Samson: US Defense Secretary Austin to visit Việt Nam on July 28-29: Foreign ministry
22nd July, 2021
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will make an official trip to Việt Nam on July 28-29 at the invitation of the Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Phan Văn Giang, spokesperson for the Vietnamese foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng announced on Thursday.
The visit, part of a Southeast Asian tour with stops in the Philippines and Singapore in addition to Việt Nam starting this Friday, is the first one to the region by a top official of the Biden-Harris administration.
“The visit to Việt Nam by the US Secretary of Defense would contribute to the strengthening of friendship and trust between our two peoples and armies, implementing the agreement between the two countries’ high-level leaders, and furthering the framework of Việt Nam-US comprehensive partnership,” Hằng noted, while not affirming specifically whether the South China Sea issue (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) would be high on the visit’s agenda as speculated.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in place amid complicated outbreaks in the capital city of Hà Nội, where the US official is expected to have talks with Vietnamese senior leaders, the events and meetings will only be open to Vietnamese and American press members, according to the foreign ministry.
In response to the announcement from the UK that it would send two warships to be permanently based in “Asian waters” as part of the country’s Indo-Pacific commitment, Hằng reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent position that all activities of countries at sea “must strictly adhere to the provisions of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.”
Countries should also contribute to the maintenance of peace, security, stability, and order and uphold the rule of law in line with the aspiration of the region and international community, the spokesperson said. LINK
Samson: Vietnamese Defence Minister holds talks with British counterpart
22nd July, 2021
Việt Nam’s Minister of National Defence General Phan Văn Giang chaired a welcome ceremony and held talks with UK Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace in Hà Nội on Thursday.
They agreed that in recent years, bilateral cooperation had been lifted, with many achievements in politics, economy, trade, culture and education.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, the two sides have basically completed agreed cooperation aims, such as maintaining policy dialogue, stepping up delegation exchanges, training in English language for Vietnamese officers, and sharing experience in UN peacekeeping missions, thus contributing to the two countries’ strategic partnership.
They agreed to continue to promote defence ties with a focus on the exchange of delegations, implementation of existing cooperation such as the Defence Policy Dialogue at the deputy ministerial level and the bilateral working group on defence cooperation, English language training for Vietnamese officers and participation in UN peacekeeping missions.
Việt Nam supports UK participation in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus on the basis of ASEAN consensus, as well as UK collaboration with ASEAN, including in military defence.
The two ministers also exchanged views on the world and regional situations and issues of mutual concern. The British side shared Việt Nam’s views on solving the East Sea issue, affirming the importance of navigation and aviation freedom, supporting the rule of law, and emphasising that disputes need to be settled by peaceful means, based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Minister General Phan Văn Giang expressed his pleasure to welcome and hold talks with his British counterpart in Hà Nội amid the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move affirms the goodwill, efforts and determination of the two countries in promoting cooperation, he said. He also thanked the British Government for sharing experience in coronavirus prevention and control, and putting Việt Nam on the priority list of vaccines. He also suggested that Wallace, within his authority, help the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence in gaining access to vaccines.
During his Việt Nam visit from July 21-23, the UK Secretary of State for Defence is scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, visit the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam and the Việt Nam National Border Committee, and have a meeting with several officers who participated in UN peacekeeping missions. LINK
Samson: Vietnam : Finance ministry announces roadmap to reorganise stock market
22nd July, 2021
The Minister of Finance (MoF) plans to rearrange the securities trading market in a newly-promulgated Circular as a move towards the merging of the two national stock exchanges into one named the Việt Nam Stock Exchange (VNX).
MoF has promulgated Circular No 57/2021 stipulating the roadmap to rearrange the stock market, the bond market and the derivatives market. This Circular takes effect from July 20 this year.
Under the Circular, by the end of June 30, 2025, the Hồ Chí Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) shall unify the organisation of a trading market for listed shares, fund certificates and warrants.
