May 21 – Due to the enforcement of new restrictions on television in Vietnam, at least one Vietnamese TV station has responded by dropping worldwide news channels CNN and BBC. Foreign governments have already warned that various interpretations of the new restrictions could result in foreign media leaving the country altogether.
Joint venture K+ Satellite has dropped more than 20 foreign channels in Vietnam, with the only explanation provided for the downsizing by the station as “complying with regulations.” However, the company has yet to release an official statement. Continue reading
May 16 – Construction began last month on four main roads in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, a development located near the heart of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).
Construction of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area has been steady, with 99 percent of the seven square kilometer area already cleared, with the adjacent Thu Thiem tunnel and bridge already having been completed. Construction is currently expected to be completed by 2025, with its developers promoting the area as the future financial and cultural hub of Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Economic recession, however, has slowed the development of other key infrastructure projects in the area. At the Conference on Investment Promotion held earlier this month, investors voiced their concerns, citing worries over the slow infrastructure development in addition to the high land prices and restrictive administrative regulations. Continue reading
May 10 – The new issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, titled An Introduction to Development Zones Across Asia, is out now and will be temporarily available as a complimentary PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore throughout the months of May and June.
The use of development zones in their different guises has been an effective model essentially brought to prominence by China over the past 25 years to help both foreign investors and domestic companies meet in a relationship that provides tax advantages to both. Development zones typically permit the foreign investor to bring component parts into a country for assembly without having to pay import duties. Investors may then add in locally-sourced components, assemble the final product, and warehouse it all duty free before then having the option of exporting the finished product (collecting some VAT rebates on the locally sourced portion) or entering the domestic market with a product assembled at local labor costs. Continue reading
May 9 – After a 15-month hiatus, Vietnamese produce exporters are now allowed to resume shipments of fruits and vegetables to the European Union (EU) after Vietnam’s plant protection department agreed to re-issue quarantine certificates.
Exports will resume as normal starting June 30.
Vietnam’s plant protection department stopped issuing certificates in March 2012 in an effort to prevent certain exported fruit (such as blue dragon or grapefruit) from being added to the EU’s blacklist after Vietnamese basil, sweet pepper, celery, bitter gourd and coriander failed to meet the EU’s food hygiene and safety regulations. The EU threatened to ban all Vietnamese produce if they found five more batches that were in violation of their regulations. Continue reading
May. 3 – Following the relevant customs procedures when importing or exporting goods from Vietnam is one of the most vital aspects of doing business in a country where manufacturing costs are leveraged to its favor. Goods to be imported or exported are subject to the relevant customs clearance standards, which effectively check the quality, specifications, quantity and volume of the goods.
Following the standards set by the Vietnamese government, certain imported goods are subject to inspection. For example, imported pharmaceuticals must undergo testing and also include documents detailing product use, dosage and expiration dates (written in Vietnamese), which must also be included in or on the product packaging. Continue reading
Apr. 26 – During the first four months of 2013, Vietnam attracted newly registered and additional foreign direct investment (FDI) capital worth over US$8 billion. The capital was injected into projects throughout 18 different sectors, with the processing and manufacturing industries topping the list, followed by the property, wholesale and retail sectors.
Of this, US$4.9 billion of new capital was added thanks to the licensing of 341 new FDI projects. Another 121 projects expanded its capital by a total of US$3.34 billion. These capital injections represent a 14.6 percent and 20.7 percent year-on-year increase, respectively. Continue reading
By Nguyen Huyen My, Business Advisory Services, Dezan Shira & Associates
Apr. 23 – Over the past 10 years, more than 300 free trade agreements (FTAs) have been negotiated and/or implemented across the globe. FTAs are not new to Vietnam, as the country has been a part of the ASEAN Free Trade Area since 1996 and has completed other regional FTAs and a number of bilateral FTAs.
This article will provide an overview of Vietnam’s membership in the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
ASEAN-China Free Trade Area
The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is now the world’s largest free trade area. It brings together ASEAN’s Free Trade Area with China’s mammoth economy, affecting nearly 2 billion people. In terms of trade turnover, this FTA stands behind just the European Economic Area (EEA) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Continue reading
Apr. 22 – In a move to enhance Vietnam’s competitive capacity and to create additional jobs, the Vietnamese government will create a fund to assist with the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The fund will officially function as a State financial organization under the management of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and it will be responsible for not just financial support but also the management of SMEs.
The fund’s management activities will include receiving and organizing financial resources for SMEs and managing domestic and foreign trust capital to generate funds for SME development. Continue reading
Apr. 19 – The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance recently issued Circular No.38/2013/TT-BTC which amended its preferential import duties on various commodities. Currently scheduled to be implemented from May 19, 2013, the key revised preferential import duty rates can be found below.
- Commodities in the polymeric styrene category will now taxed at 5 percent (previously taxed at 3 percent);
- High impact polystyrene (HIPS) will now be taxed at 5 percent (previously taxed at 3 percent);
- Synthetic filament yarn (except sewing yarn) will now be taxed at 3 percent (previously not taxed);
- Copper-coated carbon steel wire for inflatable pneumatic rubber tires will now be taxed at 3 percent (previously not taxed); and
- Nylon-6 yarns will now be taxed at 7 percent (previously taxed at 5 percent).
Apr. 12 – The 23rd Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2013) opened on April 10 at the Vietnam Exhibition Fair Center in Hanoi, Vietnam. Booths and products representing the agriculture, electronics, information technology, industrial machinery, equipment, construction materials, and trade and services sectors will be present and on display until April 13.
Themed “Vietnam: Cooperation for Development”, Vietnam Expo 2013 aims to showcase Vietnam’s goal to boost international economic ties, promote trade and increase exports while also developing its domestic market and promoting its service industry. The Expo is jointly organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and VINEXAD–VIETNAM International Trade Fair and Advertising. Continue reading