News Bulletin 13 - Week 2 May, 2020

While the ongoing pandemic is taking a severe human and economic toll worldwide, economic recovery in Vietnam has restarted in earnest, with support from a variety of government policies. Last week, the Vietnamese Government released Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP relating to cutting or simplifying at least 20 per cent of the current regulations on business through 2025.

The past week spotlight

Gov’t to cut, simplify at least 20 per cent regulations on business

Gov’t to cut, simplify at least 20 per cent regulations on business. Illustration Photo

The Vietnamese Government will cut or simplify at least 20 per cent of the current regulations on business through 2025, according to Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP released on Wednesday.

In 2020, the Government targets to launch a statistics system to control business regulations and improve capacity of staff in charge of calculating compliance costs and evaluating the business regulations.

Ministries and Governmental bodies are assigned to adopt and implement annual plans on reduction and simplification of business-related regulations in order to rule out the regulations that hinder business operations.

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Let’s look at some other related financial and business news during the past week:

1. PM permits re-opening of sub-border gates with China

The Prime Minister has allowed the re-opening of sub-border gates and border crossings to resume trading activities between Viet Nam and China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The permission has been issued according to the proposals from the ministry and people’s committees of Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces on restoring those activities to get back to normal at border gates between the two countries.

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2. Deals promise greater mid-term investments

The National Assembly Standing Committee has agreed to stage a vote on adoption of two hallmark bilateral trade and investment agreements between Vietnam and the EU, taking both sides closer to enshrining the new basis for far tighter trade and investment ties.

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3. Singapore becomes biggest investor in Vietnam during Jan-April

Singapore rose to become the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam in the first four months of 2020 with 5.07 billion USD, accounting for 41 percent of the total.

Foreign investors poured 12.33 billion USD in total into Vietnam during January-April, a year-on-year decrease of 15.5 percent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The period saw 984 new foreign-invested projects licensed with a total registered capital of 6.78 billion USD, down 9.1 percent in term of number of projects but up 26.9 percent in value year-on-year.

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4. Vietnam further cuts policy rates to mitigate coronavirus impact

Vietnam cut its policy rates for a second time in two months on Wednesday as it seeks to boost growth amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Bank of Vietnam reduced the refinancing rate from 5 percent to 4.5 percent and the discount rate cut from 3.5 percent to 3 percent. The dong deposit rate cap for terms of one to six months has been reduced from 4.75 percent to 4.25 percent.

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5. No new airlines until aviation market recovers: VN Transport Ministry

Viet Nam will temporarily halt the consideration of new airlines until the aviation market has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The.

Priority would be given to recovering the aviation market, resuming flights and removing the difficulties of exiting carriers while the foundation of new carriers would only be considered after the market recovered, The said.

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6. Supporting industries await resolution

To guarantee the transparent and unified implementation of the country’s investment incentive policy, the Vietnamese government is trying to resolve an impasse around the transitional treatment of tax incentives for projects manufacturing prioritised supporting industry products.

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7. MPI Minister: Opportunities for breakthrough growth

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung advised the government to implement numerous solutions quickly to enable businesses to seize valuable opportunities for economic recovery and sustaining growth.

[…] These difficulties include the double challenges of a shortage of input materials and limited output markets for consumption and exporting, especially for sectors participating deep in global supply chains. The minister also predicted that more mergers and acquisitions deals could take place in the time coming, and local companies could be acquired at a very cheap price.

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8. Enterprises seek more than financial aid for Covid-19 recovery

Vietnamese enterprises are asking for both financial support and administrative reforms to aid their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, the government says.

"When asked about their needs, large enterprises answer that they do not ask for money as the country is struggling, but (for better) mechanisms," said VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc.

Loc explained "mechanisms" as solutions to remove bottlenecks in administrative procedures, promoting public investment and implementing measures to "release the economic front."

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9. Trade defence instruments important to Vietnam’s open economy

Strengthening the application of trade defence instruments would be necessary for Vietnam, which was among countries with the highest economic openness level, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Viet Nam established free trade relations with 55 countries through the signing of 14 free trade agreements (FTAs), 13 of which were already in force, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

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10. VN support industry finds it hard to attract foreign investment

Vietnam's support industry is struggling to attract foreign investment as multinational companies look for alternative options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That was the message from the Vietnam Association of Support Industry (VASI) who said most of their members are small-scale and they fall short when it comes to meeting demands of companies looking to move to Vietnam.

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