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VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JULY 5

The Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV GAS) posted a after-tax profit of nearly 7 trillion VND (300 million USD) in the first six months of 2022, up 87% compared to the target and 59% year-on-year.
PV GAS’s after-tax profit hits nearly 300 million USD in 6 months hinh anh 1

Vietnam, Mexico promote economic, trade, investment cooperation

A delegation of 23 Vietnamese entrepreneurs, led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, attended the Vietnam-Mexico Business Forum in Mexico City on July 4, aiming to seek cooperation opportunities with the host country’s partners.

Undersecretary for Foreign Trade in Mexico's Secretariat of Economy Luz Maria de la Mora spoke highly of the bilateral economic and trade relations, affirming that Mexico considers Vietnam a strategic market in the Asia-Pacific region.

She expressed her hope that the two countries’ authorised agencies will continue strengthening close coordination in the coming time and their businesses will effectively take advantage of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), contributing to promoting bilateral trade turnover as well as post-pandemic economic recovery.

The official affirmed that the Mexican Secretariat of Economy will create all favourable conditions and provide maximum support for the two business communities.

For his part, Deputy Minister Hai stated that Mexico is currently Vietnam's second largest trading partner in Latin America, and Vietnam is Mexico's eighth largest trader in Southeast Asia.

He quoted statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs as saying that two-way trade turnover grew positively in 2021, reaching 5.06 billion USD, up 37.5% year-on-year. The figure hit 2.33 billion USD in the first five months of 2022, up 21.9% year-on-year.

Da Nang forum boosts trade linnk with firms in Thailand

A forum to connect businesses in Da Nang and enterprises owned by overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in Thailand took place in the central city on July 4.

Jointly held by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand, the event  gathered representatives from enterprises and business associations in Da Nang, and 40 businessmen who are overseas Vietnamese in Thailand.

Addressing the event, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Ngo Thi Kim Yen said the forum aims to boost trade and investment cooperation between firms from Da Nang and Thailand, contributing to strengthening bilateral relations across all fields.

A series of investment promotion activities and forums have been organised in Da Nang recently, while international air routes to Da Nang have been reopened after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.

Vietnamese expatriates, including OVs in Thailand, have always serving a bridge connecting the Vietnamese community abroad with the homeland, contributing the national development, Yen noted.

This is the firts time the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand has organised the programme, which, Thanh said, aims to connect investment, trade and tourism between businesses owned by OVs in Thailand with Vietnamese businesses at home, thereby promoting economic cooperation between Vietnamese localities and Thailand.

Participants at the event discussed potential, strengths and policies to encourage investment, buisness and cooperation opportunities, import-export needs and tourism connections between Da Nang and Thailand.

PV GAS’s after-tax profit hits nearly 300 million USD in 6 months

The Petrovietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV GAS) posted a after-tax profit of nearly 7 trillion VND (300 million USD) in the first six months of 2022, up 87% compared to the target and 59% year-on-year.
 
Its before-tax profit reached over 8.67 trillion VND (over 371.3 million USD) in the January - June period, up 87 percent and 56 percent, respectively.

The firm produced and supplied over 1 million tonnes of  liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the first two quarters of 2022, surpassing 23% of the plan and equal to 99% of that in the same period last year, accounting for about 70% of the wholesale market share of the country.

It also produced and supplied 56,800 tonnes of condensate, up 67% compared to the plan and 85% against the same period in 2021. 

Nearly 70% of capital for site clearance for Long Thanh airport disbursed

As of the end of June, Dong Nai Province has disbursed more than VND15.6 trillion, or nearly 70% of the total allocated for the site clearance, compensation and resettlement project for the Long Thanh International Airport project.

According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the capital was used to compensate households affected by the big-ticket airport project and fund a resettlement area, Vietnamplus news site reported.

