Journey in Life: 10/01/12

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hội thảo tháo gỡ khó khăn cho doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản

Ngày 1/10, tại Hà Nội, Cục Đầu tư nước ngoài - Bộ Kế hoạch và Đầu tư đã tổ chức hội thảo “Đánh giá kết quả khảo sát và trao đổi các giải pháp giải quyết vướng mắc, khó khăn cho các doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản tại Việt Nam." Hội thảo đã thu hút nhiều đại diện các Bộ, ngành quan trọng liên quan nhiều đến chính sách về đầu tư, về doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản như Bộ Tài chính, Bộ Lao động Thương binh Xã hội, Bộ Công Thương, Tổ chức Xúc tiến Thương mại Nhật Bản (JETRO), Cơ quan Hợp tác quốc tế Nhật Bản (JICA), Hiệp hội các doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản tại Việt Nam (JBAV).
Thứ trưởng Đào Quang Thu phát biểu khai mạc Hội thảo.

Phát biểu khai mạc Hội thảo, ông Đào Quang Thu, Thứ trưởng Bộ Kế hoạch và Đầu tư cho biết các ý kiến đóng góp tại hội thảo sẽ là căn cứ quan trọng để Bộ Kế hoạch và Đầu tư nghiên cứu, cải thiện hệ thống chính sách, pháp luật và phối hợp với các cơ quan liên quan, hoặc đề xuất các giải pháp tháo gỡ khó khăn và hỗ trợ tốt hơn cho các doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản đang đầu tư tại Việt Nam. Đây cũng là Hội nghị chuẩn bị cho Hội nghị tổng kết giai đoạn 4 Sáng kiến chung Việt Nam - Nhật Bản dự kiến sẽ được tổ chức vào cuối tháng 11/2012.

Báo cáo kết quả khảo sát, ông Đỗ Nhất Hoàng, Cục trưởng Cục Đầu tư nước ngoài cho biết Cục đã gửi phiếu khảo sát về thực tiễn hoạt động và các vướng mắc, khó khăn của doanh nghiệp gặp phải trong quá trình đầu tư tại Việt Nam tới 10 địa phương (Hà Nội, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Đà Nẵng, Hưng Yên, Hải Phòng, Hải Dương, Bắc Ninh, Long An, TP Hồ Chí Minh) và trực tiếp đi khảo sát 4 địa phương: Vĩnh Phúc, Bắc Ninh, Hải Phòng, Hải Dương. Trong 200 phản hồi Cục nhận được, thông tin và phản ánh của doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản chủ yếu tập trung vào các nhóm vấn đề như khó khăn về cơ sở hạ tầng: nguồn cung điện không ổn định, chất lượng điện thấp, cắt điện không theo kế hoạch; dịch vụ bưu chính viễn thông, kém, gây cản trở hoạt động sản xuất kinh doanh; chất lượng giao thông một số khu vực, đặc biệt kết nối với các khu công nghiệp chưa tốt, làm cho việc vận chuyển hàng hóa còn khó khăn; các công trình dịch vụ quanh khu công nghiệp nhà ở, khách sạn, bệnh viện, các dịch vụ khác cho người lao động chưa đáp ứng được nhu cầu. Về nguồn nhân lực: hiện còn thiếu hụt, chưa bảo đảm chất lượng, tính ổn định việc làm thấp, tình trạng bỏ việc xảy ra thường xuyên, lương người lao động tăng làm tăng chi phí đầu vào của doanh nghiệp. Các vướng mắc về thủ tục hành chính và quy định pháp lý như visa cho người nước ngoài, cấp lại quyền sử dụng đất khi muốn gia hạn dự án. Các quy định hải quan, bảo hiểm, các quy định về kế toán, kiểm toán chuẩn mực quốc tế, chuyển đổi chuẩn mực kế toán Việt Nam, chính sách thuế, có nhiều thay đổi, thủ tục kê khai, khấu trừ thuế rất phức tạp, và các quy định về đầu tư, kinh doanh....

Với mong muốn đầu tư và làm ăn lâu dài tại Việt Nam, các doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản kiến nghị Chính phủ Việt Nam cần có kế hoạch nâng cấp cơ sở hạ tầng thông tin, phục vụ cung cấp thông tin cho các doanh nghiệp sản xuất kinh doanh, có chính sách quan tâm hơn nữa đến cơ sở hạ tầng khu công nghiệp. Doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản cũng đề cập đến vấn đề nâng cao năng lực của ngành hải quan Việt Nam, đặc biệt là thủ tục thông quan một cửa, hải quan điện tử...

