Khanh Hoa province introduces measures to recover tourism
The south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa has seen a stark decline in tourism activities as well as revenue this year due to COVID-19. Since the beginning of September, local authorities have implemented a number of measures to recover the tourism sector, which have initially proven effective.
Khanh Hoa has over 1,000 accommodation providers with 50,000 rooms in total. Since the pandemic hit, room occupancy has stood at around 15%. In September, however, the province saw an uptick in the number of tourists and positive signs in the tourism market thanks to the pandemic having been controlled.
This luxury hotel saw a 15 percent increase in room occupancy in November compared to October. With the implementation of a stimulus package to attract more visitors, such as price reductions on rooms and services and measures to prevent another outbreak, its efforts have seen positive signs.
It is estimated that tourist numbers to Nha Trang will increase over the remainder of 2020, especially during the Christmas and New Year holiday. The Tourism Department of Khanh Hoa province is aiming to welcome over 350,000 visitors, including 10,000 foreign tourists. The province is also resuming all basic tourist services to meet requirements.
The province has worked together with tour providers and accommodation providers to identify promotional activities as well as stimulus packages to give the tourism industry a positive outlook./.
Vietnamese NA, EP discuss EVFTA implementation
Representatives from the Vietnamese National Assembly and the European Parliament (EP) discussed the implementation of the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), during an online meeting on December 2.
Since the deal took effect earlier this year, the Vietnamese Government has issued a comprehensive plan for the EVFTA implementation. Each ministry, agency and locality has also embarked on their own plans.
Vietnam is also actively working with the EU to establish mechanisms to step up EVFTA implementation. The Vietnamese Government has issued legal documents guiding the effort, enhanced campaigns to raise public awareness of the deal, and promptly tackled difficulties met by businesses and localities.
The Vietnamese NA units are also partnering with the Government to speed up the full and effective implementation of commitments in the deal, boost parliamentary cooperation, and uphold its supervisory role in the delivery of commitments.
Since August 1 when the deal went into force, Vietnam has exported goods worth 7.3 billion USD to the EU while spending around 3.7 billion USD on imports.
EP lawmakers spoke highly of Vietnam’s timely building of laws related to the commitments in the deal. The two sides held that it is necessary to intensify cooperation to boost the effective implementation of the agreement, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both sides also discussed the establishment of the Domestic Advisory Groups to promote trade and sustainable development./.
HCM City outskirts emerge as real estate hotspots
In the wake of the limiting land funds and rocketing prices in city centre locations, developers are expanding their interest in mergers and acquisitions towards satellite towns and other areas near Vietnam’s major cities.
According to Angus Liew, general director of Gamuda Land in Ho Chi Minh City, the company is considering expanding to satellite cities and broader areas of central business districts such as at ring roads of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
“We focus on township development, in which housing is only one component of urban areas. Urban areas, if fully developed, will meet the demand for both living and working. Even in difficult times, urban areas are still full of vitality,” Liew said at the Vietnam M&A Forum 2020 held by VIR last week in Ho Chi Minh City.
“When we look for M&A opportunities, we look at those both domestically and abroad, and AEON Mall is an example. What we are looking for is to continue to develop large-scale urban areas, and M&A is a good tool for project development,” he added.
Meanwhile Nguyen The Nhien, deputy CEO of Hung Thinh Land, also stressed that real estate in suburban areas is heating up due to changing customer behaviour.
Since the end of 2019, Hung Thinh Land has spent trillions of VND to conduct M&A deals in the central province of Binh Dinh. The company also has a land reserve of 1,000 hectares in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong via M&A channel.
“We have worked with local authorities to implement projects in satellite provinces. However, the company is facing obstacles such as the prolonged licensing process as well as how to spur market demand. In addition, the satellite provinces do not have good infrastructure to connect with other provinces. Hung Thinh Land has many projects and land reserves so the company is ready to conduct M&A deals with foreign investors,” Nhien said.
