PM attends Vietnam-Thailand economic cooperation forum

NDO - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said that he expects Vietnamese and Thai enterprises to engage in further cooperation so that both sides will achieve economic success commensurate with their strategic partnership. The Vietnamese leader made the remarks on August 18 while attending the Vietnam-Thailand Economic Cooperation Forum in Bangkok, where he introduced business opportunities in Vietnam to Thai investors. He said the Vietnamese government is fostering the M&A activities along with the equitisation of State-owned enterprises in the fields of transport, infrastructure, food, agriculture and telecommunications, among others. PM Phuc added that Vietnam will establish the necessary legal frameworks to stimulate public-private partnerships in infrastructure development and encourage investment in promising Vietnamese start-ups. He emphasised that the Vietnamese government will create all conditions conducive to foreign investors in Vietnam, in a win-win spirit with policies approaching the top ASEAN practices. Since Vietnam and Thailand first established their strategic partnership four years ago, bilateral trade has reached over US$12.5 billion. Thailand currently has 470 projects in Vietnam with a total capital of more than US$8 billion. Regarding their tourism cooperation, the annual number of Vietnamese tourists travelling to Thailand is estimated at 830,000, while there are also 270,000 Thai tourists visiting Vietnam every year. Underlining the role of enterprises in enabling the two countries to soon realise the bilateral trade target of US$20 billion in 2020, PM Phuc noted that the two sides discussed holding joint cabinet meetings annually, or every two years, to address any unresolved difficulties…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Bui Danh Lien, Chairman of the Ha Noi Transport Association, tells Hai Quan (Customs) that careless approval has created serious problems with BOT projects Bui Danh Lien, Chairman of the Ha Noi Transport Association. The Viet Nam State Audit Agency has recently released a report on some serious errors seen in Build-Operate and Transfer projects in the transport sector. Can you comment on it? As a member of a survey team of BOT projects and a researcher in this field, I would say that all the weak points listed in the report are correct and precise. The report highlights some grave errors that most BOT traffic projects have committed, such as the arbitrary appointment of investors without a bidding process; wrong calculation of investment needed; inaccurate prediction of the traffic flows and others. However, in my opinion, the most serious problem is the carelessness of responsible people in approving the projects. For example, the initial projected cost for a BOT project is suggested by the investor, instead of the project owner. Then follows the project approval. I should say a key reason leading to the prolonged period of toll collection is due to the project owner’s weakness in assessing the project tender’s capacity. Then there is the improper estimation of traffic density. Very often, this is based on just three days’ counting, instead of three years, which is the international norm. In many cases, investors were not financially strong, and depended mainly on loans from banks. The…... [read more]

In recent years, economic and industrial zones in Thua Thien Hue province have attracted increasing interest from investors and housed many effective projects. Mr Nguyen Van Son, Deputy Director of Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones Authority, has given an exclusive interview to Vietnam Business Forum Magazine on this issue. On June 15, 2016, the Prime Minister issued Decision 1070/QD-TTg establishing Thua Thien Hue Economic and Industrial Zones Authority based on the reorganisation of the Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone Authority and the Thua Thien Hue Industrial Zones Authority. What does that mean for the development of economic and industrial zones in the province, sir? Functions and duties of the two authorities are quite structurally similar. Therefore, it is rational to reshuffle organisational structures to form a unified body in charge of linking and developing economic and industrial zones and actively solving problems and difficulties for investors. Having one unit also makes it easier for investors to seek and select investment locations in accordance with investment attraction planning and direction of each economic and industrial zone. How do you assess the performance of economic and industrial zones and their tenants in recent years? As a result, operations of economic and industrial zones are more active. Many big, famous domestic and foreign investors have come to study investment opportunities and locate bigger and bigger projects in the province. Typical projects include the VND590.6 billion apparel project invested by HanesBrands Vietnam…... [read more]

