Vietnam Update: June 20, 2019

Vietnam Update | June 20, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith and Hai Pham
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Vietnam Cybersecurity Regulations Update
Last week, the Council organized a workshop with the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on the Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS) Draft Implementation Decree. During the meeting, MPS presented on the latest draft of the decree and how the drafting team has incorporated comments and recommendations from industry stakeholders. Earlier in May, MPS submitted this draft to the Government of Vietnam (GOV) - the Office of the Government (OOG) has circulated this draft to other government agencies for their review, and thus far the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the State Bank of Vietnam have provided their comments to OOG, with all three agencies acknowledging that MPS has incorporated their recommendations into this latest draft. According to MPS, it is now up to OOG to decide whether this draft will be shared with the public and industry for further comments, and it is not known when GOV will issue the decree. 

According to the MPS presentation, the key changes to the latest draft include:

  • Cloud services providers do not have to provide decrypted data of their clients. In other words, cloud services providers do not have to localize their data.

  • Law enforcement agencies will inform a company in writing if they believe the company’s system is being used for criminal activities and request the company’s cooperation in apprehending those responsible for these activities.

  • Only those companies which show clear malicious intent or repeatedly refuse to cooperate with law enforcement agencies will have to localize, meaning it will have to store data locally and set up a local representative office.

  • There is due process for designating a company as non-cooperative/non-compliant. A company designated as such can appeal this decision in court.

  • There is no measure to stop or interfere with the free flow of data across border. Even when a company is asked to localize, it does not have to store all the data locally, meaning it can have multiple copies of the data offshore.

  • At an operational/practical level, most companies are off the hook on localization requirements, including but not limited to banks, financial services companies, OTAs, healthcare (e.g. medical devices), automobile, aviation, energy.

The Council will continue to work with OOG and advocate for them to share the latest draft that includes the consolidated input from other government agencies. If the draft still contains provisions that hinders business, the Council will continue to engage with the government and encourage them to incorporate further changes. Please note that this update is for internal viewing only. If you have any questions, please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org).

Record-high Temperatures Feed Surging Power Demand in Vietnam, Constrain Hydropower Production
Vietnam’s industrial and consumer electricity demand is surging at a time of record high temperatures throughout the country, increasing the potential for water shortages which threaten efforts to increase power production. Within the last month, the country has seen record levels of power production and electricity consumption, reaching 36,000 MW and 756.9 million kWh, respectively, in mid-May. In light of rising temperatures, Vietnam Electricity’s (EVN) National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) said that it expected consumption to reach 800 million kWh a day through at least June. However, the record high temperatures have contributed to decreasing water volumes in reservoirs in central and southern Vietnam. In late May the water volumes were such that hydropower plants could produce 2 billion kWh, which is the equivalent of only three days-worth of national electricity consumption.

With Vietnam’s hydropower capacity already largely exploited, efforts to incorporate other sources of power have reportedly run into some difficulty. Since April the country has been using oil to produce electricity, though reserves are reportedly running low. Within the last few years Vietnam has flipped from being a coal exporter to be a coal importer as more and more domestic reserves are set aside to meet rising electricity demand. While 90 new solar power plants, expected to come online by the end of this month, will increase that national grid’s capacity by up to 1,400 MW, such gains will not be immediately evident as technical difficulties are likely to lead to stability and quality issues, according to the NLDC. Nevertheless, EVN has said that it will be able to keep up with electricity demand this year, even as the country looks to see annual increases in electricity demand of 8 percent over the next decade.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

USABC Consultative Session on Draft Animal Health Circular in Vietnam, June 5, 2019
On June 5, the Council co-organized a Consultative Workshop on Animal Health with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). MARD is currently developing a circular on animal health and has submitted a draft to the World Trade Organization. The objective of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for the drafting team at MARD to discuss the key intent and elements of the circular. The Council’s Food & Agriculture Committee members - including Cargill, Elanco Animal Health, and MSD Animal Health - participated to provide their feedback and share global best practices and case studies. For more information please refer to the draft Decree on Articles and measures to implement the Law on Animal Husbandry (available here) or contact Sunita Kapoor (skapoor@usasean.org) for further questions. 

ASEAN Safe, Nutritious Food PPP Workshop in Vietnam, June 26, 2019
Ensuring the food that we eat is both safe and nutritious is a growing concern across ASEAN – including in Vietnam. In partnership with CropLife Asia and the EU-ASEAN Business Council, the Council will be conducting a Safe, Nutritious Food PPP Initiative Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 26 to address this concern. The purpose of the workshop is to highlight efforts underway to address the dilemma, as well as share perspectives on how stakeholders can work together to yield more sustainable progress going forward. Three panels have been developed to discuss a range of perspectives and insights from varied stakeholders. The Council is currently seeking speakers for Panels 2 and 3. Please contact Sunita Kapoor (skapoor@usasean.org) if you are interested in participating in one of these panels.

  • Panel 1: Vietnam Farmers’ Ability to Grow Safe & Nutritious Food-Setbacks & Successes
    The smallholder farmers of Vietnam have a challenging job: produce more food to feed a growing population in the face of devastating droughts and floods – not to mention the impact of more pests, weeds and disease. This panel will take up the topic of Vietnamese farmers producing safe and nutritious food, focusing on the barriers and opportunities they face, along with examples of support and success on which to build.
     
  • Panel 2: Farm to Market in Vietnam: Moving Safe, Nutritious Food – Setbacks & Successes
    From transport to the role of technology in traceability, ensuring safe and nutritious food makes its way from farm to market is an essential component of delivering sustainable food security to Vietnamese consumers. The discussion undertaken by this panel will explore existing obstacles in this portion of the food value chain in Vietnam, as well as successes that can be scaled up.
     
  • Panel 3: Vietnamese Consumer Awareness & Actions Around Safe, Nutritious Food – Setbacks & Successes 
    World hunger is on the rise, with nearly 821 million people in the world undernourished and facing chronic food deprivation. On the other hand, there are 38.3 million overweight children globally with 46 percent living in Asia. A large proportion of the world population, including Asia, is also affected by micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiencies. With so many conflicting messages and information, the Vietnamese consumer is left wondering: Is it possible to eat food that’s both nutritious and safe? This panel will dive into the topic and help discern fact from fiction in the ongoing public dialogue that is taking place across Vietnam and the broader Southeast Asia region, as well.
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
SE Asia defies global foreign investment downturn

Customs
One time ruling Reduce time and costs for enterprises
Exports of Vietnamese phones and ‘billion dollar’ commodity groups
Inspecting four containers of air conditioners declared as imported fabric rolls and medium density fiberboard
FDI attraction highlight in Vietnam’s economic growth
Trinh Mac Linh appointed Deputy Director of Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department
Exports exceed US$101 billion
Government to crack down on trade fraud
Customs concretises the implementation of the CPTPP
Formulating a consistent and unified legal framework for risk management
Proposing solutions to prevent fraud from transit goods

Defense & Security
Vietnam has a new partner in its old rivalry with China – the US
Vietnam, Germany seek to expand defence ties
First Vietnamese student graduates from US Aviation Leadership Program
First Destroyer Visit Puts France-Vietnam Security Ties in the Headlines
Boeing’s Insitu to Supply ScanEagle UAVs to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam
Vietnam to receive ScanEagle unmanned aircraft
U.S. to sell 34 surveillance drones to allies in South China Sea region
China-Vietnam Military Ties in the Headlines with Defense Ministers Meeting
Vietnam-EU Security Ties in Focus with Defense Visit

Economics
Vietnam seeks to slow China inflows | Article
Amid US-China trade tensions, Americans snap up imports from Vietnam

Energy
US Delegation Discusses Possible LNG Cooperation During Meeting In Vietnam - State Dept.
11 Million People Now Have Jobs In Renewable Energy
Russia to boost LNG output fivefold to supply Asia
Vietnam set for wind energy expansion with over 1 GW expected to be installed by 2021
Vietnam To See 1 Gigawatt Of Onshore Wind Installed By 2021
New electricity tariffs more renewable: EVN
In Vietnam's booming energy sector coal reigns, but renewables play...
Vietnam set to import more electricity from China, Laos
25 years on, 500kV power line remains a technological feat
Power tariffs should have been increased more: MoIT

Financial Services
Local logistics sector amid the Fourth Industry revolution
More than 700 cyber attacks seen in May
World Bank approves new credit for VN’s secondary cities
VN to be among the most dynamic markets by 2030
VN to lift Cross-border Trade Transaction index
Enterprises need policies for digital economy
Government urged to help grow private sector
Global Vietnam Mobile Payment Market worth $43,427 million by 2025
Giants make inroads into Vietnam’s intermediary payment service
Digital economy boosts Vietnam’s economic growth

Food & Agriculture
Southeast Asia sugar industry discusses strategies as global deficit looms
Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance established
U.S. pork, beef showcased in Vietnam
Agricultural start-ups should focus on long-term strategy
Pork shortage is expected in Vietnam later this year
Garment, fruit and vegetable exports sharply increase
Vietnam to mobilize military in fight against African swine fever
Over 10 of Vietnamese key farm produce sold abroad
Vietnam culls 2 million pigs, urges whole nation to fight swine fever
Win-win for Vietnam in Reducing Emissions

