[Round-up] Renault Eyes Factory in Vietnam, Foreign Firms Thirsty for Agri Projects

Tuan Minh

06:58 12/01/2016

BizLIVE - Renault plans to build a factory to manufacture cars in Vietnam to take advantage of import tariff cuts within the AEC. Foreign investors are increasing interested in agricultural sector in the Southeast Asian country.

[Round-up] Renault Eyes Factory in Vietnam, Foreign Firms Thirsty for Agri Projects

Renault plans to build a factory to manufacture cars in Vietnam to take advantage of import tariff cuts within the AEC.

GS E&C Pursues $189 Million Township Plan in Vietnam
South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction has been actively pushing up its schedule to build a $189 million new urban township in Nha Be district, Ho Chi Minh City, after eight years of delays, according to the Vietnam Investment Review (VIR).
The company was finishing procedures aimed at jumpstarting the project within the year. Land clearance is nearing completion.
Renault Eyes Vietnam Expansion
French auto maker Renault plans to build a factory to directly manufacture cars in Vietnam in order to benefit from slashed import tariffs within the ASEAN Economic Community.
“It is likely that Renault will consider directly manufacturing cars in Vietnam in the medium term,” Xavier Coiffard, general director of France’s Auto Motors Vietnam, the exclusive importer of Renault cars in the country, told VIR.
“Currently, Renault has no manufacturing facilities in ASEAN. However, we are planning to build a factory in the region in order to benefit from tariff incentives,” said Mr. Coiffard. “Vietnam is expected to be selected for the location of this factory. Renault will also open new dealerships and offer more after-sale services.”
Foreign Firms Thirsty for Agri Projects
Foreign investors are increasing interested in the agricultural sector in Vietnam, with a string of new or expanded projects scheduled to come online soon, according to the VIR.
“A growing number of agricultural foreign-invested projects are expected to be implemented in 2016. They are ready for implementation now,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan.
For example, the Vietnam-Australia joint venture Austfeed Vietnam Corporation has been licensed to build a new $30 million feed mill in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap. With construction due to commence in the first quarter of 2016, the mill is scheduled for operation in February 2017 with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons.
In another case, Spotlight Animal Feed Corporation, a joint venture between Vietnam’s Spotlight and KSK Global, which is a major US financial investor, is expecting approval from the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau for its new feed mill. This project will have an annual capacity of 150,000 tons.
Let Private Sector Help Vietnam’s Transport and Logistics, Says World Bank
The World Bank has called for the Vietnamese government to work with private sector importers, exporters and transport companies to improve freight logistics, saying that systematic engagement with freight stakeholders by government agencies responsible for planning and policy making can boost trade competitiveness.
In Vietnam, however, private sector stakeholders remain relatively untapped as a source of insight into transport and logistics policy making and planning, the report says.
PetroVietnam Told to Expand Gas, Oil Exploration Activities
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai requested Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to continue to search for new sites, and produce more oil and gas in 2016.
PetroVietnam needs to keep a close watch on market developments to provide reasonable forecasts of oil prices for 2016 and in the future, the deputy prime minister said, urging the group to pay attention to cutting expense to optimize its operation.
Car Prices in Vietnam Soar following Tax Adjustment
Prices of cars in Vietnam have leaped since the beginning of this year due to the government’s adjustment of special consumption taxes on imported automobiles.
Under the new tax calculation, which will be changed beginning January 1, 2016, the special consumption tax for imported cars with less than 24 seats would be based on the importer’s price.
However, the price must not be lower than 105% of the cost of an auto, which includes the car’s import price, import tax and special consumption tax at the importing point. If it is lower than this level, the tax will be fixed by a tax agency following regulations on tax management.
The new calculation method is expected to cause an estimated 5% increase in the price of imported cars.
Vinamco Buys out Vinamotor
Hanoi-based Vinamco Ltd. (Vinamco) on Monday morning bought the whole 85.58 million shares or 97.7% stake of state-owned automobile firm Vietnam Motors Industry Corporation (Vinamotor).
Vinamco spent over 1.25 trillion dong ($55.56 million) to purchase the stake through a full-lot auction after a failed attempt to divest its holding through an IPO in 2014.
Business Revivals Soar 39% in Vietnam Last Year
As many as 8,658 companies resumed operations in the fourth quarter of 2015, taking the full year number to more than 21,500, up 39.5% from 2014, the Saigon Times newspaper cited a The Ministry of Investment and Planning report as saying.
Macroeconomic stability, increase in export orders and more affordable bank loans have been attributed to the business revivals, economists said.
The number of business closures remained almost unchanged last year at around 9,500 each.
The Philippines and Vietnam will be less affected by China’s economic slowdown, Glenn Maguire, ANZ chief economist for South Asia, Southeast Asia and Pacific, said in a note titled “South by Southeast: Economic Insight” seen by BizLIVE.
Every one percentage point fall in China’s economic growth is likely to prompt less than a 0.5 percentage point in the Philippines and Vietnam, says the report, using a sensitivity index based on the past decade of data.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance during 2015 collected 40 trillion dong ($1.77 billion) worth of tax debts brought from 2014, helping the state budget revenue beat the year’s target, according to Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung.
Gazprom Neft, a major oil producer and refinery in Russia, has dropped talks with energy firm PetroVietnam on purchasing a 49% stake in Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. (BSR), which operates the Dung Quat oil refinery in central Vietnam, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
The Russian oil giant will consider opportunities to acquire a stake in BSR in the future when the latter goes public, the newspaper cited a PetroVietnam source as saying.