PM: Private enterprises strive to contribute 50-60 pct of GDP

Vietnam has made many economic achievements after only one year of joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) thanks to the strong development of enterprises and the dynamism of provinces in developing their economies. After one year of joining the WTO, Vietnam has welcomed many high-ranking delegations to discuss a number of cooperative issues. Many foreign investors, enterprises and tourists have come to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities. As of January 11, 2007, under its WTO commitments in the services sector, Vietnam has had to open up 11 of its industries. Due to these commitments, some sectors have faced fierce competition, including finance, banking, and telecommunications. However, the disadvantages have also brought a lot of benefits as Vietnamese goods will easily penetrate foreign markets, benefiting many local manufacturers. So far, Vietnam has opened almost all areas to foreign investors. The country’s export turnover in 2007 reached US$48 billion, up US$8.2 billion compared to 2006’s figure, surpassing the 3.1 percent target set by the government. Vietnam’s key export items have posted high export turnovers including seafoods, rice, coffee, vegetables, rubber, cashew nuts, and pepper. Other products have also taken advantage of the opportunities from WTO membership, including garments and textiles, electronics, and computer components. General director of the Viet Tien garment and textile company, Nguyen Dinh Truong said WTO membership has created many good conditions for Vietnam. There are more advantages than challenges for the garment and textile sector, as around 150 countries have reduced taxes and there is no limit to…... [read more]

The figures were released by Ngo Minh Chinh, Director of the Binh Thuan province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a recent ceremony celebrating 19 years of the tourism industry in the province. Over the past 19 years, Binh Thuan has overcome many difficulties to become a national tourism spot, Chinh said In 2014, the nation’s tourism industry is facing many challenges. The road construction expanding Highway 1A in Binh Thuan is making it difficult for tourists to travel and there is substantially increased competitiveness among resorts in coastal provinces. The locality targets to receive 4.5 million arrivals in 2015, earning VND7,500 billion in revenue from the tourism industry. It is striving to become a safe, friendly and good-quality destination for tourists, Chinh said. Thirty individuals and enterprises were honoured at the ceremony for their great contributions to the development of the local tourism industry.... [read more]

Governmental agencies and the business community must stand up to the downward pressure and implement far-reaching measures to modernize and improve product quality, the MoIT said to avoid a negative impact on employment and incomes. In the January-April period, the export markets have hiccupped but are in line with expectations and should rebound in the remaining months of the year an official of the MoIT said, adding that downward pressure will persist unless concerted remedial actions are undertaken. The official called for speeding up reforms in the nation’s rice industry – a centrepiece to the agricultural industry – to reach its full potential, a market that has been stymied and lagging in growth. The rice industry continues to suffer from poor transport and infrastructure such as roads, railways, warehouses and handling equipment due to the industry’s inability to attract foreign investment, he said. Huynh The Nang, general director of the Vietnam Southern Food Company (Vinafood II) in turn noted the African market has a great demand for white and jasmine rice but the industry’s ability to fill that demand has been hampered by a lack of modernized equipment. If the industry was equipped with state-of-the-art milling systems it could readily meet Africa’s and the international community’s high quality standards Nang said. Nang called for the timely launch of major infrastructure projects in transport and water conservation with the support of financial institutions and the government to reduce costs and thereby increase profits and develop a sustainable industry. The country needs…... [read more]

Reporter: Could your share your assessment of Vietnam’s economic performance so far this year? Mr: Sandeep Mahajan: Economic activity continues to firm up in Vietnam. GDP growth came in at 6 % in the first quarter of 2015, the fastest first quarter rate of growth in five years. This followed 6 % growth in 2014 – the fastest annual growth rate since 2011. Inflation has stabilized at low levels, with the consumer price index (CPI) rising by just 0.04 % in the first four months of 2015 (relative to the same period last year), reflecting a more prudent macroeconomic policy stance as well as a conducive external environment (low food and commodity prices, in particular) and slow credit transmission by the domestic banking sector. Exports have held up well (recent slowdown notwithstanding), while strong inflows of FDI and private remittances have been sustained, which has helped Vietnam strengthen its external balances and build up the foreign exchange reserves. At the same time, while Vietnam remains at a low risk of debt distress, rising public debt levels are becoming a concern. Vietnam’s total outstanding public and publicly-guaranteed debt was estimated at nearly 61 % of GDP by end-2014. The immediate root cause of the growing public debt is the budget deficit (financed largely through domestic sources). This underscores the need for a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan that would reverse the declining trend in revenue collection, stabilize recurrent spending at more affordable levels, and improve the efficiency of spending. Special attention…... [read more]

But farmers, millers and exporters from the two countries have enhanced rice quality with exports now surpassing Vietnam and their fragrant rice varieties can be found in high-end grocery markets throughout Europe and the US. Increased competition pressure Myanmar rice has become popular for its Lone Thwal Hmwe and Paw San rice brands. In addition, Paw San has a solid reputation as one of the more delectable brands, selling for a hefty US$900 per metric ton. Meanwhile, consumers throughout Europe and the US also often tout the celebrated and fragrant Phka Romduol rice brand of Cambodia as one of delightfully tastier rice brands. So far, Vietnam has not followed in step with a national rice brand and leading economic experts, caution that in the coming time, Vietnam will suffer from further increased competitiveness on all fronts – price, quantity and quality – as a result. Much of Cambodia’s successful transformation can be directly attributed to the installation of modernized milling systems over the last few years that has helped propel Cambodian rice brands into the international limelight. However, experts underscore Cambodia has achieved this success with less than half of the nation’s farmers producing rice suitable for export as the majority of farmers still produce rice for pig feed, using cheap, poor-quality seeds rife with chemical pesticides. This spells stiffer competition for the Vietnam rice industry as more and more Cambodian rice farmers come on line in coming years producing augmented levels of high quality brand name rice varieties. Experts…... [read more]