Health & Life Sciences
Commitment to better healthcare
Malaysia delivers quality care to Vietnamese healthcare travellers
AstraZeneca scales up investment in Vietnam
Promoting eco-awareness amid rapid urban growth

ICT
Dozens of brands asked to remove ads from anti-state videos
1 million workers in IT industry needed for digitalization era
ASEAN ICT Awards 2019 launched in Vietnam
E-medical records to be applied nationwide in July
New law strengthens tax collection from social network providers - New law strengthens tax collection from social network providers
Ministry will strongly support innovation and start-ups
Australia, VN issue new report on digital transformation roadmap
Ministry issues ICT reference framework for smart city development
HCMC to develop smart electric bus transit system - HCMC to develop smart electric bus transit system
Policy key to boosting Việt Nam’s digital economy, say experts

Infrastructure
Vietnam to tender $5bn motorway project in August
Too little, too late for the US around the Mekong? China’s already there
HCM City looks to EU’s support in urban infrastructure
World Bank offers new credit to develop urban centres
Vietnam becoming safer but road safety still a major concern - VnExpress International
Vietnam metro projects costs overrun by $3.5 billion
Inexperienced Chinese contractor responsible for Hanoi metro delays
Government prioritises capable contractors: Deputy PM
Vietnam approves plans to accommodate construction of Long Thanh Airport  | Air Cargo World

Travel & Tourism
Region’s tourism ministers vow to boost cooperation
Tourism development should not harm environment: tourism minister
Vietnam emerges top Asia-Pacific travel choice for Russians
Minister says rules for condotels, officetels coming this year
Vietnam should promote tourism in Chinese market: Tourism Minister
Vietnam tourism at the fingertips
Various activities in response to VN Tourism Year 2019 to be held in Nha Trang
Vietnam gets a taste for superyachts
Vietjet launches direct Bali flight from Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam promotes tourism via TikTok application
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

SE Asia defies global foreign investment downturn Asia Times 12th Jun 2019
While global foreign direct investment (FDI) dipped in 2018 for a third consecutive year, Asia bucked the global trend with rises nearly across the board, including record inflows to Southeast Asia’s booming economies. New United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data released today (June 12) shows total worldwide FDI fell 13% to US$1.3 trillion in 2018, as global economic uncertainties grew over the US and China’s increasingly antagonistic trade and investment policies, particularly in strategic sectors such as digital and mobile technology. But “developing Asia”, a region encompassing most of the continent aside from wealthy countries such as Japan, saw a 4% rise in foreign direct investment to $512 billion, representing 39% of the global total, according to UNCTAD’s 2018 World Investment Report. Southeast Asia in particular saw a new FDI record in 2018, with $149 billion flowing into the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, $10 billion more than went to China minus Hong Kong, the data shows. Around half of the Southeast Asian total went to the tiny city-state of Singapore, long a magnet for banking and finance giants seeking an affluent hub in a region made up of bigger, often resource-rich but mostly poor to middle-income economies. Singapore’s influx was substantially greater than the FDI attracted by all of Africa combined and far exceeded giant neighbors such as India ($42 billion) or Indonesia ($22billion). But Indonesia, along with Thailand and Vietnam, saw significant increases in FDI last year, the latter possibly benefiting from production shifts caused by the China-US trade war and the former two bouncing back after recent years of declines.Overall Southeast Asian investment trends suggest a growing role for China, the region’s biggest trade partner. By 2017, investment from China had nearly caught up with that from the US, after the American share shrunk by a third over the previous five years.

Customs

One time ruling Reduce time and costs for enterprises Customs News 20th Jun 2019
As one of the first enterprises registering one-time ruling at Customs Branch at Saigon Port Zone 1, Pham Tien Luc, staff of accounting division of Rong Viet Company said, after the ruling result for taxable value on imported gas cookers, the imported goods of the company no longer use the price ruling as the previous times but use the result of first ruling for customs clearance. "This is very convenient, helping the company save time and costs, because the company no longer had to move a lot and wait and the goods are cleared right after completing specialised inspection procedures" said Luc. Although one-time ruling brings many benefits, the application time of one-time ruling results is from 60-90 days, which is too short and needs to be considered to be applied from six to 12 months to create more favourable conditions for enterprises.

Exports of Vietnamese phones and ‘billion dollar’ commodity groups Customs News 19th Jun 2019
By the end of May, the country’s total exports reached over US$101 billion, up 7.1%, equivalent to US$6.7 billion, over the same period in 2018. The major export commodity groups with the sharpest growth are computers, electronic products and components increasing by US$1.45 billion, corresponding to an increase of 13.1%; textiles and garments increasing by US$1.26 billion, corresponding to an increase of 11.5%; footwear increasing US$864 million, corresponding to an increase of 13.8%; wood and wood products increasing by US$636 million, corresponding to an increase of 18.8% .

Inspecting four containers of air conditioners declared as imported fabric rolls and medium density fiberboard Customs News 18th Jun 2019
According to Sai Gon Border Gate Customs Branch of Zone 1, the shipment was imported by Nguyen Tan Import and Export Commodity Logistics (address No. 12A/5, Dong Tan Street, Di An District, Di An Town, Binh Duong province). The company declared imported goods as fabric rolls and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). After the shipment arrived to Cat Lai Port at the end of 2017, the Sai Gon Border Gate Customs Branch of Zone 1 detected suspicious signs of these four containers and implemented targeted supervision. When the company did not carry out procedures to receive goods, the branch issued a decision for inspection.

FDI attraction highlight in Vietnam’s economic growth Customs News 17th Jun 2019
The General Statistics Office of Vietnam has released a report on Vietnam’s socio-economic development in the first five months of this year. Accordingly, Foreign Direct Investment continues to prosper with nearly 1,400 projects and a fresh capital of 6.5 billion USD, the highest in three recent years. Vietnam’s FDI attraction has increased more than 38% in the amount of capital and 26% in the number of projects during the last 5 months. Last month, the People’s Committee of Hai Phong and Japanese Minato Vietnam inaugurated a complex of two residential and commercial buildings in Hai Phong city with a total investment of 105 million USD.

Trinh Mac Linh appointed Deputy Director of Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department Customs News 16th Jun 2019
On June 12, at Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department, General Department of Vietnam Customs announced the appointment for a limited time of Trinh Mac Linh, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Duty Department (General Department of Customs) as Deputy Director of Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department. At the ceremony, Deputy Director of Personnel and Organisation Department (General Department of Vietnam Customs) Pham Thi Thu Huong announced Decision No. 1616 / QD-TCHQ dated June 5, 2019 of Director General of Vietnam Customs appointing Trinh Mac Linh, Deputy Director of the Import and Export Duty Department, the Deputy Director of Ha Nam Ninh Customs Department.

Exports exceed US$101 billion Customs News 14th Jun 2019
The General Department of Vietnam Customs has revealed that the total export turnover of the country reached US$101 billion by the end of May, up 7.1% over the same period last year. According to General Department of Vietnam Customs, in May, total export turnover hit US$21.9 billion, increasing by 7.2% compared to last month. By the end of May, there were three export commodity groups with turnover from US$10 billion and above. Notably, the largest export item was phones and components after declining in turnover in many consecutive months in early 2019, with positive growth in May.

Government to crack down on trade fraud Customs News 13th Jun 2019
The Government will adopt stricter penalties to prevent foreign goods being exported to the other markets under Vietnamese labels to avoid tariffs. The General Department of Customs is developing a process to check goods which are often subject to trade fraud. Experts forecast that firms exporting goods from countries subject to high tax rates would find ways to illegally transfer the goods to Việt Nam and then export them to the US, Europe and Japan to circumvent the ongoing US-China trade dispute. Nguyễn Văn Cẩn, director of the General Department of Customs, said they had directed provincial and municipal units to drastically strengthen inspections to uncover fake certificates of origin (C/O).

Customs concretises the implementation of the CPTPP Customs News 12th Jun 2019
To implement the commitments of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP Agreement) in the customs field, recently, Director General of Vietnam Customs has signed Decision No.1489/QĐ-TCHQ promulgating implementation plan of CPTPP Agreement). Accordingly, the deployment plan of implementation of commitments in customs field under CPTPP has been concretised as following: propagating, disseminating commitments related to customs; develop legal documents to implement commitments; implementing specific commitments related to the Agreement; implement other tasks of the General Department of Vietnam Customs to participate in a role of coordination.

Formulating a consistent and unified legal framework for risk management Customs News 10th Jun 2019
The establishment and issuance of a Circular regulating risk management in customs operations ensures a complete, synchronous, uniform legal framework in accordance with modern and reform requirements that facilitate and control compliance with the law in managing import and export activities. According to latest statistics from the General Department of Customs on the application of risk management, among more than 1 million export and import declarations arising in April 2019, there were 58.51% of green flow declarations, 36.57% of yellow flow declarations and 4.92% of red flow declarations.

Proposing solutions to prevent fraud from transit goods Customs News 31st May 2019
As transit goods and bonded warehouses in HCM City have a high risk of storing contraband goods; Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department proposes many solutions to prevent fraud. According to the HCM City Customs Department, the types of transit and bonded warehouse activites with a high risk of hosting contraband goods includes importing prohibited goods, tax evasion and violating goods policy. Goods in transit and bonded warehouses mainly come from transit countries and bonded warehouses into Vietnam and are exported to Cambodia via the Vietnam - Cambodia border gate in Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap, An Giang and Kien Giang provinces.

