Vietnam Update: May 23, 2019

Vietnam Update | May 23, 2019
Authors: Hai Pham and Riley Smith
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
2019 Food & Agriculture Industry Mission to Vietnam, June 26-28
The Council is registering members for its Food & Agriculture Industry Mission to Vietnam on June 26-28, 2019, including an ASEAN Safe, Nutritious Food PPP Initiative Workshop on June 26. This sector focused mission will offer members an opportunity to engage key public and private sector stakeholders which make up Vietnam's domestic agriculture ecosystem. The deadline for registration is COB Friday, June 7. If you have any questions, please contact Sunita Kapoor at skapoor@usasean.org and Hai Pham at hpham@usasean.org
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Vietnam Leaders and Lawmakers Discuss Socio-Economic Development
On May 20, the 14th National Assembly (NA) 7th Plenary session opened in Hanoi, kicking off a month-long series of sessions and meetings for Vietnamese leaders and lawmakers to discuss and review laws, regulations, development reports, and plans for the future. Items to be discussed include draft revisions to the Law on Education, Law on Architecture, amended Law on Tax Management, revised Law on Public Investment, revised Law on Insurance Business, revised Law on Intellectual Property, and others. 

As part of the plenary, NA lawmakers on Wednesday, May 22 discussed a Report on Vietnam's Socio-Economic Development in 2018 through early 2019 and tasks for the rest of the year, presented by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh. The report highlighted Vietnam's recent impressive economic performance, which sets the country on the path to fulfill its 2016-2020 Socio-Economic Development Plan. Vietnam's successes included surpassing all 12 targets set by the National Assembly last year, including a record 7.08 percent GDP growth in 2018 in part due to the directive of the Vietnamese Government as well as the contributions of the business community. Deputy Prime Minister Binh also applauded the country's leadership for its efforts in administration reform and anti-corruption campaign. In the first quarter of 2019, the country achieved a 6.79 percent GDP growth and is attracting high-quality investments, especially in the agriculture sector. 

During the session, Vietnamese lawmakers also discussed the regional geopolitics that are affecting the country, most notably the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Officials urged the government to devise a plan on how Vietnam will respond, and perhaps take advantage of the opportunities created to further bolster economic growth. As the U.S.-China trade war continues, both American and Chinese investors have been looking at countries in the region with Vietnam at the forefront; just in the first quarter of 2019, FDI from China to Vietnam has increased by 241 percent according to a report by the Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment. As a result, lawmakers have urged the Vietnamese Government to consider the new influx of investment and pay particular attention to the quality of these investments, with priority given to high-quality and those in high-tech industries, as well as those that would improve the value chain.

Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam Aims to Launch Competitive Retail Electricity Market in 2021
During an April 5 press conference Director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) announced that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOIT) was considering allowing companies that use a lot of power to purchase electricity directly from power plants. ERAV is reportedly working with international consulting firms to determine the mechanism for a pilot program, with the aim of launching a competitive retail electricity market in 2021.

MOIT previously launched the competitive power generation market and the competitive wholesale power market in 2012 and at the start of 2019, respectively. Since the launch of the latter, five power corporations in addition to Vietnam Electricity (EVN) have purchased electricity from power plants. MOIT has said that it plans to increase the number of these power corporations in the competitive wholesale power market gradually. The sharp increase in the number of transactions in the wholesale power market since its launch has brought to the fore problems with taxes and infrastructure, though MoIT has said it would address these issues. Only power plants with a capacity of more than 30 MW have been allowed to join the wholesale competitive electricity market, meaning no renewable power plants are currently participating. However, MOIT is reportedly studying a mechanism to encourage their participation to increase the power supply across the country. 

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Vietnam Cybersecurity Law Implementation Decree
This week, the Council learned that the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has submitted the consolidated draft of the cybersecurity decree to the Government of Vietnam (GOV). The government will now review this draft and direct MPS to conduct another round of industry consultations and comments if deemed necessary. The draft will first be circulated to relevant departments within the Office of the Government for initial comments, and then sent out to all government agencies for their comments. Following this step, a cabinet meeting will be called to vote on the decree. This process could take place within the next month, and the government will not be rushing this process. Following this update, the Council will be engaging with the Government of Vietnam to advocate for another round of industry comments to the decree. If you have any questions, please contact Vu Tu Thanh at tvu@usasean.org and Ella Duangkaew at eduangkaew@usasean.org

Vietnam Decree 06/2016 (OTT Regulation)
The Council's advocacy efforts on Vietnam's Decree 06/2016 (OTT Regulation) with the Government of Vietnam has stalled the drafting process, and a new draft requested by the Minister of Information and Communication (MIC) has not been completed by the drafting team. There is currently no indication of when this draft will be completed and submitted to the government for approval. If you have any questions, please contact Vu Tu Thanh at tvu@usasean.org and Ella Duangkaew at eduangkaew@usasean.org

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Multilateral Trade Agreements
Việt Nam, EU work to enhance comprehensive partnership

Regional Affairs
ASEAN, Chinese officials convene 17th meeting on DOC implementation
Vietnam vows to be active factor in int’l development cooperation
VN, Malaysia target $15 billion in bilateral trade
HCM City keen to step up cooperation with Singapore
PM Phúc welcomes Myanmar President in Hà Nội

National Affairs
NA’s second working day focuses on education, architecture laws
NA deputies look to build consensus in seventh session
Seventh session of 14th National Assembly begins
Party Central Committee’s 10th plenum concludes
Intellectual property, alcohol impacts on agenda for ongoing parliament session
One-month NA meeting to kick off next week
Party Central Committee commences 10th meeting
Party leader, President presides over Politburo meeting
Party chief, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng chairs key officials’ meeting
Scientists talk socio-economic development strategy
NA Standing Committee concludes 34th session
Enforcement of 2013 Constitution to be reviewed

ASEAN
Southeast Asia faces more trade obstacles after slow Q1 growth

Customs
Fight against origin fraud to be enhanced
Customs reforms must prevent fraud and help trade: Deputy PM