The prime minister approved the site clearance, compensation and resettlement project for the Long Thanh International Airport project in late 2018 at a total cost of over VND22.8 trillion. The capital, sourced from the Government bond sales, has been allocated sufficiently for the project.

Of the total, nearly VND18 trillion was planned to fund the site clearance and compensation work, and over VND4 trillion to build the resettlement area.

The remaining capital would be spent on the rebuilding of infrastructure outside the airport project’s boundary, vocational training courses for local residents affected by the project and the feasibility study for the project.

The deadline to disburse the capital for the site clearance, compensation and resettlement project has expired, so the Dong Nai government has proposed continuing to use the allocated capital to conduct the project this year. The project requires some 5,000 hectares of land.

Newly-established businesses exceed 70,000 in first half

There were 76,233 newly-registered enterprises in the first six months of this year, an increase of over 13% compared to the same period last year.

This is the first time that the number of newly-established enterprises in the first six months has exceeded 70,000.

Data from the Business Registration Management Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that 116,900 enterprises were entering or re-entering the market in the first half of 2022.

The capital city of Hanoi and the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City continued to record a significant increase in newly-established enterprises.

Meanwhile, the number of enterprises returning to operation in the first six months of this year was 40,667, an increase of 55% over the same period last year and 1.9 times higher than the average in 2017-2021.

All of administrative procedures in banking sector to be handled online

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has issued a decision on digital transformation plan in 2022, under which all of the administrative procedures are to be handled online.

Under Decision No. 1097/QD-NHNN, about 65-70 percent of people from 15 years old will have accounts at banks or credit organisations.

The sector will work to integrate all of its public services on the National Public Service Portal, and coordinate with ministries, agencies and localities to promote cashless payment.

It will also step up data sharing with other State agencies through platforms, with contacts of officials in charge of the issue to be publicised, according to the document.

Vietnam Airlines launches “Fly into Autumn” promotion

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has launched its biggest annual promotion “Fly into Autumn 2022” on domestic and foreign routes from now to July 15.

Passengers will have a chance to buy fares at VND899,000 (US$38.4) per route on domestic flights, and at VND2.9 million (US$124), including taxes and fees, on round-trip flights from Vietnam to other destinations overseas.

The promotion sales will apply to domestic flights flying from August 15 – December 28 and to international flights departing from September 5- March 31, 2023. The promotion programme is not applicable for peak period.

During the promotion, the carrier has advised passengers to buy tickets on its website or at official booking offices.

Binh Dinh attracts over VND10 trillion in new investments in Jan-June

The central coastal province of Binh Dinh attracted over VND10.5 trillion in new investments between January and June, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.

Some VND8.1 trillion was pledged to 38 new projects, while eight operational projects revised up their capital by over VND2.4 trillion.

Among the new projects, 29 will be developed in the economic and industrial zones, focusing on the industrial, commercial, service, tourism and real estate fields.

As for the foreign investment, the province saw two projects operational in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone adjust up their capital by US$6.9 million during the six-month period. The province now has 86 operational projects with total registered capital of some US$1.1 billion.

In addition, statistics from the Binh Dinh Investment Promotion Center indicated that in the first six months of 2022, the province exported goods worth US$843 million, up 25.3% year-on-year. The outbound sales of seafood, woodwork and textiles and garments gained ground, while the export of rice and footwear made a sharp fall.

Bac Lieu to grant production codes for shrimp farms to meet export requirements

More shrimp farming households, co-operatives and companies in Bạc Liêu Province have registered to get production codes to expand exports.

The province has granted codes to 850 establishments with a total of 1,200ha since 2019, according to its Fisheries Sub-department.

Most of the farms are in Bac Lieu City, Gia Rai Town and the districts of Hoà Bình, Đông Hải and Vĩnh Lợi.

To get the code, shrimp farmers need to meet certain standards, maintain a cultivation diary for origin traceability and fulfil other farming requirements.

According to the sub-department, shrimp is farmed on 135,000ha, of which 100,000ha are expected to get the codes.

