MBC welcomes our New Corporate Members “CHIN WELL FASTENERS (VIETNAM) CO., LTD”,” GAMUDA LAND (HCMC) JOINT STOCK COMPANY”,” HAWE INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION JOINT STOCK COMPANY”, ” PANPAGES VIETNAM LTD”,” TUAN LE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY LIMITED” and ” ZICOLAW (VIET NAM) LTD”---MBC welcomes our New Individual Members “ALAN NG AIK HOW from TAN VIET XUAN PRODUCTION JOINT STOCK COMPANY “, “GAN YEE CHUN from SAMTEC VIETNAM COMPANY LIMITED “, “GARY LIT from GL TRAINING & CONSULTANCY”,” GOH SHUI HSIN from HEXACHEM CO., LTD”, “GRATIA GADING GEORGE from KRETOP INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CHEMICAL”, “HOW YEN LING from GLOBAL TRAINING NETWORK ALLIANCES SDN BHD”, “LENG TZE SING from CT TNHH MOC CAPITAL VIETNAM”,” LIM HOCK SIN from FURNITECH COMPONENTS VIET NAM CO., LTD”, “MARTIN WONG SIEW BING from SOUTHEAST ASIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS PTE.LTD “,”MICHEL KHAOU from AGILITY CO., LTD “, “PETER LIM WEI HENG from TEXCHEM MATERIALS (VIET NAM) CO., LTD “, “ROGER YAP WENG FOOK from CONG TY TNHH MOLUTION”, “TAN JING KUAN from NORD ANGLIA EDUCATION GROUP”,” TAN LAI SEE from ABS ENGINEERING VIET NAM LIMITED”, “TAY KENG CHONG from NIRO CERAMIC VIETNAM”, “TEO SECK CHUAN from SEAMASTER PAINT VIETNAM CO.,LTD”,” TEOH TEAN TIAR from GTC VIETNAM SERVICE AND TRADE COMPANY LIMITED”.

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Vietnam News

HEADLINES  

 

TOP NEWS

VIETNAM SOLAR POWER - THE FIRST OFFICIAL PPA – VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW INTERVIEWING DR. OLIVER MASSMANN

 

FINANCE

Credit room has been loosen for higher growth

Jury still out on cryptocurrency in Vietnam

 

ECONOMY

Vietnam among countries with high number of FTAs: expert

Government regulations still hindering businesses

 

INVESTMENT

New $180-million AEON MALL coming to Haiphong

Korea firm to build plane parts plants in VN

 

REAL ESTATE

InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 opens doors

Van Don to get US$220 million resort complex

 

OIL&GAS&ENERGY&MINING

WB & EVN install five solar measurement stations

Lower costs herald solar flare-up

 

LEGAL

Tighter regulations introduced on delayed, cancelled flights

VAT refund rule for material imports seen unchanged

 

Source:

Dr. Oliver Massmann

International Attorney at Law
Certified Financial Accountant and Auditor
General Director of Duane Morris LLC
Partner of Duane Morris LLP
Member to the Supervisory Board of PetroVietnam Insurance Holdings Joint Stock Company

 

 TOP NEWS

  VIETNAM SOLAR POWER - THE FIRST OFFICIAL PPA – VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW INTERVIEWING DR. OLIVER MASSMANN

  1. Could you point out for me the good point of this solar PPA?

While the previous draft solar PPA does not require the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) conversion between USD and VND be according to the exchange rate at the time of payment, this newly issued solar PPA repeats the language in Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg (Decision 11) that the FiT will be adjusted according to the fluctuation in the VND/USD exchange rate. This is consistent with what is stipulated in Decision 11.

In addition, I note that while the FiT for power output from on-grid projects is adjusted according to the fluctuation in the VND/USD exchange rate, meaning at any time during the year, it is not the same for rooftop projects. Instead, the mentioned FiT for excessive power output generated from rooftop projects remains the same throughout the first year of operation, and the new FiT for the next year will be adjusted based on the announced VND/ USD exchange rate of the last working day of the previous year.

  1. Are there any concerns of investors that the solar PPA has not solved?

The rights of the investors are not fully protected in the following cases:

- when EVN is in the process of installing equipment, or making repairs, replacement, inspection or examination of the grid connection of the seller's power plant;

- when the transmission grid or the distribution grid connected to EVN’s grid has a problem or grid equipment directly connected to EVN's transmission grid or the distribution grid has a problem; and

- when EVN’s grid needs support to recover after the incident in accordance with the provisions of operation of the national power system and the standards, technical regulations of the electric industry.

