News Bulletin 26 - Week 2 August, 2020

The recent resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed the glimmer of hope for an early economic recovery for Vietnam. Experts forecast that Vietnam could be facing its lowest level of economic growth in 35 years.

At the beginning of August, it’s noticeable that The Prime Minister has approved a plan to implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The past week spotlight

PM approves implementation plan for EVFTA

Under the plan, ministries, agencies, and localities are urged to focus on publicizing the terms of the trade deal, disseminating information about the European market, crafting legislation, sharpening competitiveness, and developing human resources.

The PM said Vietnam will continue to carry out trade and promotion activities in EU countries so European investors can learn about business and investment opportunities in Vietnam. He asked ministries, agencies, and localities to continue to provide training for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and farmers to enhance their competitiveness in order to further integrate into global and regional supply chains and take full advantage of the agreement.

See full details here

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

1. Heavy Singapore investment rolls on through new normal

With Vietnam boasting great potential for investment, Singaporean businesses and individuals are rolling out projects across the country, channeling massive capital flows into diverse sectors.

See full details here

2. Vietnam gains ground over China in apparel exports to US

Vietnam’s market share in US apparel imports is now equal to that of China, which was the largest supplier of products for fashion companies in the US just seven months ago.

Vietnam is now on par with China in terms of apparel exports to the US in the first six months of 2020, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

See full details here

3. Decree aims to ensure companies benefit from corporate income tax cut

A decree has been published to guide the implementation of a National Assembly resolution offering firms a 30 per cut corporate income tax (CIT) cut.

The draft is up for comment, while the resolution came into effect on August 3. Under the draft, the tax cut would be given to enterprises with total revenue of less than 200 billion VND (8.62 million USD) in 2020 – those considered the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impacts.

See full details here

4. Local firms struggle to fulfill needs of FDI companies

Local producers must prepare to meet the requirements of foreign direct investment (FDI) companies to participate in the global supply chains, a top official has said.

See full details here

5. Businesses owe nearly $900 million in social insurance premiums because of COVID-19

As of July, businesses nationwide owed social insurance premiums totalling over 20.6 trillion VND ($887.6 million) due to the coronavirus crisis, according to Vietnam Social Insurance (VSI).

See full details here

6. India might tighten pepper imports from Vietnam, ministry warns

The Ministry of Industry and Trade urges firms to control the quality of pepper exported to India and develop solutions to cope with policies affecting the export of pepper from Vietnam.

See full details here

7. VN firms fail to take up tax payment postponement policy

The Government’s policy of a five-month extension for tax payment deadlines did not attract a large number of firms.

See full details here

8. Domestic market supports businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

The domestic market can support local production and business in the context of the serious developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai at a meeting in Hanoi on August 12.

See full details here

9. No new FDI in 12 provinces in first seven months of the year

As many as 12 cities/provinces have not seen new FDI projects this year, reported Saigon Times.

These include Ninh Thuan, Cao Bang, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, Ca Mau, Dien Bien, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Son La, Soc Trang, Khanh Hoa and Dong Thap.

See full details here

10. 120,000 people to lose HCMC jobs amid fresh Covid-19 outbreak

Around 120,000 employees of 4,000 businesses in HCMC are likely to be laid off from now until September with the resurgence of Covid-19 community transmissions.

The majority of these employees work in the tourism and accommodation sectors, construction, transportation and textiles and footwear companies, said Le Minh Tan, director of the municipal Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

See full details here