New policies take effect in VN in February

VietNamNet Bridge – New policies include regulations on re-arrangement of agriculture companies, sanctions against irresponsible cadres and public employees, foreign langue teaching, technology transfer, banking system safety. The State will continue to maintain, consolidate and restructure agriculture companies that it holds 100% charter capital. – File photo According to the Government’s Decree No. 118/2014/ND-CP, the State will continue to maintain, consolidate and restructure agriculture companies that it holds 100% charter capital. The companies include those operating in strategic zones, border and remote areas. The Decree is scheduled to take effect since February 1. The Government’s Decree 04/2015//ND-CP requires leaders of State agencies to take proper measures to deal with cadres and public employees who fail to perform their duties, fail to show sense of responsibility at work or those who harass citizens. The Decree is scheduled to come … [Read more...]

Increasing agricultural competitiveness for international integration

(VOVworld) – Discussion topics at the 12th National Party Congress included ways to increase agricultural competitiveness for international integration. Delegates said specific measures are needed to realize new international commitments in order to reduce risks and create opportunities for the agricultural sector. Many delegates agreed with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s report that preparations for domestic production to conform to international commitments have been slow. They agreed that Vietnam should be more proactive in production, technology, and market issues to fully implement WTO commitments and commitments of new generation free trade agreements over the next 5 years. They said that although agriculture is Vietnam’s strength the sector is facing many challenges in the context of integration. Pham Minh Dao, a delegate from Dong Nai province, said: "Increasing productivity, product quality, and scale of production is … [Read more...]

State Capital Investment Corporation continues divestment, restructuring of enterprises

VietNamNet Bridge – The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) divested State capital from 120 businesses in 2015, earning VND94.49 trillion (US$200.17 million) from a book value of VND1.68 trillion ($74.9 million). A model of VTV Tower in Ha Noi. As a joint venture between Vietnam Television and SCIC, the tower is expected to be among the top attractions in the capital city. — Photo VTV This was a 2.7-time increase, achieving 176 per cent of the target. As of December 31, 2015, SCIC's portfolio comprised 197 enterprises, with the State capital's book value being more than VND20 trillion ($891.7 million), accounting for 23 per cent of the charter capital and a market value of nearly VND95.7 trillion ($4.26 billion). As for new investments, SCIC focused its investment resources and obtained positive turns last year. SCIC's total investment disbursement in 2015 was more than VND8 trillion ($356.7 million). Certain large-scale projects became operational after a … [Read more...]

Transparency and Accountability

Mr Nguyen Van Binh, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), has made imprints that cannot be denied by the most intense caveats. The deactivation of the "second currency" and an acquisition of weak performance banks at zero VND. However, the work of the governor in 2016 involves facing challenges to meet higher demands to ensure a transparent system. Getting better Many successful M&A transactions between Maritime Bank and Mekong Development Bank (MDB), Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and Mekong Housing Bank (MHB), and Sacombank and Southern Bank have occurred. The M&A of BIDV and MHA completed in May, 2015 is rated as a "tiger grows wings" deal. The M&A has increased the total asset of the BIDV to over VND700 trillion, the charter capital to over VND34 trillion; the network has been expanded to nearly 1,000 units across the country, with a total workforce of 24,000 employees. The M&A of the Maritime Bank and the MDB … [Read more...]

Five highlights of Vietnam’s economy in 2015 and outlook for 2016

VietNamNet Bridge – On the occasion of the 2016 New Year, Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, answered queries by a reporter of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper at dangcongsan.vn on Vietnam’s economy in 2015 and its outlook for 2016. Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue Could you please specify some highlights of the Vietnamese economy in 2015? The economy of Vietnam still registered several notable highlights last year despite numerous difficulties. First, the economy showed conspicuous recovery momentum, with gross domestic product (GDP) soaring over 6.6% - the highest level over the past five years and greater than the 6.2% growth targeted by the National Assembly. The consumer price index (CPI) posted a year-on-year rise of 0.63%, marking the lowest increase within 14 years. The figures indicated that the measures taken by the government to ensure macroeconomic … [Read more...]