Vu Minh Tien, board member at An Thinh Group, also stressed that including the growth motivation and competition among domestic businesses post-pandemic.
“It forces us to change ourselves and grow stronger. However, we also see some overlaps in legislation. It needs a lot of time to address the conflict between the laws on land and investment. There is a lack of transparency and takes a lot of time to deal with the problems. The response from regulatory bodies is too slow,” Tien said.
“Foreign investors need to review different channels. Some deals were nearing completion but have still failed due to legal issues. The integration post-pandemic is another problem. We must restructure to avoid confusion but it is necessary to change governance structures to ensure a smooth transition between buyers and sellers,” he added.
Novaland Group is another real estate developer which is leading in M&A with dozens of projects.
Senior director Nguyen Thai Phien said that the company two weeks ago successfully gained a project covering more than 286ha in the southern province of Dong Nai, neighbouring Ho Chi Minh City with a value of nearly $1 billion.
With the motto to develop eco-tourism property, Novaland has expanded its portfolio to a range of provinces such as Dong Nai, Phan Thiet, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and more.
“M&A has been an active tool for the development strategy of Novaland,” Phien said. “With this, we are aiming at the three key values of increasing land fund and market share, increasing the company’s value, and creating a local community.”
Nam Long Group is another developer actively expanding its portfolios into satellite cities apart from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Nam Long now owns around 700ha of cleared land fund stretching many provinces and cities such as Long An, Can Tho, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong in the south, and Haiphong in the north.
In 2020 particularly, Nam Long has implemented a range of projects such as Akari City, Waterpoint, Mizuki Park, and Waterfront.
According to Nguyen Xuan Quang, chairman of Nam Long Group, it has cooperated with McKinsey & Company to set up a long-term vision for the next ten years at least.
“We are tending towards becoming a sustainable real estate developer to meet the real demand of customers in different segments and in many localities nationwide,” Quang said.
Trade surplus swells to record high in 11 months amidst COVID-19
Vietnam posted a trade surplus of 20.1 billion USD in the first 11 months of this year, the highest on record, despite the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
Between January and November, the domestic economic sector generated some 73 billion USD in export revenue, up 1.6 percent, making up 28.7 percent of the total. Meanwhile, the foreign-invested sector, including crude oil, recorded 181.6 billion USD, up 6.9 percent, accounting for 71.3 percent of the total.
Up to 31 groups of commodities joined the over one-billion-USD export club, making up 92 percent of the accumulative export value, with 10 groups posting more than 10 billion USD./.
US-Vietnam economic ties ready to intensify
Vietnam and the United States are seeking to further cement their trade and investment ties, with the latter’s new administration.
President Donald Trump last week authorised his administration to begin working with Joe Biden on presidential transition, with the inauguration date set for January 20.
Eric Johnson, senior associate at the Vietnam offices of international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, stated that while Trump and Biden could not be more different, Biden’s success will not lead to drastic change of the ongoing interest of US companies and financial investors in Vietnam.
Johnson explained that the clear trend of strengthening economic, political, and security ties which has continued under four US administrations will continue under the next one.
“It is true that the Biden/Harris administration will most likely take a less-overtly aggressive approach on trade issues, and it will hopefully move away from the current administration’s one-dimensional view of commercial relationships with US trading partners through the lens of trade deficits alone,” Johnson said.
He noted that it is worth remembering that the US democrats have historically been the side with the strongest resistance against free trade agreements.
Johnson stated that the factors that drive foreign investment into Vietnam – namely, its stable economic and political environment, emerging urban middle class, young and dynamic population, and high internet and mobile device penetration, will not be affected by the outcome of the US election.
Meanwhile, US conglomerate General Electric (GE) on November 21 signed an MoU with EVN Genco3 to develop an liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plant in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, in the presence of US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. GE will be contracted to install gas turbine technology and some other equipment, and will take an equity stake in the project, according to White House officials accompanying O’Brien.