Americans Snap Up Imports From Vietnam at China’s Expense Bloomberg 28th May 2019
Vietnam was one of the fastest-growing sources of American imports from Asia last quarter, and could potentially overtake the U.K. as a bigger supplier to the U.S. if it keeps up that pace. Imports from the Southeast Asian economy jumped 40.2% in the first three months of 2019 from a year earlier, while orders from South Korea rose 18.4%, latest U.S. Census Bureau data show. At the same time, American imports of Chinese goods plunged 13.9% as trade tensions heated up. If Vietnam’s pace of growth can be sustained for a full year -- which would be a major feat -- it could leapfrog Italy, France, the U.K., and India in the ranks of top exporters to the U.S.

Vietnam’s Economy Could Soon Be Bigger Than Singapore’s Bloomberg 28th May 2019
Vietnam’s economy could be bigger than Singapore’s by 2029, says DBS Bank Ltd. The Southeast Asian nation has the potential to grow at a pace of about 6%-6.5% over the next decade, DBS forecasts, citing strong foreign investment inflow and productivity growth in the coming years. If it can sustain that pace of growth, the Vietnam economy will be bigger than the size of the Singapore economy in ten years’ time,” Singapore-based economist Irvin Seah said in a research note Tuesday. Vietnam’s government expects gross domestic product to expand at least 6.8% this year. Future growth will be boosted as the nation’s favorable demographic dynamic, productive labor force, much-improved infrastructure and stable politics encourage international inflows, said Seah.

Vietnam seizes 5.26 tonnes of pangolin scales hidden in cashew... Reuters 24th May 2019
Vietnam has seized more than five metric tonnes of pangolin scales hidden in cashew nut containers shipped from Nigeria, the government said on Friday, in Southeast Asia’s latest large-scale wildlife trafficking case. Last month, Singaporean authorities seized a total of 25.6 tonnes of pangolin scales across two separate raids, one of which was the biggest of its kind worldwide in five years. Vietnamese customs and anti-smuggling forces found 5.26 tonnes of pangolin scales hidden in two containers carrying cashew nuts in the southern Vietnamese port of Cai Mep, the government said in a statement posted on its website on Friday. Trade in pangolin is illegal in Vietnam, where a large number of people still believe consuming products from the critically endangered and defenceless mammal is good for their health.

Defense & Security

Vietnam has a new partner in its old rivalry with China – the US South China Morning Post 19th Jun 2019
When Dang Duc Toai completed the Aviation Leadership Programme at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi last month, he became a trailblazer among pilots from his native Vietnam. Dang, a captain in the Vietnam People’s Air Force, was the first of his countrymen to graduate from the program... The milestone was just the latest example of deepening military cooperation between Washington and Hanoi – once bitter enemies who are increasingly united in their mutual suspicion of China’s rising clout in the region, particularly in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, Germany seek to expand defence ties vietnamplus.vn 14th Jun 2019
Deputy Defence Minister, Sen. Lt. General Nguyen Chi Vinh, who led a Vietnamese high-ranking military delegation to pay a working visit to Germany from June 10-15, has held talks with Germany’s Defense State Secretary Peter Tauber. During the talks on June 13, the two sides shared their views on global and regional issues of shared concern, and informed each other about security situation in Europe and Asia Pacific. They reviewed results of defence cooperation between the two countries in recent times, especially in training, military medicine and UN peacekeeping.

First Vietnamese student graduates from US Aviation Leadership Program U.S. Air Force 6th Jun 2019
Capt. Toai Dang, of the Vietnam Air Defense-Air Force, became the first Vietnamese student to graduate from the Aviation Leadership Program on May 31 at Columbus Air Force Base. ALP is a U.S. Air Force-funded program, providing students of partner and developing countries with undergraduate pilot training scholarships. “Vietnam’s participation in the Aviation Leadership Program is a tremendous milestone for the U.S. Air Force and Vietnam Air Defense-Air Force collaborative relationship,” Kwast said. “This type of training and cooperation enables Vietnam’s air force to increase its abilities in air and maritime operations. This partnership helps ensure peace and stability in the region and in the world.”

First Destroyer Visit Puts France-Vietnam Security Ties in the Headlines The Diplomat 5th Jun 2019
Last week, a French destroyer paid a visit to Vietnam in what constituted the first interaction of this kind. The development spotlighted ongoing efforts by France and Vietnam to advance the defense aspect of their collaboration as part of their wider relationship... The French Navy destroyer FS Forbin (D620), officially designated as a frigate, paid a visit to Vietnam that kicked off with its anchoring at Hiep Phuoc Port in Nha Be district in Ho Chi Minh City on May 28. The visit, which Vietnam’s defense ministry said constituted the first of its kind, was highlighted as part of ongoing bilateral defense ties between the two sides and efforts to expand their wider strategic partnership.

Boeing’s Insitu to Supply ScanEagle UAVs to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam Defense World 4th Jun 2019
Boeing subsidiary Insitu Inc is awarded $47,930,791 contract for 34 ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles for the governments of Malaysia (12); Indonesia (8); Philippines (8); and Vietnam (6).

Vietnam to receive ScanEagle unmanned aircraft Jane's Information Group 4th Jun 2019
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is to field the Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of a wider ramp-up of its airborne maritime surveillance capabilities. The procurement of six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 31 May in a deal that included previously disclosed procurements and follow-on orders for three other Asia-Pacific countries. Further to the air vehicles, the contract provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services, and field service representatives. Work is expected to complete in March 2022.

U.S. to sell 34 surveillance drones to allies in South China Sea region Reuters 4th Jun 2019
The Trump administration has moved ahead with a surveillance drone sale to four U.S. allies in the South China Sea region as acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Washington will no longer “tiptoe” around Chinese behavior in Asia... The Pentagon announced on Friday it would sell 34 ScanEagle drones, made by Boeing Co. to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam for a total of $47 million.

China-Vietnam Military Ties in the Headlines with Defense Ministers Meeting The Diplomat 29th May 2019
This week, the defense ministers of China and Vietnam held a pre-arranged meeting in Hanoi. The meeting highlighted some of the ongoing activity within the military aspect of ties between the two countries in spite of the significant lingering differences they have. This week, this aspect of the relationship between China and Vietnam was in focus with a meeting between the defense ministers of the two sides in Hanoi. Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe led a high-ranking defense delegation on an official visit to Vietnam that lasted from May 27 up to May 29, right before making his way to the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore where he will address Asia’s premier security summit for the first time in his current capacity.

Vietnam-EU Security Ties in Focus with Defense Visit The Diplomat 28th May 2019
Last week, a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation paid a visit to Brussels. The scheduled trip highlighted ongoing attempts by both sides to continue collaboration in the security realm despite the lingering challenges in advancing ties on this front... Per the official account of the visit by Vietnam’s defense ministry, the Vietnamese defense delegation participated in discussions at the meeting on various aspects, including non-combat training missions and Single European Sky – an ongoing effort within Europe to better manage the region’s air traffic management system – as well as shared Vietnam’s experiences on various subjects including peacekeeping.

Economics

Vietnam seeks to slow China inflows | Article Asia Times 30th May 2019
When Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party tabled last year a new law to create three special economic zones (SEZs) that would allow foreign investors to lease land for as long as 99 years, many Vietnamese believed the measure aimed to sell out the country to China. In response, nationalistic protestors launched the largest anti-China protests seen in years across the country. Local Party headquarters were burned to the ground in some areas of the country, while splits in the Party’s usually collective leadership emerged when then-president Tran Dai Quang appeared to defend protestors vis-à-vis security forces.

Amid US-China trade tensions, Americans snap up imports from Vietnam Live Mint 28th May 2019
Vietnam was one of the fastest-growing sources of American imports from Asia last quarter, and could potentially overtake the U.K. as a bigger supplier to the U.S. if it keeps up that pace. Imports from the Southeast Asian economy jumped 40.2% in the first three months of 2019 from a year earlier, while orders from South Korea rose 18.4%, latest U.S. Census Bureau data show. At the same time, American imports of Chinese goods plunged 13.9% as trade tensions heated up. If Vietnam’s pace of growth can be sustained for a full year -- which would be a major feat -- it could leapfrog Italy, France, the UK, and India in the ranks of top exporters to the US.

Energy

US Delegation Discusses Possible LNG Cooperation During Meeting In Vietnam - State Dept. UrduPoint 18th Jun 2019
A US delegation led by Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Francis Fannon discussed the possibility of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) collaboration during a meeting with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi, the US State Department said in a press release on Tuesday.

