By Chua Siew Joo
Aug. 14 – Vietnamese workers in Asia and the Middle East are sending money home like their counterparts in the United States, Australia and Europe.
It may be a sign that lives are getting better for these migrant workers as they are currently not only sending money back to their family but also investing in business.
The Dong A Money Transfer Company reported receiving remittances of US$631 million in the first half of 2008 and expects the figure for the whole year to be US$1.2 billion. Sai Gon Thuong Tin Bank and Vietcombank (VCB) reported remittances of US$420 million and US$730 million respectively.
Aug. 13 – For the first time, Vietnam's Department of Customs will open an online forum on August 22 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to take customs inquiries.
The office located in the southern Binh Duong province and is expected to field questions from more than 2,300 local businesses. It will soon extend its services to include import-export procedures through e-customs.
The website address is www.haiquanbinhduong.gov.vn.
Aug. 11- The State Bank of Vietnam announced on its website that it will no longer issue licenses for establishing joint-stock commercial banks.
The move is in response to the government’s call to revise rules for the industry.
In a statement the government said, “Pending the revisions, the issue of permits for establishing new joint-stock commercial banks will be stopped temporarily.”
The government has warned that state-owned companies should stay within their core businesses rather than diversifying to industries ranging from real estate to banking.
Aug. 8 – Vietnam has surpassed India to move to second behind China in apparel exports to the United States, shipping garments worth US$4.76 billion in May this year against India's exports of US$3.14 billion.
Out of the total US$73 billion dollars annual imports by the US till May-end, Vietnam managed to capture 6.55 per cent share while China remained the largest exporter to the American market with 30.6 per cent share, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Aug. 7 – Hong Kong-based Dragonair announced yesterday that it will open a new air-route to Hanoi on October 26, 2008.
Besides transporting passengers from Hong Kong to Hanoi and vice versa, Dragonair plans to conduct tourists and businessmen from North Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand to Hanoi as well.
by Chua Siew Joo
Aug. 6 – At a recent HIV prevention and drug detoxification symposium in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Truong Vinh Trong, urged ministries, sectors and localities to prioritize prevention programs to curb the spread of HIV/AIDs.
Aug. 5 – Vietnam is doubling export duties on steel to 20 percent to limit overseas sales of the product.
According to the official Vietnam News Agency, the new duty will replace the current 10 percent tax and be imposed on steel billets and finished products from Aug 10.
HANOI, July 31 – Vietnam welcomed an estimated 2.6 million international arrivals in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 6.6 percent, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said Tuesday.
The number of foreign tourists rose by 3.1 percent to more than 1.6 million while the percent of foreigners coming to Vietnam for business surged 38.4 percent to 505,500. Foreign visitors originated mainly from China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Australia the VNAT said.
July 30 – Located in the middle of Vietnam, Danang is the country’s fourth largest city and in recent years has become the commercial and industrial hub of central Vietnam.
As one executive, the chairman of software development company Enclave has commented in the San Jose Mercury News, Danang is the Ho Chi Minh City of 10 years ago, a rising economic power. Its current 13 percent economic growth rate is higher than the nation’s whole.
By Chua Siew Joo
July 28 – The economies of Asia are experiencing soaring inflation rates driven by rising food and fuel prices. Vietnam’s inflation rate has hit an impressive 27.4 percent in July, with the rest of the Asian economies, including Japan, achieving rates of between 7.5 percent and 11 percent. Such hikes, in the context of a looming global economic recession, are read by some to portend a second Asian financial crisis.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned that rising inflation could hit investment and corporate earnings, besides potentially destabilizing governments in the regions. High inflation rates, considered being the a regressive form of taxation will have the greatest impact on the Asian poor which makes up two-thirds of the world’s poor population.