“GE will look to supply gas turbines and associated equipment and services for the project estimated at more than $1 billion over the lifetime of the project,” a company spokesperson said.
GE and Genco3 have been carrying out feasibility studies for two years to find a location for the LNG-to-power project. If Ba Ria-Vung Tau approves the project, the consortium will start the first phase with a goal of being operational by 2025.
Millennium Group, also from the US, also recently proposed to build a 9,600MW power plant and storage complex for $15 billion in Van Phong Economic Zone in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa. In addition, it will invest in a dock warehouse system to provide gas to the power plant and to Southeast Asia as well. This system may be located in either Ninh Phuoc or Ninh Hoa commune.
“Once Khanh Hoa province’s leaders approve, the project will be guaranteed by the US government and we will work with the Vietnamese government to discuss implementation plans. Millennium expects to make the dock warehouse in South Van Phong the energy centre of Southeast Asia,” said Sam Chan, chairman of Millennium Vietnam Group.
According to Marie C. Damour, US consul-general for Ho Chi Minh City, the two countries can be proud of what has been achieved in recent decades. “As we approach the end of our 25th anniversary year, the statistics on our bilateral trade should now be familiar: what started with $450 million in annual trade has grown to roughly $77 billion today. That’s an extraordinary success,” she said.
In 1994, Vietnam was America’s 95th largest source of imports but today it ranks seventh, Damour pointed out. The US is also now Vietnam’s largest export market, and Vietnam is one of America’s fastest-growing markets worldwide.
The US-Vietnam economic relationship continues to grow and expand. Last month’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Hanoi witnessed the signing of major commercial deals between US and Vietnamese firms worth a combined $11.5 billion. These included deals for major LNG projects throughout Vietnam, as well as deals in agriculture and smart city development.
“As we look to the next 25 years and beyond in our relationship with Vietnam, our goal is to seize upon that momentum and take it to the next level,” Damour said. “With Vietnam’s remarkable growth trajectory, there are tremendous opportunities to deepen our economic and commercial ties across numerous sectors including energy, infrastructure, the digital economy, and manufacturing.”
“Vietnam’s impressive economic growth means that it will need many billions of US dollars in infrastructure investment in the coming years. This creates opportunities for American to bring their high-quality services and equipment, innovative technologies, and transparent business practices to Vietnam,” Damour explained.
Groundbreaking ceremony for hi-tech pharmaceutical complex held in Tra Vinh
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Hi-tech Pharmaceutical Complex with a capacity of 1.5 billion tablets a year was held yesterday in Luong Hoa A Commune in Chau Thanh District of the Mekong Delta Province of Tra Vinh.
The project with total investment of VND650 billion (US$28 million) is located in the area of nearly 10 hectare.
It is expected to promote domestic drugs and limit import of medicine as well as create employment for over 2,000 local laborers. The complex is hoped to contribute approximately VND150 billion to the state budget yearly.
Nguyen Dinh Anh, Director General of the Health Communication and Reward Department under the Ministry of Health, said according to the Drug Administration of Vietnam’s statistics, locally-made medicine can meet 52 percent of demand.
Some 220 pharmaceutical plants are located in the country; yet just 10 of them meet GMP EU-standard or equivalent; therefore, the newly-built complex will help promote production of domestic drugs and limits import of foreign-made tablets.
Chairman of Tra Vinh Province People’s Committee Le Van Han said that the complex is one of the province’s major projects greatly contributing its growth. The complex was built in Chau Thanh District – a disadvantaged place with the most population of Khmer residents; hence, it will help improving locals’ living condition.
On the occasion, TV.Pharm offered 50 free-of-charge Phaco eye surgeries for poor patients as well as presented scholarships worth VND500 million to Khmer students from low-income families with good academic performance.
The complex project was approved in November, 2019.
At the groundbreaking, a representative from the Ministry of Health handed certificates of merit to three teams and 12 staffs of TV.Pharm that have well done in Covid-19 prevention task in the last time.