- allocation of feeding points into the grid

It is quite risky for the producer if the output is ready to be fed to the grid but the connection is not available to do so. Absent a clear indication of whether the Solar PPA is a ‘take or pay” agreement, investors will find it difficult to secure and ensure the profits and revenue of their projects.

  • No international arbitration dispute resolution clause
  • No Government guarantee to enhance the credit of EVN as the sole off-taker;
  • No provision addressing the risks of changes in applicable laws; and
  • The Solar PPA is required to follow a specific template, which is not bankable.
  1. Is this PPA solar bankable or not?

This PPA is not bankable due to reasons specified in 2).

  1. In your opinion, how Vietnam government should do in order to reach their target for solar power capacity in the coming to time?

There is an increasing interest of foreign investors in the sector, proven by the fact that there are many solar projects with total capacity of 10,000 MW registered with the MOIT. However, not many of them have submitted the pre-feasibility study to the MOIT for consideration. There are many reasons behind this, but the most important ones are the lack of Government guarantee of EVN’s payment obligation in the PPA and currency hedging. Thus, the Government should consider a mechanism where EVN has to fulfil its payment obligation and the investors are ensured that they will be able to remit their profits abroad in foreign currency.

***

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Thank you!

 

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 FINANCE

Credit room has been loosen for higher growth

DTCK 

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has approved the credit room loosening for a series of banks. A higher level of credit growth to support economic growth has been in place. Nghien Xuan Thanh, Vietcombank Chair said the bank has been approved by the management agency to loosen credit room from 16 percent to 18 percent. Similary, Le Duc Tho, CEO of Vietinbank said this bank’s credit growth room has been increased to 18 percent. Nguyen Dinh Tung, CEO of OCB said the bank has also been approved by SBV to expand credit room from 14 percent to 22 percent while VIB has been allowed to loosen the room to 24 percent from 16 percent. Nguyen Hung, CEO of TPBank said the bank has also been allowed to untie the credit room from 16 percent to 20 percent. In reality, since the beginning of this year, credit growth has been much better than the previous years, so the room loosening for banks is understandable. Specifically, for the group of state-owned banks, Vietcombank attained 13.86 percent compared to the target of 16 percent; BIDV posted 11.4 percent (compared to the target of 18 percent); Vietinbank achieved 10.2 percent (compared to the target of 16 percent). For the group of joint stock commercial banks, VIB accomplished 15.7 percent (out of the target of 16 percent); HDBank recorded an increase of nearly 18 percent (compared to the target of 20 percent); MB hit 14.6 percent (compared to the target of 16 percent), VPBank reached 13.3 percent (compared to the target of 16 percent). Data of the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) showed that the credit growth as of the end of August touched nearly 12 percent compared to the end of 2016. Banks’ credit growth room was issued at the beginning of the year on the basis of the State Bank’s calculation to serve the credit growth target of 16-18 percent as per the direction of the government. However, in the meeting between the government’s Standing Committee with some ministries, sectors, corporations, the prime minister asked the State Bank Governor to have plan and roadmap to ensure the entire year’s credit growth at about 21-22 percent. “Right after the prime minister’s direction, the State Bank organised a meeting with commercial banks to direct the entire system to achieve the credit growth as directed by the government”, a senior leader of bank said. “The amount of capital serving higher credit growth has been ready. The issue for each bank is to bring it to effective areas, avoiding the recent lesson i.e. the lending was easy while businesses could not absorb capital so bad debt soared”. Recent studies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) recorded that state-owned banks are currently absorbing an unequal amount of credit in Vietnam’s economy compared to small and medium businesses. Besides, IMF’s empirical research also showed that state-owned businesses were able to borrow at lower interest rates than private ones. This allows ailing state-owned banks to access bank capital to avoid the narrowed account balance sheet. Meanwhile, a WB’s survey shows that only 29 percent of small businesses (with one to 20 employees) had active credit room, while state-owned businesses and large domestic companies had the largest credit in the market. In this context, HSBC’s experts said “The misleading credit allocation and reduced private investment, if not being controlled, could affect the GDP growth and increase future bad debt risks”. As per an economic expert, each issue has two sides. The macroeconomic stability is creating the basis for the credit expansion but early warning has always been necessary. The report of major financial organisations and industry experts are also worth noticing for bankers. “Putting capital into effective area with reasonable costs not only preserves loans and avoid bad debt risks but also shows inefficient economic areas that if doing business seriously and creating good added value, they will be able to access better credit with low costs”, said the expert. 

