Vietnam News in Brief: Weekly Roundup April 14, 2023
Vietnam Briefing keeps track of what’s happening in Vietnam business and economic news so that you don’t have to. Here’s what happened this week.
IMF projects 5.8 percent GDP growth for Vietnam this year
The IMF is forecasting GDP growth of 5.8 percent for Vietnam this year, according to its World Economic Outlook, April 2023: A Rocky Recovery report. This is on the back of growth forecasts last week from the UOB, AMRO, and ADB last week which forecast 6, 6.8, and 6.5 percent, respectively.
World Bank releases report on Vietnam’s 2023 outlook, with a focus on macro poverty
This Vietnam poverty and equity assessment is organized into two parts motivated by addressing both Last Mile and Next Mile issues: Part I reviews poverty and inequality trends over the last decade, 2010–2020; and Part II assesses opportunities for and challenges to Vietnam’s path to achieving its Next Mile aspirations and creating greater prosperity for households and workers.
Chapters of interest cover: challenges for economic mobility, transformation of the youth labor force and skill level of jobs, fiscal policy, financing future investments, and building the middle class. Download report here.
United States and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry launch new provincial green index
The United States Mission to Vietnam, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), has launched a new tool called the Provincial Green Index to encourage green economic growth. The Green Index evaluates and ranks provinces’ environmental policies from the perspective of businesses, with the aim of promoting eco-friendly business practices and attracting green investments. The Green Index will be published as part of the annual Provincial Competitiveness Index, which has been supported by USAID since its inception in 2005 and has become an important tool for encouraging economic governance reforms at the national and provincial levels. The launch of the Green Index will help Vietnam advance towards sustainable economic development and meet its commitments under COP26.
End of US Trade Facilitation Program launched in partnership between the US Mission to Vietnam and the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC)
The US Mission to Vietnam and the GDVC celebrated the successful conclusion of the TFP, launched in 2018 to improve the business and trade climate in Vietnam.
The Trade Facilitation Program has simplified customs procedures and created action plans to ease congestion at Cat Lai, the busiest container port in the country. Specific results include developing trade-related laws and regulations, training government officials and private sector representatives, generating business satisfaction survey responses, and putting Vietnam on track to implement commitments under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA). Vietnam is expected to be fully compliant with the WTO-TFA by the end of 2024.
Q1 Eurocham Business Climate Index Released
The European Chamber of Commerce Vietnam has released its Business Climate Index for the first quarter of the year. Ultimately, not much has changed since January with the overall index sitting at 48 in the same position as it was three months earlier. This reflects wider global challenges facing the world and consumer spending in key markets and broad uncertainty as a result.
Singapore asset manager buys into Vietnamese edtech
The Vietnamese edtech sector has received another welcome boost in funding with Vietnam’s MindX securing US$15 million in funding led by Kaizenvest. This is on the back of another Vietnamese edtech firm, Prep, last week, securing US$1 million dollars from Indonesia’s East Ventures and US firm Cercano Management.
Japan secure funding for Laos-Vietnam wind project
Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has announced it has managed to raise US$692 million for a wind power project in Laos that would sell electricity over the border to Vietnam. The wind farm is expected to have 133 wind turbines, generating 600-megawatts of electricity.
The Formula 1 may yet debut in Vietnam
Hanoi had been scheduled to host the Formula 1 in April of 2020, but border closures due to lockdowns put an end to that. The track ,which was mostly complete, has been sitting dormant for the best part of four years. That said, it has been reported that discussions are underway to revive the project. If it does happen, this could be a welcome boost for the local economy as well as Vietnam’s international profile.
Vietnam, Indonesia seeking to enhance tourism cooperation
Vietnam welcomed 2.7 million foreign visitors in the first quarter of 2023, including 21,000 Indonesians. To compare, Vietnam hosted 26,000 Indonesian tourists in 2022 and 106,000 in 2019. Meanwhile, Vietnam is Indonesia’s fourth largest inbound market in ASEAN after Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Policy considerations for the two countries in boosting tourism development and launching new tourism products include: sustainability and environmental protection, respect for the local culture, community, and customs, and balance between mass and quality travel.
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