[Round-up] Vietnam Public Debt Service Inflates, Lotte to Start $2.2 Billion Soon

Tuan Minh

18:03 22/04/2016

BizLIVE - Lotte Group plans to kick-start the construction of the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City complex with an investment of $2.2 billion in Ho Chi Minh City soon. Vietnam’s public debt service swelled to an estimated $18.6 billion in 2015, equivalent to 9.6% of its GDP.

[Round-up] Vietnam Public Debt Service Inflates, Lotte to Start $2.2 Billion Soon

Vietnam’s public debt service swelled to an estimated $18.6 billion in 2015, equivalent to 9.6% of its GDP.

Number of High-End Real Estate to Grow in Vietnam
The real estate market in Vietnam will see a growing number of property developments which offer quality living environments and amenities as developers are moving to meet the market demand amidst an improved economy, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
At a conference about breakthroughs in living standards on Wednesday in Hanoi, experts said that home buyers were now more demanding, driven by improved income as the economy was on the recovery path.
Int’l Beauty Exhibition Opens in HCM City
Cosmobeate Vietnam 2016, the biggest beauty trade exhibition in the Indochina region, opened yesterday in HCM City with leading brands, products, technologies and services from the cosmetics, beauty, hair, and spa industries on show.
The ninth annual expo, also the largest so far, has 250 booths set up by 170 exhibitors from 16 countries and territories, including Malaysia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., the UK, and Vietnam. More than 60 categories of beauty products are on display.
Vietnam Outbound Investment Hits $625 Million in 2015
Vietnamese firms invested $625 million in foreign countries in 2015, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The local enterprises expanded their investment activities to new markets such as the U.S., Russia, Singapore and Germany and also promoted investments in traditional markets that included Laos and Cambodia, it said.
Hanoi Takes Lead in FDI Attraction
Hanoi topped Vietnamese localities in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), drawing over $810 million from 110 newly-licensed and capital-added FDI projects in the first quarter of this year, a five-fold increase year-on-year, according to VNA.
Late last month, representatives from the municipal People’s Committee granted an investment certificate to Samsung Electronics Vietnam under the Samsung Group to build a $300-million research center in Hoang Mai district.
IMF Promises Continued Cooperation with Vietnam
Visiting experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) affirmed their further collaboration with Vietnam in the coming time during their meeting with Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs, in Hanoi on April 21.
The IMF experts agreed with the key missions in Vietnam’s reform process, especially in renovating the fiscal policy, and revamping the banking system and enterprise restructuring.
Vietnam Launches Fund to Support SMEs
The Ministry of Planning and Investment on April 22 debuted a new lending fund worth two trillion dong ($90 million) to beef up small- and medium-sized businesses’ access to credit.
The loans will carry interest rates of 5%-7% per year, said Deputy Minister Dang Huy Dong, adding the ministry will ensure the loan sizes are sufficient to allow business owners and entrepreneurs to access the credit they need to expand their operations and create jobs.
Lotte Group plans to start the construction of the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City complex with an investment of $2.2 billion in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Thiem New Urban Area this year or early next year at the latest, local media reported.
The South Korean group has poured $45 million into this multi-component project so far, Hong Won Sik, general director of Lotte Mart Vietnam, said Thursday.
Vietnam’s newly-elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday requested ministries to work out measured aimed to reach the goal of 6.7% gross domestic product (GDP) expansion set for 2016.
“We cannot accept further declines in economic growth. [We] have to ensure a reasonable growth pace if we require higher growth quality,” said Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a working session with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the first government agency the PM worked with after taking office on April 7.
Vietnam’s public debt service swelled to an estimated 418.4 trillion dong ($18.6 billion) in 2015, equivalent to 9.6% of its GDP. The amount includes $13.16 billion worth of government’s direct debt obligations, according to the Central Institute for Economic Management.
Executives of companies in Vietnam need to act promptly to benefit from free-trade agreements (FTAs) and deal with challenges originating from them, participants said at the Vietnam CEO Conference jointly held by PwC Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Ho Chi Minh City Thursday.
As of 2015, Vietnam is party to 16 FTAs, nine of which are currently effective. Two new-generation agreements, the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), are expected to enter into force within two years’ time.

TUAN MINH