Party chief talks tax reform with US firms

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 11:07

An administrative agency. Viet Nam will speed up administrative reforms to create a better investment climate for foreign businesses. — Photo

WASHINGTON (Biz Hub) — Viet Nam would speed up administrative reforms on tax and customs procedures to create a better investment climate for foreign businesses, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said at a seminar with major US businesses in Washington, D.C.

The US Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council held the round-table discussion yesterday. While meeting with the participating enterprises to discuss Viet Nam's economic situation and its policies to intensify trade and investment with the US, the Party chief asked for opinions on co-operation and investment in Viet Nam.

Representatives of US enterprises said they were confident in Viet Nam's human and natural resources potential, as well as the prospects of Viet Nam-US relations in economics, trade and investment. Trong's visit to the US was a milestone in bilateral relations, they said. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is currently under discussion, would bring about numerous trade and investment opportunities for both the US and Viet Nam.

Some said they appreciated the revised Investment Law, which reduced foreign investment limitations. They also made proposals to improve the investment environment in Viet Nam.

Acknowledging the businesses' opinions and proposals, the Party General Secretary said he hoped US-based enterprises would invest in environmentally friendly, high-tech projects that serve their global business strategies and help develop the two countries' comprehensive partnership.

Agreements signed

On the same day, the Vietnamese Party leader also witnessed the signing of a number of co-operation agreements between the two countries in banking and aviation.

Citibank has received approval from the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to build subsidiaries in the country.

Commenting on the development, Citi Vietnam's Country Officer Natasha Ansell said the US-based global bank, which operates in more than 100 countries, had informed the SBV of its intention to seek a licence to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary in the country in light of its economic progress.

"Viet Nam's economy has grown significantly over the past few years, and it is expected to continue its growth in the coming years. Citi wishes to be part of the countrys continued success. We believe that the new structure, which we will apply for, will boost Citi's contribution to Viet Nam's banking industry and consolidate and strengthen our operational platform to further support local and international clients of Citi in Viet Nam."

The bank plans to submit requests for approval to the regulators in due course, including one for approval from regulators in the US. All transactions will need to be submitted to the Board of Directors of Citibank, N.A.

Citi operated in Viet Nam as First National City Bank from 1972 to 1975. It resumed its business in 1993 with a representative office in Ha Noi. The bank was the first US bank licensed to open a branch with full services in Ha Noi in 1994, followed by a branch in HCM City in 1998.

Vietjet Air also signed a memorandum of understanding with US-based Honeywell Aerospace to acquire the latter's APU and avionics for its aircraft.

The agreement, valued at US$56 million, calls on both parties to explore more opportunities for Vietjet to install Honeywell's APU and avionics suite in its new aircraft to be delivered from now through 2017, a press release from the low-cost air carrier said.

Last year Vietjet selected Honeywell to supply, manage and maintain the 131-9A APU for the airline's new fleet of 21 A320/A321 aircraft.

The aerospace company will provide training for Vietjet personnel on the Honeywell Operating System. The two parties will also work closely to exchange best practices and knowledge in airline operation and management as well as the latest aerospace technologies.

"We are delighted to sign this MoU and look forward to deepening the relationship with and partnering Vietjet to meet their long-term goals by sharing best practices and providing training," Briand Greer, president, Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific, said.

VietJet has also inked an MOU with US bank JPMorgan Chase for consultancy and financing for aircraft purchase and lease.

John Meakin, managing director, global head of ECA aircraft financing at JPMorgan Chase, said: "JPMorgan's strong track record in ECA financing, coupled with its extensive global network and resources, puts us in a strong position to support Vietjet's airline fleets and international routes expansion." — VNS

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