News Bulletin 24 - Week 5 July, 2020

As new cases of SARS-CoV-2 were confirmed in Da Nang and Quang Ngai after 3 months without new community transmissions, many firms in Vietnam have re-implemented pandemic prevention measures starting early this week. Highlight of business news last week was the Government issuing a resolution approving the first protocol that amends the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

The past week spotlight

First protocol amending ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement approved

Photo: First protocol amending ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement approved

The Government has issued a resolution approving the first protocol that amends the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

ATIGA came into effect on May 17, 2010. The agreement targets the elimination of tariffs to foster trade among Southeast Asian nations, supports joint efforts to handle non-tariff barriers, and promotes customs cooperation inside the bloc.

According to the pact, ASEAN member states offer each other incentives that are equal or higher than those applied for ASEAN’s partners in free trade agreements signed by the bloc.

See full details here

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

1. Resurgence of Covid-19 further thwarts Danang's economic recovery

The complicated progression of Covid-19 in Danang has dealt a blow to the city’s efforts to grow its economy this year and may drag Vietnam's economic recovery.

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2. EVFTA, Covid-19 change the face of VN logistics industry

Vietnam’s logistics market has great opportunities to improve as the EVFTA has been inked and the country is receiving investment inflow from Europe.

Aeon in recent years has become a channel through which Vietnam’s farm produce penetrates the Japanese market.

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3. Startups in HR receive millions in funding despite Covid-19

Nearly all businesses are experiencing hardships because of Covid-19. However, this hasn't happened with startups in the HR industry. They are still receiving millions of dollars worth of funding.

JobHopin, a startup utilizing AI and machine learning technologies in the recruitment process, received $2.45 million worth of capital in a series A round last month.

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4. Vietnam to post world’s fifth-highest economic growth: WB

“Vietnam is projected to be the fifth highest-growing economy in the world this year and the country has a unique opportunity to increase its footprint in the global economy in both trade and investment”, Stefanie Stallmeister, World Bank Acting Country Director for Vietnam, has said.

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5. Vietnam gains $6.5 billion trade surplus in 7 months

Vietnam achieved a trade surplus of $6.5 billion in the first seven months of this year, including $1 billion in July, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

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6. Start-up investment in Southeast Asian doubles despite COVID-19

Investment in start-ups in Southeast Asia soared in the second quarter of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, led by e-commerce and fintech companies.

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7. Asia-Pacific investment volumes in real estate fall due to COVID-19

Asia Pacific’s commercial real estate market has felt the brunt of COVID-19 so far this year, with a sharp decline in investment volumes and rental prices across most major commercial asset classes, according to real estate services firm JLL.

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8. Most Japanese firms in Vietnam affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions: survey

Eighty nine percent of Japanese firms in Vietnam complain over entry restrictions, 65 percent stating they are impacted by domestic travel restrictions, a survey revealed.

Revenues were down in the first half of the year for 65 percent of firms, and higher for only 13 percent, according to the survey, done in June by the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

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9. Pandemic drags FDI down by 7 pct

Vietnam saw $18.8 billion in foreign direct investment pledges in the first seven months of the year, a 6.9 percent fall year-on-year.

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