BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 16

BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 15

Lang Son strives to lure nearly 80 trillion VND in investment

The People’s Committee of the northern border province of Lang Son plans to sign memoranda of understanding on more than 100 projects worth nearly 80 trillion VND (3.47 billion USD) during an upcoming conference scheduled for September 30.

It was revealed by Vice Chairman of the provincial committee Nguyen Cong Truong during a press conference in Hanoi on September 16 to announce information about the conference.

Truong said Lang Son commits all possible support to investors with a number of incentives, towards creating a transparent, healthy and stable business environment.

Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Huu Chien said Lang Son offers tax reduction and exemption as well as preferential land rent as regulated by the Government.

It also provides water, electricity and road infrastructure worth no more than 10 billion VND for each project, focuses on administrative reform and site clearance, he said, adding that the province issued a decision on announcing 37 projects in need of investment capital for the 2019 - 2025 period.

The local economy grew by 8- 9 percent for the 2011- 2018 period, with agro-forestry accounting for 20.3 percent, industry – construction 19.68 percent, services 49.78 percent.

The province set the goal of achieving an 8-9 percent growth in gross regional domestic product (GRDP) by 2020, with agro-forestry making up 19 – 20 percent, industry – construction 20 – 21 percent, and services 60 – 61 percent, and per capita GRDP of 2,600 – 2,700 USD.

To such ends, the locality is adjusting the provincial socio-economic development master plan, the Dong Dang border economic zone master plan, and stepping up administrative reform.

BIM Land to get 87.5 million USD loan from IFC

The BIM Land Joint Stock Company, a property developer under the BIM Group, has reached a deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, for an 87.5 million USD loan to develop tourism infrastructure in Vietnam and Laos.

Tourism is one of the key growth drivers for both countries. Last year, Vietnam welcomed 15.5 million foreign visitors while Laos attracted about 4.2 million international arrivals, much lower compared to the figure of 38 million foreigners visiting Thailand each year.

Both Vietnam and Laos have significant potential for further growth. One of their big challenges is the lack of quality accommodation facilities in tourist destinations.

The IFC will provide a loan of up to 50 million USD from its own account and a trust loan up to 37.5 million USD to BIM Land and its subsidiaries from the multi-investor Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme (MCPP) managed by the IFC. At least 10 million USD of this financing package will be offered to developing tourism in Laos.

The project is expected to create about 1,400 jobs. Apart from local hiring and a relatively higher wage, the project will source around 90 percent of its goods and services locally. The IFC will also share best practices to help the company enhance its performance.

In addition, in pursuit of a green and sustainable tourism business, BIM Land has committed to applying the IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies Green Building Certification System (EDGE) in its new hotels to be developed under this project with the aim of reducing energy, water and material consumption by at least 20 percent compared with similar buildings.

Over 77 bln VND added into State budget estimate for this year

The National Assembly Standing Committee on September 16 agreed with the addition of the Irish government’s non-refundable aid worth 77.49 billion VND (3.36 million USD) into the State budget estimate for this year.

The sum will be used for communes in especially disadvantaged circumstances under Programme 135.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the aid will be given to Ha Giang with 18 billion VND, Hoa Binh 20.9 billion VND, Quang Tri 9.49 billion VND, Kon Tum 19.2 billion VND, and Tra Vinh 9.9 billion VND.

Under the agreement, the Irish government pledged to offer no more than 12 million EUR (13.2 million USD) in non-refundable aid to a project on supporting communes in especially difficult situation under Programme 135 during fiscal years from 2017 to 2020.

Last year, five provinces of Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Quang Tri, Kon Tum and Tra Vinh were assigned to disburse upwards 79.8 billion VND for the project.

Firms benefit from programme on efficient use of resources

The Vietnam Improvement Programme has helped 82 garment-textile and footwear factories in Vietnam invest 37 million USD in efficient use of resources, thus saving 30 million USD per year, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Over the last three years, the programme, initiated by the IFC – a member of the World Bank Group, has also helped those factories save a total of 4 million cu.m. of water and reduce 303,000 tonnes of green house gas emission a year.

Effective use of resources and performance improvement have enabled Vietnamese businesses to attract new customers who seek suppliers meeting global sustainable standards.

Country manager for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia of the IFC Kyle Kelhofer said the measures not only save production costs but also raise competitiveness of domestic firms in the global supply chain.

