Vietnam looks to escape labour trap by offering incentives

Vietnam plans to upskill its workforce by offering incentives to foreign vocational training providers.

The Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) planned to draw up a training development strategy which give top priority to foreign investors developing high-quality vocational training schools, MoLISA deputy minister Nguyen Ngoc Phi told the VIR-led workshop on boosting foreign direct investment (FDI) in Hanoi.

The schools would be developed using investment forms including wholly foreign-owned investment, joint ventures and public-private partnerships, said Phi.

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Vietnam: Two decades of development lessons

In Vietnam, a series of important policy reforms were taken well before the embargo was lifted. These included the return of land to individual farm households on permanent use-right basis (1988); stabilisation of the macro-economy, notably inflation (1989); removing barriers that stopped households from conducting businesses (1990 Law on Private Enterprises); and trade and foreign investment liberalisation (the 1987 Law on FDI had no real impact until the exchange rate unification).

The above four reform areas are, I argue, the foundation for success in the post-embargo period in Vietnam. All were built upon in later years, such as the 1993 amended Land Law that made agricultural land-use rights transferable and useable as collateral, and the 2000 Enterprise Law.

I choose the above four reforms because opening up to world trade and investment (and official development assistance, or ODA) is the only path for a country to get rich. Macroeconomic stability is a prerequisite for following that path: instability and high inflation, for example, lead to low foreign direct investment (FDI). Yet if you want equitable development – where more than an elite benefit – that rapid growth must be built on supporting households. Most importantly, that means giving households private ownership of their assets, a legal framework that protects that ownership, and a minimum of regulations and taxes on their ability to do business. In other words, encourage households to invest, make profits and keep them.

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Vu Khoan: Vietnam China Relations

East Sea in Party Chief’s visit to China • The East Sea disputes

Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong and Vu Khoan is the senior diplomat who participated in the process of normalization and development of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and China, Vietnam and the US, and Vietnam and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, which are also the major contents in this talk. More importantly, he is among several retired high-ranking officials who are still very interested in the development of the present situation and offer their successors significant clues for policy making process. Some call Vu Khoan as a “forward thinker.”

Q. In your opinion, what was the most important event in Vietnam’s foreign affairs in 2011?

Last year, Vietnam organized the National Party Congress and National Assembly election but diplomatic activities were still bustling. Many high-ranking delegations visited Vietnam and Vietnam sent many high-ranking delegations to other countries. Each visit has its own meaning and is very important. However, I think that the most remarkable event of the year is the visit to China of Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong.


The key result of this visit is the signing of the six-point agreement on guiding principles for negotiation of sea-related issues between the two countries.

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World Bank Vietnam development report 2012 : market economy for a middle-income Vietnam, Dec 6, 2011

Vietnam’s transition to a market economy has transformed the country and the lives of its people.

In 1986, Vietnam launched Doi Moi, a homegrown, political and economic renewal campaign that marked the beginning of its transition from a centrally planned economy to a socialist-oriented market economy. At that time, Vietnam was one of the poorest countries in the world, and with many problems: hyperinflation, famine, drastic cuts in Soviet aid, and a trade embargo by the west.

The report is organized as follows.

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U.S. investors look at Danang Airport

HCMC, Nov 18, 2011. U.S.-based firms are exploring investment opportunities for infrastructure development at Danang Airport, the third biggest international airport in Vietnam, according to Danang authorities.

Giao Thong Van Tai newspaper, under the Ministry of Transport, said Cedona and U.S. group ADC & HAS are looking to engage airport projects in central Vietnam, including Danang International Airport. Danang authorities have pledged favorable conditions for investors.

ADC & HAS Airports is a long-term strategic partnership between HAS Development Corporation, the development affiliate of the Houston Airport System, Airport Development Corporation of Canada, and OMERS Strategic Investments. The Company brings together the operational strength and depth of technical resources of the Houston Airport System, together with the more than two decades of airport privatization and development experience of Airport Development Corporation.

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces investments in international market development

HANOI, Vietnam, Nov. 16, 2011. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in approximately 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods. Vilsack made the announcement during a conference call with reporters from Vietnam, where he is meeting with officials to help strengthen trade relations in the Asia Pacific region.

