[Round-up] Obama to Visit Vietnam Next Month, Viettel to Launch Venture Capital Arm

Tuan Minh

09:29 12/04/2016

BizLIVE - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Vietnam at the end of next month. Viettel Global has plans to launch a venture capital arm to invest startups abroad.

[Round-up] Obama to Visit Vietnam Next Month, Viettel to Launch Venture Capital Arm

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Vietnam at the end of next month.

President Obama to Visit Vietnam in Late May
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to visit Vietnam at the end of next month, Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh told local press on the sidelines of the ongoing National Assembly sitting.
The two sides are arranging an agenda for the visit via diplomatic channel, he added, tipping that the East Sea and repair of Vietnam War consequences will be put on the table for discussion.
USAID to Help Vietnam Relieve Disasters
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will continue to provide disaster relief grants to help Vietnam respond to ongoing drought and saline water intrusion in the Central Highlands and Mekong delta.
The U.S. will provide support to Vietnam through the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC). With this assistance, VNRC will provide safe drinking water and water storage containers to those most affected and will carry out promotional activities to enhance the awareness of sanitation and hygiene.
HCM City Seeks WB Loans for Infrastructure Projects
HCM City has asked the World Bank to consider providing loans for green transport and flood prevention projects in fiscal year 2016.
At a meeting with the city’s mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong, WB’s country director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said the bank was preparing for the Development Policy Loan Program with total funds of $50 million-$150 million, which will give top priority to the city’s green transport development and flood-prevention projects.
Mizuho Pours $9.3 Million into Vietnam Confectionery Maker
Mizuho Asia Partners Ltd., a subsidiary of Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group, has invested $9.3 million into Pham Nguyen Foods Co., a Vietnamese producer of choco pies and crackers.
It has been the first time the family-run firm received outside funding, according to the Saigon Times Online newspaper.
Vietnam Considers Borrowing $185 Million in ODA for Bridge in Mekong Delta
A Vietnamese transport management agency has asked for the Ministry of Transport’s permission to borrow some 20 billion yen ($185 million) in ODA from Japan to build a bridge in the Mekong Delta.
The funding will help build a 4.05-kilometer cable-stayed bridge crossing the Tien River, linking Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces, after Australia-funded My Thuan bridge was open to traffic in 2000.
Vietnamese Telco Viettel to Launch Venture Capital Arm
Vietnam’s military-run telco Viettel, is eyeing global startups and plans to establish a venture capital fund that will potentially facilitate U.S. startups, Deal Street Asia cited Le Dang Dung, deputy CEO of Viettel, as saying.
Viettel sees investment in startups as an inevitable fact as the business develops and the company diversifies for new growth, Mr. Dung said.
Meanwhile, Viettel Global Co., its global investment division, has proposed to launch a venture capital arm to invest startups abroad.
Vietnam Extends Visa Validity for U.S. Citizens
The National Assembly, Vietnam’s supreme legislative body, on April 9 approved a plan to issue 12-month, multiple-entry visas to American citizens who travel temporarily for business or tourism.
The new reciprocity arrangement, which is expected to enter into force in late May or early June, will benefit American and Vietnamese tourists and business travelers, generating new opportunities for trade, investment and tourism, the U.S. embassy in Hanoi said in a statement.
In FY2015, the U.S. Mission to Vietnam issued a record number of non-immigrant visa applications for Vietnamese citizens – nearly 75% of these were for temporary business and tourism in the United States, according to the statement.
Vietnam Car Sales Rebound in March
As many as 24,802 cars were sold in Vietnam last month, soaring 112% month-on-month and 51% year-on-year, according to a report by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA).
Truong Hai Auto Corporation continued to hold the lion’s share at 44.7%, followed by the local units of Toyota and Ford.
Hanel to Sell 10% Stake at IPO
Vietnam’s state-owned electronics and IT firm Hanel will offer 19.1 million shares, equivalent to a 9.94% stake, at an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hanoi Stock Exchange on April 20, the exchange said on its website.
The Hanoi-based firm, an IBM partner, will sell the shares at a starting price of 10,000 ($0.45) dong each. After the equitization, the government will cut its holding in the firm to as low as 29%.
The World Bank (WB) has revised down its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Vietnam to 6.2% in 2016 from the previous 6.6% after a lower-than-expected growth rate of 5.46% in the first three months.
The revision is made due to slower private consumption and investment growth, the WB said in an economic update for the East Asia and Pacific region released on April 11.
Newly-elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received approval from the National Assembly, the country’s highest legislative body, on his proposals to set up the new cabinet, comprised of five deputy prime ministers and 21 ministers.