Jan-Nov export tops $87 billion
Vietnam’s total export turnover in the year to November rose by 34.7 percent year-on-year to reach US$87.1 billion, the General Customs Department reported.
The domestic economic sector accounted for $37.81 billion of the total turnover and the FDI sector, $49.35 billion.
Most of the country’s export staples saw an increase in turnover. Textiles and garments, which brought home $1.2 billion in the 11-month period, remained the top earner, followed by crude oil, $660 million, and seafood, $580 million.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s import turnover in 11 months was $96 billion, or 26.4 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
This widened the January – November trade gap to $8.9 billion, or 10.21 percent of the export turnover.
In related news, the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported that Vietnam’s disbursed foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in 11 months increased 1 percent year on year to $10 billion.
The agency said Vietnam attracted $9.9 billion from 919 new projects, down by 16 percent compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, more than 320 projects had their capital expanded by $2.78 billion, or a 50 percent year-on-year increase.
The production sector was most appealing to foreign investors with 382 new projects worth $6.24 billion, or 49.1 percent of the total registered capital.
Power generation and distribution, and construction followed with $2.53 billion, and $1.19 billion, respectively.
Domestic fuel price steady despite global plunge
Singaporean gasoline prices have repeatedly dropped in recent weeks, but domestic fuel wholesalers have not followed this price fluctuation.
Some wholesalers even complained about losses, while many experts confirmed that they have actually earned considerable profits, and that it is completely possible to provide a price cut on A92 gasoline for now.
Figures from Petrolimex, the country’s largest fuel distributor with more than 60 percent market share, show that Singaporean A92 gasoline prices fell to US$106.9 a barrel earlier on last Tuesday.
It has dropped by a total of $15.4 a barrel, or VND2,000 a liter, compared to the rate recorded on August 26, when the domestic retail price was cut from VND21,300 ($1.07) a liter to VND20,800 a liter.
Though many expenses including insurance fees, special consumption, and value-added tariffs also fell accordingly with the plunging importing price, the stubborn domestic retail price still remains at VND20,800 a liter.
According to Decree No 84 on fuel trading, the Ministry of Finance stipulates that the domestic retail price can only be adjusted in accordance with the prime cost, which is calculated based on the average importing price within 30 days, plus certain fees and other expenses.
The retail price will be cut if it is higher than the prime cost.
With the average importing price within the last 30 days standing at $113.11 a barrel, the according prime cost is VND20,600 a liter, VND200 a liter lower than the current retail price.
Moreover, since the prime cost already includes a “fixed profit” of VND300 a liter as required by the finance ministry, the actual profit the wholesalers reap from every liter of gasoline is VND500.
With the importing price continuing to drop, the prime cost calculated on November 22 was as much as VND1,600 a liter lower than the current retail price.
This means fuel distributors on that day enjoyed a huge profit of VND1,600 a liter.
An industry expert said it was unreasonable for the domestic retail price to remain unchanged when global price had plunged, adding that such a situation would only benefit fuel wholesalers and dealers.
However, fuel dealers, for their part, protested that the unchanged retail price did them no good.
A salesperson at a Ho Chi Minh City-based fuel trading company said his company received a commission of only VND300 a liter from the wholesaler, adding that the rate could even be lowered.
“Thus, the disparity between prime cost and retail price of more than VND1,500 a liter will mostly go to the wholesalers’ pockets,” he said.
“Neither consumers nor dealers can benefit from the lowered Singaporean A92 price.”
An expert said the fuel price management system should be adjusted in a way that prime cost would be calculated based on the average importing price of seven days instead of 30 days.
“This wouldl enable the domestic retail price to be adjusted on time and in accordance with global prices, which will better protect both consumers and dealers.”
Central international airport lacks major features
Two years after being upgraded from a domestic airport, Cam Ranh International Airport, in the central province of Khanh Hoa, has failed to fulfill four crucial standardized criteria for an international airport.
Luong Van Thanh, the facility’s director, admitted to Tuoi Tre that Cam Ranh airport could only be called “international” under Vietnamese standards.
“Under the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards, we have a lot of work to do,” he said.
Thanh said the airport has no fresh water supply, despite a demand of around 100 cubic meters a day.
“In 2005 the provincial authority decided to build a fresh water plant in Cam Lam District to supply the airport,” he said.
“But the project has yet to be implemented thanks to a shortage of capital.”
