Walking zones send land prices skyrocketing in Saigon, Hanoi

Workers are currently busy placing no-entry signage on the chosen streets, done as part of the municipal authorities’ bid to reduce traffic congestion in the Vietnamese capital. The no-taxi ban is applicable to Mai Xuan Thuong and Hoang Hoa Tham Streets, the section from Mai Xuan Thuong to Ngoc Ha, during 6:30 am - 8:30am and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm from Monday to Friday, according to the transport department. Taxis are also prevented from going through Chuong Duong Bridge from Nguyen Van Cu Street to the city’s downtown area between six and nine in the morning on weekdays. From 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, cabs will be restricted from entering the intersection of Nguyen Co Trach and Ho Tung Mau Streets in Cau Giay District. Also during this timeframe, both taxis and conventional automobiles are not allowed to go on Xuan Thuy Street, the section from the Xuan Thuy – Pham Hung Intersection to the Xuan Thuy – Tran Thai Tong Intersection. From 6:00 am to 9:00 am every day, the no-taxi ban applies for the section from Nhon into the city’s downtown through Dien Bridge. Between 6:00 am and 9:00 am, and 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm from Monday to Friday, taxis are banned from entering De La Thanh and Kham Thien Streets. From December 25, taxis will not be allowed to drive through Giang Vo, Lang Ha, Le Van Luong Streets during the above timeframes. This restriction…... [read more]

Speaking at the 2017 M&A Forum organised in HCM City on August 10 by the Vietnam Investment Review, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the Special Administrative Economic Zone Law is expected to create a proper legal framework for the three zones in Van Don (Quang Ninh Province), Van Phong (Khanh Hoa Province) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang). It aims to create a new development model with breakthrough policies and mechanisms meant to improve the investment environment and make Vietnam competitive in attracting investment. The zones will only have an administrative committee and no people’s council, and the people’s council’s role related to legislation and inspection would be taken over by provincial authorities, he said. “To effectively operate these special zones, we should remove unnecessary and inappropriate levels of special economic zones,” the minister said. The ministry has also proposed increasing the maximum land lease tenure to 99 years from the current 50-75, and allowing the zones to have casinos. Dung said the zones have been established to develop certain strategic industries based on their geographic conditions. For instance, Van Phong is the best place to develop a transit port in Vietnam and can develop logistics while Van Don has great potential in healthcare, education and biology, he said. All three would welcome industries with high value-addition, which would be identified for investment and announced soon, he said. The bill would be tabled in the…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The fulfilment of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.7 percent in 2017 requires high political determination from ministries and departments as well as corporations, businesses and people, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed at a meeting in Hanoi on August 12. Addressing the conference between the Government’s Standing Board and ministries, sectors, economic groups and corporations, the PM noted that in order to realise the aforesaid target, the growth in the six remaining months of this year must be at a high level of 7.42 percent. He stressed that this is an important political task of all sectors, especially agriculture, industry, construction, processing and manufacturing. [National Assembly targets 6.7-percent GDP growth in 2017] According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the surging GDP in the second quarter raised the January-June growth rate to 5.73 percent. The service sector made the biggest contribution to the overall growth (2.59 percentage points), particularly in wholesale, retail, accommodation, catering, finance, banking, insurance, and real estate. The total volume of international tourists to Vietnam in the period was 7.42 million, a year-on-year rise of 28.8 percent. While the mining industry suffered from a sharp decline, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors have recovered with a growth rate of 2.65 percent. The average consumer price index (CPI) rose by 3.91 percent in the first seven months, below the National Assembly’s set target of 4 percent. …... [read more]

Crop production companies in Vietnam grow foodstuffs such as rice, sugarcane, coffee, tea, vegetables, melons, fruits and cashew nuts and employ about half of the country’s population while manufacturing accounts for roughly 8% of employment. Once the most important economic segment in the country, the output value of agriculture, was surpassed by both manufacturing and services in the early 1990s and has continued to wane ever since without too many bright spots. The Chinese market has in large part laid out the welcoming mat for Vietnamese agriculture faced by troublesome food safety regulations and scrutiny elsewhere in more lucrative markets like the US, EU and Japan where language barriers compound their lack of ability to compete effectively at a profit. Hardly a day goes by without another Vietnamese-China initiative being announced, say the experts, whether it's new investments, joint ventures, trade conferences or delegations. In August this year, another Chinese delegation of some 100 businesses staged the 6th Zhejiang Export Fair in Hanoi exploring yet further opportunities for commercial trade and investment. To Ngoc Son of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the Zhejiang Export Fair is one of the biggest annual trade fairs in the entire Southeast Asian region and represents a useful source for investment, especially in higher tech agriculture. Mr Son, who is the assistant head of the Ministry Asia Pacific Department, noted that plans are underway for Vietnam to put on its first trade expo…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to hire foreign consultants in order to consider the expansion of the Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh City without any limitations in the land use planning. >>> PM directs pre-feasibility study report for Long Thanh Airport resettlement project The move is in line with Article 26 of the Law on Bidding on hiring international consultants in extenuating circumstances. Foreign consultants will also be hired to assess the use of land for the aviation sector and build plans for the airport expansion along with adjusting the airport’s master plan as well as related developmental plans in the area to both the north and the south. The Ministry of Transport will chair over the selection of competent, prestigious and experienced foreign consultants according to the country’s legal regulations. The ministry was also tasked to decide on the use of funding which was sourced by the Vietnam Airports Corporation’s development investment fund with advice from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance. The transport ministry has to take legal responsibilities for the selection of overseas consultants as well as its decisions on the aforesaid issues, and report to the Government leader in December 2017. The ministry was also asked to closely work with the Ministry of National Defence and the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to create the best conditions for the selected foreign…... [read more]