“Under the Obama Administration, USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down barriers to trade, and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world,” said Vilsack. “The funding announced today will ensure that U.S. agriculture remains a bright spot in America’s economy and a driving force behind export growth, job creation, and our nation’s competitiveness.”

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) allocated $ 213 million for export promotion activities through two USDA international market development programs: the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP). USDA’s international market development programs have had a significant and positive impact on U.S. agricultural exports. An independent study released in 2010 found that for every $ 1 expended by government and industry on market development, U.S. food and agricultural exports increase by $ 35.

Under FMD, FAS will allocate a total of $ 29.7 million to 24 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The organizations, which must contribute a minimum 50 percent cost share toward the program, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.

Under MAP, FAS will provide $ 183 million to 67 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. MAP participants must contribute a minimum 10 percent match for generic marketing and promotion activities and a dollar-for-dollar match for promotion of branded products by small businesses and cooperatives.

In Vietnam today, Vilsack met with representatives from some of the U.S. agricultural organizations benefiting from these programs. He also spoke with Vietnamese officials and talked with students at the Hanoi University of Agriculture.

For a complete listing on allocations, visit and

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Vietnam maps out growth plan to 2015

Vietnam’s National Assembly has finished mapping out the country’s road to prosperity until 2015 but government cuts to investment capital could mean funding for the ambitious targets is hard to come by.

In a move which is key to the country’s economic future over the next few years, the National Assembly last week adopted a resolution on Vietnam’s plan for socio-economic development for the 2011-2015 period and another resolution on the same content for next year. The government said the resolutions were especially important for preparing resources for realising ambitious targets.

Vietnam’s overall goal for the 2011-2015 socio-economic development plan is to achieve rapid and sustainable economic development which is closely linked with economic restructuring and renewal of the growth model with the aim of boosting the economy’s quality, effectiveness and competitiveness.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Summary: Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders Nov 2011

Endorsed by TPP Leaders, November 12, 2011

Our negotiating teams have held nine rounds of negotiations and we are pleased to report that they have established the broad outlines of a next-generation, transformative agreement that will further elevate our trade and investment relationships, create the foundation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, and support jobs, economic growth, and higher living standards in our countries. Negotiating an agreement of this scope and ambition is a complex and time-consuming exercise, but we are confident that the successful development of this framework will provide us the structure and momentum we need to successfully conclude this agreement. Below we detail the five features that will define this historic agreement and set a new standard for trade agreements in the future.

(1) Comprehensive Market Access

We have agreed to pursue an agreement that is comprehensive and ambitious in all areas, eliminating tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment. The nine countries recognize that by doing so, we can best promote trade and investment among us and create and retain the jobs that trade supports. We have made headway in our work to negotiate the market access packages for goods, services and investment even as we work to address the specific sensitivities between us and build upon previous free trade agreements. Our goal is to have comprehensive, duty free access to each other’s goods markets and restrictions on services lifted simultaneously so as to create new opportunities for our workers and businesses and immediate benefits for our consumers.

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Vietnam PM in Tokyo to push atomic power, minerals

TOKYO — Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in Tokyo Sunday on a four-day visit expected to promote Japan’s export of nuclear power plants to his country and joint development of rare earths.

Officials confirmed Dung’s arrival and said he was scheduled to attend a dinner with members of the Japanese parliament later in the day, before talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday.

According to Japanese media, Noda is expected to confirm that Japan will help build two nuclear reactors in Vietnam, despite the atomic plant crisis at Fukushima triggered by the March natural disaster.

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China, Vietnam emphasize fraternal ties

BEIJING, Oct 11, 2011 (Xinhua)—President Hu Jintao held talks with the visiting head of Vietnam’s ruling political party Tuesday, with both sides agreeing to advance their strategic and cooperative partnership in a stable and healthy way.

The meeting marked Nguyen Phu Trong’s first time visit to China since being elected as the General-secretary of of the Communist Party of Vietnam(CPV) in January.

The high-profile meeting reflected the importance that both sides attach to developing sound bilateral relations.

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