Message from the Chair – January 2020

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy Tết to our AmCham members and friends as we welcome in the Vietnamese New Year 2020 – the year of the Rat. As Vietnam embarks on the most important festival of year, we wish you all a very special holiday time, where many traditions with family and friends are observed and celebrated all over Vietnam. The colors, flowers, and foods of the season are among some of the special things shared and celebrated. We were honored to join several Tet celebrations, including those of the People’s Committees of Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, among others.

The beginning of the Lunar New Year is a time for renewal — we too at AmCham Vietnam-HCMC have worked the first few weeks of January on our plans and goals for 2020, and are excited to put those into action in February and beyond.

Joining me in that effort is our 2020 Board of Governors, including our new Executive Committee. I am honored to serve again this year as Chairwoman of the Board, along with Vice-Chairs Michael Beckman and Chad Ovel, Treasurer Alan Danner, and Secretary Jonathan Moreno. On January 18, our full board and Executive Director Mary Tarnowka held a half-day planning and strategy session. We are excited to refine and implement the goals identified. Expect AmCham to continue its positive momentum for strategic growth and innovation to better support you!

We were also active this month with continuing advocacy and the launch of two new initiatives. On January 10, I was privileged to represent AmCham Vietnam as its National Chairwoman at the Annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) 2019, along with several other AmCham Vietnam representatives leading VBF working groups, other business chambers and associations, and key members of the Vietnamese government. As part of the dialogue, we advanced a platform for the promotion of an enabling regulatory ecosystem, unlocking the full potential of the digital economy, and partnership with Vietnam to develop physical infrastructure to promote sustainable growth and development and a globally competitive, innovative workforce. Click the link for our VBF position paper: English and Vietnamese

To learn the inside story about the recent VBF dialogue, outcomes, and the business policy outlook for 2020, join our VBF Briefing on February 12.

Less than a week after the VBF Annual Dialogue, we hosted the VBF Power & Energy (P&E) Working Group for its launch of the “Made in Vietnam Energy Plan (MVEP) 2.0.” (Read MVEP 2.0 here: English and Vietnamese) Executive Director Mary Tarnowka welcomed more than 60 industry representatives to the HCMC event where VBF P&E Working Group Co-Chair John Rockhold, and Luong Ba Hung, Director of VBF’s Sustainable Energy Engagement Project, highlighted key provisions of the  plan to ensure Vietnam’s energy security and sustainable growth through power generated primarily from renewables and LNG and engaged in dialogue with industry representatives about critical next steps.

We also ushered in two new ways to engage with AmCham Vietnam-HCMC. On January 14, we introduced AmCham’s new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative coordinated by co-chairs Eddie Thai and Jonah Levey at an Interactive Foundations of Innovation: A Design Thinking Workshop, led by Doodle Brands Chris and Nhu Vo Elkin. Later that day, we hosted our first Capital Markets Committee meeting, with leadership from co-chairs Chad Ovel and Louis Nguyen, where representatives from fund management companies, securities firms, banks and insurance corporations discussed opportunities, key challenges, and potential advocacy issues. Participants also discussed potential synergies with the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, and plans to develop advocacy and outreach with the Vietnam government.

Upcoming Events

We look forward to supporting the initiatives and plans by all of our committees in 2020, with continued networking, information-sharing, advocacy, and events already in the works from many of our sectoral committees in the coming months. Be sure to check our website calendar and watch for our weekly email to stay current on our committee activities and events.

Also coming in February is a special workshop hosted by AmCham Vietnam-HCMC, with support from Walmart Foundation and Pacific Links, on preventing human trafficking and forced labor in supply chains. This February 26th workshop will be led by various experts, including industry and topic panelists from various manufacturing and solution providers.

And returning in 2020 on February 26th, is our casual networking event, Connect & Cocktails, to be held in District 2 at Mia Saigon Luxury Boutique Hotel. This monthly event is an opportunity for existing members, their guests, and those curious about AmCham to meet up in relaxed and fun settings to network and learn more about AmCham and how it can work for you!

New Members

We are thrilled to welcome over 20 new members so far in January! ABS Institute Co., LTD; American Education and Development Group Inc; American Fashion JSC; ANT Law; ASART Deal Advisory Company Limited; ATT Logistics JSC; Children of Vietnam; Focus Consulting Co., Ltd; Fuji Xerox Vietnam Co., Ltd; HFI LLC; HR1 Vietnam Co., Ltd; IQVIA; Mövenpick Resort Phu Quoc; Nguyen Binh Khiem High School; Onesky Foundation; Online Mobile Services JSC (Momo); Pure Vietnam Company Limited; Tam Minh Technology JSC; United Overseas Bank; Vietcetera; Vietcombank; Vitabella JSC.

Membership & Sponsorship

Don’t miss out on an exciting year ahead—remember to renew your membership.  For even more opportunities and exposure for your company, check out our premium membership levels.  As we are set to launch into an exciting year for AmCham Vietnam in HCMC, there will be many ways AmCham can keep you connected, especially as a corporate partner.  Contact Cindy Tran at [email protected] or Sam Hoang at [email protected] for more information on getting more out of your AmCham membership through our premium membership packages.

In closing out the year, thank you members for your contributions to and passion for AmCham Vietnam. To the Vietnamese community and those of us who now call Vietnam home, Happy New Year!
An Khang Thịnh Vượng! Wishing you security, good health and prosperity!

