Vietnam promotes ASEAN’s role in Italy

The Deloitte Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index for 2016, the Business Times said, noted that by 2020 – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Vietnam – could quite possibly rank among the top 15 manufacturing countries in the globe. Manufacturing labour costs in Indonesia, according to Deloitte, currently run about one-fifth of those in China, while in Vietnam and India they are about half the level of the most populous nation in Asia. The five Southeast Asian countries have a few distinct longer term competitive advantages over China, Deloitte said, such as better prospects for a continued growing younger workforce over the next three decades. In addition, a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership currently under negotiation among ASEAN and India, China, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Japan and New Zealand holds great promise for higher levels of commercial and services trade for the Southeast Asian regional bloc. Executives of leading multinationals are also taking a long hard look at these same five countries, especially Vietnam, as alternative manufacturing bases, said the Business Times, based on its review of interviews published in Voice of Asia. The executives cited by the Business Times all stated they were currently operating in ASEAN and were sanguine on continued prospects for their companies to prosper in terms of sales and earnings within ASEAN, especially expressing optimism with respect to Vietnam. The list of executives included those from Borden Company (PTE) Limited, which has been successfully selling its green…... [read more]

In the study conducted by the US Fashion Industry Association, a Washington, DC, group that works to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers, nearly 70% of executives surveyed rated protectionist trade policies as their top concern. That’s up from the No. 10 spot on the survey last year. In the study, which surveyed 34 executives employed by large multinationals, China was reported the largest sourcing arena for clothing imports into the US and Vietnam was considered the second go to spot. The percentage of respondents who reported they currently source product from China dipped 9% to 91%. In last year’s study, all the respondent multinationals reported they manufactured clothing and textiles in China. While Vietnam was considered a popular sourcing destination, by the respondents, only 36% said they planned to increase their sourcing in that country over the next two years. This is a 17% drop from the 53% that last year reported they were interested in increasing production in the Southeast Asian country. The significant drop is attributable to the US pull-out of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership to which Vietnam was a signatory and that would have paved the way for duty-free clothing exports to the US and other TPP member countries. Bangladesh has been a popular sourcing destination because of its low-cost labour, but the executives surveyed noted the country’s factories have a higher risk in complying with employment standards. Only 32% of the US fashion industry executives surveyed expected…... [read more]

At their meeting on July 20 as part of the Deputy PM’s visit to Indonesia from June 19-21, the two sides showed delight at the recent progress of the Vietnam-Indonesia relations, especially the promotion of bilateral ties to strategic partnership in 2013. Megawati recalled good impression during her visit to Vietnam in 2003 as Indonesia’s President, during which the two sides signed a joint statement on the framework of friendly and comprehensive partnership entering the 21st century and the agreement on delineation of continental shelf, which laid a firm foundation for the two sides to beef up their relations in major areas. Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue meets leader of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Megawati Soekarnoputri. She affirmed that in any position, she will always support the strategic partnership between the two countries. Deputy PM Hue highly valued the great contributions of late President Sukarno and Megawati to the growth of the Vietnam-Indonesia partnership. He stressed Vietnam’s constant policy of treasuring the friendship and strategic partnership with Indonesia and the country’s wish to further develop the ties in both bilateral and multilateral aspects, thus contributing to reinforcing peace, unity of the ASEAN and promoting its central role in the region. During the meeting with Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong, the two sides were glad at growth in the two countries’ economic, trade and investment ties. Indonesia currently ranks 30th among 119 countries…... [read more]

Population aging was first recorded as an issue in the Southeast Asian country in 2011 when 10.1 million, roughly 11% of the population, were considered elderly. The number of senior citizens in the nation is predicted to account for 17 percent by 2030 and continue mushrooming to 25% by the year 2050. Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Nguyen Van Tan, deputy head of the General Department of Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, said that 70% of the country’s senior citizens are not assisted by pension policies. With no financial savings or help from their children, these people are forced to continue working in order to earn a living, Tan said. However, with current healthcare conditions, senior citizens are at least able to receive better treatment for their illnesses, facilitating the growth of this age group. Other plans to support elderly Vietnamese, namely building nursing homes and establishing separate healthcare systems, have been initiated but are yet to be completed, Tan elaborated. Several measures have been taken to cope with the growing number of senior citizens during 2011-20, including initiatives aimed at boosting birth rates, raising the retirement age, and adjusting social insurance policies. Following several years of limiting the number of children in families to one or two, authorities in Vietnam are now encouraging married couples to have at least two children. This birth rate will help retain the number of elderly at around 17% over the…... [read more]