Vietnam is currently among the 10 largest garment-textile exporters of the world, with export turnover hitting more than 30 billion USD annually, greatly contributing to the country’s economic growth. However, chemical waste of the sector is also a major cause of environmental pollution.

State domestic revenue reaches 34.8 billion USD in eight months

BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 16

The State budget’s domestic revenue in the first eight months of 2019 is estimated at 808.8 trillion VND (34.8 billion USD), according to the Ministry of Finance.

The figure is equal to 68.9 percent of the full-year plan and up 13.9 percent year on year.

The domestic revenue is made up of a variety of taxes and charges, and collected from different sources such as State-owned, FDI and private enterprises, agricultural land use, personal income and vehicle registration.

It is also estimated that domestic revenues collected by 55 of all 63 provinces and cities have beat the full-year target, which is set at 65 percent. Of the figure, 46 provinces and cities recorded that their domestic revenues fulfilled 68 percent of the year’s target.

Besides domestic revenue, State budget collection from exports rose 10.3 percent year on year to 147.2 trillion VND in the first eight months, fulfilling 77.8 percent of the full-year target. Tax deduction is estimated at 85.9 trillion VND, equal to 77.2 percent of the year’s plan.

However, revenue from oil production and exports in January-August fell 6.8 percent yearly to 38.78 trillion VND, which accounts for 87 percent of the 2019 target.

As of the end of August, it was recorded that eight of 12 State budget revenue items had fulfilled at least 68.9 percent of their full-year plans. The items with high State budget revenues were land and housing (88 percent of the year’s target), lottery (83.9 percent), and licensing of mining and water businesses (126.6 percent).

State budget revenue in four of the 12 items was less than expected, which were State-owned enterprises, FDI companies and private firms with fulfilment rates of 62.1 percent, 64.9 percent and 66.2 percent, respectively.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the general tax department pushed its agencies to improve tax collection, monitor local tax payers and administrate businesses over their tax payments.

In addition, the General Department of Customs worked closely with local authorities and other Government agencies to fight State budget losses, smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods. The customs office also modernised its administrative system to speed up the processing of customs procedures.

In the eight month period, total State spending was up 2.8 percent yearly to 901.35 trillion VND, equal to 55.2 percent of the year’s plan.

The figure included spending for investment and development (161.27 trillion VND), interest payments (76.76 trillion VND) and regular spending (nearly 645 trillion VND).

As of August 31, the State Treasury had settled 570.8 trillion VND worth of State regular spending, 54.7 percent of the full-year target, and disbursed 153.8 trillion VND worth of procurement, 41.5 percent of the plan.

In addition, a total of 152 trillion VND worth of Government bonds were raised in the first eight months with average maturity of 13.48 years and average per-annum yield rate of 4.89 percent.

Total State budget collection in the first eight months reached nearly 1 quadrillion VND, up 12.4 percent year on year and equal to 71 percent of the year’s plan.

Vinh Phuc province promotes investment in Washington

A delegation from Vietnam’s northern province of Vinh Phuc has hosted a workshop in Washington, the US, to introduce investment opportunities in the province to potential investors.

The event on September 4, which was held with assistance from the Embassy of Vietnam in the US, and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), attracted nearly 20 corporations and groups.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc particularly thanked Senior Vice President for Asia at the USCC Charles Freeman for supporting Vietnam and its localities in promoting trade, investment and trade relations between the two countries as well as among their localities.

The economies of Vietnam and the US are supplementary, Ngoc said, adding that to maintain high growth, Vietnam needs US goods and high-tech services such as energy, airplanes, industrial machines, farm produce, financial and digital services.

As the US firms are seeking to diversify investment sectors and markets, Vietnam is willing to be a trade partner of the US, he said.

He added that as ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam stands ready to coordinate with the US and countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and the US’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy.

Vice Secretary of Vinh Phuc Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tri reported the socio-economic development situation in the province.

As of the end of July 2019, Vinh Phuc was home to 362 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from 17 countries and territories with total registered capital of over 4.8 billion USD, ranking 19 out of the 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam in FDI attraction.

At present, Vinh Phuc has two projects worth 15.6 million USD invested by the US in processing and manufacturing.

At the workshop, local authorities fielded questions from the US businesses about various issues such as incentive policies, investment support, labour, infrastructure, smart city, e-commerce and logistics.

