Weekly Events (From November 28th to December 4th)

6/12/2021| 13:52

Following are the highlight events in the week: PM calls for enhanced solidarity, cooperation for sustainable, inclusive growth; 99% of businesses in Hanoi plan to use e-invoices; Three Vietnam tourist cities among world's 100 greatest places; NA Chairman chairs meeting on special policies in COVID-19 fight.

1. PM calls for enhanced solidarity, cooperation for sustainable, inclusive growth

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính called for enhanced solidarity and cooperation among nations to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth while addressing an ASEAN High-level Forum on Sub-regional Cooperation in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

This is the first ever ASEAN forum on Sub-regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth which was hosted by Việt Nam both online and in-person to create a venue for member countries, partners, regional and international organisations as well as the business community to discuss and define opportunities, challenges, potential and orientations to promote development cooperation in the sub-region.

Participants at the forum included Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh; Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, on behalf of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen; ASEAN General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi and representatives of partners and regional and international organisations.
PM Chính proposed three priorities for promoting sub-regional cooperation. First, taking people as the centre, target and motivation for development. Second, enhancing regional and international cooperation to improve capacity ensuring sustainable development in sub-regions and suggesting ASEAN member countries, partners, regional and international organisations and the business community actively support and help developing countries in sub-regions in terms of financial resources, technology transfer, particularly high technology and green technology in order to conserve natural resources and cope with challenges. Third, boosting connection in infrastructure, economy and culture to speed up the narrowing of development gaps, creating conditions for people’s lives and economic development in sub-regions.
He stressed that promoting connection, economic integration, green growth, environmental protection, sustainable use and management of resources, coping with climate change, digital transformation and tourism were among key items that ASEAN member countries, partners and regional and international organisations should focus on.
Over the past decades, ASEAN and its members had always paid attention to narrowing the development gap and promoting the implementation of the ASEAN Integration Initiative, he said.
Countries in the region, with close geographical positions, rich in culture and sharing similarities in natural conditions, created sub-regional cooperation frameworks such as the East ASEAN Growth Area, Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle, the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (ACMECS), the Greater Mekong-Subregion (GMS) and the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle, the PM said.
During the forum, participants focused on two main topics, including enhancing sub-regional cooperation in ASEAN towards recovery which gave an overview of opportunities and challenges in narrowing the development and cooperation gap and put forward orientations to further promote the role of ASEAN in this process, particularly in the context of ensuring sustainable development and comprehensive recovery post-COVID-19.

The second topic focused on measures to enhance the relations between ASEAN and partners and relevant parties in developing the sub-region and narrowing the development gap.Participants agreed with the need to tap cooperation potential of sub-regions to create business and investment opportunities for enterprises inside and outside the regions.

Some new cooperation models were recommended by partners, including fostering dialogue and exchanges between ASEAN and partners about sub-regional development cooperation in the new period in order to implement contents of agreements reached at the forum.
UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen said: “There is an urgent need to address interlinked global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss and the risk of pandemics. Acting on their own, individual countries cannot meet these challenges. But collectively, with a renewed effort to strengthen regional and global cooperation, we can succeed. ASEAN is an outstanding example of regional and South-South cooperation.”
Greater coordination and coherence was needed to strengthen the region’s response to COVID-19 and inclusivity would require heightened efforts to ensure free and universal access to vaccinations and therapeutic drugs when they become available, she said, adding that ASEAN could lead the way in negotiating a voluntary licensing arrangement for vaccines and medicines to facilitate the transfer of technology to companies in the region.
ASEAN countries could also work together to ensure safe movement of people across international borders through the adoption of reliable vaccine passports, and timely and reliable flow of information between countries, she said.
“We must redouble our efforts to increase and prioritise investments in areas that will generate high returns in terms of realising the SDGs, including social protection and assistance, education and health, essential infrastructure, green technology and economy, digitisation and governance,” she said.
Participants appreciated Việt Nam’s role in promoting development cooperation in sub-regions for the goals of narrowing the development gap and equal and sustainable development within ASEAN.

2. 99% of businesses in Hanoi plan to use e-invoices: Mayor

With over 99% of businesses and associations in Hanoi planning to use e-invoices, the city is determined to further push for this new method to ensure a transparent and fair business environment.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh stressed the view at the launch of the pilot e-invoice management system on November 21, with Hanoi among the six localities joining the initiative.According to Anh, this is one of the key steps towards the modernization of tax management that would directly impact the business environment and national competitiveness.

“This is particularly important as Hanoi and the country as a whole are pushing for the establishment of digital government,” Anh said.With the huge benefits from e-invoices, especially in saving time and costs for all parties involved, Anh said the city considers the initiative significant during the process of digital transformation.

Anh said the city has set up a Steering Committee and a task force specialized in promoting the electronic billing to meet the implementation schedule set by the Ministry of Finance.“Hanoi would create the utmost convenience for businesses and taxpayers turning to e-invoicing and address their concern during the process,” he added.

