Vietnam News Today (Oct. 26): Vietnam, Singapore Beef Up Defense Cooperation

Vietnam News Today (Oct. 26): Vietnam, Singapore beef up defense cooperation; Vietnam needs to enhance institutional reform to attract high-quality FDI from EU; 514 new Covid-19 cases recorded on October 25; Vietnamese aviation industry enters seasonal lull.
October 25, 2022 | 23:37

Vietnam News Today (Oct. 26) notable headlines

Vietnam, Singapore beef up defense cooperation

Vietnam needs to enhance institutional reform to attract high-quality FDI from EU

514 new Covid-19 cases recorded on October 25

Vietnamese aviation industry enters seasonal lull

Immigration Department gives advice to foreign e-visa applicants

Vietnam’s achievements in ensuring human rights praised

Vietnamese, Lao public security ministries tighten cooperation

Nearly 60% of digital consumers in Vietnam use fintech solutions

Ho Chi Minh City’s travel boom looming

The 10th meeting of the Vietnam - Singapore joint working group on defence cooperation was held virtually on October 25. Photo: VNA
The 10th meeting of the Vietnam - Singapore joint working group on defence cooperation was held virtually on October 25. Photo: VNA

Vietnam, Singapore beef up defense cooperation

The 10th meeting of the Vietnam - Singapore joint working group on defense cooperation was held virtually on October 25.

The event was co-chaired by Major General Vu Thanh Van, Director of the Department of Foreign Relations at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense and Colonel Phua Jia Kai, Director of the Defense Policy Office at the Singaporean Ministry of Defense.

The two sides affirmed that the joint working group mechanism has so far demonstrated its important role in making recommendations to leaders of the two ministries, and building practical cooperation activities between the two ministries and armies, cited VNA.

They affirmed that Vietnamese and Singaporean leaders defined defense cooperation as one of the important and prioritized areas that need to be promoted. The defense partnership has been jointly carried out and achieved positive outcomes in naval cooperation; search and rescue; exchange of young officers; education and training; and mutual consultation and support at multilateral defense mechanisms and forums.

The two sides agreed to advise defense leaders of the two nations to further direct bilateral cooperation in the areas of delegation exchange; promote the role of existing cooperation mechanisms; prioritize personnel training collaboration; strengthen cooperation between armed services; and consult and support each other at multilateral mechanisms and forums.

Vietnam needs to enhance institutional reform to attract high-quality FDI from EU

Vietnam must further disseminate information on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to boost reform, improve its business climate, and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from the EU, according to insiders.

These recommendations were put forward by think-tanks at a workshop in Hanoi on October 25 to discuss the EU’s FDI inflows into Vietnam following the enforcement of the EVFTA in August 2020 and the impending implementation of the EVIPA.

In a joint report presented at the workshop, the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VERP) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Institute in Vietnam (KAS) shared the view that the number of projects registered for investment by EU enterprises has been increasing since 2010, mostly in the manufacturing and processing industries.

However, FDI inflows from the bloc into Vietnam remain modest compared to other ASEAN countries, analysts pointed out. They cited statistics from Eurostat and the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, saying Vietnam attracts between 2-5% of the investment capital that the EU allocates in the world.

The Netherlands is the largest European investment partner for Vietnam, making up almost half of the total, followed by France, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, and Belgium. The scale of EU-invested projects in Vietnam is still hugely disparate, with few large-scale and high-value projects, according to VOV.

Nevertheless, experts affirmed that the EU-invested projects have significantly helped spur growth, accelerate economic restructuring, improve competitiveness, and increase budget revenue for provinces and cities across the country.

In addition, the EU’s FDI has become one of the main driving force for improving the overall quality of the investment environment in Vietnam.

Experts share their viewpoints at the launching workshop. Photo: VOV
Experts share their viewpoints at the launching workshop. Photo: VOV

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Chien Thang, director of the Institute of European Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, said Vietnam is a bright spot for FDI attraction, despite facing global uncertainties such as Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

These positive signs can largely be attributed to improved infrastructure, drastic actions by localities in improving the investment climate, and an abundant workforce.