Amanda Rasmussen
Chairwoman

Vietjet launches Da Lat-Seoul route

Vietjet on Thursday commenced its latest international route connecting Da Lat – the famous tourist destination in Viet Nam’s Central Highlands and Seoul – the capital city of South Korea, in a move to expand its network to Northeast Asia.

vietjet launches da lat seoul route
Currently, Vietjet has 11 direct routes, 480 flights per month, operating the most flights connecting Viet Nam and South Korea. – Photo courtesy of Vietjet

The airline offers four return flights weekly on the newest route. The flight departs from Da Lat at 5.10pm and arrives in 11.55pm (local time) while the return flight takes off from Seoul’s Incheon airport at 2.30am (local time) and lands in Da Lat at 5.50am.

The Da Lat-Seoul route in addition to newly-launched Can Tho-Seoul air service will bring new journeys for locals in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta of Viet Nam to visit the famous destination and big transport hub of Asia, said Vietjet vice president Nguyen Thanh Son.

South Korea’s beautiful capital Seoul has always been a popular destination for tourists thanks to its developed entertainment industry, traditional cultural features, and numerous shopping centres. Incheon International Airport is also one of Asia’s major transport hubs with dense connections to the Americas and Europe.

Meanwhile, as the capital city of Lam Dong Province, Da Lat is famous for its beautiful landscapes with surrounding forests, a romantic touch thanks to its lakes, valleys and waterfalls and year-round cool weather. The “flower city” is not only a perfect place for a honeymoon, but also well-loved by young people for weekend get-aways and a popular destination for couples and families.

With the two newest routes, Vietjet now has 11 direct routes, 480 flights per month, operating the most flights connecting Viet Nam and South Korea, including Ha Noi/HCM City/Hai Phong/Da Nang/ Nha Trang/Phu Quoc/Can Tho/Da Lat-Seoul, besides Ha Noi/Nha Trang-Busan and Da Nang-Daegu.

The new routes will not only meet the increased demand for air travel, but also contribute to the development of tourism, trading and cultural exchanges between the two countries and the region, Vietjet said in a statement.

 

Source: VNA
Vietjet launches Da Lat-Seoul route

Ford expands Hai Duong facility

Ford Vietnam has announced an additional investment of $82 million to upgrade its Hai Duong assembly facility and expand annual production capacity to 40,000 vehicles, up from its current 14,000.

ford expands hai duong facility
Ford Vietnam’s added focus on Hai Duong is hoped to bring another strong year for the company after a stellar 2019

The investment follows a strong and steady climb in the demand for Ford vehicles in the country – including record sales of more than 32,000 vehicles in 2019 – and healthy growth forecasts for Vietnam’s burgeoning automobile industry.

“With this additional investment, Ford Motor Company is expressing our continued confidence in the future of Vietnam’s auto industry, as well as underscoring our commitment to the market and to meeting the increasing demand for Ford vehicles in this country,” said Andrea Cavallaro, operations director at Ford’s International Markets Group.

The additional funding will bring Ford’s total in Vietnam to more than $200 million. The additional sums towards the Hai Duong facility will come in two stages over a two-year period, with the aim of being completed by mid-2022.

The construction will expand the facility across an additional 60,000 square metres of land, bringing the total area to 226,000sq.m, adding a new body and paint shop, trim modification shop, and rearranging the logistics area.

The investment will allow Ford to procure new manufacturing tools and equipment, including the latest technology-connected robots, to improve the plant’s efficiency and ensure the highest quality Ford vehicles for Vietnamese customers.

As does the current Hai Duong facility, the expansion will follow Ford’s strict global manufacturing and environmentally-responsible processes and systems.

Ford currently assembles three highly-competitive vehicle models in the Vietnamese market – the EcoSport urban SUV, Transit commercial van, and the newly-launched seven-seat Tourneo MPV. The expansion of the Hai Duong factory opens up new opportunities for Ford to increase the number of locally-assembled vehicles.

“Ford is among the three fastest-growing auto brands in the country, with three of the six vehicles we sell in Vietnam leading their respective segments,” explained Pham Van Dung, managing director of Ford Vietnam. “The new investment in local production will help us grow even further and serve even more customers.”

One of the most important elements of Ford’s investment is its people. The new investment will add more than 500 direct jobs in Vietnam, nearly doubling its current total, as well as helping to create thousands more indirect jobs across Ford’s supplier and dealer networks in Vietnam.

The additional investment in the Hai Duong facility coincides with Ford celebrating its 25th anniversary in Vietnam. Ford was one of the first investors in the country after the United States-Vietnam relations were normalised in the 1990s. “We take pride in having been one of the first foreign companies to invest in Vietnam in 1995, and in our ongoing role in contributing to the development of the Vietnamese auto industry as well as the economy overall,” said Dung.

In addition to its record business growth, Ford has been an active and engaged corporate citizen across Vietnamese communities, including road safety education through Ford’s Driving Skills for Life driver safety programme. Since being launched locally in 2008, more than 15,000 people have participated in training sessions across the country, free of charge.

“Today’s investment announcement is a great way to help celebrate Ford’s 25th anniversary of operations in Vietnam by underscoring our long-term commitment to the market and further contributing to the auto industry’s ongoing growth and success,” said Dung.

Daniel J. Kritenbrink – US Ambassador to Vietnam

ford expands hai duong facility

I am wearing the logo for the 25th anniversary year for the US and Vietnam partnership. The logo was designed by Vietnamese artists and is being used by both the Vietnamese and American government, to celebrate everything we’ve achieved in these last 25 years.

