Dec. 11 – Investment sentiment in Vietnam remains high among international enterprises, according to a survey released this month by Grant Thornton.
In its survey, the 10th bi-annual Investment Sentiment and Outlook for the 4th quarter of 2013, Grant Thornton reported a 16 percent increase among international fund managers, legal firms and corporate investors who hold a positive outlook for Vietnam’s economy in the coming year. In total, 43 percent of respondents held a positive view, while 45 percent maintained a neutral view and only 13 percent anticipated a negative economic outlook in the coming year. Continue reading
Dec. 10 – One of the most exciting industry sectors in Vietnam continues to be retail. There are numerous reasons why this industry is particularly attractive to both domestic and foreign businesses. Among its positive attributes, the country has a well-developed economy that continues to improve, a high population (90+ million) and ever increasing living standards.
Additionally important for the retail sector are statistics like the fact that 42 percent of Vietnamese are under the age of 25 and that there are a large amount of women (an important customer growth segment) in the workforce.
Through November of this year, Vietnam’s total retail turnover reached VND 2,386 trillion (around US$113 billion), an increase of 12.6 percent year-on-year. Continue reading
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
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. 22 – International investors and foreign direct investment enterprises operating in Vietnam may soon be allowed to open investment accounts in Vietnamese dong thanks to a draft circular passing through the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) this week.
This comes as the central bank overturns its previous draft law to replace Decree 160, which guides the implementation of the Foreign Exchange Ordinance and originally sought to limit foreign currency deposits and transactions to fulfill a national de-dollarization scheme. After the opposition to the draft cited both its potential interference with local customs – particularly gifting foreign money during the Lunar New Year – and its possible result of illegal remittances, the central bank is considering an amended draft that will benefit foreign investors and FDI businesses. Continue reading
Nov. 18 – Vietnam and the European Union (EU) appear set to finalize and sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by as early as fall 2014.
After the fifth round of negotiations on the FTA were held in Hanoi from November 4-8, both sides expressed a strong commitment to successfully concluding negotiations ahead of the tenth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 10) next fall. Following the negotiations, the European Parliament held its second hearing on the proposed FTA in Brussels on November 12.
With negotiations on the proposed FTA beginning in June 2012, this marks the first time both parties have expressed a clear political commitment to the FTA’s ultimate ratification. 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. 1 – Representatives from Vietnam and Taiwan recently met in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss trade opportunities in a variety of fields such as banking, food and real estate. The talks focused on the possibility of expanding trade and investment between the two countries as well as on bringing more Vietnamese workers to Taiwan.
Taiwan’s investment into Vietnam has slowed as of recently and both countries are eager to turn around this negative trend and see investment levels continue to increase.
According to Hoang Van Dung, first executive vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Taiwan is Vietnam’s third largest foreign investor. Bilateral trade between the two countries for 2012 was US$11 billion. Furthermore, in the past 20 years Taiwan’s total investment amount stands at US$30 billion invested into 2,260 projects (out of a total of US$300 billion in foreign investment into Vietnam). Continue reading
Oct. 29 – According to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have reached US$19.2 billion this year, an astounding increase of 65.5 percent over the previous year’s foreign investments. Now in the final quarter of its fiscal year, the Vietnamese economy has surpassed the government’s target of US$13-14 billion in annual FDI contributions.
Among the 52 countries having participated in Vietnam’s FDI, investors from Korea have contributed the largest share, worth US$3.6 billion this year. Singapore is the next largest investor with US$2.7 billion in contributions. China, Japan and Russia have also participated heavily in Vietnamese FDI for a combined contribution of US$4.4 billion.
The pace of foreign-funded projects has also increased this year, with over 1,000 approvals for new ventures and a continued contribution of US$6.2 billion to ongoing projects. Manufacturing and processing proposals have received the greatest share of interest from foreign investors and represents 77 percent of contributed capital. 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