Urbanization spurs socio-economic development
The Central Economic Committee in association with the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association and HCMC Open University held a seminar on developing a transparent and sustainable housing market, promoting the process of urbanization and urban development in Vietnam to 2030, with a vision to 2045, on November 27.
Mr. Nguyen Duc Hien, Deputy Head of the Central Economic Committee, said that over the past ten years, urbanization and urban development in Vietnam had seen rapid growth, promoting the country’s economic development and achieving many set targets. The space and number of urban areas have increased rapidly from 33.5 percent in 2010 to nearly 39 percent in 2020. Urban areas were evenly distributed, creating a nuclear driving force for the process of socio-economic development. The urban economy is one of the three pillars of the economy, accounting for more than 7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, urbanization and urban development still show many shortcomings, such as the risk of imbalance in development between urban and rural areas, overloaded infrastructure, and asynchronous connection.
Assessing the real estate market recently, Mr. Nguyen Van Sinh, Deputy Minister of Construction, said that the development of the real estate market is not sustainable. There is still a potential risk of instability. Real estate prices, especially housing prices, nail at high levels and remain in an upward trend, especially in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang. The structure of some real estate products, including housing, is imbalanced. There is a lack of small and medium-sized goods, with prices suitable to the needs of the majority of people, especially the lack of rental housing and social housing. Meanwhile, there are signs of an oversupply of luxury housing.
The mobilization of resources to implement social housing development programs to serve social policy beneficiaries, low-income people in urban areas, cadres, civil servants, public employees, armed forces, and workers in industrial zones remains limited. The situation of rampant and spontaneous investment or delayed projects with asynchronous investment and a lack of infrastructure connection still happens relatively common. High inventory causes a waste of land resources and social investment capital.
It is forecasted that the demand for housing in the period from 2021 to 2030 will continue to increase, especially in urban areas, due to the population growth rate and urbanization trend. Increasing people’s income raises affordability in general and willingness to pay for housing demand in particular, the need to renovate and replace houses due to a lack of housing quality.
Experts said that the current urban population rate is about 40 percent and will increase to 45 percent by 2030, so it requires an annual increase of about 70 million square meters of urban housing. New housing demand will continue to concentrate in a few big cities and industrial zones, namely Ho Chi Minh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Vung Tau, Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, and Hai Phong. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cities – the two big cities with a high population attraction – which requires a rapid increase in urban housing areas, will account for over 50 percent of the country’s urban area.
HCMC’s real estate market has the largest size in the country, reflected in the number of houses, office, and retail space, as well as rental accommodation. With a large population and the position of the economic center of the country, the demand for real estate products here is also huge and diverse. The operation and volatility of the real estate market in HCMC have a great impact on the real estate market of the country.
Mr. Le Hoa Binh, Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of HCMC, Director of the Department of Construction, representing the city’s leaders to attend the seminar, said that the policy and the legal document system was one of the important factors, directly affecting the development of the city’s real estate market. He said that the promulgation of tight monetary policies in 2008 and 2011 greatly affected the regression of the real estate market during this period.
Moreover, the enactment of the 2003 Law on Land has also resulted in strong land displacement for urban and residential development projects before the law becomes effective. Therefore, determining the impact of policies and legal document system on the real estate market in HCMC needs to summarize and assess the correlation between the development process of the real estate market and the time of issuance of the Law on Land, the Housing Law, the Real Estate Trading Law, and policies on housing and credit.
Concurring with this point of view, Mr. Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the HCMC Real Estate Association, said that there is almost a maze of legal documents governing the real estate market. In general, it is very complicated, overlapping, even contradictory, like a matrix discouraging investors. But over the past ten years, the legal system has gradually improved, mostly shown through the promulgation of the 2020 Investment Law, the amended 2020 Construction Law, which simultaneously amending and supplementing some articles of the Housing Law, the Real Estate Business Law, and the Law on Environmental Protection. The Government is considering issuing a decree amending decrees on the implementation of the Law on Land, ensuring consistency and continuity, solving some major problems of the real estate market.
