Vietnam and Australia aim to upgrade their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (Feb 1)

Vietnam News Today (Feb 1): Vietnam and Australia are looking to strengthen their relationship and elevate it to a comprehensive strategic partnership. There is high optimism among tourism businesses, with 92.9% of them anticipating growth in revenue by 2024. The year 2024 is expected to play a crucial role in the recovery of the Vietnamese economy. Real estate in Vietnam has emerged as an appealing investment option for foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreigners alike.

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Vietnam News Today (Feb 1) notable headlines

Vietnam and Australia seek to lift ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

92.9% of tourism businesses expect growth in revenue in 2024

2024 to become pivotal year in Vietnamese economic recovery

Real estate in Vietnam attractive to FDI, foreigners

Patent applications for Make-in-Vietnam products increase in 2023

Plenty of room for Vietnam, Uruguay to boost cooperation: Uruguayan FM

Hoan Kiem – Thang Long Imperial Citadel electric bus to debut

OVs in Thailand, Cambodia, Mozambique celebrate Tet festival

Vietnam celebrates first successful delivery after foetal heart surgery

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski.

Vietnam and Australia seek to lift ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

Relations between Vietnam and Australia continue to develop both positively and dynamically, and leaders of the two countries are considering lifting their ties to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership at an appropriate time, said Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski.

Ambassador Goledzinowski, in an interview recently granted to VTCNews, noted that mutual relations can become a model of win-win strategic partnership, particularly as the two countries share common interests and common development potential. Indeed, both sides value an international order, including maritime order, which is based on international law.

The lifting of bilateral relations will pave the way for further collaboration, targeting specific areas such as digitalisation and climate change response, said the diplomat.

According to the Australian Ambassador, 2023 was an important year in bilateral relations as it commemorated 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. To mark this event, a number of high-ranking officials of Australia, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong, and Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell, visited Vietnam. These trips contributed to further enhancing bilateral relations, proving to be a key factor in creating new business opportunities and connecting peoples of the two countries.

Among the remarkable gains recorded, Australia has become the seventh largest trading partner for Vietnam, a country that plays an important part in Australia’s newly launched Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040. In fact, many Australian companies have invested in various areas in the Vietnamese market, ranging from telecommunications to education, cited VOV.

The Australian Government has announced an AUD105 million grant for Vietnamese economic development, focusing on infrastructure construction, agricultural development, climate change response, and energy transition. It has also assisted Vietnam with US$95 million to adapt to climate change in the Mekong Delta in the 2023 – 2024 period.

Australia has also moved to introduce strong development policies and strategies to adapt to climate change in Vietnam, with cooperation spanning various fields, making 2023 an even better year for both countries, said Ambassador Goledzinowski.

Also in the interview, the Ambassador shared his thoughts and feelings about the Vietnamese land, people, and culture. He said that he has traveled the length and breadth of Vietnam to discover the country and sound out any potential cooperation opportunities. He has met with many Government officials, businesspeople, and ordinary people, finding that Vietnamese people are both optimistic and energetic. This therefore motivates him to work hard towards achieving a better relationship between the two countries.

92.9% of tourism businesses expect growth in revenue in 2024

Vietnam’s tourism industry stands at the threshold of a remarkable milestone, with experts asserting that an impressive figure of 14-15 million foreign visitors could be achieved this year, provided unexpected issues are kept at bay.

A recent survey conducted by Vietnam Report JSC has unveiled an optimistic outlook, with 66.7% of businesses in the tourism and hotel industry expressing confidence in more favorable prospects this year. Among them, 92.9% anticipate robust growth in revenue, while 85.7% foresee an uptick in both profit and visitor numbers.

Vu Dang Vinh, CEO of Vietnam Report, said their confidence is entirely justified, citing the impact of the new visa policy effective from August 15, 2023. This policy allows electronic visas for tourists from all countries and extends visa exemptions for certain visitors to 45 days, up from the previous 15 days. As a result, the number of foreign arrivals exceeded 1 million in the last four months of the previous year, far surpassing the initial plan.

Looking ahead, up to 92.9% of respondents view this policy as a “lever” crucial for sustaining the growth trajectory of Vietnam’s tourism industry, according to VNA.

Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

The hosting of international tournaments, such as the VTV Cup International Women’s Volleyball Cup and the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship, has played a crucial role in bringing the images of Vietnam and its people closer to the global audiences. Complemented by accolades at the World Travel Awards ceremony, 85.7% of surveyed businesses emphasized the strategic importance of promoting Vietnamese tourism through international events on culture, sports, festivals and tourism exhibitions as a key recommendation for 2024.

Despite Vietnam’s commendable rise to the fourth position in Southeast Asia for tourist arrivals, World Data statistics revealed a challenge. While other countries maintain a certain threshold of average revenue per visitor, Vietnam has experienced a decline, slipping from the fifth to the sixth place. This is attributed to its emphasis on developing local specialty stores rather than duty-free shopping centers, a trend that the industry needs to reassess.

Vinh proposed a forward-looking solution, advocating for the establishment of factory outlets in duty-free zones. This strategic move not only attracts a substantial customer base from Asian countries but also mitigates the “currency bleeding” phenomenon, wherein Vietnamese tourists curtail overseas shopping expenditures, he said.

