Vietnam Update: Vietnam Taxes New Business Models

Vietnam Update | February 8, 2018
Authors: Hai Pham, Meghana Srikrishna
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

March 27-29, 2018 Business Mission to Vietnam
The US-ASEAN Business Council is now registering senior-level executives for its annual Business Mission to Vietnam. The deadline for receipt of registration and mission materials is Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Please contact Hai Pham at hpham@usasean.org with any questions or to express interest.

March 29-30, 2018 Health & Life Sciences Industry Mission to Vietnam
The US-ASEAN Business Council is now registering senior-level executives for its 2018 Health & Life Sciences Industry Mission to Vietnam. The deadline for receipt of registration and mission materials is Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Please contact Hai Pham at hpham@usasean.org and Ying Hui Tng at yhtng@usasean.org with any questions or to express interest.

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Vietnam Taxes New Business Models

In accordance with a pilot program created by the Hanoi People’s Committee, ride-share services Grab and Uber will start paying taxes to the administrative agency. The Committee has also petitioned Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport to classify ride-sharing services as transport firms, meaning they will be regulated similar to taxi services. Such stipulations will include registry of e-commerce platform licenses as well as making public the number of vehicles employed, routes, driver schedules, and other operational data. The new taxes and regulations for Uber and Grab are part of an effort to promote transparency and fair competition, especially in the wake of backlash from local taxi services like Vinasun. Citing unfair competition and price dumping, Vinasun is currently pursuing a lawsuit against Grab. The local taxi service, similar to the Committee, wants ride-share services classified as taxi firms throughout Vietnam to promote similar regulation in pricing, taxes, and revenue transparency.

Ride-share services are not the only new business model Vietnam is looking to tax. Online companies relying on e-commerce, such as using social media to propel business, will continue to be taxed to promote fairness with their counterparts with a physical presence in Vietnam. Tax authorities in the state have had trouble taxing e-commerce transactions in the past because cash transactions are difficult to track and online sellers try to evade tax payments through operating seasonally online. Current policy requires e-commerce businesses to pay licensing, value-added, personal income, excise, and environmental protection taxes.

Vietnam’s move to tax new business models follows a recent trend in regulating services and industries involved in the ICT sector. In 2016-2017, a proposed Law on Information Network Security (LONIS) threatened to undermine ICT imports and exports through strict licensing and permitting requirements for ICT products. Also throughout 2017 and into the new year, Vietnam has proposed regulating cybersecurity in a way that could be potentially harmful to businesses. Components of the current Draft Law on cybersecurity require enterprises to maintain a physical presence in Vietnam in order operate and localize user data rather than storing it in a cloud. Into the new year, Vietnam is pushing to regulate companies in the ICT sector such as ride-sharing services that rely on apps to reach their customers as well as e-commerce businesses. In pushing regulation surrounding these new, innovative businesses, Vietnam is setting its own precedent on future ICT legislation.

Vietnam Restructures Agriculture Sector

Since the inception of a 2013 restructuring project, Vietnam has worked to boost imports, use more technologically-advanced equipments, and encourage investments in its agriculture sector. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong noted in a recent working session that Vietnam’s agriculture sector still faces competition and production challenges that can be stemmed through more investment in infrastructure and irrigation, a better developed market, and large-scale production of goods. In accordance with this restructuring, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aims to export USD40 billion worth of goods to places that have seen a high demand for Vietnamese goods in recent years, such as China, the EU and Japan. Vietnam also hopes to continue strengthening the relationship between farmers and businesses to create a stronger production chain.

Vietnam’s renewed commitment in 2018 to create a more sustainable, flexible agricultural sector comes after a successful past few years. Per capita income for farmers has increased significantly since the implementation of the 2013 project, hitting VND29.2 million in 2016. Exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery goods in 2017 raised USD33 billion, and last month alone created USD3.09 billion in revenue for Vietnam. This year, Vietnam will try to continue its successes by expanding trade to new markets in Asia and the Middle East, retaining positive trade relations with ASEAN countries, and focusing on removing trade barriers in American and European markets. All of this comes as Vietnam implements several changes to its agriculture sector to hopefully make these trade goals more feasible.

Vietnam Ambassador to the U.S. Confirmed

Vietnam’s National Assembly confirmed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc as the new Vietnam Ambassador to the United States last last month. He will serve in this role until 2020, replacing Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh. Ambassador Ngoc’s experience with foreign affairs spans several decades. He holds a master’s degree in international relations and has served various different roles in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Following in the path of Ambassador Vinh, who played a significant role in the successes of many high-level visits between the two countries in his tenure (Prime Minister Phuc, General Secretary Trong, President Obama, President Trump, to name a few), Ambassador Ngoc will continue to work in strengthening Vietnam's diplomatic ties with ASEAN members and the United States, among other international partners. The Council has worked with Ambassador Ngoc many times in the past, and will look to build on this strong working relationship when he settles in his new role in Washington, DC later this year.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Vietnam Draft Law on Cybersecurity

Following initial review by the National Assembly last month, the Government of Vietnam has issued an updated version of its Draft Law on Cybersecurity (Draft 15). An unofficial English translation of the Draft Law is available here.

Among its changes, the updated Draft Law:

  • Cedes some oversight of cybersecurity matters from the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Defense (MOD)

  • Removes the requirement that foreign telecommunications/internet service providers maintain servers in Vietnam, but requires that all Vietnamese user data must still remain in Vietnam (can be on third party servers)

  • Changes local office requirement to “local representative office” requirement, applicable to all telecommunications/internet services companies with more than 10,000 Vietnamese users

The Council, along with partner associations AmCham Hanoi, BSA, CompTIA, DIGITALEUROPE, ITI, JEITA, SIA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, previously submitted detailed comments on the initial Draft Law in August 2017, and then a supplemental letter in response to Draft 14 in October 2017.

