17, were the main workhorses across its portfolio.

Apple was a bright spot as its shipments increased 42.7% quarter over quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022. The new iPhone 14 series drove the growth of Apple in Vietnam despite production issues. Apple's overall shipments grew 23.6% year-on-year for 2022, broadly outperforming the market downturn.

Vivo faced a steeper shipment drop of 80.7% year-on-year and 49.5% quarter over quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022, resulting in a more cautious approach and supporting sales by offering discounts and/or other activities. Vivo finished in the last quarter of 2022 with a 6.3% share, a decline from a 9.9% share in the previous quarter.

Xiaomi's shipments dropped down to 138,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2022, a decline of 74.8% year-on-year and 71.0% quarter over quarter as its share declined to 5.4% from 14.9% in the previous quarter. Its Redmi A1, Redmi 10C, Redmi Note 11/Note 11 Pro, and Redmi 9C represented the largest contribution of all Xiaomi smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022./.