WTO Secretariat: Vietnam Making Important Progress

Vietnam has made important progress in its negotiations for WTO admission, particularly after the Working Group on Vietnam's entry carefully studied the first revised draft of the group's report last month.

This assessment was made by Shishir Priyadarshi, representative of the WTO Secretariat, at a national seminar, "Vietnam's WTO accession: Opportunities and Challenges," held by the foreign ministry in Hanoi Thursday.

Vietnam among Top 10 Asian FDI Destinations: UN Report

Vietnam is among the top 10 Asian foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations, Vietnam News Agency quoted a report as saying Wednesday.

The World Investment Report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said the country, which attracted fresh investment of US$1.6 billion in 2004, came ninth in the list led by mainland China with an estimated $60.6 billion.

The report, which was released September 29, showed Vietnam received $500 million more than Thailand.

Vietnam to Tap Global Market with First Bond Issue

Vietnam, which has considered the idea of tapping global capital markets since the 1990s, has approved the country's first sovereign bond issue, local media reported Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will issue the dollar-denominated bonds sometime this month, but local newspapers did not say how much the issue was intended to raise.

Ministry sources told Reuters in August the plan was to raise $500 million and the debt issue would help create a benchmark for Vietnamese bonds abroad.

Vietnam Hopes Listed Shares Will Equal 10% of GDP

A draft stock exchange strategy calls for efforts to increase Vietnam’s market capitalization to 10 per cent of GDP by 2010.

The draft, for the 2006-2010 period, was discussed at a forum in Hanoi Thursday and is expected to be submitted to the Government in October. The market capitalization, or the total value of shares and bonds listed on Vietnam's five-year-old stock market, is now a mere 0.9 per cent of the GDP.

Vietnam Southern Hub Starts Online Customs Clearance

Vietnam’s commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City has for the first time launched official customs clearance via the Internet with US$1.5 million worth of goods being cleared.

The HCMC Customs Department approved up to 30 online customs declarations of five local companies on Wednesday.

The department said it had to spend only 2 minutes to approve one declaration, while the time could reach seven or eight hours for normal clearance.

From now to September 10, about 11 companies will get their goods cleared by the department via the internet.

Vietnamese Are Spending More

Statistics show consumer spending is on an upward trend in Vietnam, a favorable signal for foreign investment into the country.

Increased spending is one of the major factors drawing investors to Vietnam, with the large population and high growth also contributing to the country’s appeal. Vietnam has a population of more than 83.1 million for 2005, increasing by 1.35% year on year.

Vietnam Responds to US Catfish Ban

Viet Nam News, September 1, 2005

Vietnam to Free up Aviation Sector: Report

Vietnam plans to open up its state-controlled aviation sector to outside investors, including foreigners, allowing them to set up airlines and build more airports, local media quoted a government minister as saying.

"Our policy is to open wide the door to all economic sectors, including foreigners, to develop airports, airlines and all other aviation-related services," Transport Minister Dao Dinh Binh was quoted as saying in a report published on Friday.

Vietnam's Top Banks Kick off New Net Services

Vietnam's three leading commercial banks said beginning on August 15 they will offer a series of e-banking services in a bid to attract more customers.

The East Asian Bank (EAB) said starting today it would provide internet banking services at http://ebanking.eab.com.vn, enabling customers to access account balance and transaction information.

In the near future, the services would include online transactions and utilities payments, the bank said.

Vietcombank Seals Vietnam's 1st Rate Swap Contract

State-run Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) said on Tuesday it has become the country's first bank to secure an interest rate swap agreement with a foreign bank.

The unlisted bank signed the contract with the undisclosed foreign bank on July 25 to swap interest rates and two transactions have been conducted so far for a combined value of nearly $30 million, a Vietcombank official told Reuters.