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Vietnam sharpens focus on regional ties

Vietnam sharpens focus on regional ties
by Rey Davis-Tuplano, Oxford Business Group

 

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The ultimate target is for Vietnam to have achieved the same average indicators for its business environment as ASEAN - 4 countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

As it takes over as chair of APEC this year, Vietnam will be working towards promoting growth and enhanced regional integration, while also pushing its own reform agenda at home.

Founded in 1989 as a vehicle to promote regional cooperation between Pacific Rim economies, some of APECs core principles, such as free trade, are coming under pressure.

 

Roadblocks to prosperity

“APEC 2017 takes place as the world and our region experience profound and rapid changes,” Bui Thanh Son, permanent deputy minister of foreign affairs, told OBG in a recent interview.

“Prolonged economic stagnation, rising protectionism, anti-globalisation sentiment, terrorism and regional conflicts, along with more complex non-traditional security challenges, are significantly affecting our forum and each member economy.”

While the region faces a rising tide of challenges to development, some stakeholders believe that these could spur a new dynamism as economies look to foster more inclusive and sustainable growth.

“In 2017 APEC will have an even more important role to play in curbing protectionism and promoting the kind of trade that is not only free but also inclusive for all, creating business and employment opportunities for societies,” Bui Thanh Son said.

 

Pressing priorities

Operating under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”, APEC will have four key pillars in 2017. The first of these aims to enhance economic resilience, increase productivity, alleviate poverty, narrow the development gap and empower women and girls through structural reform, innovation and human resource development.

The second priority for the year will be to develop greater regional integration and connectivity, seen as crucial to regional economic growth.

The third pillar involves boosting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) – allowing them to better capitalise on the opportunities of the digital age – while the fourth looks to strengthen food security and sustainable agriculture to meet the demand of an ever-increasing population.

 

Home-ground advantage

Vietnam is set to host around 200 activities as chair of APEC this year, including eight ministerial-level conferences and the 25th APEC Summit in Danang.

According to Bui Thanh Son, this could all help add momentum to the region’s economic growth and integration and Vietnam’s own development push.

The third APEC pillar in particular dovetails with the directions of reforms being enacted domestically, with recent moves focusing on enhancing the business environment.

To this end, Vietnam issued its latest Resolution 19 reforms earlier this month – the fourth such package in as many years.

As part of the resolution, the government aims to reduce the processing time required for several types of administrative procedures. This includes lowering the average time taken for construction licence approvals from 82 to 63 days, bringing down the time spent on tax and social insurance payments to 168 hours per year from 540, and speeding up Customs clearance procedures.

Authorities also want to halve the number of days it takes for a company to connect with the state’s water supply to seven days.

The ultimate target is for Vietnam to have achieved the same average indicators for its business environment as ASEAN-4 countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

The reforms should also help cut costs and the time needed to start a business in Vietnam, making it a more attractive investment destination for potential investors at home and abroad.

 

Business climate change

Furthermore, improvements in these area could help lift Vietnam on the World Banks ease of doing business index, where it ranked 82nd of 190 economies. While this was a nine-place improvement on the “Doing Business 2016” report, the country slipped ten positions in the “starting a business” category.

Areas where Vietnam registered improvements were in paying taxes and trading across borders. Improvements to the former were facilitated by simplifications to tax compliance processes undertaken in the previous Resolution 19 reform drive, which also saw the country implement an electronic customs clearance system to make trading across borders easier, cheaper and faster.

 

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The Training Gateway 2017 – Export Opportunity and Cooperation for Development

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The Training Gateway, which is held annually, is the occasion for UK delegates to visit Vietnam and work on Education and Corporate Training Trade Mission. This year, the Business Centre of BBGV is honoured to support this event.


The content of the training programmes delivered will cover many outstanding sectors, such as: teacher training, vocational training in hospitality and catering, oil and gas engineering, leadership and management training, English Assessment, etc.,. During the first 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City and another 1 day in Hanoi, the delegates would have the opportunities to introduce their training programmes to key participants, who are mostly Human Resource directors and educational buyers in the region, through Master class/ workshops, mini exhibitions along with B2B meetings and site visits.

 

Prior to the main event, there will be a pre mission webinar on Thursday 27th of April between 8:30 and 9:30 am (UK time) as a great opportunity to find out more about the mission and raise any questions. To register for the webinar, please Click here
For more information about the scope and schedule of the event, please find it here



If you would like to join as a delegate, please contact Ms. Amanda Selvaratnam by Amanda.Selvaratnam@york.ac.uk

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Consultancy field trips program with CASS Business School of London (CASS)

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On 29th of March, BBGV had the pleasure to once again welcome the MBA students from CASS to Vietnam for consultancy field trips, as a co-host annual activity since 2009.

 

CASS is located in the financial centre of London, educating MBA and Executive MBA students. Their two-year programme is ranked as one of the world’s best. CASS students are professionals and managers in their 30’s and represent the best institutions in the City of London and other European business capitals.

 

During their one-week stay in Vietnam, around 50 students are divided into groups and worked intensively on business development projects at Vietnamese companies. The projects are specialised in new marketing or cost cutting strategies, company restructuring, new distribution strategies or the possibility of entering new markets. The hosting companies benefited from working with experienced executives come from over 30 countries and different industries. For this year visit, they were Vietnam Airlines, Le Bros, Viglacera, Maritime Bank, Vietcombank, Canifa, IDC Group, Hanoia and PYS travel.
This program also gives the local senior management teams opportunities to utilise their skills and knowledge of international business to grow beyond the border of Vietnam.

 

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Doing Agri-Business in Vietnam Webinar


The webinar Doing Agri-Business in Vietnam was successfully held by BBGV on February 17, 2017. The invited experts, in the role of stakeholders, have provided valuable information on overview of agri-business in Vietnam, updates on recent legal frameworks for registering new agri-tech items (machinery & equipment), agricultural stuffs (animal feeds, feed additives, and fertilizer); and practical experiences in doing agri-business in Vietnam.

Please click download the full Audio and Presentation

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SCC – New Global Delivery Centre opened in Ho Chi Minh City

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source: UKINVIETNAM


With the key support from The Business Centre- British Business Group Vietnam (BBGV), SCC has successfully launched its second Global Delivery Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on February 24, 2017. The inauguration ceremony welcomed the participation of Dr Liam Fox - UK Secretary of State for International Trade, along with SCC founder - Sir Peter Rigby.

SCC, with 40 years of development, is the largest independent IT group in Europe, which not only provides businesses with quality IT infrastructure solutions and services, but also contributes to UK national charities and heritage.

After the earlier approach to Vietnam with a Preferred Partner framework agreement signed with Vietnamese software giant FPT Software in September 2016, SCC’s operation expansion to Vietnam has marked its “another important strategic milestone for the business”, said CEO James Rigby. The new operation also contributes to enhance the business partnership between two countries.

In his speech, Sir Peter Rigby sent great appreciation to the organizations, including BBGV, for the enthusiastic assistance to SCC expansion plan. With £32m revenue generated in fiscal year 2016, the new Centre aims to deliver great support to clients in both Eastern and Western areas.

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