Weekly press digest – October 20-26
NA opens Autumn session
The 13th National Assembly opened its 8th session at its newly-built house on October 20.
During the session, the Legislature is expected to pass 18 draft laws, including the Investment Law (revised), the Law on Special Consumption Tax (revised), and the Law on Real Property Business.
NA Secretary General title introduced
A large number of National Assembly (NA) deputies gave approval of the NA Secretary General title introduced by the NA Standing Committee.
The new title is part of efforts to follow the international practices and serve new tasks of the National Assembly, heard the NA's October 22 plenary session that discussed the draft Law on Organization of the National Assembly (amended).
Under the draft Law, the person who holds the new title will lead the Office of the National Assembly but is absolutely unnecessary a NA deputy.
Positive signs in socio-economic performance in 9 months
The socio-economic performance has been showing positive changes in 2014 and the Government has set higher targets for 2015.
PM Nguyen Tan Dung made that statement at an opening ceremony of the eighth session of the 13th National Assembly.
In his speech at the National Assembly, PM Nguyen Tan Dung highlighted goals for 2015, including stabilizing the macro-economy, implementing strategic breakthroughs, restructuring the economy in accordance with growth model transformation and improving national economy capacity, effectiveness and competitiveness to achieve a higher economic growth rate.
In terms of economics, the Government has set a GDP rise of 6.2%, a CPI increase of 5%, an export turnover rise of 10% and a total investment for social development accounting for 30% of GDP.
Plan on developing shipbuilding industry approved
PM Nguyen Tan Dung has approved an action plan on developing the shipbuilding industry to realize Viet Nam’s industrialization strategy in the Viet Nam-Japan cooperation framework to 2020 with a vision to 2030.
Accordingly, the current system of shipbuilding plants across the country will be restructured with utilization of the infrastructure and human resources. Support industry for shipbuilding, ship markets and ship repairing services for local demand and export will be developed.
In addition, professional and skilled human resources in accordance with international standards, as well as R&D capacity will be enhanced.
New decree facilitates Vietnamese nationality registration
The Government has issued a new decree detailing and guiding the implementation of the Law on Vietnamese Nationality, creating more favourable conditions for Vietnamese residing abroad to retain their Vietnamese nationality.
Decree 97/2014/ND-CP gives amendments and supplements to a number of articles in Decree 78/2009/ND dated on September 22, 2009.
Under the new decree, overseas Vietnamese, who have not yet lost their Vietnamese nationality as prescribed by Vietnamese law before July 1, 2009, without any proofs of Vietnamese nationality shall make registration with an overseas Vietnamese representative agency to identify their Vietnamese nationality and to be issued Vietnamese passports following prescribed procedures in order to keep their Vietnamese nationality.
PM Dung receives former RoK President Lee
PM Nguyen Tan Dung received former President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Lee Myung-bak in Ha Noi on October 21.
PM Dung stressed that Viet Nam attaches importance to promoting multi-faceted cooperation with the RoK in a sustainable and practical manner to bring benefits for both sides, particularly in economics, trade, investment, tourism, politics-diplomacy, national defence-security, labour, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
PM congratulates UN agencies on UN founding anniversary
PM Nguyen Tan Dung hosted a reception for the head of UN agencies in Viet Nam in Hanoi on October 24 on the occasion of the UN’s 69th founding anniversary.
The PM extended his congratulations to the UN officials and took the occasion to express thanks to the UN agencies for the valuable assistance they gave Viet Nam throughout 37 years since the country joined the global organisation in 1977.
Viet Nam will always be an active member making responsible contributions to the common cause of the UN and the international community, PM Dung said.
Japan, VN hold fifth Strategic Partnership Dialogue
The fifth Viet Nam-Japan Strategic Partnership Dialogue took place in Ha Noi on October 24, under the chair of Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son and his Japanese counterpart Shinsuke Sugiyama.
The two sides exchanged views on the bilateral strategic partnership, their respective countries’ foreign policies and security-defence situation, as well as on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
They agreed to maintain regular visits and contact between senior officials, further promote the role and efficiency of existing dialogue mechanisms, and step up collaboration at international and regional forums.
VN strives to end AIDS by 2030
The Ministry of Health launched Viet Nam’s efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 in response to UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 goals at a ceremony in Ha Noi on October 25.
At the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam stressed that Vietnam, as the first country in Asia-Pacific to respond to the UNAIDS’ call, will undertake maximum efforts to achieve the goals.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) launched the goals this July, under which by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV are to be aware of their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection are to receive sustained antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral treatment will have viral suppression. Hence HIV/AIDS would be eliminated by 2030.
October sees record low CPI growth
The consumer price index (CPI) in October rose slightly by 0.11% compared to September, marking the lowest rise for the month since 2009, according to the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam (GSO).
Experts said a series of consecutive petrol price cuts caused by four-month reduction of global gas and petrol costs have resulted in the negligible CPI’s growth.
This month, eight out of 11 commodity and service groups in the price basket saw their prices increase with education topping the list with an increase of 1.31% as many local governments continue to adjust school fees in line with a roadmap outlined in the Government's Decree 49/2010/ND-CP.
FDI inflow in first ten months
Viet Nam attracted US$ 13.7 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first ten months, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As of October 20, the country granted investment licenses to 1,306 new projects worth US$ 9.95 billion and 469 projects expanded investments capital.
Especially, Samsung Electronics’ investment story in Viet Nam has begun a new chapter when the company last week received an investment certificate for the firm’s new $1.4 billion electronics facility in Ho Chi Minh City.
Trade shortfall hits US$438 million in two weeks
Exports in the first half of October dipped 13.9% compared to the second half of September to US$6.2 billion, resulting in a trade shortfall of US$438 million, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
However, year-to-date, the nation’s export volume has jumped 14.1% on-year to US$116.04 billion, with foreign invested enterprises accounting for 61.8% of the total.
The nation’s imports were also down 3.3% over the second half of September, registering in at US$6.63 billion.
Imports have to date jumped 11.6% on-year tallying in at US$114.2 billion.
Viet Nam’s Top Brands 2014 announced
Viet Nam’s Top Brands 2014 were announced by the Institute of Economic Research and the Global Trade Alliance- Global GTA (UK) at a ceremony held on October 25 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The named enterprises included such big players as Vinamilk, Sasco, Viettel, AIA, SaigonBus, Haco and Merino.
Further cut in petroleum prices announced
The Viet Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) cut its retail prices for a number of fuel types nationwide from 18:00 on October 23.
Accordingly, three petrol types saw a reduction of VND550 per litre, including RON 95 now priced VND22,940, and RON 92 and E5 bio-petrol, VND22,340.
Meanwhile, diesel prices enjoyed slighter cut of between VND440-480 per litre. 0.05S was charged VND19,760 per litre, while 0.02S diesel fuel cost VND19,710. Kerosene price was also declined to VND20,060 per litre.
The Ministry of Finance reported that fuel prices in the world market continuously declined during the one-month period from September 23-October 22./.