[Round-up] Grab to Build R&D Center in Vietnam, Ministry Cuts Requirements on Auto Imports

Tuan Minh

18:11 15/03/2017

BizLIVE - Grab is expanding its engineering footprint after announcing new development centers in India and Vietnam. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to abolish a number of procedures for importers of cars with nine seats or less.

[Round-up] Grab to Build R&D Center in Vietnam, Ministry Cuts Requirements on Auto Imports

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to abolish a number of procedures for importers of cars with nine seats or less. Photo: Internet

U.S. Investor Buys Big Stake in Vietnamese Curcumin Company
In early 2017, U.S.-based PHI Group announced the purchase of a 51% stake of Hoang Minh Chau Company, a curcumin processor in the northern province of Hung Yen. The value of the deal remains a secret.
Analysts believe that the main purpose of PHI Group in the deal is accessing the turmeric growing area and taking full advantage of Hoang Minh Chau brand to build a production chain that makes high-quality curcumin and turmeric-made products in accordance with organic standards, according to VietNamNet.
Dragon Capital-related Funds Cut Holding of DXG
Vietnam Enterprise Investments Limited and Norges Bank, two investment vehicles related to Dragon Capital, have sold a combined 4.2 million shares of Dat Xanh Real Estate Service & Construction (DXG), whose shares climbed to a new height of 18,850 dong ($0.83) apiece on March 7.
The group cut its holding in DXG to 36.84 million shares, or a 14.56% stake, from the earlier 15.22%.
Grab to Build R&D Center in Vietnam
Grab, the main rival to Uber in Southeast Asia, is expanding its engineering footprint after announcing new development centers in India and Vietnam, TechCrunch reported.
The company last month announced plans to open an engineering center in Jakarta, Indonesia, so the addition of bases in Bangalore, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will take it to six R&D locations worldwide.
Orion’s 2016 Sales in Vietnam Soar to $175 Million
South Korea’s confectionary giant Orion Corp. said sales of its Vietnam operation jumped 24.1% year-on-year to top $174.5 million for full 2016 after winning hearts of local consumers with snacks specially tailored to their taste buds, Pulse reported.
Orion first tapped into Vietnam back in 1995 with its signature chocolate-flavored pie snacks “Choco Pie” and set up its first local plant in Ho Chi Minh City in the country’s south, in 2006 and another one in Hanoi in the north in 2009.
Vietnamese Businesses Worry about Weak Competitiveness
A survey found that only 32% of Vietnamese businesses have confidence in the competitiveness of their products, while others are worried about the increased presence of foreign goods, said Chu Tien Dung, chair of the HCMC Business Association.
Though the number of newly established businesses in 2016 increased significantly, their scale, ability and competitive edges remain weak. Because of this, plus the high production costs and outdated production technology, only 35% of total businesses can contribute to the city’s budget.
Hanoi Vows to Support South Korean Firms’ Long-Term Investments
Hanoi is willing to create favorable conditions, especially in administrative procedures, for businesses from South Korea to make long-term investments in the city, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung told Ryu Hang Ha, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam (KORCHAM) in Hanoi on March 14.
At the meeting, Ryu Hang Ha expressed his desire to build a KORCHAM office in Hanoi to attract more long-term investments from South Korea, becoming a bridge between the two sides’ enterprises while strengthening ties between Vietnam and South Korea.
Ministry Revises Circular to Simplify Auto Imports
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to abolish a number of procedures for importers of cars with nine seats or less.
Under the ministry’s revised circular issued on March 9, auto importers will be allowed to import cars with nine seats or less without having to authorize car manufacturers or dealers as their distributors in Vietnam.
Importers will also not have to obtain certificates from the transport ministry proving that they are adequately qualified to do car guarantees and maintenance.
Can Tho Seeks Canadian Investment in Hi-Tech Agriculture
At a meeting with Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Ping Kitnikone on March 14, Secretary of the Can Tho city Party Committee Tran Quoc Trung has called on Canadian firms to invest in hi-tech agriculture in the city, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
He expressed his hope that Canadian firms will explore investment opportunities in manufacturing farming machines given the city is the nation’s biggest hub of producing and exporting farm products.
Big Israeli Businesses Seek Opportunities in Vietnam
A delegation of 27 Israeli companies will be accompanying Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on his official visit to Vietnam on March 16-25, in a bid to find partners in the Southeast Asian country.
Joining the delegation are founders and executives from leading Israeli enterprises in six sectors namely agriculture, cyber security, water solutions, education, energy and healthcare. A number of them have already set up operations in Vietnam for years.
The U.S. remains the largest export market for Vietnam, with the latter shipping $5.33 billion worth of goods in the first two months of this year. The runners-up were the EU with $5.06 billion, China with $3.77 billion and the ASEAN $3.13 billion.
Japan-based Nidec Corporation is considering construction of a research and development (R&D) in the Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP) in Ho Chi Minh City and turning it into a place for technology transfer, said the firm’s Chairman Shigenobu Nagamori.
At a meeting with the city’s Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong on Tuesday, the chairman said the firm planned further investment in the city and expressed hope for more incentives, the Saigon Times reported.

TUAN MINH

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