 

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Jury still out on cryptocurrency in Vietnam

VNS 

The use of cryptocurrency and blockchains in Vietnam is currently limited to just one per cent of the total population, though experts anticipate that the number could grow to 30 million users in the next ten years.

Nonetheless, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has clearly stated that unlike legal tenders, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are not considered real money and thus not recognised as payment methods in Vietnamese law.

Bitcoin was first introduced to Vietnam in 2009, and has since experienced double-digit growth each year in terms of users, and an average daily transaction value reaching the thousands of US dollars, according to Bitcoin Vietnam Co ltd., the self proclaimed first bitcoin platform in the country, established in 2014.

Subsequently, bitcoin’s blockchain, its own open, distributed ledger that records transactions between two parties using the coin in a verifiable and permanent way, is now also accessible in Vietnam.

As of late August this year, prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had ordered relevant agencies to draft a legal framework for cryptocurrency and other digital assets, which could mean that bitcoin and its like will be one day accepted in Vietnam under appropriate management.

Nevertheless, at the moment, the issue has a number of loose ends, as the SBV still finds digital currency hard to control. Since bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency, its payment and control system works without a central administrator, so it poses latent administrative risks to the SBV in particular and central banks in general.

Investors’ money, SBV’s headache

Back in July, the SBV sent out a document clearly stating its non-involvement in managing bitcoin on the Vietnamese financial market, as this particular cryptocurrency is not a payment method according to the SBV.

This official document also stressed that since bitcoin and litecoin are not legal tender or legitimate currency, the acts of initial coin offering, generation, and use of such cryptocurrency as means of payment in place of legal tender are all prohibited with established sanctions.

The SBV stated that such prohibition is to keep investors safe against the speculative nature of cryptocurrency, especially when there has been a reported surge in the number of bitcoin mining rigs imported to Vietnam, according to the general Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).

In reality, the increase in demand for bitcoin mining rigs has troubled administrative authorities, as the GDVC’s list of contraband goods according to Decision 187/2013/ND-CP does not regulate these machines, which are computers designed specifically for the decryption of bitcoin and litecoin, through which the process of adding transaction records to bitcoin’s blockchain can be completed, thus generating new coins.

The SBV and the GDVC have reason to believe that the hike in demand for mining rigs is due to a misunderstanding on the part of investors, as they mistakenly consider the aforementioned draft scheme to be an official recognition of bitcoin in Vietnam.

As such, new concerns have arisen for Vietnamese authorities. Since bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies are not accepted as legal payment in Vietnam, the main purpose of most entities importing these mining rigs is to resell them at a higher price instead of actually generating new coins.

This would surely lead to a loss for many speculative investors, especially when the lifespan of these rigs is just around two to three months, with replacements worth more than $3,000.

The SBV has repeatedly warned domestic investors of the systemic risks that lie therein, but seemingly to no avail.

A coin toss

Back in 2009, the exchange rate for bitcoin was about 30 US cents per bitcoin, and it is now roughly $4,000 per bitcoin, with a record high of $5,000, stated Ha Ton Vinh, Chair and CEO of Stellar Management Corporation during a September conference on digital cash and blockchain in Hanoi.

He commented that the sharp hike in the value of bitcoin is due to investors’ speculation, creating hundreds of millionaires in the span of less than a decade while expanding technology and financial application over other economic sectors with about $2 billion spent on bitcoin research over the past five years.

In Vietnam, cryptocurrency, or digital cash, is available in popular forms such as debit or credit cards, or the recently introduced mobile wallets, and in rarer forms such as bitcoin or litecoin, said Terry O’Hearn, Chief Executive Office at iMozi Canada Inc, at the same conference.

According to O’Hearn, digital currency allows for direct transactions through an online payment device without the need for an intermediate financial entity, thus cutting down on transaction costs and increasing convenience.

After reaching up to $4,693 per bitcoin on August 29, 2017, the coin’s value has been gradually decreasing after China slapped restrictions on initial coin offerings, though there is no sign of speculation letting up.

Commercial bitcoin sites record a total capitalised value of the cryptocurrency’s market of up to $120 billion, allowing for a staggering return on investment (ROI) ratio. Any bitcoin investors with enough sway and funding can enjoy an ROI of 150 per cent in a month, as oppose to the stock market’s 11 per cent monthly.

As high returns come with equally high risks, the positive nature of the bitcoin market has soon been replaced with grim warnings from experts on the overblown value of the coin due to too much speculation, which can crash at any moment, leading to unimaginable devastation on financial markets.

