News Bulletin 78 - Week 5, August 2021

Most of Vietnam, particularly in the south, are in the second week of 24 hour lockdown. The now three months lockdown has impact the economy dramatically and many business, big and small, are struggling to operate. The goal is to end the current lockdown by 15th September, it remains to be seen if that can be achieved.

There were still some positive news for the economy last week.  Vietnam is likely to remain foreign investors’ favoured destination despite the COVID-19 resurgence ravaging across the country, The Australia Financial Review (ARF) said in a story published earlier this week.

Though rapidly rising Delta COVID-19 infections have hit manufacturing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s commercial hub, the big-picture story of Vietnam being a favoured destination for foreign investment is not expected to change, the daily newspaper said. Even as forecasts are trimmed, economists have faith the nation will bounce back.

The past week highlight:

Ho Chi Minh City requests companies to test employees for COVID-19 once a week

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health provided guidelines for enterprises on Friday evening to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests on their workers every seven days.

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

1. Vietnam safe from recalled EU products: Japanese instant noodles maker

Japanese instant noodles maker Acecook claims its products in Vietnam are safe after Ireland’s recall of some of its products over the presence of a banned substance.

On Aug. 20, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) announced that batches of the Hao Hao and Good brand noodles were being recalled after they were found to contain ethylene oxide, which is banned from food products in the EU.

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2. CPI picks up 1.79 percent in eight months, lowest in five years: GSO

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the first eight months of 2021 picked up 1.79 percent year-on-year, the lowest increase for the same period since 2016, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on August 29.

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3. HCMC exempts, reduces taxes for 86,200 business households

The Tax Department of Ho Chi Minh City said that during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic from May to now, business households and individuals have had to suspend operations following the social distancing policy of the city, tax agencies have coordinated with local authorities and management boards of commercial centers, markets, and local tax advisory councils to exempt and reduce taxes for business households and individuals affected by the pandemic.

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4. Newly-registered FDI in the first eight months soared by 16.3 per cent

Newly- and additionally-registered foreign direct investment (FDI) capital increased in the first eight months, while capital contributions and share purchases dropped remarkably.

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5. Vietnamese coffee industry to go global

Though COVID-19 has brought challenges to the coffee industry, businesses can nevertheless seek to adapt by exploring innovative and value-added ideas for Vietnamese coffee.

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6. Vietnam remains favoured destination for foreign investment despite COVID-19: Australian newspaper

Vietnam is likely to remain foreign investors’ favoured destination despite the COVID-19 resurgence ravaging across the country, The Australia Financial Review (ARF) said in a story published earlier this week.

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7. Ministry requests reviewing all products of Acecook

The office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), on the morning of August 28, informed the press that it has urgently verified information related to the warning of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) about instant noodle Hao Hao and instant cellophane noodle Good by Acecook.

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8. VN-Index gains strongest in six sessions

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index rose 0.93 percent to 1,313.2 points Friday, its highest gain in the last six sessions, with surging trading value.

Last minute buying pushed the index up by 12 points. Trading value on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), on which the index is based, rose 20.5 percent to VND21.41 trillion ($938.07 million).

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9. Vietnam’s overseas investment soars 74 percent in eight months

Vietnam’s overseas investment surged 74.1 percent year on year to 575 million USD in the first eight months of 2021, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

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10. Reform lessons: when ministries, branches take decisive action

Maintaining a high ranking and improving electricity access scores continue to be the mission of the reform program.

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