News Bulletin 49 - Week 5 January, 2021

The biggest news coming out of Vietnam last week, after much anticipation, was the first vaccine approval by Vietnam of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be available for distribution in late first quarter of 2021.

Vietnam continues to receive accolades from international media for achieving economic growth while battling the Covid-19 outbreak.  New foreign investments are pouring into Vietnam, especially in highly-skilled areas, such as: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information Technology and electronic components manufacturing with significant ramp up investments from large international companies such as Intel and Apple.

Noticeably, according to CNBC – an US-based news, Vietnam named as the top-performing Asian economy in 2020, with remarkable efforts in fighting against the vast effects of Covid-19 pandemic, while robustly recovering its economy to reach outstanding milestones.

The past week spotlight

Investment in technology in Southeast Asia: focus shifts to Vietnam

Vietnam’s internet economy will soon have the scale of $43 billion, and new technology unicorns are expected to appear in the country, according to Do Ventures, a venture fund targeting startups in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

With the rapid development of e-commerce, logistics supply for the business field has also increased rapidly with the appearance of 40 forwarding companies.

In 2019, Vietnam’s technology startups received $861 million in capital from 123 investment deals. However, in early 2020, the capital injected into the field fell sharply to $284 million in Q1, a decrease of 22 percent from one year before.

See full details here

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

1. Intel Corporation pours additional US$475 million into Vietnam

The US-based Intel Corporation received a certificate to invest additional US$475 million in Intel Products Vietnam, an assembly and test manufacturing (ATM) unit in Ho Chi Minh City, also Intel’s largest ATM plant in the world.

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2. AstraZeneca licenses first COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam

The Advisory Council for the Grant of Drug Registration Numbers under Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has approved AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for urgent use, making it the first to get the licence in the country.

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3. $2.5 billion Japanese AI startup taps Vietnam market                                       

AI Inside, a $2.5-billion Japanese artificial intelligence startup, has entered Vietnam through a partnership with a local company as part of its global expansion strategy.

The company will partner with OCG Technology, a joint venture between a unit of state-owned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, to sell its software to the Vietnam market.

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4. Apple ups Vietnam production of smart devices

U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. is increasing its production of smart devices in Vietnam as it diversifies its supply chain outside of China.

It will begin to produce the iPad tablet in Vietnam as early as middle of this year, a Nikkei report says, citing sources.

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5. Foreign investment expansion up 41.4 per cent in January

Total investment to expand capital at existing projects in January rose by 41.4 per cent on-year, while total investment increased by 51.7 per cent, excluding the $4 billion LNG project in Bac Lieu province registered in last January.

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6. Consumer price index (CPI) prediction in 2021

According to the General Statistics Office, the consumer price index (CPI) in January 2021 inched only slightly up by 0.06 per cent against December 2020.

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7. Vietnam amends IP law to meet FTA requirements

Vietnam passed the intellectual property law few months after the enforcement of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Vietnam’s Intellectual Property law is undergoing amendments to help the country comply with new treaty requirements under the recently-signed free trade agreements (FTAs).

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8. Vietnam well-placed to snap up laptop supply chain shifts

As global laptop manufacturers are shifting production out of China, Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam are repositioning to benefit, although some hurdles will have to be addressed for Vietnam to become a new laptop manufacturing hub.

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9. South Korean investors pour big money into Vietnam

South Korean investors are continuing to inject billions of dollars into Vietnam, including the stock market, to seek opportunities from one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

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10. Vietnam named top-performing Asian economy in 2020: CNBC

With this performance, Vietnam has delivered one of the highest growth (rates) in a year where the rest of the world were in deep recessions.

Vietnam is likely the top-performing Asian economy in 2020 — a feat that was achieved without a single quarter of economic contraction at a time when many economies globally were weighed down by the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reported.

See full details here