[Round-up] Vietnam Green-lights Controversial Steel Project, Decides to Tax Trademark Use

Tuan Minh

18:06 01/12/2016

BizLIVE - The Ministry of Industry and Trade has added the controversial Ca Na steel project of Hoa Sen Group to the national plan toward 2025 with a vision to 2035. Vietnam’s announcement that it will tax the use of trademarks is likely to encounter pushback from companies.

[Round-up] Vietnam Green-lights Controversial Steel Project, Decides to Tax Trademark Use

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has added the controversial Ca Na steel project of Hoa Sen Group to the national plan toward 2025 with a vision to 2035.

Vietnam Hopes for More French ICT Investments
Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan has expressed hope that French businesses, with their advantages in capital and information and experience in international business, will continue investing in Vietnam.
At a meeting with French Minister of State for Economy, Industry and Digital Technology Bertrand Pailhes during his visit to France from November 26 to 29, Minister Tuan said that since the two countries set up their strategic partnership in 2013, bilateral co-operation had thrived in all fields, including information and communication technology (ICT).
Vietnam Sends Envoy to Wallonia to Avoid Trade Clash
Vietnam’s ambassador in Belgium will address Walloon parliamentarians on Thursday to try to protect his country’s trade accord with the EU from the political storm that almost sank a pact with Canada last month, according to Politico.cu.
Ambassador Vuong Thua Phong will seek to convince the lawmakers in the Francophone region that trade with Vietnam has big benefits for Europe, and particularly Belgium.
Vietnam Decides to Tax Trademark Use
Vietnam’s announcement that it will tax the use of trademarks is likely to encounter pushback from companies, tax specialists told Bloomberg BNA, raising questions about how the Southeast Asian country is taking in foreign technology.
Previously, official “guidance on VAT policies with respect to trademark licensing was not clear and consistent, and in many cases, no VAT was imposed on trademark licensing,” Tran Manh Hung, director of Baker & McKenzie member BMVN in Hanoi, told Bloomberg BNA.
Vietnam Services Market Open: VCCI
Vietnam’s services market is significantly open to foreign investments under the commitments to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported, citing the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Experts said at a conference held in Hanoi on November 30 that after joining the World Trade Organization, the services market remained relatively “close”. However, the openness has expanded and a majority of legal documents regulating the services market were found compatible with the commitments to TPP and EVFTA.
Businesses Urged to Actively Join Global Supply Chains
Together with producing high-quality and competitive products, businesses should actively engage in the global supply chains, maintaining growth in both revenue and profit, and securing their firm foothold at home and abroad, said President Tran Dai Quang.
At a meeting with businesses winning the national brand awards 2016 in Hanoi on November 30, he called on businesses to push ahead with manufacturing activities and closely pursue values that the National Brand program is targeting, while ensuring the quality of products via advanced production system and healthy financial capacity.
Vietnam’s First Public Procurement Center Launched in Hanoi
The capital city of Hanoi launched a public procurement center, the first of its kind in Vietnam, on November 30, according to VNA.
The center operates under the city Department of Finance. It is in charge of public procurement for agencies in the city and also provides financial consultation services.
Vietnam Expo Attracts 520 Firms
The Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo) opened yesterday in HCM City with 520 companies, including those from 20 countries and territories, showcasing their products at nearly 600 stalls.
They are displaying products like paper, building materials, interior decoration items, car components, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, textile and garments, machinery, electrical-electronic appliances, craft products, consumer goods.
Vietnam Ministry Green-lights Controversial Steel Project to National Planning
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has added the controversial Ca Na steel project of Hoa Sen Group to the national plan toward 2025 with a vision to 2035, in order to meet the country’s demand.
The plant, which will have an investment of $10 billion and a capacity of 16 million tons per year, will be built in the central province of Ninh Thuan in five phases, with the kick-off of the first phase yet to be decided.
Although the outlook for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dim under the Trump presidency, the prospects are still bright for Vietnam’s exports, HSBC has said in its latest “Vietnam at a glance” report.
Tokyo-based Suntory Beverage & Food plans to pour an additional 10 billion yen ($87.8 million) to boost its soft drink production in Vietnam over the next five years, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
The Japanese company plans to install three to four new production lines at its five factories in Vietnam. Accordingly, its production capacity in the Southeast Asian country will grow 60% from the current level to 200 million cases a year.
Tens of offshore investors have asked Vinamilk for details on the dairy company’s share sale scheduled for December 12, an official of State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) said at a press meeting late on Wednesday.
SCIC, which holds a 44.7% stake in Vinamilk, will put up 130.6 million shares or a 9% stake of the country’s biggest dairy producer for public auction at a starting price of 144,000 dong ($6.37) a share. SCIC expects to book proceeds of at least $840 million from the divestment.
The outlook for the banking system in Vietnam (B1 stable) is stable over the next 12-18 months, Moody's Investors Service has said, reflecting the agency’s expectation that the country’s macroeconomic stability and resilient economic growth will continue to support the banks' weak credit profiles.
Vietnam’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which gauges its manufacturing performance, rose to 54.0 in November from 51.7 in October, marking the strongest improvement for a year and a half.
New business increased at a sharp and accelerated pace during November, with the rate of growth quickening for the third month running to the sharpest since May 2015, according to a joint report by Nikkei and IHS Market.

TUAN MINH