[Round-up] Europe, Vietnam Move to Ratify EVFTA, WB Launches New Country Partnership Framework

Tuan Minh

09:14 16/09/2017

BizLIVE - The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade and the Vietnamese government is striving for the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in the next eight or nine months. The World Bank Vietnam has launched the Country Partnership Framework for Vietnam for the 2017-2022 period.

[Round-up] Europe, Vietnam Move to Ratify EVFTA, WB Launches New Country Partnership Framework

The European Parliament (EP)’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) Chairman Bernd Lange meets local press on Sept. 15 in Hanoi. Photo: qdnd.vn

European Parliament, Vietnam Strives for EVFTA Ratification in Next Nine Months
The European Parliament (EP)’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) and the Vietnamese government have agreed that they have to make concerted efforts for the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in the next eight or nine months.
INTA Chairman Bernd Lange, who was on a working trip to Vietnam, made the statement at a press meeting on September 15, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Vietnam Attaches Importance to Free Trade Agreements: Official
Vietnam attaches special importance to free trade agreements with foreign partners in general and the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in particular, said Politburo member Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission.
During a reception in Hanoi on September 15 for Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange, Binh appreciated the guest’s contribution to developing Vietnam – EU trade and investment ties over the past years, particularly speeding up EVFTA negotiations.
PM Promises Optimal Conditions for Japanese Businesses
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged to offer the best possible conditions for Japanese enterprises while meeting with Japanese Minster of Economic, Trade, and Industry Horishige Seko on September 14 in Hanoi, according to VOV.
Phuc said Vietnam and Japan need to augment cooperation in energy areas including the construction of high-efficiency thermo power plants, energy saving, and building a smart power grid in Vietnam.
PM Welcomes Theme of 24th SMEs Ministerial Meeting
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the theme of the 24th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM), saying it demonstrates the aspiration of Vietnam to cooperate with other APEC member economies to foster SMEs’ innovation and global access in the digital era.
He described the SME community as a main momentum for employment generation and contribution to the maintenance of socio-economic growth and stability, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Vietnam Aims to Become Startup Destination in APEC
Vietnam is working towards becoming a destination for startup businesses in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region, setting a target of having one million effective enterprises by 2020.
Adrian Tan, Program Director of the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA), said “The Vietnamese Government has been visionary in setting such an ambitious goal. It certainly has encouraged Vietnamese people to look to creating startups.”
WB Launches Country Partnership Framework for Vietnam
The World Bank (WB) Vietnam launched on September 14 the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Vietnam for the 2017-2022 period, which aims to support the realization of the targets set in the country’s socio-economic development plan for 2016-2021.
The framework is also meant to help Vietnam attain the balance between economic development and sustainable environment, promote equality, and improve state agencies’ capacity and accountability.
U.S. no Longer Top Buyer of Vietnamese Shrimp
Japan jumped way out in front of the United States as the biggest spender on Vietnamese shrimp imports during the first seven months of the year, buying nearly $384 million worth, according to a report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe is reported as blaming anti-dumping duties as one contributing factor to the change, which represents a minor 5.5% drop in sales to the US.
SBV Demands Strict Compliance with Credit Rate Regulations
The latest instructions from Le Minh Hung, governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), require credit institutions and commercial banks in Vietnam to strictly comply with the SBV’s regulations on mobilizing capital in foreign currencies and not offer interest rates exceeding the ceiling levels.
The SBV’s intention is to ensure a balance between mobilized capital and lending capital, which is a way to minimize systematic risks in providing foreign currency credit.
Vietnam’s Q3 Unemployment Rate Drops to Five-quarter Low
The rate of unemployment among people of working age dropped to 2.26% in the second quarter, the lowest for the past five quarters, according to the latest newsletter on the labor market update released by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) on September 15.
The number of people of working age without jobs stood at around 1.08 million, down 20,100 from Q1 and down 7,100 compared to one year ago.
Workshop Assesses Solar Photovoltaic Development
Experts shared the methodology and preliminary calculation of the national potential of ground-mounted solar photovoltaic in Vietnam at a workshop held in Hanoi on September 14. The workshop was organized within the framework of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (4E) Project, jointly implemented by the Power and Renewable Energy Agency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
The workshop “National assessment of development potential of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects in Vietnam until 2020 with a vision to 2030” attracted 50 representatives from 12 provincial administrations, investors and other stakeholders.
French Group Opens Supermarket in Hanoi
Auchan Retail Vietnam has opened a new supermarket in Hanoi, the 15th of its kind in Vietnam. The new one is at the Goldsilk Complex in Ha Dong district.
It stocks food, cosmetics, furniture, clothing and electrical goods and household appliances including traditional ready-to-eat food and Auchan brands.
AirAsia Investment Ltd. Co., a subsidiary of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia, is asking for Vietnamese authorities to acquire a stake in Hai Au Aviation JS Company in a bid to capitalize on the fast-growing air travel market in Vietnam.
After AirAsia steps in, Hai Au Aviation will ask for permission to aggregate new businesses so as to be eligible to carry passengers, the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported.
Vietnam spent $1.39 billion to import 65,500 Completed-Built Up (CBU) automobiles in the first eight months of this year, decreasing 14.1% in value and 4.9% in volume from the same period last year.
Thailand was the largest supplier with 23,800 cars, followed by Indonesia with 15,500 and South Korea with 6,000, according to customs data.

TUAN MINH