Tại hội thảo, đại diện nhiều doanh nghiệp Nhật Bản cũng lưu ý đến chương trình cải cách hệ thống thuế, cơ cấu thu ngân sách của Việt Nam trong thời gian tới. Vấn đề này đã được ông Nguyễn Văn Phụng, Phó Vụ trưởng Vụ chính sách thuế, Bộ Tài chính trình bày chi tiết trong bài tham luận của mình về những điểm mới trong chính sách thuế năm 2012, 2013, đối với thuế xuất, nhập khẩu sẽ điều chỉnh thuế suất theo lộ trình, thuế bảo vệ môi trường, thay đổi giá tính thu và tỷ lệ thu tiền thuê đất, các nội dung mới về thuế tiêu thụ đặc biệt, và những điểm doanh nghiệp cần lưu ý trong việc áp dụng luật thuế giá trị gia tăng, thuế nhà thầu v.v...

Tính đến hết ngày 20/9/2012, Nhật Bản có 1.748 dự án đầu tư trực tiếp còn hiệu lực tại Việt Nam với tổng số vốn đầu tư đăng ký 28,6 tỷ USD, đứng thứ nhất trên 96 quốc gia và vùng lãnh thổ đầu tư tại Việt Nam. Chỉ tính riêng 9 tháng đầu năm 2012, tổng số dự án đầu tư đăng ký của Nhật Bản tại Việt Nam là 203 dự án với tổng số vốn đăng ký mới là 3,7 tỷ USD. Bên cạnh đó, có 82 dự án tăng vốn với số vốn tăng thêm gần 955 triệu USD.

Responses to financial crises: Japan’s experience

September 17, 2012, the Ministry of Finance, Vietnam in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized the workshop "Non-Performing Loan (NPL) Management in Restructuring State-owned Enterprises (SOEs)." The workshop aimed to share practical experiences in the process of restructuring SOEs of Japan since the financial crises during the decade of 1992-2002. The workshop attracted many representatives from departments and agencies, SOEs’ leaders, economists, journalists and others who are interested in NPL management, which is raising attention recently in Vietnam, especially when the credit growth has begun to show good sign after a freezing period. In these days, the biggest concern about the banking system in Vietnam is handling NPL, also handling inventory in the business sector - which are dilemmas in the process of enterprise restructuring and in need of support from countries that have gone through difficult time similar to Vietnam like Japan.

The workshop’s speaker, Mr. Daisuke Kotegawa - Research Director of CANON Institute for Global Studies - divided the financial crises in Japan during 1992 - 2002 into four phases with detailed characteristics and response policies from Japanese government. Those four phases are with milestones of 1992-1993 (Phase I), 1995 (Phase II), 1997-1999 (Phase III) and 2001-2002 (Phase IV) during which commonly known as ‘The Lost Decade’ of Japan (1992-2002). In the first two phases, Japan's GDP growth rate declined sharply while in the next two phases, the rate went down even below zero, the government faced many difficulties to revitalize the economy.

During the first phase (1992-1993), non-performing loans increased among Japanese banks, the condition of land prices decline and sluggish economy. The then Prime Minister Miyazawa raised the possibility of an ejection of public funds to stabilize the Japanese financial system in August 1992 but that action was not taken due to many critics. Therefore, basic stance of the government, banks and corporate sector was to "wait and see".

But then, the Japanese government implemented a sequence of economic stimulus packages in this Lost Decade, in which approved the initiative by major banks to establish the Cooperative Credit Purchasing Company in January 1993, to purchase collateral-backed bank loans in order to liquidate property mortgages. However, the effectiveness of those fiscal stimulus to solve the uncertainty in the financial market at that time was not as expected.

In regards to the phase II of the financial crises (1995), two credit cooperatives (Tokyo-Kyowa and Anzen cooperatives) went bankrupt in December 1994. These were the first bankruptcy cases in the financial industry since the World War II. Subsequently, a small regional bank (Hyogo bank) also went bankrupt together with many mortgage financial institutions (so called Ju-sen). The Japanese government established the "Takeover Bank" (Tokyo Kyodo Bank) in order to, in cooperation with Bank of Japan (BOJ) and other major banks, absorb the assets of those troubled institutions. In September 1996, Tokyo Kyodo Bank was restructured as "Resolution and Collection Bank" (Japanese RCC) to expand its operations. In December 1996, the Japanese government injected public funds worth $6.850 billion to compensate for the loss of Ju-sens. This measure brought acute criticisms to the government and the banking industry.

