Vietnam Update: March 26, 2020

Vietnam Update | March 26, 2020
Authors: Hai Pham and Minh Vu
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
April 7: ICT Monthly Committee Meeting: The Council would like to invite members to our upcoming ICT Committee call. The call will provide advocacy updates and look to focus on strategy and next steps for 2020. Please note this is dial-in only.
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Update on COVID-19 in Vietnam

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic - prompting a new phase in the fight against the outbreak around the world which has reached over 400 thousand confirmed cases and nearly 20 thousand deaths. As of Thursday, March 26, Vietnam recorded 153 confirmed cases with no death and 17 recovered.

The Government of Vietnam has been proactive in combating the outbreak. On March 20, Prime Minister Phuc ordered the suspension of all international flights to Vietnam, and later on March 23 he announced that Vietnam had entered the third phase of the fight against COVID-19 as risks of spreading between communities became higher. The next 20 – 25 days will be a big challenge to the country’s efforts in combating the outbreak, and measures have been put in place including a requirement to wear face masks in public and on public transport, restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people (including funerals, weddings, and religious gatherings), and temporary closings of entertainment venues, while schools and universities had been closed since mid-February. Provinces across the country have also decided to close tourist attractions to stem the spread of coronavirus. The central city of Da Nang has also established health checkpoints at entry and exit points since March 16.

The Vietnamese Government has also restricted the movement of people, officially approving a temporary travel ban on all foreigners entering Vietnam effective March 22 and launch of a government-issued Health Declaration mobile app “NCOVI” (available on both iOS and Android OS) for incoming travelers and domestic citizens to disseminate information and report personal health conditions. This app was created by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Health. Following the travel ban, Vietnam reportedly shuttered Vietnam-Cambodia border, while the Vietnam-Lao Lao Bao-Dansavan International Checkpoint remains open. The Vietnam-China border has been restricted to movement of goods only. The Government of Vietnam has not announced any restriction of goods, services, and capitals across the region and the Ministry of Industry and Trade has planned to ensure sufficient supply of goods on March 20.

Vietnam’s responses have been lauded by foreign governments and international institutions as the Government remains committed to the 6.8 percent GDP growth target for 2020. On March 3, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a US$1.3 billion fiscal package of tax breaks, delayed tax payments, and government spending on infrastructure.  Vietnamese commercial banks also stated they will offer a US$12.39 billion preferential credit package to impacted businesses that will reduce interest rates and re-schedule debt repayment.

The Government has also highlighted the need for Vietnam to accelerate digital transformation during the pandemic. On March 21, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung urged digital companies to innovate and develop platforms for education, health, shopping, and recreation to reduce social contact. Banks has also slashed online transactions fees to promote cashless payment and the e-Government has been highlighted as an important solution to fight the virus.

Vietnam Digital Transformation Progress

On March 11, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) submitted to the Prime Minister for approval a national digital transformation plan toward 2025 with orientation toward 2030. The plan highlighted fundamentals in the transformation, including institutions, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and training, which will be given investment priority to make the country among 50 countries by 2025 in level of Information Technology. The plan was based on the Politburo’s Resolution 52-NQ/TW issued in September 2019, which provided guidelines and policies of active participation on the Forth Industrial Revelation, aiming to have digital economy accounted for 30 percent of the country’s GDP by 2030.

The Government of Vietnam has been taking steps to implement e-Government, an initiative spearheaded by Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung. On March 13, the Administrative Procedures Control Agency (APCA) of the Office of the Government launched the Government Report Platform, the first step toward a National Report Platform by the end of 2020. The Government Report Platform will be the avenue for ministries, sectors, and local authorities to report situation, and analyze data from the reports to serve the Government’s management work. The platform will help save an estimated VND460 billion (US$13 million) a year. On March 14, the Ministry of Public Security announced that a national population database will be completed by April 2021 to store, standardize, digitize and manage the basic information of all Vietnamese citizens to improve State management of citizens.

Amidst the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 21, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung highlighted cashless payment and e-Government as important solutions to stem the spread of the virus. He said that the pandemic has sparked a pressing need for the country to accelerate digital transformation, posing considerable challenges but also revealing opportunities for the transformation. Since mid-February, banks and fintech firms have promoted cashless payment to reduce social contact and prevent the spread of the virus. E-commerce platforms reported a revenue increase of 20-30 percent as shoppers are avoiding supermarkets and wet markets.

Vietnam SOE Equitization Challenges 

As the Government of Vietnam remains committed to achieving 6.8 percent GDP growth amidst the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting the economy, the management and equitization of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) has become even more important in helping the economy and the stock market. However, the government continues to face challenges in attracting private capital investment into SOEs.

On March 3, Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phu Ha of the Commission of the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CSMC) stated that regulatory overlapping was one of the biggest problems for the operation and management of SOEs. The CSMC was established in September 2018 to manage 19 SOEs with a combined value of US$42.9 billion. Under Decree 131/2018/ND-CP issued by the Government, the Commission will oversee the operation of the 19 SOEs while maintaining their business conditions. The SOEs must ensure State capital is preserved and used efficiently or report to the commission otherwise.

Previously, SOEs were owned and managed by the respective Ministries, which is still in charge of providing operating capital for the company and managing company assets. The overlapping jurisdiction between the Commission and the Ministries makes it difficult for the SOEs to operate or request further State funding. On March 19, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh reiterated the regulatory challenges facing the Commission and asked the Commission to continue to support management of 12 struggling mega-projects, including the US$324 million Dinh Vu Polyester Fibre Plant in Hai Phong.

The Government remains committed to its plan to equitize SOEs. On August 2019, the Prime Minister issued Decision 26/2019/QD-TTg to approve a list of 93 SOEs to be equitized by the end of 2020.  Although securities firms in Vietnam assessed that the target is likely to be missed, the Government continued to urge relevant Ministries including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to cooperate and  address problems in the equitization process. On March 19, the Ministry of Finance issued a draft decree to amend Decree 126/2017/ND-CP, issued in November 2017, regulating land issues to help equitization. The proposed draft decree would help SOEs resolve land-related issues to help finish the valuation process of land under their authority. The draft decree may be submitted to the Government for approval as early as by the end of Q1 2020.

36th ASEAN Summit Postponed to June due to COVID-19

On March 17, Vietnam as the 2020 ASEAN Chair held a discussion with ASEAN members and partners on the decision to delay the 36th ASEAN Summit and other related meetings originally scheduled on April 6-9 in Da Nang. On March 20, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced the decision to officially postpone the Summit until the end of June amidst complicated COVID-19 developments. The ten ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and eight partners include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States. This announcement followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to postpone the US-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit originally scheduled on March 14 in Las Vegas, and the announcement on March 18 to postpone the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) previously scheduled on March 24-27 in Quang Ninh, Vietnam.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam Social Security - Areas of Cooperation and Project Proposals
On Thursday, March 26, the Council's Vietnam Office met with Vietnam Social Security (VSS) to discuss the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between VSS and the Council. This MoU was proposed by VSS during the meeting on March 6 during the Health & Life Sciences Industry Mission to Vietnam. The Council invites members to provide input on potential areas of cooperation and project proposals that might be of interest to your companies. Please use the form here and submit to Bui Kim Thuy (TBui@usasean.org) and copy Hai Pham (hpham@usasean.org) and Thao Nguyen (tnguyen@usasean.org). Please contact us with any questions about the MoU.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Multilateral Trade Agreements
Enterprises invited to get involved in legalisation of EVFTA commitments

National Affairs
Việt Nam to launch national promotion programme
State capital commission to work with struggling mega-projects
Ministry eases land issues to boost SOEs’ equitisation
MoIT issues requirements for consultants of SMEs
Temporary suspension of statutory contributions for enterprises experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19
National population database to be completed next year
Supreme Court instructs temporary suspension on receiving direct petitions and refrainment from opening court hearings until March 31 due to COVID-19 outbreak
Government Report Platform to be launched on March 13
PM Phúc urges for reforms to wage and social insurance policies
New decree to better regulate ride-hailing firms
Overlapped regulations key issue to SOE performances: State capital commission
State Audit played important role in PPP projects: experts
Vietnam announces $1.16bln stimulus package to help virus-hit businesses -state media
PM, Gov't Advisory Group aim to turn HCM City into int'l financial centre
Vietnam's Proposed New Draft Regulations on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions and Other Climate Change Adaptation Measures
Newly issued Decree 25 unplugs bottlenecks for real estate projects
Vietnam’s Proposed Public-Private Partnership Law
Vietnam: Management of coastal shipping remains low par: conference | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

ASEAN
Việt Nam proposes postponing 36th ASEAN Summit and related meetings
Government approves MoU on ASEAN-China Centre establishment
Việt Nam and ASEAN support Timor Leste in membership application
U.S. postpones summit with ASEAN leaders amid coronavirus fears: sources
US to reaffirm commitment to Asean in upcoming summit: Diplomats

Customs
MoIT extends safeguard measures for steel products
MoIT extends safeguard measure application on imposed fertiliser
State budget collection tops $9.3 billion in two months
Vietnam To Overhaul Its Visa, Immigration Laws This Summer
Steel ordinance to aid overseas groups
PM urges tax sector to continue with reforms
VFS Global launches the first online portal for Vietnam eVisa on Arrival

Defense & Security
US naval ships’ visit to Việt Nam helps promote bilateral ties
Japan to transfer military shipbuilding technology to Vietnam
UK Navy Vessel Vietnam Visit Highlights Defense Cooperation  

Economics
PM requests stable production activities
Master plan on sustainable development of sea-based economy
MoIT sets up team 368 to deal with online trading violations
Gov’t keeps macroeconomic targets unchanged despite COVID-19 epidemic
Inadequacies in management of coastal transport highlighted
Fitch Solutions lowers Vietnam growth forecast

Energy
No electricity price hikes this year
Investors show growing appetite for LNG power projects
Quảng Bình pushes development of B&T wind farm cluster
VinaCapital arm sets up solar power JV with industrial parks developer SAIGONTEL
Bac Lieu wind power plant marks 1 billionth kWh
Vietnam operates 24,300 rooftop solar power projects
EVN needs VNĐ93.2 trillion for power projects this year
Ministry proposes new electricity tariffs
145.9 million USD wind power plant to be built in Tra Vinh
Japanese firm hopes to supply LNG to thermal power plant in Cần Thơ City
Energy strategy fit for private backers
EVN produces one third of total power output

Financial Services
Central bank delays foreign ownership cap in payment services industry
Finance ministry to reduce some securities service fees
Ministry makes int’l accounting rules compulsory after 2025
Ministry tightens corporate bond issuances to prevent risks
Vietnam's New Guidelines on Bancassurance Agreements Between Banks and Insurers
Market regulator agrees on financial leveraging for UPCoM stocks
More banks slash interbank transfer fees
MSB, Vietnam's commercial bank, to launch its digital bank in Q4 2020
Vietnamese banks see improved solvency
VASB proposes tax cut to increase trading liquidity
Enterprises race to mobilize capital from corporate bonds

Food & Agriculture
Việt Nam calls for investment in fruit and vegetable processing
Central city to upgrade fishing port
Challenges compels restructuring in agriculture
Vietnam considers wildlife trade ban in response to coronavirus pandemic
Vietnam for ensuring food security under any situation
Vietnam 2020 inflation seen at 4.22% if pork prices can be cut - government
Minister urges provinces to boost fight against IUU fishing
Vietnam Buying $3 Billion in U.S. Farm Goods to Ease Trump Tariff Threats
Việt Nam needs more trees: experts
US remains Vietnam’s largest export market in first two months
Agricultural land market still an obstacle for enterprises
Việt Nam develops modern supply system for farm products