Please see the latest draft of our comments on the new Draft Law and send any comments to Matt Solomon at msolomon@usasean.org by COB Friday, February 9.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
National Affairs
State audit finds land mismanagement worth $368.8m
Education, health, gender equality top SDG priorities: survey
PVP Land trial: Trịnh Xuân Thanh gets another life sentence
Border trade decree opens new doors to region
Grab Taxi trial to open
Gov’t unmasks ’provisional government’ as terrorists
Party chief welcomes US Defence Secretary
Which model should be used for the super committee?
New law set to help weak banks recover: experts
Vietnam approves new ambassador to US

ASEAN
Vietnam attends ASEAN meetings in Singapore
Vietnam attends Confederation of ASEAN Journalists’ General Assembly
ASEAN prioritises poverty eradication

Customs
China, Vietnam close to signing landmark joint border checkpoint deal
New Regulations on Logistics Services Business
HCMC aims to halve customs clearance time
Vietnam clarifies limits of chemical law for customs clearance

Defense & Security
New securities law aims to clarify procedures
VN, US talk security, defence matters
VN, Cambodia to fortify security coordination

Economics
Saudi Arabia to temporarily suspend Vietnamese fish imports
Vietnam enjoying fastest wealth growth in the world
Vietnam sets up $220 bln committee to boost privatisation
Việt Nam runs a trade deficit of $300m in January
Foreign investment falls by 36.8% in January
Thousands of Japanese goods to enjoy 0% tariff in 2018
Petrol, power push up CPI in January
VN economy faces 2018 hurdles: experts
Uber and Grab subject to tax in Hanoi

Energy
PVOil launches cashless payment app for drivers
VN cities plan for urban green growth
First wind power plant in Sóc Trăng launched
Japanese group eyes solar plant in Bình Phước

Financial Services
S Korean group acquires Prudential Finance in Việt Nam
Vietnam banks to benefit from resolving legacy problem assets progress
Foreign firms fear to tread in Việt Nam securities market
Decree allows zero-rate loans for under-special control credit institutions
SSC warns against investing in cryptocurrencies
Banks scramble to sell assets to recover bad debts
Central bank asks lenders to prioritise production, business
​Vietnamese banks to limit lending to realty, stock sectors

Food & Agriculture
Ministry of Health raises concerns over alcohol poisoning
2018 rice export to hit 6m tonnes
VN seeks to accelerate agricultural restructuring
VN pepper industry about to burst
PM urges high-tech shrimp farms in Bạc Liêu
Agro-forestry-fishery exports exceed US$3 billion in January
Việt Nam plans to export fruits to Qatar
ATIGA regulation worries local sugar manufacturers
Pepper industry prioritises quality
HCM City expands safe food supply chains
ROK’s CJ Group opens fifth animal feed factory in Ha Nam

Health & Life Sciences
Adjustment on medical expenses required
Overcrowding strains HCMC hospitals, doctors
Health ministry launches SUN Movement in Việt Nam
Hanoi targets all HIV carriers with health insurance
Satellite hospitals save lives in remote areas
$21m health programme launched

ICT
Agency to tax e-commerce like other businesses
National Strategy on Science and Technology Development encounters hindrances
The largest and most established international HVACR exhibition in Vietnam Is Coming to Hanoi in April 2018
Da Nang uses “smart environment management” with Vietnamese technologies
Vietnam's Digital Signature and E-Transaction Club established
HCMC focuses on innovation
VN backs establishment of resilient, innovative ASEAN
Vietnamese, Lao PMs attend training centre’s inaugural ceremony

Legislation
Tax enforcement staff to focus on cutting collection losses
Ministry clarifies decree on imported autos 

Manufacturing
More and more Vietnamese brands bought by foreign companies
Nearly 11,000 new firms established in January
Ministry clarifies decree on imported autos
New Honda dealership launched
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
National Affairs

State audit finds land mismanagement worth $368.8m vietnamnews.vn 5th Feb 2018
Audits by the State have found serious mismanagement of urban land worth more than VNĐ8.3 trillion (US$368.8 million) at seven localities between 2013 and 2016. According to a report of the State audit, the authorities of Hà Nội, HCM City and three provinces of Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Lào Cai, together with Cam Ranh Town in Khánh Hòa Province and Sầm Sơn City in Thanh Hóa Province, had committed wrongdoings in land use and management. The State audit reported that the approval or adjustment of land projects in those localities were of “weak quality” as many of the projects failed to meet expectations and were not developed based on the locality’s urban master plan.

Education, health, gender equality top SDG priorities: survey Vietnam News 5th Feb 2018
Quality education, good health and well-being, gender equality, zero hunger and poverty, peace, justice and strong institutions are the top goals that Vietnamese youth are ready to strive for. This was revealed in the first-ever Youth Survey on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released in Hà Nội on Friday. At the launch of the survey, Caitlin Wiesen, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director in Việt Nam, said UNDP had teamed up with the Sustainable Development Office of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies to conduct this survey.

PVP Land trial: Trịnh Xuân Thanh gets another life sentence vietnamnews.vn 5th Feb 2018
Trịnh Xuân Thanh was sentenced to life imprisonment for embezzlement of VNĐ14 billion (US$614,600) as well as for his ‘ringleader’ role in a corruption case at a subsidiary of the country’s oil and gas giant PetroVietnam (PVN). Thanh, former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC), a subsidiary of PVN, was also fined an additional VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) in a verdict handed down by Hà Nội People’s Court on Monday morning. The verdict concluded a two-week trial looking into wrongdoings at PetroVietnam Power Land JSC (PVP Land), PVC’s real estate subsidiary. Seven defendants who were put to trial were also punished on charges of property misappropriation.

Border trade decree opens new doors to region vietnamnews.vn 2nd Feb 2018
In a newly issued decree, the Government has made a clear effort to boost inland border-trade quotas and the overall trading situation for Vietnamese residents living in the border areas next to Việt Nam, China, Laos and Cambodia. Data from the General Department of Việt Nam Customs states that in 2017, Việt Nam’s trade turnover with Laos was above US$890 million, while the turnover with Cambodia was $3.7 billion, and with China, a staggering $71.9 billion. With the Decree No 14 coming into effect on January 23, trading activities performed by border residents and licensed traders are expected to be significantly improved.

Grab Taxi trial to open vietnamnet 31st Jan 2018
The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court will open the trial of Vinasun against Grab for unfair competition on February 6. Vinasun Vice Director Ta Long Hy said Vinasun would pursue the lawsuit against Grab Taxi. The representative of Vinasun confirmed that they started the lawsuit after Chairman Dang Phuoc Thanh's announcement at the annual shareholders’ meeting. According to Vinasun, they and Grab Taxi are competing unfairly in term of prices and they can sue based on the Law on Competition. They have gathered evidence and will play 20 video clips at the court, showing that Grab is involved in price dumping, such as giving discounts for more than 90 days a year. Such unfair competition will let Uber and Grab Taxi take over the market and ruin traditional taxi firms.