Jean Y. Foo, Founder and CEO of Singaporean Mastermind Crate, pointed out at the said September conference that the difference between legal tenders such as the US dollar or Japanese yen and cryptocurrency is that while the former must be regulated by a third party during transactions, such as a Central Bank, the latter simply forgoes this step and relies on technological advances for security.

Therefore, there is no actual guarantee or failsafe mechanism against the coin’s bubble bursting, should it actually happen. And with the many risks that bitcoin investors and users must face online such as cyber attacks, theft, or blocked transactions, the SBV cannot guarantee their safety and financial security.

Still, as Vinh suggested, while several countries such as Japan now accept bitcoin as a legal payment method, it is nonetheless unregulated in the majority of economies including Vietnam’s and is even heavily restricted in China. Thus, its definitive status as part of the economy is yet to be decided.

 

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 ECONOMY

Vietnam among countries with high number of FTAs: expert

Vietnamnet

Vietnam has joined or completed negotiations for 11 free trade agreements (FTAs), bilateral and multilateral, not including the TPP, according to former minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen.

Vietnam is also now conducting negotiations for a series of FTAs, including one with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which comprises Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and the Asean+6 FTA (Asean plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand). Within RCEP, Vietnam has begun negotiations with Israel and Hong Kong (China).

“Vietnam is among the countries which have joined the most FTAs and the Vietnam economy is very open,” Tuyen said.

He went on to say that there are two trends now in the worldprotectionism represented by the US under the Trump administration, and liberalisation of trade and investment.

Protectionism is just a temporary, short-term phenomenon. Therefore, he believes that Vietnam needs to actively integrate into the international economy.

According to Hoang Xuan Hoa, director of the general Economic Affairs under the Party Central Committee, Vietnam will have great opportunities and challenges in 5-10 years, especially after the implementation of the next-generation of FTAs.

These include the Vietnam-EU FTA, expected to be signed and to take effect in 2018, or TPP 11, now with 11 members.

There are big differences between traditional and next-generation FTAs.

First, the latter has a broader range of commitments, not only on tariff and non-tariff policies on goods and services, but also in other fields, including investment, labour, environment, competition, public procurement and e-commerce.

Second, next-generation FTAs have a broader liberalisation scope which target wider market openness with higher standards than that of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Instead of gradual reduction and tariff cuts to 0-5 percent, the FTAs strive to apply a zero percent tariff to all goods.

The third difference is that the time for implementing FTA commitments is shorter. Instead of a 10-year roadmap, FTA members will have 5-7 years to cut the tariffs. Some commitments will become valid as soon as the agreements take effect.

Hoa affirmed that with the next-generation FTAs, Vietnam would have great opportunities to boost exports.

With AEC (Asean Economic Community), Vietnamese products will be able to approach 10 markets in Asean with 620 million consumers. With EVFTA, exports are expected to increase by 21 percent per annum, helping Vietnam earn $16 billion more from exports by 2020.

FTAs will also help Vietnam restructure import/export markets. At present, 70 percent of imports are from East Asia and over 50 percent of exports go to the region. If something happens in the region, Vietnam’s import/exports would be seriously affected.

 

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Government regulations still hindering businesses 

VNS 

The government has had many policies encouraging the development of the private sector. But the sector continues to face many government-created hurdles, including regulations and required licences and certificates.

Phan Duc Hieu, deputy director the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) discussed with the Vietnam News Agency some potential solutions to those issues.

What do you think about the government’s efforts to promote development of the private sector in the recent past?

In recent years, the government has made great efforts, as expressed by the prime minister’s messages, or resolutions in monthly regular meetings of the government, or Resolutions 19 and Resolution 35 on reforming business environment and giving supports for businesses.

I have seen the change in the business environment and the determination of the government on developing the private economic sector. Local enterprises have also seen those.

However, I think, these supports for the private sector are not meeting the expectations of businesses and the government’s targets.

CIEM has released a report on business conditions. How do business regulations or sub-licences affect private businesses?

When we reviewed more than 4,000 business conditions, I read all of these conditions. If I was in the private sector, I would feel frustrated after reading about the business conditions and regulations. I have to worry about how to meet these business conditions.

Regarding the impact of the business conditions, our report found five major impacts on businesses from unreasonable business conditions, including the creation of risks in business, limited entry into markets, limited creativity in business, and unfair competition. The conditions also create disadvantages for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because the same rules may be good for large businesses but not good for SMEs.

According to a survey by the Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF), 44 per cent of businesses said they have missed opportunities because of legal barriers and restrictions on the market. What do you comment on this result?

I think this figure can be trusted because if we look at all business conditions, we will see how those conditions impact the businesses.