Health & Life Sciences
Vietnam now in third phase of COVID-19 combat: PM
Việt Nam confirms 123rd COVID-19 patient
COVID-19 shows pressing need for quicker digital transformation
Việt Nam suspends foreign entry, starting March 22
Symposium introduces new approach in diabetes type 2 management
Health declaration app NCOVID surpasses Facebook as most downloaded in Vietnam
TB prevention needs joint efforts: meeting
Compulsory health declarations for all in Vietnam
Woman in Hà Nội tests positive for SARS-CoV-2
Medical declaration required for anyone to enter Việt Nam
Ministry of Health launches Centre for COVID 19 Outbreak Control
HCM City banks on digital innovation, transformation in healthcare
Banks offer aids to 44,000 COVID-19 affected customers
Vietnam no longer a destination with risk of COVID 19 community spread

ICT
31,000 businesses sign up for MoIT’s services portal
Recruitment in technology sector grows with digital transformation
MobiFone successfully tests 5G network
VMware targets emerging Southeast Asia markets through new channel leader
PM urges simpler procedures for auction of 4G band
Data should be shared to serve digital economy
MIC to submit national digital transformation programme this month
Telecoms firms turning to digital content
Malware found disguised as Vietnam government statement on Covid-19 - VnExpress International

Infrastructure
NA Standing Committee discusses draft law on PPP
Expressway component projects to be shifted to public investment
Five local contractors pass preliminary rounds for North-South Expressway components
Construction sector struggling because of coronavirus
Central Vietnam seeks solutions for large-scale projects across sectors
PM orders acceleration of transport projects
Work set to restart on Côn Đảo Passenger Port
More regulations needed to promote condotel market development
Đồng Nai plans to build, expand industrial parks
Work starts on My Thuan Bridge 2 of North South Expressway
Quang Ninh: 108 million USD for infrastructure development in Ha Long city
Việt Nam needs new approaches to fund development: ADB expert

Manufacturing
Steelmakers hit hard by virus outbreak
Ministry works on national strategy on industrial development through 2030

Travel & Tourism
Quang Ngai, Kien Giang close tourist attractions over COVID-19 fears
Cities and provinces nationwide close tourist attractions to avoid COVID-19 spread
February figures display coronavirus impacts on Vietnam tourism
Tourism demand stimulus alliance launched
Tourism sector to propel forward during and after epidemic
Formula 1 - Vietnam GP now under threat as international exclusions begin
The coronavirus outbreak could cost Vietnam $4 billion in lost tourism in just 3 months, according to the country's department of tourism
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Multilateral Trade Agreements

Enterprises invited to get involved in legalisation of EVFTA commitments VietnamPlus 25th Feb 2020
Enterprises should participate in the legislation process of Vietnam’s commitments to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in order to make the most of it, a representative from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has said. According to Phung Thi Lan Phuong, the VCCI will be sharing information related to the EVFTA with businesses, while conveying recommendations it receives back to relevant State agencies about amendments to policies and laws being drawn up to implement the trade pact.

National Affairs

Việt Nam to launch national promotion programme vietnamnews.vn 20th Mar 2020
he Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will organise the National Promotion Programme 2020 from July 1 to 31 nationwide. MoIT suggested businesses of all fields and sectors to join the programme which will offer the maximum value of promotional goods and services of 100 per cent. MoIT’s Department of Trade Promotion, as the organiser of the programme, said the purpose is to gather businesses on a national scale to improve purchasing power from consumers, both domestic and international, with various promotional activities.

State capital commission to work with struggling mega-projects vietnamnews.vn 20th Mar 2020
The Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) must continue to support managers of 12 struggling mega-projects under the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the State’s capital investment, heard a conference in Hà Nội on Thursday. Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình voiced concerns over several limitations and obstacles that must be addressed immediately, namely poor co-ordination between ministries, agencies and project managers, confusion in the understanding of legal documents related to the projects and the dismal financial and operational performance of several projects.

Ministry eases land issues to boost SOEs’ equitisation vietnamnews.vn 19th Mar 2020
As issues related to land use rights still hinder State-owned enterprises from executing equitisation on time, the finance ministry has built a draft to amend the current decree regulating land issues. The draft aims to amend Decree 126/2017/NĐ-CP issued in November 2017 to resolve land-related problems for both businesses and Government agencies. “The plan is unlikely to be completed in 2020 as most companies, especially large-cap firms, have failed to finish business evaluations regarding the huge amount of land under their authority,” said Đặng Quyết Tiến, director-general of the Ministry of Finance's Corporate Finance Department. “This is because the practices of business evaluation are restricted by Decree 126, the building of the draft would help businesses resolve land-related issues and shorten equitisation processes,” Tiến said.

MoIT issues requirements for consultants of SMEs vietnamnews.vn 19th Mar 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) issued requirements for individuals and organisations who wish to join the network of consultants for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to Decision No 842 /QD-BCT, the MoIT's network of consultants will support SMEs in 15 food-related sectors, including alcohol, tobacco, gas, product distribution in foreign countries, power sources and others. For local individual consultants, they must have full capacity for civil acts, good moral qualities, and not be under investigation for penal liability or have faced any administrative fines in the field of consultancy practice.

Temporary suspension of statutory contributions for enterprises experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19 Baker McKenzie 17th Mar 2020
In light of the complicated developments and unpredictability of the Coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic, with aims to support enterprises and employees in dealing with difficulties arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Vietnam Prime Minister has ordered Vietnam Social Security and Vietnam General Confederation of Labor to issue guidance on suspension of mandatory contributions, which includes: (i) social insurance premiums to retirement and survivorship funds, and (ii) trade union fees.

National population database to be completed next year VietnamPlus 14th Mar 2020
The national population database will be completed by April next year to improve State management of citizens, according to the Ministry of Public Security. According to the ministry’s report delivered at a meeting on March 12 to review the project, 59 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide have finished collecting information from about 80 million people. The ministry has connected the ID card database with the national population system. A national centre for population and ID numbers will be set up in December this year. Minister of Public Security To Lam asked police departments at all levels to complete legal procedures to put into operation the system, noting that while building the database, units must ensure progress and follow the law.

Supreme Court instructs temporary suspension on receiving direct petitions and refrainment from opening court hearings until March 31 due to COVID-19 outbreak Baker McKenzie 12th Mar 2020
On 10 March 2020, the Supreme People's Court ("SPC") issued Directive No. 02/2020/CT-CA regarding the prevention of the COVID-19 outbreak within the People's Court system ("Directive 02"). Directive 02 takes effect immediately upon receipt by the lower courts and relevant authorities. Directive 02 provides for, among other things, instructions to the lower courts on applying measures that may affect parties to lawsuits.

Government Report Platform to be launched on March 13 VietnamPlus 10th Mar 2020
The Government Report Platform will be launched on March 13, the first step towards forming a National Report Platform by the end of 2020, heard a meeting on March 10. The Government Report Platform will be a venue for ministries, sectors and local authorities to report their situation, and analyse data from the reports to serve the Government’s management work. The goal is to connect the Government Report Platform with all the report systems of ministries, sectors, localities and specialized information systems within 2020 for the formation of the National Report Platform. By 2025, all periodical reports from ministries, sectors and localities (except for confidential content) will be sent and received via the Government Report Platform.

PM Phúc urges for reforms to wage and social insurance policies vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked for reforms to wage and social insurance policies, and for relevant ministries and sectors to reach a consensus on the issue to ensure improved and fair wages for all workers. Speaking at a meeting of the National Wage Council’s central steering committee in Hà Nội on Wednesday, Phúc set a date of July 1, 2021 to begin conducting salary reforms. The PM also stressed the need to streamline administrative procedures and restructure State budget spending, saying this needed urgent action. He requested the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to closely follow Resolution No 28-NQ/TW on reforming social insurance policies and the Law on Social Insurance to plan adjustments to pension payments, especially for people who retired before 1995.

New decree to better regulate ride-hailing firms vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
The Government’s new decree on automobile transportation is expected to help get the transportation market back on track, according to the Ministry of Transport. The Decree 10/2020/NĐ-CP will take effect from the beginning of April in the context that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) has hugely changed the transportation market, making old regulations outdated. The ministry said the decree demonstrated the Government’s determination to use technology in automobile transportation management, simplify administrative procedures and remove inappropriate regulations.

Overlapped regulations key issue to SOE performances: State capital commission vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Regulatory overlapping was the biggest problem at State-owned enterprises (SOEs) since they were handed over to the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, officials have said. According to vice chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Phú Hà, the commission was responsible for managing State capital at 19 large-cap SOEs. Regulatory overlapping had made it difficult for the SOEs to either operate by themselves or ask for State funding, according to the vice chairwoman. Under Decree 131/2018/NĐ-CP issued by the Government in late September 2018, the business conditions at the SOEs should remain unchanged after they were handed over to the commission.

State Audit played important role in PPP projects: experts vietnamnews.vn 4th Mar 2020
Experts discussed solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of auditing public-private partnerships (PPP) during a conference on Tuesday in Hà Nội. “PPP projects and the role of the State Audit” was organised by the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV). Speaking at the conference, Professor Đoàn Xuân Tiên, deputy general auditor of the SAV, said that capital from the private sector had contributed significantly to improving transport infrastructure and urban areas.

Vietnam announces $1.16bln stimulus package to help virus-hit businesses -state media Reuters 3rd Mar 2020
HANOI, March 3 (Reuters) - Vietnam plans to spend 27 trillion dong ($1.16 billion) to help businesses cope with the coronavirus epidemic and help the economy stick to its 6.8% growth target this year, state media said on Tuesday. The plan includes tax break, delayed tax payments and reduction in land lease fee, Vietnam Television (VTV) quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying. The government also aimed to speed up state spending on infrastructure projects, it added.

PM, Gov't Advisory Group aim to turn HCM City into int'l financial centre vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked his Government Advisory Group to submit a document by April 30 outlining necessary steps to turn HCM City into an international financial centre. Dr Trần Du Lịch, member of the Government Advisory Group, said that HCM City was a gateway to major financial centres and capitals of ASEAN countries.The idea to turn the city into a regional and international financial centre is not new, but would be an essential part of the National Economic Strategy to 2030, he added. The growth of the financial market, particularly in HCM City, has not been consistent and the dependence on the banking system for capital has been significantly distorting the financial market, he said. Though HCM City accounts for only 9.36 per cent of the national population, it contributes 14 per cent to the country’s export value and 27 per cent to State revenue.

Vietnam's Proposed New Draft Regulations on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions and Other Climate Change Adaptation Measures Global Compliance News 2nd Mar 2020
In addition, as part of the roadmap for implementing the Paris Agreement and following the Katowice Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 24), MONRE has drafted and proposed another draft Decree containing a specific plan on the mitigation of greenhouse gas (“GHG“) emissions in Vietnam (“Draft GHG Decree“). According to MONRE, the finalization and implementation of the Draft GHG Decree will provide an important legal basis to assist relevant Ministries in duly conducting state management of GHG mitigation. Furthermore, the approval of the proposed Draft GHG Decree would reaffirm the Government’s determination to fulfill its international commitments as well as elevate the position of Vietnamese specialized agencies in international discussions and cooperation on climate change.