Ford and other American companies have really contributed to the development of our partnership and friendship, particularly Vietnam. We are interested in enabling Vietnam to be strong, prosperous, and independent, because when we have strong partners like Vietnam, we can do great things together – and Ford is a critical part of the great success stories.

Vietnam is largely dependent on foreign direct investment and exports for growth and development. So the more it brings in great companies like Ford, the better the chances of attaining high-quality jobs, great technology, and world-class products.

Ford is creating hundreds of more jobs, not only here in Hai Duong, but also all the associated jobs elsewhere. Ford’s distribution network and dealerships support jobs in the US as well. It is a true win-win for both countries.

Andrea Cavallaro – Operations director Ford International Markets Group

ford expands hai duong facility

My vision for the local industry is to make it an exporter with global capacity. We have to continue growing local capabilities to become a major international exporter of vehicles.

First, we will finish the expansion, then we will look at our product portfolio and decide what products we are going to bring here to fill out the capacity. Right now we are producing about 14,000 units a year, and we are planning to grow this to 40,000 in 2022, with some new products.

We have a great product portfolio. Take the Ranger, for example. This wonderful vehicle is the best-selling 4×4 in Thailand. Would it not be great to produce the Ranger in Vietnam? You never know.

Our plant here is quite efficient, despite being highly manual. We have the portfolio already, and we are going to leverage the efficiency of the plant and add some automation to bring it up to the technology standards that we have in our other plants. It is going to become a competitive operation before long.

Pham Van Dung – Managing director Ford Vietnam

ford expands hai duong facility

Over the last 25 years of operating in Vietnam, Ford Vietnam has made a significant improvement in business results, and made contributions to the country’s socio-economic development and its automobile industry.

In 2019, Ford Vietnam sold 32,175 vehicles, a rise of 31 per cent on-year, and held 31 per cent market share. This is an alltime peak in sales for Ford Vietnam. We provide a variety of models, focusing on two types of sports and commercial vehicles, three of which ranked first in their segments.

The Ranger and Transit have maintained their top ranks in the pick-up truck and commercial segments for seven consecutive years, while the Explorer has led the SUV segment for three consecutive years. The EcoSport and Tourneo have also contributed to the peak outcomes of the company last year.

Dealerships and services at Ford were also expanded last year, raising the number of dealerships and authorised branches to 40. As a result, the quality of after-sales services ranks first according to J.D. Power.

By Mai Huong

Source: Vietnam Investment Review – VIR
Ford expands Hai Duong facility

Vietnam Business Forum 2019 opens in Hanoi

The annual Vietnam Business Forum 2019 opened in Hanoi on January 10, taking the theme of the roles and support of the business community in rapid and sustainable development.

Vietnam Business Forum 2019 opens in Hanoi hinh anh 1

At the opening ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The annual Vietnam Business Forum 2019 opened in Hanoi on January 10, taking the theme of the roles and support of the business community in rapid and sustainable development.

The Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) is an on-going policy dialogue between the Government and business community aiming at a favourable business environment and sustainable economic development in Vietnam.

The event is organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in coordination with the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation.

Three sessions at the VBF 2019 will deal with how to regulate for sustainability, building in sustainability and green growth, and soft and hard infrastructure for innovation.

Representatives from think tanks and foreign business associations in Vietnam will present their views on issues of interests

On behalf of the organizer, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and co-chairman of the VBF Consortium, Vu Tien Loc said the Government, along with ministries, sectors and localities, has taken specific actions to improve Vietnam’s performance and ranking in indexes on business environment, competitiveness capacity and innovation.

According to Loc, surveys conducted by the VCCI in 2019 showed the business community acknowledged positive changes in the country’s business environment, but the improvement was not equal across sectors.

Through the implementation of the Government’s resolutions 19 and 02 in 2019, as well as resolution 35 in 2016, changes for the better have been made in the fields of enterprise establishment, business registration, electricity access and administrative procedures related to tax and land.

However, it was said that little progress was made regarding the fields of business bankruptcy, investor protection and import-export procedures. The rate of doing business registration online, via post or at public administrative centres increased to 17.4 percent from the previous 12.5 percent, but the ratio of approval of IT application dropped from 60 percent to 36 percent.

Tax inspection is another field with little improvement, with 33 percent of surveyed firms saying inspectors tend to make inference in a disadvantaged way to firms, and 30 percent mentioning unofficial costs related to tax inspection.

He urged ministries, sectors and localities to continue to make substantial and more even reforms towards a favourable business environment in line with the motto of a facilitating government.

Avoiding “creative destruction” to stave off future recessions

While some lessons have been learned from previous financial calamities, central banks are again in the spotlight as the global market attempts to fend off a repeat crisis. Steve Brice, chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank, shares his view on global growth prospects for the capital market as a useful channel for investors to take as reference.

avoiding creative destruction to stave off future recessions
Steve Brice, chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank

We believe the three- to six-month outlook for global equities, credit, and other income-generating assets looks favourable. This is based on our view that global growth prospects are stabilising after a period of downgrades, event risks are declining, and the US Federal Reserve has injected significant dollar liquidity into the global financial system.

However, there is always a nagging concern that this rally might be curtailed. In part, this concern is fuelled by the last item on our list of short-term positives i.e. the Fed stimulus and the inherent risk of a policy mistake.

Given this, it is worth remembering what led us to the global financial crisis. In my opinion, the foundations were cast by two key factors.

