Mekong Monitor: Laos, Vietnam central banks bolster cooperation in information technology and technical matters
Photo credit: Eleven Myanmar
TRADE, ECONOMY, AND INVESTMENT
Laos, Vietnam central banks bolster cooperation in information technology and technical matters
(18 September 2019) The central banks of Laos and Vietnam inked two memoranda of understanding to cooperate in the areas of information technology and other technical matters during a recent meeting between the governors of both central banks in Vientiane. At the meeting, the two central banks pledged to promote and create favourable conditions for commercial banks of the two countries to establish cooperation, trade and investment presence on both sides. Both central bank governors were also present at the inauguration of VietinBank’s Laos headquarters in Vientiane on the same day. VietinBank first opened its doors in Laos in February 2012.
Amata Corporation ready for new industrial estate in Vietnam’s Quang Tri’s province
(23 September 2019) Thailand’s industrial developer Amata Corporation is currently conducting a feasibility study with Japanese and Singaporean firms for its fourth industrial investment location in Quang Tri province. According to Amata’s local subsidiary, the province is Vietnam’s poorest province, and the site was selected following the government’s calls for more investment in the central region. The project, which will be an eco-friendly industrial estate, will be the company’s fourth development in Vietnam following Amata City in Long Thanh, Halong and Bien Hoa.
Myanmar’s foreign trade reaches US$33 billion in the current fiscal year
(24 September 2019) Myanmar’s foreign trade has so far totalled US$33.19 billion with one month left in its current fiscal year. Its exports generated US$15.97 billion while imports reached US$17.21 billion. Of the sum, maritime trade accounted for US$23.59 billion while border trade accounted for around US$9.6 billion. However, these figures represent a US$738.5 million fall when compared to figures from the same period last year, which reached US$33.9 billion.
Vietnam to consolidate Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi stock exchanges under umbrella entity
(24 September 2019) Vietnam’s finance ministry has submitted a draft calling for the consolidation of its existing stock exchanges which would see the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) becoming subsidiaries under a new entity known as the Vietnam Securities Exchange. Under the proposal, HOSE would focus on operating the stock market, HNX would focus on derivatives and bond markets, while the umbrella entity will oversee the overall policy development, compliance and management.
Thai cabinet lowers public debt ceiling to 42.76%, below 60% threshold set by finance ministry
(25 September 2019) The Thai cabinet approved its public debt management plan for the 2020 fiscal year that caps its average public debt ratio to GDP at 42.76%, below the 60% threshold set by the finance ministry’s fiscal sustainability framework. The country’s public debt totalled US$225.8 million or 41.45% of GDP as of July this year. Previous records stood at 41.9% in 2012, 41.2% in 2013, 43.3% in 2014 and 41-42% in 2015-2018. The 2020 plan also covers new debt such as the mass transit projects, nine double-track rail projects, as well as basic infrastructure projects.
About Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Programme was launched by the Asian Development Bank in 1992 connecting five developing ASEAN countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. The region has some of the most robust economies sharing the Mekong River Basin thanks to its reform and liberalisation. The subregion is growing at a faster pace than the whole of East Asia and the Asia Pacific as the GDP growth rate for 2017 was at 6.4 percent, according to the World Bank. The population at the subregion as of 2016 is at 340 million while the GDP at PPP is at US$3.1 trillion in 2016. In 2015, trading within the region was at US$444 billion.