Vietnam Update: November 1, 2018

Vietnam Update | November 1, 2018
Authors: Hai Pham and Tra Nguyen
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

November 6: Roundtable with the Vietnam Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Team
Please join us for a roundtable with the Vietnam Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Team (PMEAT) in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 6 at 1:30 PM. The delegation, led by the Chairman of PMEAT Dr. Vu Viet Ngoan (former Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Economic Affairs, and CEO of Vietcombank - click here for bio) - is traveling to the United States for an Innovation Study Visit to gain insights on how various economic sectors in the U.S. are inventing and re-inventing themselves. Equipped with the knowledge gained from the engagements on this trip, the delegation will report back to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on how Vietnam can strengthen the rule of law and improve its business environment to allow for innovation to thrive. Please contact Hai Pham (hpham@usasean.org) for more information. 

November 21: SME Workshop in Hai Phong, Vietnam
The Council is pleased to highlight a one-day Small and Medium Enterprise (SMB) workshop titled "Elevating SMBs into Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Inclusive Global Value Chains." For more information, please click here

December 4: 2018 Business Mission to the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting
We are now registering senior level executives for our Business Mission to the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) taking place Tuesday 4 December to Thursday, 6 December, 2018 in Ubud, Indonesia. To register, please click here.

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

State Bank of Vietnam Issues Regulations on Cloud Computing Services
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) recently issued Circular No. 18/2018/TT-NHNN (Circular 18) which includes 3 chapters, 6 sections and 55 articles regulating information security in banking operations. Most notably, Circular 18 introduces new regulations on the use of cloud computing services in banking as well as regulations on outsourcing cloud computing services to third party service providers. Among other things, section 6 of Circular 18 sets out some critical steps financial institutions (FIs) must follow before they outsource cloud computing services. Risk assessment is an essential component throughout these steps. First and foremost, FIs must determine the class of information and the level of information system to be outsourced to third party providers. There are three classes of information and three levels of information systems based on level of complexity and confidentiality. Circular 18 provides clear instructions on the classification of these systems. If a third party is hired to perform all administration-related activities of information systems classified at level 2 or higher, FIs will be required to submit a risk assessment report to SVB, who reserves the right to examine the report on a case-by-case basis. In short, SVB employs a notification system which requires FIs to send a report rather than apply for approval. However, it is unclear how frequently and what factors SVB shall choose to review the risk assessment report. Section 6 also recommends several factors FIs should consider when selecting third party providers and specifies provisions an outsourcing contract must entail. Circular 18 also lists out minimum contents FIs must include in their own information security regulations. These regulations must be signed by the legal representative and implemented throughout the organization.

Cloud technology has evolved and matured considerably, disrupting all sectors including banking. Governments have now recognized that it is vital to all institutions’ operations and have taken different stances on the use of cloud technology. The regulations vary by country in the region. In general, FIs are mandated to perform the necessary due diligence and apply good governance and risk management practices to protect sensitive customer data. Singapore requires FIs to adopt a risk-based approach to assure that the level of oversight and controls are commensurate with the materiality of the risks posed by cloud services. However, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) no longer expects FIs to pre-notify MAS of any outsourcing agreements since 2016. In contrast, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is proposing a system which requires the Bank’s approval for several outsourcing arrangements including arrangement on cloud computing services. BNM also expects that FIs maintain control over third party service providers and their subcontractors. Vietnam’s utilization of a notification system reflects the government’s intention to create a business-friendly environment while retaining some control in conservative sectors.

Circular 18 will become effective on January 1, 2019 replacing Circular No. 31/2015/TT-NHNN. It applies to all credit institutions (except for people’s credit funds and microfinance institutions), foreign bank branches and organizations providing intermediary payment services.

Vietnam to Open Wholesale Electricity Market
The power industry in Vietnam is undergoing a major transformation with the introduction of a wholesale electricity market. Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said in a recent meeting in Hanoi that the competitive electricity wholesale market will be fully operational starting in 2019 after a successful year-long pilot period.

During the pilot period, power generation corporations were able to participate directly in the electricity market. The Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) reported that 87 power plants have directly entered the electricity generation market with a totaled installed capacity of nearly 23,000MW. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of ERAV, said that energy generated by the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s hydroelectric plants will be introduced into the market first followed by renewable energy produced by other companies. The move is consistent with Vietnam’s plan to diversify its energy mix and give preference to green energy sources.