Gov’t unmasks ’provisional government’ as terrorists vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
The so-called Provisional National Government of Việt Nam was a terrorist organisation under Vietnamese and international law, the Ministry of Public Security of Việt Nam said yesterday. The ministry’s announcement was posted on its portal. According to the announcement, the “Chính phủ quốc gia Việt Nam lâm thời” (Provisional National Government of Việt Nam) was previously known as the “Tân Dân Chủ” (New Democracy) organisation.

Party chief welcomes US Defence Secretary vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
The United States treasures and wants to enhance its multi-faceted co-operation with Việt Nam, affirmed US Secretary of Defence James Mattis when being received by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng in Hà Nội yesterday. Mattis lauded Việt Nam’s development achievements and the country’s increasing position and role in the region and the world. He informed his host of effective collaboration in security-defence between the two countries, especially in participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions, military medical training, maritime security in the East Sea and law enforcement at sea.

Which model should be used for the super committee? vietnamnet 29th Jan 2018
With the establishment of a working group on the formation of a special committee responsible for managing State capital at enterprises, Vietnam has taken the first step to realize the plan initiated in 2016.  The government’s Resolution No 1, released on the first day of 2018, mentioned the establishment of a committee in charge of managing the state’s capital at enterprises as an important task that needs to be done this year. The PM signed a decision to form a working group to boost the formation of the committee led by Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue. However, as Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon commented, the operation model to be applied to the committee is unclear. Setting up the committee in such a context may cause unnecessary costs to society.

New law set to help weak banks recover: experts vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
Some weak banks that are undergoing restructuring might get out of the worse thanks to unprecedented support measures under a new law, experts have said. The revised Law on Credit Institutions, which has taken effect since January 15 this year, includes many regulations to help weak banks rebound and resume healthy performance with support from the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) and other strong credit institutions that are entrusted to support the weak ones. According to experts, weak banks need to have good liquidity to resolve their problems, however, it is not easy, especially when their brands are negatively affected due to being put under the special supervision of the central bank.

Vietnam approves new ambassador to US Tuoi Tre News 26th Jan 2018
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc will serve as Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. from 2017 to 2020. The Standing Committee of the National Assembly (NA) issued its approval to the prime minister’s nomination of Ha Kim Ngoc as the new Vietnamese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the U.S. for the 2017-20 tenure. Ngoc, currently serving as the country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, will replace current Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh.

ASEAN

Vietnam attends ASEAN meetings in Singapore VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 5th Feb 2018
Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Deputy Minister of National Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh are leading Vietnamese delegations to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM Retreat) in Singapore on February 4-6. The meetings are considered a start for a broad array of activities during Singapore’s 2018 chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). According to a press statement provided by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ministers will discuss ASEAN’s priorities in line with the 2018 themes of “Resilience” and “Innovation”.

Vietnam attends Confederation of ASEAN Journalists’ General Assembly vietnamnet 30th Jan 2018
A delegation of the Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA) led by its President Thuan Huu attended the 19th General Assembly of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ) which took place in Bangkok, Thailand from January 24-28. In his opening remarks, Thuan Huu, CAJ President, reviewed milestones in the over 42-year history of the CAJ and applauded achievements recorded by the CAJ and press associations, confederations and clubs of its member countries over the past time.  The VJA undertook the CAJ Chairmanship in 2015 when the ASEAN Community was established, he said, adding that the VJA has joined hands with its counterparts in the CAJ to build a dynamic and united confederation.

ASEAN prioritises poverty eradication VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 30th Jan 2018
Poverty eradication and development gaps narrowing are always top priorities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), made the statement at the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which began in New York on January 29. She reiterated the bloc’s strong commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 and the adoption of the ASEAN Vision 2025 affirmed the determination of member countries to build a community of peace, prosperity, self-reliance and look toward people, she said.

Customs

China, Vietnam close to signing landmark joint border checkpoint deal South China Morning Post 4th Feb 2018
Long-standing plans to open joint border checkpoints between China and Vietnam could be realised as early as May, according to a Chinese official. The two countries share a 1,280km (795 mile) land border and have been discussing a “two countries, one inspection” system for several years. While progress had been hindered by an unwillingness on both sides to cede control over territory, a resolution could soon be reached, according to Jian Xingchao, vice-mayor of Fanchenggang, the Chinese city that is expected to house one of the two checkpoints.

New Regulations on Logistics Services Business Lexology 30th Jan 2018
The Government of Vietnam has recently issued Decree No. 163/2017/NDCP (“Decree 163”) to replace Decree No. 140/2007/ND-CP dated 05 September 2007 regarding the business conditions for engaging in logistics services business (“Decree 140”). Decree 163 will enter into force from 20 February 2018.

HCMC aims to halve customs clearance time VietNamNet 25th Jan 2018
The HCM City customs department aims to cut the time it takes for clearing goods by half by the end of this year, Dinh Ngoc Thang, its deputy head, told the media on the sidelines of a meeting with American businesses on Wednesday. The meeting, “American businesses and HCM City customs agencies are reliable partners for development”, was a forum for the department to apprise businesses about new customs-related laws and respond to their questions and feedback on issues related to customs procedures. Such meetings have been held since the beginning of last year and have proved to be conducive to enhancing relations customs and businesses and resolving problems, Thang said.

Vietnam clarifies limits of chemical law for customs clearance Chemical Watch 31st Jan 2018
Vietnam's Department of Chemicals has stepped in to clarify how the Law on Chemicals applies to customs. In official guidance released on 8 December, it says that regulations for chemical imports/exports should not be applied to consumer goods and only two documents should be needed for substances to clear customs. The guidance, issued in a circular, points out that Decree 113 – the Law on Chemicals implementation rules – only applies to chemical-related activities including substances, compounds and mixtures. It does not apply to consumer goods containing chemicals, such as lead batteries, fruit, perfume, rubber, paint, ink etc.

Defense & Security

New securities law aims to clarify procedures vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
An update on the securities law this year focuses on nine targets in the hope of giving a boost to the development of the securities market as well as the broader financial sector. The 2006 Securities Law, amended for the first time in 2010, was introduced in the context of the small-scaled securities market. The law has created the legal corridor to enable the stock market to grow in the past 11 years but is also gradually exposing shortcomings along with its rapid expansion. These are requirements for information disclosure, market manipulation, investigative and supervisory authority of the market watchdog, as well as foreign-ownership-related regulations.