Newly issued Decree 25 unplugs bottlenecks for real estate projects Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 2nd Mar 2020
On February 28, 2020, the prime minister signed Decree 25 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Bidding Law regarding the selection of developers and project implementation. This new decree replaces Decree No.30/2015/ND-CP with many new points, with the most important being that the land will be allocated to the winning investors immediately after land clearance and compensation activities, as well as the resettlement of residents, is completed. Decree 25 has also stoppered a glaring hole in the legal framework, as neither the Land Law nor the Bidding Law clarified which steps need to be done to hand over land to winning developers. This has lead to a great many projects that were delayed by multiple years as localities could not hand over sites and projects to developers who had won the bids for them.

Vietnam’s Proposed Public-Private Partnership Law Clyde & Co 28th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam has published a new draft law on PPP investments that has since been going through the legislative process in Vietnam, with final approval slated for May of this year. The draft PPP law is anticipated to address the rising demand for private sector funding for infrastructure projects in Vietnam. According to estimates provided by the World Bank, up to USD 25 billion of capital will be needed annually for infrastructure projects in Vietnam. As the government has been running a budget deficit for the past few years, coupled with a self-imposed 65% debt-to-GDP ceiling, state capital is unlikely to be able to meet the required funding needs of such projects.

Vietnam: Management of coastal shipping remains low par: conference | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide Hellenic Shipping News 27th Feb 2020
The transport sector needs to issue separate circulars to manage coastal transport operations for cargo ships, especially bulk cargo ships, a type of ship that runs off the coast and on rivers. It was proposed by the Vietnam Maritime Administration and the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration during a conference last week to discuss the management of coastal transport routes for bulk vessels. According to the report by the Vietnam Inland Water Administration, after five years of opening transport routes for river-sea compatible ships since 2014, there are 839 bulk ships. Of which 305 ships were newly built and the remaining ships were upgraded to bulk carriers from river vessels.

ASEAN

Việt Nam proposes postponing 36th ASEAN Summit and related meetings vietnamnews.vn 20th Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Thursday wrote to leaders of ASEAN countries and New Zealand proposing the 36th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit and related meetings, initially scheduled for April 8-9 in Việt Nam’s Đà Nẵng City, be postponed until the end of June. Representatives from the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department informed the ASEAN embassies about Việt Nam’s measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government approves MoU on ASEAN-China Centre establishment vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
The Government has issued Resolution No.19/NQ-CP dated February 28, 2020 approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of ASEAN – China Centres between governments of ASEAN member states and China. The MoU was signed in the Philippines on August 6, 2017 on the occasion of the ASEAN – China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The Government has assigned the Foreign Ministry to conduct diplomatic procedures in line with regulations, and work closely with ministries and agencies to realise the MoU.

Việt Nam and ASEAN support Timor Leste in membership application vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Việt Nam and ASEAN member countries will continuously support and share experience with Timor Leste in preparations for its ASEAN membership application, as well as assessing the country’s capability and readiness. It’s one of major discussions among representatives of ASEAN member countries at the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Co-coordinating Council Working Group Meeting (ACCWG) on Timor Leste’s ASEAN membership application in the central city on Thursday.

U.S. postpones summit with ASEAN leaders amid coronavirus fears: sources Reuters 29th Feb 2020
The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Friday. President Donald Trump had invited leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet in Las Vegas after he did not attend a summit with the group in Bangkok in November. “As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters. The official added that the United States values its relationships with ASEAN member nations and looks forward to future meetings.

US to reaffirm commitment to Asean in upcoming summit: Diplomats The Straits Times 25th Feb 2020
Eight Asean leaders will gather in Las Vegas on March 14 for the US-Asean summit. Diplomatic sources said that as of last Friday, the only leaders absent would be Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. But both are expected to send representatives - in the case of the Philippines, Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr - the sources said. It is yet unknown whether Myanmar would be represented by President Win Myint or State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Subsequently, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will travel to Washington to visit the White House.

Customs

MoIT extends safeguard measures for steel products vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has extended safeguard measures for steel billet and steel bars imported to Việt Nam until March 21, 2023, said the Trade Remedies Authority of Việt Nam. According to Decision 918/QĐ-BCT issued on Friday, the safeguard duty is 15.3 per cent for steel billet and 9.4 per cent for steel bars during the period from March 22, 2020 to March 21, 2021. The tariff will be reduced to 13.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent for steel billet and steel bars, respectively, for the following year. And they will continue falling to 11.3 per and 6.4 per cent in the period from March 22, 2022 to March 21, 2023.

MoIT extends safeguard measure application on imposed fertiliser VietnamPlus 9th Mar 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to extend the safeguard measure on imported monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilisers. The duration for applying this safeguard duty is two years, starting from March 7 this year. The safeguard duty stands at about 1.05 million VND (46 USD) per tonne in a one-year time starting from March 7, and will drop to 1.03 million from March 7 next year.

State budget collection tops $9.3 billion in two months vietnamnews.vn 3rd Mar 2020
Total State budget collection was estimated at VNĐ214.2 trillion (US$9.31 billion) in the first two months of this year, or 14.2 per cent of the yearly estimate, reported the General Statistics Office on February 29. Of the figure, VNĐ179.8 trillion was domestic revenue, VNĐ8.6 trillion came from crude oil, and VNĐ25.9 trillion from exports-imports.

Vietnam To Overhaul Its Visa, Immigration Laws This Summer International Business Times 3rd Mar 2020
The Vietnamese government plans to radically overhaul its immigration and visa policies in order to attract more tourists and prevent the entry of criminals and illegal immigrants. “Starting July 1, visitors entering Vietnam will be granted a temporary residence stamp upon arrival with the duration of stay matching their visas,” said Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Minh of the Department of Immigration. This measure will ease the burden of foreigners who hold visas that are valid for more than 12 months. Under current laws, such visitors are required to apply for a permit extension even though their visas remain valid. However, travelers on a tourist visa will have to provide more paperwork if they wish to stay longer than 30 days.

Steel ordinance to aid overseas groups Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 28th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has lifted previously applied anti-dumping measures for colour-coated iron products with a total trade volume of 82,000 tonnes, thereby favouring large, mostly foreign, electronic manufacturers. Last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) imposed anti-dumping measures relating to flat-rolled alloy or non-alloy steel products, varnish painted, scanned or coated with plastics or other covers originating from China and South Korea. Under the latest decision, the MoIT removed these safeguard measures from imports of colour-coated iron, affecting 18 manufacturers. Among those, Haiphong Steel Flower Electrical & Machinery Co., Ltd., LG Electronics, and Panasonic could profit the most.

PM urges tax sector to continue with reforms vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Wednesday praised the tax sector for reshuffling working apparatus, and urged it to continue with reforms to better serve taxpayers. He was speaking at a conference to announce the completion of the sector’s plan to streamline the tax offices, merging 711 offices into 415, ten months ahead of deadline. PM Phúc said despite the reduction, the tax sector still surpassed the assigned collection target by 9.3 per cent to gain a total tax revenue of VNĐ1.27 quadrillion (US$55.21 billion) in 2019. At the same time, the tax collection of all 63 provinces and cities exceeded the plans for the first time. He attributed the success to the sector’s reforms in streamlining legal regulations and applying technology.

VFS Global launches the first online portal for Vietnam eVisa on Arrival Travel Trends Today 25th Feb 2020
VFS Global is pleased to announce the launch of the first official and exclusive electronic Visa on Arrival (eVOA) digital solution for the convenience and comfort of travellers to Vietnam. The advanced and digitally integrated solution developed by VFS Global (as an exclusive service provider to the Embassy of Vietnam in India) will offer eVOA applicants a digital wallet/locker (which ensures high levels of data protection). This includes scanned copies of their passport, live facial biometric capture and finally, the receipt of their eVOA approval letters once approved. Customers can also make online payments using the portal.

Defense & Security

US naval ships’ visit to Việt Nam helps promote bilateral ties vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
The visit of US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG52) to Đà Nẵng contributes to the development of the relations between Việt Nam and the US, according to spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng. She was speaking during the regular press conference of the ministry in Hà Nội on Thursday in reply to reporters’ queries about the purpose and significance of the visit. Hằng said the US naval ships are visiting Tiên Sa Port, Đà Nẵng, from Thursday to next Monday, as part of the activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Việt Nam-US diplomatic ties.

Japan to transfer military shipbuilding technology to Vietnam VnExpress International 3rd Mar 2020
Japan agreed to provide Vietnam with technologies for building military ships at a meeting between their defense ministry officials on Monday. At a meeting between Koji Yamazaki, Chief of the Self-Defense Forces's Joint Staff, and Deputy Minister of Defense Phan Van Giang in Hanoi, the two countries agreed on several collaborations in future, including shipbuilding and economic manufacturing. Japan will also provide training in diving medicine and rescue and supply medical and rescue equipment to the Vietnamese Navy.

UK Navy Vessel Vietnam Visit Highlights Defense Cooperation   The Diplomat 21st Feb 2020
The U.K. Royal Navy’s ship HMS Enterprise docked at Tan Vu port on February 19, officially kicking off a courtesy visit to Hai Phong that came as part of a series of commemorative activities for the 10th anniversary of the U.K.-Vietnam strategic partnership. The United Kingdom and Vietnam have a bilateral relationship that also includes a defense aspect as well, with manifestations including the U.K.’s sharing of its expertise to help Vietnam in its first UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, functional areas such as military medicine and hydrography, and the setting up of a new defense policy dialogue. British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward framed the visit as being a demonstration of the U.K.’s commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific and an opportunity to further make ground on aspects of cooperation including the memorandum of understanding on hydrographic cooperation.

Economics

PM requests stable production activities vietnamnews.vn 9th Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has requested sectors and businesses to make sure production activities continue as normal, despite the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Directive No 11 issued by the PM last week requested that all ministries, People’s Committees and leaders of State-owned and private enterprises to take on a “double mission” fighting COVID-19 and ensuring socio-economic development. The directive outlined seven actions that central and local authorities should take to ensure socio-economic stability.

Master plan on sustainable development of sea-based economy VietnamPlus 9th Mar 2020
The Government has issued a resolution promulgating a master plan and a five-year plan on the implementation of the Party Central Committee’s resolution on the sustainable development of the Vietnamese sea-based economy until 2030 with a vision to 2045. The master plan puts forward six main solutions on ocean governance and coastal management; developing the marine and coastal economy; improving people's lives and developing sea-based culture; science, technology and development of marine human resources; the environment and response to natural disasters, climate change and rising sea levels; and ensuring national defence and security, foreign affairs and international cooperation.

MoIT sets up team 368 to deal with online trading violations vietnamnews.vn 3rd Mar 2020
The General Department for Market Surveillance has recently set up a working group on e-commerce to deal with the increasing number of trade violations online. The department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the amount of banned goods, counterfeit goods, goods that infringe intellectual property rights, goods of unknown origin and poor-quality goods on e-commerce websites “was alarming”. In 2019, market-watch teams found 2,213 violations when they checked 2,400 cases. They handed out fines worth more than VNĐ57 billion (US$2.45 million) for those cases and to websites which operated and processed the trading of violating goods. To better handle the violations, the department’s director issued Decision No. 368 / QĐ-TCQLTT on the establishment of the Working Team on E-commerce (Team 368) with the task of advising and assisting the director in e-commerce management.

