Cambodia, Laos, VN commit to comprehensive co-operation vietnamnews.vn 31st Mar 2018
Leaders of Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia on Saturday signed a joint declaration at the 10th Development Triangle Area Summit, committing to fully expand co-operation nationally rather than just in border provinces. The three countries agreed to extend “step by step” the co-operation which would no longer be restricted to the 13 border areas of the triangle, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told a press conference in Hà Nội following the summit. For the purpose, the leaders approved the Master Plan on Cambodia-Laos-Việt Nam Economic Connectivity, which outlined the directions for infrastructure, institutional and economic co-operation and people-to-people exchanges.
Mekong countries seek closer links vietnamnews.vn 31st Mar 2018
Leaders of the Greater Mekong countries have called for strengthening co-operation and connectivity in the sub-region and a commitment to stay open for regional and global trade. At the plenary meeting of the 6th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit in Hà Nội on Saturday, top officials of six GMS countries - Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Việt Nam - hailed the 2018-22 Hanoi Action Plan and the Regional Investment Framework, which were passed at the summit. The two documents spell out the plans for investment of nearly US$66 billion in 227 projects in the sub-region over the next five years.
Level infrastructure playing field for private sector: experts vietnamnews.vn 30th Mar 2018
Countries in the Greater Mekong region need billions of dollars to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure, but institutional barriers are stopping the private sector from investing. The region, consisting of Việt Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and China – particularly the Yunnan Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region, is a young and developing region, Vietnamese Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể told economic experts, representatives of international organsisations and local and international businesses at a sideline conference on regional infrastructure and financing of the 6th Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Summit on Friday. “Apart from China or Thailand, other countries like Việt Nam are yet to modernise and fully develop their infrastructure,” he said.
Secretariat for national committee on economic restructuring established vietnamnews.vn 30th Mar 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has signed a decision to establish the secretariat to assist the national steering committee on restructuring the economy and renewing the country’s growth model. This group has the function of advising and assisting the steering committee and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) - the standing body of the steering committee in its activities. The secretariat is composed of 26 members. The leader is Nguyễn Đình Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, under the MPI.
Justice Ministry urged to trim, clarify regulations vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
The Ministry of Justice must continue to review business conditions and eliminate overlapping and unnecessary regulations, said Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tiến Dũng during a meeting yesterday between the Government’s working group and the ministry. Dũng, who leads the working group, said that vague business conditions for enforcement officers to create difficulties for the people they regulate. For example, the regulation on lawyers’ apprentice period does not specify the minimum time required. Another regulation requires lawyers to have experience in international legal consultation but does not say how many years of working are necessary before the lawyer is considered experienced. Other requirements related to “having good health”, “having good ethics” and “being responsible, honest” are also vague.
E-commerce platforms line up to fill Facebook’s boots News VietNamNet 3rd Apr 2018
Online businesses may turn to other platforms to do business after Facebook blocked API, affecting many Vietnamese retailers using it as a trading platform. Facebook's blocking of API has forced online businesses to consider alternatives Facebook remains a large business channel for many Vietnamese young people. According to newswire Bloomberg, Joe Nguyen, senior vice president of ComScore (the world’s leading measurement system), said that a large number of Vietnamese people love using social networks for doing business, with the highest proportion in the world. This is one of the main reasons why Facebook is focusing on Vietnam. Speaking at the APEC CEO Summit 2017, Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg said that 74 per cent of the Asia-Pacific’s small- and medium-enterprises use Facebook to increase sales and 70 per cent of small enterprises use Facebook to find new employees for their companies. These rates have become more reality (shows more clearly) for Vietnamese enterprises.
A seminar held to promote links between Logistics and E-commerce vietnamnews.vn 26th Mar 2018
Though logistics and e-commerce in Việt Nam is booming, the two sectors have been hamstrung by a lack of linkages between them, according to Trần Thanh Hải, deputy director of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Hải said that the development of e-commerce must be accompanied with quality logistics services as logistics are crucial for online sales. According to the ministry, since 2015, though logistics and delivery services have grown rapidly, they have not met the needs of e-commerce.