The local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is taking measures to speed up the issuance.  

Work on Beltway No. 3 in HCMC area to begin earlier than planned

At least 70% of land to be cleared for Beltway No. 3, which will link HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An, will be handed over in late 2022, so work on the project will start in June 2023, six months before the previous plan.

The leaders of the four southern localities on July 2 signed a detailed plan to develop the ring road project.

Tran Quang Lam, director of the HCMC Department of Transport, told the meeting with HCMC’s three neighboring provinces that after the National Assembly issued a resolution approving the project in mid-June, the city and the three provinces had quickly mapped out a plan to start work.

The HCMC government is in charge of the entire project, Lam said, adding that the city and the three provinces are speeding up site clearance so as to start handing over cleared land to the 76-kilometer-long beltway project in October.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho asked the parties involved to expedite site clearance so that the beltway could be completed in October 2025. The ring road is set to be opened to traffic in 2026.

The beltway will be divided into eight components, with each city/province responsible for two, and require over VND75 trillion in investment.

Quang Ninh set to open expy to traffic early next month

The northern province of Quang Ninh is set to temporarily put the Van Don-Mong Cai Expressway project into service from August 1.

The construction of the 80-kilometer road project began in April 2019, with total capital of over VND11 trillion. The four-lane expressway allows vehicles to travel at a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

It is divided into two subprojects, including the Van Don-Tien Yen and Tien Yen-Mong Cai sections.

The Van Don-Tien Yen section, which is over 16 kilometers long and backed by the State budget, has been completed.

Meanwhile, the Tien Yen-Mong Cai section is over 92% complete. This 63-kilometer section has been developed by Van Don Infrastructure Investment and Development Company under the build-operate-transfer format.

The contractors are speeding up work to get the project done by July 30.

Mixed views on global minimum corporate tax rate
     
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) two-pillar solution has introduced a global minimum corporate tax rate (GMCT) of 15 per cent applicable from 2023, but experts have mixed positions on the tax.

Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Association of Foreign Investment Enterprises, said that the GMCT would boost Viet Nam’s tax revenues and contain tax avoidance, tax evasion and price transferring in the country.

This is because tax rates lower than GMCT have incentivised illegal tax practices without significantly affecting investment attractiveness. In fact, 56 per cent of foreign-invested firms in Viet Nam declared unprofitability in 2020, with a total loss of VND151 trillion (US$6.5 billion), substantially reducing the country’s tax collection.

Accordingly, he urged the Government to modify tax regulations in line with the GMCT and re-negotiate with FDI investors on investment terms to prepare the country for the new tax system.

Dang Ngoc Minh, deputy director of the General Department of Taxation, thinks otherwise. He said that Viet Nam has been offering a favourable tax rate of 12.3 per cent on average. Some big multinational enterprises (MNEs) are subject to tax rates of between 2.75 to 5.95 per cent.

If the GMCT is put in place, it will make Viet Nam less attractive to MNEs tax-wise. These MNEs would become reluctant to expand their presence in the country and relocate their facilities to other regions to enjoy more favourable tax policies, causing adverse economic effects.

Can Van Luc, chief economist at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, underlined the GMCT as a system aimed at de-escalating the tax-based competition for foreign investment between developing countries.

He asserted that GMCT would positively and negatively impact the Vietnamese economy should the country participate.

On the one hand, the GMCT would reduce the country’s tax-derived attractiveness and disrupt the flow of foreign investment in the short term. On the other hand, it would improve Viet Nam's image in the eyes of foreign investors and allow the country's tax system to shift toward an international norm.

Dau Anh Tuan, deputy secretary general of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), believes that the GMCT is more beneficial to capital-exporting countries than to capital-importing countries like Viet Nam.

He suggested that Viet Nam improve human resources, reduce land rental costs, establish better logistic systems and introduce more favourable policies on technology to make up for higher tax rates if the country opts for the GMCT.

