Vietnam-U.S. Direct Air Routes May Begin in 2018
In the first quarter of 2017, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will send staff to Vietnam to assess Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam’s safety supervision capability in preparation for Vietnamese air carriers to open direct air routes to the U.S., with no transit in third countries.
Vietnam Airlines, the nation’s flag air carrier, began preparing to provide direct flights to the U.S. 10 years ago, it still cannot because of various reasons. The airline is taking necessary steps to set up a direct air route to the U.S. by 2018, according to VietNamNet.
PM Emphasizes Key Role of EVN in National Grid
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) should continue promoting its key role as a state-run company in national power supply, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) as saying at a conference in Hanoi on Jan. 3.
For that goal, the group needs to ensure the progress of power projects currently underway, while carrying out new ones and working on projects to develop renewable energy. It should work out mechanisms to encourage all economic sectors to produce electricity and fine-tune financial mechanisms, the PM said.
Finance Minister Asks for Efforts to Boost Stock Market
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung on January 3 asked market regulators to improve the current conditions of the securities market to promote it as a channel to raise funds for socio-economic development and increase the competitiveness of the economy.
“We should keep restructuring the securities market and regulatory agencies, including the merger of the two local exchanges, increase the scale and quality of the market, diversify the products and make sure the market runs efficiently and sustainably,” Dung noted.
Rosy 2017 Vietnam Economic Outlook: Experts
Vietnam will achieve its 2017 goal of 6.7% growth in gross domestic product (GDP
), higher than 6.21% in 2016, due to the efficiency of its reforms, experts were cited by VNA as saying.
The National Financial Supervisory Commission of Vietnam (NFSC) says this year, Vietnam’s economy will improve due to the reform of institutions and of the investment environment, as well as the price recovery of energy and farming products on the world market, creating new impetus for the private sector.
Chinese Buyers Depleting Vietnam’s Raw Lumber
The price of several kinds of lumber in Vietnam had gone up due to scarcity created by unexpected Chinese purchases, creating pressure on the domestic wood business and Vietnam’s wood industry.
As reported by local wood processing and manufacturing companies, many Chinese companies crossed the border into Vietnam to buy a large quantity of rubber wood and acacia wood in central and southern Vietnamese provinces, resulting in a rise of 10% to 20% of wood prices, according to Huynh Quang Thanh, Chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association.
Quality Crucial for Domestic Products to Retain Market
Improving quality will be key for made-in-Vietnam products to keep its market share in the face of increasingly fierce competition from imports, said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the World Trade Organization and Integration Centre of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
If domestic manufacturers fail to capitalize on their advantages in transport costs and tax, they may lose market share to imported products, Trang warned.
Securities Yield Highest Returns in Vietnam in 2016
Stocks offered the highest returns last year when the VN-Index hit the eight-year peak at 629.17, rising 14.8% from 2015, compared to a rise of 8.7% a year earlier.
Gold was the second best investment channel when its price ended 2016 10.6% higher than in 2015. Savings and U.S. dollar followed with returns of 6.5% and 2.4%.
Vietnam among World’s Most Optimistic Countries on Economic Prosperity
Vietnam is ranked fifth in the list of the world’s most optimistic countries on economic prosperity in 2017, according to a survey by WIN/Gallup, the world’s leading association in market research and polling.
The survey revealed that about 59% of the respondents in Vietnam are optimistic about the economic outlook for 2017, 12% are pessimistic and 26% believe the economy would remain the same.
Non-performing loans accounted for 2.46% of total credit in the Vietnamese banking system as of November 30, 2016, below the whole-year target of 3%, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said in a press release on January 4.
The bad debt ratio slipped because banks boosted lending to meet growing demand for credit in the final months of the year.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s banking authority, has listed five weak banks that need special handling this year as the government seeks to speed up the banking reform.
Dong A Bank and Sacombank, both headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, have been put on the blacklist, adding to three banks namely Vietnam Construction Bank, OceanBank and GP.Bank, which were acquired by SBV at zero cost in 2014.
Foreign investors net bought a total of 12.1 trillion dong ($533 million) worth of Vietnamese dong-denominated government bonds in 2016 although they tended to unload the notes in the final weeks of the year due to a stronger U.S. dollar.
Chinese PV manufacturer GCL System Integration Technology (GCLS) has teamed with Vietnam-based OEM producer, Vina Solar Technology, to establish a 600MW solar cell plant in the northern province of Bac Giang.
GCLS would invest $32 million in solar cell production tools for the facility that would be built and operated by Vina Solar. This is GCLS’s first overseas solar cell production facility.