11 Million People Now Have Jobs In Renewable Energy Forbes 17th Jun 2019
Eleven million people around the world were employed by the renewable energy sector in 2018, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports in the sixth edition of their Renewable Energy and Jobs series. This represents an increase of 700,000 jobs from 2017, growing nearly 7% in just one year. The greatest growth came from countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, spreading the renewable sector beyond the primary markets in China, Brazil, the U.S., India and the EU while maintaining Asia’s 60% stake in renewable employment globally. The trend should inspire confidence in renewables by other countries as technologies improve and costs go down. “The prospect of job creation bolsters the global Sustainable Development Agenda,” says IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera, “and should encourage all countries to make bold commitments to renewable energy. “Increasingly, countries envisage a domestic renewable energy industry taking the place of unsustainable fossil-based industries.” Renewable energy technologies provide employment along the entire supply chain, including manufacturing, trade and installation. Solar photovoltaic panels generate a third of employment in renewables, driving much of the growth, followed by liquid biofuels, hydropower and wind power. Off-grid renewables have also helped create jobs across formerly isolated communities in Africa and Asia. While jobs grew in India, Southeast Asia and Brazil, they declined in the U.S., Japan and the EU.

Russia to boost LNG output fivefold to supply Asia Nikkei Asian Review 13th Jun 2019
Russia aims to increase its liquefied natural gas output about fivefold by 2035 to capture about 20% of the global market. The country envisions up to 70% of its LNG exports by then going to the Asia-Pacific region, through the Arctic Ocean shipping route. Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Nikkei in Moscow that Russia's government intends to strengthen its cooperation with Japan in terms of funding and technology for the LNG and related sectors. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to discuss economic cooperation in areas including energy when they meet in Osaka on June 29 on the sidelines of the G-20 summit. The leaders will also discuss a peace treaty and other matters between the countries. Russia's current LNG output is about 28 million tons a year. The plan is to raise the total, which now represents around 6% of global demand, to between 120 million tons and 140 tons by 2035. Qatar and Australia each accounted for over 20% of the global LNG market in 2018. Russia's goal is to rival these producers as well as the United States in LNG output. Novak said the Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world's biggest LNG markets, and that Russia expects to boost exports to Japan, China, India, South Korea and Vietnam.

Vietnam set for wind energy expansion with over 1 GW expected to be installed by 2021 REVE 12th Jun 2019
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is hosting its annual Vietnam Wind Power Conference today for the second time running, gathering major international wind companies, energy authorities, financial institutions and regulators to discuss the potential for wind energy in Vietnam and the impact of renewables in the region. On the occasion of this official industry event, GWEC launched its new South East Asia Task Force, a key tool to promote wind energy in these emerging markets. The group will act to engage governments and stakeholders in the region and will produce research and policy papers and much more in order to assist in the growth of the renewable energy sector in the region.

Vietnam To See 1 Gigawatt Of Onshore Wind Installed By 2021 CleanTechnica 12th Jun 2019
The Global Wind Energy Council expects Vietnam will install 1 gigawatt (GW) of new onshore wind capacity by 2021 in a move it believes could solidify the country as a regional wind power leader, while the Vietnamese government is said to be considering increasing its wind energy target to 6 GW by 2030. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is holding its annual two-day Vietnam Wind Power Conference on Tuesday, held for the second time to gather together major international wind energy companies, energy authorities, financial institutions, and regulators, so as to discuss the future of wind energy in Vietnam. To further celebrate the event, GWEC also launched its new South East Asia Task Force which it hopes will act as a key tool to promote wind energy in the South East Asian region. The Task Force will seek to work with governments and stakeholders across the region as well as producing research and policy papers intended to help support the growth of renewable energies in the region. According to the Task Force, Vietnam already has 228 megawatts (MW) worth of onshore wind installed and 99 MW worth of offshore wind — the only country in the region to have begun offshore wind development.

New electricity tariffs more renewable: EVN vietnamnews.vn 31st May 2019
According to the EVN, a key purpose of cutting down from seven scales down to six scales is to encourage people to save electricity and use it more efficiently. The Government has set a target that from 2019-2025, we should reduce our total consumption of electricity from 5-7 per cent and from 8-10 per cent from 2019-2030. All in all, the EVN has encouraged all Vietnamese to use electricity more efficiently and be more thrifty. Then from 2021 onward, we’ll start to establish a competitive market in the retail electricity market so that consumers will have their own choice of which electricity company to buy power from.

In Vietnam's booming energy sector coal reigns, but renewables play... Reuters 31st May 2019
Vietnam has become a hot spot for energy investors eyeing a spend of up to $150 billion over the coming decade to meet surging power demand. Once largely reliant on hydropower, the production hub for global companies such as Samsung Electronics has turned to cheap but polluting coal to boost electricity generation. Vietnam’s coal use in the five years to 2017 grew 75 percent, faster than any other country in the world. The country’s current Power Development Plan (PDP 7) puts coal front and center to meet new demand. Facing a rapid rise in pollution, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has started to offer incentives for renewables, which so far only play a marginal role in Vietnam’s energy sector.

Vietnam set to import more electricity from China, Laos Xinhua 29th May 2019
Vietnam plans to import more electricity from China and Laos in the coming years as its power supply is running out, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday. Annual electricity imports from China and Laos are expected to increase to 3,000 megawatt (MW) by 2025 and 5,000 MW by 2030. Now, many power projects in Vietnam are lagging behind schedule. Almost all big and medium-sized hydropower sources have been used, and there remain only a few small ones for exploitation.

25 years on, 500kV power line remains a technological feat vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
May 27 this year will mark 25 years since Việt Nam’s first 500kV power transmission line was switched on, connecting the north and south of the country with an uninterrupted electricity supply. Dubbed the ‘backbone’ of the national power grid, the power line is one of Việt Nam’s most significant technological feats, given how construction workers and technicians raced against time and finished nearly 1,500km of cables through 14 provinces and cities in a mere two years. In the early 1990s, the southern region suffered from a serious electricity deficiency.

Power tariffs should have been increased more: MoIT vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
Electricity retail prices should have been raised by 9.26 per cent instead of 8.36 per cent if Việt Nam Electricity (EVN) had correctly calculated the VNĐ3.26 trillion foreign exchange rate difference in 2018 into its power production costs. Electricity tariffs were raised by 8.36 per cent to VNĐ1,864 (8.03 US cents) on March 20. However, many households have complained about sudden increases in their electricity bills, which doubled or tripled in April compared with previous months. In the report, the ministry said the power tariff increase had been submitted to the Government for approval. It said increasing input prices of coal and gas, along with the foreign exchange rate difference, made electricity production costs increase by VNĐ20 trillion. The ministry also said the current different pricing scheme for households and businesses was also being applied around the world. However, the scheme would be recalculated to ensure fairness among households.

Financial Services

Local logistics sector amid the Fourth Industry revolution vietnamnews.vn 18th Jun 2019
Vietnamese logistics firms are embracing technology to optimise their costs and improve their competitiveness, according to experts. According to the Việt Nam Logistics Business Association (VLA), the fourth industrial revolution and breakthroughs in technology have brought about many changes in the logistics industry. Keeping up with technological trends to keep pace with the global industry is essential. But experts said the number of companies using advanced technologies was modest. They said the industry needed to invest more in technology to improve its service quality.

More than 700 cyber attacks seen in May vietnamnews.vn 18th Jun 2019
During the month of May alone, there were on average 23 cyber-attacks on governments computers every single day. Figures released by the Việt Nam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) under the Ministry of Information and Communications revealed 739 intrusions during the month. Most were attacks to interface change, accounting for more than 57 per cent of the total. It discovered 28 warning emails to State administrative agencies to require them to resolve incidents and act fast. Most attacks tried to collect information, violate information security policy, and attacks related to malicious code.

World Bank approves new credit for VN’s secondary cities Phnom Penh Post 18th Jun 2019
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Wednesday approved a $194.36 million credit plan to help four secondary cities in Vietnam build critically-needed municipal infrastructure and strengthen urban planning. The Dynamic Cities Integrated Development Project aims to increase access to improved urban services in Ky Anh in Ha Tinh province, Tinh Gia in Thanh Hoa province, Hai Duong in Hai Duong province and Yen Bai in Yen Bai province. Approximately 200,000 residents are expected to benefit directly from the project, of which more than half are women. The project will help reduce flood risks, improve sanitation, reduce travel times on new and improved roads and develop high-quality public spaces. The project will also improve connectivity to industrial parks, export processing zones, commercial establishments and tourist attractions, benefiting workers and merchants as well as visitors.

VN to be among the most dynamic markets by 2030 Phnom Penh Post 18th Jun 2019
With an emerging market economy and continued strong growth, Vietnam is set to become one of the most dynamic markets in the world by 2030, according to Euromonitor International, a global market research company. An Hodgson, Euromonitor International’s income and expenditure research manager, said the company’s research database showed that urbanisation, with the associated concentration of income, wealth and population, would propel Vietnam’s commercial success by 2030.

VN to lift Cross-border Trade Transaction index Phnom Penh Post 18th Jun 2019
Vietnam plans to raise the cross-border trade transaction index by three to five places this year compared to last year. By next year, it targets to raise the cross-border trade transaction index by 10-15 places compared to this year. To achieve the goal, the Ministry of Finance will chair and coordinate with relevant ministries and sectors in improving operational efficiency of customs authorities; continuing to implement comprehensive reforms of management, specialised inspections and connection to the National Single Window; enhancing quality and reducing time and cost of loading and unloading and circulating of goods in warehouses, yards and ports; improving quality and reduce time and costs of transportation; and promoting activities to support the implementation of import and export procedures.

