The draft law of the special administrative-economic zone (SEZ) was submitted to the fourth plenum of the National Assembly for review last October and supposed to be ratified in the fifth session in June.
The draft law was expected to create breakthroughs in mechanisms and preferential incentives to boost economic development and investments in three SEZs in Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc in the context of growing global uncertainties, while safeguarding national security and sovereignty.
However, it has stirred controversial opinions over the necessity of land leasing duration up to 99 years and tax incentives.
This resulted in the National Assembly’s decision to delay the voting on the draft law until a future session, but no specific schedule has been announced.
The draft law is currently being reviewed as the government continues seeking public comments.
7/ WEF ASEAN 2018 in Vietnam
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), considered the WEF ASEAN in Vietnam the most successful regional meeting of the WEF. The event was an opportunity for Vietnam to showcase its economic progress and achievements to the global community.
Taking place from September 11 to 13, a record number of 1,000 representatives, including seven presidents and prime ministers, two deputy prime ministers, 60 ministers and 800 executives of global leading corporations, participated in the event.
The theme of “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is in line with the world’s development trend, which discussed issues ranging from the region’s geopolitical friction points to entrepreneurship and employment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
By hosting such event of global scale, Vietnam has impressed friends and partners with its dynamism, openness and hospitality.
8/ CPTPP becomes reality
Vietnam has become the seventh member country to official ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) after the US withdrew in January 2017.
The CPTPP will enter into force on December 30 after six out of the 11 signatory countries of the agreement including Mexico, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Australia, have already approved the deal.
According to Vietnam’s President Nguyen Phu Trong, with the participation in the CPTPP, country’s core interests and benefits would be ensured.
Additionally, the move would show Vietnam’s strong commitment to global economic integration, at the same time cement Vietnam’s growing influence in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh added that the CPTPP would help Vietnam’s GDP and exports grow additional 1.32% and 4.04% by 2035. The country’s imports is expected to grow an additional 3.8%, which is lower than the growth rate of exports during the period.
Alternatively, the CPTPP would help Vietnam rebalance its export markets, in turn increasing its economic independence, Minh said, adding that the formation of the supply chain within the CPTPP is an important factor for Vietnam to further develop its economy and move up in the global value chain.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s commitments in the CPTPP would put pressure on the country to improve its business environments, Minh added
9/ Made-in-Vietnam products make world’s headlines
A VinFast car.
VinFast, the automobile subsidiary of Vingroup, caught the worldwide attention with the unveiling of two SUV and sedan models at the 2018 Paris Motorshow on October 2 along with the appearance of ex-football superstar David Beckham.
The company, which aims to become Vietnam’s first domestic car manufacturer, plans to have its first production models built under its own badge hit the street next August. Vingroup has earmarked about US$3.5 billion for the project.
From a standing start, VinFast will have the capacity to produce 250,000 cars annually in the next five years or so, equivalent to 92% of all the cars sold in Vietnam last year, according to data collated by the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA).
VinSmart, another subsidiary of Vingroup, launched its first smartphones products on December 14. The firm wants to sell its smart phone and other smart products to all continents and has identified Russia and Spain, where it owns 51% of Spanish technology firm BQ, as potential markets in Europe
10/ Clash of the Industry 4.0
Ride-hailing firms Grab and Uber arrived in Vietnam in 2014 and operate both car and motorbike hailing services. The two services started to run on a trial basis in early 2016, but have been caught up in a turf war with traditional taxi drivers, as the rise of these two firms have led traditional taxi firms on the downhill path.
Notably, local taxi firm Vinasun even took Grab to court, accusing the latter’s unfair business practices that had cost it US$1.76 million in lost profits. Vinasun also added that Grab has exploited Decision No.24, which pilots the application of technology in managing and connecting electronic contract-based passenger, transportation, to violate regulations on taxi transportation.
After nine months with four delays, Vinasun and Grab agreed for suspending the lawsuit and settled their dispute out of court.
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