Annett Perschmann Taubert, tax partner of PWC, remarked that Viet Nam has been encouraging foreign investment using low tax rates. Unfortunately, such means no longer have the desired effects as they did in the past.

As low tax rates make no big difference to capital inflows, the country is recommended to shift from low tax rates to the GMCT to avoid tax losses. Otherwise, MNEs would redirect tax-derived benefits back to their originating countries.

Taubert said that Viet Nam should factor GMCT into its tax laws and introduce target-specific policies on investment to supersede favourable tax rates. For instance, the country could treat firms investing in human resources more favourably.

Kim Yong Seok, director of external affairs at Samsung, said that Viet Nam is a potential country for investment but has been relying too much on tax-based policies to draw investment.

He believes those policies would turn ineffective as soon as the GMCT becomes a global norm. Accordingly, he recommends that Viet Nam shift its focus to favourable policies other than low tax rates to help MNEs in the country. 

HCM City to issue traceability codes for products
     
HCM City plans to issue a list of goods with traceability codes with a goal to have at least 50 per cent of businesses in multiple sectors, such as vegetables, livestock, food and medicine, be able to exchange data with the traceability code system in Viet Nam and the world.

Nguyen Thi Kim Hue, deputy director of HCM City Department of Science and Technology, said that traceability is a matter that consumers have great concerns for besides a product’s standards and quality.

By establishing traceability, businesses can better monitor the production and distribution of products. This will help with the competitiveness of the product and the businesses domestically and internationally.

The city has also issued a plan to implement and manage goods traceability for the 2021-2025 period.

State Bank of Vietnam announces amendments to bank loans circular

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has been developing a draft amending Circular 39 on bank loans, to keep credit risks in check.

The draft bans bank loans to borrowers who use the loans to secure future transactions that are unqualified at the moment of the loans.

The ban is expected to prevent the use of bank loans to purchase future real estate properties, which have not been given carte blanche from the authorities due to the lack of construction permits and proof of land use rights.

The HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA) believes that law-abiding real estate firms will remain unaffected by the ban since bank loans are still available to borrowers who aim for qualified real estate properties offered by the firms.

The association suggests credit institutions be allowed to make loans to help borrowers demonstrate their financial ability, as long as the borrowers can put up collateral for the loans.

It also suggests that collateral-backed loans be available to borrowers who want to use the money to contribute capital or invest in other firms.

Not all SMEs on right track digitally
     
Digital transformation is the key to competitive advantage in the age of technology-driven business, but few small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are doing it the right way.

Nguyen Duc Minh, Digital Transformation Manager at the FPT Digital, asserted that some SMEs had not found the solutions to their core digital problems, yet they still spent a lot on development and research. Such decisions would pour resources down the drain and lead them nowhere.

The manager suggested that SMEs seek solutions to three key problems, thereby improving their financial situation and resource efficiency: customer experience, operational improvement, and data gathering.

Nguyen Dang Hanh, Chairman of the Vietnam France Exchange and the Vietnam Arteco Trade and Construction Consultants JSC., remarked that his enterprise expects three goals when seeking solutions to their digital problems.

First, the solutions should allow managers to stay well-informed about works in progress and develop good ideas to accelerate the work.

At the same time, they should help employees know what works to focus on and how to do the work effectively and efficiently.

Second, the solutions should enable across-the-board business analysis, whereby SMEs could discover their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and potential market niches for themselves.

Lastly, the solutions should allow efficient management of the customer base, which is the key to competitiveness, reputation and growth in the long term.

Trinh Ngoc Bao, CEO and founder of Base. vn, revealed that his enterprise had tried to find a universal solution to all SMEs' digital problems. What the enterprise had created was helpful to some but not universal.

One lesson he has learned from the failed attempt is that there is no such thing as a "universal solution to all digital problems". Every digital problem is enterprise-specific and solvable only by strict compliance with scientific methodology.

