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Apr 17, 2023 / 13:31

News highlights for April 17, 2023

The Hanoi Times provides daily updates on major news stories in Vietnam.

 VinFast exports 2nd batch of electric cars

The second batch of VinFast electric cars loaded for exports in the port city of Hai Phong on April 17. Photo courtesy of Vingroup

Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast on April 17 announced the shipment of the second batch of nearly 1,900 VF 8 vehicles to the US and Canada. Of the total, nearly 1,100 vehicles will reach the US in May, and the remainder will arrive in Canada in June. This is the second exported EV batch of VinFast, and the first exported VF 8 standard batch to the international market.

The VF 8 model comes in two trim levels - the Eco and the Plus, which offer a higher estimated range than the existing “City Edition” VinFast delivered to US customers in March. For the European markets, the first exported batch is expected to commence in mid-July 2023 with 700 VF 8 vehicles.

Former heart hospital director takes trial

A Hanoi court on April 17 began trying former Hanoi Heart Hospital director Nguyen Quang Tuan and 11 other defendants for violating bidding rules and causing a loss of VND53 billion (US$2.25 million) to the State budget. Seven of the defendants were former officials of Hoang Nga, Kim Hoa Phat and AIC companies. The trial will last five days.

According to the indictment, Tuan negotiated with the mentioned companies and allowed them to sell products. The former director and his officials were accused of abusing their power to interfere in bidding to profit from the contracts illegally. As a result, the selling prices of the products were increased by VND2-20 million (US$85-851.7) per item. Tuan and other hospital officials pocketed 2-5% of the contract value.

Finance ministry mulls 2% cut of value-added tax

The Ministry of Finance plans to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) rate on Vietnamese goods and services by 2% from July 1 to December 31, 2023. The ministry made the same move in 2022 when it cut the VAT rate by 2% for certain products and services.

The move, if finalized and approved, will greatly support the local business community, which has been struggling with the uncertainties of the global economy. According to Deputy Tran Hoang Ngan of the National Assembly, the tax cut will help local businesses to resume their operations and thus drive the economy forward.

Vietnam National Brand Week 2023 underway this week

The Vietnam National Brand Week 2023, with the theme “Positioning Vietnam’s Green National Brand”, will take place offline and online from April 17 to 23 in Hanoi. The event covers a wide range of activities to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Vietnamese Brand Day, including the Vietnam National Branding Forum 2023 and a photo exhibition on the achievements of the national brand program.

The event will be a place for leaders, researchers, environmental experts, and business representatives to discuss and share ideas on how to make Vietnam a green, sustainable economy. In addition, the week-long event will help government agencies and businesses discuss solutions to promote Vietnamese brands in overseas markets.

Vietnamese culture, food popularised in Israel

The Embassy of Vietnam in Israel opened a cultural and culinary space in the Israeli city of Netanya on April 16 to showcase the beauty of Vietnamese cuisine and culture and further promote bilateral relations between the two nations. The space will be held monthly, hosting seminars, business meetings, art performances, and fashion shows.

On the same day, the embassy also presented a "tripartite" model event for Vietnam and Israel with third countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Such activities are expected to strengthen ties between the two nations amid preparations to celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations on July 12, 2023.