Dec. 6 – In an effort to modernize its customs sector, Vietnam’s government is looking to strengthen relationships with foreign enterprises over the next two years.
Last week, the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City held a dialogue with more than 220 representatives from Vietnam’s General Department of Customs and foreign-direct invested enterprises to brainstorm methods for improving the relationship between Vietnam’s business community and the customs sector in coming years. The dialogue concluded that stronger linkages would undoubtedly benefit the import-export activities of foreign companies through improved management and modernization of customs procedures. Continue reading
Dec. 2 – Last week, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to provide Vietnam with a US$50 million loan to foster the sustainable growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the country. The loan will last 25 years with a low annual interest rate of 2 percent.
SMEs have become key drivers of Vietnam’s economy following a series of policy reforms starting with the Enterprise Law of 2000.
As a result of these reforms, the number of registered enterprises in Vietnam grew to over 550,000 in 2011, up from 14,500 in 2000. SMEs now represent nearly 97 percent of the country’s firms, and 46 percent of its GDP. The domestic private sector accounted for 59 percent of total employment in 2011, up from 29 percent in 2000. Continue reading
Nov. 21 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled The 2014 Asia Tax Comparator, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of November and December.
The opportunities to sell to the Asian consumer have never been more pronounced than they are today, and those opportunities will continue to expand and develop over the next three decades. Key to understanding and accessing this massive, dynamic new consumer market is the ability to understand the underlying tax treatments. To that end, we are pleased to present our third annual “Asia Tax Comparator” as Asia Briefing Magazine’s final issue of 2013. Continue reading
Nov. 15 – Enterprises will soon have to use digital signatures on customs declaration forms as the Vietnam General Department of Customs (VGDC) prepares to deploy a new customs system. The new system will benefit businesses undertaking clearance procedures for imported and exported goods.
Through the use of a centralized processing system, the new Vietnam Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System (VNACCS) will take full effect on April 1, 2014, replacing the current e-customs system and facilitating customs declaration on all transactions as of November 2013.
According to Mr. Nguyen Manh Tung, the Customs Department director of IT and Statistics, customs clearance for green lane goods, for instance, will take a maximum of 15 seconds under the VNACCS. Continue reading
Nov. 12 – When looking to expand your manufacturing business into Vietnam, there are a variety of key issues for which extra attention needs to be paid. You need to be aware of not just your potential location, but also what establishing a presence in that location means – specifically with regard to different zone types and any relevant tax or administrative issues. Continue reading
By Shawn Greene
Nov. 11 – During a seminar in preparation for the 12th annual Anti-Corruption Dialogue in Hanoi tomorrow, new statistics reveal that more than 60 percent of enterprises operating in Vietnam gave ‘unofficial money’ to public officials – oftentimes without being asked to do so.
Organized by the British Embassy in cooperation with the Government Inspectorate and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the dialogue will focus on “Enhancing business engagement in promoting integrity and tackling corruption in Vietnam.” According to Soren Davidsen of the World Bank who spoke at the preparatory seminar on October 31, corruption was the third most serious problem businesses were facing in Vietnam after price hikes and falling revenue.
A survey conducted last year by the World Bank and Vietnam’s Government Inspectorate showed that enterprises operating in Vietnam were partly to blame for the problem. Of those surveyed, 59 percent admitted to having handed gifts or money to state officials. Continue reading
Nov. 4 – The State Bank of Vietnam, which has sought to boost the economy through loosening the country’s credit policies, will allow commercial banks to increase their loans by up to 20 percent through the end of this year – a move that will benefit companies that are positioned to take advantage of the new credit environment.
The availability of credit has also been enhanced by a downward trend in interest rates, which have fallen 3-5 percent during the first nine months of 2013 from 13-17 percent to 11-13 percent.
Commercial borrowers have been able to acquire even cheaper credit, such as a 9 percent loan offered by Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank, which has already issued over VND2 trillion (US$94 million) in loans this year, or the Techcombank, which charges an annual rate of 8.2 percent through a soft loan program. Continue reading
Oct. 25 – According to the International Air Transport Association, over the next year Vietnam should become the world’s third-fastest growing market for international passengers and freight. It will also be the second-fastest growing market for domestic passengers.
In addition, Vietnam’s Department of Aviation has predicted that the country will see an increase of 15 percent in domestic passengers in 2013 (over double last year’s 7 percent growth rate).
The Vietnamese airline industry is currently quite small, but it is poised for massive growth with the domestic airlines planning to either double or even triple their fleets as they seek to service the country’s 90 million plus citizens over the next few years. Further, the fast growing tourist industry has been increasing at a 20 percent rate year-on-year. Continue reading
By Alex Tangkilisan
Several ASEAN countries have raised their minimum wage standards recently to adjust their respective salary levels to the rising costs of living and to provide their citizens with higher purchasing power. However, many businesses and investors have complained that the somewhat drastic wage hikes have hurt the market in terms of competitiveness and lowering worldwide interest in establishing a business presence in these countries – which would truly be a blow to an emerging ASEAN.
The ASEAN countries that have recently raised minimum wages are Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. We’ll discuss Vietnam in this article. Continue reading
Oct. 14 – Vietnamese garment makers are further intensifying their competition with Bangladesh as it seeks to take an even larger portion of the global clothing market thanks to being on the cusp of being placed within the U.S.-based generalized system of preferences (GSP).
Specifically, the GSP is a trade privilege scheme which has been described by the Office of the United States Trade Representative as “a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 127 designated beneficiary countries and territories.” Continue reading