According to the Vietnam Software Association, about 15 per cent of Vietnamese enterprises have been implementing digital transformation. Of which, 99 per cent face financial difficulties following the trend and think that digital transformation is affordable only to big names.

Vietnam enjoys sharp increase in shrimp exports

Vietnam has reported record growth in shrimp exports in the first half of 2022 with revenues reaching nearly USD 2.30 billion, 33 times higher compared to the same period last year.

According to a report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), shrimp exports were worth USD 2.30 billion which accounted for 40 percent of seafood exports in the first six months of 2022.

VASEP said that inflation and material shortages had posed lots of challenges for local seafood exporters. Some firms have turned to processing high-quality products for some demanding markets including Japan, the US, or EU countries.

Shrimp exports to China alone were worth USD 275 million in the first five months, 101 percent higher on year.

Explaining the surge in shrimp exports to China, VASEP said that seafood supplies in China had continued to fall over the past three years due to the country's tight Covid-19 prevention regulations, which led to the closure of many seafood processing firms.

Vingroup to develop second battery factory in Vung Ang

The conglomerate Vingroup, through VinES Energy Solutions JSC, announced cooperating with Gotion Inc. to develop its second lithium battery factory with the total investment capital of VND6.3 trillion ($273.9 million) in the central province of Ha Tinh.

Vung Ang Economic Zone Management Authority sent documents to departments and relevant authorities to collect opinions about appraising the project. VinES and Gotion Inc. will contribute $50.86 million (49 per cent) and $53.47 million (51 per cent), respectively, to establish the joint venture.

According to the investor’s proposal, the joint venture will arrange another $171.3 million from credit funds and other organisations.

The factory will produce lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are currently the most used batteries in the global new energy vehicle market.

According to the plan, the construction is expected to start in the fourth quarter and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023. The factory is expected to start operation in the first quarter of 2024.

Venture capital into local startups reached record high of $1.4 billion

Vietnam's innovation and startup scene has rebounded and reached new heights. with a record number of $1.4 billion in venture capital invested into Vietnamese startups in 2021, according to the report by Vietnam National Innovation Center and Do Ventures.

The report reveals that venture capital going into Vietnamese startups reached a record high in 2021 amidst market uncertainties and upheaval caused by COVID-19. The total funding amount reached a new high of $1.4 billion, a 1.6x growth compared to the prior record of $874 million set in 2019.

Accordingly, the total number of funds invested in Vietnamese startups climbed by 60 per cent, equally distributed among countries. Singapore was the most active investor in 2021, followed by Vietnam and the US. Japanese investors have also gradually resumed their activities in Vietnam after a two-year slowdown.

Investor appetite has been accelerated by an increased interest in sectors that have benefited from the pandemic.

Moreover, the ease of video conferencing has made travel restrictions no longer a barrier to the investment decision-making process.

Riding the acceleration of digital adoption, Vietnam celebrated the emergence of two unicorns, MoMo and Sky Mavis, in 2021.

With regards to the scale of deals, the total amount of $10 million deals exceeded $1.2 billion, a 255 per cent increase over the previous year, spreading over 17 deals.

Bank deposits surge as interest rates rise

Data from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) showed that in the first quarter alone, individuals’ deposits increased by nearly VND103.6 trillion, or over 11%, Tien Phong newspaper reported.

In the first half of the year, deposit interest rates for tenors of six-12 months rose by 0.5-1 percentage point on average over the end of last year.

Sai Gon Joint Stock Commercial Bank reported the highest deposit rate in the market, at 7.55% for online deposits of 18 months and longer.

At some smaller banks, such as Bac A Bank, BAOVIET Bank, Nam A Bank, CB Bank, PVcomBank, SHB, KienlongBank, the interest rate for savings of 12 months and longer is now over 7% each.

Can Van Luc, chief economist at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, said the deposit rate hike would help attract money from the public to lend to corporate clients. At present, banks’ liquidity is quite stable.

