March 9-15: Vietnam proposes 13 priorities for 26th AEM Retreat

Monday, 2020-03-16 13:48:13
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Officials pose for a photo at the meeting in Da Nang city on March 8 (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - Nhan Dan Online reviews the notable events that made headlines over the past week.

Vietnam proposes 13 priorities for 26th AEM Retreat

A preparatory senior economic official’s meeting for the 26th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat (PREP-SEOM for the 26th AEM Retreat) was held in Da Nang city on March 8.

The highlight of the PREP-SEOM was 13 priorities proposed by Vietnam – the ASEAN Chair in 2020. The priorities will be discussed at the 26th AEM Retreat before reaching consensus for key tasks for implementation in this year. The priorities are based on three main orientations, namely promoting connection and economic connectivity in ASEAN, enhancing partnership for peace and sustainable development and raising adaptation capacity and operational effectiveness of ASEAN.

Vietnam suspends entry of tourists from or transiting Schengen countries, UK

Vietnam has temporarily denied entry of tourists coming from or transiting Schengen countries and the UK within 14 days before their intended arrival in Vietnam, and suspend visas-on-arrival at border gates amid the rapid and complicated developments of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The travel ban took effect at 12:00 on March 15, 2020, and will last 30 days. It is not applied to those who arrive on diplomatic or official purposes.

Foreigners who are specialists, managers and skilled workers must undergo medical checks at the point of entry, and must follow epidemic prevention measures at enterprises and accommodations as required. Vietnam has informed foreign diplomatic representative and consular agencies and representative agencies of international organisations in Vietnam on this decision.

Two-month budget revenue increases by 9.3%

Budget revenue in the first two months this year increased by 9.3% over the same period in 2019.

The total State budget revenue in the first two months this year reached VND276.7 trillion (US$11.8 billion), equalling 18.3% of the estimate and up 9.3% over the same period last year.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the accumulation of domestic revenue during the two-month period reached VND233.2 trillion, equalling 18.4% of the estimate, up 12.8% over the same period in 2019. Of this, revenue from crude oil was VND11.2 trillion, equal to 31.9% of the estimate, up 44.4% year on year.

Due to the impact of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), import-export turnover growth momentum in the first two months has slowed, revenue from import-export activities reached VND48.2 trillion, equalling 14.3% of the estimate and down 10.8% over the same period last year.

Seven manufacturing goods post US$1 billion-plus exports in two months

Vietnam has seven manufacturing goods with export revenues reaching over US$1 billion each in the first two months of 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).

Phone and phone parts recorded the largest revenues at US$6.9 billion, followed by computers and electronics at US$5.363 billion and garments at US$4.52 billion. Other major earners included machinery and equipment (US$2.985 billion), footwear (US$2.7 billion), timber products (US$1.5 billion) and transport vehicles (US$1.4 billion).

The MOIT said the manufacturing sector’s total revenue hit US$31.39 billion in the first two months of 2020, up 4.1% over the same period last year and accounting for 85.01% of Vietnam’s total exports.

Banks to reschedule debts, lower interest rates to support firms affected by COVID-19

SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu speaking at the meeting on March 12. (Photo: SBV)

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will create favourable conditions for credit institutions and branches of foreign banks to proactively reschedule debt payment deadlines and exempt and reduce interest rates and fees for enterprises affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu made the statement at the SBV’s meeting held on March 12 to share about SBV Circular 01/2020 issued on the same day that allows credit institutions to take measures to support customers affected by the epidemic.

Tu noted that the circular was issued in a bid to quickly ease the difficulties for borrowers following the instruction from the Government at the regular meeting in February. The banking sector has adopted solutions to support customers and share in their difficulties since the outbreak of the epidemic, Tu said.

Vietnam - a world leader in having women in top corporate positions

Vietnam has a greater percentage of women in senior leadership positions than the global average, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report.

In Vietnam’s mid-market companies, women hold 33% of senior leadership positions with the most common being human resource director (36%) and chief financial officer (32%). Globally the rate is 29%. Ninety five percent of businesses in Vietnam have at least one woman in senior management, again above the global rate of 87%.

Francesca Lagerberg, global leader, Grant Thornton International Ltd, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see deliberate action taking place as mid-market businesses ramp up activities that encourage progress and accessibility to leadership positions for women.

Vietnamese archers bring home three golds from Bangkok 2020 Asia Cup

Vietnamese female archer Loc Thi Dao competes impressively at the Bangkok 2020 Asia Cup, leg 1. (Photo: World Archery Federation)

Vietnam won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals to rank second overall, behind the Russian team, at the Bangkok 2020 Asia Cup, leg 1, which took place in Thailand’s capital city from March 8 to 14.

The two golds came in both the men’s and women’s compound team events, thanks to the efforts from male archers Van Duy, Phi Hung and Van Duc, and their female teammates Kieu Oanh, Phuong Thao and Linh Chi.

In the final of the women’s recurve individual event, three-time Southeast Asian Games winner Loc Thi Dao beat Russian Ksenia Perova 7-3 to claim the third gold medal for the Vietnamese team. With the achievement, Dao has continued to accumulate more important points to realise her target of winning a ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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