Vietnamese life insurance sector going online VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 25th Mar 2018
Prudential, Manulife, and FWD were among the first insurance firms to transfer insurance transactions to digital platforms, who are now followed by Chubb Life, Generali Vietnam, and Hanwha Life. Recently, the Vietnam-based arm of FWD insurance firm launched the online purchasing option for "FWD cancer care," a life insurance package which promises customers to pay the entire sum assured for cancer diagnosis at any stage. Previously, in October 2017, the insurance firm also launched a personal accident insurance package for 100,000 customers on Tiki.vn, a Vietnam-based e-commerce shopping platform, which was only tradable on the firm's online platform, providing customers with protection against risk of death and accidental injuries.
Vietnam to cut corporate tax to 15-17% in bid to boost business climate News VietNamNet 3rd Apr 2018
Vietnam is planning to slash corporate income tax rates from the current 20-22% to 15-17% in an effort to make the country one of the most competitive economies in ASEAN, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has revealed. The reform is expected to improve Vietnam's competitiveness. The Government leader announced the plans in a speech at the GMS Business Summit held in Hanoi last week. He reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to an action-oriented government working in the interest of the people and businesses, for which tax reform is one of the crucial undertakings in its efforts to enhance the country’s competitiveness.
Vietnam attracts US$5.8 billion in FDI in first quarter VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 30th Mar 2018
The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam in the first quarter of 2018 witnessed a significant yearly decline of 25% to US$5.8 billion, but disbursement rose by 7.2% year-on-year to US$3.88 billion. The Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) reported that processing and manufacturing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors, receiving commitments of US$3.44 billion and accounting for 59.4% of the total commitments. The retail and wholesale sectors received the second largest chunk of FDI with US$531 million or 9.2%, followed by the real estate sector with US$486 million or 8.4%.
Industry goals for the coming years vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
Việt Nam’s industry will contribute 40 per cent to the national GDP by 2030, according to a newly issued resolution. Under Resolution 23-NQ/TW to develop the national industry until 2030, with a vision up to 2045, issued recently by the Politburo, the processing and manufacturing industries will make up some 30 per cent. The value of high-tech processing and manufacturing products is targeted to reach at least 45 per cent, while industrial labour productivity will increase by 7.5 per cent on average annually. The industrial growth rate will average over 8.5 per cent, of which the processing and manufacturing industry will see a rise of 10 per cent yearly.
Uber drivers set to work for Grab vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
Grab yesterday announced that all of Uber’s motorcycle and taxi drivers in Việt Nam would have the opportunity to work for Grab from April 8th. According to Grab’s announcement to acquire Uber’s Southeast Asia operations, Grab will integrate Uber’s ridesharing and food delivery business in the region into Grab’s existing platform. As part of the acquisition, Uber will take a 27.5 per cent stake in Grab and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s management board.
Ninh Thuận kicks off solar project worth $50.8 million vietnamnews.vn 1st Apr 2018
Construction on the Bầu Ngứ Lake Solar Power Plant was begun on Saturday in the Phước Dinh Commune, Thuận Nam District of the south-central coastal province of Ninh Thuận. Trần Huy Đức, chairman of the Trường Thành Construction and Investment Joint Stock Company, which is the owner of the project, said the project is being built under a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) contract with total investment capital of VNĐ1.15 trillion (US$50.8 million). Covering an area of 75ha, the solar plant has a capacity of 50MW.
Doosan Heavy to develop offshore wind farm in Vietnam VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 26th Mar 2018
The Republic of Korea (RoK)'s Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co. will shake hands with Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to develop an offshore wind farm project as the Korean corporation’s first foray into the overseas offshore wind power generation market. The two parties signed an agreement to develop the project on March 23, according to newswire Pulsenews. Under the initial agreement, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction will supply wind power equipment, including energy storage systems in the form of engineering, procurement, and construction for a 3MW wind farm.
Vietnam 'scraps new offshore oil project' BBC News 23rd Mar 2018
Vietnam has cancelled a major oil project in the South China Sea for the second time in a year, in the wake of Chinese pressure, the BBC has learned. State-owned PetroVietnam ordered Spanish energy firm Repsol to suspend a project off the south-east coast, a well-placed industry source said. It means Repsol and partners could lose up to $200m of investment already made. The news is unexpected as final preparations for commercial drilling were under way. China is likely to regard this move as a significant victory. The Vietnamese decision seems to demonstrate that the recent show of force in the South China Sea by the United States has not changed Vietnam's strategic calculations.
