Vietnam has made an impressive trade performance in 2022, breaking a record set in the previous year.
Despite the impact of the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict, global market fluctuations, and rising inflation risks internationally, the national economy recorded an impressive trade performance in 2022, with the import-export turnover reaching more than US$730 billion, thereby breaking the US$600 billion record set in 2021 and representing an annual rise of 10%. The trade sector has high hopes of raising the annual trade figure to new heights ahead this year and moving forward, in which the US$1 trillion trade is an ambitious target set for 2025.
This plan can be realised providing that domestic businesses continue to make full use of FTAs, especially new-generation FTAs such as the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), according to Dr. Lang from the International Business & Economics Institute under Hanoi-based National Economic University.
He says that new generation FTAs generate large markets for Vietnamese exports by offering taxes to be cut to almost 0%, reducing costs, and simplifying procedures. At the same time, these FTAs also help the country to take advantage of abundant capital and high technology from transnational corporations, as well as developing supply chains.
Despite having higher requirements, new generation FTAs still have the potential to bring about good prospects, meaning they can be considered as tools to overcome fluctuations in the world economic market and the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, elaborates Dr. Lang.
In contrast, new generation FTAs present certain challenges with high requirements in terms of rules of origin, environmental factors, labour standards, along with a number of technical and non-technical barriers. Indeed, all FTAs require building a strict and scientific value chain in order to optimise the various benefits and ensure long-term partnerships. This represents a major challenge in terms of building a supply chain from the very first stage of research, development, and innovation, up to the last stage of after-sales service.
To competently implement FTAs, Dr. Lang suggests that management agencies pay attention to the development of businesses by introducing solutions to encourage innovation, as well as investing in key products and services whilst developing supporting industries and promoting start-ups.
|Illustrative photo: vneconomy.vn
At present, an urgent requirement is to improve the business environment and upgrade the infrastructure for export to maximise cost savings, according to the expert.
For businesses, he says the requirements of transparency, equality, friendliness, and cooperation of the business environment are always respected in order to reduce intermediaries and unofficial costs. The simplification of administrative procedures, business, and trade facilitation with regard to technical infrastructure, logistics services, and social infrastructure must therefore be implemented effectively and efficiently to create breakthrough results.
Dr. Lang believes that businesses should study and master the requirements of new generation FTAs in terms of rules of origin, environmental standards, labour standards, responsible business practices, and investment to meet technical and non-technical requirements.
Alongside improving the overall quality of products and services, he says that firms also need to invest in branding, boost networking connectivity, apply new business models by combining traditional commerce with e-commerce, increase promotion, and develop scenarios to prevent risks.
It is also important that authorities actively negotiate to expand export markets, formulate a strategy for export goods, set up a market information system, support trade promotion, and build a team of trade experts capable of making accurate forecasts and giving practical advice, suggests Dr. Lang.
Vietnam to compete in 2023 Asian Cup in early 2024
The Vietnamese national men’s football team are set to compete in the finals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup which is scheduled to get underway in Qatar in January, 2024, reported Vietnam News Agency.
|Vietnamese players celebrate their goal during the 2022 World Cup second qualification Asian zone. Photo courtesy of VFF
The regional tournament will see the participation of 24 teams, including Vietnam and those who made it to the third qualification round of the Asian zone for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to Windsor John, the AFC’s general secretary, the 2023 Asian Cup will take place in January, 2024, to avoid the hot weather in Qatar.
Most recently, 2022 saw Qatar host the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time, with the event being the first World Cup held in winter to prevent the harsh weather conditions in Qatar negatively impacting the competition.
This comes following China, who had been scheduled to host the 2023 Asian Cup, changing its plans due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, the Vietnamese team made it through to the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup, although they eventually lost 1-0 to Japan.
Korean coach Park Hang-seo ended contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on January 31, with French coach Philippe Troussier likely to lead the national team at the regional tournament after taking charge of his first match this February.
Frenchman will manage both Vietnam’s U23s and the senior team, with the aim of defending their gold medal in the men’s football at SEA Games 32 which will be held in Cambodia this May, as well as competing in the qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in November and the 2023 Asian Cup in January, 2024.
Vietnam spends US$1 billion importing cashew nuts from Cambodia
Cambodia exported a total of 670,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts worth US$1.07 billion last year, with 98.5% of its raw cashew nuts worth US$1 billion being shipped to Vietnam, reported the Voice of Vietnam according to a report released by the Cambodia Cashew Association.
Furthermore, Cambodia's raw cashew nuts are also one of the main sources for cashew processing in Vietnam.
According to details given by the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), last year Vietnam imported about 1.9 million tonnes of raw cashew with an average price of US$1,400 per tonne. Local businesses spent roughly US$2.66 billion on importing raw materials.
Vietnam continues to represent the leading importer of raw cashew worldwide, with the major providers of cashew nuts for the nation including Cambodia, as well as African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Currently, the cultivation area for Vietnamese cashew stands at only 300,000 hectares, providing about 30% of raw materials for local businesses’ processing demand.
Therefore, Vinacas has proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development devise a long-term plan specifically for cashew growing areas by developing cashew material zones in both Cambodia and southern Laos.
Ha Long Bay proves ideal wedding venue for Indian billionaire couple
An Indian billionaire couple enjoyed a one-week luxurious wedding in Ha Long Bay, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in the northern province of Quang Ninh, inviting as many as 412 guests to attend the event, reported the Voice of Vietnam.
|An Indian billionaire couple enjoy a one-week luxurious wedding in Ha Long Bay. (Photo: LDO)
The identities of the Indian billionaires have not been revealed.
The couple tied the knot onboard the five-star cruise ship Ambassador Day Cruise II in a seven-day wedding ceremony which lasted from February 5.
Around 100 Indian event staff and chefs, along with two tonnes of materials, costumes, and props, were moved from India to Quang Ninh province to prepare for the lavish wedding ceremony.
This marks the first large-scale wedding that Indian billionaires have chosen to hold in Ha Long Bay. This comes after a five-day wedding ceremony was held on January 24 for one Indian billionaire family, featuring the participation of 350 guests, in the central city of Da Nang.
In late November, 2019, an Indian billionaire family hosted a wedding party lasting four days for their daughter in Da Nang with more than 600 guests.
In March, 2019, an Indian billionaire couple got married on Phu Quoc island amid the presence of about 700 guests./.