In the next financial crisis period (phase III, 1997-1998), the crisis happened not only in Japan but also in most countries around the world, often known as "Black November" in 1997, starting with consecutive bankruptcies of financial institutions in a short time. In Japan, it can be named that Sanyo Securities (7th largest then) went bankrupt in November 3, Hokkaido Takushoku in November 15, Yamaichi Security (4th largest) announced its bankruptcy in November 24, Tokyo-City Bank also went bankrupt in November 26, which Mr Daisuke Kotegawa was the Director in charge of settling the Sanyo Securities and Hokkaido Takushoku Bank in the Ministry of Finance. Within a month, the debacle of those leading financial institutions, commencing by the bankruptcy of Sanyo Securities (November 3) with the first fraudulent cases in financial loans in the short-term money market, rendered market paralysis. The resulting credit crunch caused by the debacle of those financial institutions had a negative impact on the economy. GDP recorded negative growth (-0.1%) in 1997 when Japan enter the third phase of financial crisis, first time since World War II.

During this period, scandals among bureaucrats in the Ministry of Finance showed out the cozy relationship between traditional bureaucracy and banks, therefore the National Diet’s Committee of Financial System had stormy debates of important financial system-related laws. Although those financial institutions were collapsed or nationalized, top executives of four major entities (Hokkaido Takushoku, Yamaichi, Long-term Credit Bank (LTCB) and Nippon Credit Bank (NCB) were arrested for allegations of illegal conducts, including window dressing settlement of their balance sheet. After several years of court proceedings, those of LTCB were found innocent by the Supreme Court, those of NCB are under review, others served sentences in jail.

To improve the situation, major initiatives were given out as follows:
(1) Injection of public funds to increase the capital of major banks: The injection of public funds was implemented twice, however, the amount of the first time (March 1998) was small and taken across the Board of banks without official examination, therefore, the confidence was not restored. More than that, the examination of assets had not been preceded, which lead to failure of this initiative. Lessons learned, one year later, in March 1999, an amount of ten times of that of public fund (approximately $74.6 billion) was released to banks, in which only the four large banks of Fuji, Daiichi-Kangyo, Sakura, Sanwa received half the amount.

(2) Introduction of new financial regulatory framework:
(i) Establishment of the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) in June 1998 to maintain the stability of the financial system. JFSA played role in inspecting, supervising private financial institutions and monitoring securities transactions based on transparent and fair administration, focusing on market discipline and the principle of self-responsibility. Also, JFSA strives for qualitative repletion of Japan’s financial system by adjusting the practical measures of financial regulations and supervision to the finance related environmental changes, including technological innovation and globalization of the financial system.
(ii) Introduction of a system of prompt corrective action in April 1998: including a set of measures to be implemented orderly based on enterprises’ solvency margin ratio (in range of 0%, 0% - 99%, 100% - 199%, over 200%) and enables government officials request cessation of business activities or enterprises are not allowed to continue trading if their loans are over the permitted level.
(iii) New financial inspection manual became effective in July 1999.

(3) Introduction of "bridge bank" scheme for troubled banks, in which temporary nationalization scheme were applied to two major banks (LTCB and NCB). Finally, these banks were sold to investors.

(4) Lastly, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) lowered its target interest rate to zero in February 1999.

In the fourth phase (2001-2002), mergers and consolidations of banks accelerated in Japan. The Japan Government intended to implement early and full completion of non-performing loan issues among major banks. Measures of limit and change of bank’s supporting scheme were compiled as for bankruptcies of large corporate with excessive debt increased and focused on turnaround of companies with excessive debt.

The government required major banks for mandatory disposals of NPLs from balance sheets within two to three years. A mandatory quantitative objectives were imposed on major banks, including NPL / total asset ratio must be lower than half of the current level by the fiscal year 2004. Another initiative was approved in April 2003 that the Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan (IRCJ) was established to support companies in restructuring process since the bill "Law on Industrial Revitalization Corporation" was submitted to the National Diet in January 2003.

Unlike the Debt and Asset Trading Corporation (DATC) in Vietnam, the entire amount of capital to establish IRCJ were from banks, not taxpayers' money.