At present, the airport has to use a pipeline network to carry seawater to mix with the well-water, which is contaminated with oil, for temporary use.
Moreover, the airport does not have trucks specialized in pumping fresh water for the aircraft, as requested by the international air carriers.
To temporarily deal with the problem, the airport’s management board has planned to lease trucks to carry fresh water from Nha Trang city to supply the airplanes.
Even more alarming is the fact that Cam Ranh airport lacks fire-trucks capable of fighting a blaze on a large aircraft.
This is a serious problem, since companies want to send large planes to the airport.
Hoang Thi Phong Thu, chairwoman and CEO of Anh Duong Co, said the company is cooperating with Russian businesses to send two charter flights from Russia to Cam Ranh on a daily basis.
“We have to deploy large aircraft such as the Boeing 777 to fly Russian tourists to Vietnam, but the Cam Ranh airport is not capable of receiving us due to their sub-standard fire safety equipment,” Thu said.
Thanh said it will not be until the end of next year, when the airport gets a powerful new fire-truck, that the airport will be able to receive larger aircraft.
Cam Ranh’s most severe deficiency is the lack of a fixed international route.
Over the last two years, the airport has only managed to receive a few charter flights from two Russian carriers — Vladivostok Air and Oren Air — which brought Russian tourists to Cam Ranh during the winter holidays.
Last year South Korea’s national carrier, Korean Air, also offered about a dozen charter flights to Cam Ranh so that tourists could enjoy their summer vacation in Nha Trang.
Most of the time, the airport only receives domestic flights connecting Cam Ranh to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Moreover, Cam Ranh airport currently has only one three-kilometer runway, whose surface is now heavily cracked.
“It is impossible for a 50-year-old runway which has to receive around 20 flights a day to not deteriorate,” Thanh said.
“After each flight, we have to send technicians to check if there are any gaps on the surface to provide a timely fix.”
Thanh said the provincial government and the Ministry of Transport are still unable to afford the VND2-trillion investment for building a second runway for the airport.
Compounding these problems is the fact that Cam Ranh international, unlike what its name implies, does not have any money exchangers.
“It took me by great surprise to learn that there is no money exchanger in an international airport like Cam Ranh,” Natalia, a Russian tourist, told Tuoi Tre.
In response, Thanh said the airport did not set up a money exchanger since it would likely fail to cover expenses.
“There are not many foreign tourists and not all of them require a foreign currency exchange,” he explained.
FDI disbursement levels hold steady
Disbursement of foreign investment in the last 11 months exceeded US$10 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the same period last year, the Foreign Investment Agency has announced.
The agency earlier set a target of US$11-11.5 billion in disbursements for the whole year.
Despite over US$1 billion in newly-registered foreign investment this month – the highest level of its kind since August – the total of this kind of investment in the first 11 months of the year still dropped by 16 per cent against last year’s total of US$9.9 billion, the agency said.
However, 324 existing projects received approval to increase their level of investment by a combined total of nearly US$2.8 billion during the period, up 50 per cent year-on-year. The new additions have brought the total foreign direct investment registered between January and November to nearly US$12.69 billion, an overall decline of 16 per cent.
Among the period’s largest foreign-invested projects are a US$2.26 billion thermoelectric plant being developed by JAKS Hai Duong Power Co, a US$400 million Chinese-invested tyre factory, and a US$323 million plant to produce special glass for the electronics industry in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
The period also witnessed a shift in the target sectors of foreign investors. Over $6.2 billion, or half of total FDI, went towards the processing and manufacturing sector. Electricity, gas and water production and distribution ranked second with $2.5 billion, making up 20 per cent, following by the construction sector with $1.19 billion. The real estate sector, which used to be the most attractive to foreign investors, drew only $445 million.
Hong Kong remained the leading source of foreign investment, with nearly US$3.1 billion, accounting for 24.3 per cent of the country’s newly registered capital. It was followed by Japan (US$2.12 billion), Singapore (US$1.58 billion) and South Korea (US$1.16 billion).
The northern province of Hai Duong was the most popular destination for foreign investors, absorbing US$2.56 billion, or 20 per cent, of the nation’s total FDI. HCM City followed with US$2.15 billion, Ha Noi with US$1.1 billion and Ba Ria-Vung Tau with US$9.13 million.