Sharing this perspective, Nguyen Hong Van, external relations manager under the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham), noted European business stakeholders remain optimistic about the prospects for their own businesses in the fourth quarter in Vietnam.

Van, however, stated that high freight costs are a hindrance for FDI attraction from the EU in the time ahead. At the workshop, experts suggested Vietnam continue to fine-tune its legal system, simplify administrative procedures, and invest in training high-skilled workforce in a bid to attract high-quality FDI inflows from the EU.

514 new Covid-19 cases recorded on October 25

The national Covid-19 caseload rose to 11,498,047 with 514 new cases recorded on October 25, according to the Ministry of Health.

With 446 patients given the all clear during the day, the number of recoveries rose to 10,601,535.

514 new COVID-19 cases recorded on October 25: Illustrative image. Photo: VNA
514 new Covid-19 cases recorded on October 25: Illustrative image. Photo: VNA

Meanwhile, there are 68 patients needing breathing support, reported WVR.

No death from Covid-19 was recorded in the past 24 hours. The total fatalities stood at 43,161.

As of the end of October 24, the total number of doses of Covid-19 vaccine injected was 261,406,795 with 109,775 doses administered on October 24.

Vietnamese aviation industry enters seasonal lull

The Vietnamese aviation market is entering an off-peak season as the number of air passengers recorded a slight decline over two consecutive months.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the number of passengers passing through nationwide airports reached 7.2 million in October, down 11.6% month-on-month and 23.3% compared to October 2019.

Of the total, 5.8 million passengers were domestic travelers, down 1.4% month-on-month, and 1.3 million were foreign travelers, down 1.4%.

The number of passengers passing through nationwide airports see a slight decrease in October. Photo: vneconomy.vn
The number of passengers passing through nationwide airports see a slight decrease in October. Photo: vneconomy.vn

The CAAV explained that after experiencing high growth during summer time, the domestic aviation market is now entering an off-peak season that normally lasts until the end of December every year before witnessing a short surge during the New Year holidays.

Overall, Vietnamese airports have served more than 81 million passengers for the past 10 months, according to VOV.

The CAAV reports that the domestic aviation market is currently undergoing a strong recovery, while the international market has yet to fully recover. China, one of Vietnam’s major tourism markets, has not reopened its doors due to Covid-19 challenges. The aviation authorities of the two countries are negotiating the time for resuming flight routes.

Meanwhile, some other markets such as the Republic of Korea and Japan have reopened flights, although travel demand remains low.

It is expected that the total number of passengers traveling through Vietnamese airports will pass the 100 million mark this year, equaling around 83% of the figure recorded in the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

Immigration Department gives advice to foreign e-visa applicants

Foreigners who are seeking e-visas should search for information in advance and access the right website, the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security said on October 25.

The e-visa fee, US$25 as regulated by the Ministry of Finance, should be paid via the electronic payment gateway, the ministry said after a number of businesses and individuals published false information on some websites and social networks to increase the fee.

Since Vietnam shifted to the new normal on March 15, 2022, the country restored immigration policies, including e-visa granting, which had been suspended since early 2020 as part of Covid-19 prevention and control measures. Since then, the department granted 459,000 e-visas.

Illustrative image. Source: VNA
Illustrative image. Source: VNA

Currently, citizens from 80 countries can apply for Vietnam's e-visas as named in the Government’s Resolution No. 79/NQ-CP, dated May 25, 2020, cited VNA.

The department said it will propose the Ministry of Public Security coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to propose the Government expand the list of eligible countries.

The 14th National Assembly passed a resolution on piloting the issuance of e-visas for foreigners at its second session on November 22, 2016.

After the pilot scheme was put into place, starting February 1, 2017, the e-visa granting has been prescribed in the law amending and supplementing some articles of the law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, which took effect on July 1, 2020.

Foreigners can apply for e-visas without invitation or guaranteeing by an agency, organization or individual in Vietnam.

An e-visa is processed within three working days after the Immigration Department receives the completed application and full e-visa fee.

Currently, about 30 countries worldwide offer e-visas with different forms and conditions.

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