Vietnam is moving away from the monopolistic Single Buyer model, in which EVN was the only electricity buyer and distributor, and will ultimately adopt an arrangement where consumers may purchase electricity directly from power generating companies. This liberalization of the electricity market signals numerous opportunities for energy investors and encourages investors to increase efficiency so they can compete to offer consumers lower price. Prior to the launch of wholesale electricity market, all the power generating companies were obligated to sell electricity to EVN. EVN would then supply electricity through its five subsidiary distribution companies.

ERAV representative Le Hong Hai said the market has already increased its transparency and has created a reliable system to connect new power plants to the national electric grid. During the pilot period, performance metrics were tracked and used to improve service and business practice. The remaining time of the trial period will be used to improve information technology infrastructure and finish training companies in how the market works. Experts say State agencies should create policies and regulations that support small power plants with a capacity under 30MW to protect investors in renewable energy and ensure market fairness. This would boost the renewable energy sector and help the long-term health of the marketplace.

The development of a competitive electricity markets is a long-term plan for Vietnam’s electricity sector mandated in the 2004 Electricity Law. The details of the plan were specified in the Prime Minister’s Decision 63/QD-TTg in 2013, which laid out the conditions and structure of the new market. The marketplace was to be developed in three distinct parts: the electricity generation market, the wholesale market and the retail market. The generation market started in 2012, the wholesale market will open next year, and the development of the retail market is expected to start in 2021 and be in full operation in 2023.

Vietnam Shifts Focus to Domestic Industries
The Vietnamese automobile market is predicted to grow quickly between now and 2035, reaching 1.7-1.85 million units by 2035. Last year, the government materialized its plan to develop a domestic automobiles market by issuing Decree No.116/2017/ND-CP. The Decree tightens controls and imposes higher standards for imported automobiles, giving domestic automobile companies a competitive edge over their overseas counterparts. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is also taking substantial measures to develop the market for domestic automakers. The Ministry is proposing a special consumption tax rate for vehicles with a high localization rate and a tax exemption for locally produced automobile parts. MOIT said that it will create a reliable supply chain for automakers in the country and raise output of domestic auto manufacturing. MOIT said the industry will focus on small sedans and environmentally friendly vehicles like hybrids and electric cars. MOIT will also continue to focus on trucks, buses and specialized vehicles serving agriculture and rural development.

Output of locally manufactured and assembled automobiles has increased in recent years. However, the localization rate of several types of cars is still lower than the set target, because the industry lacks material suppliers and large-scale parts manufacturers. Currently, localized parts are primarily components such as tubes, tires, seats, mirrors, wires, batteries and plastic products. However, a major challenge for domestic automakers is that 80 to 90 percent of the raw materials, valued at USD $2–3.5 billion, for these components are currently imported. MOIT is looking develop more policies to address these local supply chain challenges. These policies, along with Decree 116, aim to create more opportunities for companies committed to developing a domestic automobile industry, improve the localization rate and create more jobs.

The automobile industry is not the only domestic industry receiving wide support from the government. Recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave an approval in principle for the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to establish an ICT Industry Department to promote domestic production of terminal equipment and boost the electronics industry including creating products supporting national defense, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Following the meeting with Prime Minister Phuc, MIC has initiated talks with Viettel Group, VNPT and MobiFone to discuss these local industries. MIC has instructed MobiFone to invest in research and development through the establishment of a development and production research institute. As Vietnam continues to shifting its focus to industrial and technology sectors, it has also placed greater emphasis on focusing its FDI attraction policies on high-tech and green projects in an attempt to reposition itself globally as a hub for technology and innovation in more higher value advanced manufacturing activities.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Update on the Door-Knock Mission on the Vietnam Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS) Draft Implementation Decree
On October 24-27, 2018 the Council led a door-knock Mission to Hanoi to engage key government stakeholders on industry concerns and recommendations regarding the draft implementation decree for the Vietnam Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS).

Please find attached a Mission Report with the key take-aways and next steps from the Mission. Next steps are anticipated to take place starting in November 2018 through Q1 2019, and include:

  1. Get hold of draft decrees and decisions as soon as they are published and organize for translation, comments and a submission
  2. Coordinate with partner organizations, USTR, US embassy on messaging and submission(s)
  3. Consultative workshop(s) with National Assembly, MPS and other agencies

Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Việt Nam strives to join ASEAN countries with developed statistics
Vietnam carries out ASEAN Declaration on civil service’s role
Vietnamese, Cambodian provinces sign cooperation pact

