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Innovation promoted for national development



Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong speaks about plans to support innovation in Vietnam.

Innovation promoted for national development
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong. Photo courtesy of the ministry

We have heard a lot about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Taking advantage of the revolution is not only the job of people and enterprises but also the whole society. Is innovation considered the driving force of socio-economic development?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has affected every corner of our lives and businesses, from traffic to banks, from administration to consumption, from the domestic market to the global market.

Digital transformation has helped businesses stand firm and develop by taking advantage of opportunities and finding their own way. In my opinion, taking advantage of the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not just the job of people and enterprises.

The Government has built a legal framework to support businesses to make the best use of opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to perform digital transformation as well as to attract capital from investors, domestic and foreign investment funds.

We have set the goal of making businesses the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s development and innovation. The Government has issued an action programme to implement the Politburo’s Resolution No 52/NQ-TW dated September 27, 2019 on a number of policies to actively engage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

However, the level of readiness to engage in the revolution in our country remains low. Science, technology and innovation have not really been the driving force of economic development. The national innovation system has not worked effectively.

Besides the revolution in promoting innovation, we have other driving forces of innovation such as international investment mobility, new generation free trade agreements, Vietnam’s internal factors such as gold population structure and plan to streamline apparatus. Even COVID-19 is a driving force for innovation. All of them aim at one goal: transforming innovation into one of the keys to enhance the nation’s status and capacity. 

The Government has set “Solidarity, discipline, innovation, inspiration for development” as the theme of 2021. In your opinion, what role does innovation play in national development?

Innovation requires agencies and organisations to change management models, management methods and business methods. Innovation is an opportunity for strong innovation, enhancing productivity, competitiveness and promoting corporate value. 

How do you assess the impacts of innovation on society and the economy? What has the Ministry of Planning and Investment prepared to adapt to businesses’ transformation?

First of all, innovation has motivated ministries and sectors to formulate and implement strategies, propose solutions to promote innovation in every activity.

This explains why Vietnam’s growth remained positive in 2020 and the country gained a number of achievements in terms of import and export, as well as improved investment and business environment in spite of the adverse impacts of COVID-19.

The country’s budget revenue remains high and institutions are reformed to meet the country’s development needs.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has actively developed and implemented the programme to support digital transformation in the 2021-25 period. The goal is that by 2025, 100 per cent of businesses would have their awareness of digital transformation increased and at least 100,000 businesses will receive technical support for digital transformation.

The programme also aims to have at least 100 businesses supported as typical successful digital transformation models and establish a network of experts, including at least 100 consulting organisations and individuals, providing solutions to promote digital transformation for businesses, and support the development of digital platforms.

The ministry has also launched a national programme to support small and medium-sized businesses to start up and join industrial clusters and value chains in the 2021-25 period.

However, I think it is necessary to continue to improve the business investment environment. Building a full legal framework must be the most important solution to support businesses to engage in digital transformation and innovation because this is the main driving force to promote the innovation of Vietnam in the future. 

How will the Ministry of Planning and Investment amend the legal framework to create favourable conditions for domestic businesses to get access to the world’s leading technologies and investment funds?

Innovation is not something far from reality but something close to everyday life, such as new initiatives or creative ideas for the community. Innovation is a continuous, persistent effort and is shown through specific actions.

Innovative thinking must be in every citizen, business or government to create an innovative wave or culture.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is focusing on amending Decree 39/2018/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the Law on Small and Medium Enterprises Support to facilitate businesses to approach the world’s leading companies and investment funds.

Vietnamese small and medium enterprises have plenty of innovative ideas with high applicability, so our mission is to facilitate those ideas to access the cheapest and fastest resources.

We will make amendments to the law to create a better investment environment so that investors and large investment funds can easily engage in the field of innovation and co-operate with potential Vietnamese enterprises.  VNS 



Over 33,600 firms dissolve, suspend operations in Jan-Feb



An employee is at work at a textile factory. The country saw over 33,600 firms leave the market or suspend their operations in the first two months of the year – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The country saw over 33,600 firms leave the market or suspend their operations in the first two months of the year, up 18.6% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Of the total, over 21,630 companies signed up to temporarily suspend operations, some 8,380 halted operations to complete dissolution procedures and over 3,590 were dissolved.

