[Round-up] HCM City Seeks Foreign Capital for Infras Projects, Ha Nam Calls for Japanese Investments in Agriculture

Tuan Minh

22:37 08/07/2016

BizLIVE - HCM City has been advised to issue practical preferential policies such as land leasing or planning to encourage local and foreign investors to join infrastructure projects. The northern province of Ha Nam has called on Japanese businesses to invest in modernizing local agriculture.

[Round-up] HCM City Seeks Foreign Capital for Infras Projects, Ha Nam Calls for Japanese Investments in Agriculture

HCM City has been advised to issue practical preferential policies such as land leasing or planning to encourage local and foreign investors to join infrastructure projects.

Vietnamese Exporters Yet to Tap Trade Deals
Despite the government’s willingness to enter into free trade agreements, Vietnamese companies are not taking advantage of such pacts to increase exports and are even losing out on their home turf to foreign rivals.
Around 97% of local enterprises are small- or medium-sized and most of them are outside the global value chain. Their ability to take advantage of Vietnam’s international integration is very low and they are not ready to compete, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Manufacturers Worry about Steel Price Hikes
While the imposition of additional tariffs on imported steel products as a temporary safeguard against cheap imports since March was meant to protect the local steel industry, consumers and firms that use steel for their production are worried about steel price hikes in the local market.
The imposition of safeguard tariffs would result in higher steel raw material prices and higher prices of products to end-users, and may even cause a monopoly in the domestic steel market, Dam Quang Hung, deputy director of Son Ha International Corporation which produces stainless steel products, was quoted by VNA as saying.
HCM City Advised to Encourage PPP Infrastructure Projects
It is necessary to promote Vietnam’s PPP market to foreign investors to reel in capital from the private sector, and gain international experience and capability, said Nguyen Hong Van, head of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Desk under the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment.
The city, which will need up to $44 billion for urban infrastructure until 2021, should issue practical preferential policies such as land leasing or planning to encourage local and foreign investors to join the PPP model.
Vietnam Ministry Mulls Self-Defense Measures against Imported Color-Coated Iron Sheet
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has initiated an investigation to decide whether to apply self-defense measures against imported color-coated iron sheets.
Products subject to investigation include metal-plated and color-coated iron sheets, coils and roofing sheets with the trade codes: 7210.7010, 7210.7090, 7212.4010, 7212.4020, 7212.4090, 7225.9990, 7226.9919, and 7226.9999.
Ha Nam Calls for Japanese Investments in Modern Agriculture
The northern province of Ha Nam has called on Japanese businesses to invest in modernizing local agriculture, said Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Xuan Dong.
The official told representatives of nearly 40 Japanese enterprises, which were scoping out Ha Nam’s agricultural investment climate on July 7, that the province regards developing the farming sector as one of the key economic tasks in a bid to raise the income of local farmers.
Japan Fashion Retailer Miniso Eyes Vietnam: Report
Miniso, a popular Japanese chain store of affordable fashion and lifestyle products, is set open its first three outlets in Vietnam this August, local media reported on Thursday.
By 2021, Vietnam will be home to 200 Miniso stores, said Le Thi Ngoc Hai, chairwoman of Le Bao Minh Group, which bought the franchise.
Vietnam Banks See 2016 Credit up 20.4% on year: SBV
Banks in Vietnam expect lending this year to surpass targets, growing 20.4% over 2015, fuelled by stronger credit demand and better business conditions, Reuters cited the central bank as saying on Wednesday.
The country has targeted credit growth of 18% to 20% this year, up from 17.26% in 2015, as the economy expands, following growth last year that was its strongest since 2007.
Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to slow to 6.2%-6.3% this year as industrial production and export growth are likely to fall short of target, said Le Quoc Phuong, deputy head of the Information Center under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Industrial output is projected to increase 8% and exports are seen growing 7% this year, far below the target of 10% growth, Phuong said at a workshop in Hanoi on July 7, local media reported.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, on July 7 resumed the purchase of hard currencies to thicken its foreign-exchange reserves, the Vietnam Economics Times cited sources from banks as saying, without specifying the quantity.
From the beginning of February this year, the banking regulator continuously bought in forex, with the amount reaching $8 billion as of the end of June.
The Vietnamese government had provided guarantees for $21 billion in debts contracted by state-run conglomerates such as Shipbuilding Industry Corp., Electricity of Vietnam, PetroVietnam, and Vinacomin as of the end of 2015.
The amount accounted for 17.6% of public debt and was equivalent to 11.1% of GDP, according to a report by the Ministry of Finance.
Moody's Investors Service has assigned Local and foreign currency issuer ratings and Local currency deposit ratings both of ‘B1/NP’ with stable outlook to Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), Vietnam’s fourth-largest bank by assets.
The U.S. rating agency has allocated Foreign currency deposit ratings of ‘B2/NP’ to the Hanoi-based bank, which has been given a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of ‘b2’ and an adjusted BCA of ‘b2’.

TUAN MINH