Freight charge falls sharply

Just two weeks after the Tet holiday, the railways sector announced the reduction of train tickets of up to 40 percent for passengers booking tickets early. 

Meanwhile, Hai Phong City slashed the seaport infrastructure fee by 50 percent, applied to waterway transport since the beginning of the year. This allowed the container transport charge to decrease further by 10-15 percent.

Agencies have requested transport firms to publicly quote the fares to prevent unexpected fare increases which may affect the CPI.

Foreign arrivals on the rise

The General Statistics Office (GSO) has reported that in February, 933,000 foreign travelers came to Vietnam, an increase of 7.1 percent over January and 31.6 percent over the same period in 2022.

South Korea remained the biggest inbound market for Vietnam with 301,343 travelers, followed by the US with 69,648 travelers. In February, the number of Chinese travelers reached 55,029. Meanwhile, the figure was modest in January, just 15,875.

The growth was attributed to Vietnam’s early reopening of its tourism market on March 15, 2022 and the resumption of international air routes.

Credit growth limits granted

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has officially granted credit room to commercial banks, stressing that priority given to production, business and certain business fields.

The credit growth rate limits granted by SBV for the first campaign in 2023 are between 9-13.5 percent.

Banks slash deposit interest rates

After some commercial banks got ‘quotas’ for credit growth rates in 2023, banks reached a consensus on slashing deposit interest rates by 0.5 percent prior to March 6. However, many banks have already adjusted the interest rates commencing from March 3. The interest rate cuts are mostly 0.5 percent per annum.

The moves by commercial banks are expected to help businesses expand.

VND120 trillion credit package may be expanded

SBV Deputy Governor Pham Thanh Ha on March 3 said that four banks have agreed on the VND 120 trillion credit package under which each bank would reserve VND 30 trillion to fund projects on developing social housing and housing for factory workers. If more banks join the program, the size of the credit package would be larger.

The interest rates of the preferential credit package would be 1.5-2 percent lower than average commercial interest rates.

The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has submitted a plan on amending the Law on Social Insurance, proposing reducing the period of social insurance premium payment from 20 years to 15 years. 

Hanh Nguyen