Gov’t keeps macroeconomic targets unchanged despite COVID-19 epidemic vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
The transport sector needs to issue separate circulars to manage coastal transport operations for cargo ships, especially bulk cargo ships, a type of ship that runs off the coast and on rivers. It was proposed by the Việt Nam Maritime Administration and the Việt Nam Inland Waterway Administration during a conference on Thursday to discuss the management of coastal transport routes for bulk vessels. There are still gaps in management as well as limitations that affect maritime safety and transport efficiency, such as the lack of connection between agencies on licensing and monitoring operation of vessels and uniformity of sanctions, officials said.

Inadequacies in management of coastal transport highlighted vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
The Government is striving to meet dual targets to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of people while achieving the macroeconomic indicators set by the Party and the National Assembly. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc made the statement chairing a meeting of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council held in Hà Nội on Tuesday. He said it was necessary to be cautious but not pessimistic when analysing the impacts on the country’s economy and take suitable measures adding there was no basis to adjust the country’s approved macro-economic targets. The PM confirmed Việt Nam was a safe country with good and stable indicators.

Fitch Solutions lowers Vietnam growth forecast VnExpress International 25th Feb 2020
Fitch Solutions has lowered its growth forecast for Vietnam to 6.3 percent this year due to the possible impacts of the coronavirus. The company, a subsidiary of credit rating firm Fitch Group, said in a release on Wednesday the downward revision from an earlier forecast of 6.8 percent comes since the novel coronavirus epidemic could disrupt supply chains. But it said growth is expected to rebound in the second half of the year when the virus is expected to be contained. The Ministry of Planning and Investment had earlier forecast GDP growth could fall to a seven-year low of 5.96 percent this year from a decade-high 7.02 percent last year.

Energy

No electricity price hikes this year vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
There are no plans to increase electricity prices this year, according to the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Việt Nam. At a recent meeting of the Ministry of Industry and Trade discussing the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority Nguyễn Anh Tuấn confirmed that there would be no increases in electricity prices this year, in line with the Government’s request. Tuấn said that the authority asked Việt Nam Electricity (EVN) to strictly comply with regulations on retail electricity prices.

Investors show growing appetite for LNG power projects Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 20th Mar 2020
A slew of sizeable liquefied natural gas-fired power projects have been in the development pipeline in the past year as a way to replenish national power sources as Vietnam turns on a greener growth path. The investors reaffirmed their wish to invest in LNG power projects to develop clean energy sources and ensure sufficient power supply for both production and consumption. They also pledged to make long-term and effective investments in LNG power project development in the country. According to Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung, the demand for electricity in Vietnam is growing at an average 10 per cent a year. The country is diversifying its sources of power in the direction of reducing coal power and raising the share of gas and renewable energy, Dung said, adding that gas-fired power is slated to account for 12 per cent of total electricity generation, equivalent to 17GW, by 2030.

Quảng Bình pushes development of B&T wind farm cluster vietnamnews.vn 18th Mar 2020
The People’s Committee in the central coastal province of Quảng Bình had asked B&T Windfarm JSC to complete investment procedures in order to start the construction of a wind farm cluster no later than October 10 this year, according to the provincial portal. The B&T wind power cluster was a large-scale foreign-invested renewable energy project that complied with the province’s economic development strategy, the portal quoted the committee’s vice chairman Nguyễn Xuân Quang as saying. Expected to cost more than VNĐ8.9 trillion (US$382 million), the Philippines-invested cluster combines two farms, online newspaper baodautu.vn reported.

VinaCapital arm sets up solar power JV with industrial parks developer SAIGONTEL DealStreetAsia 12th Mar 2020
SkyX Solar, a subsidiary of Vietnam-based asset manager VinaCapital, has joined forces with industrial park infrastructure and telecoms service provider SAIGONTEL to form a joint venture to develop rooftop solar projects in the country. SkyX Solar will have a majority stake in the joint venture and will be responsible for the development of the projects, according to a statement. The projects will be built for facilities within the industrial parks affiliated with SAIGONTEL. Initially, the JV will focus on 10 industrial parks to develop and operate more than 50 MW of rooftop solar assets. Six of these industrial parks are in the central and south regions of Vietnam which have the highest irradiation levels.

Bac Lieu wind power plant marks 1 billionth kWh VietnamPlus 6th Mar 2020
The offshore Bac Lieu wind power plant in Bac Lieu city of the southern province of the same name celebrated its 1 billionth kWh with a ceremony on March 6. The plant was invested by the Cong Ly Construction-Trade-Tourism Co Ltd with a total investment of over 5.2 trillion VND (224 million USD at current exchange rate). It has 62 turbines with total capacity of 99.2 MW, and began to generate electricity for the national grid in June 2013.

Vietnam operates 24,300 rooftop solar power projects VietnamPlus 5th Mar 2020
As many as 24,300 rooftop solar power projects with a total capacity of 465.8 MWp have been installed and put into operation by early March, according to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). The group said its National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) mobilized 1.8 kWh of electricity from renewable energy projects in the first two months of 2020, accounting for nearly 5 percent of the total power production. Experts said with Vietnam’s big potential to develop rooftop solar systems, the number of rooftop solar projects in Vietnam is likely to be 5 times higher than the current figure.

EVN needs VNĐ93.2 trillion for power projects this year vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Vietnam Electricity (EVN) needs total investment capital of VNĐ93.2 trillion (US$3.97 billion) for power projects this year and it will focus all resources to ensure the progress of such projects, according to the group. With the demand for large capital, EVN targets to effectively use ODA and foreign loans, and to disburse ODA loans as scheduled, it said. The group would also diversify sources of capital to meet the investment demand for power sources and grid projects and calculate capital needs according to projects and programmes to work with financial partners. It would focus on completing key projects such as the expansion of the Duyên Hải 3 Thermal Power Plant and Đa Nhim Hydroelectric Plant, and the 500kV transmission line of Vũng Áng – Dốc Sỏi – Pleiku. The key projects include transmission projects for small solar power and hydro-electricity plants and projects buying electricity from China and Laos.

Ministry proposes new electricity tariffs vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed a new retail electricity tariff which is divided into five rates instead of six. In this option, 98.2 per cent of households in the country would see no increase or even lower power bills. The ministry added that the new retail electricity tariff following this option would encourage electricity saving, while preventing unexpected increases in the sums paid for power bills by households in peak months. Việt Nam was gearing up preparations to launch a competitive retail market in 2021. The country expected to have a fully competitive retail market from 2023.

145.9 million USD wind power plant to be built in Tra Vinh Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 2nd Mar 2020
Construction of Hiep Thanh wind-power plant at a cost of nearly 3.37 trillion VND (145.9 million USD) began in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh late last week. Twenty percent of the total investment comes from its investor - Ecotech Tra Vinh Renewable JSC - while the remainder is loans provided by the investment fund Climate Investment One of the Netherlands and Korean Samtan International Co, the online newspaper congthuong.vn reported. The plant covers a site of more than 2,700ha in the coastal commune of Hiep Thanh in Duyen Hai township and has a designed capacity of 78MW from 18 turbines. Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Tran Anh Dung said the plant will supply 300 million kWh of electricity annually while creating up to 100 jobs for local workers. The plant is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Japanese firm hopes to supply LNG to thermal power plant in Cần Thơ City vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
Japanese JERA Co Inc has expressed a desire to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Ô Môn 1 thermal power plant in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ. In a working session with vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Trương Quang Hoài Nam, JERA’s representative Shinsuke Nakayama said it now has a base depot in Việt Nam and is investing in a LNG warehouse and Cà Ná LNG-fueled power complex with a total capacity of 6,000MW in the south central province of Ninh Thuận. JERA believes that it is able to ensure a stable LNG supply to Cần Thơ at reasonable prices, firstly for the operation of the Ô Môn 1 thermal power plant, he said.

Energy strategy fit for private backers Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 26th Feb 2020
Vietnam has enacted its strategic orientations for energy development through to 2030 and with a vision for the next quarter of a century, encouraging more of the private sector to develop for the future, and ensuring energy security to meet new demands. Under the Politburo’s recently-enacted Resolution No.55 NQ/TW on the country’s development strategy for energy over the next 10 years and with a vision towards 2045, targets have been set for sufficient and stable supply energy with reasonable prices, as well as accelerated development of a comprehensive, competitive, and transparent energy market, and diversified ownership and business models.

EVN produces one third of total power output vietnamnews.vn 25th Feb 2020
Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN) has produced 7,185MW of power, accounting for 33.2 per cent of Việt Nam’s total power output in the 2016-20 period, according to the revised Power Development Master Plan (PDP) VII. The National Steering Committee for Electricity Development said under PDP VII for the 2016-20 period, total national power output would reach 21,650MW, including 14,465MW, or 66.8 per cent, by other producers. In the 2016-30 period, EVN has been assigned to invest in 24 projects with a total capacity of 15,215MW, including 14 projects in the 2016-20 period with a total capacity of 7,185MW.

Financial Services

Central bank delays foreign ownership cap in payment services industry vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
The State Bank of Việt Nam has said it will not cap foreign ownership of companies in the payment services industry in its draft decree to replace Decree No.101. It had spoken about plans to bring in a foreign ownership limit of 49 per cent on an industry that currently has no restrictions to avoid manipulation by foreign investors. Decree No.101 allows payment service providers, including foreign ones, to freely raise capital to develop their business.

Finance ministry to reduce some securities service fees vietnamnews.vn 19th Mar 2020
The Ministry of Finance has approved a plan to reduce the fees for some types of securities-related services this week to support market members and investors badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Chairman of the State Securities Commission Trần Văn Dũng, the move aims to stabilise investors’ psychology, soothe the roiled market and ensure social security amidst the pandemic. "Under the plan, fees for four types of services on the derivative securities market at the Vietnam Securities Depository will be cut to a more reasonable level," said Dũng

Ministry makes int’l accounting rules compulsory after 2025 vietnamnews.vn 18th Mar 2020
The Ministry of Finance on Monday issued a decision regulating the roadmap for the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), replacing the current Vietnamese accounting standards (VAS). Under the Decision 345/QĐ-BTC on the development of plans, roadmaps and support the application of IFRS, the roadmap for adopting IFRS in Việt Nam would be divided into phases – from 2022 to 2025 and after 2025. In the first phase, the adoption of IFRS would be encouraged. It could be adopted by certain subjected companies which were capable of making financial reports following international accounting rules or selected by the Ministry of Finance for pilot implementation.

Ministry tightens corporate bond issuances to prevent risks vietnamnews.vn 17th Mar 2020
The corporate bond market had seen exponential growth in recent years as banking credit for several sectors was narrowed, forcing firms to shift to bond issuance to raise capital, Nguyễn Khắc Quốc Bảo, head of the Financial and Bank Department at the HCM City Economics University, told Thời báo Kinh doanh (Business Times). “However, the booming growth of the corporate bond market implied significant risks as firms are issuing more bonds without clarifying the purpose of the capital they're trying to raise, repayment plans or bond yields,” Bảo said. In a move to change the status quo, the ministry has made public a draft decree to amend several points of Decree 163/2018/NĐ-CP about corporate bond issuance for comment in order to manage and monitor the current rapid growth of the corporate bond market.

