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March 21

Released at: 15:59, 21/03/2018 PRESS WATCH

March 21

VET's round-up of news from Vietnamese media for March 21.

Confidence abounds over GDP growth

More positive signals will emerge during 2018 as the country builds on the confidence and motivation created by the government last year, making 2018 a year of opportunity and breakthroughs for the economy, according to experts who gathered at a seminar held by Vietnam Economic Times and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ho Chi Minh City on March 20 to discuss breakthrough opportunities for economic growth. Agreeing that 2018 will yield more positive signals than 2017, up to 46 per cent of respondents at the conference believe that Vietnam’s GDP will grow 6.5-7 per cent this year, 27 per cent expressed their belief that growth will be above 7 per cent, and 18 per cent said that the economy would grow from 6-6.5 per cent.

Nghe An to grow Japanese garlic

The Japan-based Farmer’s Co-op will support the north-central province of Nghe An to grow garlic for export to Japan via financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), news website baonghean.vn reports, referring to a meeting on March 19 between the provincial government and Japanese partners. Farmer’s Co-op, based in Kagawa Prefecture, agreed to transfer farming technology to Nghe An following the successful trial cultivation of a Japanese garlic breed in Ky Son district. The garlic was successfully planted on a trial basis through a technical assistance project for agricultural developing and planning in Nghe An funded by JICA.

Proposal to lower environment taxes on E5 rejected

The Department of Tax Policies at the Ministry of Finance has rejected a proposal from the Saigon Petro Co. on adjusting the environmental protection tax on E5 bio-fuel and A95, according to Department Director Pham Dinh Thi. The Ho Chi Minh City-based fuel trader proposed the government impose a higher environmental tax on A95 gasoline, thus promoting the consumption of E5 bio-fuel. Similar work has already been done via special consumption taxes, which stand at 8 per cent for E5 and 10 per cent for A95.

Facebook key in e-commerce

Facebook is playing an important role in the development of e-commerce in Vietnam. Some 66 per cent of online shoppers did so via the social media platform in 2016, up from 44 per cent in 2015, despite the country being home to numerous other providers and platforms, Ms. Nguyen Nhu Quynh, Deputy Head of the Inspection Department at the Ministry of Science and Technology told a recent workshop hosted by AmCham. Both foreign and domestic providers such as the Alibaba-invested Lazada, Shopee, Sendo, Adayroi.com, and Mobile World are competing for a presence in Vietnam. Amazon has recently announced plans to support Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises to ship their products abroad.

Vietnam to become a major market for South Korean exports

Vietnam will surpass the US and become the second-largest export market of South Korea by 2020 thanks to the Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA), according to a report of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) released on March 20. KITA said that trade between the two will exceed $100 billion by 2020. South Korea’s exports to Vietnam accounted for 8.5 per cent of the latter’s total import turnover in 2007 but reached a record of 22.1 per cent in 2017.

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