FTAs and opportunities for Vietnam’s market restructuring

(VOVworld) – Vietnam has proven that it is fully integrating internationally by a series of free trade agreements that have been signed or will be signed in the near future. Although Vietnamese enterprises face many challenges and many things need to be done to take advantage of the trade deals, this is a great opportunity for Vietnam to restructure its market and economy. Ando International, a Vietnamese garment firm in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: ILO in Asia and the Pacific) Two of the 10 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements Vietnam has signed are trade deals with the Republic of Korea and the Europe-Asia economic union. The FTAs will create new opportunities for businesses to grow by reducing or removing import tariffs, and allow Vietnamese enterprises to participate in the goods supply chains of foreign partners, helping to stabilize production, improve competitiveness, and balance the import-export market so as to avoid dependence on a single market. … [Read more...]

Asian shares mostly higher on Greece deal

Most Asian stock markets have risen following the news of a deal between Greece and its creditors. Following marathon talks, eurozone leaders agreed a deal to keep Greece afloat and remain in the eurozone. However, the bailout is conditional on Greece passing all the agreed reforms in parliament by Wednesday. The news lifted stock markets in Europe and the US on Monday, while in Japan on Tuesday the benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 1.5% at 20,385.33. Evan Lucas, market strategist at trading firm IG, said that although the deal reduced the risk of a Greek exit from the eurozone right now, the bloc still faced significant issues in the medium term. "Greek politics could collapse under the strain of this new deal and the subsequent elections that may transpire," he said in a note. "The viability of the programme is also a large risk if the 'reform' process is disjointed or feeble or straight out rejected by new governments." Shares of Sony were down 1.2% after the electronics company … [Read more...]

Minister urges move toward sustainable seafood sector

A farmer harvests shrimp in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. Localities are advised to step up their efforts to ensure sustainable aquaculture, Minister Phat said. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong BAC LIEU (VNS) — Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat said yesterday that localities nationwide need to step up efforts to ensure sustainable aquaculture, especially of key products like shrimp and tra fish. Addressing a conference held in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bac Lieu to review two years of implementing seafood industry reforms, he called for existing shrimp ponds and productivity to be maintained while taking full advantage of shrimp-mangroves and shrimp-rice farming models. Doing this will increase the industry's competitiveness and help expand its global market share, he said. He said the breeding of white-legged shrimp should be done during favourable weather conditions and productivity improved in intensive farming and advanced intensive farming models … [Read more...]

Korean zombie companies threaten banks’ books as economy slowing

Keangnam Enterprises is trying to sell the 72-story building, constructed in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi in 2011. Photo: Ha An Back in better days, South Korea’s Keangnam Enterprises Ltd. built Southeast Asia’s second-tallest skyscraper, two years after posting record operating profits. Now, the Asan-based company is trying to sell the 72-story building, constructed in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi in 2011, and in April, its shares were delisted after it filed for receivership. Keangnam Enterprises is among the growing number of companies whose operating income doesn’t cover loan interest expenses as expansion in Asia’s fourth-largest economy slows, posing a "significant risk" to the asset quality of local lenders, Moody’s Investors Service says. Firms with incomes falling short of debt servicing costs for three straight years rose to 3,295 in 2014, or 15.2 percent of the total, from 12.8 percent in 2009, according to the Bank of Korea. The central … [Read more...]

Greece debt crisis: Leaders try to thrash out deal

Eurozone leaders have talked through the night in Brussels in a bid to agree terms for a new bailout for Greece. Reports say a draft compromise has been put to the emergency summit but no details have emerged so far. Without a new bailout, Greece's banks face collapse and the country could exit the euro. Greece is being told to pass legislation on a series of reforms by Wednesday before any talks on another bailout can begin. But the BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels says there is still no agreement on exactly what Greece has to do. Earlier, eurozone finance ministers submitted a list of measures to the leaders following two days of fraught discussions. But one Greek government official called the proposals "very bad". Another said some of the proposals appeared designed to "humiliate" Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza government. The summit was paused for several hours overnight to allow talks between Mr Tsipras, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French … [Read more...]