Vietnam has many regulations that are not in accordance with international regulations, including those on minimum capital or legal capital or requirements for human resources.

All such regulations have created inexplicable and unsuitable barriers for businesses. Unfortunately, such regulations are not few. According to our statistics, more than 50 per cent of the unreasonable conditions need to be abolished as soon as possible. The Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed to remove nearly 2,000 business conditions in ministries and sectors that have caused difficulties for enterprises. What are the business conditions?

Through a preliminary review, it is possible to list some barriers that can be removed, including business conditions requiring enterprises to have at least two people or to have minimum capital, and business conditions about requirement on minimum capacity, business scale, quantity, and production ability.

These are disadvantageous conditions for businesses, creating barriers in doing business, and risks such as limitation in business and in creativity of enterprises. These conditions need to be removed.

The review and elimination of business conditions relate to different ministries. Are there different opinions during this process from the ministries, sectors?

It is not easy to reform the business environment and reduce unreasonable business conditions. Renovation of business conditions was implemented many years ago. During the process of the reform, there have been different opinions from ministries and sectors. The reform is never easy.

Therefore, this time, if there is not strong determination from the government, it will be very difficult to carry out the reform.

 

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 INVESTMENT

 New $180-million AEON MALL coming to Haiphong

VIR 

Japanese shopping mall developer AEON MALL has decided to open a new $180-million mall in the northern port city of Haiphong to further its ambition of building 20 shopping malls across Vietnam by 2025.

On September 20, AEON MALL Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Haiphong Investment-Trade-Tourism Promotion Center and Viet Phat Import Export Trading Investment JSC to build a new shopping mall in Haiphong which is expected to create about 2,000 new jobs for locals.

Under the agreement, AEON MALL Vietnam will invest, build, manage, and develop integrated shopping malls and provide related services, including catering services, amusement parks for children, as well as rental space, counters, and shelves, all constructed, installed, and decorated.

The $180-million (approximately VND4 trillion) facility covers an areaof 9.3 hectares at Ho Sen-Cau Rao 2 Route and will be the company’s third shopping mall in the north and the sixth one in Vietnam.

This MoU follows a previous one signed between AEON MALL Vietnam and Haiphong authorities at the Vietnam investment promotion conference witnessed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his state visit to Japan in last June.

Scheduled to come into operation in 2020, the Haiphong mall is expected to attract over 13 million visitors every year from Haiphong and surrounding provinces, such as Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Thai Binh, and others. The mall will not only be a place to improve shopping convenience for customers, but also a multi-purpose complex and a place for cultural and social activities for all ages, with many integrated entertainment and educational facilities.

Iwamura Yasutsugu, general director of AEON MALL Vietnam, said that, “We are very happy to start the project in the new but very promising Haiphong, to grow further and develop sustainably with Haiphong authorities, our business partners, and especially the citizens of Haiphong. We want our malls to become focal points for local community activities. This is why every mall we develop and operate is firmly rooted in the life of the surrounding communities and is designed as a place of fun and excitement to enhance the enjoyment of life for everyone.”

Le Van Thanh, Secretary of the Haiphong Party Committee, and Chairman of the Haiphong People's Council, said that, "The investment of AEON MALL in Haiphong will meet people's shopping needs and contribute to developing Haiphong as a commercial centre of the North Coast.”

Thanh said the completion of the project will create jobs for more than 2,000 employees and at the same time increase the city's budget revenue as well create incentives for hundreds of medium- and small-sized enterprises in the city. 

 

AEON MALL shopping malls in Vietnam

 

Opening

Land area(sq.m)

Floor area (sq.m)

Leasing area (sq.m)

AEONMALL Tan Phu Celadon

January 2014

35,000

83,000

47,000

AEONMALL Binh Duong Canary

November 2014

62,000

70,000

48,000

AEONMALL Long Bien

October 2015

96,000

109,000

73,000

AEONMALL Binh Tan

July 2016

47,000

115,000

60,000

AEONMALL Hadong

2019

95,000

Under Planning

Under Planning

AEONMALL Haiphong

2020

93,000

Under Planning

Under Planning

 

 

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 Korea firm to build plane parts plants in VN

VNA

Hanwha Techwin Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Republic of Korea’s Hanwha Group, held a ground breaking ceremony for the first of three planned aviation engine parts plants in Ha Noi’s Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park on Thursday.

The factory, Hanwha Aero Engines, has total investment of US$200 million and plans to expand to $260 million on a total area of nearly 97,000 sq. m to produce aircraft parts.

