GE touts megaturbines for Japanese offshore wind farms

The Japanese government targets renewables to account for 22% to 24% of Japan’s energy mix in fiscal 2030. Renewable energy is now a mainstay business of GE. The segment generates more than 10% of overall revenue and is growing faster than aviation and health care operations. Read more

Cambodia dam to impact Mekong Delta

Vietnam is especially concerned because of predictions that the dam will trap large quantities of sediment. This will reduce the amount finding its way downstream to add nutrients to Vietnam’s agriculturally rich Mekong delta region, upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods. Read more

Government sets metrics to improve business conditions and national competitiveness in “Resolution 19,” Mar 2014

PM Nguyen Tan DungThree of the key performance metrics include ASEAN-6 averages by 2015: reduce time required to start new businesses to no more than 6 days; reduce tax procedures to 171 hours/year; reduce the time for import to 13 days and export 14 days.

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Secretary of State John Kerry: Remarks to AmCham and Fulbright Economics Program

SecState John Kerry, Ambassador David Shear“I want to thank the American Chamber of Commerce. The American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and industry have made just a gigantic difference here. AmCham’s experience in Vietnam has really ushered in a new era of cooperation for the bilateral trade agreement in 2001, to the WTO session in 2007, and now we are working on the TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership. I’ll say a word about it.

But just think about this for a minute: Our bilateral trade has grown 50-fold, 50 times since 1995, to more than $25 billion a year now. Vietnam has the potential to become one of the United States’ leading economic partners in the region, and we’re going to continue to work at that. Read more

Vietnam’s Macroeconomic Stability Continues to Improve, Critical Risks Remain – World Bank: Taking Stock Dec 2013

World Bank logoNew WB Report says reenergizing medium-term growth will require renewed attention to a number of structural reforms, with focus on state owned banks and enterprises.

Taking Stock, a bi-annual assessment of Vietnam’s economy, identifies several critical risks to macro-economic stability, including: (i) low foreign exchange reserves; (ii) fragile private sector demand, (iii) possibility of departure from fiscal and monetary discipline; (iv) slow progress on structural reforms; and (v) loss of confidence in a fragile banking sector. Read more

127 SOEs incur $61.32 billion debts

Vinalines 68-yr old floating doc, Go Dau port, Dong Nai - photo credit: Tuoi TreTotal debts as of the end of 2012 of the 127 state groups and corporations topped VND1,300 trillion, or US$61.32 billion, a government report shows. The government admitted that the business effectiveness of these businesses do not live up to their operating scale and assets. Read more

National Assembly approves amended Constitution

Chủ tịch Quốc hội Nguyễn Sinh HùngThe State economic sector plays the leading role in the socialist-oriented market economy. Besides, the State economic sector includes many factors and resources and State-owned enterprises are just one of these factors. Therefore, the committee said that it is not necessary to make specific regulations for the State economic sector.

Nguyen Sinh Hung, NA chairman and chairman of the Committee for Drafting Amendments to the 1992 Constitution, admitted that different viewpoints remained on some articles of the draft but a majority of people and the NA reached a high level of consensus on the document. Other differing opinions will continue to be heard and studied on the path of national renewal, he said.

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Is Vietnam still attractive to foreign investors?

Steve Almond, Deloitte

Vietnam is still a very popular destination in Southeast Asia for attracting FDI. There are challenges and government policies such as providing tax incentives can certainly help.

Much more important to business are things like the quality of the physical infrastructure, the connectivity of technology and communication and the access to high-quality skills in the labor force.

For Vietnam to attract more FDI, it should continue to invest more into removing trade barriers, and improving the infrastructure and education for the young work force to ensure they have the right skills.
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US-VN sign agreement on nuclear energy

Kerry-Pham Binh Minh APEC 2013An agreement signed between the United States and Vietnam in October 2013 could allow U.S. companies to sell nuclear technology to Vietnam. “I think there are two things that are at work here, one is potentially the economics and the jobs, the other is the U.S. has moved quite quickly to improve relations with Vietnam. We’ve had President Sang visiting here in July… Vietnam is part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership along with the U.S. and 10 other countries,” said Murray Hiebert, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. Read more

Sembcorp to build 1,200 MW thermal power plant in Central Vietnam

Sembcorp opens $1.3 billion utilities plant in OmanGeneral Department of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and Sembcorp Co (Singapore) on September 11 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop BOT (build-operate-transfer) Dung Quat thermo power plant project.

Addressing at the signing ceremony, the head of general Department of Energy, Pham Manh Thang, said that Dung Quat thermo power plant with a total investment of nearly $2 billion and designed capacity of 1,200 MW will be built in the Binh Son district in the central province of Quang Ngai.
The plant with two turbines of 600 MW each is expected to provide about seven billion kWh/year.According to Thang, the project has been approved by the government to be added in the Power Planning VII and Sembcorp Co (Singapore) was assigned to be the investor to develop the project in May 2013. Read more