Defense & Security
Vietnam calls for calm South China Sea talks on maritime conduct
Vietnam attends maritime defence exhibition 2019
Defence ministry supports Vietnam-Japan peacekeeping co-operation: officer
VN hopes to enhance defence ties with Cuba
Việt Nam, Japan reinforce defence ties
Vietnamese Navy Ship Attends Multinational Maritime Exercises In Singapore

Economics
Lawmakers call for being prepared to deal with fallout of US-China trade war
Enterprises optimistic about production, business in Q2
Q1’s GDP sees 6.79 percent growth: Government report
Fund for development of SMEs to established
VN needs to improve economic resilience: experts
VN cosmetics market’s shining potential
Việt Nam and US promote trade, leading up to 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations
VN pledges favourable conditions for US investors
PM urges Hải Phòng to take the lead in economic development

Energy
Bình Định solar power plant joins national grid
88 solar farms set to begin commercial operation in June
Oil stocks lift domestic market
Petrol prices drop for the first time since March
Power hike dominates NA’s Standing Committee discussions
Industrial gas market in Vietnam growing stably
Most SOEs operating at a profit: audit
PetroVietnam subsidiaries told not to close OceanBank deposits - VnExpress International
88 solar power plants to start commercial operation In June
Is ASEAN Moving Forward with Civilian Nuclear Energy? A Look Back at 2018
Power consumption surges as summer heats up
Vietnam poised for renewable boom - report

Financial Services
VN banks handle $898.4 b through e-payments in Q1
High profits lead to stiff competition in credit card market
Banks to issue chip cards in place of 21 million magnetic strip cards
Sharing mechanism needed for fintech development
Insurance market keeps thriving in first months of 2019
New regulations on use of foreign currencies in Vietnam

Food & Agriculture
Fisheries exports forecast to pick up after listless first quarter
CP Việt Nam to export poultry products by 2020
An Giang to export mangoes to US in June
Việt Nam aquaculture has room to improve

Health & Life Sciences
EU programme improves health care for mothers and children in Việt Nam
Drastic measures needed to curb increase of non-communicable diseases
Insurance SMS service to provide better access to information: VSS

ICT
Ministry eyes new management of ride-hailing platforms
Central province to host TechFest
Industry 4.0 could boost Việt Nam’s GDP by up to 16 per cent
Humans and technology key to Việt Nam’s new-stage development
Digital transformation to help GDP up 1.1 per cent
Viettel makes first 5G call in Việt Nam
Vietnam takes lead in global mobile payment growth
Vietnam prioritises trade promotion on e-commerce platforms
Vietnam's digital transformation expected to add US$162 billion to GDP
Vietnam sets to have 50% of businesses operating on digital platforms by 2025

Infrastructure
Việt Nam’s road sector forecast to grow 7.2% in 2019
Transport Ministry’s Party committee confirmed to have committed serious violations

Manufacturing
Auto sales down despite of strong discounts
Auto prices fall due to low demand
PM hopes Vietnam Airlines will become a five-star airline soon
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Multilateral Trade Agreements

Việt Nam, EU work to enhance comprehensive partnership vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
The first meeting of the European Union-Việt Nam Joint Committee for the implementation of the EU-Việt Nam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) took place in Hà Nội on Friday. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tô Anh Dũng and Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service (EEAS) Gunnar Wiegand co-chaired the event. Close to 80 delegates from Việt Nam’s ministries and sectors as well as 40 representatives from the EEAS, the European Trade Commission, the EU delegation, and embassies of EU member countries in Việt Nam participated in the meeting.

Regional Affairs

ASEAN, Chinese officials convene 17th meeting on DOC implementation vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
Beforehand, the ASEAN-China joint working group on the implementation of the DOC met on Thursday and Friday to look into the situation on the East Sea, review the implementation of the DOC and continue negotiations on the Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC). Addressing the meeting, head of the Vietnamese delegation Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of the COC and negotiations for the COC. At the same time, he shared Vietnam’s concerns about complications in the East Sea caused by strategic competition among powers and unilateral actions that ran counter to international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, particularly military actions, which have undermined trust, hindered the maintenance of peace and stability, and affected negotiations on the COC.

Vietnam vows to be active factor in int’l development cooperation VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 19th May 2019
Cao Manh Cuong, deputy head of the Foreign Economic Relations Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, made the statement during the International Cooperation Expo (Exco 2019) that took place in Rome, Italy, from May 15-17. He briefed international delegates on Vietnam’s development cooperation trend and highlighted the collaboration between Vietnam and Italy in this regard. The official took the occasion to introduce opportunities for cooperation in trade and investment in the Southeast Asian nation.

VN, Malaysia target $15 billion in bilateral trade vietnamnews.vn 17th May 2019
Việt Nam and Malaysia have agreed to enhance economic cooperation to increase two-way trade to US$15 billion by next year. The agreement was reached during talks between Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah in Hà Nội yesterday. They agreed to cooperate to remove barriers and create favourable conditions for businesses to cooperate, particularly in potential fields of urban development, renewable energy, electronic production and agro-forestry and fisheries.

HCM City keen to step up cooperation with Singapore VOV 15th May 2019
Ho Chi Minh City wishes to cooperate with Singapore in promoting start-ups, high-quality human resources training and logistics, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem while meeting on May 15 with Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Education of Singapore Chee Hong Tat. Liem pledged his best efforts to improve the city’s business and investment environment so as to offer the best possible conditions for foreign investors, including those from Singapore, adding that a high-ranking delegation of the city is due to make an official visit to Singapore soon in a bid to foster bilateral cooperation.

PM Phúc welcomes Myanmar President in Hà Nội vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had a meeting in Hà Nội on Saturday with Myanmar President Win Myint, who is in Việt Nam to attend the UN Day of Vesak celebration. The two leaders expressed their delight at the countries’ thriving relations in various fields, especially since bilateral ties were lifted to a comprehensive cooperative partnership in 2017. Applauding the recent strides in defence and security cooperation, they agreed that aside from effectively implementing the reached agreements, the two sides will consider expanding cooperation to potential spheres, including navy, military medicine, defence industry, logistics, search and rescue, and fighting crimes related to national and regional security.

