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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     18 October  2011

Business confidence up in Vietnam

Vietnam's Business Confidence Index (BCI) recovered strongly in the third quarter, up 35 points over the second quarter to 123 after decreasing in the previous three consecutive quarters.

This is a good sign showing that business confidence is beginning to rebound thanks to positive evolution of the economy.

Viet Nam's BCI was shown to rise in Q3 after a survey was conducted of 200 local enterprises in 11 key sectors by WVB Viet Nam Financial Intelligence Service Company Limited (WVB FISL) and PVFC Invest.

Survey results showed more optimism among businesses after a period of caution and concerns, especially among small and medium enterprises, amid economic conditions including the deceleration of the consumer price index (CPI) in September and the psychological impact of State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) policies designed to stabilize the exchange rate between the US dollar and Vietnamese dong.

About 47 percent of survey respondents said Viet Nam's economy was better now and 70 per cent believed that the economy would be better next year.

Compared with Q2 results, the number of companies who were optimistic about the current economic situation had increased by 9.2 percent and the number of companies that were cautious about the economy decreased by 2.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of optimistic companies increased by 17.24 per cent while enterprises that remained cautious and pessimistic fell by 14.51 per cent and 2.74 per cent respectively.

With belief in a strong rebound, about 47.5 per cent of enterprises said they had plans to hire more workers. Some 48 per cent of enterprises had set investment plans and 72.5 per cent were optimistic about revenue growth in the next 12 months.

Many surveyed companies also expressed caution about unpredictable changes in the economy. More than 41.5 percent of enterprises said they would not hire new employees and 11 percent would reduce their workforce in the next 12 months.

About 60 percent of surveyed enterprises said their volume of stockpiled goods was increasing their production costs.

The surveyed companies said their key challenges next year were the country's economic circumstances, strong competition, lack of highly-qualified manpower and investment.

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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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