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Overseas Vietnamese businesses key to national socio-economic development




Representatives of overseas Vietnamese business associations and EuroCham Vietnam speak at a seminar organised on Tuesday in HCM City. — Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp

HCM CITY — HCM City will continue to strengthen connections between overseas Vietnamese business groups and associations, especially those in the EU, and domestic enterprises in an effort to promote trade and investment, speakers said Tuesday at a meeting in the city.

Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said that HCM City, with a population of more than 10 million and more than 350,000 enterprises, has great potential for investment. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, overseas remittances sent to HCM City reached US$4 billion in the first nine months of the year, up 2 per cent year-on-year. The number is expected to reach $5.5 billion by the end of the year, up 0.82 per cent year-on-year.

Việt Nam is the EU’s 17th largest trading partner and the second-largest in Southeast Asia, while the EU is one of Việt Nam’s major markets, he noted.

Two-way turnover reached nearly $56.5 billion last year, with Vietnamese exports to the trading bloc reaching $41.5 billion, he noted.

The European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on August 1, is expected to open new doors and create growth momentum for Việt Nam’s economy and exporters, he said.

In 2019, the city’s exports to the EU reached more than $5 billion (up 5.4 per cent year-on-year), according to Liêm.

Great contribution

Ambassador Lương Thanh Nghị, vice chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (under Ministry of Foreign Affairs), said that more than 5.3 million Vietnamese were living in 130 countries and territories. The overseas Vietnamese business community includes at least 6,000 members connected to Việt Nam via technology and business fields.

He spoke highly of the significant contributions made by overseas Vietnamese businesses to the country’s socio-economic development, especially during the hard times of the pandemic.

“Overseas Vietnamese businesses are key to national socio-economic development,” he said. “Remittances to Việt Nam have reached about $170 billion from 1990 to now.” 

Overseas Vietnamese have invested in 3,000 projects with total registered capital of more than $4 billion, creating many jobs, according to Nghị.

Some 500,000 – 600,000 overseas Vietnamese professionals are now working and studying in developed countries, which is huge resource for the country. Every year, there are about 500 overseas Vietnamese experts who return to Việt Nam for investment in many fields, he said.

According to Nghị, about one-fifth of the 5.3 million overseas Vietnamese living in Europe. But the market share of Vietnamese goods in the EU is still modest compared to the potential.

In recent years, many overseas Vietnamese have returned to Việt Nam to start businesses as they see great potential and good economic growth in the country. 

“Many of them have been very successful in their careers in other countries and have now invested in businesses in Việt Nam,” Nghi said.

“In addition to financial contributions through remittance resources, many overseas Vietnamese experts have made important contributions to training a high-quality workforce, and transferring scientific technologies to Việt Nam.”

He encouraged young overseas Vietnamese who have re-settled in Việt Nam to build a network in the country to better exploit the potential of the overseas Vietnamese community for further socio-economic development.

Speaking at the event, Jean-Jacques Bouflet, vice President of the European Business Association in Vietnam (EuroCham), said to bring into full play the potential of EVFTA, Việt Nam enterprises should understand the EU market and business standards, and improve product quality, traceability and reliability. 

The EU is a market with high standards, so businesses must improve to meet technology, governance and social responsibility requirements, he said.

At the meeting, three MoUs were signed between Việt Nam and South Korea. They included one between the Vietnam-Korea Businessmen and Investment Association (VKBIA) and MEGAZONE CLOUD Group; another between VKBIA and SHINHAN BANK; and one between VKBIA and MHGroup and Hoàng Quân Group. —



China-ASEAN Expo opens, featuring digital economy, RCEP



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)


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VNR petitions for reduction of infrastructure charge



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.


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Mekong Delta expressway network expansion: infographic




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