Vietnamese overseas investment increases 6.9 percent
The Department of Foreign Investment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment has just announced that in the first 11 months of this year, 114 Vietnamese outbound investment projects are granted new investment registration certificates with total investment capital of US$316.4 million.
Meanwhile, the total foreign investment capital in Vietnam by November 20, including newly-registered and additional capital, capital contribution, and purchase of shares by foreign investors, reached $26.4 billion, down 16.9 percent over the same period last year.
Specifically, 2,313 projects were newly licensed with registered capital of $13.6 billion, down 33.5 percent in volume and 7.6 percent in value over the same period last year. There were 1,051 times of licensed projects registered to adjust investment capital with additional capital of $6.3 billion, up 7.8 percent. There were 5,812 times of capital contribution and purchase of shares by foreign investors, with the total value of capital contribution reaching $6.5 billion, down 41.8 percent. There were 1,535 times of capital contribution and purchase of shares causing the charter capital of enterprises to increase, with the value of the capital contribution of nearly $2.7 billion, and 4,277 times of foreign investors buying back domestic shares without raising charter capital, with a value of more than $3.8 billion. Realized foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in 11 months was estimated at $17.2 billion, down 2.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
Vietnam needs to create ample resources for innovative startups: Official
Vietnam is still short of manpower for innovative startup ecosystem.
There should be links among Vietnam’s ecosystems to rationalize resources for innovative startups, Kinh te & Do thi quoted Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung as saying at the forum titled “Connecting resources to support innovative startups” in Hanoi on November 28.
It is necessary to promote connections for the ecosystem to make effective use of startup support resources, Deputy Minister Tung emphasized.
He said Vietnam has abundant human resources and there is much room for growth which would be fully tapped if scientific and technological achievements are applied. Therefore, Vietnam needs policies to encourage creativity and dedication of its citizens, as well as to attract talented people at home and abroad.
Currently, more than 1,400 organizations in Vietnam are supporting startups. So far, 196 co-working areas, 69 business incubators and 28 business promotion organizations have been established. Some 108 venture capital funds consider Vietnam a target market. These numbers have been steadily increasing in recent years.
“We need to promote the connections among these organizations, especially enhance the linkage among the State – Schools – Businesses to develop creative hubs and co-working areas for supporting startups,” said the deputy minister.
However, Vietnam is still short of manpower for innovative startup ecosystem, Mr. Tung added, the human resources for this ecosystem are not only startups entrepreneurs, but also consultants, experts and successful businesspeople who want to support startups.
“If we get all these resources together, we can complete the ecosystem and support its development,” the deputy minister stressed.
At the forum, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, representative of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), emphasized the need of incubating and counseling startups to develop ideas.
Especially, the connection needs to be made among startups, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen said, adding that facilitating connection between local and foreign organizations will create important products which can support for the community.
Hanoi prioritizes developing solar, waste-to-energy by 2025
Hanoi expects the ratio of renewable energy to account for 1% of the total primary energy by 2025.
Hanoi has issued a plan to boost the development of renewable energy for the 2021-2025 period with a focus on solar and energy-from-waste.
This is followed by the supplementation of a legal system and policies to encourage and boost the generation of renewable sources that was stated in the city’s Plan 225/KH-UBND.
The city targets that the ratio of renewable energy will account for 1% of its total primary energy by 2025, of which, solar power capacity will reach 100 megawatts peak (MWp) and waste-to-power 150MW.
Incentives will be given to investors of waste treatment plants that use urban waste, biomass, and solid urban waste, and any model that helps develop circular economy.
In addition, due assessment will be made to rooftop solar power and its impact on the grid, to wind and hydropower as well to diversify the city’s energy mix.