There are more than 1,000 restaurants serving Japanese cuisine in Vietnam, the majority of which are in Ho Chi Minh City. The southern metropolis is home to 659 Japanese restaurants, twice as many as there were three years ago, according to statistics provided by the Consulate General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City. Collectively, there are as many as 770 Japanese restaurants across provinces and cities in southern Vietnam. Approximately half of the restaurants serving Japanese food in Vietnam are run by Japanese owners, according to a Japanese consular official. The remaining half are owned and run by Vietnamese franchisees and entrepreneurs, the official said. The fierce competition and high cost of operation have forced a number of restaurants to close or narrow their business, according to a representative from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Ho Chi Minh City. The blossoming of Japanese restaurants has also led to a growing number of Japanese food and ingredient supplies. An increasing number of Japanese food exporters have shown interest in entering the Vietnamese market over the past few years, making Vietnam the fifth largest importer of Japan’s agricultural produce and food in 2016. Seafood accounts for 60 percent of all Japanese agriculture, forestry and seafood exports to Vietnam, with 20 billion Japanese yen (US$178.4 million) worth of seafood imported into Vietnam from Japan every year. Apart from supplying domestic consumption, certain high-value seafood is also processed by Vietnamese businesses…... [read more]

With an expanding room inventory and more on the development schedule, the competition in the upscale lodging industry in Vietnam will likely heat up over the next two-three years, says Grant Thornton. Especially in the 5-star segment, Grant Thornton said in its just released 2017 Vietnam Hotel Survey report. The report providesa broad range of financial, operational and marketing information for 2016 regarding4- and 5-star hotels and resorts. For simplicity purposes, resorts are referred to as hotels in the report. Last year,inbound travellers to the Southeast Asian countryrose 26% following a lull in 2015 primarilyfuelled by increased Chinese travellers, said Trịnh Kim Dung, director of advisory services at Grant Thornton Vietnam. That upward trajectory, buttressed by business travellers from the Republic of Korea, is expected to continue in 2017, and hopefully signal an end to the pre-2016 stagnation the upscale lodging industry experienced. The Vietnamtourism and business travel industries recorded 10 million inbound visitors in 2016 – which though low by international standards – represented marked improvement over the lull the country had experienced prior to 2016, she noted. In line with the higher figures for leisure, recreation and business arrivals in the Southeast Asian country, 41 new 3- to 5-star hotels opened their doors in 2016,heightening competition. The average room rate for upscale lodging in 2016 saw a 1.3% increase year-on-year to US$88. The rate for 4-star rooms was US$75, a rise of 3.8% but still lagging far behind the 2014 level. Five-star rates dropped slightly for the second…... [read more]

Especially in the 5-star segment,Grant Thornton said in its just released 2017 Vietnam Hotel Survey report. The report providesa broad range of financial, operational and marketing information for 2016 regarding4- and 5-star hotels and resorts. For simplicity purposes, resorts are referred to as hotels in the report. Last year,inbound travellers to the Southeast Asian countryrose 26% following a lull in 2015 primarilyfuelled by increased Chinese travellers, said Trịnh Kim Dung, director of advisory services at Grant Thornton Vietnam. That upward trajectory, buttressed by business travellers from the Republic of Korea, is expected to continue in 2017, and hopefully signal an end to the pre-2016 stagnation the upscale lodging industry experienced. The Vietnamtourism and business travel industries recorded 10 million inbound visitors in 2016 – which though low by international standards – represented marked improvement over the lull the country had experienced prior to 2016, she noted. In line with the higher figures for leisure, recreation and business arrivals in the Southeast Asian country, 41 new 3- to 5-star hotels opened their doors in 2016,heightening competition. The average room rate for upscale lodging in 2016 saw a 1.3% increase year-on-year to US$88. The rate for 4-star rooms was US$75, a rise of 3.8% but still lagging far behind the 2014 level. Five-star rates dropped slightly for the second year in a row to US$104.40 from U$106.80 in 2015. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased in both star categories: a 10% rise for…... [read more]

