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Singapore miracles and lessons for Vietnam



Singapore’s journey into becoming a dragon took place within only 30 years, offering valuable lessons for countries in the region, including Vietnam.

Besides dealing with corruption, developing education, promoting English training, and developing highly skilled human resources, Singapore applied other outstanding measures in trade promotion and administration.

Phép màu Singapore và bài học cho Việt Nam-1

Comparison of labor productivity between Vietnam and other countries, including Singapore. Photo: Customs Newspaper

Employing talent

According to Dr. Pham Manh Hung of the Institute of World Economy and Politics, the meritocracy regime was trusted by the People’s Action Party (PAP) as the theory for national development. It was extended to the selection of political leaders, becoming the operating principle of the civil service and of the Singaporean political and social system. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said there must be a culture of meritocracy to build an effective civil service, promoting economic growth and social development.

The government wants to achieve excellence to cover all strata, and wants people to see that equal opportunities are available to everyone regardless of background, race, religion or gender. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has said: “I do not allow any non-talented family member to hold important positions, because it will be a disaster for Singapore and my legacy.”

In 2010, during an interview in the US, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was asked if he became Singapore’s leader because of his father’s influence. He said: “In Singapore, we pay high salaries to attract the most talented people to work for the government and I have to prove it myself.”

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Singapore’s ratio of trade to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is much higher than the world average. Source: WB

Dr. Hung said that the demonstration of the appreciation of talent is easily seen in both world and Vietnamese history. The engraved epitaph in Quoc Tu Giam says: “Talented and righteous persons are the precious resources of the country.”

Social and economic strategy

In the Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep (Business Forum) newspaper, Dr. Bui Ngoc Son of the Institute of World Economy and Politics said that Singapore has a very smart export strategy with a clear roadmap.

Research works show that in the mid-1970s Singapore focused on encouraging investment in the industrial sector, electronic medical equipment, and automobile components. The next period – 1980-1990 – it focused on developing electronics and sea shipping. In the 2000s, it switched to new technologies such as biotechnology and financial technology.

Dr. Son said that Vietnam has been exporting raw materials and is trying to increase the export of goods with a large labor workforce, such as in textiles, agricultural and aquatic products. However, Vietnam needs to change the garment export structure, reducing the processing rate. In addition, it is necessary to mention a new direction: software outsourcing.

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Singapore ranks second globally in its business environment quality. Photo: WB

Regarding the exchange rate, Dr. Son said with the domestic tightening monetary policy, Vietnam has avoided undue tension with other countries and improved its position in the international arena. As for the need to boost exports to have capital for economic growth in the short term, Vietnam can use a number of export subsidy policies to create favorable conditions for the development of domestic enterprises. This is also a policy that Singapore applied very successfully and achieved outstanding growth.

In an analysis, Tai Chinh (Finance) Magazine wrote that Singapore is striving to become the largest commercial and service center in the world. They are building themselves into a hub for capital management and personal banking services. Based on the advantage of an open, transparent and regulatory regime and the use of English as the main language in international transactions, Singapore has created a great playing field to attract international finance forces, generating a huge amount of profit.

Another experience that Vietnam can learn from Singapore, according to Dr. Son, is that Singapore has been very interested and focused on trade promotion to diversify markets and expand to unexplored markets. Dr. Son said that Vietnam should firstly focus on strengthening trade relations with major markets such as the US, Japan, Europe and China. These are large importers of Vietnam’s export items and the major providers of basic benefits such as ODA, FDI and technology transfer. However, finding other potential markets also needs attention.

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Singapore is clean and beautiful, characteristics that people remark on when visiting the country. Photo: Agoda

In another angle, according to the Financial Magazine, the world describes Singapore a park in a city. Interestingly, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, after visiting Vietnam in the early 20th century, saw Co Ngu Street (Hanoi’s Thanh Nien Street now) lined with lush green trees, and wanted to apply this in his country. Singapore deeply understands that trees are a vital environment, so now their country is green, clean and beautiful.

Dr. Pham Manh Hung said Vietnam now has many more favorable conditions compared to those of Singapore at the time it performed its ‘dragon’ transformation. Vietnam’s population is larger, and is in the golden age with 70% of the population under 35 years old. Vietnam’s area is larger, while natural resources are more plentiful. The intellect and bravery of the Vietnamese people are also very good…

“Therefore, it is clear that if we do not transform into a dragon, it is because we do not want to do it, not because we are unable to do it,” Dr. Hung said.

Le Minh



Excited but anxious: Hanoi business owners reopen



Though they eagerly reopen after being closed for 27 days due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many Hanoi businesses are also worried about changing consumer behaviors.

Closed restaurants inside a shopping mall in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, June 20. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Minh.

Closed restaurants inside a shopping mall in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, June 20. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Minh.

After Hanoi authorities announced that indoor dining and hairdressing can resume on Tuesday, Bui Quang Hung, co-founder of barber shop chain 30Shine, showed his excitement with a post on social media saying, “see you Hanoians on Tuesday morning.”

He said the shops would open from 7.30 a.m. until late night to clear a backlog of almost a month.

“Men have to visit the barber once every three weeks on average because they feel irritated if their hair is one to two centimeters too long.”

There would be two or three times the usual number of customers for two weeks, he said based on his experience from previous waves.

But some other businesses are less hopeful.