To reach the target, the city vows to conduct a number of solutions, including the dissemination of the need of energy efficiency and energy saving, improving awareness of the role of solar and waste-to-energy, organizing workshops and forums providing experience exchange and recommendations for policy making.
In terms of technology, database and online sharing will be developed to serve the planning, supervision, management, and development of the market. More investment will be made to building database on solar energy, facilities with integrated energy storage systems to optimize the participation of electricity users in demand side management (DSM).
Notably, the city will launch pilot projects that provide both funding and technical assistance to solar farms in the locality, and install light-emitting diode (LED) products.
Last but not least, the city will offer incentives to rooftop solar systems and promote the use of this model in state agencies, clinics, schools, and households.
Covid-19 costs tourism sector up to US$23 billion in 2020
Viet Nam’s tourism sector is estimated to lose up to US$23 billion in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien.
Speaking at the national conference on tourism in Da Nang on Saturday, Thien said the number of foreign arrivals to Viet Nam is forecast to plunge by over 80% this year.
Last July, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that the world’s tourism sector could lose at least US$1.2 trillion, or 1.5% of the global GDP.
The body had warned that the loss could rise to US$2.2 trillion, or 2.8% of the world’s GDP if the break in international tourism last for eight months.
As the pandemic has been brought under control for nearly three months, the Vietnamese Government asked for making every effort to pursue the dual goal of pandemic containment and economic recovery.
The organization of the national conference on tourism is part of the Government’s measures to seek ways to reboot tourism development in “new normal” situation.
Tourism is an important pillar of the economy as it contributes about 6% to the country’s GDP. Inbound tourism grew 22.7% annually on average in the 2015-2019 period, from 7.9 million to 18 million.
Viet Nam ranked 63rd among 140 countries and territories on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2019, up 12 places from 2015./.
ASEAN emerges as China’s largest trading partner for first time
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, ASEAN has historically emerged as China’s largest trading partner, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The Government chief highlighted the point in his video message to the 17th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit which will be held digitally on November 27.
Though the global economy was severely affected by Covid-19, ASEAN and China could still maintain positive momentum of cooperation, especially in trade and investment, and mutual support in the fight against the pandemic.
Over the last decade, China has been one of the top trading partners of ASEAN. The two-way trade between China and ASEAN member States reached US$300 billion in the first six months this year, of which trade between Viet Nam and China accounted for 20%.
Under the theme “Responsive and Cohesive” initiated by Viet Nam as the ASEAN Chair 2020, the bloc has continued consolidating solidarity and unity, sustaining cooperation momentum, drastically curbing the Covid-19 pandemic while strengthening ASEAN centrality over security matters in the region as well as cooperation with partners.
Most recently at the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits, leaders of ASEAN countries and its five partners, including China represented by Premier Li Keqiang, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement which covers 2.2 billion people with a combined GDP of US$26,200 billion, Phuc recalled.
The signing of the trade pact is a laudable achievement and a strong affirmation of an open, fair, and rules-based multilateral trading system, Phuc emphasized.
At CAEXPO, Viet Nam has been the country with the largest number of participating businesses and exhibition stalls among ASEAN member countries. And this time, Vietnamese virtual stalls will stay open until the end of 2020, according to PM Phuc.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN-China free trade area and Viet Nam is joining with other ASEAN countries to realize the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and expand cooperation with China on the basis of the UN Charter and international law for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world.
PM Phuc also took the occasion to congratulate General Secretary, President Xi Jinping – the core leader of China, and Chinese people and Government upon their rapid success in addressing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and remarkable economic rebound.
He also appreciated that China has shared information and experience in fighting the pandemic and provided assistance to affected countries./.
HCM City, RoK cooperate in public transport development
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will select Korean consultants to conduct feasibility study for the second phase of Metro Line No. 5 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The agency will complete a report and hand over it to the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) at the end of 2021 in accordance with an agreement recently signed between the two sides.
