Vietnam Firms Have Two Years Left to Prepare for FTAs
Agricultural businesses in Vietnam would be most vulnerable to the effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP
) with bigger partners.
However, the firms have two years left for restructuring and improving their competitiveness after the signing of FTAs and TPPs, Luong Hoang Thai, head of Multilateral Trade Policies Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.
Vietnamese firms could have access to leading partners in the bloc such as the European Union, Japan and South Korea. However, the opportunities could only be obtained if Vietnam meets the requirements of origin in the garment and textile sector, for example.
Total Assets of Banks in Vietnam Rise 5.37% from End-2014 to $305 Billion at End-Oct
Total assets of banks operating in Vietnam reached 6,865 trillion dong ($305.11 billion) at the end of October, rising 5.37% from December 2014, according to data of the State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank.
Owner’s equity of the whole banking system increased 12.33% from the start of the year to 557.78 trillion dong ($24.8 billion).
The capital adequacy ratio of the system slid to 13.14% at the end of October from 13.32% a month earlier, above the minimum of 9% set by the central bank.
EU Helps Vietnam Phase out Asbestos
The European Union (EU) is providing support to Vietnam Chemicals Agency (Vinachemia) to find substitutes for asbestos, which has been an important construction material for Vietnam but is harmful for human health.
In late 2014 the EU through MUTRAP provided support to Vinachemia and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Chemical Administration to develop a national action plan to phase out the use of asbestos as a building material.
Vietnam Drink Maker Hit by Boycott after Winning Fly-In-Bottle Lawsuit
Tan Hiep Phat Group, the maker of several popular drinks in Vietnam, is being boycotted on the Internet and scrutinized by the country’s consumer association, only days after winning a lawsuit that sent one of its consumers to prison.
The boycott movement was initiated on the heels of a court ruling that a consumer in the southern province of Tien Giang be jailed for seven years for extorting money from the beverage firm with a bottle of Number 1 that had a fly inside.
Also on Saturday, one day after the court ruling, Tan Hiep Phat released a letter of apology, in which its Deputy General Director Tran Uyen Phuong apologized to “consumers and particularly the family of Vo Van Minh for the inconvenience caused.”
Vietnam-South Korea FTA Comes into Effect
The free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and South Korea came into force on Dec. 20, paving the way for stronger trade exchange between the two economies.
The two sides will establish a ministerial level joint committee and subcommittees on goods trade, customs, trade defense, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade to accelerate the implementation of the agreement.
In 2014, South Korea was the third largest trade partner of Vietnam, after China and the U.S., while Vietnam is the former’s sixth largest export market.
According to the General Department of Customs, in the first 11 months of this year, bilateral trade hit $33.6 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of 27.6%.
Vietnam Govt to Retail 51% in Vinacafe
The Vietnamese government will keep a 51% stake in Vietnam National Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe) when the firm goes public in 2017.
Eighteen subsidiaries, where Vinacafe owns a 100% stake, will be privatized in 2016. Vinacafe will maintain 51% stakes in these firms after they are equitized.
Vietnam Stock Market Capitalization Equal to 34% of GDP: Official
Total capitalization of the Vietnamese stock market has reached 1,325 trillion dong ($58.9 billion), equivalent to 34% of the country’s gross product (GDP), said Vu Bang, chairman of the State Securities Commission.
During 2015, the two Vietnamese exchanges have welcome 47 maiden listings while 33 companies have gone off bourse.
There are currently 682 stocks and fund certificates listed on the two bourses, with a combined 528 trillion dong ($23.5 billion) by par value, up 24% from a year earlier.
A large number of foreign investors have been seeking to invest in Vietnam’s real estate market to capitalize on the country’s fast growing economy.
The country’s vibrant economy and the recovery of the local property market have encouraged players from around the globe such as Keppel Land, Amata Corp
, Mitsubishi, Lotte and CapitaLand to expand in the Southeast Asian country’s property market, is recovering from a bubble that burst a few years ago.
At a meeting between foreign manufacturers and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) held in Ho Chi Minh City last week, overseas players expressed their concerns about the country’s power supply capacity in the future as they plan expansion.
Jean Piere Guill, general director of Aston Vietnam, said that a large number of U.S. investors are planning to land on Vietnam. He highly valued EVN’s efforts to ensure the power supply, but asked representatives from EVN if the sole power supply in the country had plans to increase the electricity supply.
Thailand’s Amata Corporation Plc will develop two mega industrial estate complexes in Vietnam, following a success with the Amata industrial park in the southern province of Dong Nai, Somhatai Panichewa, chief executive of Amata VN Plc, said late last week.
The Thai corporation will develop the industrial-serviced township complex project, dubbed Amata City Long Thanh, in Dong Nai province, some 35 kilometers to the east of Ho Chi Minh City.
The firm together with domestic partners are working on a hi-tech urban-industrial complex, dubbed Amata City Ha Long, in the northern province of Quang Ninh.