Netherlands-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (NVCC)

Covid-19 Update Vietnam – NVCC Webinar met Joris van Tienen (Damen), Erik Mattijssen (PEJA S.E.A.) en Matthijs van den Broek (Further East Consult, DBAV)

Joris van Tienen studeerde aan de TU Delft en werkte hierna van 1998  – 2009 in diverse functies bij DAF/Paccar. In 2013 trad hij in dienst bij Damen en sinds 2017 is hij de Managing Director van Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Hai Phong, Vietnam. 

Erik Mattijssen studeerde aan de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen. Sinds 1999 is hij Managing Director van PEJA S.E.A. Hij kent Zuidoost Azië en met name Vietnam als zijn broekzak en is een specialist in contracting, financial engineering, international sales en marketing. Erik is de Vice Voorzitter en Penningmeester van de NVCC.

Matthijs van den Broek: In de jaren negentig woonde en werkte Matthijs in Thailand. Sindsdien geeft hij lezingen en workshops  over zakendoen en socio-economische trends in Azie, zowel in Nederland als in Zuidoost-Azië. Kortgeleden is Matthijs teruggekeerd uit Hanoi, Vietnam, waar hij een jaar woonde en werkte.  Matthijs van den Broek is bestuurslid van de Dutch Business Association Vietnam (DBAV).


11.00 uur      Opening door Joost Vrancken Peeters,voorzitter van de NVCC

11.05 uur      De aanpak van Damen Song Cam Shipyard door Joris van Tienen, General Director

11.25 uur      De ervaringen van Erik Mattijssen, Managing Director PEJA S.E.A.

11.35 uur     Update over de actuele ontwikkelingen in Vietnam door Matthijs van den Broek, Managing Director Further East Consult.

11.50 uur      Vraag en Antwoord

12.00 uur      Einde

Het webinar zal worden gehouden via Zoom.

Is Vietnam the coronavirus-fighting champ of the world?

Is there any other sizable country that has so thoroughly vanquished COVID-19 — and without the resources of a wealthy nation? 

Source: The World

May 07, 2020 – By Patrick Winn

The United States recorded its first COVID-19 infection in late January — the same week that the virus officially reached Vietnam.

That was nearly four months ago. Since then, America has suffered more than 1 million cases and is losing thousands of lives to the coronavirus each day.

As for Vietnam? Zero reported deaths and fewer than 300 cases. Not bad for a nation of 95 million people.

Is there any other sizable country that has so thoroughly vanquished COVID-19 — and without the resources of a wealthy nation? (Many Vietnamese earn only a few hundred dollars per month, less than what most Americans spend on food.)

South Korea, Iceland, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore are cited as virus-fighting success stories. Yet, Vietnam has more citizens than all of those places combined — and has received only a fraction of the credit.

There are indeed lessons to be learned from Vietnam, namely the benefits of acting swiftly and sternly.

Its leaders wasted little time in “framing the pandemic as an enemy,” said Ba-Linh Tran, an independent policy analyst based in Ho Chi Minh City. (Tran is soon to receive a doctorate from the University of Bath.)

In Vietnam, public service announcements warn that the virus is “threatening the human race” and that “we have entered a war.” A deputy premier, Tran said, declares that everyone is now a “soldier.”

If there’s any country that can win a war despite terrifying odds, it is Vietnam. Just ask France, Japan, the United States and China.

But Tran said the public didn’t need too much nudging from officials to realize this is a life-or-death struggle.

For starters, he said, people remember the SARS epidemic of the early 2000s. They also would not have believed that, without a serious lockdown, “it’s going to work out fine.”

That’s what President Donald Trump was telling Americans in late February. By that point, Vietnam was shutting down borders and had started developing its own test for the coronavirus.

It has since tested its citizens at a higher rate than almost any other country in the world — and produced enough of its own WHO-approved coronavirus tests to export around the planet.

The government’s quick call to action was key, Tran said, but “it’s not entirely attributable to the government’s call.” Vietnam’s formula for success, he said, is strong policy plus massive public buy-in.