Vietnam's New Guidelines on Bancassurance Agreements Between Banks and Insurers Lexology 9th Mar 2020
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) recently issued Circular No. 37 providing guidelines on bancassurance distribution transactions, particularly insurance agency operations by credit institutions and foreign bank branches ("banks") for insurance enterprises ("insurers"). Previously, bancassurance distribution arrangements between banks and life insurers were regulated by Joint Circular No. 86. Following the issuance of the new regulations on the insurance business for insurers under Circular No. 50 and Decree No. 73, Circular No. 37 was issued to replace Joint Circular No. 86 and clarify the rights and obligations of banks in regards to bancassurance arrangements. In regards to bancassurance deals, Vietnamese law regards banks as agents of the insurer and bancassurance distribution agreements as insurance agency agreements. Joint Circular No. 86 applied to bancassurance arrangements between banks and life insurers only. Circular No. 37 expands this governing scope to include general (non-life) insurance companies and re-insurance companies. Circular No. 37 takes effect from 2 March 2020 without clarifying any transitional mechanisms or the impact to bancassurance agreements executed before its effective date.

Market regulator agrees on financial leveraging for UPCoM stocks vietnamnews.vn 6th Mar 2020
Margin lending may be allowed on the Unlisted Pubic Company Market (UPCoM), the State Securities Commission (SSC) vice chairman Phạm Hồng Sơn said on Wednesday. The Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX) must make a list of stocks on UPCoM that are qualified for margin lending and submit the list to the SSC next week, he said at a meeting with investment funds and securities firms. The proposal will have to wait for the Ministry of Finance’s approval, the vice chairman added. The Vietnamese stock market has been struggling in the last two months as fears about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have dampened investors’ confidence in risky assets. If the margin-lending proposal is approved, it would be a boost for the secondary market, according to the SSC.

More banks slash interbank transfer fees vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Another 15 commercial banks have slashed fees for interbank transfers of small sums worth less than VNĐ500,000 (US$22) on March 4. So far, 32 out of 45 commercial banks have instituted the reduction, following the move of the National Payment Corporation of Việt Nam (NAPAS) to cut switching fees with an aim to promote cashless payments. According to NAPAS, transactions at 32 banks account for 98 per cent of the whole banking system in Việt Nam. Among 15 banks, five would offer zero charges for 24/7 interbank transfer services including MSB, BaoViet Bank, VIB, Nam A Bank and IVB.

MSB, Vietnam's commercial bank, to launch its digital bank in Q4 2020 IBS Intelligence 3rd Mar 2020
MSB, a commercial bank in Vietnam has selected Berlin-based Mambu’s cloud-native banking platform as its key technology solution to help the business undergo a radical digital transformation. The bank has revealed its plans to launch a digital bank by Q4 2020 in the country. Mambu’s composable banking platform will underpin MSB’s digital move as the business has stated that it aims to be the first to market the cloud-based bank offering in the region.

Vietnamese banks see improved solvency vietnamnews.vn 3rd Mar 2020
Banks in Việt Nam posted solid profit growth and asset quality improvements in 2019, benefitting from the country's robust macro-economic environment, Moody's Investors Service said. Under a new report released on Monday, the international rating agency says solvency improvements of the banks have peaked. The agency predicts that the banks’ capitalisation and asset quality will stay at current levels in 2020. Improvements in profitability will slow overall, as competition drives up funding costs

VASB proposes tax cut to increase trading liquidity vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
The Vietnam Association of Securities Businesses (VASB) may propose market regulators reduce trading taxes for investors, according to general secretary Nguyễn Thanh Kỳ. The move aims to encourage investors to increase their activity on the Vietnamese securities market amid the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the global economy, Kỳ told Đầu tư Chứng khoán (Securities Investment) newspaper. The VASB will suggest Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh stock exchanges cut trading fees for brokerage firms, then the companies will consider doing the same for investors, he said. The association will also propose the National Assembly consider tax cuts for the securities sector so the market may flourish in 2020, he said.

Enterprises race to mobilize capital from corporate bonds SGGP English Edition 25th Feb 2020
While stocks of many enterprises and even banks have dropped to below face values, the bond market has warmed up as enterprises raced to mobilize capital through bond issuance, especially small enterprises. In recent years, many large real estate companies have a capital value of tens of trillions of Vietnamese dong but their stock prices have dropped to below VND10,000 per share. Now, banking stocks have been experiencing the same situation. When the stock prices plummet heavily, it means that the capital mobilization channel in the stock market is no longer attractive. Banks cannot issue more stocks to increase their capitals at the face value because the market prices are lower, so there will be no buyers.At the end of last year, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue entrusted the Ministry of Finance to evaluate and review to amend the Decree No.163/2018/ND-CP on corporate bond issuance. Currently, the ministry is drafting a revision of the Decree No.163/2018/ND-CP towards tighter control on the bond market to protect investors and safety for the market.

Food & Agriculture

Việt Nam calls for investment in fruit and vegetable processing vietnamnews.vn 21st Mar 2020
Việt Nam is in need of major investors in fruit and vegetable production in order to boost processing, especially in the packaging and post-processing stages, to preserve products for longer and enhance their value. The information was released by General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Vegetables Đặng Phúc Nguyên, who said that at the same time businesses needed to gradually improve their techniques to meet the needs of various markets.

Central city to upgrade fishing port vietnamnews.vn 21st Mar 2020
The central city would start upgrade work at the overloaded Thọ Quang fishing port in the first quarter this year, according to Phạm Thành Trung, deputy head of the port's management board. He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had allocated VNĐ79 billion (US$3.4 million) for the first quarter of 2020. Trung said the port, which was put into operation 13 years ago, was downgraded and overloaded with more boats arriving from the central region and other provinces.

Challenges compels restructuring in agriculture vietnamnews.vn 18th Mar 2020
Trade conflicts, climate change and epidemics may at first glance appear to be a hindrance to Việt Nam’s agricultural sector. But some see it as an opportunity to speed up the value chain restructuring and innovating the growth model. In the early months of this year, Việt Nam’s agriculture faced many challenges, not only from the spread of COVID-19 pandemic but also trade tensions and worsening climate change.

Vietnam considers wildlife trade ban in response to coronavirus pandemic Mongabay Environmental News 18th Mar 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic continues its deadly onslaught around the world, the Vietnamese government has moved to ban the wildlife trade. Amid scientific theories that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) began at a market in Wuhan, China, that sold live wild animals and animal parts, a group of conservation organizations sent an open letter to Vietnam’s prime minister on Feb. 16.

Vietnam for ensuring food security under any situation prensa-latina.cu 18th Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc today said that there are no longer any hungry households in Vietnam and called on factors related to production and distribution to ensure food security under all circumstances. In the midst of the difficult circumstances imposed by the new coronavirus we have to be able to defeat the disease and at the same time continue to develop agriculture and the food processing industry, increase food stocks and improve distribution, he said.

Vietnam 2020 inflation seen at 4.22% if pork prices can be cut - government Successful Farming 17th Mar 2020
Vietnam's inflation is seen at 4.22% this year if the country can cut pork prices further, the government said on Tuesday. An outbreak of African swine fever detected in the country last February has forced the culling of around 20% of its hog herd and doubled the price of pork, which accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption.

Minister urges provinces to boost fight against IUU fishing vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường has urged 28 coastal provinces to promote further actions against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. That could help Việt Nam’s fishery sector remove the yellow card this year after the EC's third inspection in mid-2020, he said. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported an inspection delegation of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-Mare) is scheduled to visit Việt Nam from May 25 to June 5 to inspect implementation of the EC recommendations fighting IUU fishing.

Vietnam Buying $3 Billion in U.S. Farm Goods to Ease Trump Tariff Threats vietnamnews.vn 4th Mar 2020
Vietnam, looking to allay the Trump administration’s wrath over its soaring trade surplus with the U.S., is committing to buy $3 billion in farm products from Nebraska. The agricultural shopping spree is part of a campaign to address complaints about the trade surplus and difficulties U.S. companies face in accessing Vietnamese markets.

Việt Nam needs more trees: experts vietnamnews.vn 3rd Mar 2020
The forestry sector has set a target of US$20 billion of annual export turnover for wood and wooden products by 2025, increasing from the current $9.45 billion. According to the Forestry General Department, last year, localities nationwide produced more than 640 million seedlings. Currently, 85 per cent of nation-wide forest area is up to sustainable forest management standards and has certificates of seedling origins. Quality and quantity of wood had increased due to the high-quality seedlings. Local forests meet 70 per cent of domestic production and export demand.

US remains Vietnam’s largest export market in first two months Nhan Dan Online 3rd Mar 2020
The US was the largest export market of Vietnam in the first two months of 2020 with export revenue of US$9.8 billion, an increase of 19.6% over the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The EU was the runner-up with export revenue of US$5 billion, down 7.7%. China came in third with export revenue of US$4.8 billion, up 3.7% over the same period last year. ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea were also among the leading export markets of Vietnam during the two-month period.

Agricultural land market still an obstacle for enterprises vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
A failure to improve the agricultural land market has discouraged the private sector to invest in the sector, experts have said. The Institute for Policy and Strategy of Agricultural and Rural Development (IPSARD)'s vice chairman Hoàng Vũ Quang said the prevailing problem with the country’s agriculture sector was that farmers often owned small land lots instead of large-scale fields. Speaking at a workshop on measures to develop the agricultural land market last week in Hà Nội, Quang said up to 89 per cent of Vietnamese farmers had less than 2ha of arable land, of which 63 per cent owned less than 0.5ha.

Việt Nam develops modern supply system for farm products vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
Việt Nam is working to develop a system of modern agricultural product supply centres to promote the consumption of farm produce, enhance food safety and hygiene, and improve the competitive edge of Vietnamese goods. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aims to restructure the entire chain of production, procession and distribution of agricultural products. The centres will improve connections between production and distribution activities that will enhance efficiency, increase consumption of agricultural products, and ensure quality.

Mekong Delta farmers expand smart rice farming vietnamnews.vn 29th Feb 2020
Smart rice farming is offering high profits for farmers in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta as the model has adapted well to climate change and is environmentally friendly. Smart rice farming includes the use of advanced technologies like smart rice seeding, transplanting machines and other smart devices that irrigate rice fields. It uses less rice seed, pesticides and fertiliser compared to traditional rice farming methods while the yield and quality of the former are not less than that of the latter.

Removing difficulties for pepper production Nhan Dan Online 29th Feb 2020
2019 was a difficult year for the pepper industry as domestic and export prices plummeted due to excess supply. 2020 is also anticipated to be a difficult year for pepper growers as prices continue to plunge in addition to declining productivity due to epidemic sand increasing costs for planting and harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the country had about 142,800 ha of pepper trees by the end of 2019, down 4,700 ha compared to the previous year. The output reached 264,000 tonnes, an increase of 1,200 tonnes compared to the previous year. It is forecast that pepper prices will continue to decrease in 2020 because the supply still exceeds demand. Meanwhile, production costs have increased and productivity has decreased.

US food agency inspection an opportunity for Vietnamese tra fish vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
ietnamese tra fish imports will be inspected by the US’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) in early March, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has said. The ministry said Việt Nam welcome the FSIS’s involvement to ensure Vietnamese tra fish hold up to the strictest of safety and quality standards, adding the US agency’s approval will likely provide tra fish with additional proof of excellence to enter other markets. The MARD’s deputy minister Phùng Đức Tiến said tra fish met all the US agency's requirements in production, transport and processing during its inspections two years ago. Vietnamese businesses consider the March inspections an opportunity to bring quality of tra fish to higher standards and to enter the US market with zero tariffs, he said.