National Affairs

NA’s second working day focuses on education, architecture laws VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 22nd May 2019
The majority of lawmakers agreed with the report on the amendments to the draft revised education law presented by Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, and Adolescents Phan Thanh Binh. Twenty-four legislators spoke highly of the efforts made by the compiling board to complete the draft law and gave opinions about several issues, like education philosophy, curricula and textbooks, investors and school councils, support policies for pedagogical students, policies for teachers and education managers, and free compulsory education. Binh went on to explain in detail some of the issues raised by deputies.

NA deputies look to build consensus in seventh session vietnamnews.vn 21st May 2019
The seventh session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) opened at the NA Hall in Hà Nội yesterday in a ceremony broadcast live on national television and radio. Addressing the opening ceremony, NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said 2019 is significant in the push to complete the goals set in the socio-economic development plan for 2016-20. The workload is heavy and requires the political system, Party, citizens and businesses to “turn words into action, turn challenges into opportunities,” she said.

Seventh session of 14th National Assembly begins vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
The 7th session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) opened at the NA Hall in Hà Nội today in a ceremony broadcast live on national television and radio. Before the opening ceremony, Party and State leaders and NA deputies laid wreaths and paid tribute to President Hồ Chí Minh at his mausoleum. The NA also held a preparatory meeting to discuss and pass the working agenda for the 7th session.

Party Central Committee’s 10th plenum concludes vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
The 10th plenum of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of Việt Nam wrapped up in Hà Nội on Saturday after nearly three days. In his closing speech, Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng said the meeting was a success as it touched upon various topics, focusing on preparations for all-level Party congresses towards the 13th National Party Congress. Most of the committee’s members agreed with the proposals presented by the Politburo, he said, adding that all members consented to adopt the meeting’s resolution.

Intellectual property, alcohol impacts on agenda for ongoing parliament session VnExpress International 20th May 2019
The seventh session of Vietnam's 14th National Assembly opens on Monday with 16 bills and two resolutions on the agenda. Scheduled to last 20 days until June 14, the session will spend 12 days looking at seven draft laws and two draft resolutions for approval. These include laws on intellectual property and preventing adverse impacts of liquor consumption, amendments to the law on education, architecture law, law on tax administration, public investment law and law on enforcement of judgments in criminal cases.

One-month NA meeting to kick off next week vietnamnews.vn 19th May 2019
The seventh session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) would kick off next Monday and wrap up on June 14 to discuss legislation, vice chairman of NA office Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng told the press on Friday. The gathering will debate the revised Law on Education; the Law on Architecture; the amended Law on Tax Management; the revised Law on Public Investment; the revised Law on Criminal Charge Execution; the Law on the Prevention of Alcohol Harm; the revised Law on Insurance Business and the revised Law on Intellectual Property. The NA is scheduled to approve two resolutions - the resolution on building laws and ordinances in 2020 and adjustments for 2019; and the resolution on Việt Nam’s joining the International Labour Organisation’s Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention.

Party Central Committee commences 10th meeting VOV 16th May 2019
The meeting will discuss draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, slated for early 2021, preparations for all-level Party congresses on the threshold of the national congress, and other issues. The documents under consideration include a draft political report, a draft report on the 10-year implementation of the 2011 Platform, one on the implementation of the socio-economic development strategy for 2011-2020, and another on Party building and the execution of the Party statutes. Participants will discuss a report on the issues the Politburo has solved since the Central Committee’s last meeting in December. They will also look into the inspection, monitoring and execution of the Party disciplines in 2018.

Party leader, President presides over Politburo meeting vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng on Wednesday presided over a meeting in Hà Nội of the Politburo to give his ideas on preparations for the upcoming 10th plenum of the Party Central Committee, the seventh session of the National Assembly (NA) and a number of other important issues. After listening to reports and discussions among Politburo members, the leader said the Politburo welcomed and highly valued the work being undertaken by the sub-committees preparing for the 13th Party Congress and other offices. The Politburo asked them to continue and review their work to ensure that the coming events would be a success.

Party chief, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng chairs key officials’ meeting vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng chaired a meeting of key officials in Hà Nội on Tuesday. Participants at the meeting were members of the Politburo including Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân. The meeting heard and discussed a report on the situation and work performance in April and recommendations on issues needing attention in the time ahead by the Party Central Committee, NA, the President and the Government.

Scientists talk socio-economic development strategy vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Scientists discussed Việt Nam’s socio-economic development strategy for 2021-30 with a vision towards 2045 during a meeting with the subcommittee on socio-economic affairs of the 13th National Party Congress in Hà Nội yesterday. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, head of the subcommittee, asked scientists to look into the national economic situation, along with challenges facing the country, focusing on limitations of the old growth model.

NA Standing Committee concludes 34th session VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 11th May 2019
The 34th session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee concluded on May 10 after three days of sitting to finalise agenda planned for the upcoming NA’s seventh plenary and discuss some other issues.

Enforcement of 2013 Constitution to be reviewed VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 10th May 2019
Accordingly, the plan requires the assessment of the constitution’s enforcement by the National Assembly, the President, the Government, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Audit State Office of Vietnam, and the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front. In line with Resolution No.64/2013/QH13 and Resolution No.718/NQ-UBTVQH13, the review must be transparent on the achievements and shortcomings in the process, thus proposing measures to continue effectively materialising the constitution.

Foreign leaders extend condolences over death of former President vietnamnews.vn 5th May 2019
Leaders of Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Palestine have sent messages and letters of condolences to leaders of the Vietnamese Party, State, Government and people over the passing of former President General Lê Đức Anh. In his letter of condolences to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni offered his deepest condolences to the top Vietnamese leader, people and the family of former President General Lê Đức Anh.