Banks prohibited from disbursing loans in cash vietnamnews.vn 2nd Apr 2018
The State Bank of Việt Nam has tightened lending regulations, prohibiting credit institutions and foreign bank branches from disbursing loans in cash, effective from April 2, according to a new circular. Under Circular No. 21/2017/TT-NHNN, which stipulates the mode of disbursement of loans by credit institutions and foreign bank branches to customers, lenders will have to provide loans to bank accounts of beneficiaries via non-cash payment instruments. According to the central bank, the new circular is aimed to better supervise loans, seeking to have them comply with the stated purposes for requested loans. The disbursement of loans through bank accounts will help commercial banks supervise the use of borrowers’ loans from the beginning to avoid funds being used for incorrect purposes, such as rollovers, resulting in an increase of non-performing loans.
E-payments boom in Vietnam as customers seek safer options VnExpress International 25th Mar 2018
Food & Agriculture
Electronic payments are taking off in Vietnam thanks to a boom in internet usage and smartphone ownership. E-payments in Vietnam grew 22 percent in 2017 from the previous year to $6.14 billion, Nikkei Asian Review quoted data from Statista, a local market research firm, as saying. The figure is projected to double to $12.33 billion in 2022.
Aquatic export up 11.5% in first quarter VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 1st Apr 2018
The export of aquatic products in March was estimated at US$608 million, bringing the total shipment in the first three months to US$1.7 billion, up 11.5% annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Major importers in the first two months this year were the US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, accounting for 50.5% of the total. Notably, markets seeing strong export growths included the Netherlands (49.7%), Thailand (35.3%) and China (34.9%).
Seafood export faces numerous barriers VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 1st Apr 2018
Despite strong outbound sales so far this year, Vietnam’s target of earning US$9-US$10 billion from seafood exports in 2018 may prove tough due to numerous technical barriers being set up in major markets, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reports. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, seafood export revenue as of mid-March 2018 reached US$1.37 billion, up 17% versus the year-ago period, making seafood one of the eight products with export revenue of over US$1 billion. While these figures show a good signal, enterprises said it would be difficult to attain the target of US$9-US$10 billion this year.
Food association unfit to lead rice sector: experts vietnamnews.vn 31st Mar 2018
The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) came under heavy criticism yesterday as economic experts voiced discontent with the association’s favouritism, lax business practices and overall incompetency in the rice export sector. In its latest report, the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) claimed the VFA only represented the interests of state-owned enterprises (SoEs) in the agricultural field, and did not hold itself responsible for aiding individual farmers or private sector firms. Nguyễn Đức Thành, VEPR’s director, argued that the association was nothing more than a state management body and an extended governing arm to allocate rice export quotas instead of an advocate for all of its members.
Organic produce exporters explore global opportunities vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
There is great potential for export of Vietnamese organic agricultural products to the US and Europe, but businesses need guidance and support from trade promotion offices to achieve this. “Vietnamese organic products are competitively priced and have high quality but we need government agencies to connect us and organise promotions to get more international customers,” Nguyễn Lâm Viên, chairman and CEO of Vinamit Joint Stock Company, told Người Lao Động (Labourers) newspaper. Vinamit has sold more than 200 tonnes of organic products, most of it to the US and the rest to France.
Sugar stocks underperform on low price, ATIGA challenges vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
Sugar company shares have underperformed in the last three months, contrasting with the general uptrend of the stock market and other sectors, thanks to large stockpiles and falling sugar prices. Việt Nam’s benchmark VN Index recently beat the historical high of 1,170 points with growth rates in many sectors such as banking-financial, energy, real estate and food and beverage. But sugar stocks have experienced a downtrend in the last three months, according to VNĐirect Securities Company (VNDS). Data from the Hà Nội-based securities firm showed that after increasing between December 25, 2017 and early January 2018, sugar stocks have suffered.
VN firms push food safety vietnamnews.vn 24th Mar 2018
More and more livestock farming companies are adopting VietGap and Global Gap standards to improve their efficiency as well as ensure food safety, according to global quality certification agency Bureau Veritas. Speaking on the sidelines of the “Conference of dialogue and associating to improve the food safety chain of meat products in Việt Nam” in HCM City yesterday, Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hương, food business development manger at Bureau Veritas Vietnam, said “Food safety in Việt Nam has seen some improvement recently.” In the past livestock farms did not known much about VietGap or GlobalGap, but now many businesses have applied and plan to apply these standards at their farms, she said.