First, former Fed chair Alan Greenspan failed to hike interest rates quickly enough in the 2003-2004 period. This is not just hindsight bias. I remember repeatedly telling clients that Greenspan would be viewed very differently by history books.

Second, housing policies had been relaxed for decades in an attempt to increase home ownership and there was increased pressure on banks to extend loans to more vulnerable sections of the community. These two policies encouraged spiralling of debt in the US and financial imbalances that ultimately brought the US and global economy to its knees.

Today, there is again a sense that central banks could be a problem. For sure, after that crisis no policy options were off the table against the threat of a systemic banking sector collapse and a depression on a similar scale to the 1920s.

Pragmatism and preventing a crisis was more important than worrying about ideology (as in, whether or not to go for deficit-financing) or potential side effects. However, that does not mean the side effects of any measures are not real. As such, they need to be addressed at some point.

The problem is one of time horizons. Looking through a short-term lens, the Fed’s risk-reward profile means that (over)reacting to economic weakness makes sense. Central banks are pretty confident they can squeeze inflation out of the system over the medium or long term, but as the Japanese situation shows, fighting deflation can be a lot harder.

Therefore, it may be seen as better to over-stimulate and deal with the problems later, rather than under-stimulate and go into a debt-deflation cycle.

The challenge is that this downplays the impact of super-low interest rates on debt levels. The best outcome of the above reflationary strategy is that nominal growth accelerates and debt levels grow at a slower pace, making it easier to service the debt.

Unfortunately, around the world, the reverse has happened. Global growth has slowed since that global economic crisis over a decade ago, in both nominal and real terms, and has been outstripped by debt accumulation. This has increased the global economy’s sensitivity to interest rate rises, increasing the pressure on central banks to maintain very loose monetary policy settings, thus creating a vicious cycle.

So where do we go from here? There are two options as we see it. First, central banks are either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to avert a recession. This leads to so-called “creative destruction” whereby companies that are excessively leveraged and/or do not have robust business models go bankrupt.

Over time, this increases returns for the survivors. This would naturally be very challenging for investors to start with, as equities sell-off and bond credit spreads widen sharply. However, this approach would likely lay the foundation for a more sustainable recovery in the coming years.

Alternatively, central banks double-down on loose monetary policy settings in an attempt to create nominal GDP growth through inflation. Such efforts, of course, would be much more impactful if governments around the world stimulate fiscal policy.

Our sense is that the appetite among policymakers for something as inevitable as a recession is extremely low. Therefore, expect monetary policy settings to remain loose, and loosen further in need, in the coming months. Fiscal policy in Europe, the last holdout among the developed economies, too appears to be turning towards easing, with the European Central Bank making it inexpensive for governments on that continent to rollover their debt.

The bad news is this strategy will probably exacerbate the recession once it eventually hits as financial imbalances and debt levels increase. The good news is that such policy settings are likely to be supportive for equities and corporate bonds in the coming months.

 

Source: Vietnam Investment Review – VIR
Avoiding “creative destruction” to stave off future recessions

Vietnam’s high-tech parks in need of financial inspiration

Despite the growing interest among international tech firms, overseas investment in Vietnamese high-tech parks in 2019 remained lacklustre, and solutions will need to be found in order to create an upward trend. Bich Thuy reports.

vietnams high tech parks in need of financial inspiration
Investors’ indifference about high-tech parks has been partly blamed on legal obstacles, as well as a lack of social infrastructure

Completed infrastructure surrounded with trees and spacious buildings and accompanied with favourable transport links are the first notable changes at Hanoi’s Hoa Lac High-tech Park (HHTP) this year. Located about 30km from the city’s centre, the facility has marked a year of mass production of aero engines for South Korea’s Hanwha Group at the first foreign-invested aircraft engine parts factory, worth $200 million.

“We made revenues of $35 million in 2019, and are expected to increase this to $52 million this year. We are making a good performance there,” said general director Kam Sang Kyun of Hanwha Aero Engines, a subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group.

Hanwha Areo Engines is one of very few major foreign-invested projects that HHTP has attracted in recent years, despite the effects of Decree No.74/2017/ND-CP which came into effect in 2017, governing the special mechanisms and policies for HHTP.

Why less attractive?

According to the HHTP Management Board, the park lured in just four domestically-invested projects in 2019, registered at VND7.46 trillion ($324.3 million), thus increasing its accumulative registered total capital to VND86.37 trillion ($3.76 billion) in 91 projects. The park had no foreign-invested project during the year, despite having meetings with around 70 delegations of international investors, and 30 other domestic equivalents.

“With the sum, we met the whole-year investment attraction target of $300 million, but have yet to meet expectations of attracting investment in social infrastructure such as workers’ housing, hospitals, trade centres, and other services,” Tran Dac Trung, director of HHTP’s Co-operation and Investment Division, told VIR.

HHTP attracted 11 projects in 2018 registered with VND17 trillion ($739 million), a record high over the past 20 years. Notable names involved included Nidec, Mitsubishi, and Hanwha Group.

Currently, the filling rate of the park is 30 per cent of its 1,500 hectares, while foreign direct investment (FDI) accounts for 30 per cent of total investment.

The figures show wavering attraction of the park, which was founded in 1998 and boasts the longest history among the country’s three high-tech parks. HHTP has more lucrative advantages than the other parks thanks to Decree 74, which includes unique incentives such as the 10 per cent corporate income tax (CIT) within the first 30 years for a new investment project of at least VND4 trillion ($174 million).