Kon Tum boosts cooperation with Cambodian province
Leaders of the Central Highland province of Kon Tum and Ratanakiri province of Cambodia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation for socio-economic development.
Under the document, signed in Kon Tum city on November 27, the two provinces agreed to ask the two Governments to open more border gates in an effort to further foster their socio-economic development.
They agreed to increase the exchange of information, and create favourable conditions for their enterprises to seek business opportunities in the other locality.
They will also continue to cooperate in teaching Vietnamese and Khmer languages and developing human resources, as part of a cooperation programme between the two governments.
The two localities will maintain order and security in the border area to turn it into an area of peace, friendship, cooperation and development as well as facilitating the land border demarcation.
Ratanakiri province pledged to continue assisting Kon Tum in searching and repatriating remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who laid down their lives during the resistance war in Cambodia.
Switzerland provides nearly 1.2 million euros for animal husbandry
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has provided non-refundable aid of 1.19 million euros for a project to reduce poverty through animal husbandry in the northern mountainous region.
The project, worth more than 2.32 million euros in total, will benefit the Vietnam Institute for Animal Husbandry and the northern provinces of Phu Tho, Yen Bai, and Son La.
The project aims to increase farmers’ incomes through breeding services and suitable, sustainable models of animal husbandry.
Under this program, farmers will apply breeding skills and knowledge on small- and medium-sized farms, as well as improve their skills in ensuring cost-effectiveness and reaching markets.
Travel operators resume tours of Thailand
Many Vietnamese travel agencies are restarting their tour services to Thailand after a pause due to floods in the country of golden pagodas.
Viettravel Hanoi reopened the ‘Return to Thailand’ campaign from November 29 to December 20, with a focus on such destinations as Bangkok and Pattaya. The campaign includes two tours of five to six days in November.
The company also offered a discount of VND700,000 per customer.
Phung Van Khai, Vice Director of Vietran Tour, said when floods receded in Bangkok in late 2011, his company sent tourists back there, along with other destinations such as Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
Saigontourist Company has also coordinated with Vietnam Airlines and other partners to resume tours of Thailand at economical prices, down VND1.5-2 million from before.
Businesses explore North Africa, Middle East markets
A Vietnamese business delegation has visited Sudan and Egypt to seek investment and cooperation opportunities in the North African and Middle Eastern markets.
The delegation had working sessions with Sudanese ministries and took part in an Egypt-Vietnam business forum to exchange information and seek partners in the beverage, media, and farm produce export and import sectors.
Tran Uyen Phuong, honorary consul at the Sudanese embassy in Vietnam and member of the board of directors of Vietnam’s Tan Hiep Phat Group, said that they consider Sudan an open market with great potential, and that now is a good time for Vietnamese businesses to invest in Sudan.
Phuong also saw Egypt as another major market. Her delegation met many Egyptian businesses in Cairo in an open and serious atmosphere.
Businesses receive favourite goods awards
Forty-two tourism, service, trade, production and publishing businesses were presented with 2011 Vietnamese Favourite Goods Awards in Ho Chi Minh City on November 26.
The awards were launched in April this year and the results were determined through online voting and direct interviews with consumers living the city.
The Best Commercial Centre award went to the Saigon Tax Trade Centre and the Best Supermarket award was given to the Coopmart and Big C, while the Quan Quan Trading and Service Company and the Kinh Do Group were chosen for the best trademarks.
The Ho Chi Minh City Book Distribution Cooperation (FAHASA) also topped the list as the best book distributor.
Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh Municipal People’s Committee, said the awards aim to honour businesses that contribute to the community’s development.
Hanoi helps businesses iron out snags
The capital will stand by its businesses and work out effective solutions to boost production in the last two months of this year and in 2012.
This was said by the Chairman of the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee, Nguyen The Thao, at a meeting on November 25 with businesses operating in the city.
Businesses agreed that the city leaders are always ready to help them tackle difficulties, however, they still face an uphill battle due to tighter control on credit and high interest rates that hinder their access to loans.
In addition, Vietnamese producers need policies to support them in producing high quality goods to attract domestic consumers. They need financial aid to move their facilities to the outskirts of the city, pay costly mortgage taxes, conduct research to develop new products and purchase land to build commercial centres.
There is also a shortage of living places for workers at some industrial zones in the city.
Chairman of the Thien Phu Group Board of Directors, Nguyen Son Hai, proposed that the city help businesses obtain bank loans more easily and reform administrative procedures to save time and money.
