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Jul 16, 2023 / 16:08

Vietnam News Highlights for July 16, 2023

Keep updated with the latest events around the country.

Vietnamese banks urged to cut lending rates PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh calls on the banking sector to reduce costs, cut fees and lower interest rates on loans. Photo: SBV

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged banks to reduce costs, fees and interest rates on loans as credit growth remains low and small and medium-sized enterprises struggle to access credit.

At a meeting on July 15 to discuss banking activities in the first half of 2023, the Prime Minister instructed the banking sector to review lending criteria and adjust them accordingly. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) so far this year has lowered policy rates for the fourth time to keep the average deposit interest rate at 5.8%/year and the average lending interest rate at 8.9%/year, down 0.7% and 1%, respectively, compared to the end of 2022.

Ministry suggests US$243-million expressway in the north

The Ministry of Transport is seeking approval for an investment policy for the Cho Moi - Bac Kan Expressway in the northern province of Bac Kan at VND5.75 trillion (US$243 million).

The 29 km four-lane expressway will run from the Thai Nguyen - Cho Moi route to the junction with National Highway 3B, connecting with the Bac Kan - Ba Be Lake road project. Construction will cost more than VND4.1 trillion ($173.5 million), land clearance VND490 billion ($20.7 million), and the rest for consulting and contingency.

Foreign capital in Vietnamese real estate drops by half after one year

Foreign direct investment (FDI) capital channeled into Vietnamese real estate fell 51.5% year-on-year to US$1.53 billion in the January-June period, marking the largest decline in all sectors of the economy, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Total FDI capital flowing into Vietnam in the first half fell 4.3% year-on-year to US$13.4 billion.

According to real estate services firm Savills Vietnam, poor regulatory reform, limited corporate governance capabilities, and unreasonably high asset valuations are the main reasons for the decline in FDI in local real estate.

Vietnam co-sponsors resolution at UNHRC session

A resolution on climate change and human rights co-sponsored by Vietnam, Bangladesh, and the Philippines was adopted at the 53rd regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The proposal addresses the negative impacts of natural phenomena on livelihoods and human rights, and the three nations call for international cooperation to handle these impacts.

The conference took place from June 19 to 14 in Geneva, Switzerland, in both in-person and online formats, and adopted 30 resolutions.


Ha Tinh Province to halt iron ore project over environmental concerns

Authorities in Ha Tinh Province will shut down the Thach Khe iron ore mine in Thach Ha District over concerns about environmental pollution and health impacts. The mine, located just 5km from the provincial capital, would discharge 3-4 million cubic meters of wastewater into the sea every day. Covering an area of 4,800 hectares, the total iron ore output is estimated at 544 million tons, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The project was launched in 2008 by the state-owned Vietnam National Coal - Mineral Industries Corporation (Vinacomin) with an expected total investment of VND14.5 trillion (US$613 million). It has been suspended since 2011.

Vietnam Disaster Prevention and Control app launched

 Vietnam launches the Vietnam Disaster Prevention and Control mini app. Photo: VNG

Vietnam launched on July 15 a mini app called “Vietnam Disaster Prevention and Control” in partnership with UNICEF, aimed at helping people to receive timely warnings of natural disasters. 

The app, available on the Zalo platform, will also connect users with rescue teams and enable them to contribute towards minimizing human and property losses. The move comes after the country witnessed 19 out of 22 types of natural disasters in the first half of 2023, resulting in 49 deaths and disappearances, 36 injuries, and economic losses of over VND308 billion ($13 million). The app is expected to improve disaster preparedness and response in the country.

Forum on preserving Vietnamese language abroad celebrates second year

A seminar was held on July 15 to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of an international forum on Vietnamese language preservation abroad. The seminar, attended by delegates from 17 countries and territories, marked a new phase in the development of the online network and underscored the importance of preserving the Vietnamese language, which is spoken by millions of people worldwide.

The forum has become an important platform for those involved in promoting the language around the world to exchange information and ideas.

National powerlifting competition begins in Hanoi

The Vietnam 2023 Powerlifting Tournament kicked off on July 15 with the qualifying round in Hanoi. The two-day qualifying competition attracts more than 120 competitors from 13 provinces and cities in the northern half of Vietnam to compete in 18 categories. After Hanoi, the central coastal city of Danang will host the qualification for the country's southern half on August 19, and the final will be held in Hanoi on December 9.

The tournament organizer, the Vietnam Powerlifting Federation, joined the International Powerlifting Federation in 2018. Since then, three national competitions have been held.