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    Vietnam, China Complete Border Demarcation

    Feb. 24 – China and Vietnam have completed the final demarcation of their land border located at the Youyiguan border gate in Pingxiang City in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

    The border, spanning 1,300-kilometers, begins at the junction of China, Vietnam and Laos and continues along the Beilun River to the coast.

    On the Chinese side is Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region while on the Vietnamese side is Cao Bang, Lang Son, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Guang Ninh.

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    HCMC Named One of the Top Emerging Locations for Outsourcing

    Feb. 11 – A global service survey has named HCM City as one of the world’s top ten emerging locations for outsourcing in 2008.

    The top 50 Emerging Global Outsourcing Cities survey was conducted by Tholons, a strategic advisory firm for global outsourcing and research.

    Ho Chi Minh City was ranked at fourth place in terms of application development and maintenance, product development and testing.

    The city's biggest firms for outsourcing include FPT Software, IBM, Luxoft and Vietnam Software Outsourcing which hire most of their employees from the HCM City National University and the University of Technical Education.

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    Vietnam’s Central Bank to Loosen Monetary Policy

    Feb. 3 – Vietnam's central bank said it will continue to ease monetary policy this year by cutting more benchmark interest rates.

    State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Giau said, the policy would be flexible to “stabilize the macro economy and prevent a [balance of payments] deficit.”

    He added that credit growth could be 3.2 to 3.5 times that of the gross domestic product this year while the government expects GDP to grow by 6.5 percent.

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    Vietnamese Customs Officials Misinterpret Repatriation Tax

    Jan. 23 – Vietnam's Finance Minister said that customs officials misinterpreted a circular that called for taxing paper and polymer used to print currency bills and thus collected taxes on dollars repatriated in cash.

    The Circular No. 131 effective January 1st, meted a 10 percent value added tax (VAT) on these materials.

    Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh told Thanh Nien News that is office has already sent a note to customs to clarify. He said, “This is a misunderstanding and no bank will have to pay the 10 percent VAT on foreign currency bills.”

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    Vietnam May Raise Electricity Prices

    Jan. 15 – Vietnam may increase retail electricity prices by up to 10 percent to attract more investment in the energy sector.

    The industry is struggling to meet the country's energy needs. Electricity rates in Vietnam are much lower compared to other countries in the region making it less attractive to potential investors, the Vietnam Economic Times quoted Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Huu Hao as saying.

    The proposal to increase prices was submitted last month pending the approval of the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

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    New Personal Income Tax Cuts Stock Market Trading

    Jan. 7 – The implementation of the new Personal Income Tax (PIT) law beginning January 1 has discouraged potential investors, according to Thanh Nien News.

    On Monday, 7.3 million shares were traded compared with last year's daily average of 11.8 million.

    The PIT law requires stock investors to either pay a 0.1 percent fee of the value of each transaction or 20 percent on their net profit for the year. In addition, those who choose to pay 20 percent on their annual net profit are still required to pay 0.1 percent fee of each sale and the excess tax paid to be refunded at the end of the year.

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    Vietnam’s New Property Taxes

    Dec. 30 – With the introduction of the new Personal Income Tax Law on January 1, owners of more than one house will have to pay a 2 percent tax on each house they sell.

    Another option is to pay a 25 percent tax on the remaining money after they have bought a new house, with proceeds of the sale of a property for which all fees have been paid.

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    Work Begins on Shenzhen-Financed Trade Zone in Haiphong

    Dec. 29 – Construction on a Shenzhen-invested economic trade zone in Haiphong City started yesterday.

    The US$200 million zone, which will cater to businesses from the Southern Chinese city, is located in Yen Hung district, Quang Ninh Province, 125 kilometers from Hanoi. It will include 2.2 million square meters of factory space, 400,000 square meters of warehousing and 100,000 square meters of office buildings for management, research and public services.

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    New Container Route to China, Hong Kong Launched

    Dec. 19 – The new international shipping container route starting from Cai Lan port in Quang Ninh province to China and Hong Kong has been officially launched.

    The port is the first deep-water port located in northern Vietnam with a capacity of accommodating freighters weighing up to 50,000 DWT.

    Previously, test-runs on the new route were done using the MSC's 1,090 TEU vessel, the Wellington, being the first to arrive in November.

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    Ho Chi Minh City May Implement New Land Tax Valuation System Next Year

    Dec. 5 – The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has submitted a proposal that calls for the land tax re-evaluations of the city's districts starting January 1st.

    The city has decided to increase land use taxes due to improved infrastructure. Thanh Nien News reports that property valuations in some districts of the city will more than double next year under a new land valuation system.

    If the proposed value system is approved, charges will span from VND110,000 per square meter to VND81 million per square meter.

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