Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12): Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia Hold Joint Search and Rescue Exercise

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12): Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia hold joint search and rescue exercise; Vietnam visit by Cambodian NA President - important event in Friendship Year; Vietnam's garment exports to the UK increase; Hanoi property market to continue strong recovery until end-2022.

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Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12) notable headlines

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia hold joint search and rescue exercise

Vietnam visit by Cambodian NA President – important event in Friendship Year

Vietnam’s garment exports to the UK increase

Hanoi property market to continue strong recovery until end-2022

Vietjet inaugurates two new routes connecting Phu Quoc to New Delhi and Mumbai

Vietnam, India have potential for automobile cooperation: insiders

Covid-19 caseload rose to 11,439,613 on September 11

New rice celebration attracting visitors to Son La

Project to develop international merchant fleet in the pipeline

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12):
The search and rescue exercise between Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia takes place between September 10 and 15, 2022. Photo: VOV

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia hold joint search and rescue exercise

The defense ministries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia launched a joint search and rescue exercise in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, on September 10.

It is the first drill organized under an agreement inked at a defense ministers’ meeting among the three countries in Hanoi in 2019. It will run through September 15.

In his opening address, Lao Deputy Minister of National Defense Lt. Gen. Chanthong Sonate-at said the three countries’ governments and armed forces give priority to preventing and responding to threats by natural disasters and climate change-related issues, for examples flooding, storm, tsunami, earthquake, landslide, drought and others.

He highlighted the significance of the exercise, noting it not only aims to build capacity and expertise in responding to natural disasters in any circumstance, but also provides an opportunity for the three sides to step up experience and cultural exchanges, contributing to strengthening the solidarity and trust among them, cited VNA.

Close to 500 military officers from the three countries gathered for the drill which focuses on search and rescue in areas hit by floods and landslides, and where there are collapsed buildings and spills of toxic chemicals.

Senior Colonel Pham Hai Chau, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Search and Rescue Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence’s General Staff, said Vietnam takes part in most of the event’s categories.

Vietnam has deployed its engineering and air forces, helicopters and boats in water search and rescue, he said, adding that modern, multi-purpose vehicles and military medicinal forces have been mobilised for the drill in building collapses and toxic chemical spills.

Vietnam visit by Cambodian NA President – important event in Friendship Year

An official visit to Vietnam from September 12 to 14 by President of the Cambodian National Assembly Samdech Heng Samrin is an important political and diplomatic event in the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year 2022 and amid the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship (June 24).

After Vietnam and Cambodia set up diplomatic ties on June 24, 1967, their peoples stood side by side in the struggles for national liberation to secure historic victories in the spring of 1975. Vietnam later assisted the patriotic forces and people of Cambodia to topple the Pol Pot genocidal regime, with the triumph on January 7, 1979.

Building on cooperation achievements in history, under the motto of “good neighborliness, traditional friendship, and comprehensive, sustainable and long-term cooperation”, bilateral relations have been unceasingly consolidated and developing in all fields over the past years, thereby generating practical benefits for the two peoples and actively contributing to peace, stability, and cooperation in the region and the world.

Political ties have been growing as seen in mutual visits, meetings, and discussions in various forms between the countries’ senior leaders, along with increasingly effective collaboration between their ministries, sectors, and localities.

A number of people-to-people diplomatic activities, especially in border provinces, have taken place, helping improve people’s understanding of the traditional solidarity, friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance.

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12):
President of the Cambodian National Assembly Samdech Heng Samrin. Photo: VNA

The two sides have also jointly organized many meaningful celebrations of the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year 2022 and the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship, according to VNA.

In 2021, bilateral trade rose 79.1% year on year to US$9.54 billion. It stood at US$7.08 billion in the first seven months of 2022, up 17.8% from a year earlier. Vietnam has 188 valid investment projects worth US$2.8 billion in Cambodia at present, ranking first among investors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and fifth among all foreign investors in this country.

Meanwhile, partnerships in defence, security, border safeguarding, education – training, science – technology, tourism, and people-to-people exchange have been further boosted. The number of Vietnamese tourists to Cambodia surpassed 46,300 in the first three months of this year, making Vietnam the biggest source of foreign visitors there.