National Affairs
New Vietnam President Nguyen Phu Trong sworn in after 99.8% vote
Politics & Laws Party leader Nguyễn Phú Trọng sworn in as new President
WWF chooses Da Nang as Vietnam`s National green city
Vietnam’s peacekeeping mission in South Sudan grabs int’l headlines

Market Development
Vietcombank’s application to establish a New York office approved
PM asks Samsung to turn Vietnam into its biggest hub
Big FDI projects to set up camp in southern economic hubs
US likely to approve Vietnamese tra fish compatibility: VASEP
WWF, business group seek to green textile industry
Vietnamese banks have eye on foreign markets
Việt Nam makes slow start on ‘smart factories’
Banks jump into the e-wallet business

Customs
Vietnam to host 13th ASEM Customs DG-Commissioners Meeting
Highlight on documents posted on e-customs Portal in 1st week of Oct, 2018

E-Payments
Bitcoin mining machine imports raise controversy

Economics
Bid to stop transfer pricing abuse has local firms crying foul
Vietnam aims to become a maritime powerhouse by 2030
VN's imports of clothing materials see strong growth
Vietnam, Japan building satellite for natural disaster prevention

Energy
Petroleum law to be revised to facilitate sustainable growth of oil sector
Banks race to fund green energy projects
Finance ministry designs more incentives to boost biofuel consumption
Vietnam crude oil output to fall 10 pct a year through 2025: PetroVietnam
Risen Energy’s recent project wins in Vietnam top 160MW
Better green finance for better environment: Swedish recommendations
Calls for removal of energy obstructions
Developing oil refinery projects no longer ‘fashionable’
Ninh Thuan to have four new wind power plants by year-end
Việt Nam treasures comprehensive cooperation with Denmark: PM
Southern provinces want environmentally-friendly LNG power, not coal power
Vietnam's electricity wholesale market to open next year

Financial Services
New requirements on the use of cloud computing services in banking sector
Mobile providers to join e-payment services
500 enterprises in HCM City trained to use 24/7 e-tax payment scheme

Food & Agriculture
FLC plans to pour $1.5 billion in agribusiness
Food companies spend big money on food hygiene, branding
$50 billion surplus: Vietnamese agriculture reaps hi-tech dividends
VN needs nat’l framework for safe pork

Health & Life Sciences
Registration hotlines reduce waiting time at hospitals
Health ministry sets ambitious target for drugs sector
Grassroots healthcare system is the ground for healthcare sector
Double burden of malnutrition in Vietnam
Vietnam successfully tests homemade stents in heart surgeries
Vĩnh Long Province gets hi-tech hospital
Việt Nam faces double health burden: malnutrition and obesity

ICT
First automated insurance application in Vietnam debuts
Vietnam sets up facility to monitor all social network messages: minister
VN must focus on intellectual property
Vietnam cyber law will guard against fake news, terrorism - security ministry
Vietnam businesses using AI
Ministry of Information and Communications moves closer to establishing ICT Industry Department
VN completes modernisation of banking sector
IT application makes easier for tax payers
Firms urged to embrace mobile marketing
Automobiles set to become smart: seminar
Administrative services in Vietnam gradually digitized
Biotechnology to be made a focus in science and technology development scheme: conference
Paperless meetings – a move towards building e-government
Technology continues to attract investment
Ha Noi focuses on e-commerce
Vietnam develops own earth observation satellite
Solution near for tech giant tax limbo
Ministry considers removing mobile phone promotion cap
Data center competition heats up in Southeast Asia

Infrastructure
Phú Mỹ Hưng unveils new project
Vietnam Airlines to use new-generation regional jet aircraft
Investment in infrastructure, socio-economy pays dividends for Cần Thơ
Ceiling rates for airfares unchanged
Vietnamese ride-hailing app FastGo launched in Đồng Nai and Bình Dương
Ninh Thuận to wind up four new wind power plants
Japan Airlines, Vietjet to commence codeshare flights

Market Regulation
MoIT wants to cut tax for locally produced auto parts
VCCI proposes eliminating 22 conditional business sectors
Environmental protection tax on many commodities next year
MoIT continues to cut hundred of conditions

Travel & Tourism
Hanoi readies for meeting of Council for Promoting Tourism in Asia
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Việt Nam strives to join ASEAN countries with developed statistics Vietnam News 1st Nov 2018
The ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) made a great contribution to the ASEAN economy, said Nguyễn Thị Hương, deputy director of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO).

Vietnam carries out ASEAN Declaration on civil service’s role Vietnam Net Bridge 1st Nov 2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has just approved a project to implement the “ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as A Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025”.