Restructuring drives changes in banks’ top leader positions

Major local banks see top tier leadership changes as the sector has undergone more than three years of restructuring. This trend is forecasted to ramp up even further when the process enters its final stages. After four months of headless operation following the central bank (SBV)’s decision to remove former CEO Tran Phuong Binh, DongA Bank has appointed a new CEO from January 1, 2016. Accordingly, on December 31, 2015, the bank’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Nguyen Thanh Tung, a board member and the bank’s deputy general director, as the bank’s CEO from January 1, 2016. The decision received approval from the SBV on December 25. Tung, born in 1966, was previously appointed by the SBV to participate in DongA Bank’s governance from September 14, 2015. Before, he was the director of VietinBank’s Ho Chi Minh City branch and has nearly 26 years of experience in credit operations at VietinBank. Before Tung’s appointment as … [Read more...]

Vietnam Television to restructure ownership of units

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered a restructuring plan for Vietnam Television (VTV) companies. VTVcab, wholly owned by VTV and launched in 2005, has become the largest TV channel provider in Vietnam, offering services in more than 60 provinces and registering 1.98 million subscribers as of December 31, 2013. Under the plan, VTV will continue to represent the State's shares at Vietnam Satellite Digital Television (VSTV), known more commonly as K+. VTV will transfer its capital at Smart Media JSC to the Vietnam Television Cable Corporation (VTVcab), increasing the State's capital at VTVcab. Prime Minister Dung has also asked VTV to equitise VTVcab in the first quarter of 2016. After the process, the State will still hold 51 percent of VTVcab's share. VTV will also sell part of its share in the Saigon Tourist Cable Television Limited Company (SCTV), the guideline said. VTVbroadcom limited company will be equitised this year. The State may hold less than 50 percent … [Read more...]

Education Ministry’s decision to tighten control over higher education applauded

VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) latest circular which sets limitations on university training has stirred controversy. However, many experts have defended the decision. Under the ministry’s Circular 32, the number of full-time students at universities belonging to Group VI (healthcare) must not be higher than 8,000. Meanwhile, the figure is 5,000 for schools belonging to Group II (arts schools) and 15,000 for the remaining groups. Is 15,000 students too much or too little? Some analysts have warned that the enrolment quota scheme would face strong opposition from training establishments because the number of students will determine the existence of the establishments. As tuition is one of the major sources of income of universities, they want to have as many students as possible. Meanwhile, Le Truong Tung, president of FPT University, does not think the limitations set by MOET would cause problems. He believes that 15,000 students … [Read more...]

Gov’t figures out key tasks and solutions for 2016

VGP – The Government has issued a Resolution on major tasks and solutions guiding and directing the realization of the Plan for socio-economic development and state budget estimate in 2016. Illustration photo The overall goals of the socio-economic development plan in 2016 are to maintain macro-economy stability, improve growth quality, enhance the implementation of strategic breakthroughs, restructure the economy in accordance with transforming the growth model, promote the productivity, quality, effectiveness and competitiveness, tackle difficulties for businesses and accelerate production and manufacturing. Other goals include the development of culture, social progress and equality, ensuring social security and improving social welfare, enhancing administrative procedure reform, effectiveness of State management, anti-corruption and anti-wastefulness, strengthening national defense and security and the effectiveness of diplomatic works and international … [Read more...]

Gloomy seafood exports hope recovery this year

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (Vasep) hoped that seafood exports will recover from crisis to post a year on year increase of 6.3 percent reaching the turnover of US$7.12 billion this year. Tra fish harvest in Can Tho city (Photo: SGGP) Of three main export items, shrimp and tuna will be brighter than last year while tra fish will continue facing many difficulties, the association forecast. Tra fish exporters will be hindered with technical barriers from nations besides severe competition and input cost increase. Gloomy picture The year 2015 was a difficult year of seafood breeders and exporters who failed to get results as expected. The country’s seafood export turnover was estimated to hit US$6.7 billion, down 14.5 percent over 2014, reported Vasep. Vietnamese seafood products have been exported to 164 nations and territories worldwide. Last year, many of them sharply reduced import comprising main markets such as the U.S., EU and … [Read more...]