During three days (June 30-July 2), participants will discuss the world’s increasing competition and how it impacts the Southeast Asia region, and analyse the role of the media in regional integration and dealing with the urgent challenges of climate change. Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions is undergoing a rapid and complex integration process, but not everyone is benefiting from integration. At the same time, the region is still coping with lingering effects of the global economic downturn. What actions should be taken by Southeast Asian nations to maintain growth and ensure economic stability? How can Southeast Asian nations modernise their vocational training and their health and social security systems in order to benefit the poor? These were major topics of the conference. Delegates looked not only at the most pressing concerns of their governments but also at how their countries can shape cooperation in a manner that fosters the welfare of all peoples in the region. In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Bernd Schleich, InWEnt Managing Director, warned that regional integration will succeed only, if people get personally involved in strengthening ties of cross-border cooperation, and if individuals take the initiative to build personal and professional networks across the region. “The success of enhancing regional integration through Alumni networks depends on your own personal initiative and leadership,” he said. According to the InWEnt Managing Director, network building becomes one important vehicle for achieving the group’s overarching goals: increased interaction on different levels, greater openness to new…... [read more]

The event was co-organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Study (NISTPASS), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The conference aims to create a forum of exchange on the future of Vietnam’s STI system, with a particular emphasis on contents to the draft Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy in the 2011-2020 period, policy issues, awareness creation, and networking among international experts and Vietnamese stakeholders. It is designed to enhance the capacity of Vietnamese organizations and agencies to achieve socioeconomic development goals. In his opening speech, Dr. Ta Doan Trinh, Director of NISTPASS, underlined the importance of technology innovation in promoting the national economy. It is essential to maintain sustainable development rather than reaping rapid growth without paying due attention to sustainability, he added. Addressing the event, Prof. Carlos Aguirre Bastos, Chief Advisor to the Vice President of the Republic of Bolivia, highlighted the increasing role of technology innovation in boosting national development. He also stressed the need to increase competitiveness and productivity which he described as a vital element in ensuring sustainable development. He appreciated Vietnam’s remarkable socioeconomic achievements during the past decades. “Future achievement of high growth rates will strongly depend on the quality of the institutions and their capacity to master new technologies and participate in technological innovation,” he said. Dr. Shin Taeyoung, Vice Chairman of the Republic of Korea’s Science and Technology Committee, shared experience from his country’s development strategy, saying that Vietnam…... [read more]

The ministry asked the veterinary, plants protection and agro-forestry, aquaculture product quality management departments and divisions to apply normal checking procedures on Japanese food imports in line with current Vietnamese regulations. The decision was made based on results from radioactivity tests on Japanese food imports conducted by the veterinary and plants protection departments, as well as those carried out by Japanese partners in recent months. Testing had been put in place following the Fukushima nuclear meltdown which blighted much of Japan in March 2011. On April 11, 2013 the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) asked the ministry to consider the necessity of applying radioactivity tests on frozen aquatic materials imported from Japan for processing and export to a third country. According to the association, the test cessation will help local seafood processing enterprises increase competitiveness and reduce costs.... [read more]

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) Energy Institute, warns the total energy needed for trading activities will reach 78.8–83.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) by 2020 and 152–175 million TOE by 2030. The 2020 demand is around 2.2–2.4 times higher than current levels. Vietnam exploits a diverse range of energy sources but most cannot be considered abundant. Operational hydroelectricity plants and plants scheduled for construction between now and 2017 have an estimated annual production capacity of 65–70 billion Kwh. The coal industry’s plans suggest a production output of less than 72 billion kWh per annum, even between 2025–2030. Offshore gas sources could fuel electricity production exceeding 100 billion kWh per year as well as 3–5 percent of the gas volume required for other industrial sectors. Crude oil output is estimated at an annual 17–18 million tonnes but is expected to ebb after 2015. Vietnam’s energy systems rest on the standard three pillars of oil, gas, and coal. These pillars will not be able to meet Vietnam’s burgeoning energy demands alone. Coal shortages are expected in a magnitude of 5.8 million by 2015, 25 million by 2016, and 66 million by 2020. This will necessitate compensatory coal imports from 2015 onwards. Electricity demand could surge by as much as an annual 15–20 percent. If Vietnam cannot discover new oil fields with large reserves, its oil and gas will essentially run dry by as early as 2025. Dependence on imported energy will become a major issue over the next 10–15…... [read more]

At a recent workshop co-organized by the General Department of Vocational Training and the International Labor Organization, a new survey has been released, pointing out that graduates from vocational schools do not meet the requirements of the industry. “A tourism skills council involving the representatives of businesses, the government, training institutions and other stakeholder could help identify the way forward to improve training and skills development in this promising industry in the context of economic integration and increasing competition,” said ILO Vietnam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki. Tourism is one of the eight occupations that have been identified by mutual recognition arrangements within the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will be introduced at the end of this year. Workers with adequate skills and qualification in this industry will be able to better serve the growing number of tourists or move to work in the industry elsewhere in the ASEAN region. Duong Duc Lan, general director of the General Department of Vocational Training, said the training quality of some professions, including tourism, will have to reach the level of developed countries in ASEAN and the world, and a well-trained workforce is needed to lift the country’s competitiveness. With almost 3,300 kilometers of coast line and 7.8 million international visitors a year, tourism has been one of the driving forces of Vietnam. The significant growth of this US$10.7 billion industry has been a major source of income and job creation, according to ILO. According to the Vietnam Administration of Tourism, this sector employs about…... [read more]