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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 30 July 2014  

Consumption of goods, services up

The General Statistics Office (GSO) yesterday reported that the total retail sale of goods and services in the first seven months achieved a year-on-year increase of 11.4 per cent to US$78.8 billion.

Excluding inflation, the growth was 6.15 per cent since early this year against the growth rate at 5.1 per cent in the first quarter, 5.5 per cent in the first four months and 6 per cent in the first five months. It was 5.7 per cent in the first half of the year.

During the first seven months of this year, the total retail sale of goods accounted for 75 per cent of the total to reach $59.15 billion, 10.1 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Sales of accommodation and restaurant services had a year-on-year increase of 12.8 per cent to $9.62 billion and other services gained $9.22 billion, 18.3 per cent higher than same period last year.

GSO economic expert Vu Manh Ha said, however, that the real purchasing power still grew slowly, as the consumer price index increased only 1.62 per cent during the first seven months – the lowest level since 2006.

The growth rate of retail sales of goods and services each month showed a downward trend during the first seven months, the office said. The rate increased 2.3 per cent in February against January, 2 per cent in March against February and 1.4 per cent in April against May. It rose 0.7 per cent in July against June.

However, the domestic retail market shows great potential in the future, according to property consulting and service provider CBRE Viet Nam.

Looking ahead, the retail market could expect more activities and new entrants in Viet Nam in general and Ha Noi in particular.

According to a recent report by CBRE, Viet Nam ranked second among ten top markets for Asian retailers in 2014. Another survey conducted by CBRE also showed that Ha Noi and HCM City are among top 10 cities in Asia Pacific where retailers intend to open stores in 2014.

On the legal side, Viet Nam will completely open the market to foreign retailers by January 2015 under WTO obligations. In addition, under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, Viet Nam has reduced import duties from ASEAN to zero on 10,000 tariff lines.

While this support is expected to serve as a good foundation for more international retailers and goods to enter Viet Nam, local retailers may struggle with competition from foreign retailers with modern, tried and tested international concepts.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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