The first plant is scheduled to be completed and put into operation by the end of April 2018, the other two plants will be built and completed in 2022 respectively. The project is expected to create about 1,000 jobs.

Recently, Hanwha Techwin received major orders from three of the world’s leading engine manufacturers including General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Roll-Royce.

Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology said the investment of Hanwha Techwin into Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park marked a meaningful highlight with Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations.

“The Ministry of Science and Technology has assigned the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park management board to complete the construction of infrastructure, institutions and policies, and create favourable conditions to attract investors,” Anh added.

Since the beginning of this year, the park’s management board has issued investment certificates to three projects with total investment of VND5.5 trillion (US$222 million).

The management board is attempting to attract more than $500 million worth of investment projects from Japan and large scale projects from domestic firms.

 

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 REAL ESTATE 

 InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 opens doors

VET

Hotel boasts 359 luxurious rooms from the 62nd to 71st floors in Keangnam Landmark72.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced the opening of InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 in Hanoi.

Perched atop the towering Keangnam Landmark72 from the 62nd to 71st floors, InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 has 359 sophisticated and luxurious rooms, including 34 spacious and well-appointed suites, all offering panoramic views of the city skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows.

“The launch marks an exciting time for IHG and for the InterContinental brand, as we have made history by welcoming guests to the highest hotel in Vietnam,” said Ms. Leanne Harwood, Vice President, Operations, South East Asia and Korea, at IHG. “The InterContinental brand has been offering luxury travel for over 70 years, and we are looking forward to our guests experiencing the sophistication of the InterContinental life at the new InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72.”

The capital’s newest stand-out luxury hotel is within the wider Landmark72 complex, which comprises retail, commercial, and entertainment offerings, including a variety of meeting spaces ranging from 70 to 920 sq m.  

The hotel is situated close to some of Hanoi’s major landmarks and attractions, such as Hanoi Museum, the National Convention Centre, and the Garden Shopping Center, as well as the headquarters of many Vietnamese multinational corporations. The hotel is less than 40 minutes from Noi Bai International Airport, promising guests a smooth transit when visiting Vietnam’s capital.

Club InterContinental guests can also enjoy exclusive access to the Club InterContinental Lounge, a quiet sanctuary on the hotel’s 71st floor and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Club InterContinental guests can start the day with an a la carte breakfast, enjoy all-day refreshments, take an afternoon tea service as well retreat for evening canapés and drinks while soaking in the view of Hanoi from over 300 meters above the city.

Across Southeast Asia are 17 InterContinental hotels and resorts with eleven more due to open in the next three to five years. InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72 is the second InterContinental in Hanoi, joining the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake.

 

 

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Van Don to get US$220 million resort complex

VIR 

Van Don, a rural district of Quang Ninh Province in the northeastern region of Viet Nam, may soon see a VND5 trillion (US$220 million) resort complex.

Real estate developer CEO Group has proposed to the provincial People’s Committee its intention to build the SonaSea Dragon Bay complex which will have a total area of 94ha.

This will include a hotel complex of 5,000 rooms, a water park, shopping centres and a shop house, as well as docks and a public beach. The project is expected to take shape during the 2018-22 period.

The committee has asked the group to complete its planning and submit a proposal for consideration this month.

With this investment plan, the CEO Group will revive the largest tourism project in Van Don, which has been sluggish for the past decade.

The CEO Group’s investment plans for Van Don come just before the National Assembly prepares for the approval of the Special Administrative-Economic Zone Act, which will create preferential policies on governance, tax incentives and business operations.

Holding in high regard the advantages of tourism and its mechanism to attract investors to the Quang Ninh Province, especially the special economic zone mechanism in the near future, the CEO Group chose Van Don to be the next strategic location in its investment and development in Viet Nam.

 

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 OIL&GAS&ENERGY&MINING 

 WB & EVN install five solar measurement stations

VET

Measurement stations in Binh Thuan province to more accurately gauge solar resources.

The World Bank and Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) have launched a campaign to promote the deployment of renewable energy in Vietnam, with the installation of five solar measurement stations in south-central Binh Thuan province.

The stations will collect high-quality data on solar radiation and improve the accuracy of estimates on solar resources. To be published and made freely available online, the data is expected to encourage and assist developers interested in building solar power plants.

“The costs of solar power generation are falling around the world,” said Mr. Ousmane Dione, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam. “Vietnam is taking an important step in fostering an enabling environment for clean power generation that is quick to build.”

He added that the World Bank Group will continue to support Vietnam in meeting its growing demand for electricity with sustainable renewable options, such as hydropower development, greater energy efficiency in the industrial sector, and higher efficiency in transmission and distribution grids.