Tran Van Quang, Director General of the Dong Anh Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Joint Stock Company (EEMC), said the Government should establish concrete policies to encourage Vietnamese people to buy and use Vietnamese goods.
He suggested the Ministry of Planning and Investment change its regulations on bidding so domestic contractors can compete for the large tenders that now force investors to buy products from foreign suppliers.
The Hanoi Mayor said the city’s rapid 10.13 percent growth over 2010 was largely attributed to the contributions by businesses.
The city pledged to review and amend regulations to create more favourable conditions for its citizens and businesses, said Mr Thao.
He urged the State Bank of Vietnam to adjust interest rates making it easier for businesses access credits with priority given to agriculture, rural areas, support industries and export products.
Mr Thao also asked businesses to continue apply modern technologies to improve their capacity, and join hands with the city to surmount their difficulties and maintain production.
Businesses should also cooperate closely with each other for mutual benefit and development, he added.
Vietnam needs exclusive pier to develop cruise ship tourism
Although Ho Chi Minh City has a distinct advantage to attract international cruise ship visitors, this market has not developed fully because of lack of infrastructure and demand for high quality of service.
The country has only a few travel companies that have the resources to receive a large number of cruise ship tourists arriving on luxury liners.
Most of these companies don’t have tour guides speaking different languages such as Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Russian to be able to receive about 3,000 cruise ship passengers all at once.
Rich cruise passengers can also have unexpected demands such as luxury cars to transport them around the country and sometimes even small luxury aircraft to fly them to neighboring countries.
Even small handcrafted souvenirs have failed to attract foreign tourists because of lack of design quality and variety. Foreign visitors are interested in traditional handicraft products and are willing to spend money provided they are appealing and attractive.
Vietnam has not yet developed a tourism pier to receive big cruise liners that presently have to dock at trading ports.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) chose sea tourism as one of its top priorities in its draft National tourism development strategy for the period 2010-2020.
Ho Chi Minh City also plans to develop riverside tourism and build a part of the Saigon Port into a modern international luxury tourist pier to lure more cruise ship liners.
According to the Statistics Bureau, the country received more than 224,000 cruise ship passengers in 2007, while there were only 25,000 cruise tourists in the first nine months of this year.
Provinces to be joined in economic zone
An area of over 3,600 square kilometres across the southern part of Nghe An and the northern part of Ha Tinh provinces is set to become a key economic zone of the north central region by 2025, according to a plan ratified by the Prime Minister recently.
The plan gives priority to industrial development, including food processing, textile and mechanical industries, which would apply high technology in manufacture. The total area of land designated for the industrial zones would be 2230ha.
In addition, a system of urban areas and infrastructure would be developed.
By 2015, all communes in the region would have a road leading to their centres. The percentage of concrete and asphalted roads in remote mountainous communes was set at 15 per cent by 2015 and 20 per cent in 2020.
Also, the road system would be upgraded, along with the railroad, waterway and Vinh City Airport, to turn the region into a centre of trade in goods and services.
About 40 per cent of the region’s population would live in urban areas by 2015, doubling the current rate. The proportion of urban residents in the region was expected to reach 60 per cent by 2025, along with an expansion of urban land by 50 per cent, compared with the target of nearly 20,000ha set for 2015.
The region also planned to develop tourism, based on the resources of sea, rivers, lakes and ecosystem as well as historical monuments.
The Huong Son and Thac Muoi hydroelectric plants were considered as strategic projects to be implemented to meet growing power demand.
The region includes Vinh City, Cua Lo Town and Nghi Loc, Hung Nguyen, Nam Dan and Thanh Chuong districts in Nghe An Province and Hong Linh Town and Nghi Xuan, Duc Tho and Huong Son districts in Ha Tinh Province.
Power price shock in pipeline
Cash-strapped Electricity of Vietnam could push power prices up 10 per cent next year as the energy giant bids to get its hands on enough cash for new power projects.
The state-run Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) recently announced it incurred an aggregate loss of VND23.5 trillion ($1.1 billion) in 2010, with $388 million coming from its electricity business and another $747 million stemming from exchange rate differences.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said the group’s losses would be offset by future power price hikes. However, he failed to give an exact timetable for the electricity price rises.