At the launch, Director of the General Department of Taxation Cao Anh Tuan noted the adoption of e-invoices would be proceeded into two phases, with the first phase to be implemented in six provinces/cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong, Quang Ninh, Phu Tho and Binh Dinh from November 2021; while the second phase is set to start in the remaining 57 localities later.“The goal is to have 100% of businesses in Vietnam use e-invoices until June 30, 2022,” Tuan said.

E-invoicing adoption as key priorities in 2021-2022

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai stressed the adoption of e-invoicing in the country remains a key task for the Ministry of Finance (MoF) during the 2021-2022 period.

Khai expected the new method to substantially change the operation of both tax authorities and businesses for the better, especially in lowering administrative costs and promoting digitalization.“This would have huge impacts not only for the tax management system but also for the business and the economy,” he said.
To ensure the effective implementation of e-invoicing, Khai called for the MoF to continue finalizing the tax management system for transparent, consistent, and accurate information.

“Vietnam’s tax management practices should aim for regional and international standards, meeting demands of both the policy-making process and taxpayers,” Khai added.

Khai requested the authorities to raise public awareness on the use of e-invoices and expand communication channels to assist the people and businesses with any issues related to this process.For the taxation sector to play a greater role in socio-economic recovery amid the pandemic, Khai called for Government agencies to soon complete a draft economic recovery plan in line with the overall Covid-19 response strategy.“This is the main task for Vietnam to overcome the difficulties and catch up with the global economic recovery,” he said.

3. Three Vietnam tourist cities among world's 100 greatest places: Time

 Hanoi, HCMC and Phu Quoc have made it onto the global list of 100 greatest places to explore on Earth as voted by Time magazine.Time recommended travelers to explore Hanoi where they can enjoy a renewed life in the Old Quarter."Vietnam’s 1,000-year-old capital is embracing change while maintaining a strong sense of identity," Time wrote.

The new Capella Hanoi on Le Phung Hieu Street in Hoan Kiem District, a 47-room hotel designed by world famous architect Bill Bensley, and Dolce by Wyndham Hanoi Golden Lake, a 25-floor hotel in Ba Dinh District, billed as the world’s first gold-plated hotel, add their charm to the vibrancy of Hanoi."Hanoi's incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride," Time noted.

The magazine suggested visitors try pho, the city’s signature dish, at Bat Dan Restaurant on the eponymous street, which has been serving this dish for more than 70 years. The restaurant offers both traditional and stir-fried pho, with prices ranging from VND45,000-75,000 ($2-3.27).Time defined Ho Chi Minh City as "tastes of Vietnam" where a collection of famous restaurants converge.

Among them is Anan Restaurant, which became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a berth in Asia’s 50 best restaurants in the 2021 annual ranking published by William Reed Business Media, a British business magazine and digital media company.Located inside an old market on Ton That Dam Street in District 1 near Bitexco Financial Tower, Anan specializes in street food-inspired dishes created by Vietnamese-¬American chef Peter Cuong Franklin.

"Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a modern Asian eatery with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pate to veal sweetbreads," according to Time.The U.S. magazine called Phu Quoc island city an "idyllic paradise."

Known as the "jewel of Vietnam," Phu Quoc Island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations in Southeast Asia as it attracted five million visitors in 2019, a 30 percent increase from the year before.

The island is planning to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists back from this October. It boasts luxury beach resorts and modern entertainment complexes by conglomerate Vingroup.

Time magazine said its third annual World’s Greatest Places list is "curated from editor and expert nominations from around the world" and that "the list recognizes 100 unique destinations that are offering visitors an extraordinary experience that's unlike any other."Other Asian destinations in the Time list include Bangkok, Beijing, Malaysia's Desaru Coast, Dubai, South Korea's Gyeongju, Thailand's Khao Yai National Park and Cambodia's Siem Reap.
The list features 21 U.S. destinations while Europe is well-represented on the list as well, accounting for 28.

4. NA Chairman chairs meeting on special policies in COVID-19 fight

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue chaired a meeting with permanent members of the NA Committee for Social Affairs and representatives of relevant agencies in Hanoi on December 3 to discuss the Government’s proposal on several special mechanisms and policies in the fight against COVID-19.

Earlier on November 17, the Government sent the proposal to the NA Standing Committee regarding the issuance of a resolution on several mechanisms and policies in COVID-19 prevention and control for the implementation of the comprehensive strategy on the effort.

Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh and NA Chairman Hue agreed on the need to issue the resolution.NA Chairman Hue said the draft resolution should focus on special policies and mechanisms that are different from others in the law.

About the stabilisation of medical equipment prices, he suggested enlisting those in urgent need with sufficient impact evaluation and high consensus. NA Chairman Hue also asked the NA Committee for Social Affairs, the NA agencies, the NA Standing Committee and the Government continue perfecting the report assessing the impacts of the draft resolution.