The solar measurement campaign follows the recent publication by the World Bank of updated solar maps for Vietnam, which show the average solar resource potential. The data and maps can be accessed via the Global Solar Atlas. These solar maps will be fully validated within two years of the measurement campaign being introduced.

This World Bank support is part of a project, supported by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), that also assesses and maps the potential of biomass, small hydropower, and wind energy.

The measurement stations, in Bac Binh district, Binh Thuan province, are part of a comprehensive suite of World Bank support for renewable energy that also includes advisory assistance to large solar power projects seeking to obtain commercial financing.

 

 

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 WB & EVN install five solar measurement stations

VIR

Solar energy has bright prospects in Vietnam, and solar energy development in the country can benefit from the massively decreased costs of solar technology, write Sonia Lioret and  Rainer Brohm of the MoIT/GIZ Energy Support Programme.

A great opportunity

Vietnam’s fast-growing economy has placed tremendous pressure on the country’s fossil fuel-dependent electricity production over the past few decades. In this context, solar energy can be one of the key solutions for Vietnam to address its energy challenge. At the same time, developing solar energy contributes to climate change mitigation, the reduction of environmental and health problems related to fossil fuel-based power production, and to Vietnam’s transition into a green economy.

The solar irradiation levels in Vietnam are comparable to most countries in the region, including developed solar markets such as China, Thailand, and the Philippines, as well as to mature international solar markets, such as Spain, Italy, and the US. Even though the total installed capacity is now only around 10 megawatts (MW), the long-term theoretical potential for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications is estimated to reach 130,000 MW.

All over the world, solar energy is playing a more and more important role in the global energy structure. Solar PV was the fastest growing renewable energy source in 2016, with more than 70 gigawatts (GW) in new installations worldwide, with the majority taking place in Asia. By now, solar energy truly leads the “green revolution” in the energy sector.

As solar energy technologies are high-tech products, Vietnam will also add a new, high-tech industrial sector to its economy by promoting the domestic development of solar energy. Furthermore, the distribution of solar energy production across the country will create a high share of added value on the local level. Therefore, the country could benefit from a growing domestic solar industry along the value chain – from manufacturing key components of solar power systems (such as solar cells and modules) to project development and the construction and operation of power plants.

It is clear that the government of Vietnam has realised this potential. In the revised Power Development Plan (PDP) VII, the government has set targets to increase solar PV capacity from around 10 MW at the end of 2016 to 850 MW by 2020 and 12,000 GW by 2030. With the current introduction of the feed-in-tariff (FiT) of 9.35 US cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh) and Decision No. 11/2017 on the Support Mechanisms for the Development of Solar Power Projects, it is clear that Vietnam is intent on joining the global trend of harnessing the vast, clean, and renewable resources of the sun.

Vietnam takes its own path 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has had a continuous presence in the Vietnamese renewable energy sector since 2009. Working together with our main local partner, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), we have been supporting the Vietnamese government in developing the renewable energy sector.

We are convinced that renewable energy, particularly solar energy, has a bright future in Vietnam. Solar energy development can benefit from the massively decreased costs of solar technology. Only 10 years ago, a solar power system would have cost more than $6,000 per kilowatt (kW), but today you can build large-scale solar power plants for less than $1,000 per kW – a cost reduction of more than 80 per cent.

We are also convinced that Vietnam has its own path to take up renewable energy that might not be the same as the well-trod paths of other countries. In Germany and in most European countries, the big utilities were among the last to invest in renewable energy. They ‘woke up’ a little late, and now they are trying to catch up with the smaller and more flexible players on the market. What we observe in Vietnam now is rather different. We see that EVN and other major Vietnamese companies are at the forefront of renewable energy and solar energy development, and this will definitely be an advantage for the development of the sector.

This trip around the sun

To date, there are no large-scale solar PV capacity installations yet in place in Vietnam, but changes are happening fast with more than 50 larger projects already in the planning. Most of them have obtained an investment licence, and many are situated in the central and southern provinces of the country, such as Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan. We have also been observing very closely some of the substantial steps that Vietnam has taken in the past years towards the development of solar energy. The ewly introduced FiT is a really important milestone as it lays out an important framework to attract private investment into solar energy development.

The market potential for solar PV investments in Vietnam in both the commercial and industrial rooftop sector are also on the rise. In 2017, the country saw the first projects on factory roofs that exceeded the size of 1 MW.