Enterprises need policies for digital economy vietnamnews.vn 18th Jun 2019
Enterprise development and the digital economy need to be prioritised in policies, said Deputy Chairman of Việt Nam's Committee for State Capital Management Hồ Sỹ Hùng. Speaking at a forum on business development held by the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy in Hà Nội on Tuesday, Hùng said domestic enterprises are still small with limited production capacity. “Enterprise development is vital for operational efficiency, job creation and prosperity of the economy,” Hùng said. The dynamics of the business sector depend on the quality of the regulatory environment. If there are effective regulations, it will help businesses save money and participate in the market fairly, contributing to cutting transaction costs, protecting investors and promoting competition,” he added.

Government urged to help grow private sector vietnamnews.vn 18th Jun 2019
HÀ NỘI Private Vietnamese firms have asked the Government to push administrative reform and build a favourable trade and investment climate to make Việt Nam one of the best places to do business in ASEAN and meet the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The sentiment was expressed by representatives of the Vietnam Private Business Association during a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in Hà Nội on Monday. The association suggested the Government simplify procedures. The private sector currently contributes just 40 per cent of the country's GDP. The association said that if steps are taken to make it easier to do business in Việt Nam, that figure could rise to as much as 80 per cent.

Global Vietnam Mobile Payment Market worth $43,427 million by 2025 MarketWatch 17th Jun 2019
Big Market Research adds global Vietnam Mobile Payment market report that gives meticulous investigation of current scenario of the market size, share, demand, growth, trends, companies active in the industry and forecasts for the coming years. Surge in need for immediate transactions in Vietnam is anticipated to be one of the major drivers of the Vietnam mobile payment market. In December 2017, Vietnam’s e-payment pioneer, MoMo, signed an agreement with a U.S.-based ride-hailing company, Uber Technologies, to enable passengers to pay for rides along with utility bills, airline tickets, and online purchases using the MoMo app. Moreover, banks in Vietnams have been focusing on e-payment; for instance, Sacombank and Maritime Bank have launched their own QR code-based online payment services, which are used at stores and restaurants. Thus, growth of the e-commerce industry, increased penetration of smartphones, improvement in standard of living, and need for quick & hassle-free transactions drive the growth of the mobile payment market in Vietnam. However, data breaches & security concerns are expected to impede the market growth. Conversely, rise in awareness about mobile payment, exposure to social media, and increase in popularity of cashless payments in Vietnam are expected to present major opportunities for market expansion during the forecast period.

Giants make inroads into Vietnam’s intermediary payment service VietNamNet 15th Jun 2019
The intermediary payment market is entering the next period of reshaping with a rising number of large businesses engaging in e-wallet and acquiring unprofitable startups and fintechs, VnExpress reported. The trend opens more opportunities for giants with enormous financial resources to become the leaders. However, this competition itself, as well as e-commerce, is predicted to be cutthroat.

Digital economy boosts Vietnam’s economic growth VietNamNet 11th Jun 2019
Another study by Australia’s Data 61 forecasts that Vietnam’s GDP may add an additional 162 billion USD in 20 years if the country’s digital transformation is successful. Vietnam’s digital economy has grown since 2010 when smart phone coverage surpassed half of the population. It was boosted by the Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the last decade, when Vietnam’s infrastructure and business environment developed rapidly. E-commerce, the most crucial factor of Vietnam’s digital economy, has grown strongly in terms of revenues and market scale totaling around 5.2 billion USD. In 2017, more than 83 million USD worth of foreign investment was poured into 21 Vietnamese e-commerce startups.

State Bank of Vietnam gains top ranking in PAR VietNamNet 5th Jun 2019
At the onset of his term from 2016-21, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc laid down a very important mission for his Government; to build a facilitating State and an action-oriented Government for the people and enterprises. Addressing an enterprise conference in April 2016, PM Phuc said enterprises should act as a driving force for national economic development. The SBV has set for itself three main targets in its administrative reform, namely to put the bank’s administrative reform in the context of State administrative reform, to conduct internal administrative reform within the bank, and to reform credit administrative procedures for enterprises and the general public to make them simpler while lowering interest rates and service fees. Thanks to the efforts of the staff and units in the Vietnamese banking sector, the central bank has topped the PAR index from 2015 to 2018.

Vietnam’s credit growth expands by 5.07 percent in five months vietnamplus.vn 5th Jun 2019
The credit growth of Vietnamese banks in the first five months of this year expanded by 5.07 percent against the end of 2018, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reported. The rise was lower than that of the same period last year, when the credit rose by 6.16 percent. Despite the moderation of credit growth, experts are not concerned about the slowdown, saying it was even a good sign for the economy. Can Van Luc, chief economist of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), said he was not surprised at the moderate credit growth, explaining the SBV had targeted controlling credit growth since the beginning of this year to curb inflation and stabilise the macro-economy.

Vietnam’s finance sector at risk Phnom Penh Post 3rd Jun 2019
Vietnam's cybersecurity was compromised, posing new challenges in ensuring information safety, especially in the finance-banking sector, state agencies and organisations. The information was released by Government Information Security Commission deputy head Nguyen Dang Dao at an international conference themed Security World 2019 held in Hanoi last week. At the conference, participants focused on Vietnam’s cybersecurity and solutions to strengthen data protection in the public and finance-banking sectors.

Vietnam lays mobile money groundwork Mobile World Live 28th May 2019
Vietnam’s communications ministry hosted a workshop outlining international success stories in the mobile money sector, in a move to promote the benefits ahead of proposed trial deployments. During the two day event, the country’s minister of information and communication Nguyen Manh Hung said adoption of a mobile-based payment system would help people in mountainous and other remote regions access a range of banking and online services.

Food & Agriculture

Southeast Asia sugar industry discusses strategies as global deficit looms vietnamnews.vn 19th Jun 2019
HCM CITY — There will be a global sugar deficit of about 2.5 million tonnes in 2019-20, and prices are expected to harden, the fourth meeting of the ASEAN Sugar Alliance heard in HCM City yesterday. Sasathorn Sanguandeekul, market analyst, futures trading and risk management at Thailand's MITR Phol Sugar Corp Ltd, said in 2018-19 -- the crop starts annually in September -- there was a surplus of two million tonnes. A deficit would occur this year mostly due to a reduction in output in major sugar producing countries, including Thailand, he said. “In 2019-20 with the expectation of reduction in Thailand and India, Asia should have a deficit of around 9.5 million tonnes.” Output in Brazil, the world's largest sugar producer and exporter, in 2018-19 “decreased to 26.5 million tonnes due to ageing canes, drought and low sugar mix ratio. While sugar production in 2019-20 is forecast to be around 26-28 million tonnes”. But Brazil was still maximising ethanol production, reducing sugar output, she said.

Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance established vietnamplus.vn 17th Jun 2019
Ca Mau (VNA) – An alliance was set up on June 17 with a view to promoting sustainable shrimp production, an important sector in Vietnam’s agriculture. An event to match businesses in the sector and sign a memorandum of understanding on participating in the Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance (VSSA) was held in Ca Mau, a province in the Mekong Delta – the aquaculture hub of Vietnam. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Su said the VSSA foundation is an inevitable move amidst the fact that Vietnam’s shrimp sector is facing an array of challenges, including seeking markets and meeting consumers’ growing demand for clean and environmentally friendly shrimp products. Josh Madeira, Senior Manager of Ocean Conservation Policy from the US’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Programme, noted consumers in North America, Europe and Asia consider the taste, freshness, health benefits and food safety as leading criteria when choosing aquatic products. The US, the EU and Japan always have compulsory food safety requirements. Additionally, more than 90 percent of the retailers in North America and 75 percent of those in the EU also request that aquatic products must ensure environmental sustainability, he noted.

U.S. pork, beef showcased in Vietnam Feedstuffs 17th Jun 2019
Working to distinguish U.S. pork and beef from competitors’ products while building relationships with traders and foodservice operators in a fast-growing market, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently participated in the 2019 edition of Food & Hotel Vietnam. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP), the National Pork Board and the beef checkoff program, the effort included coordination of meetings between USMEF members and importers, culinary competitions and a U.S. product showcase featuring U.S. beef and pork cuts. More than 700 exhibitors from 29 countries took part in the biennial trade show, which attracted 14,000 visitors – a 7% increase from 2017. Along with the U.S., countries with their own pavilions included Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey. The U.S. Pavilion was the largest, with 25 companies and cooperators promoting products. “With all of this competition at Food & Hotel Vietnam, it has become one of the most important shows in the region when it comes to creating awareness for U.S. pork and beef, especially given the increasing demand for imported meat in Vietnam and some of the surrounding countries,” said USMEF director in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Sabrina Yin, who noted that Vietnam’s strong tourism industry has fueled the rapid development of its foodservice sector.

Agricultural start-ups should focus on long-term strategy vietnamnews.vn 11th Jun 2019
HCM CITY — Agricultural start-ups should capitalise on the huge demand for safe agricultural products by developing long-term, sustainable production strategies, experts said at a seminar in HCM City on Thursday. Prof Phan Văn Trường, head of the Vietnamese Agricultural Start-up Club, said that although Việt Nam’s agricultural sector was growing fast, farmers remained concerned about sales and revenues. The country has diverse agricultural products, but does not have a consumer market based on actual supply and demand, he said, adding that farmers sometimes lowered prices to sell their products and compete with rivals. “It’s difficult to build a brand for Vietnamese agricultural products because of low economic value,” he said. The number of start-ups in the agricultural sector remains low because farmers are not aware of the start-up ecosystem and quality standards for agricultural products, he said.