The same day, the Vinh Phuc investment promotion delegation coordinated with the Embassy of Vietnam in the US and the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) to host a seminar introducing favourable business conditions in Vietnam and Vinh Phuc.

Tri called on foreign investors, including those from the US, to invest in automotive engineering, electronic technology, high-tech agriculture, new material, renewable energy, tourism, education-training, health care, environmental treatment, and smart city.

Viet Nam needs balance between modern and traditional distribution

With the rapid development of the domestic market, Viet Nam needs to balance modern and traditional distribution channels, according to experts.

The insiders were speaking at a seminar on co-operation in the distribution industry between Viet Nam and South Korea held in Ha Noi on Wednesday by Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the South Korean-based Reshaping Development Institute (ReDI).

The event was part of co-operation between MoIT and ReDI to implement the Capacity Building Project for Inclusive Development of Viet Nam's Distribution Industry (LOTTE-KOICA project).

Speaking at the seminar, Tran Duy Dong, head of the MoIT's Domestic Markets Department, said as part of a project on developing Viet Nam’s distribution industry, a group of Vietnamese and Korean researchers have published a report on co-operation policy and ways to boost the competitiveness and growth of the Vietnamese sector.

According to the group, the core issue that challenges the development of the industry is a conflict between the modern and large-scale distribution system and the traditional market model.

Dong said the MoIT will continue working to modernise the distribution industry and balance the modern and traditional systems.

To develop and manage the domestic distribution industry, besides finding a harmonised solution on development between large enterprises, including foreign invested enterprises, and millions of small- and medium-sized enterprises, the experts suggested it is necessary to pay attention to the role of traditional markets.

Speaking at the seminar, Nguyen Thanh, Director of Thua Thien - Hue Province’s Department of Industry and Trade, said traditional markets face difficulties related to outdated infrastructure as well as food safety and product origin problems.

Consumers, particularly in urban areas, are switching to shopping at malls and buying products online, causing the system to become stagnant, he added.

Thanh said there is a need for investment in improving these markets’ infrastructure and developing professional operations and services at wholesale markets.

Capacity training for market managers and technology training among sellers are also necessary, he said.

Dong said Viet Nam's retail market has been developing strongly due to the advantage of a large population at more than 90 million people, of which young people account for a high proportion. Besides that, the domestic economy is recovering with rapid growth.

By using technology in the retail sector, the domestic retail market is becoming more attractive with many kinds of distribution channels.

A representative of South Korea’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy said that after nearly 30 years of establishing co-operation, South Korea is the second largest trade partner and the largest investor to Viet Nam.

Korean distribution enterprises, including LOTTE Mart, invested in Viet Nam 10 years ago with the scale of US$1 billion and the enterprises have maintained a strong investment.

Many large supermarkets have entered the Vietnamese market, becoming businesses that play an important role in the development of the distribution industry in Viet Nam, the representative was quoted by Cong thuong (Industry and Trade) magazine as saying.

Insurance firms, agents will face stricter scrutiny

Insurance companies and their agents face stricter scrutiny as a number of Government decisions designed to regulate agents qualifications are set to take effect in November.

Agents, who consult and sell policies independently, must possess insurance-relevant university degrees and certificates, according to Government Decision 73.

Risk analysts must possess a university or higher degrees in risk management majors or relevant certificates.

The decision also requires insurance actuaries, who analyse financial risks, to possess a university or higher degrees.

Simultaneously, Government Decision 98 has been amended to deliver additional penalties to firms and agents who violate Viet Nams Laws on Insurance Business.

Agents who fail to adhere to technical standards and responsibilities such as providing policies without a signed contract or before a contract was signed, face fines of up to VND30 million (US$1,300). Their respective firms face double said amount.

Agents who sell policies or support services they are not allowed or not qualified to provide could be fined up to VND70 million ($3,000) with their firms being fined double.

Those who break the law may also have their insurance licenses revoked.

The Government decisions, which were drafted by the Ministry of Finance, were based on Law 42/2019/QH14 to govern and overlook insurance support services in Viet Nam. The law has been approved by the National Assembly in June.

Viet Nam is considered by experts as a fast-growing market thanks to rising income and robust GDP growth yet the country has one of the worlds lowest insurance penetrations at just less than one per cent of GDP.