Deputy PM urges faster SOE reform

Workers at Nhon Trach 2 Power Plant in Dong Nai Province. Restructuring SOEs requires more efforts and determination from relevant agencies, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has asked for greater efforts and further determination of ministries, localities and State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the restructuring of SOEs. He made these observations as the workload for the rest of the year as per the approved plan was huge. In the third quarter of this year, privatisation plans of 44 SOEs must be completed and approved while asset evaluation of 127 SOEs have to be announced. The target for the last quarter was to approve the privatisation plans of these 127 SOEs. The Deputy PM also urged for the withdrawal of capital from non-core businesses to be hastened, divestment plans to be raised within this quarter to an estimated VND18.99 trillion (US$871.1 million), and investments of SOEs in five … [Read more...]

Microsoft targets mobile phone unit as 7,800 more jobs go

Microsoft is shedding another 7,800 jobs as it reorganises its Nokia mobile phone unit. The move represents a massive shift in strategy for Microsoft since it purchased Nokia's mobile phone business for €5.44bn ($7.5bn; £4.5bn) last year. Microsoft bought Nokia's mobile phone business last year Microsoft axed 18,000 jobs from the unit last July - the deepest cuts in the company's history. The technology giant will also write down the value of the Nokia deal by $7.6bn. Microsoft currently has about 118,000 employees worldwide. A statement from the government in Finland, were Nokia is based, said the job losses would include some 2,300 posts in the country. The statement said the government was "disappointed with Microsoft's decision" and called a special ministerial meeting to consider assistance for those affected. "Loss of so many jobs is very sad for the whole society and for individuals affected," it said. Microsoft said in a statement that it would … [Read more...]

Resolution on Gov’t regular meeting in June issued

VGP – Supervising loans in high-risk areas, completing State-owned enterprises (SOEs) restructuring plan and enhancing the national competitiveness are crucial contents referred to in the Government's Resolution on its regular meeting in June. Illustration photo Closely supervising loans in high-risk areas The State Bank of Viet Nam will continue to monitor interest and exchange rates policy sustainably, promote credit growth, focusing on credits in manufacturing and business as well as closely supervise loans in high-risk areas such as real estate. The Ministry of Finance will follow price changes and manage commodities based on market mechanism to stabilize the macro-economy and curb with inflation. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will maintain the growth rate of the industry, propose measures to encourage development, attract investment in the auxiliary industry to improve effectiveness of investment, actively launches trade promotion programs, expand the market … [Read more...]

Japan sets target of financial reform to boost economic growth

(VOVworld) – On Tuesday, the Japanese government approved a plan for financial reform from now until 2020. Under the plan, tax revenue will increase, thanks to economic growth in the business sector, offsetting rising costs for social security due to an aging population. International ships operating at Tokyo sea port (Photo: AFP) According to the philosophy "there is no sound finance without economic restructuring", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is focusing on economic growth while maintaining social security spending at the same level as 3 years ago. Japan’s economic recovery policy, called "Abenomics", has 2 major initiatives: loosening the monetary supply and large-scale stimulus spending. The same day, the Japanese government approved a growth strategy to promote enterprise investment in IT and human resources. To boost capital investment, the government will open dialogues with enterprises to help them in decision making. … [Read more...]

Greece becomes first developed country to default on IMF

Pro-euro protesters demonstrate in front of the parliament building in Athens on Tuesday. — AFP/VNA Photo WASHINGTON — Cash-strapped Greece missed a 1.5 billion euro (US$1.7 billion) payment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday as last-ditch efforts to find a compromise with official EU lenders came to naught. The missed payment made Greece the only developed country ever to fall into default with the global crisis lender and underscored the utter failure of more than five months of efforts to reshape the rescue of the country's economy and prevent it from dropping out of the eurozone. The future of efforts to restore its finances and meet creditor demands for reforms were in question, with fresh proposals from Athens spurned on Tuesday as the country moved toward a referendum on Sunday on EU bailout offers. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice confirmed that the payment due in Washington at 2200 GMT on Tuesday had "not been received". "We have informed our Executive … [Read more...]