During the lockdown, shopkeepers — the few allowed to stay open — would often buy their own thermometers and alcohol gel, screening customers at the door. On the streets, public art in the style of Cold War-era propaganda posters has flourished, exalting nurses instead of guerrillas.

“We have this sense,” Tran said, “of the collective good.”

While some of Vietnam’s campaigns are fear-inducing, its most popular offering is a super-catchy song reminding people to wash their hands and put on a mask. (It went viral globally and has racked up tens of millions of views online.)

But these mass media campaigns are also backed by strict penalties for rule-breakers. Walking in public is not just taboo — any unmasked person found to have infected someone else can face prison time.

Related: Canada closes most of its great outdoors to curb COVID-19

Tran said that, naturally, individuals have their own opinions about how the crisis should be handled. Yet, these conversations never explode into a public debate.

“We don’t have this debate, this very strange dichotomy, between personal liberty and the collective good. We never think that … every individual has the right to do whatever he or she wants.”Ba-Linh Tran, independent policy analyst, Ho Chi Minh City


Photo: Vietnam Airlines


HANOI – Vietnam Airlines en dochtermaatschappijen Jetstar Pacific en VASCO verwachten hun binnenlandse vluchten in Vietnam begin juni bijna volledig te hervatten. Door de coronacrisis werd er aanzienlijk minder gevlogen, maar de overheid laat de reisbeperkingen stukje bij beetje los.

Vanaf 16 mei gaat de frequentie op de drukke route tussen Hanoi en Ho Chi Minh City omhoog naar 23 retourvluchten per dag. Ook op andere routes wordt het aantal vluchten geleidelijk opgevoerd. In juni verwacht Vietnam Airlines het schema weer op peil te hebben. Ook worden er nieuwe routes gestart, om aan de vraag naar luchtvervoer te voldoen.

Passagiers wordt gevraagd voor vertrek een gezondheidsverklaring te ondertekenen. Ook moeten zij verplicht mondkapjes dragen en wordt de temperatuur van elke reiziger gemeten, om daarmee de verspreiding van het coronavirus tegen te gaan.

NVCC Webinar met Matthijs van den Broek: Covid-19 Update Vietnam

NVCC Webinar met Matthijs van den Broek: Covid-19 Update Vietnam

Gratis deelname voor leden en contacten van de NVCC.

Datum: 29 april 2020

Tijd: 14.00 – 14.45 uur

Gastspreker: Matthijs van den Broek

Matthijs van den Broek is consultant en spreker met meer dan 30 jaar ervaring in Zuidoost-Azië.  In de jaren negentig woonde en werkte hij in Thailand. Sindsdien geeft hij lezingen en workshops  over zakendoen en socio-economische trends in Azie, zowel in Nederland als in Zuidoost-Azië. Kortgeleden is Matthijs teruggekeerd uit Hanoi, Vietnam, waar hij een jaar woonde en werkte.  Sinds april 2019 is hij Bestuurslid van de Dutch Business  Association Vietnam (DBAV).


14.00 uur      Opening van het webinar door Joost Vrancken Peeters, voorzitter van de NVCC

14.10 uur      Update over de strijd tegen het Covid-19 virus en andere ontwikkelingen in Vietnam door Matthijs van den Broek

14.35 uur      Vraag en Antwoord

14.45 uur      Einde

Cathay Pacific Airways Joins NVCC

The NVCC is delighted to welcome as corporate member Cathay Pacific Airways, a 5-star airline with its home base in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific offers a daily connection between Amsterdam and Hong Kong, with a popular time schedule (you leave for Hong Kong in the afternoon and arrive early in the morning, then next day. The return flight leaves after midnight and also arrives early in the morning, the same day).

The hub of Cathay Pacific is Hong Kong. There passengers can get connecting flights to more than 200 destinations worldwide.

