ADB Affirms Support For Vietnam, Cautions on SOEs

The ADB anticipates strong growth of 6.7% in 2016 and 6.5% in 2017, but sluggish SEO reform acts as a brake on even faster expansion. Read more

Ways & Means Committee approves Trade Promotion Authority (25 – 13)

only two House Democrats joined the Republican majority, highlighting that they generally oppose the TPP and other free trade agreements. In the Senate Finance Committee, seven Democrats favoured the bill, and the Finance Committee approved the bill by a 20-6 vote. House Minority Democratic Leader Pelosi criticized the bill, but she stopped short of saying she’ll vote against the TPA measure. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said, “We’re going to need some bipartisan support.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “It’s my hope to pass it during the current work period,” which is before Memorial Day . Read more

Asia Development Outlook 2015 – Vietnam Summary

Rising foreign direct investment helped to accelerate economic growth to 6.0% in 2014. Inflation abated, and robust external accounts enabled the rebuilding of foreign reserves. Growth is forecast to edge higher again this year and next, while inflation remains relatively low. Policy challenges are to reform banks and state enterprises and to integrate domestic firms into global value chains. Read more

Vietnam: Financial Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map (ADB)

Vietnam Financial Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road MapThis ADB sector assessment, strategy, and road map highlights the Government of Viet Nam’s plans and strategies for addressing priority needs for the financial sector and identifies possible preliminary areas of international assistance. It assesses key sector development needs by analyzing strengths, constraints and weaknesses, various risks, potential threats, as well as opportunities. This knowledge product serves as a basis for further dialogue on how ADB and the government can work together to tackle the challenges of managing financial sector development in Viet Nam in the coming years. Read more

Streets closed in HCM City CBD for Metro Line #1 station construction

duong_MBZKThe Ho Chi Minh City transport department closed a section of Le Loi Street in District 1 to vehicle traffic on July 22 to clear the way for a new metro station. The construction site extends from Pasteur to Dong Khoi streets and will be closed to traffic as work begins on the first underground station of the Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro system, which will run for 19.7 km from Ben Thanh Market to Suoi Tien Park in District 9.

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Asian Development Outlook Supplement

http://www.adb.orgThe outlook for Southeast Asia has softened as growth prospects falter in Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. In Indonesia, first quarter 2014 growth slowed to 5.2% as soft external demand, low commodity prices, and the temporary ban on select mineral exports undermined the recovery of net exports. Thailand’s economy contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter as the political deadlock affected domestic demand and tourism. Viet Nam’s growth forecast has been slightly adjusted to account for the effect of tensions with the PRC on economic activities including recent factory riots. The 2014 forecast for the subregion is downgraded by 0.3 percentage points to 4.7%. As the factors slowing growth in 2014 are expected to be temporary, the forecast growth of 5.4% in 2015 has been maintained. Read more

2014 Mid-Term VBF: PM reassures FDI investors, who offer many recommendations to improve the business environment

VBF Jun 5, 2014 PM, WB, and others

Prime Minister Dung said “Vietnam is a nation with social and political stability, fast and sustainable economic development and a friendly investment environment.” Council of Taiwan Chambers President Liu Mei The expected that Vietnam would attract more investors but this depended on what the Government will do to make investors safe, she said.

The May riots caused “serious disruptions,” especially to export-related industries which have driven the country’s growth, said Fred Burke, co-head of VBF Investment and Trade working group. While the measures announced are welcome, “they do not go far enough to account for the damages, much less restore the sector to its previous competitiveness.”

The Vietnam Business Forum offers an opportunity for a “structured dialogue” between Government officials and  Vietnam and FDI business representatives, who provide extensive comments on the business environment in Vietnam and very specific recommendations to the Government regarding particular areas for improvement in laws and regulations.

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Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Road System in 2015

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Road SystemThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting the development of infrastructure for economic integration of the Greater Mekong Subregion, including transport infrastructure such as the East-West Economic Corridor and the “North-South Corridor” as well as telecommunications infrastructure, railway infrastructure, common customs procedures, etc. In Vietnam, the ADB assistance strategy for the period 2007-2009 included a plan to mobilize US$ 3 billion. And ADB plans to mobilize $ 10 billion for Vietnam projects over 2011 – 2015.

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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