US enterprises green-lighted to export meat, seafood, fruits to Vietnam SGGP English Edition 26th Feb 2020
The office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on February 25 said that the Vietnamese delegation led by agricultural Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh has gone to the US to discuss strengthening agricultural trade cooperation between the two countries. At the meeting with Mr. Ted McKinney, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh said that Vietnam has granted permission for 460 meat producers and 210 seafood exporters of the US to export to Vietnam. Vietnam has also allowed the US to export fresh fruits, including cherry, pear, grape, apple, blueberry, and orange, to Vietnam and is in the process to evaluate risks on plant quarantine and biosecurity for grapefruit, nectarine, apricot, and plum of the US to soon permit the import of them into the country.

Price of poultry meat plummets vietnamnews.vn 21st Feb 2020
Prices of chicken and duck meat have plummeted on the domestic market over the past two weeks due to epidemics of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and the A/H5N6 avian influenza, according to traders. Nguyễn Văn Toàn, a trader at the Hà Vy Wholesale Market in Thường Tín District, Hà Nội, said over the past two weeks, the price of coloured-feather chicken dropped sharply to VNĐ46,000-50,000 (US$1.95-2.12) per kilo from VNĐ65,000-70,000 before the Tết holiday.

Forestry industry to gain export value growth of 10% this year vietnamnews.vn 21st Feb 2020
Việt Nam expects to gain a total export value of US$12.5 billion from timber, wooden products and forest products this year, up 10 per cent year on year, according to the Việt Nam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES). Of which, $8.68 billion would come from timber exports and $2.99 billion from wooden product exports, while other forest products would gain an export value of $830 million.

Health & Life Sciences

Vietnam now in third phase of COVID-19 combat: PM VietnamPlus 23rd Mar 2020
Vietnam is entering the third phase of the COVID-19 fight as risks of community spread are high, and the next 20 – 25 days are a big challenge to the country’s efforts in combating the disease, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on March 23. Chairing the meeting between the Government’s permanent members and the national steering committee for the COVID-19 fight, he said in this third phase, there are more people in quarantine. Requesting stronger actions, PM Phuc ordered close control of exit and entry by road, railway and air be continued, concentrated quarantine pushed ahead regardless of how much it costs the State, self-quarantine ensured in line with regulations, and safety for medical workers and other staff engaging in the combat guaranteed.

Việt Nam confirms 123rd COVID-19 patient vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
The health ministry of Việt Nam late Monday announced a 17-year-old Vietnamese girl that recently returned from Malaysia had tested positive for the coronavirus, making her the country’s 123rd COVID-19 case.

COVID-19 shows pressing need for quicker digital transformation vietnamnews.vn 21st Mar 2020
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng has urged digital companies to innovate and develop platforms for online services as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked a pressing need for Việt Nam to hasten digital transformation. Hùng said the pandemic was posing considerable challenges but there were also opportunities. “COVID-19 helps us change our thinking. It is a breaking point in the development process and many habits will change,” he said. “This provides the biggest opportunity to accelerate digital transformation and bring socio-economic activities online.”

Việt Nam suspends foreign entry, starting March 22 vietnamnews.vn 21st Mar 2020
The Vietnamese Government late Saturday announced that it would temporarily halt entry to all foreigners, starting 00:00 March 22, citing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. This latest move was a drastic step up from a decision effective starting March 18 requiring that all foreign and Vietnamese entrants into Việt Nam would have to be quarantined for 14 days, given that the rising number of coronavirus positive cases in the country in recent days have mostly originated from returning Vietnamese and foreign tourists from European countries – especially the UK – which WHO has declared to be the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Symposium introduces new approach in diabetes type 2 management vietnamnews.vn 16th Mar 2020
Health scientists and doctors exchanged new approaches in the application of SGLT2 inhibitors in management of diabetes type 2 at an online symposium held by the HCM City Diabetes and Endocrinology Association and AstraZeneca last week in HCM City. SGLT2 inhibitor is a class of medications that inhibit the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys and therefore lower blood sugar. SGLT2 inhibitors are used in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. The symposium focused discussion on DECLARE clinical study, which clearly reduced proteinuria progression on diabetes type 2 through medicine with SGLT2i class. The new approach can help their kidneys revert to a healthy stage early.

Health declaration app NCOVID surpasses Facebook as most downloaded in Vietnam VnExpress International 16th Mar 2020
NCOVID, a health reporting app launched by the government, has quickly become one of the most downloaded apps by both iOS and Android users. One week after the app was introduced, it pushed Facebook to the second spot on Apple Store in Vietnam and was in sixth place on Google Play on Friday. On Monday, the app remains on top on Vietnam's Apple Store and has climbed to third place on Google Play. The app was created by the Ministries of Information and Communications and Health for universal health declaration and disseminating information about the Covid-19 epidemic.

TB prevention needs joint efforts: meeting VietnamPlus 9th Mar 2020
Detecting tuberculosis (TB) cases at an early date requires efforts of not only the health sector but also the entire community, heard a meeting of the National Steering Committee for TB Prevention and Control in Hanoi on March 9. Delegates shared the views that new equipment, drugs, vaccines and approaches would support the early detection and treatment. They agreed on the need to step up strategic solutions, create breakthroughs in relevant laws and policies, enhance international cooperation, and intensify the communication work. By 2020, Vietnam expects to reduce 20 percent of TB infections and 40 percent of TB mortalities.

Compulsory health declarations for all in Vietnam VietnamPlus 9th Mar 2020
Deputy Prime Minister and head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control Vu Duc Dam on March 8 requested compulsory health declarations for all citizens in the country to start on March 10 at the latest. He made the announcement at a meeting of the committee in Hanoi. He asked the Ministry of Information and Communications, Ministry of Health, Vietnam Social Security and all network providers to plan and prepare technological tools so the declarations can be done online across the country. The Deputy PM also requested measures to be applied to prevent Vietnamese citizens from leaving the countries and travelling to countries where COVID-19 infection has been reported, and advised citizens to only travel abroad when absolutely necessary.

Woman in Hà Nội tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 vietnamnews.vn 7th Mar 2020
A 27-year-old woman in Hà Nội tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after returning from Europe, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology confirmed on Friday night. At an urgent meeting on Friday night, the city’s Department of Health proposed the health ministry and immigration management department provide a list of people on the same flight with the patient to follow up on their health status.

Medical declaration required for anyone to enter Việt Nam vietnamnews.vn 6th Mar 2020
Everyone entering Việt Nam from abroad will have to complete a medical declaration form to enter the country from 6am on Saturday. The new regulation to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) applies to both foreigners and Vietnamese nationals. Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, also head of the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, made the announcement in a meeting on Friday of the steering committee. Earlier, the Ministry of Health (MoH) called for medical declarations for visitors coming from or travelling through the European Union (EU) and Cambodia from after 11.59pm on Friday.

Ministry of Health launches Centre for COVID 19 Outbreak Control Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 6th Mar 2020
The Vietnam Telemedicine Centre for COVID-19 Outbreak Control was launched on March 5 in Hanoi by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with VMED Group to apply 4.0 digital healthcare solutions in the war against COVID-19 and other future epidemics. The centre (located at the Medical Services Administration of the Ministry of Health) will use CLAS Healthcare electronic medical records to care for all COVID-19 patients. It will also run PACS software and real-time clinical data transmission software from all treatment facilities to Support Centres and Command Centres located at leading hospitals such as Cho Ray in Ho Chi Minh City and Bach Mai in Hanoi. All of these software will integrate with medical devices such as CARESCAPE R860 ventillator and CARESCAPE B450 patient monitor from GE Healthcare that are provided by VietMedical (a member of VMED Group).

HCM City banks on digital innovation, transformation in healthcare vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Digital innovations such as blockchain, cloud-based computing, virtual health, artificial intelligence and robotics, digital reality, and the Internet of Medical Things are key to improving healthcare services, according to a Deloitte Global report titled 2019 Global Healthcare Outlook: Shaping the Future. The report, released recently, said digital technologies could help solve today’s problems and build a sustainable foundation for affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare. But adopting many of these innovations requires capabilities that fall beyond the traditional purview of healthcare organisations. It is vital to build eco-systems that embrace non-traditional players and sources of knowledge outside their own four walls, experts said.

Prudential Vietnam launches unique healthcare revival rider vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
Prudential Vietnam Assurance Private Ltd. has launched a healthcare rider, PRU-Hành Trang Vui Khỏe, a comprehensive solution providing customers with a unique revival benefit. In case of complete exhaustion of the in-patient benefit policy annual limit, customers can get an addition of up to 100 per cent of the initial in-patient annual limit for hospitalisation. With this new healthcare rider, customers can choose from three insurance plans, Advance Care, Comprehensive Care, and Perfect Care, to fulfill their needs at each stage of life.

Banks offer aids to 44,000 COVID-19 affected customers vietnamnews.vn 2nd Mar 2020
Credit institutions have so far supported more than 44,000 COVID-19 affected customers following directions from the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV), an official reported on Monday. During a meeting with the institutions in Hà Nội, Nguyễn Quốc Hùng, director of the SBV’s Credit Department, said many measures have been applied to the VNĐ222 trillion (US$9.65 billion) of loans, such as rescheduling debt payments, reducing lending interest rates and lowering services fees. According to Hùng, the SBV’s National Credit Information Centre (CIC) has also cut the price of its credit information products and services given to credit institutions, to help the institutions cut operating costs, enabling them to lower interest rates.

Vietnam no longer a destination with risk of COVID 19 community spread Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 28th Feb 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 27 has decided to take Vietnam off the list of countries with the risk of community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In a recent teleconference with the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and the US Department of State, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) complimented the efforts of the Vietnamese government in combating and preventing the spread of COVID-19, saying that the country has comprehensively carried out monitoring, quarantine, and treatment activities. Reacting to the actual state of affairs, the CDC has officially removed Vietnam from its list of “Destinations with Risk of Community Spread”. Previously, the list included five countries/territories, including Vietnam, Iran, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Thus, while Iran has been moved to CDC’s level-2 alert list, on the CDC website as of February 28, Vietnam is no longer on this list.

German companies eye Vietnamese healthcare in anticipation of EVFTA Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 28th Feb 2020
In January 2020, GIC/AHK Vietnam, in collaboration with reputable German professional associations in the healthcare sector, conducted a market development programme survey on the Vietnamese healthcare sector in 2020, with the participation of German companies from the fields of medical technology, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology in order to identify the interests and needs of German firms, their intentions, and their expectations as well while researching and approaching the healthcare market in Vietnam. The survey showed that Vietnam is an attractive investment destination for German companies in the healthcare sector, especially when the EVFTA comes into effect in July 2020. German multinational companies and German SMEs confirmed their interest in doing business in Asia (86 per cent) and in setting up business in Vietnam (66 per cent).

