News highlights for April 1, 2023
Find out the latest news about Hanoi and Vietnam in a five-minute brief.
1. Central bank to lower deposit interest rate cap next week
The State Bank of Vietnam announced on April 3 that it would cut interest rates on dong-denominated deposits by 0.5 percentage points to between 0.5% and 6.0%, depending on maturity, effective April 3. The overnight electronic interbank rate will also be kept at the current level of 6.0%. The central bank will also cut its refinancing rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% in a bid to spur economic growth, bucking a trend among regional peers.
Earlier this month, the SBV cut several key interest rates to boost liquidity and spur growth in a surprise move amid global financial turmoil.
- 2. Vietnam requests Taiwan to cancel illegal live fire drills
Vietnam strongly opposes Taiwan's illegal live-fire drills in the maritime regions surrounding Itu Aba, part of Vietnam's Spratly Islands, and demands that they not be repeated. On March 31, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson stated that the Taiwanese maneuvers constituted "a serious violation of Vietnam's territorial sovereignty over the islands, as well as a threat to maritime peace, stability, security and safety", and a complication of the situation in the East Sea."
The Itu Aba is the island with the largest natural area within Vietnam’s Spratly Islands. Vietnam has affirmed that it has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands by international law.
- 3. The upcoming 32nd Vietnam Expo to boost business cooperation
From April 5 to 8, Hanoi will host the 32nd Vietnam International Exhibition (Vietnam Expo), featuring more than 500 domestic and foreign companies. The participating exhibitors from Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Poland, and mainland China will showcase their advanced machinery and technologies in electronics, machinery and supporting industries, digital technology - e-commerce, food industry, handicrafts and beauty care at more than 600 booths.
The event allows organizations and enterprises to share and discuss experiences, promote products, seize investment opportunities, and transfer technologies to improve production and business efficiency.
- 4. Hanoi to renovate 78 sites into underground carparks
Hanoi mulls the building of underground public car parks at nearly 80 sites in four central districts. The parking garages will be in public spaces like parks, squares, and gardens. Each parking garage will cover a total area of 104 hectares and consist of three to four floors.
The underground facilities will comprise transportation and technical infrastructure, electrical systems, and public spaces such as commercial and service centers, supermarkets, entertainment venues, and parking lots.
- 5. Hanoi hosts a week-long exhibition showcasing OCOP farm products
The One Commune-One Product (OCOP) Fair opened in Hanoi on March 31 at the headquarters of the Hanoi Cooperative Alliance in Van Quan Ward, Ha Dong District. More than 100 cooperative groups from cooperative alliances in Hanoi and provinces across the country will participate in the week-long event to promote the sale of agricultural products and handicrafts recognized by the One Commune One Product (OCOP) program.
The event also aims to link tourism promotion activities between the capital and other localities in the country, enhancing the brand value of products, preserving the value of traditional craft villages, and promoting the development of agricultural production and services.
- 6. Drivers in Hanoi struggle with construction blockades
Traffic congestion in Hanoi has worsened as 17 construction sites have encroached on the roadbed, according to the city's Department of Transportation. The construction sites reduce the amount of space available on the road. The most critical sites include the Nhon-Hanoi metro project, Thanh Nien-An Duong flyover, Yen Xa sewage treatment plant, Chua Boc-Pham Ngoc Thach flyover, Mai Dich intersection flyover, and Kim Dong tunnel.
Hanoi has over 7.8 million private vehicles, including over one million cars and 6.6 million motorcycles and 185,000 electric motorcycles. The number of vehicles in the capital increases by about 4-5% every year.
- Local banks cap deposit rates at 8.5%/year
- Gov’t finalizes 2% VAT cut plan for goods and services
- Banks urged to further cut lending rates
- Vietnam's Central Bank cuts policy rate for third time
- Thai KBank becomes the second largest chartered foreign bank in Vietnam
- ADB, Switzerland cofinance US$5 million to improve access to finance for SMEs in Vietnam
- Thai firm to acquire Starprint Vietnam for US$44.7 million
- Banks to keep lowering interest rates: Deputy governor
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