Monthly Newsletter of December 2023
Vietnam’s economic trajectory in 2023 reveals a GDP growth estimate of 5.05%, a notable deceleration from the previous year’s robust 8.02%, according to a report released by the General Statistics Office on Friday.
Throughout the year, the nation’s economy demonstrated a sustained quarter-on-quarter recovery, with expansions of 3.41% in January-March, 4.25% in April-June, 5.47% in July-September, and a peak of 6.27% in October-December.
Breaking down the sectors, the agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture industries experienced a growth of 3.83%, while the industry and construction sectors saw a 3.74% increase, and the service sector surged by 6.82%.
The overall size of Vietnam’s GDP was estimated at an impressive USD 430 billion, accompanied by a noteworthy uptick in GDP per capita by USD 160 year-on-year, reaching a total of USD 4,284.
In December 2023, the Prime Minister of Vietnam participated in the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). Alongside sharing Vietnam’s actions in response to climate change following COP26, the Prime Minister emphasized that the world has fallen short of mobilizing USD 100 billion annually for climate actions over the past 14 years. Consequently, he underscored that fulfilling commitments is crucial to building trust among nations and advancing climate negotiations.
He urged developed countries to further increase their support and assistance for developing and underdeveloped nations, particularly in terms of concessional capital, technology transfer, human resource training, smart governance, and institutional refinement. The Prime Minister’s remarks highlight the importance of international collaboration and financial commitments to effectively address the global challenge of climate change.
On December 12, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang attended the launch ceremony of the “Sustainable Development of One Million Hectares of High-Quality Rice Farming with Low Emissions for Green Growth in the Mekong Delta by 2030” initiative. According to explanations from experts, each country, organization, and individual will have a specific carbon emission quota. If they do not utilize their allocated quota, they can sell the remaining capacity as carbon credits to other entities exceeding their emission limits.
The World Bank estimates that the development of high-quality rice farming in the Mekong Delta region, when established, could reduce carbon emissions by 10 million tons, generating approximately USD 100 million. This substantial amount contributes to increasing profits for local farmers. Previously, the World Bank invested USD 51.5 million to purchase 10.3 million forest carbon credits in the North Central provinces during the period 2018-2024.
Source: Online Newspaper of The Government, VTV online
NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
1. Law on Water Resources (Law No. 28/2023/QH15)
General provisions on declaration, registration and licensing of exploration, exploitation and use of water resources.
Water resource exploitation permit is one of the new requirements:
Organizations and individuals exploiting water resources for domestic activities, agricultural production, aquaculture, industrial production, waterway traffic, hydropower, irrigation, sports, tourism, business, services, source creation, saltwater intrusion prevention, inundation control, landscape creation and other purposes must obtain a water resource exploitation permit corresponding to the type of water source to be exploited as prescribed in clause 2 of this Article, except for the cases specified in clauses 3, 4 and 5 of this Article; in the case of groundwater exploitation, a groundwater exploration permit must be obtained before constructing a work.
Water resource exploitation permits consist of:
a) Surface water exploitation permit;
b) Groundwater exploitation permit;
c) Seawater exploitation permit.
The Law was issued on November 27, 2023. It will come into force from Law comes into force from July 01, 2024. However, the regulation on fee for right to exploit water resources to be supplied for domestic activities, prescribed in point b clause 1 Article 69 of this Law, shall be charged from July 1, 2025. Besides, the exploitation of groundwater by households, prescribed in clause 4 Article 52 of this Law, shall be registered from July 1, 2026.
2. Decree No. 94/2023/ND-CP Prescribing Tax Exemption and Reduction Under the Resolution No. 110/2023/QH15 dated November 29, 2023 of the National Assembly
According to the Decree, the 2% VAT reduction (except some special kind of goods and services) will be applied from January 1, 2024, until June 30, 2024. In detail, the VAT reduction rates:
– Business establishments that pay VAT using the credit-invoice method shall pay 8% VAT on the goods and services.
– Business establishments (including household businesses and individual businesses) that pay VAT using the direct method (as a percentage (%) of revenue) shall be eligible for 20% reduction in the percentage (%) used as the basis for calculating VAT when issuing invoices for the goods and services eligible for VAT reduction.
3. Circular No. 09/2023/TT-BXD on Amendment 1:2023 QCVN 06:2022/BXD National Technical Regulation on Fire Safety of Buildings and Constructions
This standard is applicable when constructing new buildings falling within the scope of its regulations or when applied solely to sections or areas undergoing direct renovation or repairs in the following cases:
– Renovation or repairs that alter the functionality of a floor, a fire compartment, or a building, leading to an enhancement of fire safety requirements for the floor, fire compartments, and the building.
– Renovation or repairs that modify the evacuation solutions of a floor, a fire compartment, or a building, with the intention of reducing the number of escape routes or staircases.