Science-technology crucial to agriculture restructuring

Promoting the application of science and technology is the decisive factor to agriculture restructuring, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the agriculture sector at a conference in Hanoi on January 5. He urged the sector to build specific mechanisms and policies to facilitate the application of science and technology to increase productivity, create high-quality and competitive products, and improve farmers’ incomes. The PM also suggested multiplying integrated production models towards large-scale production with high efficiency to enhance competitiveness in the context of integration. Special attention should be paid to restructuring State-run farm and forestry enterprises as well as developing infrastructure in rural areas and encouraging businesses to invest in the countryside, he said. At the same time, the Government leader required continued efforts to implement the national target programme on building new-style rural areas, with the focus on renovation … [Read more...]

Vietnam targets 6.5-7% in GDP growth from 2016-2020

Vietnam has set goals for GDP to grow by 6.5-7% and inflation to be kept at around 5-7% in the next five years, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said. It also targets to reduce the state budget deficit to 4.8% of GDP compared to 4.9% during the 2011-2015 period. The Government will maintain its macroeconomic stabilisation policies, especially in terms of price, in pursuit of the goals. Attention will be paid on transparency of public finance which helps enhance controls of both the Government and society on the issue, while budget planning, verification and allocation will be improved at all levels to avoid any overuse, waste and inefficiency. The Government plans to get the private sector more involved in socio-economic development, notably in infrastructure, support industries and hi-tech projects, through an improved business climate and preferential policies on interest rates and land. Economic restructuring at state and industry-levels will be accelerated towards … [Read more...]

The Government’s regular meeting-December 2015

THE GOVERNMENT ------- SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM Independence - Freedom - Happiness --------------- No. 89/NQ-CP Ha Noi, December 31, 2015 RESOLUTION THE GOVERNMENT’S REGULAR MEETING - DECEMBER 2015 THE GOVERNMENT Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government dated December 25, 2001; Pursuant to the Decree No. 08/2012/ND-CP of the Government dated February 16, 2012 promulgating the working regulation of the Government; Based on the discussion of the Cabinet members and the conclusion of the Prime Minister at the Government’s regular meeting in December 2015 held on December 28 - 29, 2015, RESOLVES: 1. Regarding the review of the Government performance in 2015 and implementation of tasks in 2016 The Government agreed that the direction and management of the Government in 2015 made significant contribution to the realization of socio-economic objectives and tasks in 2015 and the 5-year plan 2011-2015. The Government directed and … [Read more...]

Banks rush to change players on chessboard

VietNamNet Bridge - Three banks with no dong have new CEOs and many other banks have appointed their CEOs. The changes in the banking sector have never been so big. The deputy CEO and deputy chair of the board of directors of Maritime Bank have left for National Citizen Bank (NCB). Meanwhile, NCB has announced that Tran Hai Anh has resigned from the post of CEO, while Dao Trong Khanh, former deputy head of Maritime Bank’s Board of Directors, has taken the office. The appointment received State Bank’s approval on December 11, 2015. Khanh was elected to Maritime Bank’s Board of Directors at a bank shareholders’ meeting in February 2012 and then stepped down at the 2015 shareholders’ meeting. Prior to that, in October 2015, Ta Ngoc Da, who was appointed as deputy CEO of Maritime in May-October after Atul Malik, a foreign CEO left, has unexpectedly joined NCB as deputy CEO. At Maritime Bank, Da, after several months of taking the bank’s … [Read more...]

How capable are Vietnamese banks?

VietNamNet Bridge - By 2020, Vietnam will have to open the market in at least 70 percent of the banking and financial services to bankers in ASEAN. By 2020, Vietnam will have to open the market in at least 70 percent of the banking and financial services to bankers in ASEAN. An analyst commented that compared with the trade sector, the integration in financial and banking has been going more slowly. The banks in Singapore, for example, have applied Basel III standards, while Vietnamese now apply Basel II. Within the framework of TPP, the biggest challenge for Vietnamese banks would be in the competition for services as TPP allows the banks of 12 TPP member countries to provide banking services across the border. This means that the banks in the US can provide remittance and card services to Vietnamese citizens while there is no need to set up their bank branches in Vietnam. The competition for staff is also believed to be very stiff in the time to come as TPP stipulated that … [Read more...]

