Vietnamese, Israeli Aim to Lift Bilateral Trade to $3 Billion
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang
and his visiting Israeli counterpart Reuven Ruvi Rivlin on March 20 agreed to raise the two-way trade to $3 billion in the coming years by accelerating negotiations and signing of the Vietnam-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), facilitating trade ties between businesses and localities.
The two sides also agreed to boost investment in hi-tech agriculture, human resources training, information technology-electronics-communications, and water treatment.
Singaporean PM’s Visit Expected to Strengthen Strategic Partnership
The upcoming visit of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be a chance for Vietnam and Singapore to discuss strategic orientations and specific measures to deepen their strategic partnership, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
The two countries established diplomatic ties on August 1, 1973, and bilateral ties have been thriving especially since Vietnam became a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995.
India to Lift Suspension of Vietnamese Agricultural Goods Import
India will lift its suspension of the import of some Vietnamese agricultural products, which was enforced on March 7, while the Vietnamese side will adjust its decision on suspension of the import of several products from India, according to VNA.
During a working session between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Embassy of India in Vietnam on March 16, the two sides agreed that India will resume the import of Vietnamese black pepper, cassava, cinnamon, and dragon fruits.
Vietnam’s Long-Term Goals not Affected by U.S.’s TPP Withdrawal
The U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement may make certain impacts on Vietnam’s short-term plans but will not affect the country’s long-term goals and integration direction, VNA reported, citing Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.
Although the possible failure or delay of the TPP may weaken the driving force for growth, the past negotiations for the deal have already created a momentum of institutional reform in Vietnam, and the process will continue regardless of whether the TPP is enforced or not.
Textile - Garment Exports Expected to Grow without TPP
Vietnam’s garment and textile sector is still enjoying good growth in exports to the US market even without the TPP, Le Tien Truong, director general of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), was quoted by VNA as saying.
While the sector is forecast to benefit greatly from the TPP, it has so far thrived without the TPP with Vietnam holding the second-biggest market share in the U.S. and Japan. Those two countries are also the two main export markets of Vietnam’s garment and textile.
Oil Exploitation Exceeds Q1’s Target
Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) produced about 6.45 million tons of crude oil in the first quarter of this year, exceeding its three-month plan by 5%.
In 2017, PVN strives to exploit some 23.81 million tons of oil equivalent, generate 20.1 billion kWh of electricity to the national grid, and produce 1.52 million tons of nitrogenous fertilizers and about 6.8 million tons of gasoline.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has issued regulations on interest support toward enterprises investing in the industrial sector and the support industry, aiming to encourage firms to purchase modern machinery and equipment and boost production to minimize the need of imports, VNA reported.
Accordingly, the interest subsidy will be applied to a maximum of 200 billion dong ($8.8 million) per project for a period of no more than seven years from the first disbursement.
Honda Vietnam Recalls 1,355 Cars for Air Bag Fault
Honda Vietnam is recalling 1,355 cars to repair and replace air bag inflators of models Honda Civic, Honda CR-V and Honda Accord, according to the Vietnam Competition Authority.
The recall campaign is applicable for cars manufactured in 2012. The automaker will check, repair and provide free replacement for the affected vehicles through its agents nationwide.
Four Construction Corporations to Go Public in 2017
Four major corporations under the Ministry of Construction, will undergo privatization in 2017 under Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue’s instruction on restructuring state-owned enterprises and enterprises with state capital.
The four are Song Da Corporation, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Vietnam Urban and Industrial Park Investment & Development Corporation, and Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation.
Keppel Land, through its subsidiary Krystal Investments Pte Ltd, has acquired from its Vietnamese partner, Southern Waterborne Transport Corporation, an additional 16% stake in the joint venture (JV) entities for Saigon Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.
The consideration for the purchase is 845.9 billion dong ($37.1 million), the Singapore Business newspaper reported.
Total liabilities of Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin), the country’s top miner, amounted to 100.34 trillion dong ($4.4 billion) at the end of 2015, representing a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.63 times, while it had accumulated loss of $21 million.
Overseas players net spent 170.8 billion dong ($7.5 million) worth of Vietnamese shares in the week ended March 17 when two foreign-run exchange-traded funds (ETFs) restructured their portfolios although they unloaded a net volume of 65.6 million shares.