Indonesia to review aging air force fleet after deadly crash

Relatives of the victims pray during a Buddhist ritual near the wreckage of TransAsia Airways plane Flight GE235 after it crash landed into a river, in New Taipei City, February 5, 2015. Indonesia's president promised a review of the country's aging air force fleet and a defense modernization drive on Wednesday, as the death toll from the crash of a military transport plane in the north of the country climbed past 140. The C-130B Hercules aircraft, which went into service half a century ago, ploughed into a residential area of the city of Medan on Tuesday, throwing a renewed spotlight on Indonesia's woeful air safety record. "There must be an evaluation of the age of planes and defense systems," President Joko Widodo tweeted late on Tuesday, as earth movers worked through the night to recover the dead from rubble of twisted metal and smashed buildings. The TVOne news channel said that 141 body bags had been brought to a hospital near the crash site, all but two of which contained … [Read more...]

Encouraging private business investment in agriculture

(VOVworld)- Vietnam’s agriculture boasts great potential for investment. In recent years, thanks to government incentives, domestic economic groups have shifted their investment capital to agriculture, signaling good prospects for the national economy. The government and the Prime Minister have paid great attention to fine-tuning policies and mechanisms to encourage enterprises to invest in agriculture and rural areas. In the last two years, the government issued two resolutions to improve the business climate. The government also approved a Project on Agricultural Restructuring in 2013 to encourage enterprises to participate in restructuring the agricultural sector and its production method. Positive signs of enterprises’ investment in agriculture As in other ASEAN countries, Vietnam’s agricultural sector has not attracted much investment from enterprises. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, private enterprises have succeeded with … [Read more...]

Vice Chairman Pham Truong Tho met with DARD

Vice chairman of Quang Ngai Provincial People's Committee Pham Truong Tho and provincial relevant leaders met with Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about its first 6 month achievements and tasks for the next 6 months of the year. ​ As reported by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first 6 months, the province's agricultural industry continues to develop a comprehensive, total production value was estimated at 1.487 billion, reaching 44.2% compared to year plan. Food production is estimated at over 253,000 tons, 52.8% of the plan year, down 0.6% from the same period last year. Livestock feeding remain development stability, the prevention of disease in cattle and poultry are detected and handled promptly. Besides, the fisheries sector is relatively stable development in the first 6 months, fishery catch was estimated at over 74,000 tonnes, reaching 49.4% of the plan, up 5.9% year - on - year. For the fishing ship building, so far 200 ships … [Read more...]

Banks forced to merge to settle circular ownership status

VietNamNet Bridge - The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has taken a series of actions to clear cross-ownership which has existed in the banking system for many years. The merger of Mekong Bank into Maritime Bank, the two banks with the same owner, is expected to be followed by five to six merger deals, Dau Tu has quoted its sources as saying. These include the merger deal of Southern Bank and Sacombank. The merger has attracted the special attention from the public because they both relate to a big name – Tram Be, one of the most influential businessmen in Vietnam. Tram Be and his family members are reported to hold 20 percent of Southern Bank shares and 6 percent of Sacombank’s. Once the two banks merge with each other, the expected share conversion ratio is 1:0.75 (Southern Bank/Sacombank). The tentative conversion ratio has angered Sacombank’s shareholders. However, analysts noted that once the same big shareholders hold shares in both banks, they will have the … [Read more...]

Sony, Panasonic cling to TVs, betting on halo effect of premium sets

Japan's once-mighty electronics makers have lost billions of dollars from TVs but Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp won't quit, saying retreating from the world's living rooms would close the door to more promising businesses. Consumer electronics account for a shrinking portion of income after restructuring focused Sony on gaming and image sensors and Panasonic on electric car batteries. But TVs remain among their best-known products. Staying in the TV market - particularly at the premium end - keeps the pair relevant and ensures their brands and quality are at the forefront when consumers shop for other electronics, they said. Sony, for example, said it saw a strong correlation between sales trends for its TVs and audio systems. That makes it worth persevering in a TV market dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and cheaper Asian rivals, with Sony and Panasonic content to hold modest shares by focusing on high-margin, high-definition "4K" models. "TVs are the soul of Sony and … [Read more...]