Wake up call for pharma firms with poor practices Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 27th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) has submitted to the government a draft decree, including sanctions of suspending whole factories and revoking business licenses if companies fail to satisfy the good manufacturing practices (GMP) and others in the country. “These sanctions are among the strictest in the draft decree which is expected to come out soon, aiming to ensure drug quality. In addition, fines for wrongdoings in manufacturing and trading will also be doubled to tripled,” an official of the DAV told VIR. The new decree, which will replace Decree No.176/2013/ND-CP dated 2013 on sanctioning of administrative violations in the health sector, is among the bold solutions that the MoH will carry out this year in order to deter any possible infringements and protect people’s health. As planned, the MoH will intensify unexpected inspections at domestic and foreign-invested pharmaceutical factories, ensure that they follow production standards, and tighten assessments of GMP and Good Pharmacy Practice standards like the conditions of transportation, storage, and others.

Fresh policies to foster private health funding Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 26th Feb 2020
Domestic and international private investors are expected to get the thumps-up to venture further into health initiatives in Vietnam on the back of new favourable rules that are expected to change the investment picture in the fairly-untapped but lucrative sector. The biggest privately-run hospital in the central region, Quang Khoi, is currently completing necessary procedures for development of a new facility to cash in on growing healthcare demands. Licensed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to reform from a clinic to a general hospital in 2018, it has developed strongly ever since. The facility was one of 16 privately-run hospitals that the MoH planned to establish in 2018 as part of efforts to meet targets of increasing sickbed ratios per 10,000 people. It also is an example of an investment movement among domestic private businesses in the health sector, which has been in need of huge capital for future development amid state budget constraints and growing demands for high-quality health services.

US lauds Việt Nam’s medical capacity in dealing with COVID-19 vietnamnews.vn 23rd Feb 2020
The US is ready to cooperate with Việt Nam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the fight against the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), US officials said at a recent meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US. The meeting, which took place last week, saw the participation of Erika Elvander, Director of the Asia-Pacific Office under the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Mitchell Wolfe, Chief Medical Officer of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The US officials applauded Việt Nam’s medical capacity, especially in the control of the epidemic.

Chợ Rẫy Hospital meets international standards for haemodialysis quality management vietnamnews.vn 22nd Feb 2020
The quality management system at HCM City’s Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s haemodialysis department on February 21 received ISO 9001-2015 quality certification. The adoption of international standards in quality management system in haemodialysis would benefit patients by reducing the waiting and treatment time, minimise errors, improve treatment quality, and reduce patient overload, Nguyễn Minh Tuấn, head of the department said. The number of patients on haemodialysis has steadily increased over the past decade, he said. With only 74 machines, the department currently provides periodic haemodialysis to 430-450 patients and offers emergency treatment to 40-70 patients every day. It is the first haemodialysis unit at any of the country’s premier hospitals under the Ministry of Health to achieve the quality standard.

ICT

31,000 businesses sign up for MoIT’s services portal vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
More than 31,000 businesses have signed up to use a portal that provides public services online, according to the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoIT). By the end of last year, the portal processed and handled over 1.5 million electronic forms, 99 per cent of the total forms sent by businesses. Đặng Hoàng Hải, the agency’s head, said the portal – which was introduced in 2016 to the business community – is the only portal authorised by the ministry. The portal has also been connected to the National Public Service Portal.

Recruitment in technology sector grows with digital transformation vietnamnews.vn 21st Mar 2020
A survey on salary by Robert Walters said that recruitment in Việt Nam posted growth last year. The technology sector continued to grow rapidly, while industrial enterprises continued to promote digital transformation. The manufacturing industry also showed a great demand for talents as many companies shifted production to Việt Nam. Robert Walters, a professional recruitment consulting firm, recently released the Salary Survey 2020 in Southeast Asia and China.

MobiFone successfully tests 5G network vietnamnews.vn 12th Mar 2020
MobiFone announced on Wednesday that it had successfully tested 5G networks in Hà Nội, HCM City, Đà Nẵng and Hải Phòng after nearly a year of preparation. During the preparation work, the company has actively worked with big 5G equipment and service providers from around the world to comprehensively assess the responsiveness and service quality as well as problems arising when developing the network on a large scale. Test results of MobiFone’s 5G network has a download data speed approximately 2Gbps.

VMware targets emerging Southeast Asia markets through new channel leader Channel Asia 12th Mar 2020
VMware has appointed Venkatesh Murali as new channel leader of Nascent and Vietnam, amid plans to drive partner growth through emerging Southeast Asia markets. With Vietnam being named the second fastest growing internet economy in Southeast Asia, and Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos rounding out the top four economies in GDP growth in the region in 2019, VMware is excited to deepen its support for business transformation in the fast-growing region as it plugs into the digital economy.

PM urges simpler procedures for auction of 4G band Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 11th Mar 2020
The prime minister has requested the Ministry of Information and Communications to urgently propose amendments to the decree on management and use of radio frequencies licensed via auction following simpler and faster procedures. One of the initiatives to promote economic growth, proposed by Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung, is auctioning 4G and 5G frequencies. Minister Nguyen Manh Hung said that the auctions should be implemented in the first quarter of 2020 so that telecommunications network operators can roll out services. The auction will bring about VND6-8 trillion ($260.87-347.83 million) for the state budget. In addition, network operators will boost investment and stimulate demand for society as well as create new services to increase revenue and contribute to economic growth.

Data should be shared to serve digital economy vietnamnews.vn 29th Feb 2020
Speaking at an online seminar held by the Government Web Portal yesterday, Nguyễn Thế Trung, CEO of DTT Technology Joint Stock Company said: “Việt Nam has not yet seen the power of exploiting data.” Trung said many places still managed data in the traditional way, in an ask-give manner instead of sharing data, so “a national database is still an impossible mission.” Seeing changes in the awareness of sharing information in many places, Trung said: “National digital data will take place soon. It will be a waste if the information is closed, not shared.” Nguyễn Hồng Thắng, deputy director of the Department of Computerisation, Ministry of Information and Communications, thought Việt Nam could develop a digital economy with well-grown technology in which data is the basis for change.

MIC to submit national digital transformation programme this month vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Information and Communications said it was completing the national digital transformation programme and expected to submit it to the Prime Minister this month. The programme includes digital transformation plans, solutions and roadmaps in key sectors and fields. The ministry said that the Politburo's Resolution 52-NQ/TW on a number of guidelines and policies of active participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution had driven the digital transformation trend in Việt Nam. One of the goals of the resolution is to make the digital economy account for 30 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2030.

Telecoms firms turning to digital content vietnamnews.vn 22nd Feb 2020
Telecommunications firms are turning towards developing their own digital content, the Việt Nam Telecommunications Authority (VNTA) under the Ministry of Information and Communications has said. Mobile service revenue is mainly based on traditional telecommunication services, with revenue from voice calls and SMS messages accounting for 76.6 per cent. With tightened management over pre-activated SIM cards, the number of mobile phone subscriptions was 125.8 million last year, a year-on-year decrease of 3.5 per cent. However, the number of broadband subscribers has increased significantly, with mobile broadband (3G, 4G) having 61.3 million subscriptions, accounting for 48.7 per cent of the total number of mobile subscriptions. The total market share of the three largest enterprises, Vinaphone, MobiFone, and Viettel, accounted for more than 96.2 per cent last year, said VNTA.

Malware found disguised as Vietnam government statement on Covid-19 - VnExpress International VnExpress International 10th Mar 2020
CMC Cyber Security, a leading company in information security, said hackers have created a shortcut file named "Chi thi cua Thu tuong (prime minister’s directive) with the extension .lnk rather than the official .Ink. According to experts, the file contains many "abnormal" scripts, including for executing a malicious code. The malware will create duplication and automatically activate the ability to run every time users start their computer. It will also create a backdoor to allow attackers to access the system and execute commands remotely, allowing them to download files and obtain users' information.

Infrastructure

NA Standing Committee discusses draft law on PPP vietnamnews.vn 25th Mar 2020
National Assembly (NA) deputies on Tuesday agreed the Law on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Investment must create conditions to ensure quality of public services and take advantage of investment from the private sector. While discussing the draft law at a meeting of the NA Standing Committee, lawmakers asked for clarification over auditing regulations applied on PPP projects. Some agreed that auditing should only be conducted on public properties, not private ones while others debated that all parts of the projects including those owned by the State and private sector must be audited.

Expressway component projects to be shifted to public investment Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 23rd Mar 2020
Three component projects of the North-South Expressway master plan are expected to be shifted from the private-public partnership model to the public investment model. The Mai Son – Highway 45 Expressway, Highway 45 – Nghi Son Expressway and Phan Thiet – Dau Giay section are to be changed. Initially, a total of eight sections out of 11 sections of the expressway were meant to be invested in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The Ministry of Transport called on foreign and domestic investors to submit documents of interest in the project. However, last September, the Government decided that only domestic companies will be entitled to construct the North-South Expressway.

Five local contractors pass preliminary rounds for North-South Expressway components Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 23rd Mar 2020
After four months of filtering dossiers in the preliminary round, the Ministry of Transport selected five local investors to join the bidding for the construction of the Eastern Cluster of the North-South Expressway. Two joint ventures were chosen to bid for the 50km Nghi Son-Dien Chau section: the joint venture of Hoa Hiep Co., Ltd., Cienco 4, Pink Mountain Investment Co., Ltd., Vietnam Construction JSC No.2 (the first joint venture) and the joint venture of Tan Nam Construction Co., Ltd., Vinaconex, and Thai Son Traffic Work Construction Corporation. This component has a total investment capital of VND8.38 trillion ($364.35 million), VND2.55 trillion ($110.87 million) of which comes from the state budget.

Construction sector struggling because of coronavirus vietnamnews.vn 22nd Mar 2020
The increasing number of COVID-19 patients in Việt Nam has affected the economy, including the construction sector. Lê Đức Thọ, deputy general director of Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No 4 (Cienco4) said like many other businesses in the country, Cienco4 was being affected by the pandemic. The biggest issue for construction enterprises such as Cienco4 was access to construction materials, Thọ told Pháp Luật Việt Nam (Việt Nam Law) newspaper.

Central Vietnam seeks solutions for large-scale projects across sectors Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 19th Mar 2020
Local authorities in the central provinces are doing their utmost to break impasses as a raft of projects in the region are behind schedule or in danger of having their plans crossed due to diverse problems of land clearance and investment resources. About 10 major projects are currently facing impediments in land procedures in Quang Nam province. Among these, BRG Group’s five major projects on commerce, services, resorts, entertainment, and sports with a total area of over 369 hectares are stuck. Meanwhile, the PPC An Thinh international resort complex of Nam Hoi An International JSC, valued at VND4.3 trillion ($187 million), and the East Quang Nam high-tech agricultural park of privately-held T&T Group, valued at VND3.3 trillion ($143.48 million), are confronted with similar issues.

PM orders acceleration of transport projects vietnamnews.vn 13th Mar 2020
The acceleration of investment disbursement for transport infrastructure projects is extremely important as the economy has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said at a meeting of the Government’s standing board in Hà Nội on Thursday. He singled out the component projects for the North-South and Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ expressways, stressing that obstacles to those projects must be quickly removed.

Work set to restart on Côn Đảo Passenger Port vietnamnews.vn 3rd Mar 2020
The southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is expected to restart work on the Côn Đảo Passenger Port at a revised cost of VNĐ158 billion (US$6.8 million). It was first approved by the provincial People’s Committee in 2007 at a cost of VNĐ57 billion ($2.45 million). Its construction began in 2010 but stalled in 2014 because some items required to be changed.