While both Cambodia and Vietnam share strong growth prospects and risks related to their financial systems, Vietnam’s more diverse economy, stronger institutions, and higher incomes underpin greater shock absorption capacity, Moody’s wrote in an August 15 report. Robust foreign investment flows into manufacturing and steady growth in global demand have driven export-led expansion in both Cambodia and Vietnam. As the countries have become increasingly integrated into global supply chains, their economies have grown rapidly and income levels have risen markedly. Cambodia’s real GDP increased around 7 per cent per year on average over the five years to 2016 while Vietnam’s expanded about 6 per cent per year. Growth is likely to remain robust ahead. Vietnamese exports are spread across a variety of products and markets while garments and textiles and a few other low-value-added manufacturing products dominate Cambodia’s exports. These are largely destined for the US and the EU, exposing the economy to sector- and market-specific shocks. Vietnam’s reach into higher value-added products is reflected in greater income levels that bolster households’ capacity to absorb economic shocks. Meanwhile, Cambodia’s ongoing reforms to reduce corruption and enhance the rule of law are positive, although they have yet to materially strengthen its institutions. The central bank has a track record of delivering economic and exchange rate stability, which supports foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, but high dollarization continues to limit monetary policy effectiveness. In contrast, Vietnam’s relatively stronger institutions and greater policy effectiveness have contributed to a more conducive business environment, which…... [read more]

Crowds of people on Nguyen Hue walking street in the city's downtown. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen Media reports have been referring to Saigon as a megacity with a population of 12 million for over a year now, but the actual number is even higher, according to the latest official data. Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting on Wednesday that there are now 13 million people living in the city, Vietnam’s largest and economic hub. Phong said the number is far beyond the population forecast of 10 million for 2025, which apparently only factored in registered residents who now number more than eight million. The city’s population is expanding faster than expected due to the 130,000 migrants who are arriving every year, he said. The city is now packed with 6,200 people per square kilometer, which is as dense as Tokyo. Vietnam's average population density is 300 people per square kilometer, while the global average is 57, according to the World Bank. “The rising population is exerting huge pressure on infrastructure development,” Phong said. There are now 7.6 million motorbikes and 700,000 cars in the city, with an average of 1,000 new vehicles hitting the streets every day, a rate that road expansion cannot keep up with, he said. Phong made the statement a month after the city announced plans to curb personal vehicles, including a ban on motorbikes in downtown streets by 2030. Cars will not be subject to this blanket ban, according to the plan. Looking at its…... [read more]

After the Governments of Vietnam and Singapore agreed to lift the relationship to the so-called strategic partnership, the bilateral trade value has always accounted for a big share of total trade value of each side. Singapore has become Vietnam's largest trading partner in ASEAN and sixth in the world. The two-way trade value has annually increased about 12 per cent, reaching US$7.16 billion in 2016, accounting for 17.3 per cent of Vietnam’s trade value with ASEAN states. The two-way trade value amounted US$4.3 billion in the first six months of 2017, with US$1.5 billion for Vietnam and US$2.8 billion for Singapore. As a result, Vietnam ran a trade deficit of US$1.3 billion with Singapore. Vietnam’s imports from Singapore rose 10.58 per cent year on year in the first six months of 2017. Petroleum was a staple, accounting for 46 per cent of total turnover, or US$1.3 billion, representing an on-year growth of 43.77 per cent. The second biggest import from Singapore was computers, electronic products and components although the value declined sharply by 40.06 per cent. In the face of trade deficit, Vietnam is proposing Singapore to facilitate Vietnamese products such as agricultural and seafood products to enter the latter to order to equalise the trade balance. Singapore imports 90 per cent of food for its domestic consumption. This is a favourable condition for Vietnamese companies to tap this market with rice, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables and handicrafts. Meanwhile, Singaporean companies have strengths in…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - Legal obstacles are hindering the construction of smart cities in Vietnam. About 250 cities worldwide are developing smart cities, according to Smart City Tracker Q1/2017. Centralized management in smart cities allows municipal authorities to adjust policies to best serve citizens.  Nguyen Thanh Hung, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, said that Vietnam still doesn’t have comprehensive standards on smart cities. The world is just in the early stage of developing smart cities. ISO has just begun cooperating with IEC to issue standards directly related to smart urban areas in 2017. With a desire to have standards on smart cities, Hung, speaking at the second Vietnam Private Sector Forum in 2017, called for close coordination among all enterprises. The Ministry of Information and Communication is going to build up the standards related to information & communication technology in smart city development.  “The Ministry of Information and Communication is going to build up the standards related to information & communication technology in smart city development. We hope that enterprises will join forces with the state management agency to build standards,” he said. Meanwhile, businesses have pointed out many obstacles in the state’s policies which are hindering the development of smart cities.  Bui Quang Ngoc, CEO of FPT, the largest Vietnamese IT conglomerate, said the major problem lies in the inequality between state-owned and private enterprises. Ngoc complained that enterprises now have to pay too much for public utility telecommunications, and have to allocate huge capital for the internet line. …... [read more]

