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Author: the-shiv

Vietnam-US Trade Tracker: May 2024 Update [data set]

The United States is the biggest buyer of Vietnam’s exports and together the two countries engage in over US$100 billion worth of trade each year. This tracker looks at what is imported from the US and exported to the US from Vietnam using the most recent data available.

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Proposal to increase foreign ownership limits in airlines in Vietnam rejected

The Vietnam airline industry has been struggling broadly as a result of government regulated ticket prices, increasing fuel costs, and a debt hangover from the COVID-19 pandemic when the industry more-or-less ground to a halt. Bamboo Airways, in particular, only took to the skies in 2019 the year before the pandemic broke out. It also started life as a subsidiary of FLC Group which has been heavily mired in controversy after its leader was arrested back in 2022. This saw the airline spun off but the new independent entity has never had much success and has repeatedly downsized its fleet and the number of routes it offers…

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Adidas, New Balance suppliers struggling to find workers in southern Vietnam

Some of the challenges raised in this article, with respect to hiring workers, is that workers have more job options other than factory work, workers no longer need to move to population centres with many manufacturing operations opening in tier two cities and provinces, and workers that moved back to their hometowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have still not returned on the back of the general uncertainty that the pandemic created.

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Korea’s Daewoo looking at making cars in Vietnam

Vietnam’s automotive industry is huge but dominated by motorcycles. That said, cars are becoming more popular with just shy of 5 million registered vehicles at the end of 2020. This does, however, represent just 5 percent of the population of 100 million people which means there is plenty of room for car sales to grow…

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Russian president could be in Vietnam next week: Reuters

Vietnam has remained cordially with Russia throughout the Ukraine War. The Southeast Asian nation is heavily dependent on Russia for its arms supplies but also has a strong bond with the country on account of their similar political pasts. This has seen Russian tourist arrivals grow by 80 percent in the first five months of this year over the first five months of 2023 and…

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Vietnam solar production slows on end to antidumping moratorium

Of note, Trina Solar, in November of last year, announced it would almost doubled its investment in Vietnam bringing the total invested to nearly US$900 million. It also said, around the same time, that it believes its solar panels should be exempt from the US tariffs on the ground that its polysilicon comes from the US and Europe. With this in mind, it’s not clear what might happen to the additional investment Trina Solar announced last year…

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Reports Vietnam will allow gold imports before the end of the year

If this is accurate, this would signal an interesting turn of events. To be clear, the State Bank took control over gold imports and exports to stabilise the local currency when inflation surged back in 2011. At the time, gold was being used as a store of wealth to hedge against inflation and banks were permitted to lend and borrow against the yellow metal which was pushing up demand (incidentally this practice was banned in 2012, too). This was increasing demand for US dollars to import more gold and subsequently putting inflationary pressure on the local currency…

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Esports match fixing highlights breadth of corruption in sports in Vietnam

Professional sports leagues in Vietnam have struggled to develop on the back of limited investment and low pay for sports players that has resulted in players developing side hustles like match-fixing. More prominently, the Vietnamese Premier League was voted the third most corrupt league in the world back in 2016, and not much has been done to clean up Vietnamese soccer since–As recently as February, five players were charged for match fixing…

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State Bank of Vietnam says there is no shortage of gold

This comes in the context of a rush to buy gold in Vietnam after the State Bank announced it would start selling gold from its reserves at well-below market prices to try and close the gap between local and world gold prices. Previously, the State Bank had tried to auction off its gold to several gold companies and financial institutions but the price was set relatively high and interest from these institutions was lacklustre at best…

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Several Starbucks have gone cashless in Vietnam

In terms of reducing the security risks associated with handling cash, this move by these Starbucks stores makes sense. As far as speed and convenience go, however, it’s not clear that this has been achieved. Of note, QR code transfers can sometimes take some time with multiple steps involved–logging to a bank account, scanning the code, approving the purchase etcetera.

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Vietnam’s zero-VND feed-in-tariffs plan for rooftop solar dumped

The plan was issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and was designed to tackle the issue of over production that surfaced in Central Vietnam several years ago. Said over production, however, was more the result of projects being approved outside of the plans and policies that were in place for solar power development. Specifically, the Government Inspectorate found that the Power Development Plan 7 had set out to see 850 MW of solar power by 2020, however, a total of 168 solar projects with a total capacity of 14,707 MW were approved in that time…

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