Dec. 4 – The World Bank (WB) released its bi-annual assessment of Vietnam’s economy Monday, projecting that the country’s macroeconomic stability will continue to improve considerably in the medium-term.
The report entitled The Taking Stock estimates that Vietnam’s GDP will continue to grow 5.5 percent by 2015. If the country continues to move forward with planned structural reforms aimed at strengthening its market economy, however, Vietnam’s economy can expect even larger gains. Continue reading
Nov. 28 – This week, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is expected to approve a number of revisions to the Vietnamese constitution that will tighten government control over the economy and reaffirm the dominance of state companies.
While CPV leaders initially suggested the constitutional changes would push Vietnam’s economy towards a more market-oriented system, the revisions set to be approved this week will retain state-owned enterprises as the mainstay of nation’s economy. Continue reading
Nov. 27 – On November 25th the Mekong Delta Investment Promotion Conference took place in Vinh Long province. The conference called for investments in more than 130 projects in the Mekong Delta.
According to Chairman Nguyen Van Diep of the Vinh Long Provincial People’s Committee, the purpose of the conference was to create “a space for investors and businesses to discuss policies, potentials and investment opportunities as well as figure out obstacles and difficulties to promote investment for the region.” Continue reading
Nov. 25 – As a transport hub of the Red River Delta, Hanoi features a large network of waterways, railways and highways connecting the region. Infrastructure development has been a priority in the city, with the local government taking steps to ensure that the continued flow of goods and investment into the city can be sustained to uphold its strong economic growth.
Rapid economic expansion in Hanoi has led to substantial growth in the city’s population, adding over 400,000 new citizens each year since 2008. This population boom, while benefitting the local economy through the addition of young and skilled workers, has also led to congestion within the city’s transportation network. Due to this, motorcycles and mopeds have become the preferred means of transportation in Hanoi. According to the Institute of Transport Planning and Management, motorcycles outnumber cars by 10-to-1. Car ownership is on the rise in Hanoi, however, with an annual growth rate of 10 percent. Continue reading
Nov. 20 – Lying on the right bank of the Red River in northern Vietnam, approximately 85 miles inland from the South China Sea, is the charming capital city of Hanoi. Hanoi is Vietnam’s old imperial capital and its modern center of politics and culture. The previous generation of people in Hanoi experienced a strict communist domination. While still recognized for their humility and simpler lifestyle compared to those living in the south of the country, today Hanoi people display an increasing warmth and openness in communication and work.
Hanoi was predicted to be the fastest growing city in the world in terms of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Despite the recent economic crisis, Hanoi remains one of the fastest growing cities in Vietnam, with its economy expanding 7.88 percent during the first 10 months of this year. 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
Oct. 21 – Due to the large amount of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) within Vietnam, the country has found itself at somewhat of an impasse with regards to negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP has called for a high degree of transparency and for a great increase in the openness of markets.
The TPP is a multi-party free trade agreement that, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, “will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.”
Currently, Vietnamese SOEs represent 70 percent of the country’s total investment capital, 60 percent of bank loans, 50 percent of investments, and generate more than 50 percent of the country’s bad debts. As a result of their large size, SOE reform has proven to be a major sticking point in Vietnam’s bid to liberalize its economy ahead of signing the TPP agreement. 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. 10 – According to the World Bank, Vietnam has seen improvements to its macroeconomic performance over the past two years despite such growth being tempered by structural problems in the banking and state-owned enterprise (SOE) sectors.
This comes as good news as Vietnam saw its lowest growth levels since 1999 at 5.2 percent just last year. Further, the World Bank predicts that over the medium-term growth will remain moderate if there are no major changes to the country’s financial and SOE sectors.
While still positive, Vietnam’s GDP growth has declined over the past few years. However, this trend looks poised to change as, during the second quarter of 2013, the country saw a growth rate of 5 percent. It is predicted that the country will see a GDP growth of closer to 5.3 percent for the entire year. Continue reading
Sept. 26 – The new issue of Vietnam Briefing Magazine, titled Manufacturing in Vietnam to Sell to ASEAN and China, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore for a limited time only.
As many international manufacturing enterprises are now looking to expand or relocate their China operations into alternative markets to capture new opportunities or hedge their China risk, the search is currently on to find Asia’s new emerging market darling for foreign investment. In this area, one of the most talked-about regions offering promising prospects is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). And what better place to start than Vietnam – an already booming Southeast Asian nation. Continue reading