From Amsterdam, flights are operated with the most technologically advanced aircraft, the new Airbus A350-1000. The A350-1000 has quieter and more fuel-efficient engines with 25% less fuel burn than other leading aircraft models. Cathay also flies 4 times a week from Brussels to Hong Kong with the A350-900 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific Airways & Cathay Dragon operate frequent flights from Hong Kong to Vietnam. Destinations in Vietnam are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang & Nha Trang.

Visit the website of the airline for more information by clicking here.

Vietnam’s 2020 GDP growth predicted to slow to 7-year low

Vietnam would be among four economies hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, behind Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (China).

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has forecast Vietnam’s GDP growth to slow to a 7-year low of 5.96 percent in 2020, indicating a less optimistic outlook compared to its assessment one week ago, local media reported.

Previously, the MPI predicted Vietnam’s GDP in 2020 to grow 6.09 percent in case the Covid-19 (nCoV) is contained by the end of the second quarter, representing a 0.7 percentage points lower than the target set by the National Assembly and nearly one percentage point compared to 2019.

The MPI suggested Vietnam would be among four economies hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, behind Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (China).

The latest prediction of the MPI is similar to those of domestic economists.

Pham The Anh, chief economist at the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), told VnExpress that Vietnam’s economic growth is predicted to be shaved off by one percentage point, while ANZ predicted a decrease of 0.8 percentage points in the first quarter due to the epidemic.

The MPI also estimated Chinese arrivals coming to Vietnam would decline by 2.3 million if the outbreak is controlled by the end of the second quarter, while those from other countries are likely to decrease between 50 percent and 60%.

“As Chinese tourists spend an average of $743.6 each, and international tourists of $1,141, a loss of $5 billion would be incurred if the epidemic persists to the end of June,” said the MPI in its report.

Preliminary assessment from the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) said the damage in the first quarter could be up to $7 billion and exceed $15 billion until the end of the second quarter.

With tourism under pressure from the outbreak, the aviation industry is set to face a similar fate. Before the epidemic, 11 Chinese airlines conducted 240 flights per week to Vietnam, while Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Vietjet operated 72 flight routes to 48 destinations in China with 401 flights per week.

In addition to tourism and aviation, Vietnam’s agricultural sector with high dependence on the Chinese market is facing numerous difficulties.

KB Securities said as consumption in China shrinks due to the outbreak, Chinese imports of goods and products from other countries would be set to decline. Meanwhile, China is Vietnam’s main export market for agricultural products as its imports Vietnamese goods worth nearly $6 billion, accounting for 35 percent of Vietnam’s total exports of agricultural products.

In 2019, Vietnam recorded a trade deficit of nearly $34 billion from China, importing largely phone and electronic parts, and input materials for textile and footwear production. With heavy dependence on input materials from China, Vietnam’s manufacture is set to face a major impact from the outbreak.

A survey conducted by the National Private Economic Development Research Board revealed many enterprises could maintain operation for one more week before running out of input materials.

Cash injection not an answer

Vietnam, however, is not the only country facing pessimistic outlook amid the outbreak of the Covid-19. On the global stage, many countries are using stimulus packages to mitigate the negative impacts. China has rolled out a $174 billion bailout package, comprised of $22 billion injection into Chinese markets to prevent the country’s stocks and currency from falling. Other countries also took a slew of measures to shore up their financial markets.

VEPR expert Pham The Anh said in case of Vietnam, monetary easing would not be feasible due to differences in the structure of economic growth.

A stimulus package would not boost the number of Chinese tourists coming to Vietnam, produce more agricultural goods or provide sufficient input materials for local enterprises, Anh added.

In addition, monetary easing would put upward pressure on inflation, which has been on the rise since the end of 2019 due to African swine fever.

Instead of using monetary policy, Anh said Vietnam should find ways to diversify revenues and pursue a more sustainable economic growth model.

Another solution is to waive visa for tourists from European countries and other important markets such as New Zealand, Canada, to relieve pressure from a decline in the number of Chinese tourists.

As many enterprises are facing difficulties, there should be more supports from the banking system and tax reduction for the business community.