VN, US talk security, defence matters vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
Deputy Foreign Minister Hà Kim Ngọc and the US’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tina Kaidanow co-chaired the ninth Việt Nam-US Political, Security and Defence Dialogue in Hà Nội yesterday. Both Ngọc and Kaidanow recognised positive developments in bilateral ties since Việt Nam and the US set up their comprehensive partnership in 2013. Ngọc affirmed that Việt Nam highly values and hopes to intensify the relationship with the US in a stable, extensive and effective manner on the basis of respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political regime, thus contributing to maintaining peace, stability, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

VN, Cambodia to fortify security coordination vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
Cambodian and Vietnamese forces have effectively co-operated in fighting organised, cross-border and cyber crimes, as well as drug and human trafficking, said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Receiving Minister of Public Security (MPS) of Việt Nam Tô Lâm on Sunday, PM Hun Sen said the efforts by the MPS and Cambodian Ministry of Interior (MI) helped protect security and order, and served the socio-economic development of each side. Lâm is paying a two-day visit to Cambodia on Sunday and Monday at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Cambodia Sar Kheng.

Economics

Saudi Arabia to temporarily suspend Vietnamese fish imports vietnamnews.vn 6th Feb 2018
Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has decided to temporarily suspend the import of fish and shrimps from Việt Nam. The ban, effective from March 1, is in accordance with the regulatory procedure for fish and other aquaculture export establishments of SFDA, according to a note published on the Saudi Aquaculture Society’s website. The decision came after a delegation of several regulators, including SFDA, Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Saudi Aquaculture Society conducted an inspection tour last month to 24 Vietnamese facilities that exported to Saudi Arabia.

Vietnam enjoying fastest wealth growth in the world VietNamNet 5th Feb 2018
Vietnam’s emergence as a global manufacturing hub has helped it top a list of countries ranked by wealth growth over the past ten years, according to a report from market research company New World Wealth and interpreted by Visual Capitalist. Wealth in Vietnam grew 210 per cent between 2007 and 2017 and the country’s wealth market is predicted to continue growing another 200 per cent in the next ten years, according to the report. Much of that growth is due to the surge in ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) living in the country, defined as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, excluding personal assets and property such as a primary residence, collectibles, and consumer durables.

Vietnam sets up $220 bln committee to boost privatisation Reuters 5th Feb 2018
Vietnam said on Monday it has set up a committee to oversee around 5,000 trillion dong ($220 billion) worth of government assets in companies as part of an effort to boost privatisation. The communist state has stepped up its planned divestment from hundreds of state-owned companies to boost their performance and relax a tight state budget. Progress has been slow but has picked up since 2016 when the current administration took office. The Committee for State Capital Management at Enterprises would be more comprehensive than the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), Vietnam’s main state investment arm that holds shares in firms like Vinamilk, the country’s biggest listed firm.

Việt Nam runs a trade deficit of $300m in January vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
Việt Nam ran a trade deficit of US$300 million in January due to soaring imports. The deficit was attributed to Tết (Lunar New Year) being around the corner, pushing up demand, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The trade deficit in January ended the string of trade surpluses in the last three consecutive months of 2017. The country imported $19.3 billion worth of goods in the first month of 2018, a whopping rise of 47.4 per cent over the same period last year.

Foreign investment falls by 36.8% in January vietnamnews.vn 30th Jan 2018
Some US$899.4 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) was poured into Việt Nam in January 1-20, representing a year-on-year decrease of 36.8 per cent. This was stated by the General Statistics Office (GSO) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoF). Of the total FDI, $442.6 million was put into 166 new projects, reducing by 5.1 per cent and 64.4 per cent in terms of the number of projects and registered capital, respectively, during the same period last year.

Thousands of Japanese goods to enjoy 0% tariff in 2018 vietnamnews.vn 30th Jan 2018
Thousands of Japanese goods imported into Việt Nam will enjoy a zero percent tariff, in line with the Southeast Asian country’s commitments to lower tariffs, as outlined in the Việt Nam - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) and the ASEAN - Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) for 2016-19. Under Việt Nam’s new import tariffs, 5,545 products imported from Japan in 2018 will have lower tax rates than last year. Of these products, a zero percent rate will be applied to 456 tariff lines, for items such as fats, sugar, construction stones, organic chemicals, wood, pulp, fabrics, pearls, iron, aluminum, tin, hand tools, machinery and equipment, vehicle parts and musical instruments.

Petrol, power push up CPI in January vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
The consumer price index (CPI) in January rose by 0.51 per cent over the previous month and 2.65 per cent over the same month last year. This was revealed in the latest update of the General Statistics Office (GSO). This was the highest month-on-month increase in the past three years, compared to 0.46 per cent in January 2017, zero per cent in January 2016 and a drop of 0.2 per cent in January 2015.

VN economy faces 2018 hurdles: experts vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
Economic experts have warned of challenges facing Việt Nam in 2018 which may cut the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate to 6.58 per cent, lower than the previous year’s figure, at a conference held in Hà Nội yesterday. The event “Việt Nam’s economy in 2017 and prospect in 2018” focused on accessing the country’s economic situation last year, addressing challenges facing the country in 2018 and putting forward solutions to achieve higher growth. Last year was considered an economic success with a GDP growth rate of 6.81 per cent, higher than the yearly target, according to head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM)’s Department of Macro Economic Policy Nguyễn Anh Dương.

Uber and Grab subject to tax in Hanoi vietnam.net 26th Jan 2018
Uber and Grab, which have offices in Ho Chi Minh City and other cities and provinces, will have to pay taxes to the Hanoi People’s Committee.   This was one of the contents of the document that the Hanoi People’s Committee submitted to the Government Office on the management of Uber and Grab under the pilot programme called "Application of information technology in supporting the management and connection of commercial passenger transportation by contract," according to newswire Zing. According to the document, this proposal is to ensure transparency and equality in tax obligations among passenger transport services providers.