Cần Thơ eyes development of high-tech farming in semi-urban areas vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2018
Health & Life Sciences
Cần Thơ has launched a project to improve the efficiency of advanced farming models in semi-urban areas. Nguyễn Ngọc Hè, director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the advanced techniques include organic farming that does not require large areas of land and is environment-friendly. Such models help increase the green space in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta city and have potential for tourism development, he said. The programme would be implemented mostly in Ninh Kiều and Cái Răng districts, developing nine advanced models.
Young scientists’ contributions advance health science sector vietnamnews.vn 31st Mar 2018
Scientists are conducting breakthrough research which will contribute to the country’s health science sector in future, Dr Đỗ Văn Dũng, deputy rector of HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said at a conference held at the school in HCM City yesterday. Dũng told Việt Nam News that many young people had studied abroad and worked with outstanding scientists in innovative research projects. “This research will help develop health science in the country. I believe in the future,” he added.
Fund to mobilise finances for TB patients Vietnam News 23rd Mar 2018
The health sector today called on local and international communities for supporting tuberculosis (TB) patients at a ceremony to launch the TB Patients Support Fund in Việt Nam. The event was organised by the National TB Control and Prevention Programme under the National Lung Diseases Hospital to mark World TB Day (March 24). The fund aims to mobilise financial sources for the health sector to provide more treatment opportunities for TB patients in the country, especially poor patients, in an effort to minimise TB transmission in the community.
Children to get measles vaccine earlier vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2018
The Ministry of Health plans to start giving measles vaccine to children in their sixth month instead of the ninth, Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long has said. The information was revealed at a conference on tackling dengue fever and summer diseases this year, held in Đà Nẵng City earlier this week. Health officials are worried about measles epidemics returning to Việt Nam this year as the disease often occurs in four-year cycles, and the previous major one was in 2013-2014, Sức khoẻ & Đời sống (Health & Life) reported.
Work begins on Vietnam-RoK institute of science, technology Nhan Dan 28th Mar 2018
RoK President Moon Jae-in, who is on a State visit to Vietnam from March 22-24, and Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, along with representatives from a number of ministries, agencies and localities of both countries were present at the event. Addressing the ceremony, President Moon described the event as a milestone of the RoK’s support for scientific and technological development in Vietnam, as well as close-knit relations between the two countries in all sectors. The enhancement of cooperation to spur Vietnam’s economic development through science and technology is evidence of the RoK’s New Look South Policy towards prosperity of both sides, he stressed. In her remarks, Vice President Thinh noted with pleasure the breakthrough development of Vietnam-RoK cooperative ties over the past 25 years, especially after the two countries established the strategic cooperative partnership in 2009.
Vietnam, France boost cooperation in space technology and intellectual property Nhan Dan 28th Mar 2018
The documents were signed in the presence of Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is on an official visit to France, French National Assembly (NA) President Francois de Rugy, and other senior officials. The signing of the two documents opens up new cooperation opportunities for Vietnam and France in space technology and intellectual property, while contributing to the two countries’ socio-economic development. The LoI, signed between Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and France’s Airbus Defence and Space, maps out measures to boost the bilateral cooperation, exchange information, and share experience in earth observation, as well as drafting the organisation of science and technology events scheduled in 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, under the MoU, Vietnam’s Intellectual Property Department and France’s National Industrial Property Institute will accelerate their cooperation and information exchanges on industrial property; geographical indication protection, intellectual property commercialisation, technology transfer, and human resource training, among others.
Vietnamese labourers facing with challenge of Industry 4.0 Vietnamnews 28th Mar 2018
Industry 4.0 poses a challenge to the Vietnamese labour force so significant that the only way to meet it is to impose reforms across the board, starting with education and training programmes, experts agreed at a seminar yesterday in Hà Nội. Titled The 4th Industrial Revolution and the impact on the labor market in Việt Nam, the seminar drew economists and other experts, all of whom agreed that the country will struggle to adapt to Industry 4.0—the wave of rapid technological development transforming workforces and economies across the world. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), for example, 86 per cent of workers in Việt Nam’s textile and footwear industries are at great risk of losing their jobs under the influence of technological breakthroughs caused by Industry 4.0.
Technology sector sees rising number of startups VietNamNet 28th Mar 2018
With nearly 3,000 startups, Vietnam is entering a startup boom similar to Europe’s in the 2010-2011 period, according to Max Scheichenost, the co-founder of 15 startups. Most startups are in the technology sector as Vietnam has many technology talents. However, this is also a barrier because startups focus on technology rather than solutions to life issues. He said young people need to go out more regularly, discover problems and think about how to solve them with technological solutions. The more problems they discover, the more opportunities they will have for startups. Edward Jung, the co-founder of Window NT, Office and Microsoft Research, the author of over 1,000 patents, also thinks technology will be mainstream in Vietnam in the time to come with the greatest opportunities available in the fields of cameras, radio, bulbs, healthcare, games, automobile, aviation, lasers, computing and finance.