The group’s losses were attributed to the lack of water at hydroelectric plants because of droughts which caused the EVN to depend upon its oil-fired plants and to procure power at a higher cost from other sources. Other reasons cited were the price of fuel, exchange rate fluctuations and slow progress in the construction of some power plants, according to EVN’s report.
Pham Le Thanh, general director of EVN, warned that if no drastic measures were taken to deal with the group’s financial imbalance, it would find it increasingly difficult to raise capital in future to secure sufficient power supplies.
Thanh raised the alarm again last week, saying Hanoi was threatened with a power shortfall of 15-20 per cent next year because of slow progress in the upgrades and development of a power transmission line systems and transformer stations.
However, despite its huge losses and reportedly capital shortage for invesment in power generation projects, EVN is now ranked third among state-owned economic groups and general corporations in terms of investment into non-core businesses.
EVN employees’ average monthly pay also reached VND7.3 million ($353) in 2009 compared to the country’s average wage of $137 as reported by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).
The MoLISA also reported that in 2009, Vietnam’s per capita income just stood at $67 per month., with the figure in the highest-income class topping at $164. EVN has invested in banking and real estate, among others but most of these investments have had a bitter aftertaste for the electricity behemoth.
EVN is, for example, a strategic shareholder in Ha Thanh Securities Company, a firm whose losses amounted to VND111 billion ($5.2 million) as of June 30.
Tourism industry meets 5.3m foreign arrival target
Some 5.3 million foreign visitors came to the country in the past 11 months, up 15.9 per cent year-on-year, and meeting the country’s tourism target, according to the General Statistics Office.
Tourism, including domestic, earned an estimated VND110 trillion (US$5.2 billion) or 4.5 per cent of the nation’s GDP, this year.
Of those coming to the country, 4.5 million arrived by plane, 20.8 per cent up on last year. However, the number of visitors coming to the country by sea and road decreased by 30 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, to 32,000 and 833,000.
Of those coming to the country, 3.2 million came for a holiday – up 13 per cent against the same period last year – 890,000 came to visit relatives, and 887,000 arrived for business purposes.
China topped the tables, with 1.2 million visitors coming to the country, up 49 per cent on last year. Meanwhile, there were 473,000 visitors from South Korea, up 5.1 per cent on 2010.
Visitors from Japan, the US, France, Cambodia, Taiwan, Australia and Malaysia also surged significantly.
PetroVietnam earns $160b over 50 years, 20% average growth
Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has earned US$160 billion and maintained an average annual growth rate of nearly 20 per cent during the past 50 years, said PetroVietnam chairman Phung Dinh Thuc.
Thuc made the statement at the 50th anniversary of the petroleum industry, held on Saturday in Ha Noi.
He said that in its 50 years of development, PetroVietnam had become a leading economic group with its annual export volume making up about 15 per cent of the country’s total exports. PetroVietnam had also contributed $57 billion to the State Budget, equal to nearly 30 per cent of the total annual State Budget.
The petroleum industry has built a comprehensive industrial oil and gas system, expanding from exploration to exploitation, developing the gas-power-fertiliser sector and oil and gas services, helping ensure the national energy security.
During the first nine months of this year, despite the economic difficulties in the world and the domestic country, PetroVietnam has completed four targets of oil and gas reserves, revenue, pre-tax profit and a contribution to the State Budget. It targets VND155 trillion ($7.38 billion) for the State Budget this year, up VND55 trillion ($2.6 billion) from the initial target of VND100 trillion.
The group is focusing on petroleum exploration and production activities and is calling on foreign investment in 36 projects worth a combined $31 billion.
In addition, PetroVietnam had also made efforts to promote overseas investment and co-operation with foreign partners. It was conducting 18 contracts in 14 countries, focusing on Russia, Venezuela and Algeria, Thuc said.
Over 50 years of development, PetroVietnam and its leaders were awarded many honours, including the Gold Star Order, Order of Ho Chi Minh and Labour Hero.
Group charter capital level set
Enterprises are eligible to be named as groups if they are limited or joint stock companies with a charter capital of at least VND1 trillion (US$47.6 million) and own 50 per cent or more of at least five other firms, pursuant to the Prime Minister’s draft decision on the criteria to name groups and corporations.
Under the draft, which is being mulled by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, enterprises can be named as corporations if they have minimum charter capital of VND500 billion ($24 million) and own over 50 per cent of at least three other firms.