Thus far, only Hanwha Areo Engines is enjoying the special incentive. Japan’s Nidec is likely to follow, but can only access the incentive after this year when it completes investment disbursement and procedures with tax agencies.

The HHTP Management Board partly blamed legal barriers for the situation, especially regulations on refund of site clearance cost that investors use pocket money in advance. The other is a lack of social infrastructure – looking around HHTP, it can be seen that the necessary facilities for this area are still absent.

Similarly, the performance of Saigon High-tech Park (SHTP) and Danang High-tech Park (DHTP) has not been as high as expected. In particular, SHTP saw just one big foreign-invested project last year – the $650 million from Hong Kong’s Techtronic Industries, licensed towards the end of the year.

Although that project helps SHTP surpass the whole-year FDI attraction target and contributed 8 per cent to the city’s total, FDI at the park itself was modest in the first 11 months, with the biggest such project licensed being worth $5 million.

Located in Ho Chi Minh City, SHTP is the most successful attractor of international investment among the country’s three national high-tech parks. In 2018 it was estimated to have lured in $150 million worth of FDI.

Le Bich Loan, deputy director of the SHTP Management Board, told VIR previously that the park missed many options because of limited land funds. It is seeking to expand the park by 200ha to seize opportunities.

Meanwhile, DHTP lured in $178 million in total in 2019, thus increasing the total accumulative registered capital of $337 million in FDI. The projects in operation are the aerospace manufacturing factory of the US-based Universal Alloy Corporation, Tokyo Keiki Precision Technology, Japan’s NIWA Foundry, ESTEC, and ICT VINA medical device factory for South Korea.

DHTP also has special incentives for investors such as land lease fees, refund of site clearance cost, CIT, import duty, and credit, among others.

Industry insiders said that the three high-tech parks now have the advantage in attracting investors thanks to completed infrastructure, favourable transportation, and incentive policies. The problem here is how to implement more effective promotion campaigns to lure in investors.

Moreover, the high-tech parks in Vietnam are operating like an industrial park rather than a sci-tech hub. “To increase their attractiveness, together with effective special incentives, the high-tech parks should have a dynamic working environment, as well as modern and synchronous infrastructure,” said one expert.

Future solutions

In an effort to improve FDI attraction, HHTP is working with relevant governmental agencies on the amendments to laws on investment, enterprises, land, and personal income tax, along with relevant decrees. The park also plans to co-operate with the Ministry of Finance in revising Decree No.35/2017/ND-CP issued in 2017 on collection of land leasing fee in economic zones and high-tech parks to facilitate refund of site clearance cost.

This year, HHTP will intensify co-operation with international organisations such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Japan External Trade Organization, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, and others to promote investment opportunities at home and abroad. The park aims to call for investment and complete procedures. Currently it is processing procedures to grant investment certificates to 10 projects, including housing and social services. It also plans to develop workshops for lease.

In similar moves, Danang will organise investment promotion programmes abroad, including Europe, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Canada, India, Taiwan, and Singapore, for DHTP and industrial parks.

Notably, DHTP has signed an MoU with Ai20X Silicon Valley on co-operation in the promotion of American investment in DHTP, and in developing DHTP into an innovation and incubation centre. Also, experts of Ai20X Silicon Valley will give advice to schemes related to high-tech industrial sectors, innovations, and startups in Danang.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, sci-tech is one of the four most attractive sectors to foreign investors, with total registered investment of $1.57 billionin 2019.

With the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement being set to go live this year, and the government’s supporting programme to come out in line with Industry 4.0, the FDI picture at the three high-tech parks may be brighter as technology firms from Japan, the US, South Korea, and Europe are making business and investment plans in Vietnam, on the back of their countries’ new policies.

Thus far, the US has announced the US-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in announced the New Southern Policy, and Japan piloted the Nurturing New Industries scheme within the ASEAN.

 

Source: Vietnam Investment Review – VIR
Vietnam’s high-tech parks in need of financial inspiration

PM launches Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a ceremony in Hanoi on January 6 to launch Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, with about 300 distinguished guests taking part.

pm launches vietnams 2020 asean chairmanship
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and delegates at a ceremony in Hanoi on January 6 to launch Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship (Photo: VNA)

Speaking at the event, PM Phuc said throughout its 25 years of ASEAN membership, Vietnam has always made active and responsible contributions to ASEAN cooperation. In 2020, Vietnam assumes major responsibilities at the regional and international levels, notably the ASEAN Chairmanship. Such a responsibility gives Vietnam an opportunity to contribute more substantively to the building and growth of a harmonious, resilient, innovative, cohesive, responsible and adaptive ASEAN Community.

Previously a region of strife and differences, ASEAN has become a united group of independent countries enjoying great progress and growth, where 650 million people call home. The grouping is ranked as the third most dynamic economy in the world, boasting a total gross domestic product of 2.95 trillion USD in 2018. ASEAN has signed six free trade agreements with seven top partners in the world, thus reinforcing its centrality in the regional architecture. These achievements have earned ASEAN the recognition of major powers and partners in the world.

As the ASEAN 2020 Chair, Vietnam will build on the achievements and the efforts of previous ASEAN Chairs and work with fellow members in identifying future directions for the ASEAN Community until 2025 and beyond, he said.

He added that peace, stability, solidarity, unity, prosperity and sustainability will remain the purpose, the identity and the overarching goal of the ASEAN Community. These values pave the way for ASEAN to forge for itself a new image, new standing and new role in the spirit of making active and responsible contributions to dialogue and cooperation at the global level.