Energy

PVOil launches cashless payment app for drivers vietnamnews.vn 6th Feb 2018
PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOil) on Tuesday launched PV Oil Easy, an application for smartphones and tablets that allows users to buy petrol and manage their purchases via a QR code. Cao Hoài Dương, general director of PVOil, said the app was a solution for its member corporate customers to manage petrol purchases of drivers and for drivers to buy petrol without paying in cash or with credit cards.

VN cities plan for urban green growth vietnamnews.vn 3rd Feb 2018
With the urban green growth development plan to 2030 recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Việt Nam is hastening the transformation of its urban economic growth model towards green growth and climate change adaptation. Nguyễn Tường Văn, director of the Urban Development Agency under the Ministry of Construction, said that more studies on urban development strategies and technical infrastructure to meet green growth demand and climate change adaptation would be carried out for adjustments in urban planning. Văn said that the development of urban green growth aimed to enhance living quality, save energy and reduce emissions which would help boost economic growth and at the same time ease impacts on the environment towards sustainable development.

First wind power plant in Sóc Trăng launched vietnamnews.vn 1st Feb 2018
The Super Wind Energy Công Lý Sóc Trăng Joint Stock Company began building the first wind farm in the Mekong Delta province of Sóc Trăng on Tuesday. The project is located in Lai Hòa Ward, Vinh Châu Town, and its land use requirement is 2,489ha. The project has a total capacity of 98 megawatts (MW) and is invested in three phases, including the first phase with a capacity of 30MW, the second phase with a capacity of 30MW and the third one with a capacity of 38MW.

Japanese group eyes solar plant in Bình Phước vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
Asia Infonet INC Company, a member of Japan’s AIN Group, has proposed to build a solar power plant at Becamex-Bình Phước Industrial and Urban Complex. The proposal was made at a meeting between Asia Infonet INC’s representatives and officials of the southern province of BìnhPhước on Thursday. The project is expected to be built on an area of 54ha, with a capacity of 50MK.

Financial Services

S Korean group acquires Prudential Finance in Việt Nam vietnamnews.vn 25th Jan 2018
Prudential Plc on Tuesday announced that it had reached an agreement to sell 100 per cent of its Prudential Vietnam Finance Company (PVFC) to Shinhan Card Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Shinhan Financial Group (Shinhan), at a cost of US$151 million. The United Kingdom-based financial services group’s PVFC was launched in 2006 as the first foreign non-bank financial institution licensed for consumer finance lending in Việt Nam. Today, it is the fourth-largest consumer finance company by outstanding loan balance. “Prudential and Shinhan will work closely to ensure a smooth transition of the business. PVFC remains committed to all of its customer obligations and operations will continue as normal until the transaction has been completed,” Prudential said in a statement.

Vietnam banks to benefit from resolving legacy problem assets progress Asian Banking & Finance 6th Feb 2018
With Vietnamese banks making meaningful progress in the resolution of legacy problem assets, Moody's Investors Service reports it to have a positive effect on banks including improving asset quality and removing a drag on their profitability. Here's more from Moody's: The State Bank of Vietnam established the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) in July 2013, with a policy mandate to take over bad debt that had plagued the Vietnamese banks in prior years and to manage recovery work. The company takes nonperforming loans (NPLs) off banks’ balance sheets in exchange for special bonds it issues. The VAMC bonds do not pay interest, and banks effectively have to recognize losses related to the NPLs as they provision for the VAMC bonds over either five or 10 years, so these assets add to credit costs and hurt profitability.

Foreign firms fear to tread in Việt Nam securities market Vietnam News 5th Feb 2018
Việt Nam increases the number of fully foreign-invested companies in the country to five, the others being Mirae Asset Securities, Kis Việt Nam Securities Corporation, Maybank Kim Eng Securities Joint Stock Company, and Shinhan Securities Việt Nam, four of them South Korean owned. In January Việt Nam KB Securities Company opened an office in Hà Nội after South Korea’s KB Securities had acquired Việt Nam’s Maritime Securities for about 37.8 billion won (US$33.16 million) late last year. KB’s acquisition of a local securities company was aimed at expanding its presence in Southeast Asia, including Việt Nam and Indonesia.

Decree allows zero-rate loans for under-special control credit institutions vietnamnews.vn 1st Feb 2018
The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) issued a decree allowing special loans at zero per cent interest rates for credit institutions which were placed under the SBV’s special control. According to the decree which came into force early this week, SBV, Deposit Insurance of Việt Nam, Co-operative Bank of Việt Nam and other credit institutions could provide zero-rate loans to institutions under special control. The special loans are aimed at providing liquidity support for credit institutions when they are in danger of losing solvency or of going into insolvency and posing a threat to the system stability during the time they were placed under the SBV’s special control.

SSC warns against investing in cryptocurrencies vietnamnews.vn 30th Jan 2018
The State Securities Commission (SSC) has warned about the risks arising from investing in financial technology (fintech). In a notice issued on its website on Monday, SSC said that the market now had companies operating in fintech, including cryptocurrency, initial coin offering, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and blockchain. These were new products that had not been regulated, SSC said, thus posing high risks. SSC urged investors to be wary of investing in such products.

Banks scramble to sell assets to recover bad debts vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
Since Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) seized Sài Gòn One Tower using the authority conferred on it by Resolution 42 on settling bad debts, several banks have followed suit and offered mortgaged assets for sale to help pay their bad debts. Resolution 42 gives creditors the right to seize properties mortgaged against non-performing loans if debtors do not co-operate. Sài Gòn One Tower was mortgaged against a bad debt of VNĐ7 trillion (US$308.4 million) that Maritime Bank and Đông Á Bank sold to the VAMC in April 2015.

Central bank asks lenders to prioritise production, business vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
The State Bank of Việt Nam has asked credit institutions and branches of foreign banks to give priority to production and business while lending. According to Document 563/NHNN-TTGSNH issued on Tuesday, the central bank asked for control over credit growth to be tightened to meet the target. The credit growth target for 2018 was set at 17 per cent, lower than the growth rate of 18.17 per cent in 2017. The credit expansion must be associated with controlling credit quality to prevent new loans from turning into bad debts.

​Vietnamese banks to limit lending to realty, stock sectors Tuoi Tre News 26th Jan 2018
Massive amounts of lending to real estate and securities-based companies, as well as individual borrowers, have put the State Bank of Vietnam on edge. The State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, has recommended that local lenders limit and keep a close eye on their lending to the real-estate and securities sectors amid recent reports of alarmingly rapid credit growth. Banks should avoid directing too much of their available credit toward the construction and property sectors, and should instead concentrate on mid- and long-term lending, the central bank said in a fiat. Local credit institutions are also advised to continuously review and assess the progress of realty projects and their developers’ financial health, particularly as it relates to their collateral assets, and have measures in place to handle any defaults.