Pork shortage is expected in Vietnam later this year Phnom Penh Post 11th Jun 2019
Pork shortage is expected in Vietnam later this year Vietnam is expected to import more pork in the coming months to make up for domestic shortages as African swine fever continues to spread, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The ministry’s Centre for Industry and Trade Information said pork is being sold at unusually low prices because of lower demand. Pork prices dropped to between 25,000 and 34,000 dong ($1.08 and $1.46) per kg in the north, down 3,000-6,000 dong from the previous month. Prices in the south were 35,000 dong per kg, down 5,000-10,000 dong. The ministry said pork supply has been limited as some 1.5 million pigs were culled in the first four months of the year, accounting for five per cent of all the country’s pigs.

Garment, fruit and vegetable exports sharply increase Nhan Dan 11th Jun 2019
In particular, garment exports reached more than US$11.2 billion, fabric and fibre exports reached US$856 million and US$1.6 billion, respectively. Also, in the past five months, the total import revenue of garment accessories and raw materials reached US$9.3 billion, up 12% over the same period in 2018. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development Department, Vietnam exported fruit and vegetables worth US$424 million in May, bringing the total export value of those products in the first five months of 2019 to about US$1.83 billion. China remained Vietnam’s top market with a value of more than over US$1 billion. Meanwhile, fruit & veg exports to some countries such as the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the Netherlands recorded high growth, but the proportion of exports to these markets remains low. The fruit and vegetable sector aims to gross nearly US$4.2 billion in export revenue in 2019. Last year, Vietnam exported US$3.8 billion worth of fruit and vegetables, 8.9% more than the previous year.

Vietnam to mobilize military in fight against African swine fever U.S. 11th Jun 2019
HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam said it will mobilize its military and police forces to help combat the outbreak of African swine fever that has already resulted in the culling of about 4% of the country’s pig herd. The virus, first detected in the Southeast Asian country in February, has hit farms in 29 provinces, and prompted the authorities to cull more than 1.2 million pigs. “Soon, soldiers and policemen will take part in efforts to make sure infected pigs are culled in a timely manner, keeping the outbreak from spreading further,” the state-run Tien Phong newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing Vietnam’s deputy agriculture minister, Phung Duc Tien. According to the report, Tien said police will launch an investigation into cases, where local authorities have failed to properly handle the outbreak.

Over 10 of Vietnamese key farm produce sold abroad vietnamplus.vn 10th Jun 2019
Hanoi (VNA) – More than 10 key agricultural products of Vietnam are being sold across 160 countries and territories worldwide. They include rice, coffee, rubber, cashew nut, peppercorn, tea, fruit and vegetables, tra fish, shrimp, wood and timber products. Coffee, rice, cashew nut and fruit and vegetables each has an annual export turnover of more than 1 billion USD. Ministries and departments are building geographical indication for farm produce, ensuring food safety and hygiene and increasing their competitiveness in both domestic and foreign markets. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported a trade surplus of nearly 3.3 billion USD in the first five months of this year. 

Vietnam culls 2 million pigs, urges whole nation to fight swine fever CNA 31st May 2019
HANOI: Vietnam said on Friday (May 31) it has culled 2 million pigs in a bid to curb an outbreak of deadly African swine fever and called on the entire nation to join the fight against the rapidly spreading disease. The virus had spread to 48 of the country's 63 provinces, agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at a meeting of parliament, upping the number of pigs culled from 1.7 million less than a week ago. Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically. "This is an extremely dangerous disease ... and we have to take the fight seriously," Cuong said. "The whole political system has to get engaged in the fight."

Win-win for Vietnam in Reducing Emissions Applied Sciences from Technology Networks 30th May 2019
Through cost-saving practices for coffee, rice, corn and livestock production, Vietnam can take steps to meet Paris Agreement commitments, says a study that highlights climate action potential for agriculture, forestry and land use in SE Asia — by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. As nations look toward 2020, when they will take stock of their actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement, many are seeking ways to increase their nationally determined contributions, or NDCs, to global emissions reduction. Vietnam is one of the fortunate nations that has a suite of untapped options that, if undertaken, can save the country an estimated $2.3 billion by 2030, substantially decrease emissions while increasing agricultural productivity, and benefit coastal and forest ecosystems. These actions include agroforestry in coffee plantations, intermittently watering rice paddies instead of maintaining them permanently flooded, and providing cattle with improved feed. The study, which examines 41 measures to reduce emissions in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector in Vietnam, was published in April in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems by researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and colleagues.

Health & Life Sciences

Commitment to better healthcare Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 10th Jun 2019
AstraZeneca has announced an investment of $220 ­million in Vietnam. What objectives do you have in mind with this investment? With this investment, ­AstraZeneca will focus on three key areas in the next five years including local healthcare capacity, research and development, and talent development. As part of our commitment to developing Vietnam’s healthcare capacity, we will be working with our partners to implement the Young Health Programme, our global community investment programme focusing on youth and the prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory disease by addressing risk factors surrounding them. Another part of the investment will be spent to advance our collaboration on research and innovation. We are committed to be a great place to work in Vietnam, by developing over 500 skilled jobs to support these accelerated efforts and ensure a future pipeline of talent and innovative medicine.

Malaysia delivers quality care to Vietnamese healthcare travellers Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 30th May 2019
It took us 1 hour 45 minutes for a direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur. Stepping off of the plane, a staff from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) in red uniform was already waiting for us. He greeted us in a friendly manner and took us through customs and baggage claim at the airport so we did not need to wait in long lines. After clearing customs and immigration, the staff took us to MHTC’s VIP lounge to take a rest while waiting for the taxi to the hotel. We were very impressed by the reception for patients in Malaysia. Although we have visited Singapore and Thailand several times for overseas treatment, we felt very happy with the warm welcome as well as the simple and quick procedures at the airport. This service is necessary for patients who do not speak English or those who need special assistance to navigate the airports.

AstraZeneca scales up investment in Vietnam Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 28th May 2019
AstraZeneca has just announced a five-year investment of VND5 trillion ($220 million) for the 2020-2024 period in Vietnam during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s ongoing visit to Sweden. The investment, which was announced at AstraZeneca’s main manufacturing site in Södertälje in the presence of the Vietnamese Premier and representatives from the Swedish government, underpins AstraZeneca’s commitment to the Vietnamese government’s call for all healthcare partners to strive for better health for the Vietnamese people, as expressed in the 2017 resolution and the recently launched “Vietnam Health Programme”. The investment accelerates AstraZeneca’s existing efforts to expand access to healthcare and to improve the quality of healthcare delivery for Vietnamese patients. This will also ensure that the company continues to develop high value employment.

Promoting eco-awareness amid rapid urban growth The Myanmar Times 28th May 2019
Cities where people migrate to work and live are getting overcrowded. By 2030, the urban population in the region is projected to increase from about 270 million to 373 million people. The fast and furious rate of growth is wreaking havoc on local environments. A large portion of city infrastructure systems, such as transportation, government buildings and manufacturing zones, are planned and built in inappropriate locations. Examples are not hard to find in Thailand. For instance, rice plains in Ayutthaya, the ancient capital city of Thailand, have been designated as industrial estates, leading the area to become more prone to flooding.

ICT

Dozens of brands asked to remove ads from anti-state videos The Saigon Times 20th Jun 2019
Property developer FLC, food producer KIDO, automaker Thaco and multiple major universities have been asked to stop running advertisements in videos containing anti-state propaganda on YouTube. The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) under the Ministry of Information and Communications on June 19 said it had discovered 37 brands running ads promoting their products and services on offensive videos on YouTube and Google during an inspection early this month, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

1 million workers in IT industry needed for digitalization era VietNamNet 20th Jun 2019
In 2018, Minh Khang, a new IT majoring graduate, received a job offer from a well-known software firm with the salary of VND8-12 million. The rate was attractive if noting that a new graduate in other majors could get only VND5-6 million. When the young software engineer has two years of experience, he will receive VND17-18.5 million.

ASEAN ICT Awards 2019 launched in Vietnam VietNamNet 19th Jun 2019
The AICTA, an initiative approved at the ASEAN Telecommunications and IT Ministers’ Meeting in 2012, aims to seek and honour creative ICT products and solutions that can be applied in reality, helping promote technological application and enhance trade relations among the ASEAN countries. It features six award categories, namely public sector, private sector, corporate social responsibility, digital content, startup company, and research and development (R&D).

E-medical records to be applied nationwide in July The Saigon Times 17th Jun 2019
E-medical records will be deployed in all provinces and cities next month, said Tran Quy Tuong, director of the Health Ministry's Information Technology Department at a seminar on June 17. Speaking at the seminar in HCMC on promoting the application of e-medical records, Tuong said that in end-2017, the Ministry of Health approved a plan to apply information technology at healthcare centers in communes and districts.