Participants in a Vietnam-Bangladesh business meeting pose for a photo (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – A delegation of nearly 20 Vietnamese businesses in various sectors has visited Bangladesh to boost trade partnership with the South Asian nation in the first trip of its kind held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in five years. The Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh coordinated with the ministry and the two countries’ chambers of commerce and industry to organise an investment and trade promotion workshop.  At the event, Bangladeshi Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism Rashed Khan Menon pledged to coordinate with Vietnam to soon open a direct air route linking the two nations so as to enhance trade and tourism. He promised to provide the best possible conditions for Vietnamese firms to invest in potential industries of his country such as technology and tourism. Minister of Commerce Tofail Ahmed called on Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Bangladesh and asked the Vietnamese Government to create favourable conditions for his country’s pharmaceutical products to enter Vietnam. Noting the progress in economic and trade ties, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa said bilateral trade reached about 400 million USD in the first half of 2017, up 40 percent year on year. He stressed to develop sustainable and win-win trade relations, businesses of both sides should diversify their export items, instead of depending on just few strong products like they have done so far. [Infographics: Vietnam – Bangladesh relations] …... [read more]

Van Don in ​Quang Ninh ​province is a special administrative-economic zone which is expected to see sea changes under a proposed new law (Photo: qtv.vn) HCM City (VNA) - The abolition of people’s councils, permitting casinos to be set up and allowing foreign investors to lease land for 99 years are among the main provisions of a proposed new law to govern the three special administrative-economic zones in Vietnam. Speaking at the 2017 M&A Forum organised in HCM City on August 10 by the Vietnam Investment Review, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the Special Administrative Economic Zone Law is expected to create a proper legal framework for the three zones in Van Don (Quang Ninh Province), Van Phong (Khanh Hoa Province) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang). It aims to create a new development model with breakthrough policies and mechanisms meant to improve the investment environment and make Vietnam competitive in attracting investment. The zones will only have an administrative committee and no people’s council, and the people’s council’s role related to legislation and inspection would be taken over by provincial authorities, he said. “To effectively operate these special zones, we should remove unnecessary and inappropriate levels of special economic zones,” the minister said. The ministry has also proposed increasing the maximum land lease tenure to 99 years from the current 50-75, and allowing the zones to have casinos. Dung said the zones have been established to develop certain strategic industries …... [read more]

U.S. cities, states and businesses will enable the country to meet its promises under the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, despite its leader's decision to withdraw from the deal, said former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.   President Donald Trump's announcement in June that the United States would quit the 195-nation pact, adopted in 2015 after almost two decades of negotiations, drew anger and condemnation from many governments. Gore, in London for the premiere of his new film on climate change, "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power", said late on Thursday that local governments and the private sector would work to cut planet-warming emissions in line with the U.S. pledge made for the accord. "In my country, so many of our governors - the ones from our larger states included - and so many mayors and business leaders stepped up to fill the gap and said we're still in the Paris Agreement," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Now it looks as if the U.S. will indeed meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement, in spite of Donald Trump." Under the accord, the United States had promised to reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. In July, an initiative dubbed "America's Pledge" was created by California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor, with the aim of bringing together close to 230 U.S. cities and counties, nine states and more than 1,500 businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, to…... [read more]

Vietnam can obtain total export revenue of US$200 billion this year, up 13% versus last year, said Nguyen Phu Hoa, deputy head of the Export-Import Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. A container ship loads cargo at a Vietnam port. Vietnam can obtain total export revenue of US$200 billion this year But the nation’s import bill may amount to US$205 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17%, he told the Export Forum 2017 held on August 9 by the Trade and Investment Promotion Center of HCMC (ITPC). This means trade would swing back into deficit, US$5 billion, this year after the country recorded a trade surplus of US$2.7 billion last year. According to data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, January-July export revenue totaled over US$115 billion, increasing nearly 19% over the year-ago period. There were 20 commodities with export revenue exceeding US$1 billion, and in particular, eight of them obtained export revenue of more than US$3 billion. Industry associations have forecast a surge in exports of key items including farm produce, seafood and forestry products in the remaining months of the year as enterprises are shifting to exporting goods of higher value. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s imports in the first seven months of the year rose 24% to more than US$118 billion. As a result, the period saw a trade deficit of over US$3 billion. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s economy will remain export-dependent in the years to come. Early this month, the Prime Minister…... [read more]

NDO – The State budget collection total, in the first seven months of this year, was estimated at VND666.7 trillion (approx. US$29.3 billion), an increase of 11.6% over the same period last year. The amount is equivalent to 55% of the yearly estimates, announced the Ministry of Finance on August 11. In the reviewed period, domestic collection reached VND532.5 trillion (US$23.4 billion), up 9.4%, accounting for 53.8% of the year’s estimates. The budget’s revenues from crude oil and import-export activities stood at over VND27 trillion (US$1.2 billion) and VND165 trillion (US$7.3 billion), up 16.2% and 8.9%, respectively. According to the ministry, progress in budget collection across all localities was quite positive compared to the yearly plan and increased over the same period of last year, with 43 out of the 63 provinces and cities collecting 56% of their estimates. Meanwhile, total budget spending was VND695.2 trillion (US$30.6 billion), up 8.7% annually. Of which, the budget investment for development was VND119.4 trillion (US$5.3 billion) in the reviewed period, up 15.1% annually. Regarding capital mobilisation, as of July 31, the total volume of government bonds and government underwritten bonds was at VND201.5 trillion (US$8.9 billion). The Ministry of Finance said that in August the ministry will organise a discussion on the State budget estimates for 2018, and plans for the three fiscal years from 2018 to 2020, with the relevant ministries, agencies, localities and companies. The plan for capital mobilisation in the third quarter of 2017…... [read more]




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