The average premium was reported at $30, significantly lower than the global average of $595 and Southeast Asias average of $74, according to a report released in June by the Insurance Supervisory Authority under the Ministry of Finance, the countrys regulatory body for insurance activities.

The country has 64 insurance companies, including 30 non-life insurers, 18 life insurers, two reinsurance companies and 14 insurance brokerage companies. There are up to 850 non-life insurance products and 450 life insurance products sold on the Vietnamese market.

Dong Nai’s trade surplus reaches $2.1b in first 8 months

The southern province of Dong Nai had a trade surplus of US$2.1 billion in the first eight months of the year, according to the provincial Department of Statistics.

Export value in the period reached $12.76 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.22 per cent, while the province spent $10.66 billion on imports, up 1.11 per cent from the same period last year.

The foreign investment sector is the biggest contributor to the trade surplus, with an eight-month export turnover reaching $10.44 billion.

Non-State and State-owned economic sectors earned $1.98 billion and $333.2 million from exports, respectively, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

The committee attributed the low growth of export turnover in the first eight months to the reduced export of traditional farm products, including cashew nuts, pepper, coffee and rubber.

The US remains the province’s biggest importer, buying $490.7 million worth of goods, accounting for 29.6 per cent of the province’s total exports, followed by Japan and China with $188.3 million and $187.5 million, making up 11.4 per cent and 11.3 per cent, respectively.

The province has taken measures to promote production of major exports such as textile and garments, footwear, electronics, farm produce, fiber, steel, machinery and equipment.

Major exports from Dong Nai include footwear, garments, steel products, computers and electronic components, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics.

These products are exported to the province’s traditional markets such as the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

Exporters in Dong Nai plan to continue to look for more overseas markets for its products, according to the committee.

Dong Nai mainly imports animal feed, corn, yarn and plastic raw materials from China, South Korea and Taiwan.

It has maintained a trade surplus since 2014 mainly due to its administrative reforms and regular dialogue with businesses.

Last year, it enjoyed a surplus of $2.6 billion, equivalent to 30 per cent of the country’s surplus, and targets export growth of 10-12 per cent this year.

Nhon Hoi Economic Zone announces expansion plans

Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in the central province of Binh Dinh is growing.

The area will expand by more than 2,300ha, the provincial People's Committee have announced.

 

The zone is divided into eight functional subzones covering tourism, urban, trading and service and industrial park areas.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the decision to increase the economic zone from 12,000ha to 14,308ha.

The zone will expand to the Phuong Mai peninsula.

The new expansion will cover the Becamex Industrial Park and Becamex Urban Area while most of the Phuong Mai peninsula will be used for tourism, service and urban development.

A new administration centre, training facility, high school, hospital and sports centres will all be built to service the zone.

Chairman of Binh Dinh People's Committee Ho Quoc Dung said: "The zone is planned as a multi-sector economic zone with the focus on tourism, services, industry, ports, renewable energy and fisheries."

He added it will be one of the major economic development hubs and international attractions in the centre of Viet Nam.

Dung asked the management board to review and detail designs for the new plans, especially in the Thi Nai Lagoon subzone, where they will develop as a conservation area to preserve the lagoon mangroves ecosystem, as well as develop it into a sustainable eco-tourism model.

Located in the coastal province of Binh Dinh, the zone is 5 km from Quy Nhon City and 300 km from Da Nang.

Nhon Hoi Economic Zone has attracted 81 investment projects with a total capital of nearly VND58,000 billion (US$2.49 billion), including $339 million from foreign companies.

Dong Nai to shut down industrial park

The southern province of Dong Nai has proposed Government remove Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park from the national industrial park planning, Dong Nai newspaper reported.

The province wants to protect the living conditions for millions of households in Bien Hoa City and neighbouring provinces, the newspaper said on Tuesday.

When being removed, enterprises at the industrial park will auction their land areas so that the province can develop a smart complex for urban residency, shopping and provincial administration.

The provincial People’s Committee made the same proposal 10 years ago. The Prime Minister in 2009 approved the province move Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park to outside the city.

Authorities wanted to shut down the industrial park by 2022, however, the plan was delayed due to administrative policies.

Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park was established in 1963, with 82 enterprises currently operating.

Twenty-one of the enterprises at the industrial park have land lease licences that validate to 2051. Five enterprises’ licences will expire in 2021. Fourteen enterprises have shut down business operation and are leasing their land areas.