ASEAN

Southeast Asia faces more trade obstacles after slow Q1 growth Nikkei Asian Review 21st May 2019
Southeast Asia saw slower growth in the first quarter of this year, with its six big economies all expanding at a more moderate pace in the January to March period than in the previous three months. With trade tensions between the U.S. and China likely to escalate, the region could face more headwinds in the second quarter. The slower growth may prompt Southeast Asian central banks to reverse course on monetary policy and lower interest rates later this year, economists say. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam all slowed in the first quarter, the first time that has happened since the U.S.-China trade tensions flared early last year. Many economies in Southeast Asia are export-driven. According to the World Bank, exports accounted for 173% of Singapore's GDP in 2017, 101% for Vietnam, 71% for Malaysia, and 68% for Thailand. With the region's two biggest trading partners -- China and the U.S. -- at loggerheads, export-dependent economies have been hit hard since the second half of 2018. Looking ahead, economists warn of the possibility of further weakness in the second quarter and beyond.

Customs

Fight against origin fraud to be enhanced vietnamnews.vn 15th May 2019
The National Steering Committee for Combating Smuggling, Commercial Fraud and Counterfeit Goods has asked the handling of violations related to “made-in-Việt Nam” origin fraud to be enhanced. The order came amid a reported flow of foreign-made and counterfeit products labelled as “made-in-Việt Nam”, especially consumer and fashion goods, which was causing a loss to the State budget revenue and damage to consumers as well as negatively affecting domestic export firms. Fighting origin fraud was essential to protecting brands and the rights of consumers, as well as creating a healthy business environment, the committee said.

Customs reforms must prevent fraud and help trade: Deputy PM vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Reforms to customs checks and procedures must facilitate trade and prevent fraud at the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ said, urging for enhanced supervision to ensure the quality of the process. Huệ spoke on the issue at a conference held by the Việt Nam Fatherland Front on Monday. He said customs reforms in recent years had removed or simplified 70 per cent of procedures, even more than the Government's target of 50 per cent. This helped save an estimated 12 million working days and more than VNĐ5 trillion (US$212.7 million) for firms each year, Huệ said, citing statistics from the Prime Minister’s working group.

Defense & Security

Vietnam calls for calm South China Sea talks on maritime conduct VnExpress International 19th May 2019
Vietnam has urged ASEAN and China to avoid complicating issues and work together on the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC). Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung has called on all parties to join hands and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea, refrain from militarization and not complicate the situation in the disputed waters. Dung was speaking at the 17th ASEAN-China Senior Officials Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC, attended by representatives of all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and hosts China. The meeting was held May 17-18 in China's Hangzhou Province.

Vietnam attends maritime defence exhibition 2019 VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 15th May 2019
A Vietnamese delegation led by Rear Admiral Pham Van Vung, Political Commissar of the Vietnam People’s Navy attended the Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference 2019 (IMDEX Asia 2019) that opened in Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore, on May 14.

Defence ministry supports Vietnam-Japan peacekeeping co-operation: officer vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army Sen. Lt. Gen. Phạm Ngọc Minh received a senior official from the Bureau of Defence Policy of Japan’s Ministry of Defence in Hà Nội on Thursday. Talking to director of the bureau’s International Security Policy Office, Yada Junko, Minh said leaders of the Vietnamese Defence Ministry and General Staff would create the best possible conditions to promote co-operation with Japan on United Nations peacekeeping missions. The two countries should also push their co-operation in other fields, including manpower training, the defence industry and information technology, he noted.

VN hopes to enhance defence ties with Cuba vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
Deputy Defence Minister, Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh has affirmed that Vietnam hoped to step up defence relations with Cuba as co-operation in this field was an important pillar in their bilateral ties. Meeting with First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, General Raul Castro in Havana on Wednesday, Vịnh said bilateral defence ties had been bolstered in a practical manner, contributing to regional and global peace. The co-operation had been intensified in various sectors including military education-training, military healthcare, and the defence industry, he said, adding that both defence ministries were implementing a dossier on the 60-year history of Việt Nam-Cuba defence partnership to popularise the friendship and solidarity between the two countries and ministries.

Việt Nam, Japan reinforce defence ties vietnamnews.vn 3rd May 2019
Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch and his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya agreed to continue enhancing bilateral defence ties this year and beyond during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday. The talks took place during the Japanese defence minister’s visit to Việt Nam from May 2 to 4. The two defence ministers vowed to make good use of existing co-operation mechanisms and boost defence ties in accordance with signed agreements.

Vietnamese Navy Ship Attends Multinational Maritime Exercises In Singapore Maritime Herald 9th May 2019
Vietnamese missile escort frigate HQ 016 Quang Trung from Vietnam will attend a combined maritime security exercise in Singapore and the Asian Maritime Defense Exhibition (IMDEX Asia) 2019, a naval spokesperson said. The exercise involves 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other partners of the expanded Conference of Defense Ministers of ASEAN (ADMM), the source added.

Economics

Lawmakers call for being prepared to deal with fallout of US-China trade war vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Lawmakers urged the Government to devise plans to deal with the possible ramifications of the escalating US-Iran tensions and US-China trade war and the influx of foreign direct investment into Việt Nam at National Assembly meeting held this morning to discuss a Government report on socio-economic development. Assoc. Prof. Trần Hoàng Ngân, who represents a HCM City constituency and is a member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory group, expressed fears that the worsening geopolitical situation could undermine Việt Nam’s impressive economic growth streak, which includes an all-time high rate of 7.08 per cent last year.

Enterprises optimistic about production, business in Q2 VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 20th May 2019
Almost 54.6 percent of them forecast a better working quarter, and 34.8 percent forecast their operations will be stable. Meanwhile, 10.6 percent of businesses say they will face more difficulties than in the first quarter of this year. The GSO said that the survey questioned 6,500 businesses operating in the processing and manufacturing sector across 63 provinces and cities.

Q1’s GDP sees 6.79 percent growth: Government report VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 20th May 2019
According to the report, the country’s GDP in the first three months of 2019 expanded by 6.79 percent. The agricultural sector saw an increase of 2.68 percent, with prominent growth in the fishery sector at 5.1 percent – the highest level compared to the same period of the last nine years. Total social investment capital in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 8.8 percent, in which non-state investment increased sharply.