Striving to have the agricultural share in the GRDP reach 10% after 2020

PPC Chairman has approved the scheme "Restructuring Agriculture sector towards improving added value and sustainable development by 2020, visions to 2030". Illustration photo Accordingly, by 2020, the structure target of agriculture - forestry - fishery, including: crop reaches 38%, livestock 19%, 4% of agricultural services, forestry 2% and fishing37% (accounting about 10% to 10.5% of the province's GRDP); stabilizing average annual grain yield gains at least 37 thousand tons; product value obtained per unit of 1ha arable land reaches approximately 110 million dongs (up 1.7 times compared to 2014); product value obtained per unit of 1 ha water surface for aqua-culture reaches about 1 billion dongs (up 1.7 times compared to 2014); per capita income in rural areas increase by 2.8 to 3 times higher than in 2010; agricultural labor proportion of total social labor accounts for approximately 40 to 45%; raising forest coverage to 45%; at least 65% of communes meet the standdards … [Read more...]

Economic restructuring in response to climate change in Vietnam’s coastal provinces

(VOVworld) – A workshop on economic restructuring in response to climate change in Vietnam’s coastal provinces was held on Wednesday as part of the science and technology program for national targets to deal with climate change. Hai Phong sea port (Photo: anhp.vn) The event was co-organized by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. The participants focused on measures to restructure the economy in response to climate change in the coastal areas in Vietnam in general and in the South central region in particular. The measures include economic restructuring to develop eco-tourism, organic agriculture and renewable energy. So far, coastal areas such as Da Nang, Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa have made full use of their marine potential to develop heavy industry and sea transportation. … [Read more...]

NA urges change to agricultural sector

National Assembly deputies yesterday voiced their opinions about the government's supplementary reports on several socio-economic development plans' implementation in 2014 and early 2015. The reports, introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the first day of the ninth session, May 20, largely received their approval. The reports covered Viet Nam's economic and production health, highlighting the 5.9 per cent GDP growth since last year, the highest growth rate since 2011. The reports cited stabilization of the macro economy; a 1.84 per cent increase in the consumer price index (CPI) - the lowest rate in years; and the third consecutive year of trade surplus as examples of economic health. The reports also mentioned that last year's poverty rate reduced by 1.83 per cent; a sign that the effects of economic growth are trickling down. The country's GDP looked strong in the first quarter of this year, rising by 6.03 per cent. The export turnover also looked promising, … [Read more...]

PPC reviewed the half year’s socio-economic situation

Vice chairman of Quang Ngai Provincial People's Committee Mr. Le Quang Thich on June 4 chaired a meeting to review the 6-month socio-economic achievements and building up plans to achieve the year's targets set forth for the year 2015.​ At the meeting, Director of Planning and Investment Mr. Nguyen Cao Phuc released that the province's economy in the first six months of the year has achieved significant results, particularly the high growth of industrial production value, retails and service. He expressed that compared to previous year's data, this year's economic sectors achieved remarkably. The most significant result was released to be the revenue of tax collection which was reported to touch 16.4 trillion VND, a year - on - year growth of 3.4 % and to fulfill nearly 50 % of the year's targeted plan. Moreover, gross regional domestic product (GRDP) was estimated to reach over 6 trillion VND, a year-on-year increase of 15.1%. Industrial processing value was recorded to be over … [Read more...]

Mergers put bankers on brink of layoffs in Vietnam

For many bank employees in Vietnam, even those holding high positions, a merger between their bank and another institution could also mean the day they leave their job is drawing near. A number of mergers between lenders in the country have been approved or actually carried out, leaving employees of the acquired banks in constant fear that they would be fired anytime by the new employers. "The new bosses always promise to ensure jobs for everyone but they in fact have myriad tricks to lay off the employees of the banks they have acquired," Hoang An, who used to work for a commercial bank that was acquired by another in late 2013, revealed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. One of the tricks is to set targets that cannot be met so that employees of the acquired banks will voluntarily ask to quit, An said. "Others include cutting salaries or annual bonuses, criticizing your professional mistakes, or firing you before the salary days," he added. "Despite the mistreatment, few … [Read more...]