Vietnamese, Cambodian provinces sign cooperation pact Vietnam Net Bridge 28th Oct 2018
Chairman of the People’s Committee of southwestern Tay Ninh province Pham Van Tan and Mayor of Cambodia’s Kampongcham province Kouch Chamroeun on October 27 signed a new cooperation agreement between the two localities for 2018-2022.

National Affairs

New Vietnam President Nguyen Phu Trong sworn in after 99.8% vote The Straits Times 23rd Oct 2018
Vietnam lawmakers on Tuesday (Oct 23) elected as president, Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, the only candidate on the ballot, making him the most powerful man in the country where consensus leadership has traditionally kept strongman rule in check.

Politics & Laws Party leader Nguyễn Phú Trọng sworn in as new President Vietnam News 23rd Oct 2018
The newly-elected State President Nguyễn Phú Trọng took an oath of office for the 2016-21 tenure on Tuesday afternoon following the result of a morning vote by deputies of the 14th National Assembly (NA) during their on-going sixth session.

WWF chooses Da Nang as Vietnam`s National green city Hanoi Times 20th Oct 2018
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) voted Da Nang as Vietnam’s National green city in 2018. Speaking at the celebration ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuan said, the new title given to Da Nang is the honor and pride of the city’s citizens. It also facilitates Da Nang authorities to build the city as an “environment city” in the time ahead.  

Vietnam’s peacekeeping mission in South Sudan grabs int’l headlines Vietnam Net Bridge 19th Oct 2018
Vietnam’s participation in UN peacekeeping activities in war-torn South Sudan has gained praise from international media.

Market Development

Vietcombank’s application to establish a New York office approved Vietnam News 1st Nov 2018
The US Federal Reserve Board announced on its website early this week that it had approved the application by Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Việt Nam (Vietcombank) to establish an office in New York City.

PM asks Samsung to turn Vietnam into its biggest hub Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received Vice Chairman of Samsung Group Lee Jae-yong in Hanoi on October 30, asking the Republic of Korea-based firm to expand investment and turn Vietnam into its largest production hub.

Big FDI projects to set up camp in southern economic hubs Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Vietnam has seen positive signs in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the remaining months of 2018 as a number of international investors are seeking to expand their businesses in the southern key economic zone.

US likely to approve Vietnamese tra fish compatibility: VASEP Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Vietnamese tra fish quality compatibility may be approved by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, though an official announcement has yet to be released, according to Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary.

WWF, business group seek to green textile industry Vietnam News 29th Oct 2018
A project to make the textile industry more environment-friendly has been launched in Hà Nội by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association.

Vietnamese banks have eye on foreign markets Vietnam News 27th Oct 2018
Several Vietnamese banks were gearing up expansions to foreign markets to tap increasing overseas investment by Vietnamese businesses.

Việt Nam makes slow start on ‘smart factories’ Vietnam News 27th Oct 2018
The fourth industrial revolution is giving rise to “smart” factories where robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and data analytics are used to link production and logistics processes and make manufacturing more intelligent, efficient and sustainable, but their number is limited in Việt Nam.

Banks jump into the e-wallet business Vietnam News 25th Oct 2018
More and more banks are entering the e-wallet business as they see huge growth potential in the wake of the Government’s plan to reduce cash payments to below 10 per cent of all transactions by 2020.

Customs

Vietnam to host 13th ASEM Customs DG-Commissioners Meeting VietnamPlus 24th Oct 2018
The General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) will host the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Customs Directors-General and Commissioners Meeting in October 2019. The GDVC plans to propose some priorities to be added into the ASEM customs action

Highlight on documents posted on e-customs Portal in 1st week of Oct, 2018 Vietnam Customs 23rd Oct 2018
From 01 to 05 Oct, 2018, the e-Customs Portal has been updated with some documents on policy for goods purchased from inland areas into the specific customs area, rules of origin in the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area Agreement; e-transactions on digital signatures and digital signature authentic services.

E-Payments

Bitcoin mining machine imports raise controversy Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
The Ministry of Finance proposed banning the import of concurrency mining machines, but the Ministry of Industry and Trade has voiced its objection, noting that a ban would be inappropriate and could contradict other regulations.

Economics

Bid to stop transfer pricing abuse has local firms crying foul VnExpress International 1st Nov 2018
Local companies complain they are caught in the crossfire of new regulations against transfer pricing abuse by foreign firms.