Fund for development of SMEs to established vietnamnews.vn 18th May 2019
The Fund for Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be established and start operation in July, according to a recently-issued decree. The fund has minimum charter capital of VNĐ2 trillion from the State budget set aside for development investment. Tasks of the fund include lending and funding for SMEs as well as support for promotion of ability in SMEs. Interest rate of the fund’s loan is equal to 80 per cent of the lowest rate of commercial loans.

VN needs to improve economic resilience: experts vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
It is critical to improve the resilience of the Vietnamese economy to withstand and recover from external shocks, experts told a conference in Hà Nội on Wednesday. Senior economist from the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam Cấn Văn Lực spoke at the conference about economic stability and business competitiveness held by the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy. Lực said that due to its small scale but high level of openness, the Vietnamese economy was more vulnerable than most to external shocks. From the end of 2018 to date, major risks to the growth momentum of the global economy and Việt Nam included trade tensions between the US and China, the slowdown of the global economy, geopolitical risk and diseases and climate change, he said.

VN cosmetics market’s shining potential vietnamnews.vn 15th May 2019
The Vietnamese cosmetics market has grown strongly in recent years given the rapid economic growth and large young population, the Việt Nam Association of Essential Oils, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics has said. According to Nguyễn Văn Minh, its deputy chairman, the market is worth around VNĐ86 trillion (nearly US$3.7 billion) a year. Many famous foreign cosmetic brands have entered Việt Nam by opening representative offices, companies and factories and through agents and distributors, including high-end brands like Esteé Lauder, Lancome, Shiseido, Fendi, Lower, Clairins, and L'Oreal.

Việt Nam and US promote trade, leading up to 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Việt Nam and the US agreed to further strengthen financial-monetary cooperation, economy, trade and investment ties to promote the bilateral relations between the two countries, leading up to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Việt Nam-US diplomatic relations in 2020. The agreement was made during a telephone conversation between Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday. During the phone call, Huệ affirmed that Việt Nam always attached great importance to the comprehensive US-Việt Nam partnership and expressed his appreciation at the increasing bilateral relations of the two sides, especially economic and trade cooperation. Two-way export turnover reached over US$60 billion in 2018, of which US exports hit over $12 billion, an increase of over 36 per cent compared to 2017, making Việt Nam one of the fastest growing export markets of the US.

VN pledges favourable conditions for US investors vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
Việt Nam pledged to create favourable conditions for US companies to invest in and do business efficiently and successfully in Việt Nam, Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng said. Dũng was speaking at the 2019 US – Việt Nam Business Summit co-organised by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) on Friday in Hà Nội to celebrate 25 years of trade and investment between the two countries. Dũng said that US investments in Việt Nam were playing increasingly important roles in Việt Nam’s development, helping the country participate in the global value chain, increase incomes and creating prosperity.

PM urges Hải Phòng to take the lead in economic development vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
The port city of Hải Phòng must be developed into a digital economy leader and the biggest logistics and service centre in the north of Việt Nam, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said during his meeting with the Standing Committee of the city’s Party Committee on Friday. To meet these targets, the city must invest in modernising Cát Bi Airport by building runways that can accommodate major airplanes, developing hotels that meet high standards and building resorts to attract tourists. The cabinet leader asked local authorities to mobilise resources for large-scale investment.

Energy

Bình Định solar power plant joins national grid vietnamnews.vn 21st May 2019
Cát Hiệp Solar Power Plant on Monday became the first in the central province of Bình Định to link up with the national grid. The 49.5 megawatt (MWp) plant in Cát Hiệp Commune, Phù Cát District, connected to the grid via a 5.5 km cable system, was built at a cost of VNĐ1.1 trillion (US$47.3 million) by Trường Thành Group and France’s Quadran International. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation on June 6, producing 78,000-80,000 MWh of electricity annually.

88 solar farms set to begin commercial operation in June VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 20th May 2019
These project investors will be able to enjoy preferential feed-in tariffs as stipulated in Decision No.11 issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 11 2017. Currently, Vietnam only has 27 solar farms joined the national grid. Once put into commercial operation in late June, the 88 solar farms are expected to help lift the total capacity of nationwide renewable energy projects connected to the grid to 4,000 MW.

Oil stocks lift domestic market vietnamnews.vn 18th May 2019
Vietnamese shares rallied for the fifth straight session on Friday, propped up by strong gains by oil and gas stocks. The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange inched up 0.08 per cent to end at 976.48 points. More than 135 million shares were traded on the southern bourse, worth VNĐ3.1 trillion (US$136 million).

Petrol prices drop for the first time since March vietnamnews.vn 17th May 2019
Petrol retail prices were reduced at 3pm on Friday, the ministries of industry and trade and finance jointly announced. The prices of RON 95-III fell by VNĐ592 per litre to VNĐ21,599 (US$0.92) and E5 RON 92 by VNĐ200 to VNĐ20,488. Diesel is VNĐ81 cheaper at VNĐ17,614 and kerosene, VNĐ203 lower at VNĐ16,422. The ministries also decided to reduce the use of subsidies from the petrol price stabilisation fund as the balance at petrol firms was negative.

Power hike dominates NA’s Standing Committee discussions vietnamnews.vn 9th May 2019
The recent hike in power prices and public concern over climbing electricity bills dominated discussions of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Wednesday. NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said it was necessary to review the electricity price adjustment to ensure strict compliance with the Prime Minister’s decision despite the fact that the framework and roadmap for power price increases had been approved by the PM office. In addition to asking the Government inspectors to study the latest power price adjustment, it was the Government who had to explain the electricity price rise, Ngân said during a discussion on the Government’s reports evaluating socio-economic performance in the first months of 2019.