Secondly, the ASEAN Community will foster seamless connectivity and deepen integration within and beyond the region, on the basis of innovation, stability and the growing influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon the social and economic life of the entire community. The ASEAN Community will serve as a model of circular economy, endowed with new vigor.

Thirdly, the ASEAN Community will become more resilient through effective climate change adaptation and response, and better management of natural disasters, pollution and plastic waste. It will become a liveable place, with a burgeoning network of smart cities and strong social welfare. It will possess a high-quality workforce in the digital era through quality educational system and strategies for sustainable development and equal opportunity for all, so as to leave no one behind.

Fourthly, its fundamental documents enable the organs of ASEAN Community to maintain sensible, effective and vigorous operation and better serve the ASEAN Community and its people.

To realise these aspirations and foster the future together, he called on each member and every citizen to make every effort to contribute to the common works of ASEAN, from the smallest of acts.

“Let us think Community, act Community, and share the Community values. There are no ties more enduring than those connecting our hearts. Let our efforts take ASEAN far and wide, and at the same keep ASEAN close to our hearts,” he said.

According to him, the theme of ASEAN 2020 is “Cohesive and Responsive”, which is supported by the five priorities for 2020, identified with a view to meeting the long-term goals of ASEAN. They involve actively contributing to a regional environment of peace, security and stability; bringing prosperity through regional integration and connectivity, heightening ASEAN’s adaptability to the Fourth Industrial Revolution to grasp opportunities; raising the awareness of ASEAN Community and Identity; strengthening partnerships for peace and sustainable development, and promoting the role and contribution of ASEAN in the international community; and enhancing the capacity and operational efficiency of ASEAN.

Vietnam will make every effort to collaborate with fellow members to successfully accomplish the ASEAN 2020’s priorities, he said.

He wished that as befitting of an “ASEAN citizen”, each Vietnamese citizen, through actions, would spread the messages of a friendly, cordial, and hospitable Vietnam that welcomes all future partners with open arms.

At the ceremony, PM Phuc together with Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and leaders of ministries and agencies pressed the button to launch the ASEAN 2020 website.

Minh also honoured special sponsors for Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship.

 

Source:
PM launches Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship

Renewable funding solutions sought

The ignition of interest in renewables has indicated the potential for rapid development under effective policies and current market conditions, but ambitions to expand renewable energy generation further will be constrained by the barriers in attracting private sector investment.

renewable funding solutions soughtOffshore wind power projects are required to help ensure Vietnam’s energy security Photo: Shutterstock

A series of issues revolving around a master plan, grid connection, feed-in tariffs (FiT), power purchase agreements, energy efficiency, and battery storage are to be put on the table for discussion at the annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) event on January 10, themed on the roles and support for the business community in rapid and sustainable development.

In 2019, Vietnam witnessed robust growth in renewables with a series of proposed projects as well as construction and grid connections thanks to competitive FiTs of both wind and solar power projects. In contrast, some ventures became a victim of themselves due to a lack of grid space that forced them to reduce capacity since July, as new solar farms also connected to the grid.

As sources of financing for coal thermal in Vietnam have declined, more reliable energy sources, renewables, and increased efficiencies have continued to advance, stated the VBF in its Made in Vietnam Energy Plan 2.0 report. Accurate assessment of cost, tariffs, taxes, and pricing can lead to a regulatory environment that mobilises the private sector to meet Vietnam’s energy goals of reducing energy intensity and increasing clean energy production.

In fact, as the cost of solar and wind has declined relative to other energy sources, investor interest in renewables has increased, according to the report.

John Rockhold, chairman of VBF’s Power and Energy Group said “An energy strategy focusing on renewables, natural gas, energy efficiency, and battery storage will attract private sector investment.”

He also suggested that “due to the sharp increase in wind and solar power, especially in the southern region, Vietnam needs to quickly invest in strengthening and expanding its transmission and distribution network.”

There is no defined plan for the private sector to install a grid and distribution network so far, although Trung Nam Group already submitted to put up the 500kV line, which runs 15.5km from Thuan Nam district in Ninh Thuan province to Binh Thuan’s Tuy Phong district.

Another billion-dollar project, the $11.9 billion Thang Long offshore scheme with total capacity of 3,400MW that was proposed by UK-based Enterprize Energy, is expected to become the largest offshore wind power project which, if realised, will greatly contribute to ensuring the country’s energy security. However, it is facing a high risk of missing out on the FiT of 9.8 US cents per kilowatt hour for offshore projects that is applied to a part or all grid-connected wind farms starting operation before January 1, 2021.

Vietnam Energy Association chairman Tran Viet Ngai suggested previously at a recent conference that “to ensure the effectiveness of the Thang Long wind power project, we suggest that while sketching out of the project schedule, we must ensure consistency among phases, from plant construction, transmission lines, and substation planting operation each year to completion.”

Ngai added that attention must be paid to investment in transmission lines and substations, as well as thrashing out who will be in charge of consumption of Thang Long’s wind power supply between the investor and Electricity of Vietnam.

Responding to VIR, founder and chairman of Enterprize Energy Ian Hatton admitted that he is aware that Thang Long “cannot meet Decision No.39/2018/QD-TTg on development of wind power projects that set a timeline for 9.8 US cents,” meaning it will indeed not be entitled to benefit from the FiT.