PM approves $921m infrastructure investment for economic, industrial zones vietnamnews.vn 2nd Apr 2018
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has given the green light for infrastructure development worth up to VNĐ21 trillion (US$921 million) for economic zones and industrial parks in the 2016-2020 period. The programme aims to develop comprehensive technical and social infrastructure for these areas, which will lay the foundation and create favourable conditions for calling and promoting large-scale investment projects. The plan comprises five components, including infrastructure investment for coastal economic zones, border gate economic zones, industrial parks and industrial clusters, hi-tech parks, and hi-tech agriculture zones.
Mechanical engineering sector to lift exports by 2020 VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 26th Mar 2018
Vietnam’s mechanical engineering industry is striving to apply advanced technology, produce high-quality products meeting international standards and join the global value chain by 2035. The targets were set out in a strategy approved by the Prime Minister for the industry’s development by 2025, with a vision to 2035. The industry will also focus on the efficient use of energy, maintaining competitiveness during international integration and establishing a disciplined, professional and qualified work force that is proactive in conducting research, designing products and manufacturing.
State dials up reforms of property market rules vietnamnews.vn 24th Mar 2018
The State will have breakthroughs in the reform of legal regulations and business investment conditions for the domestic real estate market this year, according to experts. The Ministry of Construction will prioritise completion of the reforms. Nguyễn Mạnh Khởi, deputy director of the Ministry of Construction’s Department of Housing Management and Real Estate Market, said this at a seminar on property business held by the Vneconomy newspaper and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier this week.
Draft decree hard on illegal labour News VietNamNet 3rd Apr 2018
Foreigners working in Vietnam without a valid work permit will continue to be deported from the country, while employers will also face heavy fines for violating regulations about foreign employees. Lack of a valid work permit remains grounds for a foreign worker’s deportation The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MoLISA) last week issued a draft governmental decree on sanctions in the sectors of labour and social insurance. Under the draft’s Article 30, a series of punishments are imposed on foreigners working in Vietnam, as well as their employers, if found to violate labour-related regulations. Specifically, foreigners working in Vietnam will be deported from Vietnam if they work without a work permit or with an outdated work permit, except for cases in which they are exempt from having a work permit by the country’s authorised agencies.
Ministry tightens management of transport businesses VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 25th Mar 2018
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) and the General Department of Vietnam Roads are currently planning amendments to Decree 86 issued in 2014, focusing on business condition reviews for transport firms. Tran Bao Ngoc, Director of the ministry’s Transportation Department, said in an early March meeting that the new decree’s main objective was to better manage transport businesses using software. The move comes after a February announcement from the Hanoi Department of Transportation, stating that Uber and Grab must cease employing new drivers, and “temper operations” until a definite administrative framework was constructed.
Survey shows positive outlook for manufacturing industry in Q2 VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 2nd Apr 2018
Vietnam’s manufacturing and processing industry is optimistic for the second quarter of 2018, with 91% of enterprises in the industry predicting production volume to expand or stay flat from the first three months of the year, according to a recent survey by the General Statistics Office (GSO). The GSO conducted a nationwide survey in January-March to find out business trends of the sector, with 5,850 companies responding. The survey indicated that, among the respondents, foreign-invested firms are the most optimistic about their prospects as 93.6% expected production to increase or remain stable. They were followed by State-owned enterprises and non-state owned companies, with 91.7% and 89.9%, respectively, optimistic.
Vietnam Airlines, AFI sign Boeing maintenance contract vietnamnews.vn 27th Mar 2018
Vietnam Airlines Corporation and Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) signed a long-term flight hour support contract for maintenance of Boeing 787-9 in Paris on Monday. The contract, worth more than US$500 million, was signed in the presence of General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President of the National Assembly of France Francois de Rugy. The contract is part of the framework to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and France. Under the contract, AFI KLM E&M will oversee the maintenance of 20 GEnx engines, including 16 engines for eight operating planes and four others for reserve, for 12 years. The firm will also provide access to spare engines for Vietnam Airlines to guarantee seamless continuity in its operations.