The project is the follow-up of another project, also funded by KOICA aiming to provide technical assistance to the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of the second phase of Metro Line No. 5.
The 23.39-km metro line will run along Hoang Van Thu, Phan Dang Luu, Bach Dang, and Dien Bien Phu streets and be connected to future metro lines such as Metro Line No. 1 at Sai Gon Bridge and Metro Line No. 4 at the Phu Nhuan intersection in the district of the same name.
The first phase of Metro Line No 5, linking the Bay Hien intersection and Sai Gon Bridge, will be about 8.89 km in length and cost over 1.5 billion EUR, sponsored by the Spanish Government, the Asian Development Bank, the German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, and the European Investment Bank.
The second phase, which connects the Bay Hien intersection with the new Can Giuoc Bus Station and the Da Phuoc Depot, will be some 1.43 km in length and cost an estimated 2.18 billion EUR or more.
Textile-garment exports likely to reach 34 billion USD
Vietnam’s textile and garment industry is predicted to earn about 33.5 – 34 billion USD from exports in 2020, higher than the forecast of 30-31 billion USD in April, and down 14-15 percent year-on-year.
According to statistics reported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the textile industry’s export turnover reached an estimated 24.76 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, declining by 9.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
The ministry said textile enterprises need to take measures, as well as adjust their production activities and business forms to suit the fluctuations of the market due to the severe impacts posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attention should also paid to exploiting the domestic market and forming production chains meeting regulations of origin stated in free trade agreements that Vietnam signed with partners, it noted.
Addressing a recent working session to seek solutions to difficulties facing the industry amid the health crisis, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested the sector strengthen application of digital technologies and make effective use of FTAs.
The Government leader also emphasised the need to develop modern and environmentally friendly industrial parks serving the textile and garment industry, and application of circular economy.
More reforms needed in construction procedures
More drastic reforms of construction-related administrative procedures must be carried to improve transparency and reduce costs for enterprises, heard a conference organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Ministry of Construction and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Hanoi last week.
VCCI Vice ChairmanHoang Quang Phong said enterprises implementing construction works were still facing with a lot of difficulties in administrative procedures.
Administrative procedures must be carried out with different State management agencies at different levels and for different stages, from policy approval, land handover, land clearance to construction progress.
There were overlaps and inconsistencies in construction-related administrative procedures which caused a waste of time and pushed up costs for enterprises, Phong said.
According to Dau Anh Tuan, head of the VCCI’s Legal Department, construction inspections remained a burden for enterprises, he said, citing findings that 38.2 percent of enterprises were not satisfied with inspections carried out by State management agencies due to overlaps in inspections and difficulties caused by inspectors.
Tuan said it was necessary that inspectors at different administrative levels worked with each other to prevent overlaps in inspections and that transparency in inspections must be improved.
He added that inspections in the construction sector should be carried out following a risk-based approach, which was now used by the tax and customs agencies, stressing that risked-based inspection would help save time and reduce costs.
The VCCI’s survey of 10,000 enterprises (82 percent of them were private and 18 percent were foreign-invested companies) found private companies did not have experiences as good as foreign direct investment (FDI) companies in term of construction administrative procedures, which showed localities were offering FDI companies more preferential policies to attract foreign investment.
Micro and small-sized enterprises were found to face the greatest difficulties in carrying out construction-related administrative procedures, the report pointed out. In addition, 23 percent of enterprises did not agree that administrative procedures were handled on time following established regulations.
Informal charges were also a burden for enterprises in applying for construction permits, the survey found, adding that time to receive construction permits must be shortened. About 25 percent of enterprises said they could not fully access instructions to conduct administrative procedures in the construction sector.
Tuan said that the legal system in construction and relevant sectors must be reviewed for amendments to save time and costs for enterprises.
Promoting the provision of online public services with cashless payment was also important to prevent informal charges, he said.
It was also important to improve the transparency in receiving and handling construction procedures together with applying information technology in handling administrative procedures, Tuan said.