From July 1, 2023 until December 31, 2023, HoSE will receive shares of listed companies from the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX). Meanwhile, from January 1, 2025 to the end of June 30, 2025, HoSE will receive shares of enterprises from the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM). For HNX, from July 1, 2023, the exchange will no longer accept the listing of new shares from enterprises.
As for the bond market, by the end of December 31, 2022, HNX will have completed the organisation of government bond market, government-guaranteed bonds, and listed corporate bonds, privately issued corporate bonds and receive listed corporate bonds from HoSE.
According to Decision No 37/2020, VNX operates under the model of parent-subsidiary company on the basis of the re-organisation of HNX and HoSE. The State will hold 100 per cent of its charter capital, which will be roughly VNĐ3 trillion (US$130 million).
According to the decision, HNX is tasked with organising and operating the derivatives and bond trading market. Meanwhile, HoSE will organise and operate the stock market and other securities trading markets. The current charter capital of HoSE is VNĐ1.2 trillion and HNX VNĐ750 billion. LINK
Samson: Standard Chartered revises forecast for Việt Nam down
22nd July, 2021
Standard Chartered has lowered its growth forecast for Việt Nam for 2021 from 6.7 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
The bank maintains its 7.3 per cent growth forecast for 2022, and continues to expect a post-COVID-19 economic acceleration.
“We believe Việt Nam is moving towards its goal of becoming a regional supply-chain hub, a modern industrial economy and a high-income country in the future,” said Tim Leelahaphan, Economist for Thailand and Việt Nam, Standard Chartered. “Việt Nam managed the COVID-19 situation well in 2020, further enhancing its appeal to foreign investors. The country had already benefited from the ongoing supply-chain shift in recent years. In the near term, the country’s pandemic management will be crucial to the outlook,” he went on.
Standard Chartered’s economists anticipate domestically oriented sectors such as retail are likely to be the hardest-hit if the current COVID-19 wave persists. The focus now is on whether the impact on the industrial sector will be temporary or more long-lasting. While the global pandemic has weighed on Việt Nam’s economy via reduced tourism, supply-chain disruptions and weaker overseas demand, external indicators are showing a strong recovery. Exports in the first half of the year rose 28.4 per cent year-on-year and imports rose 36.1 per cent.
According to the UK-based bank, rising inflation is reducing the likelihood of further interest rate cuts. The bank does not expect rate hikes despite improving economic and credit growth from the last quarter of 2020. It also expects the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) to keep its refinancing rate at 4.0 per cent through to the end of 2023 to support credit growth. The possibility of a rate hike may gradually emerge if inflation and growth accelerate faster than expected.
Standard Chartered has recently lowered its US dollar – Vietnamese đồng forecasts to 22,900 at the end of the third quarter of 2021 (from 23,100) and to 22,850 at the end of 2021 (23,000). Its end of 2022 forecast remains unchanged at 22,500. The balance of payments remains highly supportive of the currency, with strong exports and high net FDI inflows. Earlier, on Tuesday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also lowered its forecast for Việt Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2021 to 5.8 per cent from its previous prediction of 6.7 per cent in April, as the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections hampers the country’s recovery.
Việt Nam’s economic growth accelerated from 1.8 per cent in the first half of 2020 to 5.6 per cent in the same period this year as the global recovery from the pandemic boosted exports, the bank said. However, the ongoing wave of COVID-19 infections has led to disruptions in supply chains and prolonged social distancing measures in many provinces and cities whose growth rates are high. These have severely affected the circulation of goods and greatly limited economic activity in 2021.
Also as part of the report, the bank is projecting 7.2 per cent economic growth for developing Asia in 2021, compared with its forecast of 7.3 per cent in April, as new COVID-19 outbreaks slow the recovery in some regional economies. Excluding the newly industrialised economies of Hong Kong (China); the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taiwan (China), developing Asia’s updated growth outlook is 7.5 per cent for 2021 and 5.7 per cent for 2022, compared with earlier projections of 7.7 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively. LINK