By Edward Barbour-Lacey
HCMC – According to a plan released by Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) are likely to be merged at the end of this year. If completed, the new Vietnam Stock Exchange (VSE) will be headquartered in Hanoi, although it will also have a southern branch in HCMC.
During the period 2015-2020, the VSE will be a 100-percent state-run unit managed by the Ministry of Finance. After 2020, member securities companies of the VSE will be able to purchase a 10-25 percent stake in the exchange.
HANOI – Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, has implemented a plan to reduce the time needed to obtain a Business Registration Certificate to within three days of receiving the application, instead of the previous 10 days. Although this change will only initially apply to Vietnamese enterprises, the definition of Vietnamese enterprises was changed recently to allow them to have foreign ownership. Hanoi is the first city in the country to implement this program.
The change in registration time is part of the new regulations laid out in the new Law on Enterprises 2014, which will go into full effect on July 1. Hanoi has taken the bold choice of implementing the changes earlier in hopes of boosting its attractiveness to investors. In July, the rest of the country will have to follow suit and shorten their registration times.
HANOI – Last Sunday, in Lao Cai’s Bao Thang District, Vietnamese government officials announced the opening of a 245 kilometer expressway. The expressway, which is the longest in Vietnam, stretches from Hanoi’s Noi Bai through the provinces of Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, and Yen Bai finally ending in Lao Cai. Now that the road is open to traffic, the travel time between Hanoi and Lao Cai has been cut in half.
HANOI – On June 17, 2014, the Netherlands-Vietnam energy forum was held in Hanoi. The forum discussed the effective implementation of a 2011 memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries.
During the meeting, both governments expressed their determination to promote energy cooperation, according to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Le Duong Quang.
HCMC –Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and its economic center Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) have both reported positive economic numbers for the first four months of 2014. April has proven to be a particularly auspicious month for both cities.
The HCMC People’s Committee has issued a report highlighting a number of areas where the city has posted strong economic numbers. The reported numbers include:
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.
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.
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.
By Edward Barbour-Lacey
HCMC – 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.
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.