More regulations needed to promote condotel market development vietnamnews.vn 29th Feb 2020
Detailed regulations are needed to promote a healthy condotel market, which has been going off-track for years due to an unclear legal framework, experts have said. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s recent issuance of new guidelines about land use and the certification of non-residential construction works was a critical step for the development of condotels, property expert Đặng Hùng Võ said. However, this would only solve half of the problem in the condotel market, he said. “We need a legal framework developed by thinking about a sharing economy to promote the development of the condotel market and make tourism a spearhead industry,” Võ said. It was not necessary to specify whether a condotel is a hotel or an apartment, Võ said, adding that this kind of management thinking was outdated.

Đồng Nai plans to build, expand industrial parks vietnamnews.vn 27th Feb 2020
The southern province of Đồng Nai plans to build industrial parks and expand existing ones to address the current shortage of space, according to the Đồng Nai Industrial Zones Authority. Six localities, Long Thành, Cẩm Mỹ, Thống Nhất, Trảng Bom, and Nhơn Trạch districts and Long Khánh city, have asked provincial authorities to build more IPs, each between 200ha and 900ha large. The province will expand existing IPs because they are all nearly full. There are 35 of them approved by the Government, though only 31 are in operation and one more is under construction, with a total area of over 10,000ha.

Work starts on My Thuan Bridge 2 of North South Expressway Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 27th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Transport on February 27 kicked off the construction of the My Thuan Bridge 2 project and two roads connecting to the bridgeheads, making it the third component project of the Eastern Cluster of the North-South Expressway to start. My Thuan Bridge 2, which is part of the Eastern Cluster of the North-South Expressway project, costs over VND5 trillion ($217.39 million) funded by the state. The bridge will connect the Trung Luong-My Thuan and the My Thuan-Can Tho expressways to provide a smooth connection between Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, further facilitating the growing demand for travelling and transportation in the region. My Thuan Bridge 2 has a total length of 6.61km and is expected to be completed in 2023.

Quang Ninh: 108 million USD for infrastructure development in Ha Long city Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 26th Feb 2020
Ha Long city in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has planned to spend 2.5 trillion VND (nearly 108 million USD) on 57 public works, especially transport infrastructure projects, in 2020. Accordingly, the construction of Tran Quoc Nghien coastal ring-road was re-started after the Lunar New Year Festival and is expected to be completed in April this year, creating a new tourism space in the city. As many as 950 billion VND has been invested in upgrading and expanding streets in Hong Hai and Hong Ha wards, connecting main transport routes.

Việt Nam needs new approaches to fund development: ADB expert vietnamnews.vn 25th Feb 2020
As Việt Nam is estimated to need an average of US$210 billion for infrastructure per year through 2030 to meet its development targets, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert suggested the country should adopt new approaches to get the huge capital. Donald Lambert, Principal Private Sector Development Specialist from ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said the Global Infrastructure Hub also estimated that the country needs to invest $110 billion between 2021 and 2025 for infrastructure and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Based on historical trends, this will leave a projected $22 billion funding shortfall for Việt Nam. According to Lambert, $22 billion over five years is a big number, but it’s not insurmountable. In fact, Việt Nam is in a better position than many. Whereas the Philippines, India, and other Asian countries have privately funded a large portion of their infrastructure, the private sector has historically only funded 10 per cent of Việt Nam’s. That means there is a lot of scope for Việt Nam – particularly given its compelling growth story – to attract more infrastructure investment.

Removing difficulties for railway sector Nhan Dan Online 25th Feb 2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a meeting of the Government Standing Committee on February 24 on the allocation of State budget to the Vietnam Railway Corporation to implement the management and maintenance of the national railway infrastructure. The PM emphasised that railway safety and security is a very important issue as it relates to the lives and properties of the people. The railway sector also has specific characteristics and is governed by many laws including the Law on State Budget, the Law on Management and Use of Public Property, and the Railway Law. In addition, the national railway system has a complicated system of level crossings and unauthorised level crossings, the PM said.

Danang wraps up Urban Transit Corridor Improvement Project Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 22nd Feb 2020
On February 21, Toyota Mobility Foundation and Danang People's Committee organised the wrap-up ceremony to assess the working process and efficiency of the project on urban transit corridor improvement. The project was funded by the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) with a total investment of more than $2.86 million under the grant agreement signed in June 2015 between Danang People's Committee and TMF. The project, running from July 2015 to September 2019, aims to improve urban transportation through promoting a multi-modal transport mode for a more mobile society as well as enhancing the urban transport management for the sustainable development of Danang.

Construction of resettlement of Long Thanh airport to start in April Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 21st Feb 2020
Starting the construction of one of the two resettlement areas of Long Thanh International Airport will take the project closer to being implemented on time. The construction of the Loc An-Binh Son area, one of the two resettlement areas of Long Thanh International Airport, will be kicked off in April. Dong Nai People’s Committee has asked the managing board of Long Thanh International Airport to prepare to implement the construction of social and technical infrastructure for the first resettlement area. This resettlement covers an area of 282 hectares which can generate accommodation for 30,000 people. The construction was expected to start in late 2019 but failed because of difficulties in determining the wages of workers, machinery, as well as advance monies for signed contracts.

Manufacturing

Steelmakers hit hard by virus outbreak vietnamnews.vn 5th Mar 2020
Vietnamese steelmakers were in need of State support to minimise the damage caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which could well reach a pandemic as dozens of countries reported new infections, said industry leaders and experts. The virus outbreak, which started in China, had hurt the country’s steel industry in many ways, said vice chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) Trịnh Khôi Nguyên. Nguyên said demand for Vietnamese steel had fallen sharply as construction projects were halted and rigid measures were taken by countries to monitor the flow of goods.

Ministry works on national strategy on industrial development through 2030 vietnamnews.vn 29th Feb 2020
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is drafting the National Strategy on Industrial Development through 2030 with a vision to 2045 to submit to the Government in the next quarter. Nguyễn Văn Hội, Director of the MoIT’s Institute of Industrial Strategy and Policy Research, was speaking at a conference to gather recommendations from experts held in Hà Nội on Friday. The conference was told industries would be selected to get priorities for development in the strategy should be helping the country meet approved industrialisation and modernisation targets.

Travel & Tourism

Quang Ngai, Kien Giang close tourist attractions over COVID-19 fears Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 23rd Mar 2020
Authorities in the central province of Quang Ngai and southern province of Kien Giang have closed tourist attractions in the face of the COBoth provinces have asked attractions, museums, community-based tourism spots and amusement parks to stop receiving visitors until further notice. Facilities offering accommodation services must not conduct any act of discrimination against or refuse to serve foreign tourists, while taking measures for COVID-19 prevention and control.VID-19 pandemic.

Cities and provinces nationwide close tourist attractions to avoid COVID-19 spread vietnamnews.vn 23rd Mar 2020
Provinces across the country have decided to close tourist attractions to stem the spread of coronavirus.

February figures display coronavirus impacts on Vietnam tourism VnExpress International 2nd Mar 2020
Vietnam’s tourism industry is suffering the expected impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak, with foreign arrivals plummeting in February. 1.24 million foreign tourists visiting the country in February, down 38 percent against the previous month and 21.8 percent year-on-year, clearly an impact of the epidemic that has spread to 64 countries and territories and killed more than 3,000 people. The number of Chinese tourists, the biggest feeder market for Vietnamese tourism, in February was 194,000, down 62 percent from a year ago. Vietnam suspended all flights to and from China starting February 1. The Vietnamese government later allowed resumption of services to and from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Tourism demand stimulus alliance launched Nhan Dan Online 2nd Mar 2020
The Vietnam Tourism Association (VTA) organized a ceremony in Hanoi, on February 21, to announce a tourism stimulus programme and launch a tourism demand stimulus alliance, as well as announce the Safe Travel Criteria for Covid-19 epidemic. The ceremony featured the participation of 250 delegates including businesses, local tourism associations and numerous journalists. The Executive Board of the Vietnam Tourism Demand Stimulus Alliance also has 16 members, including seven deputy chairmen who are representatives of major travel companies, representatives of Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways. VTA Vice Chairman Vu The Binh is Chairman of the Union. The tourism demand stimulus alliance will be responsible for the implementation of a tourism stimulus program across the country, mobilizing resources to implement programs, surveys, and building new tourism products in localities without outbreaks, as well as organising promotion programmes.

Tourism sector to propel forward during and after epidemic SGGP English Edition 26th Feb 2020
Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu believed that the country needs to act even before the virus is fully controlled, firstly by shifting focus to countries further on the map like the UK, US, Australia, among other Western nations. At the same time, key neighboring markets with convenient flight connections and high growth rates like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (China) and ASEAN countries must not be neglected, as well as huge potential markets like India. The Chinese market should also be on the list for as soon as the epidemic is completely curbed. “For now we should focus on investing in tourism infrastructure, improving the quality of human resources, promoting on-site promotion and developing e-marketing systems”, said Director of Hanoi Tourism Department Tran Duc Hai. The department promised to work with businesses to prepare the Inbound Tourism Stimulation Program to put it into operation as soon as the disease subsides.

Formula 1 - Vietnam GP now under threat as international exclusions begin FormulaSpy 25th Feb 2020
The Vietnam Grand Prix is now under threat, as the Vietnamese government has shut its borders to visitors from several countries, including Japan and Italy. The inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, scheduled to be held on April 5th in Hanoi, looks increasingly under threat of postponement or cancellation. This is after the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to apply a policy of closed borders to visitors from South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran and ‘all other countries and territories with reported cases of the coronavirus Covid-19. On Tuesday, the Vietnam International Challenge, a badminton Olympic qualifying event, was postponed until June in light of the virus outbreak.

The coronavirus outbreak could cost Vietnam $4 billion in lost tourism in just 3 months, according to the country's department of tourism Business Insider 22nd Feb 2020
Vietnam's department of tourism stated that the outbreak is expected to cause huge damage to Vietnam's tourism industry in the short and medium term. "In three months, the estimated direct damage to Vietnam's tourism industry could reach between $3 and $4 billion," a representative for the country's department of tourism said in an email. Vietnam's tourism industry has seen remarkable growth in recent years. According to the department of tourism, more than 18 million international travelers visited Vietnam in 2019, up 16.2% from 2018. Chinese tourists typically make up more than 30% of all international tourists in Vietnam. With China barring tourists from traveling abroad and Vietnam prohibiting the entry of travelers from areas that have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, that figure has plummeted.

USABC

PM receives US-ASEAN Business Council delegation VietnamPlus 4th Mar 2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on March 4 for a delegation of the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) led by its President and CEO Alex Feldman. PM Phuc said he was delighted to know that the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently removed Vietnam from the list of destinations with risk of COVID-19 outbreak spread. He affirmed that Vietnam has strived to take effective measures in the fight against the epidemic, thereby reaping positive results. Feldman, for his part, said he is accompanied by representatives from tens of US-ABC member enterprises who want to explore cooperation opportunities in Vietnam.

US firms eye stronger investment cooperation in Vietnam Vietnam Investment Review - VIR 26th Feb 2020
In a meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc on February 25, USABC Chairman Alex Feldman said the delegation will hold many activities to interact with officials from the Vietnamese Government, ministries and sectors, and work with local businesses and partners. It will also practically contribute to celebrating the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-US diplomatic ties, he added. In recent times, the Vietnamese Embassy in the US has increased economic diplomatic activities to promote investment, trade and tourism cooperation between the two nations. The embassy recently coordinated with a delegation led by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh to work with officials from the Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Trade Representative of the US on how to promote bilateral trade and agriculture cooperation.