New law strengthens tax collection from social network providers - New law strengthens tax collection from social network providers - News from Saigon Times The Saigon Times 17th Jun 2019
The revised Law on Tax Management, passed by the National Assembly, sets out regulations to collect taxes from Google, YouTube, Facebook and the like from July 1 next year, even if they do not open representative offices in Vietnam. According to statistics from Google and Singapore’s investment firm Temasek, Vietnam’s revenue from the digital economy reached US$9 billion last year, and the figure is expected to increase to US$30 billion by 2025, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Ministry will strongly support innovation and start-ups vietnamnews.vn 15th Jun 2019
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng talks to the Government Portal about the ministry’s commitments to supporting start-ups and innovative enterprises. We’re now witnessing rapid changes regarding technologies and innovation. Việt Nam aims to reform its economy based on raising its competitiveness and productivity. There are four main pillars: human resources, funding, technology infrastructure and professional innovative centres.

Australia, VN issue new report on digital transformation roadmap vietnamnews.vn 14th Jun 2019
Risks and challenges must be identified during the digital transformation era to ensure that Việt Nam continues to grow and be prosperous, a new report has said. The report, “Việt Nam’s Future Digital Economy Towards 2030 and 2045”, notes that much has already been done through the Government’s policies on 4.0 Industry such as cybersecurity, energy and digital skills.

Ministry issues ICT reference framework for smart city development vietnamnews.vn 13th Jun 2019
The ICT (information and communication technology) reference framework for the development of smart cities (version 1.0) has been issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications as a basis for localities and businesses to develop smart city projects. The ICT reference framework is a set of functions to link smart regions, applications, and urban services to ensure consistency and synchronisation in smart city development, according to Decision 829/QĐ-BTTTT on the ICT reference framework issued on May 31 by the Ministry of Information and Communication.

HCMC to develop smart electric bus transit system - HCMC to develop smart electric bus transit system - News from Saigon Times The Saigon Times 12th Jun 2019
The HCMC Public Traffic Management Center and South Korean technology firm DATAM have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of a smart electric bus rapid transit (BRT) system in HCMC. A DATAM representative was cited by Thanh Nien Online newspaper as saying that the project requires an estimated investment of US$525 million, which will be sourced from the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund.

Policy key to boosting Việt Nam’s digital economy, say experts vietnamnews.vn 10th Jun 2019
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s key task is to evaluate the building and adjustment of policies to support the development of the digital economy, according to Deputy Minister Cao Quốc Hưng. Along with e-commerce, Hưng told Vietnamplus.vn that the digital economy is both a challenge and opportunity for Việt Nam to resolve major issues in economic development, including the issuance and revision of policies to make Việt Nam more competitive globally.

Shared database needed to fight tax loss in e-commerce vietnamnews.vn 5th Jun 2019
There should be a shared database of online sellers to make sure tax collection in e-commerce activities is sufficient, officials have said. A shared database was necessary because there is no specific measure to calculate revenues, sales and expenses of organisations and individuals selling goods and services online, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency deputy director Lại Việt Anh.

Italian companies eye Vietnamese high-tech sector The Saigon Times 5th Jun 2019
The Italian Trade Agency (ITA), in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in Hanoi, organized a workshop to promote and develop new opportunities of trade, investment and technological collaboration between Italy and Vietnam as part of a partnership for innovation and sustainability. Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister of Italy, attended the event as part of his ongoing visit to Vietnam.

Digital transformation offers development opportunities vietnamnews.vn 1st Jun 2019
Digital transformation is considered an opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to avoid falling behind their competitors, but many firms, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, remain unaware of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, experts have said. At a workshop in Hà Nội on Friday, participants said the digital transformation had occurred around the world as governments and large businesses use new technologies to promote development. The trend was already increasing customer satisfaction and opening new markets.

VN, France cooperate in e-government building vietnamnews.vn 31st May 2019
The Government Office of Việt Nam and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in e-government development in Hà Nội on Thursday. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and French Ambassador to Việt Nam Bertrand Lortholary attended the ceremony. The MoU aims to build bilateral cooperative between the Government Office and the AFD in implementing e-government in Việt Nam, thereby supporting the Government’s digitalisation, administrative modernisation and reform process.

Private firms encouraged to join credit information market vietnamnews.vn 30th May 2019
Private organisations will be encouraged to provide credit information services in Việt Nam to improve transparency in the credit information market, under a new draft decree. The draft decree replacing Decree 10/2010/NĐ-CP was opened for public comments by the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV). Việt Nam’s market for credit information is considered underdeveloped and lacks competition.

MoIT goes online for administrative procedures vietnamnews.vn 30th May 2019
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has moved to put more public administrative services online to achieve a more simplified and transparent administration. As of the end of January, ministry’s Foreign Trade Agency had 47 of its public services available online at level 3 (forms that can be downloaded and processed online) and level 4 (forms and payments that can be processed online) on the website online.moit.gov.vn.

Six ICT executives join National e-Government Committee working group vietnamnews.vn 29th May 2019
The heads of six leading information and communications technology (ICT) companies will join a working group for the chairman of the National Committee on E-Government. The firms are DTT, Viettel, VNPT, FPT, CMC and VietnamPost, and their chiefs are among the 18 members of the network security and technology solutions team formed under the working group.

Transformation of Industry Verticals Through 5G – Focus and Look Indoors, says Frost & Sullivan vietnamnews.vn 24th May 2019
Now that 5G is here, the much anticipated infrastructure will enable a smarter and more connected world promised to drive digital economies for governments, to create new monetization opportunities for businesses and offer a real perceivable difference over 4G for consumers. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey conducted at the 5th Annual Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019, 79% of respondents said that they will rate their mobile operator according to the indoor network quality that they experience.

HCM City dept fosters growth of science and technology businesses vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
The Department of Science and Technology has been supporting the development of science and technology businesses with numerous programmes and State policies. During a conference held by the department yesterday in HCM City, Chu Bá Long, deputy head of the Technology Management and Technology Market unit under the department, said the department was helping businesses in research and technology development, focusing on socio-economic development.

Transaction limits for e-wallets should be appropriate: experts vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
Transaction limits for e-wallets should be set at appropriate levels to encourage cashless payment amidst an anticipated boom of e-commerce in Việt Nam, experts have said. Under a draft circular about intermediary payment services the State Bank of Việt Nam recently made public, e-wallet daily transaction limits were set at VNĐ20 million (US$850) for individuals and VNĐ100 million for organisations. The monthly transaction limits were set at VNĐ100 million and VNĐ500 million, respectively.

PM calls for more investment in science, technology The Saigon Times 23rd May 2019
Both state-owned and private enterprises should prioritize investments in science and technology, as they are considered pillars of the country’s socioeconomic development, the Government news website reported, citing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. At a conference entitled, “Science, Technology and Innovation as a Pillar for Socioeconomic Development in Vietnam,” held in Hanoi today, May 15, the Prime Minister noted that Vietnam’s spending on science and technology accounts for only 0.44% of its gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the world’s average of 2.23%; Thailand’s GDP at 0.78%; Singapore, 2.2%; Malaysia, 1.3%; and China, 2.1%.

HCMC to promote cooperation in key industrial products The Saigon Times 23rd May 2019
HCMC has collected feedback from experts and the relevant agencies to bolster the growth of key industrial products and promote further cooperation, especially in the fields of science and technology. The municipal departments of Industry and Trade and Science and Technology on May 14 held a conference to introduce a list of key industrial products that the city prioritizes for investment in the 2018-2020 period.

Legal framework needed to promote OTT media services vietnamnews.vn 23rd May 2019
Việt Nam needed to build a legal framework to promote the development of over-the-top (OTT) media services as the Government strives to build a digital economy and accelerate digital transformation, experts have said. Nguyễn Quang Đồng, director of the Institute for Policy Studies and Media Development, said OTT media services, including video-on-demand (VOD), were different from traditional broadcasting services, so required a different management framework.

Infrastructure

Vietnam to tender $5bn motorway project in August Global Construction Review 20th Jun 2019
The Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation has announced plans to tender a $5bn motorway that will run through 13 provinces from Nam Dịnh, about 60km south of Hanoi, to the southern province of Vinh Long in the Mekong Delta.

Too little, too late for the US around the Mekong? China’s already there South China Morning Post 16th Jun 2019
US officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will “recommit” the United States to supporting the five countries along Southeast Asia’s longest river, the Mekong, when he makes his first duty visit to Bangkok in July. Pompeo has voiced concern that China has tried to “steadily salami-slice its way to control” in the region. Mark Clark, acting deputy assistant secretary for Southeast Asia at the state department, said his boss planned to highlight what had been achieved in the past decade by the US-backed Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI). Pompeo will attend a ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and lead talks on the LMI, which was launched 10 years ago by his predecessor Hillary Clinton to boost cooperation between Washington and Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. But experts warn the American pledge might be too little, too late given China’s entrenched interests in the area. Brian Eyler, director of the Washington-based Stimson Centre’s Southeast Asia programme, said the US had promoted its foreign policy goals in the region largely behind the scenes, despite a push by Mekong nations for “real and tangible” pacts with the US. Beijing has set aside more than US$22 billion under the initiative to support projects ranging from technological connectivity and industrial development to trade, agriculture and poverty alleviation. The Mekong is an essential venue for much of the grand infrastructure envisioned by President Xi Jinping under his ambitious strategy to boost global trade and connectivity with the Belt and Road Initiative. A five-year action plan issued last year said the LMC should work in synergy with the belt and road plan.

