[Round-up] Vietnam Targets High-quality FDI in 2016, December PMI Rebounds to 51.3

Tuan Minh

17:41 04/01/2016

BizLIVE - Vietnam will be selective in approving foreign investment projects in 2016. The country’s Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose back to 51.3 in December.

[Round-up] Vietnam Targets High-quality FDI in 2016, December PMI Rebounds to 51.3

The Vietnamese government will select foreign investment projects of high quality, modern and environmentally friendly technologies.

Vietnam Targets High-quality FDI Projects in 2016
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said Vietnam should select foreign investment projects of high quality, modern and environmentally friendly technologies, national broadcaster Voice of Vietnam (VOV) report.
“The Ministry of Planning and Investment will advocate high quality FDI projects in Vietnam to fuel national development and create more jobs. We will raise the positions of local businesses to get them connected to small and medium and enterprises and FDI companies to boost technological transfer,” he said.
Vietnam Aims at Stronger Foreign Capital into Stock Market: Minister
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung has asked local stock market authorities to work out measures to attract domestic and foreign capital and upgrade the nation’s market status.
The authorities need to prepare for the launch of the derivatives market in 2016 and boost equitization and divestment from non-core business, the minister said at a gong-striking ceremony at the Hanoi Stock Exchange on January 4.
Vietnam Nuclear Power Plant Awaits Go-ahead
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has submitted a proposal to the Politburo on special incentives for the country’s first nuclear power plant worth over $10 billion, which will be located in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan.
Once the green light is turned, the next steps for the project will be implemented, Planning and Investment Minister Bui Quang Vinh said at a government meeting last week.
Andrey Stankevich, representative of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) in Vietnam, which will construct the plant, said that the feasibility study conducted by Rosatom had been appraised at a ministerial level and by a state-level appraisal council in Vietnam.
Hanoi-Bac Giang Expressway Opens to Traffic
The Hanoi-Bac Giang expressway opened to traffic on January 3 after 18 months of construction and upgrade work and six months ahead of schedule.
The 46km expressway was built under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model with a total investment of 4.2 trillion dong ($187 million). It will connect Hanoi with Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, which is home to large Samsung plants.
Vietnam’s Largest Airport to Undergo Expansion
Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense will hand over 20 hectares of land adjacent to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the largest airport in the country, to the Ministry of Transport so that the facility could be expanded amid overload concerns.
The land would be used to improve transport infrastructure and expand Cong Hoa Street, which connects to the airport, said Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh.
Vietnam Central Bank Hatches Plan to Aid Supporting Industries
The State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, is drafting a circular that aims to smooth credit access for local supporting industries and make them more competitive during integration.
The circular is a continuation of a government decree released in November stating that firms of supporting industries can access assistance, funds, and other sources for research, development, and training.
Supporting industries include textiles and garments, leather and footwear, electronics, and automobile manufacture and assembly, mechanical engineering and products of support industries for hi-tech, and individuals and organizations conducting production research and developing products on the priority list.
Vietnam Cuts Gasoline Prices for First Time in 2016
Vietnamese retailers reduced gasoline prices by more than 2% on Monday, marking the first cut in the year and the second in a month, following the global downward trend.
The most popular gasoline grade 92-RON now sells at 16,032 dong ($0.71) per liter while the price of the bio-fuel grade E5 has been cut to 15.339 dong ($0.68) a liter, down 3.6%.
Bac Ninh Attracts $10.74 Billion in FDI in 5 Years
The northern province of Bac Ninh attracted $12.13 billion in investment in the 2011-2015 period, of which foreign direct investment was $10.74 billion, mainly from Pepsico, Samsung, Canon, ABB, and Microsoft.
In 2015, Bac Ninh led the nation in investment attraction with a total of over $3.68 billion. Samsung Display Vietnam Co. Ltd decided to increase its investment in Yen Phong Industrial Zone by $3 billion after pouring $1 billion into the zone one year earlier, raising the total investment of the South Korean giant in the province to $6.5 billion.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s banking regulator, on January 4 announced the new reference exchange rate for the USD/VND pair at 21,896, compared to 21,890 which had been in place since August 19, 2015.
The ‘interbank forex rate’ is determined in alignment with movements of a basket of currencies of countries which have considerable exposure in trade, debt and investment relations with Vietnam, adding to the supply-demand of forex and macroeconomic balance, the monetary authority said in a statement filed on its website.
The headline Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose back to 51.3 in December.
The strengthening of Vietnam’s manufacturing sector was supported by a rise in new orders, the first time in four months, increasing new business, and the return to growth of employment, according to the report.  
The Vietnamese government is seeking to loosen conditions on granting work permits to overseas experts in Vietnam in the context of foreign investments hitting a record high in 2015.
To be eligible for work permits in Vietnam, foreign experts will likely need to meet conditions of having a university decree and at least three years of experience in the major that matches his/her post in the Southeast Asian country.
A circular of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, which came into force in March 2014, requires that a foreign bachelor or engineer have at least five years of experience the field that he/she will work in Vietnam.
The VN Index of the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, Vietnam’s main bourse, rose 6.1% in 2015, compared to increases of 8.12% in 2014 and 22% in 2013. The HNX Index of the Hanoi bourse declined 3.6% last year.
Total market capitalization expanded 15.8% year-on-year to 1,298.5 trillion dong ($57.7 billion) while total transaction value on the Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi bourses declined 15.8% to 617 trillion dong ($27.42 billion).