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Vietnam casts watchful eye on tech giants’ cross-border cash flows



Vietnam’s General Department of Taxation is asking for cooperation from commercial banks in monitoring the cash flows of big tech corporations in Vietnam in order to enforce tax responsibilities.

A statement regarding the issue was made by Dang Ngoc Minh, deputy director of the General Department of Taxation, on Tuesday during a press conference to introduce Decree 126/2020, which provides further guidance on the implementation of the 2019 Law on Tax Administration.

According to Minh, the Ministry of Finance is drafting a circular to guide cross-border e-commerce entities through the completion of their tax obligations in Vietnam.

Minh also stated that the taxman is already working with consulting and auditing firms to ensure big tech corporations, namely Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook, are properly addressing their tax liabilities.

Tax implications

Minh clarified that the tax authority will provide affected corporations with guidance on their tax and administrative responsibilities.

Generally speaking, private entities are subject to both business income tax and value-added tax for cross-border services provided to Vietnamese customers.

The General Department of Taxation has called several meetings with representatives of Netflix to assess the fulfillment of the video platform’s tax responsibilities.

According to Minh, the tax agency has plans to probe and recalculate Netflix’s tax filings for its business in Vietnam. It also plans to coordinate a probe with local banks into the firm’s cash flow statements.  

In 2018, the Vietnamese tax body collected around VND800 billion (US$34.6 million) from the cross-border e-commerce activities of big tech firms.

That number increased to VND1 trillion ($43.3 million) in 2019 and once again hit VND1 trillion between January and November this year.

The overall sum of money collected by Vietnam’s tax authority, however, fell short of what authorities say corresponds to the actual amount being shelled out by Vietnamese users for cross-border services.

Tax authorities have thus requested cooperation from local banks in monitoring cash flows from e-commerce services.

Concerns for individual taxpayers

During the media briefing, Minh also addressed uncertainties about whether the new regulation requires banks to provide the names and bank accounts of all taxpayers for tax authorities.

He confirmed that the taxman has no plans to solicit taxpayer information from banks.

In reality, the tax agency only works with banks to administrate the incomes of individuals who benefit from big tech firms’ partnership programs, namely the Facebook Creator Program and the YouTube Partner Program.

Individual identities are only obtained from banks if they are suspected of tax-related misconduct.

“Upon detecting foreign cash flows accruing in the accounts of domestic individuals and entities, the tax body has the authority to require banks to provide transaction details,” Minh stressed.

The official also revealed that the General Department of Taxation will meet with the State Bank of Vietnam to clear up some of the regulations’ murkier details.

As per the current orientation, banks will provide tax authorities with the names and accounts of taxpayers with more than two sources of income, including taxpayers who settle income tax without the aid of their employers.

Other issues, namely data storage and protection, will be discussed and settled between the two state agencies.

The guiding circular for the implementation of this regulation will be published in the near future.

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US-based SSA Marine partners with Gemadept to build $6.7-billion logistics centre

The US-based SSA Marine and Vietnam’s Gemadept are collaborating to build the Cai Mep Ha Logistics Center in Vietnam, which is expected to be worth $6.7 billion.



According to local media on September 12, the agreement focuses on the southern Vietnamese port region, particularly the construction of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center.

“The establishment of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center represents not only a leap for Vietnam but for global logistics,” an SSA Marine source stated. “The vision is grand, and the potential is limitless.”

When completed, the complex would span over 2,200 hectares and serve as Vietnam’s top logistics hub. The venture, located in the gorgeous surroundings of Phuoc Hoa district in Phu My town, has a dual-focused blueprint: a cutting-edge logistics center paired with the strategically positioned Cai Mep Ha downstream port.

SSA Marine, the largest US-owned and privately held container terminal operator and cargo handling company in the world, handles 35 million container TEUs per year at its marine and rail terminals and also operates cruise, auto- and Ro/Ro logistics, and IT Solutions.

With 73 years of existence, the firm operates over 250 ports throughout the US, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Asia, and New Zealand.

This modified plan, according to the province’s Department of Transport and consultants, increases the total area from 1,763ha to nearly 2,204ha. The core project space is approximately 1,687ha, including both the logistics center and the downstream port of Cai Mep Ha.