Vinh Phuc betters business climate to lure investments

The northern province of Vinh Phuc has worked to improve business environment and enhance provincial competitive capacity in a move to attract more foreign and domestic investments to the locality.

The provincial People’s Committee has given top priority to high-tech projects which are environmentally-friendly, make contributions to promoting technology transfer, and help domestic companies to join global value chain.

Apart from removing bottlenecks for the investors, the province is paying due attention to attracting investment from both traditional markets such as China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and countries who are members of free trade deals like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Infrastructure developers were asked to accelerate construction at industrial parks in August while the management boards of industrial zones, departments, and localities have been ordered to handle challenges arising at Lap Thach I, Lap Thach II, Tam Duong I, and Thai Hoa – Lien Son – Lien Hoa industrial parks.

According to reports from the management boards of local industrial parks, some 235.32 million USD was poured into 40 new FDI projects while 244.79 million USD was added to 29 existing projects in the first seven months of this year, doubling the capital registered the same time last year and surpassing the set plan by 71 percent.

Also in the January – July period, the province approved investment licenses for eight domestic projects and capital adjustment for another one, worth 2.64 trillion VND (113.6 million USD) in total, nine times higher than the same period in 2018.

Vinh Phuc province is now home to 330 projects, 270 of which are invested by foreigners and have a total investment of over 3.6 billion USD. Of the total projects, 246 are in operation, five FDI are halting operation, while construction and equipment installation are being made to 28 others, and compensation and land clearance are underway for the remaining 51.

Dong Nai to cooperate with RoK on energy industry

Authorities of the southern province of Dong Nai and a delegation from the Jeollanam province in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on September 5 signed a cooperation agreement on energy industry.

Under the agreement, the two sides will coordinate the development of new renewable energy, smart grids, information on energy and energy technology, and energy efficiency.

Jeollanam will help Dong Nai training experts and workers while cooperating in electrical energy projects and new energy industries.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’’s Committee Nguyen Hoa Hiep, the RoK is leading the countries and territories investing in Dong Nai with 395 projects and total registered capital of about 6.3 billion USD.

RoK firms mainly invest in textiles, footwear, textile fibers, machinery, iron and steel products, and electronics.

Hiep also noted that Dong Nai is a province with a developed industry, so the demand for power is very huge. In 2019, the province is expected to consume about 14 billion kWh. Therefore, the development of renewable energy sources, new energy as well as deployment of smart electricity grid is essential.

Jeollanam’s deputy governor Yoon Byung Tae assessed that Dong Nai has large renewable energy resources, with many industrial parks suitable for developing new, renewable and intelligent power networks.

Jeollanam is the largest place for researching and applying renewable energy in RoK, he added.

At the signing ceremony, the Korea Electric Power Research Institute also signed a contract with Taekwang Vina Industrial Joint Stock Company (located in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Park) to implement the micro-grid project. This project will help the company save a lot of electricity consumption in use and production.

HDBank receives green finance award

HDBank has recently been awarded the Green Deal Award by the Asian Development Bank in Singapore, making this the first time a Vietnamese participating financial institution of ADB has won this award.

The Green Deal Award was introduced this year by ADB to honour banks with notable achievements in green finance that are a part of ADB's Trade Finance Programme, a global finance programme that provides guarantees and loans to 240 worldwide partner banks, with the goal of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Hundred of millions of dollars worth of trade finance for solar-powered projects have been made through HDBank transactions, contributing to the growth of green businesses and the realisation of renewable energy development strategy in the country.

HDBank is one of the few Vietnamese banks that are part of the programme, which requires that banks satisfy ADB's requirements on operational efficiency, financial health and risk management, among others.

The bank is focusing on green banking and identified green credit as a current trend, in which businesses not only care for business performances but also environmental impact.

HDBank have also received numerous awards in the past, including the Labour Order 2nd Class, Best Managed Company in Asia and Top 6 Profitable Listed Banks.

Vietnamese footwear maker Biti’s opens first store in Cambodia

The Binh Tien Imex Corp., Pte., Ltd (Biti’s) on September 7 launched its first official store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, marking its official presence on the market.

As one of the Vietnamese high quality brands, Biti’s has introduced its products in Cambodia since the 2000s through a local distributor and won local customers’ trust.

Together with the opening of the store, the firm also launched its subsidiary Biti’s Cambodia.

