News Bulletin 29 - Week 1 September, 2020

Amidst the global recession caused by COVID-19, Vietnam continues to show signs of growth, with the World Bank’s latest report projecting, Vietnam’s GDP to grow by 2.8 per cent this year if the global situation gradually improves. Although very challenging, businesses are doing their best to manage the challenges and look for some opportunities from free trade agreement with the EU (EVFTA).

It's noticeable that as of the end of August, 98.1% of the total in Vietnam, have paid taxes online while the number filing tax return online reached 99.3% of the total, according to the General Department of Taxation (GDT).

The past week spotlight

Over 98% Vietnam enterprises pay taxes online

Over 98% Vietnam enterprises have paid taxes online. (Photo: Hanoitimes)

From January 1 to August 19, enterprises have carried out over 2.23 million transactions related to online tax payment with a combined amount of US$17.75 billion.

As of the end of August, nearly 778,000 enterprises, or 98.1% of the total in Vietnam, have paid taxes online according to the General Department of Taxation (GDT).

Over the past years, Vietnam’s tax authorities have been promoting IT application in the tax payment process, in turn creating convenience and helping enterprises save costs.

In 2020, the GDT has targeted to integrate 93 administrative procedures at online advanced stages of 3 and 4 into the national public services portal. 120 procedures have been integrated so far, or 130% of the target.

See full details here

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

1. Short business trips allowed without 14-day quarantine

On 31 August 2020, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long - Acting Minister of Health signed to issue the Official Letter No. 4674 / BYT-MT guiding the medical actions towards COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control for foreigners entering Vietnam to work in short period of less than 14 days.

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2. Deploying VAT refund for goods of foreigners carrying out when leaving country

The General Department of Vietnam instructed customs units in Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang and a number of banks to implement regulations about VAT refunds for goods foreigners carry out when leaving the country and Vietnamese people living overseas carrying out when leaving the country as regulated in Circular 92/2019/TT-BTC.

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3. Vietnam sets sight on becoming high-income country by 2045: State president

It is essential to make a breakthrough in institutional reform to better mobilize resources for development and prevent splurge and corruption in state resources management.

By 2045, when Vietnam celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Independence Day, the country is expected to become a developed and high-income country, according to Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.

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4. Vietnam, Russia discuss prioritised investment projects amid COVID-19

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong and Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Vladimir Ilichev co-chaired a teleconference of the Vietnam-Russia Senior Working Group on prioritised investment projects on August 31.

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5. Ministry aims to facilitate gambling industry

The Ministry of Finance has proposed amendments to the decree about casino businesses to create favourable conditions for investors.

The regulation for the eligibility to run casino business, including minimum capital of US$2 billion for a casino project and the disbursed capital of $1 billion or higher, was proposed to be kept the same.

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6. Vietnam manufacturing activity drops for two consecutive months

Although marked, the latest decline in business conditions was much less severe than that seen during the worst of the Covid-19 related downturn in April.

The headline Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 45.7 in August from 47.6 in July. This represented a second successive deterioration in the health of the manufacturing sector, after a return to growth had been signaled in June, according to Nikkei and IHS Markit.

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7. ASEAN aiming for tech-led innovation to foster growth

Despite global supply chain bumps stemming from COVID-19, ASEAN countries are becoming a rising hub destination for global manufacturers thanks to well-established trade networks, a growing middle class, a thirst for tech expansion, and a young and educated workforce.

As a region, ASEAN has experienced years of consistent high growth. Its markets now draw more foreign direct investment and are wealthier than before – and by 2030, the region’s economy is expected to double from $3.1 trillion in 2019 to $6.6 trillion over the next few years, according to United Overseas Bank Ltd.

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8. 90 percent of Vietnamese millionaires invest in real estate

While COVID-19 continues to impact the whole economy, most millionaires in Vietnam have been investing in the real estate market.

Experts who took part in a recent seminar themed "Vietnam Real Estate 2020-2021: Ready for a new cycle" in Thanh Hoa city, said that among the country's more than 12,000 millionaires, 90 percent of them had invested in realty. At the same time, among the 100 richest people in the country with fortunes of more than 30 million USD each, investment in the real estate sector directly and indirectly had reached 99.1 percent.

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9. Vietnam, Thailand expand cooperation in different sectors

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai exchanged views on cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand during a virtual talk on September 3.

[…] The two sides agreed to increase all-level meetings and visits when possible, and join hands in organising activities marking the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties in 2021.

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10. FDI a major driving force in VN's development

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been a major driving force behind Viet Nam's national development, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said recently.

In the last three decades, the country has attracted more than US$370 billion in FDI with $38 billion registered in 2019, the highest figure in the last 10 years and up 7.2 per cent over the previous year.

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