Lien Chieu Port in Da Nang is one of a key project in infrastructure development. The city has called for investment in 68 projects in 2017-20. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh The central city has listed 68 Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects, 22 of them in the hi-tech sector, calling for investment from domestic and foreign businesses in the 2017-20 period. The projects are in the fields of education and training, healthcare, tourism and services, trade, infrastructure, hi-tech farms, entertainment and environment. The total investment needed for these projects is estimated at US$1.4 billion. The Da Nang administration has classified the projects under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT), Build-Own-Operate (BOO) and Build-Own-Operate- Transfer (BOOT) models. Some of the key projects are a solar power plant ($400 million); Lien Chieu Port ($324 million); mass transport system ($2.7 billion); railway station removal and urban resettlement ($678 million); software park No 2 ($150 million) and a horse racing centre ($200 million). Da Nang is also calling for investment in the Tho Quang fishing port and fishing village as an ecotourism site; and three projects in solid waste and waste water treatment as well as a water supply system ($225 million). These PPP projects are expected to help Da Nang become a ‘green city’ by 2030. Da Nang has been a frontrunner in Viet Nam in deploying PPP projects, co-operating with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) on key projects since 2012. The city…... [read more]

Increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activities can spur infrastructure development in Vietnam, a current growth imperative, Planning and Investment Minister Nguyen Chí Dung said yesterday. Le Trong Minh, Editor in Chief of the Vietnam Investment Review, speaks at the annual Vietnam M&A Forum on August 10, 2017 in HCM City. He told an M&A forum in Hanoi that the sector has entered a new chapter in the 2014 to 2018 period, riding what experts have called the second wave of investment. The capital inflow from foreign investors during this period is expected to reach US$20 billion, 25 per cent of which could happen this year. This is largely driven by equitisation commitments of major State owned enterprises, the rise of private sector and steady investment from foreign economic entities. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has concluded that in order to catalyse growth, investment in the form of M&As in the infrastructure sector needs to increase and expand across many branches of the economy. The projects would include upgrading roads, railways, airports and seaports to global standards, as well as establishing a stable network of real estate and retail conglomerates. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had also emphasised this during his official visit to the US and Japan last June, informing hosts that Viet Nam was pushing for M&A activities involving divestments in key sectors of the economy such as construction, retail, tourism or communications by State owned enterprises. Le Trong Minh, Editor in Chief of the Vietnam Investment…... [read more]

​Le Trong Minh, Editor in Chief of the Vietnam Investment Review, speaks at the annual Vietnam M&A Forum on August 10, 2017 in HCM City (Photo: tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn) Hanoi (VNA) - Increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activities can spur infrastructure development in Vietnam, a current growth imperative, Planning and Investment Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said on August 10. He told an M&A forum in Hanoi that the sector has entered a new chapter in the 2014 to 2018 period, riding what experts have called the second wave of investment. The capital inflow from foreign investors during this period is expected to reach 20 billion USD, 25 percent of which could happen this year. This is largely driven by equitisation commitments of major State owned enterprises, the rise of private sector and steady investment from foreign economic entities. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has concluded that in order to catalyse growth, investment in the form of M&As in the infrastructure sector needs to increase and expand across many branches of the economy. The projects would include upgrading roads, railways, airports and seaports to global standards, as well as establishing a stable network of real estate and retail conglomerates. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also emphasised this during his official visit to the US and Japan last June, informing hosts that Vietnam was pushing for M&A activities involving divestments in key sectors of the economy such as construction, retail, tourism or communications by…... [read more]




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