The number of newly-established firms in February dropped by 12.3% year-on-year at 8,040, while pledged capital surged by 85.6% at VND179.7 trillion. Besides, some 7,700 firms left the market in February, VietnamPlus news site reported.

Between January and February, some 18,130 companies were established, inching down 4% year-on-year, while the number of firms returning to the market, mainly active in the art, entertainment and education fields, and lodging and catering services, during the two-month period was 11,030, down 7.6% against the same period last year. However, the total registered capital increased by 12% to VND720.4 trillion.


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Bank and steel stocks spur local market



Maybank Kim Eng Securities employees monitor share prices. The VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange expanded 0.26% on Friday, February 26 – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Bank and steel stocks were the main driver of the local market, enabling the benchmark VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange to expand today, February 26.

The main index rose 0.26%, or 3.04 points, to close the day at 1,168.47 points, with winning stocks outnumbering losers by 216 to 209. More than 554 million shares worth roughly VND14.87 trillion changed hands on the southern bourse, increasing 8.36% in volume and 11.38% in value compared with the previous session.

Bank stocks were among the best performers, with BID going up 1.5% to VND43,600, ACB up 2% to VND33,050, MBB up 1.3% to VND27,650, VIB up 3.3% to VND39,700 and VPB up 1% to VND40,000. TCB and TPB inched up approximately 0.5%.

Steel stocks were also the major contributors, with NKG, POM, TLH, VGS, VIS and DNY shooting up to the ceiling prices. Steelmaker HPG in the VN30 basket soared 3.3% to VND45,600.

Moreover, bank and steel stocks were the cash magnets. HPG took the lead in terms of liquidity with 40.93 million shares changing hands, followed by MBB with 22.35 million shares. HSG and STB came third with some 17.4 million shares traded each.

Some other large-cap stocks that gained ground included dairy giant VNM, property firm VIC, gas firm GAS and consumer goods producer MSN.

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index added 1.23%, or 3.02 points, to end at 249.22 points, with gaining stocks outnumbering decliners by 100 to 94. There were more than 113 million shares worth VND1.9 trillion changing hands on the northern bourse.

In the HNX30 basket, investment and trading company TNG shot up to the ceiling price and real estate company NRC surged 7.2% to VND23,700. Stone processor VCS, construction firm VC3, pharmaceutical firm DP3 and housing firm NDN rose 1-2%.

Among petroleum and bank stocks, SHB, PVS and PVB closed at their reference prices, while NVB expanded 0.7% to VND14,700. Lender SHB led the northern market in terms of liquidity with 28.66 million shares changing hands, followed by petroleum stock PVS with more than 11.9 million shares.


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Casinos want to serve Vietnamese at major tourist destinations on trial basis



Businesses in Vietnam have proposed that casinos at major tourist destinations be allowed to serve Vietnamese citizens as a way to help such a service cope with difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal was submitted to the prime minister’s advisory council by the country’s casino business community on Thursday.

In the document, local casino businesses stated that the tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic due to a sharp decrease in the number of foreign visitors.

To mitigate this problem, domestic tourism has been promoted.

However, local casinos have not benefited from these promotion plans because Vietnamese people are not allowed to enter these venues.

A circular of the Ministry of Finance previously allowed Vietnamese citizens to use services at local casinos on a trial basis, but no specific list of eligible casinos was issued.

Only two casinos in Phu Quoc, a tourist island off the southern province of Kien Giang, and Van Don, an island off the northern province of Quang Ninh, have been permitted to serve Vietnamese residents as part of the pilot program.

The trial began in January 2019 and would last for three years, before the finance ministry carries out a comprehensive review to make further decisions. 

The casino business community asked the government to consider allowing this entertainment service at other major tourist destinations, such as central Quang Nam Province and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province among others.

Allowing more casinos to serve Vietnamese people will enable the trial to achieve a more objective result, as well as support local businesses in coping with challenges caused by the pandemic.

In accordance with Vietnamese law, casinos are only permitted to serve foreigners or overseas Vietnamese with foreign passports.

In the pilot program, Vietnamese people who wish to enter and gamble in a casino must be at least 21 years of age, and have full capacity for civil acts in accordance with the provisions of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese punters are also expected to prove a regular income of VND10 million (US$430) or more per month to play at a casino.

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