Addressing the opening ceremony, which was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh, Cambodian Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce Sam Sereirath, thanked Biti’s for expanding its business in the Cambodian market.

With an average economic growth of 7 percent annually, Cambodia is a developing country with increasing demands for all kinds of goods, he stated.

Vice Director of Biti’s Cambodia Tran Kim Hanh said that from October 2019, Biti’s products will be available in Aeon Mall supermarkets in Cambodia, while more retail shops of the company will be opened in Phnom Penh.

Hanh pointed out that competition from Thai and Chinese goods is one of the major challenges for Biti’s in the market, but showing her confidence that with its high quality products, Biti’s has high competitiveness.

Currently, Biti’s has more than 8,200 workers at its four factories and seven subsidiaries along with 173 showrooms and more than 1,000 distributors over 63 localities across Vietnam.

Each year, it provides more than 20 million products to the market.

Revised GDP for 2011-2017 period up 25.4 percent

Vietnam’s total gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 25.4 percent per year for the 2011-17 period after calculation was revised.

The revised GDP increased to 275 billion USD from current 220 billion USD as of the end of 2017. The economy’s size at the end of the first half of 2019 exceeded 300 billion USD on the new calculation. Vietnam’s revised per-capita GDP has reached 3,000 USD instead of 2,590 USD.

The estimate was made two weeks after the revision plan was announced in mid-August.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the reading may change key indicators such as end consumption, wealth accumulation, gross national income (GNI), total per-capita GDP and incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR).

The revision could boost the country’s total GDP and per-capita GDP, bringing changes to the Government’s socio-economic development policies in the future and have an impact on household spending as Vietnam approaches the upper-middle income level.

It will not change Vietnam’s GDP growth targets and its socio-economic development plans as changes of GDP growth rates are minimal in recent years.

There will be opportunities to expand State budget income and Government’s spending. In addition, increased total GDP and per-capita GDP may boost Vietnam’s activities and efforts in the organisations to which the country is a member.

According to GSO chief Nguyen Bich Lam, the revision would bring Vietnam’s GDP calculation more in line with international standards. This is the second time the GSO has conducted a review of GDP calculation. In 2013, the bureau revised Vietnam’s GDP for 2008-12 in which it re-evaluated economic activities of banking and finance, insurance and real estate sectors.

“As Vietnam is developing a 10-year socio-economic development strategy for 2021-30 and a five-year plan for 2021-25, it (the revision) will help the Government address the country’s future path in 5-10 years,” Lam said.

GDP revision is common around the world but two-digit post-revision GDP growth rate has often happened to emerging economies such as Zambia (25 percent), Ghana (60 percent) and Nigeria (59.5 percent).

In developed economies, revised GDP growth rates have only increased by a few percentage points such as the US (3.6 percent). China’s revised GDP for 2013 and 2015 rose 3.4 percent and 1.3 percent while Germany’s figures for 2013-14 were up 3 percent and 7 percent.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia in 2015 recorded that its revised GDP growth rate was up 6.45 percent.

HCM City sees high demand for skilled workers in September

Of the total 25,000 vacant jobs Ho Chi Minh City needs to fill in September, 81.36 percent require skilled workers, according to Vice Director of the city’s Human Sources Forecast and Labour Market Information Centre Tran Le Thanh Truc.

She said that most of the job vacancies are in the fields of transport-warehouse- import & export, property business, IT, mechanics-automation, marketing-public relations, architecture-construction, and electronics-mechatronics, adding jobs requiring workers with university degrees or above make up 19.2 percent of the recruitment demand, and those with training at colleges, and vocational schools 62.12 percent.

Truc attributed the increasing need for skilled workers to the fact that local enterprises are accelerating investments in upgrading equipment and applying advanced technologies in their production and business. Besides, many firms prefer experienced employees to expand their production in preparation for export orders and the peak consumption season in the last months of 2019.

Director of the city’s Youth Employment Services Centre Nguyen Quang Cuong said local enterprises should offer promotion opportunities and good welfare policies to keep competent employees.

As for workers, he suggested they should improve their professional skills to enhance adaptation capacity to the labour market.

The centre has organised free training courses on sales, information technology, English and Korean languages for workers without jobs who are receiving unemployment benefits.

It plans to arrange four job fairs from now to the end of the year, with thousands of jobs available in finance-securities-real estate, business and management, mechanics, telecommunications, hotels, tourism, IT, among others.