Industrial gas market in Vietnam growing stably gasworld 22nd May 2019
According to The Gas Review, the gas market in Vietnam has been growing stably for the past few years. In November (2018), the Vietnamese government set a GDP growth rate of 6.6% to 6.8% as its 2019 economic target. The government announced GDP growth rate for January through September 2018 at 7% against the same period a year ago. Although there are concerns with rising wages and increasing inflation, the economy should continue favourably for the time being. In spite of that, Vietnam still has a lot of appeal for gases and equipment due to the steady market expansion produced by stable economic growth. For carbon dioxide, the source is fertiliser manufacturers. Off-gas is collected, but a lot of fertiliser is imported and when fertiliser market prices soften, production is halted. The petrochemical business is not yet set up very well in Vietnam, so there is very little by-product carbon dioxide gas available. Sources of hydrogen are also scare.

Most SOEs operating at a profit: audit vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Most State-owned enterprises were operating at a profit but still needed to improve their operational efficiency, according to a report by the State Audit Office of Việt Nam (SAV). Loose management of debts resulted in rising overdue receivables, for example VNĐ510 billion ($21.7 million) at MobiFone Corporation, VNĐ547 billion at Việt Nam Electricity and VNĐ1.9 trillion at Sông Đà Corporation, according to the report. At the Việt Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), bad debts amounted to VNĐ11.36 trillion. PetroVietnam’s overseas investments were also found to have been inefficient and risky, according to the report. The SAV said that 24 oil and gas exploration had been successful and cost $773 million. The value of investment transferred abroad by PetroVietnam even exceeded the limits on the investment certificates for some projects.

PetroVietnam subsidiaries told not to close OceanBank deposits - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 22nd May 2019
According to a report submitted to the National Assembly by State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc, many firms belonging to the state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN) are having trouble cash flow because they have deposited money with OceanBank. A PVN executive who did not want to be named said the SBV has requested enterprises to temporarily stop withdrawing their deposits from the ailing bank, but the central bank has also issued guarantees for the deposits. According to the auditor’s report, parent company PVN has over VND5.02 trillion ($214.75 million), $86 million and EUR 2,171 ($2,423) stuck at OceanBank.

88 solar power plants to start commercial operation In June vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN) has been speeding up completion of 61 solar power projects so that by the end of next month as many as 88 solar power plants will connect to the national grid and begin commercial operation. As of April 23, only four solar power plants in Việt Nam had started commercial operation, but the number rose to 27 by May 17. The additional 61 solar power plants in June are expected to generate a total capacity of 2,000MW.

Is ASEAN Moving Forward with Civilian Nuclear Energy? A Look Back at 2018 ASEAN Centre for Energy 20th May 2019
Under ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025, civilian nuclear energy (CNE) is one of the seven programme areas to develop. Even though none of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) took an affirmative decision to pursue CNE for power generation in the short-term, some have been in the front line in developing it and expressed some interest to move forward with CNE in their future energy mix. According to ACE study on CNE which was published in April last year, it is identified that Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are the front-runners in putting efforts to establish civilian nuclear power by developing legal and regulatory frameworks, as well as establishing nuclear-related infrastructures and organisation. Nonetheless, due to changes in their priorities and political energy landscape, some have slowed down the effort and shelved their nuclear plans. In this insight, we analyse further the current status of nuclear development in ASEAN. Among the five front runners, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam decided to postpone their nuclear plans until indefinite time. Vietnam has also halted its plan to build its first nuclear plant due to economic reasons, especially given the fact that there are cheaper options of energy resource other than nuclear available in the country to support the economic growth. In the recently launched Power Development Plan (PDP) 2020-2037, Thailand has also removed the plan to have its first nuclear plant by 2035 stated in its previous PDP. In contrast, the Philippines still shows great interest in pursuing CNE in the near future, while Indonesia is also moving forward but with a much slower pace.  

Power consumption surges as summer heats up - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 20th May 2019
Last Saturday, power production topped 36,000 MW for the first time, according to the National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) under Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the national power utility. Consumption on the same day reached the record-high 756.9 million kWh. Vu Xuan Khu, deputy director of the NLDC said consumption could go up to 800 million kWh a day during May and June as the summer gets hotter. But electricity production is facing challenges as reservoirs in the central and southern regions are low on water. With the current water volumes in these reservoirs, the hydropower plants can produce 2 billion kWh , equal to national consumption for three days, Khu said. EVN is also having difficulties in utilizing other sources like gas and coal.

Vietnam poised for renewable boom - report Smart Energy International 13th May 2019
Wind and solar power are poised for a significant rise in Vietnam and will hit 19.9 GW by 2030, according to a new report. The study from analytics firm GlobalData predicts a a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.4 per cent for currently untapped non-hydropower renewables in the country, which it attributes to a change in government policies. The report highlights that, with Vietnam’s coal reserves depleting, the government is looking to expand the energy mix away from fossil fuels.

Financial Services

VN banks handle $898.4 b through e-payments in Q1 vietnamnews.vn 22nd May 2019
Viet Nam's interbank e-payment system handled 37 million transactions worth nearly VNĐ21 quadrillion (US$898.4 billion) in the first quarter of the year, up 23 per cent and 17.8 per cent respectively compared to 2018, according to the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV). Nghiêm Thanh Sơn, deputy head of SBV’s Payment Department, said domestic payment of bank cards continued to increase in the period, reaching 65 million transactions worth a total VNDĐ171 trillion.

High profits lead to stiff competition in credit card market vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
Both domestic and foreign banks are offering preferential programmes to lure more credit card holders to compete for a larger market and a piece of the high profits generated by the credit card segment. Vietnam International Bank (VIB) recently launched its VIB Zero Interest Rate Credit Card, which is free of interest for all card expenses. VIB is the first bank in Việt Nam to waive interest rates for cardholders for five years of their cards’ validity, instead of the typical period of 45 to 60 days. In addition to waiving interest rates for all card transactions, VIB will also waive transaction fees in the first three months from the card’s activation date.

Banks to issue chip cards in place of 21 million magnetic strip cards vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
Seven banks will start issuing ATM chip cards that meet EMV standards to replace magnetic strip cards in collaboration with the National Payment Corporation of Việt Nam starting from May 28. They are Vietcombank, VietinBank, BIDV, Agribank, Sacombank, TPBank, and ABBank, who have issued around 70 per cent of the cards in the country. Some other banks have also registered with NAPAS to do so.