Vietnam aims to become a maritime powerhouse by 2030 VnExpress International 25th Oct 2018
Vietnam will build its maritime sector to boost economic development and strengthen national defense, a new Party resolution says.

VN's imports of clothing materials see strong growth Vietnam Net Bridge 22nd Oct 2018
Vietnam recorded strong growth in imports of materials for the textile and garment industry in the first nine months of 2018, according to statistics by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam, Japan building satellite for natural disaster prevention VnExpress International 19th Oct 2018
They have begun preparatory steps in Japan to produce LOTUSat-1 as part of the Natural Disaster and Climate Change Prevention project undertaken by the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), the Japan International Cooperation Agency said Thursday.

Energy

Petroleum law to be revised to facilitate sustainable growth of oil sector Vietnam Net Bridge 30th Oct 2018
It is time to make amendments to the current Law on Petroleum to legally facilitate the development of Vietnam’s oil and gas industry and implement the strategy for sustainable development of the maritime economy until 2030 and with a vision towards 2045.

Banks race to fund green energy projects Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
Commercial banks are rushing to provide loans for green energy projects amid a wave of investment in the growing industry, dubbed a landmark for the country’s renewable energy outlook.

Finance ministry designs more incentives to boost biofuel consumption Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
The high price of input materials to produce ethanol and the policies on restricting imports to protect local production have made E5 petrol prices unattractive to consumers.

Vietnam crude oil output to fall 10 pct a year through 2025: PetroVietnam VnExpress International 24th Oct 2018
Vietnam’s crude oil output is expected to fall by 10 percent a year through to 2025 due to declining reserves at existing fields, PetroVietnam said on Wednesday.

Risen Energy’s recent project wins in Vietnam top 160MW PV Tech 24th Oct 2018
Major China-based PV manufacturer Risen Energy has secured its third recent PV power plant project in Vietnam, bringing its tally to over 160MW.

Better green finance for better environment: Swedish recommendations Vietnam News 24th Oct 2018
Investing in renewable energy is an emerging trend in Việt Nam in response to worsening environmental destruction and the gradual disappearance of essential livelihoods.

Calls for removal of energy obstructions Vietnam Net Bridge 23rd Oct 2018
As Vietnam strives to ensure sufficient energy sources, it has been urged by the international community to enable private investors to engage more in the country’s energy industry.

Developing oil refinery projects no longer ‘fashionable’ Vietnam Net Bridge 23rd Oct 2018
The trend of investing in oil refinery projects that began 10 years ago has met a dead end.

Ninh Thuan to have four new wind power plants by year-end Vietnam Net Bridge 22nd Oct 2018
Four wind power projects are scheduled to be completed in the south central province of Ninh Thuan by the end of 2018, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

Việt Nam treasures comprehensive cooperation with Denmark: PM Vietnam News 21st Oct 2018
COPENHAGEN — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has affirmed that Viet Nam always treasures the development of friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Denmark, its important partner in Northern Europe and the European Union.

Southern provinces want environmentally-friendly LNG power, not coal power vietnamnews.vn 27th Oct 2018
The building of new thermopower plants has recently become a cause célèbre in the country as economic demands and environmental concerns face off, especially with a number of localities rejecting central Government-approved plants. Việt Nam needs an enormous amount of energy to feed one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and coal-fired thermopower plants are usually favoured by governments as the most affordable option that can guarantee a cheap supply of electricity, however, environmentalists and the public have been arguing that the perceived ‘low costs’ have not accounted for costly long-term consequences that these plants dealt to the environment and people’s health. Most recently, the low-lying coastal province of Long An received attention as the local government decided late in September that they would ask the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to not go through with two coal-fired thermopower plants in the province, opting to build a US$5 billion thermopower plant run on liquified natural gas (LNG), which supposedly produces less pollution and greenhouse gases, instead.

Vietnam's electricity wholesale market to open next year vietnamplus.vn 18th Oct 2018
The competitive electricity wholesale market will be fully operational starting in 2019 following a successful year-long pilot period. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong spoke about the development of the marketplace at a recent meeting in Hanoi. Vuong said the development of a competitive electricity market is a long-term plan for Vietnam’s electricity sector as mandated in the 2004 Electricity Law. The details of the plan were specified in the Prime Minister’s Decision 63/QD-TTg in 2013, which laid out the conditions and structure of the new market. The marketplace was to be developed in three distinct parts: the electricity generation market, the wholesale market and the retail market. The generation market started in 2012, and the wholesale market is expected to open next year. The final stage will be the development of the retail market.