Food & Agriculture

Ministry of Health raises concerns over alcohol poisoning VietnamNet 5th Feb 2018
The Ministry of Health has raised concerns over the grave consequences of alcohol poisoning because of fake spirits during Tet holiday.    At a recent conference on preventing alcohol poisoning during Tet Holiday, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said by 2025, 440 million litres of alcohol will be mass produced a year.  Vietnam has over 328 major alcohol manufacturing facilities producing 360 million litres and 320 small facilities producing over 250 million litres each year. Fake spirits that contain methanol which can cause severe poisoning reactions were still being sold widely, especially during the Lunar New Year. "Alcohol poisoning cases only accounted for 1-2% of the annual food poisoning cases but the fatalities account for 7%. There was a case where several members of a family died after a party," Tien said. 

2018 rice export to hit 6m tonnes vietnamnews.vn 5th Feb 2018
Việt Nam’s rice export volume in 2018 is expected to increase by 400,000 tonnes from 2017 to reach 6 million tonnes, due to increased demand from Southeast Asia, especially from the Philippines, with China expected to be the country’s largest rice market. The Vietnam Food Association (VFA), in a report earlier in January, said countries in Southeast Asia will import a large amount of rice from Việt Nam, helping boost the country’s turnover this year. The VFA said Indonesia will import rice from Việt Nam and Thailand again in 2018 to increase reserves, as Indonesia’s rice price has been rising, almost double the floor price.

VN seeks to accelerate agricultural restructuring vietnamnews.vn 3rd Feb 2018
Accelerating agricultural restructuring towards large-scale and high-tech production became critical for the sector involving 70 per cent of the country’s population but contributing just below 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). At a recent working session with the Prime Minister’s economic consultants team, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường said the agricultural sector was facing growing competition and technical barriers. Cường said the restructuring process helped improve the production capacity significantly with many products now in surplus.

VN pepper industry about to burst vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
Việt Nam’s pepper farmers are on pins and needles as pepper prices continue to decline. The industry, once known for its high profit margins, is in crisis due to unsustainable development, lack of strict control over production and unforeseeable speculation. According to Lê Văn Đức, deputy director general of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), as world market demand for pepper began to rise at the beginning of the decade, pepper production in Việt Nam started growing at an alarming rate. He now predicts that "the bubble is about to burst". The total production area has increased threefold between 2010 and 2017. Việt Nam is now the world leader in pepper production. It exports to 109 countries and territories, mainly to Europe, Asia and America.

PM urges high-tech shrimp farms in Bạc Liêu vietnamnews.vn 31st Jan 2018
The southern province of Bạc Liêu should focus on super intensive, high-tech shrimp farming to become the nation’s shrimp hub, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told an investment conference in Bạc Liêu City yesterday. “The shrimp industry would be the answer for the development of several provinces in the Mekong Delta, including Bạc Liêu. “Fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing, renewable energy like wind and solar, and tourism are the strengths of the province and need to be promoted.”

Agro-forestry-fishery exports exceed US$3 billion in January VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 30th Jan 2018
Export turnover of agro-forestry-aquatic products in January 2018 was estimated at US$3.09 billion, up 25.9% against the same period last year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, export value of major farm produce hit US$1.68 billion, a year-on-year rise of 34.1%. Meanwhile, revenue from aquatic and forestry product shipments reached US$560 million and US$745 million, respective increases of 15.6% and 18.5%.

Việt Nam plans to export fruits to Qatar vietnamnews.vn 30th Jan 2018
Việt Nam can fully meet Qatar’s demand for tropical fruits, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Nguyễn Xuân Cường. During a meeting with Belgian Rent-A-Port N.V. held last week, Cường said Việt Nam had 1.8 million hectares of cultivation area for fruits and vegetables with an annual output of 20 million tonnes, adding that the figure would double in the future if demand increases. In 2017, vegetable and fruit export revenue hit US$3.6 billion, up by 50 per cent over the previous year. In the future, Việt Nam will construct and put into operation 10 more fruit and vegetable processing factories across the country, he was quoted by MARD’s e-portal mard.gov.vn.

ATIGA regulation worries local sugar manufacturers vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
The implementation of tariff reduction to zero per cent under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) from January 1, is an obsession with the Vietnamese sugar industry. This is because the sugar industry is facing a flood of imported goods entering the domestic market. Industry insiders stated that the sugar industry is predicted to perform poorly in the 2018-19 period, as locally-refined sugar will have to compete with sugar from Thailand while the local industry has not yet improved its competitiveness.

Pepper industry prioritises quality vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
The pepper industry plans to reduce the area under the spice and focus instead on improving quality to ensure long-term growth, a seminar heard in HCM City yesterday. Lê Văn Đức, deputy head of the Crop Production Department, said the pepper cultivation area had increased sharply since 2010 to 152,668ha last year, exceeding the Government’s zoning plans by more than 100,000ha. High pepper prices in recent years have incentivised farmers into expanding -- even to unsuitable lands and without any planning -- while the overuse of fertilisers has caused plants to degenerate quickly and be more vulnerable to disease, he said.

HCM City expands safe food supply chains vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
HCM City’s Food Safety Management Board will continue to sign agreements with provincial departments of agriculture and rural development to develop safe supply chains for agricultural and fisheries produce. As around 80 per cent of fisheries produce in HCM City is supplied by other cities and provinces, the development of safe supply chains is crucial to ensure that farm and fisheries produce is under supervision, said Phạm Khánh Phong Lan, head of the board.

ROK’s CJ Group opens fifth animal feed factory in Ha Nam VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 26th Jan 2018
The Republic of Korea’s CJ Group have opened an animal feed factory at Dong Van Industrial Park in the northern province of Ha Nam. Covering on an area of 7.5 hectares, this CJ Group’s fifth facility with a total investment of US$31.5 million has a capacity of 320,000 tons of animal feed per year and will generate 300 jobs in the locality. Mr Lee Tae Ki from CJ Group in Vietnam said the factory is equipped with a high tech modern production line, aiming to provide customers with high quality products at competitive prices, helping develop the animal husbandry industry in Vietnam.