By Phuong Thu

Source:
Renewable funding solutions sought

24th Annual AmCham Governors’ Ball – Raffle Prizes & Silent Auction Winners, Photo Album

Congratulations to the Raffle Prizes’ and Silent Auction Prizes’ Winners!!

Please bring your winning raffle ticket to AmCham office to claim your prize by DECEMBER 31, 2019Unclaimed prizes remaining after claim period expires will be used for other AmCham Events.

Raffle Prizes’ Winners 

Holiday Inn & Suites Saigon Airport

One night stay in a Suite room for two persons

Winner: 02829

Holiday Inn & Suites Saigon Airport

A weekend seafood buffet for two persons

Winner: 00751

Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc

One night stay in a Superior Sea View

Winner: 00536

InterContinental Nha Trang

One night stay in a Deluxe Ocean View room for two persons

Winner: 03507

Binh An Village Resort Dalat

One night stay in a Villa Deluxe two bedrooms for four persons

Winner: 03190

Mai House Saigon

A two-night stay in a Premium Room for two persons

Winner: 03443

Mia Saigon

One night stay for two persons

Winner: 00626

Sherwood Suites

One night stay in a Premier Suite with a bottle of Prosecco upon arrival for two persons

Winner: 02720

Sherwood Residence

One night stay in a three-bedroom Executive Apartment for up to five persons

Winner: 00547

Windsor Plaza Hotel

A two-night stay in a Presidential Suite for four persons

Winner: 01136

Fusion Phu Quoc

One night stay for two persons

Winner: 00846

Mai House Saigon

A two-night stay in a Premium Room for two persons

Winner: 02273

P’Ti Saigon

A US$ 100 voucher

Winner: 03324, 03269, 02907

Jake’s

A vnd 500,000 dining voucher

Winner: 03683, 00926

Jaspas

A vnd 500,000 dining voucher

Winner: 02106, 00504, 01728, 01682

District Federal

A vnd 500,000 dining voucher and a gift set

Winner: 00845

Go Dog

10 Hotdog vouchers

Winner: 00836

The Reverie

A set lunch or set dinner for two persons at The Royal Pavilion

Winner: 01723

The Reverie

A set dinner for two persons at R&J Italian Lounge & Restaurant

Winner: 00851

El Gaucho Steakhouse

A vnd 2,000,000 dining voucher

Winner: 00586, 03064

Eddie’s

A dinner for four persons

Winner: 03917

Shelley’s

A dinner for four persons

Winner: 03111

Soul Burgers

A 6 month ‘BoM Club Cards’

Winner: 03134, 00745

The Reverie

A Sunday Brunch for two persons at Café Cardinal

Winner: 03485, 02879

Truffle Restaurant

A vnd 5,000,000 dining voucher

Winner: 00987

Easy Tiger

Food, beer, plus a bottle of Gin at Easy Tiger Gin Bar

Winner: 00831

Flying Pig Saigon

A vnd 500,000 dining voucher

Winner: 03693, 03437, 02310, 03302

Tevere Restaurant

A vnd 1,000,000 dining voucher

Winner: 00569, 01559, 02315, 00517, 00756

Windsor Plaza Hotel

A set dinner for two persons at Top of the Town Bar and Restaurant

Winner: 03070, 03411

Windsor Plaza Hotel

A dinner buffet for two persons at Café Central An Dong

Winner: 01202, 00982

Ice & Spice Bar

A vnd 2,000,000 dining voucher at Ice & Spice Bar & two entry tickets to Ice Bar

Winner: 04043

Le Meridien

A Sunday Brunch for two persons

Winner: 02732

Hotel Des Arts Saigon

A buffet lunch for four persons at Saigon Kitchen Restaurant

Winner: 00752

Ice & Spice Bar

A vnd 3,000,000 dining voucher

Winner: 00714

InterContinental Saigon

A Sunday Brunch including soft drinks for two persons at Market 39 Restaurant

Winner: 00808

Sherwood Suites

A set lunch for two persons at Le Cafe, Restaurant & Bar

Winner: 02861

Photographer Catherine Karnow

A Photo Book

Winner: 01693

Grace Skincare Clinic

A voucher for Vitamin C reviving facial program

Winner: 03688

Grace Skincare Clinic

A voucher for clear skin: Modified program

Winner: 01394

Jasmine Spa

A body treatment

Winner: 01553

Jasmine Spa

A haircut and hair treatment

Winner: 01930

Jasmine Spa

A detox treatment massage for four persons

Winner: 02899

Jasmine Spa

A Caviar facial voucher

Winner: 03178

InterContinental Saigon

A 80-minute Relaxing Aroma Indulgence for two persons at Spa International

Winner: 00763

Gift Box

A vnd 500,000 gift voucher

Winner: 03915, 02711

Wish

A vnd 1,000,000 voucher

Winner: 02233

Bien Bespoke Saigon

A high-end dress shirt value up to VND 3,000,000

Winner: 01047

FedEx

A waybill to ship a 10kg box from Vietnam to any FedEx destination worldwide

Winner: 03257

Grace Skincare Clinic

A voucher for Alma Q Toning program

Winner: 03584

Terraverde Travel

A Glimpse of the Captivating Mekong Delta (Day Trip) for two persons

Winner: 01175

FedEx

A waybill to ship a 25kg box from Vietnam to any FedEx destination worldwide

Winner: 01522

Casawine

6 bottles of IRONSTONE Old Vine Zinfandel

Winner: 02707

Victoria Healthcare

A Comprehensive Checkup Package

Winner: 01190

LADALAT

A two-night stay in a Deluxe room for two persons

Winner: 00856, 03548

Silent Auction Prizes’ Winners 

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

A two-night stay in a Beachfront Pool Villa with breakfast and airport transfer for two persons