Financial Services

New requirements on the use of cloud computing services in banking sector Baker McKenzie Client Alert 24th Oct 2018
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) recently issued Circular No. 18/2018/TTNHHH providing for assurance of information systems safety and security in banking operations ("Circular No. 18").

Mobile providers to join e-payment services Viet Nam News 22nd Oct 2018
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked Viettel and VNPT to complete applications for submission to the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) to participate in e-payment mechanisms in Việt Nam. Earlier, the Ministry of Information and Communications and the two biggest telecom providers in Việt Nam – Viettel and VNPT – proposed that the PM instruct the central bank to allow them to offer financial switching services and electronic clearing services.

500 enterprises in HCM City trained to use 24/7 e-tax payment scheme Viet Nam News 22nd Oct 2018
About 500 enterprises in HCM City have been trained to use a 24/7 e-tax payment system by the city’s Customs Department. The project will help taxpayers pay tax directly through the e-payment gateway at any time (including holidays) and anywhere with internet access. Customs will clear goods after receiving confirmation for successful tax payment from the banks.

Food & Agriculture

FLC plans to pour $1.5 billion in agribusiness Vietnam Net Bridge 1st Nov 2018
Property developer FLC Group said it will inject 1.5 billion USD into agricultural development across 15,000 hectares of lands in Vietnam during 2018 – 2019.

Food companies spend big money on food hygiene, branding Vietnam Net Bridge 28th Oct 2018
Food is one of the most attractive business sectors as it not only has a 93 million customer domestic market, but also a vast world market with average annual export turnover of tens of billions of dollars.

$50 billion surplus: Vietnamese agriculture reaps hi-tech dividends VnExpress International 27th Oct 2018
Vietnam's agriculture sector has been reaping significant hi-tech returns of late, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong has informed the parliament.

VN needs nat’l framework for safe pork Vietnam Net Bridge 25th Oct 2018
Vietnam is advised to compile a national framework for a supply chain to provide safe pork to serve the domestic market.

Health & Life Sciences

Registration hotlines reduce waiting time at hospitals Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Viet Duc is one of the hundreds of hospitals nationwide that have applied health examination registration via hotlines or websites to reduce waiting time for patients.

Health ministry sets ambitious target for drugs sector Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, at a question-and-answer session before the National Assembly on October 30, said locally made pharmaceutical products met half the local demand last year. The rate is expected to surge to 80% by 2020, which is considered a tough and ambitious target.

Grassroots healthcare system is the ground for healthcare sector Vietnam Net Bridge 31st Oct 2018
Vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee Bui Sy Loi talks to Đại biểu nhân dân (People’s Representative) newspaper about how grassroots healthcare system must be the foundation for improving the sector.

Double burden of malnutrition in Vietnam Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
Vietnam faces the double burden of malnutrition, namely the coexistence of under-nutrition along with overweight and obesity. Expert say without efforts to raise awareness about the role of nutrition, the height of Vietnamese people will not improve.

Vietnam successfully tests homemade stents in heart surgeries VnExpress International 29th Oct 2018
Made-in-Vietnam stents successfully tested in HCMC’s Cho Ray Hospital can help reduce angioplasty costs significantly, medial experts say.

Vĩnh Long Province gets hi-tech hospital Vietnam News 22nd Oct 2018
Xuyên Á General Hospital on Saturday opened a branch in the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long that provides affordable high-tech healthcare services to residents.

Việt Nam faces double health burden: malnutrition and obesity Vietnam Net 19th Oct 2018
Việt Nam is facing a dual burden of malnutrition and obesity, as its rapid development over the past two decades has resulted in the emergence of developed-world health issues without completely eradicating hunger.

ICT

First automated insurance application in Vietnam debuts Vietnam Net Bridge 1st Nov 2018
An automatic insurance application utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies made its debut for the first time in Vietnam at a press conference in HCM City on October 30.

Vietnam sets up facility to monitor all social network messages: minister VnExpress International 1st Nov 2018
The government is stepping up efforts to combat fake news on social networks, information minister Nguyen Manh Hung has told the National Assembly.

VN must focus on intellectual property Vietnam News 1st Nov 2018
Lack of attention to registering brand names and geographical indications is causing difficulties to Vietnamese agricultural products, which are sometimes shut out of other markets after their names are usurped by others, a seminar heard in HCM City on Wednesday.