Source: Hanoi Times, 14 February 2020

EU Parliament approves EU-Vietnam free trade and investment protection deals

The EU-Vietnam trade agreement, the “most modern and ambitious agreement ever concluded between the EU and a developing country”, got Parliament’s backing on Wednesday 12 February 2020.

MEPs gave their consent to the free trade agreement by 401 votes, 192 votes against and 40 abstentions. The “most modern, comprehensive and ambitious agreement ever concluded between the EU and a developing country” will contribute to setting high standards in the region, and could lead to a future region-to-region trade and investment agreement, said the Parliament, in an accompanying resolution adopted by 416 votes for, 187 against and 44 abstentions. The agreement is “a strong signal in favour of free, fair and reciprocal trade, in times of growing protectionist tendencies and serious challenges to multilateral rules-based trade”, MEPs stressed.

Vietnam not to cut GDP growth target despite epidemic

The government has decided not to lower the economic growth target despite the possible impacts of the new coronavirus epidemic.

“The impact of the epidemic on economic growth this year is very serious,” Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said at a press briefing Wednesday. 

He presented two scenarios for economic growth after factoring in the epidemic. In the first scenario in which the epidemic could be contained within the first quarter of the year, growth this year could be around 6.27 percent, he said. 

If it takes until the second quarter GDP growth would be just 6.09 percent, he warned. Vietnam’s GDP growth reached 7.02 percent last year.

But these numbers are only current estimates and could change depending on the government’s policies and stewardship of the economy, he said.

Head of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, said however that despite the epidemic, “The government will not adjust or lower economic growth and development targets.” Vietnam targeted its GDP to grow by 6.8 percent this year.

Regarding the possibility of providing economic bailout packages to offset the negative impacts of the epidemic, he said this “needs to be considered and depends on many factors.”

“Vietnam’s situation is not that serious yet and so for now it is not being considered. [It will only be considered if] the epidemic situation worsens.”

Phuong said bailout packages are part of the plans proposed by his ministry, but the current priority is to commit resources to preventing and controlling the nCoV epidemic. 

The bailout also depends on many factors such as the availability of resources and the target of the assistance, he said.

Vietnam has so far reported 10 cases of nCoV infection, three of whom have been declared healthy and discharged from hospital.

Heineken Vietnam invests additional US$70 million in Vung Tau factory

source: VNA

The southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has recently allowed Heineken Vietnam Brewery – Vung Tau JSC to increase its investment capital from 312.5 million USD to 381.3 million USD.

With the additional capital, the company expects to raise the annual capacity of its factory in Vung Tau from 610 million litres to 1.1 billion litres in 2020.

In early 2020, the province also granted approval decisions and investment licences to several investment projects, including those of Japan-based Seiko PMC Corporation (28 million USD), SeAH M&H Vietnam (35.3 million USD) and Arakawa Chemical Industries (45.6 million USD).

Last year, Ba Ria-Vung Tau attracted 108 new projects, including 49 foreign-invested ones valued at about 623 million USD, and 59 domestically-financed ones capitalised at 13.13 trillion VND (566 million USD).

During the year, it also allowed 40 existing projects to increase investment capital by 524 million USD.

Vietnamese New Year Reception 2020, 30 January, The Hague

The NVCC is pleased to invite you to the Vietnamese New Year Reception 2020 organised on the occasion of the beginning of the Year of the Rat.

Special guests at the Tet Nguyen Dan reception are HE Mrs Elsbeth Akkerman, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to   the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and HE Mrs Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Participation: Free for NVCC members and special guests by invitation only.

The capacity of the venue is limited. Registrations are handled on a first-come-first-served basis.


16:00 hrs                  Registration and welcome

16:30 hrs                  Welcome by Mr Joost Vrancken Peeters, Chairman of the NVCC

16:35 hrs                  Remarks by HE Mrs Elsbeth Akkerman, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

16:40 hrs                  Remarks by HE Mrs Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

16:45 hrs                  Remarks by representative of PUM Netherlands Senior Experts

16:50 hrs                  Informal reception

18:00 hrs                  End of meeting

The reception is hosted by PUM Netherlands Senior Experts