– Renovation or repairs that increase the fire and explosion hazard classification of a floor, a fire compartment, or a building.
– Renovation or repairs that scale up the scope of work, resulting in an improvement of fire safety requirements for the floor, fire compartments, and the building.
In cases where a building, fire compartment, or floor undergoing renovation or repair cannot meet the requirements of this standard, then section 1.1.10 shall be applied.
According to the new regulation, siding or folding doors may be used on emergency exits (except in cases where these doors have requirements for fire resistance, self-closing mechanisms, or in Group F1.3 occupancies, daycare centers, elementary schools, and similar facilities), in which case the provisions regarding door swing direction in section 3.2.10 do not apply, and there must be a sign or note indicating the type of door and its opening direction.
The width of the stairway used for egress, including stairways located within stair enclosures, shall not be less than the calculated width or the width of any exit door onto it, and shall not be less than:
– 1.2 meters for Group F1.1 occupancy with a total number of occupants egressing through this stairway greater than 15 people per floor; 1 meter for Group F1.1 occupancy with a total number of occupants egressing through this stairway from 15 people or less per floor;
– 1.2 meters for buildings with more than 200 occupants on any floor, except the first floor;
– 0.7 meters for buildings with a fire protection system height not exceeding 15 meters and a total number of occupants egressing through this stairway from each floor not exceeding 15 people (in this case, a stairway with a width smaller than the width of the exit door is acceptable);
– 0.9 meters for all other cases.
In cases where the above dimensions cannot be ensured, standard documentation can be used to calculate egress for people and determine the necessary dimensions of the stairway, egress path, and exit route based on the specific conditions of the building.
The Circular was issued on October 16, 2023 and came into force from December 1, 2023.
4. National Technical Regulation No. QCVN 20:2023/BCT on Safety of Metallic Rigid Gas Pipelines
The National technical regulation was issued on November 15, 2023. From May 31, 2024, this regulation will come into force and replaced the National technical regulation No. QCVN 01:2016/BCT. According to the regulation:
– The entity utilizing gas pipeline systems is responsible for managing, operating, maintaining, and repairing in accordance with the approved procedures and regulations specified in this Standard.
– Only individuals who have received specialized training and safety instruction are authorized to operate gas pipeline systems. Operators of gas pipeline systems must regularly monitor the parameters and normal functioning of the gas pipelines.
– Adequate workplace regulations, operational procedures, and incident handling protocols must be in place at the work site.
– Emergency Response Regulations for Incidents and Accidents Involving Gas Pipeline Systems.
+ The operating unit is required to establish an emergency response procedure to be implemented in critical situations such as system malfunctions, accidents, or other emergency cases. The plan encompasses execution procedures to promptly address issues, ensure the safety of personnel, minimize property damage, and protect the environment.
+ The emergency response plan must include training and periodic drills for relevant personnel involved in emergency response activities, conducted at intervals not exceeding 12 months.
+ The emergency response procedure includes contact information for relevant authorities and local agencies to provide information and coordinate response efforts.
5. Decision No. 8086/QD-TLD of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor (applicable for the enterprises having Trade Union)
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor issues the regulations on the principles of formulating and allocating the budget for the trade union in 2024.
1. Source of trade-union finance
– Trade-union fee: 2% of the total salary of employees falling within the category required to contribute to social insurance (BHXH) as stipulated by social insurance laws. Consequently, the basis for determining the 2% Trade Union Fund contribution in 2024 at various units is calculated based on the average salary contributing to social insurance for the first 6 months of 2023 at the unit, multiplied by the number of employees falling within the category required to contribute to social insurance according to the regulations of social insurance laws.
– Member fee: are collected based on the number of union members within each union, in accordance with their salaries and salary allowances in each specific region, as outlined in Decision No. 1908/QD-TLD dated December 19, 2016, issued by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.
2. Distribution of revenue source from trade-union fee
– In the year 2024, grassroots trade unions are allocated to utilize 70% of the trade-union fee and 75% of the total member fee revenue. The remaining balance is to be distributed in accordance with regulations governing the distribution of financial resources for trade unions at higher levels based on their grassroots operations.
– The portion of additional trade union member fee collected beyond the stipulations in Decision No. 1908/QD-TLD and other revenue sources are entirely designated for the use of grassroots trade unions, with a utilization rate of 100%.
In December, OneStepVietnam participated in the “Green Tourism – Sustainable Development” workshop, a collaborative effort between Tuoi Tre Newspaper and the People’s Committee of Da Lat City in Lam Dong Province. Mr. Hanh, representative for OneStep, presented the sustainable development criteria helping Tan Hoa Village archived the Best Tourism Village award. The village excelled in 12 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations and UNWTO. Mr. Hanh’s presentation also delved into the strategic vision for sustainable tourism development in Da Lat.
OneStepVietnam team – December 2023