Vietnam cyber law will guard against fake news, terrorism - security ministry The Star Online 31st Oct 2018
A Vietnamese cybersecurity law that global technology companies and rights groups have warned could undermine development and stifle innovation, will protect the country from increasing cyber threats, the security ministry has said. Legislators approved the law in June, overriding strong objections from companies like Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google, rights groups and Western governments including the United States.

Vietnam businesses using AI Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in Vietnam in the fields of healthcare, finance & banking, transport and education.

Ministry of Information and Communications moves closer to establishing ICT Industry Department Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
The Prime Minister recently gave approval in principle for the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to set up an ICT Industry Department to promote the production of made-in-Viet Nam terminal equipment and boost the electronics industry.

VN completes modernisation of banking sector Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) on Thursday held a conference to close the Financial Sector Modernisation and Information Management System Project (FSMIMS).

IT application makes easier for tax payers Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
The processing time for tax credit claims has now been cut down by 75 percent compared to the procedures in 2015. This has been a result of the shift to information technology application, making it easier for tax payers to complete the paperwork.

Firms urged to embrace mobile marketing Vietnam Net Bridge 29th Oct 2018
More than 400 executives representing local and foreign businesses, brands, agencies, publishers, and technology companies took part in the 2018 Mobile Marketing Association Forum held in HCM City on Friday to discuss the opportunities and challenges for enterprises from the explosive growth of mobile marketing.

Automobiles set to become smart: seminar Vietnam News 27th Oct 2018
HCM CITY – Automobile industry will be connected, autonomous and electric, a conference heard in HCM City on Thursday.

Administrative services in Vietnam gradually digitized Vietnam Net Bridge 27th Oct 2018
Pursuing the policy to reduce unnecessary administrative procedures and optimize services in order to better serve citizens, for many years, state offices have progressively digitized their jobs to become more transparent and save overhead cost as well as human resources.

Biotechnology to be made a focus in science and technology development scheme: conference Vietnam News 27th Oct 2018
Biotechnology will be promoted in the science and technology development scheme of Việt Nam, contributing to socio-economic development, said Dr. Phan Ngọc Minh, Vice President of the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), at the nationwide biotechnology conference held on Friday in Hà Nội.

Paperless meetings – a move towards building e-government Vietnam Net Bridge 24th Oct 2018
Paperless meetings are one of the steps towards building an e-government, with the move towards electronic documents becoming an obvious trend amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung.

Technology continues to attract investment Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
A Việt Nam Report survey on the 500 most profitable companies in the country said most business insiders expect technology to remain the leader in attracting investment. The survey announced the Profit500 Ranking for Việt Nam in Hà Nội on Monday. Technology was the most common answer among enterprises (51.4 per cent of respondents), construction and real estate (40 per cent) and retail (34.3 per cent).

Ha Noi focuses on e-commerce Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
Hà Nội has implemented solutions to facilitate the sustainable development of e-commerce activities, which have grown rapidly recently, though problems persist in the quality of goods traded online. According to a survey of 1,000 enterprises in Hà Nội conducted by the Việt Nam E-commerce Association, 61 per cent have conducted business activities on social networks because it is an easy and effective business trend, while it also has low operation costs and offers quick feedback from customers.

Vietnam develops own earth observation satellite Telecompaper 22nd Oct 2018
Vietnam is developing its own earth observation satellite to manage natural resources and mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The country was estimated to lose 1.5 percent of its GDP due to climate change. The project using earth observation satellites for climate change and natural calamities prevention and control will be jointly implemented by the Japanese government and Vietnam. The project is worth about VND 7 trillion (approximately USD 301 million).

Solution near for tech giant tax limbo VietNamNet 22nd Oct 2018
Data released by the Ministry of Information and Communications showed that in 2015 Facebook led the online advertising market in Vietnam with the annual revenue of $235 million, followed by Google with $97.4 million. However, in the 2016-2017 period, Vietnamese authorities only managed to collect VND120 billion ($5.3 million) in the total corporate income tax from the local partners of the two giants, while according to Article 13 of the Law on Corporate Income Tax, Facebook and Google may be classified as high-tech companies and may therefore be eligible for a preferential tax rate of 10 per cent for the first 15 years.

Ministry considers removing mobile phone promotion cap Việt Nam News 20th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Information and Communications is considering a proposal from telecom providers to remove the ceiling promotion rate of 20 per cent for pre-paid subscribers. The ministry’s Department of Telecommunications said they were working with the Finance Ministry to consider the proposal of adjusting the rate from the current 20 per cent to 50 per cent.