Vietnam, Cambodia’s central banks look to foster partnership

Leaders of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) met in Phnom Penh on September 16 at an annual conference to share experience in macro-economy management, especially in finance-banking, and seek ways to strengthen cooperation in personnel training.

Addressing the event, NBC Governor CheaChanto noted that after its establishment in 1979, the bank faced many difficulties along with a shortage in personnel, capital and other conditions. In that period, it received helpful support from the SBV in technology, personnel training, equipment and the banking system building, he highlighted.

On the occasion, CheaChanto thanked the SBV for the assistance which he saidhas contributed to the development of the banking system of Cambodia.

The NBC leader highlighted the efficiency ofcooperation between the two sides, especially Vietnam’s support in personnel training through offering scholarships to officials and staff of the NBC to study in Vietnam.

The official lauded the contributions by banking organizations of Vietnam to the economic growth of Cambodia.

Currently, the country is hosting five Vietnamese banks – BIDV, Agribank, MB, Sacombank, and SHB.

During the conference, the Vietnamese banks received answers to their questions regarding legal issues and business regulations.

For his part, SBV Governor Le Minh Hung said that the bank is proud to contribute to the growth of the NBC, expressing his delight at the impressive growth of the Cambodian economy.

Hung held that amidst the gloomy world economy with complicated developments, the partnership between the two central banks will help boost the growth of both countries.

Since the last conference in 2018 in Vietnam, the two sides have exchanged experiences in various issues, including exchange rates, the automation in gathering and processing information of the foreign currency market, and researching in developing the market.

Tourism promotion campaigns help Vietnam attract more visitors

Tourism promotion campaigns have shown efficiency as they help Vietnam get one step closer to its set target of hosting 17.5-18 million international tourists and 85 million domestic visitors in 2019.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said on September 16 that it has successfully organised a programme to promote Vietnam’s tourism in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, Tokyo and Hokkaido prefecture, and the Vietnam Festival in Kanagawa and Hokkaido prefectures.

Through the events, standout cultural features were nudged closer to the Japanese friends who had expressed their impression on the cultural tradition and heritages, cuisines, handicraft products, and landscapes in the Southeast Asian country.

In addition, the events also serve as a bridge to enhance mutual understanding and tighten friendship between the two nations.

According to the VNAT, Japan is a key tourism market of Vietnam. Last year, the country welcomed 830,000 Japanese nationals, increasing 3.6 percent year on year. From the outset of this year, more than 620,000 Japanese visitors have chosen Vietnam for their holidays, up 13.7 percent from the same time last year.

Vietnam will attend the 2019 China-ASEAN Expo Tourism in Guilin, China on October 18-20.

Tourism promotion is part of the tourism sector’s efforts to attract more visitors from China, the EU, Japan and the Republic of Korea to complete its set target for the whole year. Vietnam eyes 700 trillion VND (30.1 billion USD) in tourism revenue, and this is a feasible goal as the sector is entering its peak season.

Vietnam ranks 63rd among the 140 countries and territories in the recently released Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2019, jumping four places compared to the latest 2017 ranking.

Released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) every two years since 2007, the TTCI 2019 analysed 140 economies and scored each according to their performance on the following six pillars – air transport infrastructure, ICT readiness, price competitiveness, international openness, travel & tourism prioritisation, and safety and security.

When it comes to price competitiveness, Vietnam ranks 22nd, rising 13 places while in terms of air transport infrastructure, the country has improved by 11 places, growing to the 50th from the 61st.

Petrol prices see slight reduction

The retail prices of petrol have been adjusted down as from 15:00 on September 16.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance review fuel prices every 15 days to adjust domestic prices in accordance with fluctuations in the global market.

This is the fourth consecutive time the petrol prices have been reduced so far, with aggregate reduction of 1,300 VND per litre.

Specifically, the price of E5 RON92 dropped 109 VND to 19,114 VND per litre at the highest, and the price of RON95-III also decreased 92 VND to 20,143 VND per litre.

Meanwhile, the prices of diesel 0.05S and kerosene are capped at 16,200 VND and 15,362 VND per litre, down 139 VND per litre and up 35 VND per litre, respectively. Mazut 180CST 3.5S is sold at no more than 14,090 VND per kilogramme, up 262 VND per kg.

 
 

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