Health & Life Sciences

Adjustment on medical expenses required VietnamNet 7th Feb 2018
Although inpatient room costs have increased sharply, medical quality remains stagnant, according to the latest report by Viet Nam Social Insurance (VSI). The data collected in the three provinces of Bac Ninh, An Giang and Ha Giang shows that among 52 surveyed inpatient rooms, only 13 had air conditioners, 11 had dehumidifiers and four had ventilators. Meanwhile, the cost for those appliances is included in the inpatient room charge for all rooms, even when they don’t have the appliances.  Based on type of room, the average cost per inpatient day may range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dong.

Overcrowding strains HCMC hospitals, doctors Vietnam News 5th Feb 2018
Many hospitals in HCM City face chronic overcrowding as they provide service for local patients as well as those from other provinces. Patients from outside the city now account for some 60 per cent, according to HCM City’s Health Department. Statistics from the department showed that hospitals across the city have received 41.9 million people for check-ups and treatment in 2017, accounting for 25.8 per cent of the total number of patients nation-wide. Such specialised facilities as cardiovascular, oncology, obstetrics and paediatrics treatment attract the majority of patients.

Health ministry launches SUN Movement in Việt Nam Vietnam News 31st Jan 2018
The Ministry of Health launched the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in the country at a ceremony on Wednesday in Hà Nội. The movement follows Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s directive on strengthening multi-sectoral collaboration on nutrition across the country. “The nutritional status of Vietnamese people is improving. Việt Nam is recognised by the international community as a spotlight in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, especially for the continuous and sustainable reduction in the prevalence of underweight children less than five years old, from 31.9 per cent in 2001 to 13.8 per cent in 2016,” said Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến at the ceremony.

Hanoi targets all HIV carriers with health insurance Vietnam Plus 29th Jan 2018
Hanoi set to expand health insurance coverage to 100 percent of HIV carriers in 2018, heard a recent conference on HIV/AIDS prevention hosted by the municipal Department of Health. According to reports of the municipal Preventative Medicine Centre, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection stands at 232/100,000 people. By December 31, 2017, Hanoi recorded 19,637 HIV/AIDS cases, ranking second in the country in the number of people living with the fatal disease. The city strives to have 60 percent of HIV carriers managed and provided with antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, and 75 percent of infected people know their status in 2018.

Satellite hospitals save lives in remote areas vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
Historically, the mostly publicly financed health care system in Việt Nam has only been able to afford to pour resources into a handful of central level hospitals in big cities, forcing patients living in remote areas with serious diseases to go to Hà Nội or HCM City for treatment. Aside from the additional costs for transportation and living, by the time a patient has reached the central hospital, the ‘golden window’ to best treat their condition might have closed long ago.

$21m health programme launched Viet Nam News 25th Jan 2018
The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Việt Nam on Wednesday launched a new Health Co-operation Programme for 2018-2019. Under the programme, they will work side-by-side to strengthen the capacity of the health system to deliver quality and equitable health services, especially to the poor and vulnerable groups; to respond to the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases and other public health threats; to provide quality services at the grassroots level; to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in health financing; and strengthen regulations for pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical products to ensure better access to essential medicines and health technologies.

ICT

Agency to tax e-commerce like other businesses Vietnam Plus 31st Jan 2018
Ho Chi Minh City's Tax Department plans to continue to collect taxes from online businesses that use Facebook and other social media sites. The collection is to ensure a fair business environment in which all businesses must fulfil tax obligations, according to the department. The agency last year contacted more than 14,500 online retailers, including Facebook accounts, demanding payment of tax for businesses operating on the social network. Of the figure, some 3,990 cases worked with the agency and declared tax.

National Strategy on Science and Technology Development encounters hindrances VietnamNet 29th Jan 2018
The preferential policies for enterprises in the field of science and technology is encountering various obstacles due to lack of professional capacity and unreasonable mechanism and complicated administrative procedures, greatly affecting the achievement of the National Strategy regarding Science and Technology Development in the period between 2011 and 2020. According to the newest report from the Ministry of Science and Technology, there are totally 303 businesses nationwide which have already been certified as a science-and-technology enterprise, along with 43 organizations considered as high-tech ones. In addition, approximately 2,100 businesses have satisfied the requirements of being a science-and-technology enterprise, yet they have not applied for the certificate. The National Strategy regarding Science and Technology Development from 2011-2020 mentioned that Vietnam would have 5,000 science-and-technology enterprises in 2020. However, phase 1 of the Strategy was unsuccessful when the target of having 3,000 science-and-technology enterprises from 2011-2015 could not be reached.

The largest and most established international HVACR exhibition in Vietnam Is Coming to Hanoi in April 2018 Vietnamnews 26th Jan 2018
HVACR Vietnam, the only focused and most established annual international industrial exhibition in the country, is coming to Hanoi for the first time. Its 12th edition will be held on April 18 – 20, 2018, at the National Exhibition Construction Center (NECC), Hanoi. Organized by Informa Exhibitions and Vinexad, HVACR Vietnam 2018 features a comprehensive showcase of the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Air Filtration & Purification, and Refrigeration technology and systems in the region. The exhibition is set against a backdrop of emerging industry trends not only in the country but globally, seeing a paradigm shift in HVACR technologies, where majority of the changes are aimed at energy efficiency and higher energy performance. Apart from bringing the industry together to address the requirements of the region’s demand amid emerging industry trends, HVACR Vietnam 2018 also allows industry experts to explore business opportunities, source for latest products and solutions, and network with other professionals in the field.

Da Nang uses “smart environment management” with Vietnamese technologies VietnamNet 26th Jan 2018
Smart environment management systems have been applied in the central city of Da Nang, considered by many expats and locals alike to be the most livable city in Vietnam.  Da Nang in recent years has had to cope with the water pollution with ‘hot spots’ on Phu Loc River and beaches. One of the solutions is installing water environment monitoring stations at Phu Loc River, 29-3 Park and other lakes. The monitoring system is designed and manufactured by CENTIC (Da Nang Center Of Integrated Circuits), a unit belonging to the Da Nang Science & Technology Department.  The system runs with solar energy automatically and can quickly update indexes about the water environment and transmit data to the city’s environment department. 