HCM City looks to EU’s support in urban infrastructure vietnamplus.vn 14th Jun 2019
Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on June 14 asked the European Union (EU) partners to help the city develop urban infrastructure, especially railway routes and Ben Thanh underground shopping centre... As for the metro line No.2 project, Phong proposed the European Commission extend time for financial assistance reception to conduct feasibility studies for the project and adjust several terms in financial aid package to better suit construction progress and Vietnamese law.

World Bank offers new credit to develop urban centres vietnamnews.vn 13th Jun 2019
The World Bank (WB) Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved a US$194.36 million credit plan to help four secondary cities in Việt Nam build critically-needed municipal infrastructure and strengthen urban planning. The Dynamic Cities Integrated Development Project aims to increase access to improved urban services in Kỳ Anh in Hà Tĩnh Province, Tĩnh Gia in Thanh Hóa Province, Hải Dương in Hải Dương Province and Yên Bái in Yên Bái Province.

Vietnam becoming safer but road safety still a major concern - VnExpress International VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam 13th Jun 2019
The country has risen by six places to 70th in Underwriters Laboratories' 2019 UL Safety Index. The ranking measured the safety environment in 187 countries and territories based on 17 indicators grouped in three criteria: resources and institutions, safety frameworks and safety outcomes.... Road accidents remain the biggest single cause of deaths in the country even as it works hard to make roads safer. Traffic congestion, inadequate enforcement of the law, poor driving skills, and bad street conditions are the main reasons for road crashes.

Vietnam metro projects costs overrun by $3.5 billion VnExpress International 5th Jun 2019
Ho Chi Minh City’s first line from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien has seen the highest rise of VND29.9 trillion ($1.3 billion), according to a report by the Ministry of Transport to the National Assembly based on data as of March. The second line between Ben Thanh and Tham Luong has become VND21.8 trillion ($932 million) costlier. Hanoi’s second line between Nhon and Hanoi Railway Station is third with VND14.5 trillion ($620 million). Besides, the projects have been delayed due to tardy payment to their foreign contractors, and inflation has seen to the rest, it said.

Inexperienced Chinese contractor responsible for Hanoi metro delays VnExpress International 5th Jun 2019
China Railway Sixth Group Co Ltd. has done well in constructing the line, but it lacks experience in putting the line into commercial operation, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said at a National Assembly session Wednesday. The contractor was appointed by China according to the terms of a loan agreement beween the two countries, he added. The project can only operate after the Chinese contractor finishes the remaining construction and receives safety certificates for the whole system, he said.

Government prioritises capable contractors: Deputy PM vietnamplus.vn 5th Jun 2019
Vietnamese Government prioritises capable and prestigious contractors for the state’s transport projects, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said at the National Assembly’s Q&A session on June 5. Although the State has poured a huge amount of capital and mobilised resources to branch out transport infrastructure for bolstering the socio-economy and improving local livelihoods, several projects have fallen short of expectation due to their poor quality, slow progress, and soaring capital allotment.

Vietnam approves plans to accommodate construction of Long Thanh Airport  | Air Cargo World AirCargo World 30th May 2019
Yesterday, the People’s Council of Vietnam’s Dong Nai province approved the adjustment of administrative boundaries within Long Thanh district to enable the construction of the country’s new Long Thanh International Airport. The development comes on the heels of burgeoning exports out of Vietnam as factories shift their production to the country from China. The administrative boundaries of six communes will be adjusted to reallocate some of the land in these communes to serve as the site for the construction of Long Thanh International. The six affected communes within Dong Nai province’s Long Thanh district include Binh Son, Cam Duong, Long An, Long Phuoc, Bau Can and Suoi Trau.  

Travel & Tourism

Region’s tourism ministers vow to boost cooperation Tourism of Cambodia 19th Jun 2019
The tourism ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam last week agreed to boost cooperation, particularly in religious and food tourism. The officials met at the Fourth ACMECS Meeting of Tourism Ministers and the Fifth CLMV Meeting of Tourism Ministers, both held in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. Thong Khon, the Cambodian Tourism Minister, said cooperation must focus on religious and food tourism. At last week’s gatherings, the tourism ministers agreed to create action plans on tourism cooperation covering the years 2019-2023 which will focus on connections among routes and corridors, as well as marketing activities and sustainable tourism.

Tourism development should not harm environment: tourism minister vietnamnews.vn 10th Jun 2019
Responding to questions over sustainable tourism development, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện commitment of the tourism sector not harm environment and cultural heritage, adding: “We cannot sacrifice heritage in exchange for economic development.” The ministry will focus on developing marine tourism and plan sea tourism destinations with the socio-economic development plan in order not to destroy environment and resources, he said.

Vietnam emerges top Asia-Pacific travel choice for Russians VnExpress International 10th Jun 2019
From May 2018 to April 2019, Russian arrivals to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region rose 54.5 percent, far outstripping the 3.8 percent growth of international arrivals to the region, according to ForwardKeys data. The huge spike in Russian travelers has been prompted by a doubling of direct flights from Russia to Asian tourist destinations, mainly in Vietnam and Thailand, with air seat capacity increasing by 38 percent overall. Vietnam has emerged as a favorite destination for Russian holiday-goers in recent years and is expected to surpass its neighbor Thailand, a favored Russian haunt for a long time.

Minister says rules for condotels, officetels coming this year vietnamplus.vn 8th Jun 2019
Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha said at the meeting of the National Assembly early this week that his ministry and the Ministry of Natural Resources would complete regulations relating to condotel and officetel this year. In response to delegate Ly Thiet Hanh, Minister Ha said the Ministry of Construction (MoC) was responsible for revising standards and regulations relating to condotels and officetels and also promulgating management and operation regulations for the property products. He said this process would be completed this year. He also said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment would provide guidance on land use for condotel or condotel constructions incorporating housing.

Vietnam should promote tourism in Chinese market: Tourism Minister VietNamNet 6th Jun 2019
Speaking at the Q&A session of the National Assembly’s (NA’s) ongoing sitting, Nguyen Quoc Hung, a deputy from Hanoi, asked the minister to explain the falling number of international visitors to the country during the year up to May and the low competitiveness of the local tourism sector. In response, Thien said that the country saw only an 8.8% year-on-year increase in the number of international tourists during the first five months, mainly caused by the falling number of Chinese visitors. Meanwhile, the number of foreign tourists visiting the country had doubled in the past three years.

Vietnam tourism at the fingertips VietNamNet 2nd Jun 2019
A plan setting a target of $45 billion in tourism revenue by 2025 and exports through tourism reaching $27 billion was recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and aims to restructure Vietnam’s tourism industry and turn it into a spearhead economic sector. The tourism sector will be revamped and imbued with the Vietnamese cultural identity so that the country acquires a world-acclaimed tourism brand. Smart tourism will be broadly applied, while the sector’s competitiveness will receive a boost.

Various activities in response to VN Tourism Year 2019 to be held in Nha Trang VietNamNet 2nd Jun 2019
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have laid out plans to host a wide range of activities in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa in response to National Tourism Year 2019.

Vietnam gets a taste for superyachts The ASEAN Post 31st May 2019
Vietnam's yachting industry has boomed due to their overall economic growth and facilities like Ana Marina, which when completed will be twice the size of New York’s Grand Central Station on land and water, will boast a clubhouse, conference centre, fine dining restaurants and villas. The government has been very supportive of yachting for tourism purposes and has a special consumption tax of 30 percent on luxury items that can be waived when a company plans to use the craft to entertain tourists or for charter hire. It also takes less time to import a yacht because there’s implicit government support for opportunities that bring value to the country.

Vietjet launches direct Bali flight from Ho Chi Minh City Buzz travel 31st May 2019
Vietjet officially launched its newest direct route, Ho Chi Minh City – Bali, connecting the largest city in Vietnam to one of the world’s most famous holiday destinations just in time to celebrate the start of summer.

Vietnam promotes tourism via TikTok application VietNamNet 29th May 2019
The Vietnam Tourism Community Association (VCTC) under the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) and TikTok, a creative social media platform primarily driven by short-form video content, signed an agreement to launch brand product “CTC Group Tour” on May 28, People’s Army newspaper reported. Under the cooperation agreement, tourism products of VCTC members will be broadcast to the worldwide audience via TikTok’s short videos. Accordingly, Tourism Magazine will partner with TikTok Vietnam to develop the content on Vietnam's tourism via TikTok platform.

Specialized ports hold key to Vietnam cruise tourism growth VnExpress International 29th May 2019
The country’s first specialized cruise port, which opened at the end of 2018, has become a focal point for Quang Ninh’s tourism activities. The northern province received 56,000 arrivals in the first four months of this year, or 47 percent of all foreign visitors coming to Vietnam by sea. With the breakthrough achieved by Quang Ninh Province by soliciting private investment in Vietnam’s first specialized cruise port, it is expected that cruise tourism, or luxury tourism, will be fully exploited and see significant progress in the coming time.