[Round-up] Vietnam Pledges Better Business Environment, Foreign Firms Ask for Looser Visa Policy

Tuan Minh

22:41 01/12/2015

BizLIVE - The Vietnamese government has committed to improve the business environment while foreign enterprises called for loosening the visa policy.

[Round-up] Vietnam Pledges Better Business Environment, Foreign Firms Ask for Looser Visa Policy

The Vietnamese government met with foreign businesses on Tuesday morning to discuss how to improve the local business government. (Photo: BizLIVE)

Vietnam PM Hastens Economic Restructuring
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has hurried ministries and agencies into quickening economic restructuring and further improving the business environment so that socio-economic targets can be achieved this year.
At a monthly cabinet meeting in Hanoi last Friday, PM Dung urged government agencies to give the priority to the equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), calling for ministries to consider selling SOEs in the fields which private firms can do better, to raise funds for important projects, particularly in infrastructure development.
Vietnam Govt Strives for Improved Investment Climate: Minister
The Vietnamese government has made big efforts to better the business environment and will strive to accelerate the administrative reform, Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh stated at the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) in Hanoi on Tuesday morning.
Virginia B. Foote, co-chairperson of the forum, said significant progress has been made on issues important to the business community, especially Resolution 19. However, “it requires great effort from Vietnam to modernize the soft infrastructure such as education and administrative procedures as well as hard infrastructure such as energy and transport,” she added.
A number of foreign business associations based in Vietnam have suggested the Vietnamese government to loosen its visa policy for businesspeople and tourists.
Almost all Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) parties have made commitments on access for each other’s business persons, which are in country-specific annexes. However, Vietnam’s Immigration Law was revised in June 2014 and became effective on January 1, 2015, without reference to the TPP, said Sherry Boger, chairwoman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham), in a document prepared for the VBF.
Vietnam CBU Auto Imports Rise Sharply in Jan-Nov
Vietnam imported some 112,000 completely built-up (CBU) autos worth $2.58 billion in the first 11 months of this year, up 82.8% in volume and 91% in value year-on-year, according to data of the General Statistics Office.
The strong rise in auto imports can be attributed to cheaper fuel prices and Vietnam’s gradual tariff cuts from 50% this year to 0-5% in 2018 for autos imported from other ASEAN countries in line with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement.
Honda Vietnam Ordered to Recall Scooters for Smart Key Fault
Vietnam Register, the country’s vehicle safety authority, has requested Honda Vietnam to recall recently-launched scooters under its luxury brand SH, after having detected an error in the smart key system.
The request was made after a number of clients complained that the anti-theft system on the vehicle became inactive within 10 minutes, instead of 10 days as claimed by the company.
The error involves 12,118 Honda SH125 and SH150 vehicles manufactured from August 19 to October 6.
Number of Newly-Established Firms in Vietnam Headed for All-time High
As many as 86,853 companies have been set up in the year to date with combined capital of 538.7 trillion dong ($24 billion), up 28.1% and 37.7%, respectively, thanks to the improved business environment and legal framework.
Following this pattern, the number of startups could surpass 94,000, the largest number ever in the country, according to a local newspaper.  
South Korea’s National Assembly passed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam on November 30, nearly seven months after the two governments signed the pact in Hanoi, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index or PMI slipped to 49.4 in November, below the 50 neutral mark, from 50.1 in October.
New orders decreased for the third month running in November while new export orders fell for the sixth successive month, according to the report.
The stable outlook on the Vietnamese banking system is driven by the country’s robust economic growth, the banks’ stabilizing asset quality as well as good liquidity, Moody’s has said.
“The outlook [which has been in place since November 2014] expresses our expectations of how banks’ creditworthiness will evolve in this system over the next 12-18 months,” Moody’s said in its latest report on Vietnam’ banking system outlook.