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Author: Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes is a Hanoi based freelance business journalist. He has a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from RMIT and a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne. He writes broadly about the business environment in Vietnam and is available to write feature articles, market research and business intelligence reports, as well as consult on the intricacies of doing business in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Foreign Investor Stock Sell-Off: Unpacked 2024

On March 27, foreign traders net-sold US$73.8 million worth of Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange–known colloquially as the HoSE–stocks. This was the biggest single-day net withdrawal from the market since at least December. It was, however, part of a trend that has seen foreign traders exit the market to the tune of US$1.18 billion in the six months to May 3 alone…

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Vietnam’s Rare Earth Partnership Contenders: Unpacked

For a brief month or two last year, Vietnam’s rare earth reserves were a hot commodity (pun intended). This was on the back of a whirlwind visit to Hanoi by the President of the United States, Joseph Biden, during which he announced the US would support Vietnam with mapping its

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Vietnam’s Offshore Wind Power Holdup: Unpacked

At the beginning of March of this year, a 100-ton wind turbine fell apart over a fish and shrimp farm in Vietnam’s Bac Lieu province. No one was injured but some three weeks later the owner of the shrimp farm made a compensation claim in the amount of VND 160

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The Dong’s Wild Ride: Unpacked

The day that Russia invaded Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, the Vietnamese dong was trading at 22,843 dong to one US dollar–it had barely moved since the start of the year. This was in line with much of the past decade in which the local currency had only depreciated marginally,

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Insolvency in Vietnam 2024: Unpacked

In March of last year, faced with mounting losses and limited revenue, APAX English, a chain of English centres that were once all over Vietnam, took to offering its creditors household appliances in lieu of cash to cover its outstanding debts. This was after years of delayed or entirely missed

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Vietnam’s Real Estate Market Recovery 2024: Unpacked

At the beginning of last year, construction work on buildings in Vietnam was slowly winding down as the real estate industry ground to a halt. Hard hats were hung up and cranes ten stories high fell dormant leaving the cement shells of unfinished residential towers standing dark and empty–cold reminders

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Vietnam’s Airline Industry Turbulence: Unpacked

When Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways first took to the skies in January of 2019, everything was looking up for Vietnam’s airline industry–not only was international tourism flourishing but rising incomes among middle-class Vietnamese were fueling a boom in domestic tourism as well. In fact, the route between Hanoi and Ho Chi

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Vietnam’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Ambitions: Unpacked

It was 2008. The world was in the throes of the global financial crisis and businesses and consumers were tightening their belts all over the world, Intel, however was expanding. Specifically, it was building its biggest chip factory at the time in southern Vietnam.  This was something relatively new for

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Vietnam News Roundup: March 15 to March 21

General news President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong resigns Vietnam’s president, Vo Van Thuong, officially resigned this week. This was reportedly a part of the ‘blazing furnace’ anti-corruption campaign that has been running for the last two years or so. Unofficial news sources, late last week, had suggested the announcement

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The US Election and Vietnam: Unpacked

In a bun cha restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter there is a plastic table and chairs encased in an acrylic box, an homage to Barack Obama who once ate at the restaurant with Anthony Bourdain back in 2016. No such monuments exist for either Joseph Biden or Donald Trump. Both

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Vietnam News Roundup: March 8 to March 14

This week’s Vietnam news roundup covers February cars sales and customs data, gold prices, Vietnam’s stock market, and a range of other business news in Vietnam. Economy news UOB forecasts Vietnam GDP growth of 5.5 percent in Q1 This is an increase over the 3.3 percent Vietnam saw in the

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Vietnam’s Stock Market Upgrade Opportunity: Unpacked

Over the course of 2023, foreign investors exited their positions in the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange–or the HoSE–to the tune of more than US$1 billion.  This mass exodus could have been for any number of reasons: demand in key export markets was faltering, several financial crimes had been

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Unpacked: Vietnam’s Non-Market Economy Review

In 2021, it was announced that raw honey from Vietnam would be subjected to antidumping tariffs in the United States. Vietnam was not alone, Argentina, Brazil, and India were also subjected to similar orders. What was different for Vietnam, however, was how the US Department of Commerce–the DOC–carried out its

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The Gold Price in Vietnam: Explained 2024

The gold price in Vietnam is more often than not much higher than it is in the rest of the world. In fact, in 2023, at its peak, it was around 20 percent higher owing to a number of factors including the limited supply, huge demand, and a regulatory environment

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Vietnam News Media Regulations 2024: An Overview

Vietnam is currently ranked 178 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. Coming in at 179 and 180 are China and North Korea, respectively. Indeed, Vietnam’s news media is tightly controlled and influence over what makes it into the public domain is often wielded

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