Vietnam's Digital Signature and E-Transaction Club established Vietnamnews 26th Jan 2018
The Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) decided on Tuesday to set up the Việt Nam Certificate Authority and Digital Transaction Club (VCDC). VCDC consists of seven founding members -- Bkav-CA, Viettel-CA, VNPT-CA, FPT-CA, Nacencomm (CA2), Vina Signature (Smart-Sight) and NewCA. In cryptography, CA (a certificate authority or certification authority) is an entity that issues digital certificates. A digital certificate certifies the ownership of a public key by the named subject of the certificate. This allows others (relying parties) to rely upon signiatures or on assertions made about the private key that corresponds to the certified public key.

HCMC focuses on innovation Vietnamnews 6th Feb 2018
Nguyễn Việt Dũng, director of HCM City Department of Science and Technology, talks to Việt Nam News about the development of science and technology and innovation in the city. The department had targeted goals and tasks last year and carried out many policies to assist in setting up an ecosystem of science and innovation in the city. It also submitted more policies to the city’s People’s Committee to help the ecosystem operate more effectively. It also offered more assistance policies in training, management, attendance at scientific conferences, and international co-operation with universities, in addition to those on scientific research.

VN backs establishment of resilient, innovative ASEAN Vietnamnews 6th Feb 2018
Việt Nam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh welcomed the Singapore-proposed theme of building a resilient and innovative Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) while addressing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) in Singapore on February 6. He affirmed that Việt Nam would work closely with other member nations to ensure the success of ASEAN 2018. The diplomat said regional self-reliance should be promoted in all aspects, both politically and economically, to create momentum for ASEAN to push ahead with its new development period.

Vietnamese, Lao PMs attend training centre’s inaugural ceremony Nhan Dan 5th Feb 2018
Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Laos Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Thonglun Sisulith attended a ceremony to inaugurate the scientific and technological human resources training centre in Vientiane, Laos on February 4. The centre is a symbol of science and technology cooperation between Vietnam and Laos as it was built by the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology following the 35th meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee on Economic, Cultural, Educational, Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc province on December 19, 2012. The Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and Laos worked closely and launched construction of the centre in September 2015 and made the final touches on the work in December 2017. Built at the cost of over VND98 billion from the Vietnamese Government’s ODA source, the centre is capable of training 600-800 scientific managerial officials a year and is a working place of a 70-member staff.

Legislation

Tax enforcement staff to focus on cutting collection losses vietnamnews.vn 1st Feb 2018
The General Department of Taxation (GDT) announced its 2018 plans and last year’s results on Wednesday, focusing on implementing revenue management solutions, reducing tax collection losses and managing arrears and value-added tax refunds. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told the GDT and representatives from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) during Wednesday’s conference to sharpen their antennae to detect remaining problems within the tax authorities. The sector’s key challenge is to strive for a more effective implementation of State budget tasks, especially in meeting 2018 revenue and administrative reform goals assigned by the Government, said the PM.

Ministry clarifies decree on imported autos VietNamNet 31st Jan 2018
The Ministry of Transport issued a circular to guide the implementation of Decree 116 that tightens control over quality, technical safety and environment protection of imported autos. Circular 03/2018/TT-BGTVT is a legal document under the Government’s Decree 116, which came into effect on January 1, 2018. It aims to clarify regulations of the decree, helping importers implement procedures when they import autos to the Vietnamese market. The circular states that auto importers must obtain a Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certification issued by authorities in the exporting country. VTA certifications are to show the vehicles’ standards on quality, technical safety and environment protection. If this cannot be obtained, a separate certificate of quality, technical safety and environment protection of the auto or engine must be provided. In addition to this, while examining the quality of technical safety and environmental protection, auto importers will have to submit a number of dossiers, such as registration certificate of the imported cars for inspection of technical safety and security and protection of the environment; certified copies of the type of tires, rearview mirrors, front lights and glasses issued by competent agencies or organisations; original certificate of auto quality inspection issued by foreign automakers or automobile-assembling enterprises for each type of car.

Manufacturing

More and more Vietnamese brands bought by foreign companies VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 29th Jan 2018
Many Vietnamese famous brands, one after another, are being bought by foreigners. An analyst commented that it was a ‘tragedy’ that Vietnam had to sell Sabeco, a powerful brewer, to a foreign company. “Vietnamese businesses can’t run large corporations. What they can do is create brands and then sell the brands to foreigners,” he said. “They try to fatten the goose to sell the goose for a good price. Wise businesses will continue to raise the goose so that it lays golden eggs,” he commented.

Nearly 11,000 new firms established in January vietnamnews.vn 29th Jan 2018
Some 11,000 enterprises were established with a registered capital of VNĐ98.27 trillion (US$4.31 billion) in the first month of this year. These figures represented respective increases of 20.6 per cent and 8.9 per cent compared to the same month last year, data of the Ministry of Planning and Investment revealed. January also saw more than 3,520 firms raising their levels of capital by VNĐ218 trillion ($9.56 billion), while nearly 4,600 enterprises resumed their operations, according to the ministry.

Ministry clarifies decree on imported autos vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
The Ministry of Transport issued a circular to guide the implementation of Decree 116 that tightens control over quality, technical safety and environment protection of imported autos. Circular 03/2018/TT-BGTVT is a legal document under the Government’s Decree 116, which came into effect on January 1, 2018. It aims to clarify regulations of the decree, helping importers implement procedures when they import autos to the Vietnamese market. The circular states that auto importers must obtain a Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certification issued by authorities in the exporting country. VTA certifications are to show the vehicles’ standards on quality, technical safety and environment protection. If this cannot be obtained, a separate certificate of quality, technical safety and environment protection of the auto or engine must be provided.

New Honda dealership launched vietnamnews.vn 26th Jan 2018
Honda Vietnam Company Limited (Honda Vietnam) and Hòa Bình Minh Corporation officially opened a dealership in Khai Quang Ward, Vĩnh Yên City, northern Vĩnh Phúc Province, on Thursday. Construction for the new establishment, the Vĩnh Phúc Honda Automobile Dealership, began in April 2017, over a total area of ​​7,000 square metres of sleek design with modern equipment for all repair, maintenance and inspection purposes of imported Honda vehicles from Japan and Europe, according to Honda global standard. The building includes three floors, with a fully furnished automobile showroom, customer lounge, repair area, car wash and a spare parts store.