Even though Vietnam has only started developing solar energy, it is already looking into innovative technology applications for solar PV, such as floating solar panels on important water reservoirs and so-called Aqua/Agro-PV solutions, like supplementing a shrimp farm with small-scale power production. Electricity of Vietnam and other major Vietnamese companies are at the forefront of developing these innovative technologies and applications.

A trusted partner

Germany has more than 50 years of experience in research and development, and a track record of more than 20 years in developing renewable energy. The German government has made a long-term commitment to the development of the Vietnamese energy sector. GIZ is willing to share with Vietnam its specific experience in renewable and solar energy, which could serve as a guiding light for the development of the sector. As part of our Energy Support Programme, together with MoIT we have organised various activities in policy advisory, capacity building, technology transfer, and research co-operation to facilitate the uptake of the solar energy sector in Vietnam. Examples include a business study tour to Germany in 2016 for Vietnamese policymakers, a solar PV training week for project developers in 2017, and the newly-started development of a National Solar Assessment and a net metering policy for solar rooftop projects through the EUEI-PDF initiative.

We see that the German renewable energy industry has been quite eager to invest in the emerging Vietnamese market and to partner with Vietnamese companies to develop renewable power projects. The latest targets of the solar PV sector outlined in the revised PDP VII and the political momentum initiated by the approved solar PV support mechanism in 2017 have grabbed the attention of German investors.

Very recently, the abundant opportunities for German companies in the renewable energy field in Vietnam have been emphasised by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a German business forum organised in Berlin in the framework of his visit in Germany for the G20. Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, also highlighted the existing co-operation between German and Vietnamese companies in this field. GIZ is glad to see that Vietnam is now actively joining the global trend of developing the solar energy movement. This will contribute to the country’s energy security and energy independence, while opening the door for a new, high-tech industrial sector. It goes without saying that the adoption of these new technologies will have a positive impact on the country, promoting economic growth, creating jobs – including green jobs – and increasing energy efficiency. As a long-term partner, GIZ will continue to support the development of the renewable energy sector and solar energy in Vietnam.

 

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 LEGAL

Tighter regulations introduced on delayed, cancelled flights

DTI News 

The Ministry of Transport has revised regulations on flight delays and cancellations, requesting airlines to provide better care for their passengers in these cases.

According to the new regulations, if a flight is delayed for 15 minutes or more, airlines have to report the delay to their passengers, explaining clearly the reasons for this as well as informing them of the planned departure time, replacement flight schedule or the plan to serve them during the waiting time. Airlines have to apologise the passengers for the problem.

When passengers have their seats confirmed but face the flight delay of two hours, airlines have to serve them drinks. For the delay of from three to five hours, passengers will be provided with meals.

Flights delayed from 7 pm to 10 pm will require airlines to arrange accommodation for their passengers to take a rest. In cases of the delays between 10 pm and 7 am the next morning, rooms need to be arranged for passengers to sleep or replacement measures provided based on passenger agreement.

Airports have to update information on delayed or cancelled flights on their network right after receiving the reports from airlines.

These regulations will take effect from November 1.

 

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 VAT refund rule for material imports seen unchanged

VET

A regulation that imported raw materials for production or processing of goods for export are not entitled to value added tax (VAT) refunds is here to stay.

According to the VAT law which was amended last year, enterprises will not be paid back the VAT collected from material imports for production of goods for export or for sale within tariff-free zones, and temporarily imported products for re-export, among others.

At a seminar recently held to comment on draft amendments and supplements to five tax laws in HCMC, Deloitte Vietnam deputy general director Phan Vu Hoang, who has 20 years’ experience in tax consulting, said this is an unfair regulation which had affected export and production.

Businesses have to complete import duty payment as a requirement for customs clearance but when they export finished goods abroad or sell them to customers inside tariff-free zones and those processing goods for export, they cannot claim tax refunds, he said. However, producers inside tariff-free zones can ask for tax refunds.

Another unreasonable provision in the law is that goods and services which are consumed outside Vietnam and within customs-free zones or provided for foreign customers are subject to 0% VAT.

But in reality, Hoang said, some enterprises enjoy 0% tax but others pay 10% tax even though they are in the same category which is subject to 0% tax. This is because the definition of goods consumption outside Vietnam is unclear and since the amended VAT law came out in April last year, more than 1,000 correspondences on how to define goods consumption outside Vietnam have gone back and forth but no definitive answer has been found, he noted.

The Ministry of Finance, however, has made no mention of this issue in its draft amendments to the VAT law this time around as the regulation on imports for re-export was abused by some businesses to claim VAT refunds in the past.

 

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Thanks,

 


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