The total premium collected by insurance companies in Viet Nam in the first half of 2017 has grown 21 per cent year-on-year to VND47.17 trillion (US$1.8 billion). The total premium collected by insurance companies in Viet Nam in the first half of 2017 has grown 21 per cent year-on-year to VND47.17 trillion (US$1.8 billion). Of the total sum, the revenue from life insurance premiums is VND27.83 trillion and non-life insurance premiums is estimated at VND19.34 trillion, said Pham Thu Huong, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s Insurance Supervisory Authority (ISA). Besides maintaining a high and sustained growth rate, the financial status of insurance firms improved in the first half of the year, Huong said. Their total assets grew by 19.11 per cent year on year to VND264.64 trillion, of which life insurers accounted for 73.4 per cent. During this period, insurance companies invested VND217.59 trillion into the economy, which is a rise of 17.88 per cent, compared to the corresponding period last year. The insurers also purchased 15-year and 30-year term Government bonds worth VND15 trillion in H1. The fast-growing insurance market, poised to thrive thanks to rising living standards, has prompted a number of foreign companies, including the UK’s Aviva Plc and Canada’s Sun Life Financial Inc, to step up their presence in Viet Nam through mergers and acquisition or joint ventures in the past months. In April, Aviva Plc acquired 50 per cent stake in Ha Noi-based VietinBank’s life insurance joint venture, VietinBank Aviva Life Insurance Ltd…... [read more]

The total premium collected by insurance companies in Viet Nam in the first half of 2017 has grown 21 per cent year-on-year to VND47.17 trillion (US$1.8 billion). — Photo vinacorp.vn The total premium collected by insurance companies in Viet Nam in the first half of 2017 has grown 21 per cent year-on-year to VND47.17 trillion (US$1.8 billion). Of the total sum, the revenue from life insurance premiums is VND27.83 trillion and non-life insurance premiums is estimated at VND19.34 trillion, said Pham Thu Huong, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance’s Insurance Supervisory Authority (ISA). Besides maintaining a high and sustained growth rate, the financial status of insurance firms improved in the first half of the year, Huong said. Their total assets grew by 19.11 per cent year on year to VND264.64 trillion, of which life insurers accounted for 73.4 per cent. During this period, insurance companies invested VND217.59 trillion into the economy, which is a rise of 17.88 per cent, compared to the corresponding period last year. The insurers also purchased 15-year and 30-year term Government bonds worth VND15 trillion in H1. The fast-growing insurance market, poised to thrive thanks to rising living standards, has prompted a number of foreign companies, including the UK’s Aviva Plc and Canada’s Sun Life Financial Inc, to step up their presence in Viet Nam through mergers and acquisition or joint ventures in the past months. In April, Aviva Plc acquired 50 per cent stake in…... [read more]

In its report, the ADB found that climate change poses a serious obstacle to sustainable economic growth in the Southeast Asian country and could undo much of the economic growth experienced over the past decade unless effective remedial actions are undertaken. It said by the end of the century, Vietnam could see mean temperatures shoot up to eight degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as the global mean temperature rises by only half that amount. The findings of the report bore particularly unwelcome news for neighbouring Thailand and Pakistan as well, which it ranked along with Vietnam as the most vulnerable to threats such as flooding, storm surge, cyclones and landslides, due to their weak institutional capacity to address the problem. Clearly the report was not a fair framing of the climate change debate and the Manila-based bank – chose to take a heavily biased approach – and frame the risks in economic terms to make the issue harder for countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan to ignore. The vulnerability of the countries was in large part due to a continued overreliance on fossil fuels, the report added, suggesting that Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan could avert the climate change disaster by simply shifting to renewable energy sources. ... [read more]




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