Pandemic takes toll on HCM City’s FDI attraction
Foreign direct investment (FDI) pledges for Ho Chi Minh City fell 30.5 percent year-on-year to 3.8 billion USD during January-November, according to the municipal statistics bureau.
The global economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, and investors unable to travel due to restrictions, the bureau further said.
In the 11-month period, 865 new projects were granted investment registration certificates, a year-on-year decline of 26.8 percent. Total registered capital fell to 500 million USD, down 65 percent.
Regarding additional capital, 235 projects registered to adjust their capital, down 16.7 percent, while the total capital topped 476 million USD, down 38 percent as compared to the same time last year.
More than 2.83 billion USD was poured into 3,401 capital contribution and share purchase deals by foreign investors, a decline of 13.6 percent.
Since the pandemic continues its complicated developments, the municipal People’s Committee has held various dialogues with enterprises to remove bottlenecks for them, while carrying out trade promotion activities with large trade partners like the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
According to head of the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing Zone and Industry Park Authority Hua Quoc Hung, warehouses have been developed to welcome both domestic and foreign investment flow. Particularly, many investors have shifted their production from foreign countries to the southern hub since Vietnam has put the coronavirus outbreak under control.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the city will enact numerous solutions to facilitate FDI by focusing on infrastructure and administrative procedures.
The city will give top priority to FDI firms with advanced management capacity, as well as encourage development of the sectors that create a locomotive for the economic growth and competitive edge such as intensive science technology industry./.
Viettel named best mobile service provider in Vietnam
Viettel Telecom, a subsidiary of the Military Industry and Telecoms Group, took the lead among four mobile service providers in Vietnam in terms of mobile service in September, according to the Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Viettel topped the list as it met all six criteria, especially techniques, readiness of wireless services, and call quality.
The results reflecting the technical quality of the mobile service providers in the surveyed localities were valid at the time of the survey.
Viettel is followed by other mobile service providers, namely VinaPhone, MobiFone and Vietnamobile.
Last year, Frost & Sullivan honoured Viettel Telecom as the best mobile data service provider in Vietnam 2019./.
ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs’ Council chairmanship handed over to Brunei
The Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association (VYEA), as Chair of the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs’ Council in 2020, handed over the chairmanship to its Brunei counterpart on November 30.
At the handover ceremony taking place as part of the 5th ASEAN Young Entrepreneur Carnival held in Hanoi, a representative of the Young Entrepreneur Association Brunei (YEAB) said the association is willing to stand side by side with firms and people in preparing for future challenges.
She recommended ASEAN young entrepreneurs’ associations continue their connectivity and cooperation. In its chairmanship, Brunei will focus on supporting small- and medium-sized companies in digital transformation and boosting the development of the ASEAN young entrepreneurs’ ecosystem.
The ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs’ Council was set up in November 2015 at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia, with the aim of promoting the common voice of the bloc’s young entrepreneurs in boosting regional solidarity, and socio-economic and cultural cooperation in the ASEAN Community./.
Vietnam, Cuba step up construction cooperation
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Vietnamese-based Consultant and Inspection Joint Stock Company of Construction Technology and Equipment (CONINCO) and the Cuban-based DINVAI Vietnam construction company on November 30.
Speaking at the signing event held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Construction, Construction Minister Pham Hong Ha and Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera expressed their belief that the two companies’ cooperation, based on their potential, capacities and suitable strategies, will be extended in the coming time. The MoU, meanwhile, will lay the foundation for DINVAI Vietnam to secure more partnerships with Vietnamese construction firms.
The Cuban diplomat said the signing is an important activity in realisation of the MoU inked at the 37th meeting of the Vietnam – Cuba intergovernmental committee.
CONINCO is a top brand in construction consultation in Vietnam. Meanwhile, DINVAI Vietnam, which operates in infrastructure technical development and offers technical services in construction project management and human resources, has taken part in a number of key transport infrastructure projects./.
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