Trieu Nguyen Quan, owner of the Goofoo Gelato chain of ice cream shops, does not expect many customers for 10 days after reopening since people are afraid of the pandemic.

Hoang Tung, CEO of fast-food restaurant chain Pizza Home, said the outbreak could cause him to lose a number of customers since people have adopted a new habit of eating at home.

To survive the stop-start nature of their business amid the pandemic, many have sought to improve their business model. Tung said Pizza Home has closed some stores that were not doing well but has expanded into home delivery and apps.

“The restaurants have to operate both online and offline, and must be prepared for the worst, which is closure, amid the pandemic.”

Goofoo Gelato too has managed to pull on thanks to online sales.

Quan said he plans to increase the number of outlets but only after vaccination. He said vaccination is the only way to make him feel secure and the ultimate solution for businesses to open and the economy to revive.

Around 2 percent of the population has received the first shot, and 0.1 percent has received both.

Vietnam has received delivery of around three million vaccine doses so far, and is expected to get over 120 million this year.

It seeks around 150 million in all to cover 70 percent of its population.


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Market falls on strong selling forces



A worker collecting latex in a rubber plantation of Vietnam Rubber Group (GVR)’s member in Chư Păh District, Gia Lai Province. The company shares posted the biggest losses yesterday. — /VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Shares inched down on Wednesday, weighed by strong selling pressure across most sectors despite gains in some large-cap stocks. 

The market benchmark VN-Index on the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) declined by 0.22 per cent to 1,376.87 points. The market’s breath stayed negative with 298 stocks falling, while 94 stocks rose and 51 ended flat. 

The liquidity was high as more than 710.77 million shares were traded on the market, worth over VNĐ21.1 trillion (US$528.6 million).

The market was weighed by selling forces despite rallies in large-cap stocks, especially bank stocks. 

The VN30-Index, which tracks 30 biggest stocks in market capitalisation on HoSE, climbed slightly 0.02 per cent to 1,489.53 points. Twenty stocks of the VN30 basket plummeted, while only nine jumped and one stayed unchanged. 

Stocks in many sectors posted negative performance yesterday with material stocks leading the market’s trend. Vietnam Rubber Group (GVR) witnessed the biggest losses, down 2.47 per cent, followed by No Va Land Investment Group Corporation (Novaland, NVL), Vingroup JSC (VIC) and Mansan Group (MSN), down 0.5 – 1.57 per cent.

However, the losses were limited by gains in bank stocks. Of which, Vietcombank (VCB) was the biggest gainer in the market, up 1.95 per cent. Other stocks witnessing big increases were Vietinbank (CTG), VPBank (VPB) and Saigon Beer – Alcohol – Beverage Corporation (SAB), up more than 1.5 per cent. 

The market has fluctuated since the beginning of the week with alternative up and down sessions. 

Analysts from Saigon – Hanoi Securities JSC (SHS) said that based on Elliot Theory, there is still room for an upward trend with a resistance level of around 1,400 points. 

Investors who took profits last week should refrain from opening long positions at the current price and wait until the market corrects deeper to come back, SHS added. 

On the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index plunged 0.41 per cent to 315.8 points. 

During the trading session, more than 126.2 million shares were traded on the northern bourse, worth nearly VNĐ3 trillion. 

Meanwhile, foreign investors returned to the market as they net bought a value of VNĐ159.5 billion on both exchanges. Of which, they net bought a value of VNĐ144.44 billion on HoSE, and a value of VNĐ15.06 billion on HNX. —


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Local stocks experience gloomy trading day



An investor browses his mobile phone while sitting in front of stock information screens. The local stock market ended lower today, June 23 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Thanks to the support of securities stocks and largecaps in the banking sector, the benchmark VN-Index of the HCMC stock market only fell slightly amid lackluster trading today, June 23.

At the close, the main index shed 3.1 points, or 0.22% against the previous session at 1,376.87, with 94 stocks rising and up to 298 others dropping.

Turnover on the southern bourse continued its downward trend, contracting 4.8% in volume and 5.7% in value at over 710 million shares and more than VND21 trillion. Shares traded in block deals contributed VND2.050 trillion to the overall value.

In the group of bank stocks, largecaps extended rally which helped the VN-Index to avoid a deep decline.

Private lender VPB was the biggest winner as it soared 4.5% with 30.7 million shares changing hands. Also, State-owned lender VCB added 2%, and its fellows CTG and BID rose 1.5% and 0.9%, respectively. TPB, ACB, and TCB increased slightly by 0.4-0.8%.

Meanwhile, lender LPB was the biggest loser, dropping 2% to its intraday low. Similarly, lenders SSB and EIB lost around 1%.

Many securities stocks maintained their good performance, with HCM surging 3.6%, VDS improving 2.6%, CTS edging up 1.4%.

A lot of fuel and property stocks ended deep in the red.

Among speculative stocks, while a host of them suffered from huge losses, investment firm FIT hit its upper limit, real estate firms SCR and IJC rose slightly.

Property developing group FLC recorded the third straight losing session with a 5.8% drop, but it led the HCMC market by liquidity with 47 million shares changing hands.

On the northern bourse, the HNX-Index lost 1.29 points, or 0.41% over the session earlier to close at 315.8, with 73 advancers and 133 decliners. Over 126 million shares worth more than VND2.8 trillion were transacted on the bourse, falling 22.9% in volume and 21.7% in value versus the previous day.


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