Minh Phu Seafood Group chairman cum general director Le Van Quang spoke highly of the draft, even though his enterprise failed to meet the criteria for group status as it only has a charter capital of VND700 billion (over $33 million).
There should be a uniform rule for the naming of groups in order to avoid abuse of the name that could negatively impact the nature of the group model, Quang told Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper.
“We are preparing to raise our charter capital to VND1 trillion. Even though this is a pre-defined goal in our development, I have to say that there should be time for businesses to ensure compliance with the criteria, ” Quang said.
A minimum charter capital of VND1 trillion was not a big problem for existing large groups, said Pham Duc Trung from the Central Institute for Economic Management.
But it was unfeasible to apply the criteria to newly-established businesses, he said.
In 2009, the Government issued Decree No 101/2009/ND-CP on piloting the establishment, organisation, operation and management of State economic groups.
There have been 12 State economic groups involved in sectors including post and telecommunications, information technology, ship building and repair, electricity, petroleum, textiles and garment, rubber, finance and banking and insurance.
However, many State economic groups were suffering losses due to high levels of investment in securities or real estate development that were outside of their core line of business, according to a recent Party survey of 31 State-owned corporations and economic groups.
In the first eight months of this year, the PetroVietnam Group had the greatest non-core investments at VND6.69 trillion ($321.6 million), accounting for 3.76 per cent of its charter capital, followed by the Rubber Industrial Group with non-core investments of VND3.7 trillion ($177.88 million), or 19.8 per cent of its charter capital.
Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) had a total investment VND2.1 trillion ($100.9 million) in such sectors as hotels and tourism, real estate, infrastructure development and industrial zones, the survey noted.
City polices market ahead of Tet holiday
HCM City has beefed up its surveillance of the consumer goods market ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year holiday), the year’s busiest season, when price hikes occur and counterfeit products flood the market.
The city’s Department of Industry and Trade has set up four inspection teams that are examining the quantity of goods and monitoring shops that sell goods under the city’s price-stabilisation programme.
The department is also checking whether prices are correctly registered and listed, according to Le Ngoc Dao, the department’s deputy director.
Aside from forming inspection teams, the department has been working with the market-watch agency, the Ministry of Finance’s price inspectorate and district inspection teams to oversee the market.
For the last several months prior to and including the Lunar New Year holiday, the city always see an influx of illegally transported goods, as well as counterfeit and low-quality products, according to Dang Van Duc, head of the market-watch agency under the city’s department of Industry and Trade.
The department had sent more inspectors to observe inter-provincial illegal traffickers and traders so they could take timely and proper measures to fight against such activities, Duc said.
The HCM City People’s Committee has also asked relevant bodies to improve their surveillance and inspection of the market ahead of and after the Tet holiday, which begins in late January.
The authorised bodies, under the city’s guidance, will supervise consumer demand and supply of essential goods in an aim to prevent price hikes as well as speculation, which could lead to higher prices and market disorder.
The city has also requested stronger co-operation among relevant bodies in the fight against trade fraud and sale of fake goods. It has also asked them to impose strict penalties on violators.
Illegal traders and shop owners will have their goods seized and their business licenses withdrawn. Violators will also be sued on criminal charges, if applicable.
Price stabilisation on essential goods for Tet began in June.
The programme has been going well amid high inflation and increasing prices of input materials, according to the HCM City People’s Committee.
Providers of goods have committed to ensure an adequate supply for the market, especially for Tet.
The reserve of Tet goods under the programme accounts for 30-40 per cent of the market’s demand, 20 per cent higher than the amount for last year’s holiday season, according to Dao.
The total investment for this year’s price-stabilisation programme is VND412 billion (US$19.6 million), 89 per cent of which has been spent on goods reserved for Tet.
This year, twice as many essential goods compared to last year have been reserved. They include poultry meat, sugar, cooking oil, egg and processed foods.
The city’s biggest market chain, Co.op Mart, has stocked 24,000 tonnes of essential goods to make sure it meets consumer demand during the period leading to Tet.
The number of buyers during this time is expected to be at least three times higher than on non-holiday days.
Maximart and BigC, the other two leading retailers, have also increased the quantity of goods for Tet by at least 30 per cent compared to the corresponding time last year.
Around 95 per cent of Tet reserves are Vietnamese-made products, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.
The department expects the price of goods for Tet to be about 10 per cent higher than normal.
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