Thailand’s Singha to invest $1.1 Billion with Masan

The investment in consumer and brewery units will take advantage of Vietnam’s young and growing middle class, the companies said in a joint statement.

Singha, a privately held unit of Thailand’s Boon Rawd Brewery, will acquire 25 percent of Masan Consumer and 33.3 percent of Masan Brewery. Read more

Vietnam taking prudent steps toward ASEAN Economic Community

bo truong 1“Vietnam has always focused on protecting items related to agriculture,” MoIT Minister Vu Huy Hoang said. “As a result, if we take prudent steps, we should not be afraid of the AEC.”

Minister Hoang also said Vietnam has always had a clear roadmap, especially in terms of sensitive goods of which domestic production capability is limited, so that the country will have a certain period for the local production sector to improve its capacities and increase market share later. Read more

Regulatory Harmonization Vital for ASEAN Economic Community to Succeed

250px-Seal_of_ASEAN.svgSenior government and business leaders from ASEAN gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos to discuss the state of the global economy and map the key transformations reshaping the world. A significant focus of the discussions was on ASEAN, where government and business leaders evaluated whether the region is on the right track towards achieving ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015. Read more

“Zombies” haunt Vietnam

Chủ tịch Hiệp hội Doanh nghiệp nhỏ và vừa Việt Nam (VINASME) Cao Sỹ KiêmSmall enterprises are a vital link in Vietnam’s aspirations to become a global manufacturing dynamo as the country gears up to sign a slew of international trade deals, but many of these firms are uncompetitive, poorly managed and sunken by debt.

“SMEs’ limited knowledge of the market become even more limited amid deeper integration,” said former central bank governor Cao Si Kiem, now chairman of Vietnam’s SME association.

Support industries are weak and few firms have the capital or expertise to join a supply chain for resident FDI giants such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Microsoft, and Intel.

Such weaknesses could expose Vietnam as it braces for an influx of investment once a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read more

Companies increasingly approach ASEAN as one market, with a single business strategy

250px-Seal_of_ASEAN.svg• 97% of companies believe the ASEAN Economic Community will be formed
• 76% have an ASEAN-orientated strategy and increasingly manage the region as one integrated economic bloc
• Singapore remains the favored ASEAN hub, where 80% of firms locate their regional head office
• Indonesia and Myanmar were cited as the most preferred destinations for new factories over the next five years, followed by the Philippines and Vietnam

Read more

ASEAN Economic Community – The Way Forward for Food

ASEAN Business Club Forum 2014 F&B SectorSingapore played host to the 2nd ASEAN Business Club (ABC) Forum, Sep 8-9, 2014, which was attended by over 300 CEOs and senior business leaders throughout the South East Asia region.

This year’s forum included a new focus on the Food & Beverage Sector thanks to input from joint research partners, FIA and the ASEAN Food and Beverage Alliance (AFBA). This sector-focussed dialogue was led by Pushpanathan Sundram, special Advisor to AFBA, Hendro Poedjono, FIA Lead Representative for AFBA and Sunny Koh, AFBA Chairman for Singapore, who all participated in the Food and Beverage Roundtable. Read more

Vietnam considers self-certification of origin, which is standard in U.S. FTAs

NAFTA C-ORequired by many free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (see sample form).  Current ASEAN plans are for the mechanism to be applied in 10 ASEAN member countries by 2015.

This practice has been applied by many countries under the framework of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, especially ones in which the US is a signatory. Read more

Thai retailer eyes bigger plans in VN: 205 B’s Mart Stores

metro_EGIVafter spending 655 million euros (US$860.56 million) to acquire the Vietnamese unit of Germany-based retailing chain Metro Cash & Carry in July. ThaiBerli Jucker Plc has set aside around 1 billion baht ($31.26 million) to set up 205 B’s Mart utility stores in Vietnam until 2018.

Is this planning based on the ASEAN Economic Community 2015? Read more

Preparing for integration: ASEAN Economic Community 2015

The Economist LogoSouth-east Asia is increasingly viewed as a priority by international business. The ten member states of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have over 600 million people and by 2018 we think their economies will be growing as fast as China’s and will be as big as Germany’s. That’s globally significant. Read more

Asian Development Outlook 2014 – Vietnam Outlook

Asian Development Outlook 2014Vietnam’s return to the faster economic growth of previous years is hampered by the cautious pace of reform to banks and state enterprises. GDP growth edged up in 2013 and is expected to recover further over the next 2 years. Inflation is forecast to remain relatively subdued. Vietnam’s economy now enters its third year of macroeconomic stability with lower inflation, strong external trade and capital flows, and a firmer exchange rate. Read more