2024 to become pivotal year in Vietnamese economic recovery

2024 is widely considered to be a pivotal year for Vietnamese economic recovery, with insiders believing that there are bright prospects ahead.

Vietnam last year recorded a GDP growth rate of 5.05%, which was much lower than the set plan but relatively high in comparison to the rest of the region. 2024 is the penultimate year of the 2021-2025 socio-economic development plan, and if the 6-6.5% growth is not achieved this year, the goal of the 5-year plan becomes an impossible task.

To create growth momentum, the country is required to consolidate and renew existing growth drivers, and at the same time bring into full play new growth drivers.

Economist Can Van Luc offered several solutions aimed at strengthening existing growth drivers, emphasizing the need to promote public investment disbursement, stimulate private investment and domestic consumption, and support businesses that are negatively impacted by the decline in exports and investment, VOV reported.

Real estate attracts the most FDI in January, US$1.27 billion. (Photo: VNA)

Special attention should be paid to reviving the growth of the country’s major economic hubs such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, he suggested.

He also underlined the necessity of accelerating the process of fine-tuning institutions for the development of the digital economy, green economy, circular economy, and innovation, along with regaining the trust of the wider business community through improvements in the business climate.

Luc also underscored the importance of building a legal framework for new economic models, increasing labor productivity, and promoting green growth in the time ahead.

Minh Dang, director of Dragon Capital’s Research Division, also expressed her optimism regarding the country’s socio-economic development prospects this year, saying that Vietnam will see more opportunities than challenges.

She noted that 2023 was a challenging year for the manufacturing industry as the world has undergone a cycle of reducing inventory.

However, the inventory index of manufacturers in Europe and America and other retailers globally has reached a sustainable level, opening up a positive outlook ahead for Vietnamese economic recovery over the course of this year, Dang noted.

Real estate in Vietnam attractive to FDI, foreigners

Real estate has emerged as the biggest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in January while foreigners now also have great demand for property in Vietnam, statistics show.

As much as US$1.27 billion of FDI was poured into real estate in January, accounting for 53.9% of the total registered capital and doubling the figure recorded in the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

With this result, real estate ranks first in FDI attraction after a long time standing at the second place, after the processing – manufacturing sector.

Notably, the FDI flow into Hanoi has continued surging thanks to a new residential area project worth over US$662 million, the FIA reported.

Besides, there is also great demand for real estate in Vietnam among foreigners as shown in the Vietnam Institute of Real Estate Studies (VIRES)’s recent survey of 500 large investors from 10 associations of property businesses and investors in such developed real estate markets as the US, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore, cited VNA.

Real estate attracts the most FDI in January, US$1.27 billion. (Photo: VNA)

It found that the top reason for foreign investors’ interest in Vietnamese real estate is attractive prices.

However, VIRES held that the country still needs to further improve the legal framework and access to information and data to provide the best possible conditions for foreign investors in this sector.

About 10.5% of the interviewed investors assessed the property market and prices in Vietnam as very attractive, 47.4% said the market and prices are very attractive but improvement is needed in terms of legal, information, and data conditions, 21.1% relatively attractive, and 15.8% moderately attractive. Only 5.3% said the market and prices are not truly attractive.

Among real estate segments, foreign investors are most attracted to middle- and high-end apartments. About 57.9% of them said they are interested in buying while 36.8% want to rent those apartments.

Demand for purchasing and renting tourism and resort property is also relatively high, at 26.3% and 31.6%. Only about 5.3% of foreign investors have a demand for renting and buying industrial park real estate and renting commercial offices, the survey found.

Patent applications for Make-in-Vietnam products increase in 2023

The number of applications for patents increased by 10.6 percent, while registrations for industrial design protection rose by 11.8 percent in 2023, according to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).

NOIP, which belongs to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), reported that in 2023, the agency received 156,000 applications for industrial property rights of different kinds, an increase of 11 percent over 2022.

These included 84,000 applications for industrial property rights (up 8.5 percent) and 71,660 registrations for other applications (+14.1 percent). The number of registrations for patients increased by 10.6 percent and registrations for industrial design 11.8 percent.

Of these, NOIP handled 125,778 applications of all types, including 74,130 applications to register industrial property rights (up 13.2 percent compared to 2022) and 51,648 other applications/requests (+ 6.6 percent).

The agency granted 36,977 industrial right protection certificates, 202 certificates for collective brand registration and certification marks, and seven certificates for geographical indication registration for local products, VNN reported.

Photo: VNN

NOIP head Luu Hoang Long said intellectual property plays an increasingly important role in the development of the country and localities. The highlight of this field in 2023 was the issuance of documents guiding the implementation of the Intellectual Property Law.

This included Decree 65/2023 detailing articles and measures on industrial property, protection of industrial property rights, rights for plant varieties, and State management of intellectual property.

Detailed regulations can be seen in Circular 23/2023 on procedures to establish industrial property rights and industrial property information.

In 2024, NOIP will accelerate international cooperation with negotiations about intellectual property within the framework of next-generation free trade agreements (FTAs). Also, the agency will preside over negotiation plans on genetic sources and traditional knowledge.

Along with negotiations for new international treaties, NOIP has been coordinating with agencies to implement international treaties that Vietnam has signed or acceded to, such as the Vietnam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Rosie Nguyen