News Bulletin 52 - Week 3 February, 2021

The biggest news coming out of Vietnam the past week was the arrival of the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines in Vietnam. The government has come up with a list of priority group that will start getting vaccinated.

In business news, Foxconn has announced that it will hire 1,000 workers in Vietnam.  Foxconn and other high-tech manufacturers has started moving their plants to Vietnam which are positive news for foreign direct investments and employment for the country.

Danang was also in the news in the past week for approving a licence for a US company to build a usd110 million semiconductor plant. High tech investors have started investing more in Danang in the past couple of years and setting up their operations in Danang's hi-tech parks.

The past week spotlight

Foreign-invested capital on the rise

A series of large-scale foreign-invested projects worth hundreds of millions of US dollars are flocking to Vietnam, promising a bright outlook in attracting this type of capital inflow this year.

While not yet reaching the dizzy heights of the $4-billion Bac Lieu LNG-gas-to-power project welcomed into the country a year ago from the United States, Vietnam continues to see a wave of billion-dollar ventures converge within the early months of the year despite the ongoing pandemic complexities worldwide.

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

1. Customs Alert - New guidance on tax treatment for export-production model with outsource processing

Following the Government's Resolution No. 178/NQ-CP dated 12/12/2020, on 23/02/2021 the General Department of Customs (“GDC)” issued Official Letter No. 879/TCHQ-TXNK guiding the tax treatment for imports being materials used for export-production in which part of the production process is being outsourced to 3rd party vendor.

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2. Foxconn hiring 1,000 workers in Vietnam

Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn is hiring 1,000 workers in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh.

Its job announcement said they are required to assemble electronic components in Bac Ninh’s Que Vo District and Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park and Bac Giang’s Quang Chau Industrial Zone, and would be paid a salary of VND8-10 million ($350-440) a month.

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3. Da Nang licenses US company to build $110 mln semiconductor plant

The Da Nang Hi-tech Park and Industrial Zone has licensed the United States Enterprises to set up a $110-million semiconductor manufacturing plant.

The plant will make crystal silicon blocks, assemblies made of silicon, ceramic, quartz, sapphire stone, glass, metal, alloy, nonmetals, plastic polymers, and other semiconductor materials for semiconductor and electronics machinery and equipment.

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4. Hi-tech investors flock to Đà Nẵng

Six investment licences and one investment proposal project at Đà Nẵng Hi-Tech Park and Industrial Zones worth more than US$280 million have been granted to domestic and foreign investors.

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5. Indian companies pin high hopes on Vietnamese market

Indian companies are turning their focus to Vietnam as the country is emerging as one of the bright stars in the COVID-19 dark sky.

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6. Advanced labour code dismaying foreign employers

The fresh Labour Code is burdening foreign employers in Vietnam with new insurance payments for part-time employees.

As soon as the new law came into force in early January, a great number of employers, especially foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs), displayed their dissatisfaction with Article 32.3 which stipulated that part-time employees shall be entitled to receive rights and obligations equal to those of full-time employees, including in equal opportunities, safety, and hygienic working environments.

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7. RCEP offers opportunity to expand Vietnamese agricultural exports

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade pact, offers Vietnamese agricultural exporters an excellent opportunity to increase their participation in global value chains, experts said.

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8. MPI proposes a draft decree on procurement bidding under CPTTP

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has summited to the Government a draft decree on amending Decree 95/2020/ND-CP providing guidelines on procurement bidding under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTTP).

According to the MPI, the draft decree will amend and supplement some articles of Decree No 95. It aims to guide State companies to execute bidding packages under the CPTTP agreement and EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

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9. Việt Nam climbs three spots in global soft power rankings

Việt Nam has climbed three spots to rank 47th out of 105 countries in Brand Finance’s Global Soft Power Index Report 2021.

Việt Nam was the only country among the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to improve its ranking this year.

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10. Hundreds of Vietnamese seafood firms permited to export to Taiwan

The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) has announced a list of 697 Vietnamese seafood enterprises permitted to export their products to Taiwan, reported the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Processors and Exporters (VASEP).

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