Data center competition heats up in Southeast Asia Nikkei Asian Review 19th Oct 2018
Indonesia is challenging Singapore's dominance in data center investment by attracting industry giants Google, Alibaba and Amazon, with the latter proposing to pour nearly $1 billion into the country. The U.S. internet giant Google said this month that Indonesia would become its newest Asian hub for cloud services. The plan, which means setting up a data center in the world's fourth most populous nation, will be taking form soon, said Google Asia Pacific Managing Director Rick Harshman, at a recent Google Cloud Summit in Jakarta. The company is making "long-term investments in the infrastructure," he added, without specifying the amount.

Infrastructure

Phú Mỹ Hưng unveils new project Viet Nam News 25th Oct 2018
Property developer Phú Mỹ Hưng Development Corporation launched a new housing project called The Peak in HCM City last week. The Peak will be the last project in the Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown complex first launched nearly two years ago. Like other projects in Phú Mỹ Hưng Midtown including The Grande, The Symphony and The Signature, The Peak has attracted thousands of customers to its launch and showroom introduction events.

Vietnam Airlines to use new-generation regional jet aircraft Viet Nam News 24th Oct 2018
National carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to replace its fleet of ATR aircraft with new-generation regional jet aircraft containing about 100 seats in order to improve the efficiency of operation and service quality on short routes.

Investment in infrastructure, socio-economy pays dividends for Cần Thơ Viet Nam News 24th Oct 2018
Gross capital formation in the last three years in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ was VNĐ157 trillion (US$6.82 billion). By the end of this year the city’s economy is expected to be 1.4 times the size it was in 2015, with a per capita income of VNĐ80.5 million ($3,500). The poverty rate has dropped from 5.12 per cent in 2015 to 1.55 per cent now.All this has been possible due to proper investment in education, healthcare, culture, tourism, and environment. Official development assistance funds were mainly used for developing key infrastructure and protecting the environment.

Ceiling rates for airfares unchanged Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
The Ministry of Transport will keep the ceiling rates for airfares unchanged despite proposals from airlines to increase the rate. The ministry on Monday asked relevant agencies to contribute their opinions on the draft circular on price of air transportation service on domestic flights. Accordingly, the ceiling rates for airfares for domestic routes would be maintained as regulated since August 2015.

Vietnamese ride-hailing app FastGo launched in Đồng Nai and Bình Dương Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
Ride-hailing app FastGo on Monday officially launched its services in the southern provinces of Đồng Nai and Bình Dương, continuing its expansion plan.

Ninh Thuận to wind up four new wind power plants Viet Nam News 22nd Oct 2018
Four wind power projects were scheduled to be completed in the south central province of Ninh Thuận by the end of 2018, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

Japan Airlines, Vietjet to commence codeshare flights Viet Nam News 19th Oct 2018
Vietjet and Japan Airlines (JAL) announced on Friday that the two airlines will begin a codeshare agreement starting from October 23. These codeshare flights follow a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on commercial co-operation inked between the two airlines in 2017. Under the MoU, they will offer codeshare flights on domestic destinations in Việt Nam and on international flights between Việt Nam and Japan operated by Vietjet.

Market Regulation

MoIT wants to cut tax for locally produced auto parts Vietnam News 25th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) wants to take advantage of market and policy opportunities to promote automobile manufacturing projects of domestic automakers including Trường Hải Auto Corporation (Thaco), Thành Công Group and VinFast.

VCCI proposes eliminating 22 conditional business sectors Vietnam News 24th Oct 2018
The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has proposed removing conditions for 22 business sectors including rice export, trade arbitration, accounting services, debt purchasing, customs procedures and logistics services.

Environmental protection tax on many commodities next year Vietnam News 23rd Oct 2018
Lawmakers have decided to raise the environmental tax on a number of commodities from January 1, 2019.

MoIT continues to cut hundred of conditions Vietnam Net Bridge 19th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to remove and simplify 202 business conditions under its management, accounting for 36.1 per cent of the total, said Nguyen Anh Son, director of the ministry’s Legal Department at a press meeting held in Ha Noi on Wednesday.

Travel & Tourism

Hanoi readies for meeting of Council for Promoting Tourism in Asia Hanoi Times 20th Oct 2018
Hanoi has completed the preparation for the 16th annual meeting of the Council for Promoting Tourism in Asia, from September 5 to 10, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism. According to leaders of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, the 16th annual meeting of CPTA will have many kinds of events including a welcome party for delegates on September 5, the opening ceremony on September 6, the workshop of CPTA member cities on September 7, CPTA exhibition from September 8 to 9, etc.