Hanoi

Economic Uncertainty Prevails as Vietnam Prepares to Host the 2019 Asian Games

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Editor’s Note: In response to questions regarding whether the World Bank would financially support Vietnam’s plan to host the Asian Games in 2019, Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam, said that the organization would not make a commitment to providing loans to construct event infrastructure. On Thursday, April 17th, Vietnam announced that it was pulling out as the host of the 2019 Asian Games. In explanation, the government cited a lack of preparedness and worries that holding the event would not be financially viable.

HANOI – Hanoi’s successful bid for the 2019 Asian Games (ASIAD) has created a heated discussion on the merits of the proposed organization plan and its economic benefits. Strong public opinion pressure has focused on the uncertain benefits of hosting the Games – in the past, Vietnam has been known to be less than wise in how it spends taxpayers’ money. 

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Hanoi GDP on the Rise in First Quarter of 2014

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HANOI – The Hanoi People’s Committee has reported that in the first quarter of 2014, the city’s GDP increased by 6.6 percent year-on-year (Y/Y).  The city’s positive growth numbers mirror the growth occurring throughout the country.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the city has also seen positive movement. During the quarter, Hanoi saw 55 newly-granted investment projects. These projects were worth a total of US$38 million.

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Hanoi Makes a Strong Play for EU Business

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HANOI – During a meeting with members of the European business community, the Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee, Nguyen The Thao, stated that “Hanoi is committed to creating an open and transparent investment environment for foreign businesses, especially from the European business community.”

In pursuit of this goal, Hanoi has begun a series of meetings with the relevant agencies and localities throughout the city in order to speed up administrative reforms and develop a more attractive investment environment.

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Vietnam’s Retail Sector is a Clear Buy

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By Edward Barbour-Lacey

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.  

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Vietnam’s Infrastructure: Hanoi

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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.

Intracity Transport

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.

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City Spotlight: Hanoi

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HanoivNov. 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.

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Regional Spotlight: Red River Delta (Hanoi)

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HanoiMay 7 – The Red River Delta constitutes the industrial heart of Vietnam and is one of the richest and most developed regions in the country.

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, dominates in terms of foreign investment and gross industrial output. It is also home to many manufacturing plants for big international names like GM, Nokia and Yamaha. The industrial parks and economic zones in the region are strengthened by their “corridor to the sea” via the Hai Phong Port, one of Vietnam’s largest ports.

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Upcoming Vietnam Trade Fairs and Exhibitions

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Oct. 30 – The coming month in Vietnam will bring in a fresh set of trade fairs, shows, expos, and exhibitions to try and satiate the growing demand for new business in the country. A sampling of November’s key events can be found below.

Vietnam International Shop and Franchise Show 2012

  • When: November 1-3, 2012
  • Where: Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, 799 Nguyen Van Linh, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Organizer: Vinexad

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Vietnam’s Regions and Key Economic Zones

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By Samantha Jones and Julia Gu

May 29 – Vietnam is composed of 63 provinces and five centrally-governed cities, which stand on the same administrative level as provinces (namely Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong). The General Statistics Office of Vietnam further groups these provinces and cities into eight regions, listed below:

  1. Southeast
  2. Red River Delta
  3. Mekong River Delta
  4. Northeast
  5. Northwest
  6. North Central Coast
  7. South Central Coast
  8. Central Highlands

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Foreigners Eligible for VAT Refund When Leaving Vietnam

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Apr. 30 – On April 12, 2012, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance promulgated Circular No.58/2012/TT-BTC to guide the implementation of Decision No. 05/2012/QD-TTg dated January 19, 2012 on implementing a pilot project allowing VAT refunds for foreigners departing Vietnam from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC.

Foreigners who buy goods in Vietnam and leave from either of those airports will be reimbursed the VAT they have paid. However, the tax refund service fee which commercial banks are entitled to charge is equal to 15 percent of the total amount of VAT on goods eligible for refund that foreigners carry when leaving the airports. As such, the amount of value added tax which foreigners will be refunded is equal to 85 percent of the total amount of VAT paid.

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