Sharing mechanism needed for fintech development vietnamnews.vn 18th May 2019
A “regulatory sandbox” and a sharing mechanism are needed for the development of Việt Nam’s fintech industry, experts said at a seminar on Thursday. According to Nguyễn Thanh Bình, acting discipline lead at the economics and finance department of RMIT University, the existing legal framework is unclear and does not cover the development and penetration of new technological products in Việt Nam. The Government needed to develop a regulatory sandbox – a space where new financial technology products are developed and tested – to reassure customers, Bình told reporters.

Insurance market keeps thriving in first months of 2019 vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Việt Nam’s insurance industry maintained positive growth in the first four months of this year, with total premiums surging by 17 per cent year-on-year to VNĐ44.3 trillion (US$1.9 billion), the Ministry of Finance reported. Besides maintaining a high growth rate, the financial status of insurance firms also improved in the period with total assets rising by 21.4 per cent to VNĐ401.9 trillion. During the period, insurance companies re-invested VNĐ328.7 trillion into the economy, marking a rise of 26.5 per cent year-on-year.

New regulations on use of foreign currencies in Vietnam VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 14th May 2019
A circular amending and supplementing several provisions of Circular 32/2013/TT-NHNN guiding the implementation of regulations on restricting the use of foreign currencies in the territory of Vietnam became effective on May 13.

Food & Agriculture

Fisheries exports forecast to pick up after listless first quarter vietnamnews.vn 20th May 2019
Fisheries exports could increase by 8 per cent this quarter, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). The association said the increase could be achieved if shipments of items like marine fishes, tuna and octopus see strong growth and those of tra fish remain steady. Exports barely grew in the first quarter, rising by a mere 1 per cent to US$1.8 billion, due to a downward trend in shrimp exports that has persisted since last year.

CP Việt Nam to export poultry products by 2020 vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
The Thai-invested CP Vietnam Corporation will begin exporting processed poultry products to Asia and Europe in the second quarter of 2020, with a volume estimated at 3,000 tonnes per month, according to the firm. To achieve this goal, the company has established its CPV Food Co, Ltd at the Becamex Bình Phước Industrial Park in the southern province of Bình Phước. In the first phase of this project from 2019-23, the company will develop a closed-chain production line to breed, raise and slaughter chickens as well as processing final products.

An Giang to export mangoes to US in June vietnamnews.vn 15th May 2019
The Mekong Delta province of An Giang plans to export about 5-10 tonnes of mangoes to the US in June, according to deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lữ Cẩm Khường. Exports of mangoes to the US next month would be an important turning point for An Giang, paving a new path for the fruit, he said. The province had previously focused on the domestic market and exports to China. He added that his department had worked with co-operatives with mangoes that met Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) in local districts to review the quality and quantity of the fruit for export.

Việt Nam aquaculture has room to improve vietnamnews.vn 15th May 2019
Việt Nam’s seaculture area is set to reach 270,000ha with expected marine production of 750,000 tonnes by 2020. The target is a part of the seaculture development strategy for 2030 with a vision to 2050 developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. According to Lê Trần Nguyên Hùng, head of the Reservation Department under the Directorate of Fisheries, the strategy included ground-breaking orientations to develop modern aquafarming and meet domestic and international market demands.

Health & Life Sciences

EU programme improves health care for mothers and children in Việt Nam vietnamnews.vn 8th May 2019
Support from the European Union (EU) has helped Việt Nam achieve health-related development goals, especially the improvement of health care for mothers and children, over the past decade. Participants were updated on the programme's achievements at a national conference hosted by the Ministry of Health on May 8 in Hà Nội. “We are here today, looking back the journey of more than 20 years together, and we are very pleased to see that the Ministry of Health, provincial health departments and directors of health facilities continue to demonstrate high commitment to improving health service quality as a core objective of sector reform," said Ambassador of the European Union Bruno Angelet at the event.

Drastic measures needed to curb increase of non-communicable diseases vietnamnews.vn 8th May 2019
Trương Đình Bắc, deputy head of the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department, spoke to Sức khoẻ & Đời Sống (Health & Life) newspaper about the measures needed to eliminate non-communicable diseases among young people.

Insurance SMS service to provide better access to information: VSS vietnamnews.vn 3rd May 2019
Deputy Director-General of Việt Nam Social Security Phạm Lương Sơn speaks with Nhân Dân (People) newspaper about the recent deployment of an SMS service which allows labourers to look up information regarding their benefits or whether their insurance documents have been processed.

ICT

Ministry eyes new management of ride-hailing platforms vietnamnews.vn 18th May 2019
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has proposed managing ride-hailing platforms in a different way than other transport firms. If the proposal goes ahead, companies like Grab, Uber and GoViet will be managed as a separate entity from traditional taxi firms. Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, minister of Information and Communications, has submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on the issue, Đầu Tư (Investment) newspaper reported.

Central province to host TechFest vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
The central province of Quảng Nam will host the Quảng Nam TechFest 2019 from May 16-18, with forums and conferences on start-ups and innovation in science and technology. Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology Phạm Ngọc Sinh announced the event at a press conference on Tuesday. Sinh said it’s the first time the province will host a national level event in science and technology with the participation of delegates from 15 cities and provinces in the central and central highlands region and Hà Nội and HCM city.

Industry 4.0 could boost Việt Nam’s GDP by up to 16 per cent vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
The Fourth Industrial Revolution could increase Việt Nam’s GDP by between US$28.5 billion and $62 billion by 2030, equivalent to a rise of 7-16 per cent, according to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM). Figures released by CIEM at a workshop themed “Digital transformation to accelerate a sustainable future” showed that GDP per capita is expected to rise by between $315 and $640 by 2030 as a result of increased productivity and employment opportunities thanks to Industry 4.0. Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Phạm Hoàng Mai, general director of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said the industrial shift would benefit the country and its people.