Gia Lai targets 7.5% GRDP growth in 2016

The Central Highlands province of Gia Lai strives to achieve sustainable economic growth in the 2016-2020 period with a Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth rate of 7.5% in 2016. To realise the objectives, Gia Lai will continue economic restructuring in combination with changing growth model with the aim to improve quality, efficiency and competitiveness. The province will also implement agricultural restructuring polices in line with the building of new-style rural areas, focusing on efficiently shifting crop structure and gradually forming large-scale fields. Over the past five years, the province has attracted as many as 64 investment projects with total registered capital of VND15.6 trillion (US$678 million), of which, 34 projects have been put into operation. A farmer harvests coffee (Photo: VNA) Especially, the 2nd conference on investment promotion held in Gia Lai has created opportunities for the province’s sustainable economic development, with the … [Read more...]

Banking restructuring scheme fruitful

Vietnam’s banking restructuring scheme, launched by the central bank four years ago, has achieved almost all of its important objectives, a senior official of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said at a recent press conference in Hanoi. Solutions adopted to reduce bad debts have taken effect, helping significantly improve credit quality and lower the ratio of non-performing loans to total outstanding loans, SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said on Thursday last week. The conference was held to review the country’s monetary policy and banking operations in 2015 and map out plans and targets for 2016. According to data compiled by Vietnam’s central bank, about 99.6% of banks’ bad debts had been handled as of November 30. As a result, bad debt in the entire banking system was brought down to 2.72%, meeting the target of cutting the rate to less than three percent by the end of 2015, the deputy governor said. The application of the new standards for the … [Read more...]

A glance at Vietnam’s economy in 2015

The National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), the economic advisor to the Vietnamese government, has prepared a report to review the country’s economy in 2015, which has witnessed many positive improvements in the face of challenges. Achievements Vietnam’s economy has obviously improved in 2015, with a GDP growth rate of 6.68 percent, exceeding the official target of 6.2 percent, according to the report. The industrial production index, which indicates the real output of the country’s manufacturing, increased 9.8-10 percent from a year earlier, while the number of newly-established companies also rose 26.6 percent against 2014. The total registered capital of the new businesses in 2015 was also 39.1 percent higher than last year, the report said without giving details. Total retail sales of consumer goods surged about 10.6-10.8 percent, the fastest pace in five years. This year Vietnam has managed to stabilize the macro-economy and control … [Read more...]

Puerto Rico ‘effectively in default': US Treasury

Like US states, Puerto Rico is not allowed under current law to seek bankruptcy protection Puerto Rico is "effectively in default" and urgently needs authority to be able to restructure its debt, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday. "Look, Puerto Rico has a terrible financial problem," Lew said in an interview on Fox Business News. "They're essentially insolvent." "They have $70 billion in debt. The debt needs to be restructured." The US territory has "already been taking money out of pension funds to pay current bills" and "shifting money for one creditor to pay for another creditor," Lew said. "You don't have to wait until you miss a coupon payment to say you're in default." Lew reiterated criticism of Congress for failing to pass legislation this month granting Puerto Rico restructuring authority. Like US states, Puerto Rico is not allowed under current law to seek bankruptcy protection. Yet it was able for years to issue huge amounts of tax-free municipal bonds … [Read more...]

Vietnamese exports to face stiff competition

VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam's exports, especially agro-forestry and fisheries, will face difficulties in 2016 if the country does not drastically restructure the industry, Tran Tuan Anh, deputy minister of Industry and Trade said. Workers from the Star Fashion Company Ltd at the Chuong My Industrial Zone in Ha Noi make clothes for export. Viet Nam's key export staple products, including textiles and garments, will face fierce competition next year. — Photo: VNA/VNS Even key staple export products such as textiles and garments would also face fierce competition. Tuan Anh told media yesterday (Dec 21) in Ha Noi that in 2015, the sector has striven to maintain its productivity and exports. However, the export markets have seen difficulties, affecting the export turnover of products. In addition, there was an abundant supply of the agro-forestry and fishery products in other countries. Vietnamese goods, therefore, had to face fierce competition from similar products … [Read more...]