News Bulletin 71 - Week 2, July 2021

Vietnam continues to battle the 4th wave of the Covid outbreak, now entering its third month that started in early May. The outbreak continues to hit Ho Chi Minh City the hardest with the city being in virtual lockdown starting last Friday, following Directive 16 from the government.

In economic news, the government now forecasts a GDP growth of 6-6.5 percent in the second half this year depending on the Covid-19 situation.  As the Covid battle rages on this forecasted GDP growth will be difficult to attain. 

During the past week, six more foreign companies in HCMC with over 36,000 workers have had to stop operations due to either coronavirus infections or personnel being isolated within locked down areas.  Many other factories are also scaling back their operations as Covid lockdown and employee movements are more restrictive.

The past week highlight:

Vietnam looks to digitalise COVID-19 vaccination database

Military-run telecom group Viettel has developed a digital health record system that allows people to register for COVID-19 vaccination, make health declarations, and receive information on time and venue for the inoculation online.

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

1. Vietnam forecasts 6-6.5 pct H2 GDP growth

The government forecasts a GDP growth of 6-6.5 percent in the second half this year depending on the Covid-19 situation.

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2. Vietnam Meets With U.S. Trade Reps on Currency, Timber

Vietnamese officials held a virtual meeting with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Friday morning Hanoi time to discuss timber exports and other trade issues, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

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3. E-commerce platforms to be connected with tax agencies from next year

E-commerce platforms must be electronically connected with tax management agencies from the beginning of next year, not from next month, as the tax watchdog aims to better collect taxes from sellers operating on the platforms.

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4. Vietnam an ASEAN top 3 business expansion destination

Singapore became the most attractive expansion destination with 80 percent of surveyed firms saying they are centering their production and business expansion in the country, followed by Thailand with 60 percent, and Vietnam with 50 percent.

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5. More foreign firms in HCMC suspended amid coronavirus crisis

Six more foreign companies in HCMC with over 36,000 workers have had to stop operations due to either coronavirus infections or personnel being isolated within locked down areas.

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6. How Vietnam's 'influencer' army wages information warfare on Facebook

Force 47, as the Vietnamese army's online information warfare unit is known, consists of thousands of soldiers who, in addition to their normal duties, are tasked with setting up, moderating and posting on pro-state Facebook groups, to correct "wrong views" online.

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7. Vietnam’s economy to surpass Singapore's by 2030: DBS Ban

Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow by between 6-6.5 percent over the next decade, and at this pace, it will surpass Singapore by 2030, DBS Bank experts have said.

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8. Vaccine passport: key for tourism during pandemic

The widespread deployment of Covid-19 vaccines will help restore tourists' confidence, contribute to easing travel restrictions, and gradually normalize tourism activities.

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9. Vietnam’s airlines prepare to take off with health passes

Vietnam's three major airlines of Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, and Bamboo Airways are participating in a trial for an electronic travel pass health certification, in an attempt to prepare to restore international passenger transport as soon as it is safe to do so.

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10. Vietnam imposes anti-dumping tax on sorbitol imports from three countries

Sorbitol imported into Vietnam from three countries including China will be subject to temporary anti-dumping duty rates of up to 68.5 percent, pending the result of a dumping investigation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced.

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