Winner: Carolyn — Bid: $1300

The Grand Ho Tram

A two-night stay in a Royal Suite, one round of golf at the Bluffs, Massage and body treatment for four persons, plus $200 food credit at the Hotel Restaurants, and transfer to/from HCMC to The Grand via private car

Winner: Thy Egert — Bid: $1400

Hai Au Aviation

Halong Daytour: Scheduled flight and L’Azalee Private Premium Cruise for two persons

Winner: Thy Egert — Bid: $900

PNJ

A Bamboo necklace, 18K Yellow Gold, Diamond & Citrine

Winner: Chinara — Bid: $600

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

A two-night stay in a Resort Ocean View Room with club access for two persons

Winner: Ryohei Oda — Bid: $850

Banyan Tree Lang Co + Laguna Lang Co Golf Club

A two-night stay in a Beach Front Villa for two persons and two rounds of golf

Winner: Beatric — Bid: $1300

Victoria Healthcare

A VIP Wellness Evaluation

Winner:            — Bid:          

Saigon Heat

Two VIP Season Tickets with Heat Lounge access

Winner: Robert — Bid: $450

Victoria Healthcare

A Comprehensive Checkup Package

Winner: Keith Schulz — Bid: $290

InterContinental Saigon

A two-night weekend stay in a Deluxe room with Club access for two persons

Winner: Chris Byrne — Bid: $400

Linh Cam Carpet

The Patch Work, Remix 3, size 2m x 3m

Winner: Thy Egert — Bid: $400

Nike Vietnam

Five pairs of shoes

Winner: Enrica Longo — Bid: $450

Photographer Catherine Karnow

A framed photography of Ha Long Bay Fishing Junk

Winner: Sesto Vecchi — Bid: $450

Golden Peak Resort & Spa

A two-night stay in a Deluxe Ocean View room for two persons

Winner: Joanie Simon — Bid: $350

AZERAI Can Tho

A two-night stay in a River Room for two persons

Winner: Matt Ference — Bid: $500

Saigon Boat Company

A two hours private boat trip on Saigon River including one round of drinks for max 27 people

Winner: Amanda Rasmussen — Bid: $550

Saigon Boat Company

A two hours private boat trip tour on Saigon River including one round of drinks for max 27 people

Winner: Loan Tran — Bid: $550

FedEx

A waybill to ship a 25kg box from Vietnam to any FedEx destination worldwide

Winner: Slavdia — Bid: $250

Elite Wine

6 bottles of Montepelaso A Quo Toscana IGT

Winner: David Harrison — Bid: $250

Anan Saigon

Chef Tasting Menu for 4 people with Chef Peter Cuong Franklin
Winner: Amanda Rasmussen — Bid: $1100

7-Eleven Vietnam

One year Slurpee

Winner: Peter Edohohnn — Bid: $150

Ancient Town Hue

A two-night stay in a Garden House for two persons

Winner: Emily Fleckner — Bid: $300

KEPI

A 1.8m Giant Teddy Bear

Winner: Hang Nguyen — Bid: $240

Red Apron

6 bottles of mixed American wine

Winner: Truc Vu — Bid: $250

Saigon Spring Jewelry

A tree of life pendant

Winner: Caz — Bid: $60

Photographer Catherine Karnow

A Photo Book

Winner: Emily Fleckner — Bid: $70

Song Cai Gin

A Song Cai Gin bottle

Winner: Horst Geiche — Bid: $80

Marou Chocolate

A Chocolate Gift Box

Winner: Mary Tarnowka — Bid: $180

InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

A two-night stay in Over-water Pavilion with Club access

Winner: Jennifer Scheller  — Bid: $450

American Chiropractic Clinic

A two-night stay in a Private Rental Home at The Railei Beach Club, Thailand

Winner: Sara Mursky Fuller — Bid: $350

A giant LED Ornament

Winner: Ly Blocker — Bid: $195

Gov’t chief chats with business community

Under the theme “Developing strong enterprises – Integration, effectiveness, sustainability,” the conference between PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and over 700,000 businessmen was opened on December 23 in Ha Noi.

The event drew the attendance of 1,000 delegates including ministerial, sectorial, and local leaders, business associations. This was the third dialogue between the Vietnamese Government leader and the business circle since he took office in 2016.

Via the conference, the Government is determined to boosting Viet Nam’s business and competitive environment so the country can enter ASEAN’s leading positions, and standing by the business community. In 2019, Viet Nam is expected to witness 136,000 newly-established enterprises, bringing the total number of operating businesses to about 760,000 enterprises.

In addition, the PM also expects to send a strong message that as the world is changing with strong integration, environmental problems, emerging social issues, it is necessary for the business community and businessmen to foster solidarity, uphold the sense of national pride; show responsibility for the community, society, and country in favor of national independence, sustainability, and might.

On this occasion, the PM and other Governmental members will listen to comments and solutions raised by enterprises, experts, associations, and international organizations with a view to perfecting the business environment in Viet Nam which ranks fifth in ASEAN and 70th in the world.

The conference also hopes to seek a range of solutions and new policies which will promote the business community and generate 1 million enterprises by 2020.

Source:
Gov’t chief chats with business community