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Indo-Pacific Business Forum helps connect bussinesses

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Việt Nam and US government officials witness the signing of a US$1.4 billion joint venture between the PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Company (PV GAS) and the US-based AES Corporation. — VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Senior government officials, industry executives and partners participated in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF), which began today in Hà Nội, to discuss policies and help connect business communities in the region. 

The virtual event was co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Hà Nội.

The first IPBF was held in Washington DC, the US in 2018. This is the first time Việt Nam hosted the event after the previous one took place in Thailand last year. 

Cooperation opportunities 

At the forum, the PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Company (PV GAS) and the US-based AES Corporation signed a joint venture agreement for the development of the Sơn Mỹ LNG Import Terminal Project – a project with a total investment cost of US$1.4 billion. 

Minister of industry and trade Trần Tuấn Anh said the event is an opportunity for US businesses and investors, as well as those in the region, to come together to share ideas and foster cooperation and partnerships. 

VCCI’s chairman Vũ Tiến Lộc said the Indo-Pacific business community plays an important role as the region’s economy with a focus on security, economic development and management. 

“In a fast-changing world and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies and digitalisation bring many opportunities for those who are able to take the lead,” said Lộc. 

This year marks a quarter of a century since the normalisation of Việt Nam-US relations.

Charles Freeman, vice-president of the American Chamber of Commerce, said there have been remarkable changes in the business environment in the region, which has prompted businesses to make adjustments. Freeman also affirmed the importance of the region to the US’ economic interests and that its commitment to the region remained unchanged. 

During today’s forum the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Vietnam Mission announced the launch of the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II). The five-year, $36-million programme is to accelerate Viet Nam’s transition to a clean, secure, and market-driven energy system.

“As USAID V-LEEP comes to a close early next year, USAID/Vietnam remains committed to strengthening partnerships and developing innovative solutions for a clean, affordable energy future for Viet Nam, by continuing our support through V-LEEP II,” said Mission Director Yastishock.

USAID V-LEEP II will focus on improving government energy planning practices; increasing competition and private sector involvement in energy service provision; deployment of advanced, clean energy systems; and improving grid planning to incorporate clean energy transmission. It will also help Viet Nam attract qualified investors for advanced energy projects and advise private firms to develop high quality and bankable projects. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/economy/803980/indo-pacific-business-forum-helps-connect-bussinesses.html

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China-ASEAN Expo opens, featuring digital economy, RCEP

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The 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit kicked off on Friday, highlighting booming digital economy cooperation and the implementation of a recently signed major trade pact.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for cultivating a closer community with a shared future for China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) when addressing via video the opening ceremony.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the opening ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit via video on Nov. 27, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

This year’s expo aims to deepen cooperation in trade, the digital economy, science and technology, health, and other fields.

With an exhibition area of 104,000 square meters, the expo has 5,400 booths in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. More than 1,500 enterprises from home and abroad will participate virtually in the four-day event, according to the organizers.

The expo will also host 11 high-level forums and more than 160 economic and trade promotion activities.

China-ASEAN Expo opens, featuring digital economy, RCEP

Booming digital cooperation

This year is designated as the China-ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation. Strengthening digital economy cooperation was the common call of ASEAN leaders at the opening ceremony.

ASEAN’s digital economy is estimated to increase from 1.3 percent of the group’s GDP in 2015 to 8.5 percent in 2025, according to ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, adding that China is leading the development of digital infrastructure and is an important partner of ASEAN in promoting the digital economy in the region.

This year’s expo also highlights the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s biggest trade pact, which was signed earlier this month by 15 Asia-Pacific countries including ASEAN’s 10 member states and China. It was a massive move for regional economic integration, multilateralism and free trade.

China-ASEAN Expo opens, featuring digital economy, RCEP

The signing ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is held via video conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 15, 2020. (VNA via Xinhua)

The expo features an exhibition area, and enterprises from RCEP countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand have participated in the event, according to Wang Lei, secretary-general of the expo’s secretariat.

High-level dialogue conducted during the expo will promote greater participation from RCEP members, said Wang, adding that the expo will help integrate the market advantages and resources of the 10 ASEAN members with the capital and technical advantages of other RCEP members.

“I believe that the RCEP will also provide a solid foundation for an open, inclusive, and rules-based global trade environment,” said Myanmar President U Win Myint at the expo’s opening ceremony.

Xu Ningning, executive president of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said that opening up the markets of the 15 countries to each other will bring about new changes and closer regional cooperation. 

(Source: Xinhua)

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/business/china-asean-expo-opens-featuring-digital-economy-rcep-694444.html

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VNR petitions for reduction of infrastructure charge

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Passengers board a train. VNR has proposed an infrastructure use fee reduction – PHOTO: LE ANH

HANOI – Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) has proposed reducing the infrastructure charge from 8% of its railway transport revenue to 2% due to the difficulties caused by Covid-19.

The proposal has been sent to the Ministries of Transport and Finance and the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises.

This year, VNR may generate nearly VND3.2 trillion in revenue and its losses were estimated at VND643 billion. It has minimized its operation cost and furloughed its staff.

VNR and transport firms have encountered cash flow difficulties to maintain their operations. They are finding it hard to overcome their budget deficit, VNR Chairman Vu Anh Minh said.

VNR needs VND320 billion in 2020 and VND350 billion in 2021 to make good its losses.

VNR’s railway transport revenue was estimated at VND2.7 trillion this year. With this revenue, it will have to pay VND213 billion as the infrastructure use fee.

If the proposal to reduce the infrastructure use fee is approved, the fee will be cut by VND160 billion. The reduced amount in 2021 will be an estimated VND179.5 billion.

Thus, the firm can make good half of its budget deficit.

Source: https://english.thesaigontimes.vn/79630/vnr-petitions-for-reduction-of-infrastructure-charge-.html

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Mekong Delta expressway network expansion: infographic

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Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/infographics/economy/mekong-delta-expressway-network-expansion-infographic-4200146.html

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