As of June 20, credit growth reached 8.51%. In the first six months of the year, many banks reached half of their credit growth caps for this year, so they have proposed adjusting up their caps.

Pham Chi Quang, deputy director of the Monetary Policy Department under the SBV, an increase in credit growth caps for lender banks would drive up inflationary pressure. The deposit rate spike has resulted in lending rates soaring.

According to SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu, global financial market volatility would certainly impact the Vietnamese economy. The recent rise in the prices of commodities would directly affect the central bank’s foreign exchange and monetary policies.

Statistics from the General Statistics Office showed that inflation stood at 2.44% in the first half of the year and inflationary pressure will build up in the rest of the year.

Vietjet launches more Hanoi-Japan services

Local low-cost carrier Vietjet Air has opened two direct routes linking Hanoi with Nagoya and Fukuoka in Japan, giving passengers more travel choices, in addition to its existing services between Vietnam’s two biggest cities, HCMC and Hanoi, and Japan’s Tokyo and Osaka.

The airline will operate three round-trip flights per week on the Hanoi-Fukuoka route on Tuesdays, Thurdays, and Saturdays, while the Hanoi-Nagoya route will have four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The budget airline on July 1 resumed its service linking Hanoi with Busan, a coastal city in South Korea, with three weekly flights on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Dong Nai hands over 750 hectares of public land to Land Fund Development Center

The People's Committee of Dong Nai Province has just assigned the provincial Land Fund Development Center for the management and exploitation of more than 1,100 public land parcels with a total area of 750 hectares.

Of which, 437 land parcels comprising a total area of over 380 hectares will serve for agricultural production, and there are 675 non-agricultural parcels with over 366 hectares in Bien Hoa City and districts of Nhon Trach, Trang Bom, Thong Nhat and Vinh Cuu. 

As for the handed-over area, nearly 400 hectares of public land are processed auction or lease; over 220 hectares of land do not plan to lease or auction; and nearly 130 hectares have not been able to exploit.

The Provincial People’s Committee required the districts and cities having the planned land plots near the traffic route that would upgrade, revoke and hand over the public land to the Provincial and District Land Fund Development Center for organizing an auction to implement key transport infrastructure projects.

PIA to handle complaints of Tan Hoang Minh bond’s investors

Ministry of Public Security to handle complaints of Tan Hoang Minh bond’s investors.

The Ministry of Finance yesterday said that the agency and the State Securities Commission (SSC) had working sessions with individuals related to separated bond issuance of three enterprises under Tan Hoang Minh Group.

At the working sessions, representatives of Ministry of Finance, SSC received comprehensive ideas, proposals of bond investors; proposals of investors on refunding money extended for purchasing bond and SSC had sent these letters to the Police Investigation Agency (PIA) of the Ministry of Public Security for considering and handling in accordance with the law.

Previously, pursuant to proposals of PIA, SSC had collaborated with relevant units to issue official letter to cancel nine bond issuance sessions from July, 2021 to March, 2022 of three joint-stock companies related to Tan Hoang Minh Group.  

Northern region detects nearly 1,800 hectares of weedy rice in crop of 2021-2022

The Northern region recorded an appearance of 1,799 hectares of weedy rice, also called the ghost rice or wild rice in the winter-spring crop of 2021-2022, according to Deputy Head of the Department of Plant Protection under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Notably, the Northern provinces of Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Ninh Binh, Ha Nam have been affected severely.

Previously, the density of weedy rice had been scattered; however, this year, it has developed on a large scale.

The weedy rice is characterized by rapid development, early maturity and usually lower grain yield which is easy to fall off amid the condition of slight winds and self-germinate, spread to the following crops leading to low productivity. Especially, it is very difficult to control because the farmers cannot distinguish between weedy rice and normal rice.

Amid the current situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has just assigned the Plant Protection Institute to study solutions to prevent the development of this rice.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes

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