Relations between the countries’ legislative bodies have also been growing in both bilateral and multilateral aspects. Under the cooperation agreement signed by the two parliaments in May 2019, the two sides have maintained high-level mutual visits; shared experience; and organised exchanges between the parliaments’ committees and the parliamentary friendship groups. They also agreed to enhance coordination to examine, promote, and supervise ministries, sectors, localities, and businesses’ implementation of signed agreements, thereby helping intensify the Vietnam – Cambodia comprehensive cooperation.

At many inter-parliamentary forums of the region and the world, NA delegations of the two countries have also increased discussing, consulting with each other, and coordinating their stances on many regional and international issues of common concern.

The coming visit by NA President Samdech Heng Samrin is an occasion for both sides to work out orientations and measures for bolstering parliamentary ties within bilateral and multilateral frameworks, exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern, and especially contribute to the success of the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Year amid the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship.

Vietnam’s garment exports to the UK increase

The figure for the whole industry was US$26.3 billion in the past eight months, up 24.3 per cent over the same period of last year.

Vietnam’s garment exports to the UK increased in August as Vietnamese enterprises take advantage of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) to expand their presence in this market.

The latest data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows Vietnam shipped US$92.4 million worth of garment products to the UK in August, up 3 per cent month-on-month and up 88.6 per cent over the same month in 2021.

Ending August, the country’s garment export reached $560.4 million, registering a year-on-year growth of 45 per cent.

The figure for the whole industry was US$26.3 billion in the past eight months, up 24.3 per cent over the same period of last year.

According to Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association’s vice chairman Truong Van Cam, despite challenges in some main exporting markets, Vietnam’s textile and garment industry is set to earn US$45 billion in exports in 2022 compared to $40.3 billion last year.

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12):
Vietnam’s garment exports to the UK increase. Photo: VNS

Vietnam is currently the world’s third largest exporter in this sector. Its main markets include the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Europe, reported VNS.

Cam said the industry is facing many difficulties at the end of this year, including steep fall in export orders due to soaring inflation in major markets and rising input cost. China’s strict pandemic control, where more than 50 per cent of raw materials for the Vietnamese textile and garments are sourced, has pushed up input costs.

In addition, the EU introduced new regulations on the textile industry, including replacement rates, green products and switching from fast fashion to sustainable fashion, which makes it harder for Vietnamese apparel products enter this region.

In this context, the UK is emerging as a promising market. Research by Kantar from the Guardianshows that despite rising living costs, UK shoppers are spending more on clothing, defying expectations of a slowdown in non-essential products.

Kantar’s data showed Brits are spending almost a fifth more on clothing than last year, taking the value 1 per cent ahead of the pre-pandemic figure.

The UK is among the top 10 largest markets for Vietnam’s garment export, with a value of around US$600 million in 2021, accounting for less than 2 per cent of Việt Nam’s total export value. However, with the advantage of lower tariffs thanks to the UKVFTA, Vietnam has a big chance to expand its market share.

Under UKVFTA, about 42.5 per cent of Vietnamese textile and garment exports will be liberalised at entry into force, while some garment products will see tariffs eliminated after six years.

However, according to market insiders, Vietnamese exporters should strictly comply with the UK’s requirements on the origin of products and other technical barriers such as input materials, labor and environment.

Hanoi property market to continue strong recovery until end-2022

The Hanoi housing market is expected to continue its bright performance in the second half of 2022 due to the solid recovery of Vietnam’s economy in the first half of the year.

Hanoi apartment market is expected to see new supply of 11,726 units in the second half of 2022 from 14 new projects and the next phase of the two projects.

“Financial requirements are changing, while legal issues and border openings have been addressed. With the abundant supply in the future, selling prices will adjust to ensure a stable and sustainable market,” said Do Thu Hang, senior director, Consulting and Research Development, Savills Hanoi.

“Prices will not drop quickly from now until end-year. Investors facing financial pressure may sell, reducing prices but not by much,” Hang said.

