[Round-up] TPP Negotiations Continue without U.S., Grab, Uber Subjected to Tax Checks

Tuan Minh

05:27 13/07/2017

BizLIVE - The chief negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries met in Tokyo on July 12 to discuss how to advance the regional free trade deal. Tax authorities will inspect the tax payments of Uber and GrabTaxi in Vietnam.

[Round-up] TPP Negotiations Continue without U.S., Grab, Uber Subjected to Tax Checks

Uber and GrabTaxi in Vietnam will face tax inspections. Photo: Internet

Rotterdam Wants to Expand Cooperation with Vietnamese Localities
The Netherlands’ port city of Rotterdam is keen to expand multifaceted cooperation with Vietnamese localities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, in planning, building and management of port infrastructure, navigation training, logistics services, and prevention of flood tides and urban inundation.
Mayor of the city Ahmed Aboutaleb made the remarks at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 11, during which he also promised to encourage Rotterdam businesses to invest in Vietnam in the fields of their strengths, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Vietnam Introduces Seaport Development Potential Dutch Firms
Potential for cooperation in developing transport in general and seaport in particular in Vietnam has been introduced to representatives of the Dutch government and enterprises.
Acting General Director of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) Nguyen Canh Tinh provided information related to Vietnam’s seaport development plans at a working session in Rotterdam on July 11, on the occasion of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s recent visit to the Netherlands.
TPP Negotiations Continue without U.S.
The chief negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries met in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, on July 12 to discuss how to bring the regional free trade deal into effect following the withdrawal of the United States, the Japanese Kyodo News reported.
The meeting, to run for at least two days, follows their trade ministers' meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vietnam in May, where they agreed to launch a process to assess options to bring the TPP into force expeditiously.
Japan Supports Vietnam in Health Insurance
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Vietnam Social Security on Tuesday signed a record on the discussions of a project to improve the management of health insurance payment in Vietnam.
The project, “Development and strengthening of the management of provider payment methods and basic health service package reimbursed by Health Insurance Fund in Vietnam”, will be implemented for two years, starting October.
Vietnam Becomes Bigger Source of Earnings for Japanese Firms
Vietnam has surpassed Malaysia to become a bigger source of earnings for Japanese firms, according to the Bank of Japan.
The combined number of registered firms at Japanese business associations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has increased by more than 250 since 2014 to nearly 1,500 as rising labor costs in China have prompted them to open plants in Vietnam. Nearly two-thirds of Japanese businesses in the country are profitable.
Grab, Uber Subjected to Tax Checks
The General Department of Taxation recently sent a document requesting the HCM City Department of Taxation to inspect the tax payments of Uber B.V Netherlands Co Ltd and GrabTaxi Co Ltd.
Traditional taxi firms claim that they have been subject to a variety of taxes and charges while Uber and Grab were only subject to a tax of 4% to 5% of revenue.
Vietnam Accelerates Privatization of Big-ticket Firms
State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) has submitted two options for further stake sales in the country’s largest listed firm, Vinamilk. SCIC is waiting for government feedback on the divestment plan pertaining to one of its most lucrative assets, following the sale of 5.4% to the Singapore-listed Fraser and Neave Ltd., the second largest investor in Vinamilk after SCIC, which owns 39.34%.
After equitizing nearly a decade ago, the Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Habeco) is currently resolving “disputes” in its negotiations with Carlsberg Breweries A/S, while the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Sabeco) is busy selecting a consultant on the sale of State capital.
Ho Chi Minh City to Crack down on Tax-evading Facebook Retailers
Ho Chi Minh City sent out tax demands to nearly 13,500 Facebook retailers over a month ago, but a representative from the city's Tax Department said that so far only around 1,000 of them have responded, according to VnExpress.
As a result, the city's tax authorities have decided to work on tougher solutions to crack down on potential tax-evading online retailers, and have asked the Ministry of Finance to finalize regulations regarding tax declarations and deductions at source, as well as the supervision of online business activities.
BCG Partners Unisun and Coara for 40MW Solar Project in Vietnam
Vietnam-based infrastructure investment firm Bamboo Capital (BCG) has signed a cooperation agreement with China-based firm Unisun Energy Group and German company Coara Solar to work on a 40MW solar project in Vietnam’s southern province of Long An.
This is BCG’s second Vietnamese PV project plan, having announced BCG Bang Duong’s partnership with Korea’s Hanwha Group last month to develop and build a 100MW solar PV project in the same district. Soon, BCG also plans to develop other solar projects in Quang Nam and Gia Lai Provinces.
State-run energy giant PetroVietnam said it earned a net profit of 13.1 trillion dong ($577 million) in the first half of this year, rising 24.7% from a year earlier, VnExpress cited the company’s financial statement as saying.
Its revenue increased 14.6% year-on-year to 247.1 trillion dong ($10.88 billion). It also paid 44.2 trillion dong ($1.95 billion) to state coffers, meeting 59% of the year’s plan.
Following a strong outflow in 2016, foreign investors have revved up purchase of Vietnamese government bonds and shares since the start of this year, as the government speeds up its reform agenda and loosens rules for overseas ownership.
State-run electricity monopoly Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s total liabilities increased 7.1% from a year earlier to 486.98 trillion dong ($21.5 billion) at the end of 2016, of which debts accounted for 81.4%. Meanwhile, its total assets grew 8% to $30.5 billion.
Strong appetite for Vietnam from regional investors is expected to send mergers and acquisitions (M&As) reaching record levels in 2017 and 2018, U.S.-based real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) has said in a report.
Vietnam has become an attractive destination for many foreign investors largely due to the country’s friendly policies encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI), its political stability and strong economy.

TUAN MINH

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