Moreover, the water surface area has been reduced to about 202ha. In addition, land initially reserved for clean energy storage will be repurposed for logistics and port functions.

The strategic planning adjustment aims to extend the port to handle 250,000-ton ships. Logistics and port operations will be redefined on the 198 ha of land, together with possible water surface areas.

Gemadept and SSA Marine are the leading investors, although seven others are interested. Geleximco, ITC, and Besix-Boskalis-Hateco, a Vietnam-EU collaboration, are said to be involved.

Upon completion, this hub will optimize import and export transportation costs across road, sea, rail, and air transit nodes. It aims to receive, store, process raw materials, package, label, and distribute commodities for adjacent industrial zones, notably the CM-TV port cluster, Vung Tau Port, and the southeast coastal port region.

Source: VIR


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Vietnam’s Hai Phong City attracts extra $1.4 billion in foreign investment



Several enterprises from South Korea and Japan were granted investment certificates on Friday to develop FDI projects at industrial parks in the northern port city of Hai Phong, with a total pledged capital reaching nearly US$1.4 billion.

The investment certificate handover ceremony was attended by Le Tien Chau, secretary of the municipal Party Committee.

The Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board presented an investment certificate to Ecovane, a subsidiary of the South Korean chemicals maker SKC, to develop a hi-tech biodegradable material factory project worth $500 million.

Other key projects receiving the certificates at the event included a BW ready-built factory worth $60 million and a $40-million auto parts manufacturing plant by China’s CCTY Bearing Company.

Besides, Japan’s Kyocera Document Solutions Inc was approved to pour an additional $237.5 million into its machine and equipment manufacturing plant project, raising the project’s total investment to $425 million.

The municipal Economic Zone Management Board also finished the selection of investors for two social housing projects worth a combined $400 million, whose work is expected to begin this year.

Once completed, the social housing projects will offer more than 8,000 apartments to around 22,000 people, contributing to the city’s efforts to ensure social security and stable accommodations for low-income employees.

Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre

In the year to September 20, industrial parks and economic zones in Hai Phong had attracted roughly $3.1 billion of investment, reaching 120 percent of its 2023 target, said Le Trung Kien, head of the city’s Economic Zone Management Board.

Up to now, over 1,000 FDI projects worth a combined $28 billion have been developed in this northern port city, which granted investment certificates to 45 FDI projects with a total pledged capital of nearly $2.1 billion and 11 DDI (domestic direct investment) projects with a total cost of some $600 million last month.

The city’s Economic Zone Management Board previously had a working session with South Korea’s Chungbuk Free Economic Zone, which sought to cooperate with businesses active in Hai Phong as well as support them in technology transfers and human resources training.

The investment in semiconductor technology in Hai Phong is expected to advance further as SKC, the chemical unit of South Korea’s SK Group, inked a memorandum of understanding with Hai Phong to study the investment environment for advanced semiconductor materials, secondary batteries, and some other eco-friendly materials.

SK Group is the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea, just after Samsung, focusing on four main areas including energy and chemicals; telecommunications; semiconductors and other advanced materials; pharmaceuticals and logistics services, according to the Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board.

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VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000



VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000

VinFast VF 6 is introduced in an even in Ho Chi Minh City on Sep. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nhan

Vietnamese automaker VinFast has launched its fifth electric car, the VF 6 crossover in the small-car segment, with base prices starting at VND675 million ($27,800).

The Plus version, which offers a range of 399 kilometers compared to the base’s 381 kilometers, costs VND765 million.

The battery costs VND90 million for each version.

Any customer who does not buy the battery can lease it for VND1.8 million a month, with a maximum monthly distance of 1,500 kilometers.

Sales begin October 20 and deliveries will be scheduled for the end of this year.

The VF 6 is in the same price range as the Hyundai Creta (starting at VND640 million) and the Kia Seltos (from VND599 million).

The B-segment (European classification’s smallest-car category) is rife with competition in Vietnam thanks to offerings by Japanese, South Korean, German and Chinese brands all seeking a bigger share.


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