In the first six months of this year, the Hanoi market saw a decline in the number of transactions in the segment of apartments for sale but an increase in selling prices. Grade B apartments accounted for 71 per cent of the sold units.

The average primary selling price was VND45 million per sq.m in the first six months, up 6 per cent on quarter and 20 per cent on year.

Since 2018, the average primary selling price has increased by 10 per cent each year, while the secondary selling price has increased by 3 per cent each year.

In the first six months of 2022, the average primary selling price was 44 per cent higher than the secondary selling price. That difference in price was much higher than that of 14 per cent in 2018.

Limited new supply together with rising primary prices could make the secondary market hotter.

Meanwhile, according to Hang, in the market of villas and townhouses, the selling price is now quite high while the supply is limited, leading to a low absorption rate. Transactions are mainly in the secondary market between investors. The liquidity in this market will improve once supply with more reasonable selling prices returns to the market.

On the villa and townhouse market, only 302 transactions were recorded in the first half of 2022. Buyers are tending to move to projects in satellite provinces such as Hung Yen, because the Hanoi market has not met demand, according to Savills.

In the first half of 2022, the Hanoi market witnessed strong growth in secondary selling prices compared to the same period of last year, with increases of 37 per cent for villas, 22 per cent for shophouses and 20 per cent for townhouses.

Primary supply fell 34 per cent on quarter and 49 per cent on year to the lowest level in the past five years. Therefore, in the first six months, the selling price of villas doubled and the price of townhouses increased by 67 per cent compared to 2018.

The potential for price increases is a factor that makes landed property products continue to be popular with investors.

Until the end of 2022, the market of villas and townhouses will welcome more than 2,100 units from thirteen projects. But this supply faces the fact that buyers are losing interest in the housing market in Hanoi, cited VNS.

A report conducted by Batdongsan.com.vn showed that in the first six months, the interest from buyers decreased by 11 per cent on year for the villa/townhouse market and 14 per cent on year for shophouse.

Regarding the serviced apartment market, the inner city area will provide 82 per cent of total future supply. Infrastructure projects have increased connectivity among provinces and cities, contributing to an increase of demand.

According to Savills Vietnam’s report on the Hanoi real estate market, the total supply of serviced apartments in the first half of this year was 5,719 units from 62 projects, up 1 per cent on quarter and 3 per cent on year. The supply in the inner city area accounted for 60 per cent of the total. Grade A units accounted for most of the market.

Average rent increased 2 per cent on quarter and 1 per cent on year, reaching VND550,000 per sq.m each month. The rent in Nam Tu Liem District was the highest at VND640,000 per sq.m each month.

Meanwhile, economist Dinh The Hien said that property prices are predicted to reduce sharply until this year end by 30-40 per cent in rural areas lacking infrastructure that had strong price increase in the past two years, according to Infonet.

The real estate products in sub-urban regions with potential for urbanisation would decrease by 10-20 per cent in price, while the property price of the areas with available infrastructure may decrease or increase slightly, he said.

Vietjet inaugurates two new routes connecting Phu Quoc to New Delhi and Mumbai

Vietjet has launched two new routes connecting the “Pearl Island” Phu Quoc in the southern province of Kien Giang with New Delhi and Mumbai in India to further tourism and trade opportunities between the two countries.

The Phu Quoc-Mumbai route, inaugurated on September 8, will have two return flights per week while the Phu Quoc-New Delhi route, inaugurated on September 9, will offer three return flights per week.

Fares on these routes are being sold starting from only VND668,000 (US$28.4 – excluding taxes and fees) under weekly attractive promotions.

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 12):
An event to welcome new routes linking Phu Quoc and India. Source: vietjetair.com

Vietjet is currently the airline operating the most routes between Vietnam and India with 17 direct routes connecting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Phu Quoc with the five largest cities in the South Asian country namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore, according to VNA.

It is even more easier for international tourists to discover the beauty of Phu Quoc as Vietnam has officially exempted visas for passengers to come and stay in the “Pearl Island” for 30 days, at the same time Vietnamese tourists can also easily discover India with convenient and fast e-visa policy without Covid-19 test.

Rosie Nguyen