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Vietnam news in brief - November 20
Find out what is happening in Vietnam today.

Strengthening business cooperation in five Southeast Asian countries

The Thailand-Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia-Myanmar Business Forum 2023 witnessed the signing ceremony of a business cooperation agreement between enterprises of five Southeast Asian countries in Thailand on November 19. The event aims to create a premise for trade cooperation among enterprises in five Southeast Asian countries. With the participation of hundreds of overseas Vietnamese businesses, the forum was held from November 17 to 19 in Udon Thani Province, northeastern Thailand. Vietnam-Thailand trade turnover reached US$20.5 billion in 2022 and will soon hit the target of US$25 billion in the coming period.

HoREA recommends new financial package for affordable housing

 An affordable housing project in Dong Ngac Ward, Tu Liem District. Photo: Pham Hung/ The Hanoi Times

The HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA) has proposed a new affordable housing stimulus package worth VND110 trillion (US$4.5 billion) with an annual interest rate of 4.5-5%. According to the association, the current interest rate of 7.7-8.2% per annum under the existing package worth VND120 trillion (about US$5 billion) is still comparatively high for low-income buyers. The loan term is limited to a maximum of five years, and the interest rates, which are adjusted every six months, worry borrowers.

The new package was once suggested by the Ministry of Construct in February 2023 with maximum loan tenure of 25 years.

Government urges Lai Chau to finalize rare earth mining plan

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on November 19 requested authorities of the northern mountain province of Lai Chau to finalize a plan to mine natural resources, especially rare earth elements, as soon as possible. Lai Chau is home to Dong Pao, Vietnam's largest rare earth mine, which covers an area of 132 hectares.

Vietnam plans to increase its rare earth production to two million tons of ore per year by 2030. The country has the world's second-largest rare earth reserves, about 22 million tons, behind China.

Large-scale e-invoice database center launched to prevent tax losses

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed the Ministry of Finance to set up a large-scale e-invoice database center to apply modern technology and research solutions and tools to detect and prevent fraudulent activities related to e-invoicing, resulting in loss of tax revenue. The ministry is urged to strengthen connectivity and information sharing with relevant ministries and agencies, especially the Ministry of Public Security, to effectively manage taxes.

Lung disease and cancer screening for 100,000 citizens

 Many people participate in a lung cancer screening program in Ho Chi Minh City on November 19. Photo: VNA

More than 100,000 people in major cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Cantho and the central province of Thua Thien Hue, will be screened for lung disease and cancer free of charge. This initiative, the first of the Health Innovation Network, will be implemented from December 2023 with the participation of more than 60 hospitals nationwide.

Vietnam's fruit and vegetable export turnover reaches $4.9 billion in Jan-Oct

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that fruit and vegetable export turnover reached more than $4.9 billion in the first 10 months of 2023, up 78.4% year-on-year. This result is much higher than the initial expectation and the highest level ever. If the current export pace is maintained, fruit and vegetable export turnover in 2023 will reach $5.5 billion - $5.8 billion, a historical record. Vietnam's main export products are bananas, dragon fruit, durian and jackfruit.

VinaPhone ranked best mobile service provider in Q3

VinaPhone was the best mobile internet provider in Vietnam in Q3/2023 with an average download speed of 54.74Mbps, according to a speed test report by market data mining company Ookla. The report also said that VinaPhone had the lowest median multi-server latency in Vietnam at 34ms, while the mobile operator had the best consistency with 94.7% of results showing at least 5Mbps minimum download speed and 1Mbps minimum upload speed.

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