Humans and technology key to Việt Nam’s new-stage development vietnamnews.vn 16th May 2019
New technology and skilled human resources were the decisive factors to drive Việt Nam’s long-term growth, especially in the face of Industry 4.0-induced changes. This message was delivered by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at a conference themed “Science, Technology and Innovation - a pillar of Socio-Economic Development in Việt Nam” held by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) in Hà Nội on Wednesday. The conference was co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Embassy in Việt Nam and the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA).

Digital transformation to help GDP up 1.1 per cent VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 15th May 2019
Digital transformation is forecast to help Vietnam earn an additional US$168.6 billion, or 1.1 per cent of annual GDP by 2045, heard a symposium held in Hanoi on May 15. This scenario is highlighted in a report featuring Vietnam’s future digital economy towards 2030 and 2045, implemented by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in collaboration with the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology. In order to achieve this scheme, a basic digital transformation must be carried out across industries and public services, whilst the export of information and communication technology products and services should be boosted.

Viettel makes first 5G call in Việt Nam vietnamnews.vn 11th May 2019
Telecom giant Viettel and Sweden’s Ericsson Group on Friday successfully conducted the first call using fifth generation (5G) technology in Việt Nam. The call was part of Viettel’s 5G technical testing programme to evaluate the application of the technology in Việt Nam. At the ceremony, its network connection speed with end-use devices reached 1.5 to 1.7Gbps, surpassing the theoretical speed limit of the 4G LTE network and equal to that of commercial fiber optic cable. This event marked Việt Nam as one of the earliest countries to successfully test a 5G network, after the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Vietnam takes lead in global mobile payment growth VietNamNet 7th May 2019
The growth of the number of people making mobile payments in stores in Vietnam is at the fastest, according to the Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 by PwC. The country's mobile payments increased to 61 percent of digital payments in 2019 from 37 percent in the previous year. The PwC survey, conducted in 27 territories and countries worldwide, illustrated that Southeast Asia is leading the customer shift to mobile payments users.

Vietnam prioritises trade promotion on e-commerce platforms VietNamNet 6th May 2019
Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade talks to Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper about trade promotion strategies to help Vietnam take advantage of free trade agreements. Vietnam seeks sustainable agricultural exports via official channelVietnam's agriculture applies science-technology for sustainable development

Vietnam's digital transformation expected to add US$162 billion to GDP VietNamNet 5th May 2019
Viet Nam could enjoy an additional US$162 billion to GDP in the next 20 years if the country succeeds in its digital transformation, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang.Thang was referring to research conducted by Australia’s Data 61 at a conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday, saying the digital economy had been rapidly growing and was having an impact on socio-economic life around the world.

Vietnam sets to have 50% of businesses operating on digital platforms by 2025 VietNamNet 3rd May 2019
A draft project on national digital transformation has set a target to have 50% of businesses operating on a digital basis by 2025. Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung announced the plan at a seminar on completing institutions and fundamental conditions for developing digital economy in Vietnam, taking place in Hanoi on May 2. The event was part of a series of workshops under the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019, which opened the same day, co-chaired by the Government and the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission.

Infrastructure

Việt Nam’s road sector forecast to grow 7.2% in 2019 vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
The expansion of Việt Nam’s road network would continue in the next decade in order to support growing freight transport volumes due a projected increase in economic activity, Fitch Group’s Fitch Solutions Macro Research forecast in a report released on Tuesday. In the report on the outlook for Việt Nam’s road infrastructure, Fitch predicted the country’s road and bridges sector to grow by 7.2 per cent, in real terms, in 2019, and at an annual average of 6.7 per cent from 2020 to 2028, driven by a large number of road projects. According to Fitch's key projects database (KPD), there are a total of 137 road projects currently in the planning or construction phases, representing 60 per cent of all pipeline projects.

Transport Ministry’s Party committee confirmed to have committed serious violations vietnamnews.vn 6th May 2019
The Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee has concluded that the Party delegation to the Transport Ministry had seriously violated the principle of centralised democracy and working regulations. This is part of the outcomes of the commission’s 35th session from April 24-26, which was announced on Sunday. The commission said the Transport Ministry’s Party delegation had shown a lack of responsibility, slackened their leadership and inspection, resulting in many law violations and wrongdoings in the process of equitisation and State capital divestment at several enterprises under the ministry’s management.

Manufacturing

Auto sales down despite of strong discounts VOV - VOV Online Newspaper 21st May 2019
Price cutting deals, in some cases reductions of tens of millions of VND during recent holidays, failed to attract the expected amount of buyers. Nissen Vietnam slashed prices by up to 70 million VND for buyers of Sunny, Navara, X-Trail and SUV Terra vehicles. They also offered deals for registration fees and offered free gifts with certain cars. Isuzu also offered similar sale prices along with Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) and BMW, but again, sales slowed.

Auto prices fall due to low demand vietnamnews.vn 14th May 2019
Vietnamese auto firms have launched promotions to spur demand after sales dropped following the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday and as the number of imported cars has increased strongly. Lê Việt Tấn, a sales agent at a car dealership in Gò Vấp District, said the drop occurred partly due to a sharp increase in demand for vehicles before the Tết holiday. To increase sales, the domestic automaker Thaco has reduced prices of its models by between VNĐ20 million (US$870) and VNĐ140 million (US$6,087) each.

PM hopes Vietnam Airlines will become a five-star airline soon vietnamnews.vn 13th May 2019
As the national flag carrier and reserve force for national security and defence, Vietnam Airlines should strive to become Việt Nam's first five-star airline as soon as possible, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. He made the statement while attending a ceremony in Hà Nội on Saturday to celebrate the 60th founding anniversary of 919 Transport Air Force Regiment, the predecessor of Flight Crew 919, which later developed into Vietnam Airlines. From its history as a regiment, Flight Crew 919 has become a core unit of the four-star airline, he said, adding that it has taken the lead in applying the world’s most advanced technologies and training and managing more than 1,000 foreign and domestic pilots to operate new-generation aircraft to safely transport passengers and goods.