During its two years of operation (2002-2003), IRCJ helped revitalize many major Japanese corporations such as the largest supermarket chain, a second largest cosmetics group, 4 large developers in real estate industry, 9 local hotels, 4 transportation companies, a large discount electronic appliance store chain, 2 local department stores, 5 wholesalers and others (high-tech manufacturers, computer schools, leather companies, etc.). Mr Daisuke Kotegawa, in charge of IRCJ, emphasized that these revitalizations brought about a M&A boom in 2004-2006 and helped restructure Japanese industry.

In regards of the term "Non-Performing Loans", Mr. Daisuke Kotegawa said it originated from Basel Rule (1988) among members of the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) to prevent the entry of Japan banks to London market in the '80s. He said that Vietnam did not have to follow this rule because Vietnam was not a member of BIS. However, if considering application of the rule’s contents, Vietnam would find lots of valuable experience, for instant, to review the effective use of resources so that the economic growth would not be hurt; to reinforce financial institutions by well response to spreading rumors about their bad health by speculators attacking on the economy. It was also important to pay attention to the taxpayers by appropriate policies to avoid their revolt against the government. For enterprises now, it is important to have correct understanding of the Balance Sheet and the Business Statement to avoid either over-optimistic or over-pessimistic attitude. Collaboration of management is in need than ever so that they do not shrug off their responsibility. For the government, the welfare of the entire nation should be considered the most important when choosing which company to support. A company which accrues loss every year should be restructured to make profits by increasing sales and cutting costs through review, selection and concentration. Mr. Daisuke Kotegawa presented 4 categories of reevaluation of enterprises which generated loss from their initial business lines to other supplement lines in their operation years and the quantitative evaluation methods to decide which to retain and strengthen, maintain together with subsidiaries and which to cut apart and sell with discount.

As for the real estate industry, in the face of development of its bubble during the second half of the 1980s just before the crisis, Japanese government adopted the mechanism of controlling banks’ loan amount to this sector. From March 1990, the Ministry of Finance, Japan issued government’s guiding documents on regulation that banks have to set limit of loans increase for the real estate industry in total loans.

From measures by Japan to deal with the financial crisis as described above, Vietnam should consider the measure of pumping money to rescue banks as it may face strong public opposition, because using taxpayers’ money that way is like ‘tax the poor to save the rich’, or if it is required to do so, it is necessary to check banks’ assets before pumping to ensure its success. Vietnam should also restrict credit growth to real estate industry and the State Bank of Vietnam must take strong measures such as requiring all banks and credit institutions to maintain non performing loans below the safety threshold. Any organization with non-performing loans exceeds the allowed level have to sell or transfer its non-performing loans to DATC or being restricted in certain activities until it can handle its non-performing loans or reduce non-performing loans ratio to an acceptable level to ensure the safety of the banking system.


Source: 1. Presentation of Mr. Daisuke Kotegawa at the Workshop.
2. Report by the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research,
3. Report by the Japan Financial Services Agency,

"Hands-on" nghĩa là gì?

Một em bé sờ mặt Tổng thống Mỹ Barack Obama trong chuyến thăm tới Hội chơ bang Iowa. Ảnh: Carolyn Kaster

Nếu ai đó 'hands-on', điều đó có nghĩa là họ liên quan chặt chẽ và chủ động vào việc tổ chức và thực hiện một công việc. Một hoạt động cũng có thể được miêu tả là hands-on nếu có sự tham gia thực tiễn.

Ví dụ
Our shop manager is really hands-on. She gets involved with everything from serving customers to stocking shelves.
On our training course, you'll get hands-on experience of using graphic design packages.
I hope that the new headmaster will be more hands-on in the school and get involved in teaching the children.

Xin lưu ý
Nếu bạn hét lên "hands off" với ai đó, điều đó có nghĩa là bạn không muốn họ chạm vào cái gì.

Hey! Hands off my new mp3 player – you'll break it!

Thực tế thú vị:
Tổng thống Mỹ Barack Obama đã đến thăm Hội chợ bang Iowa tuần này và làm vui mừng một số du khách bằng cách mua cho mỗi người một chai bia. Tổng thống Obama đã mua 10 thẻ bia và trao tận tay tới đám đông như là một phần chuyến đi chiến dịch tranh cử. Cuộc bầu cử tổng thống tiếp theo của Mỹ sẽ diễn ra vào ngày 06 Tháng 11 năm 2012.

Transform_Oct 1


Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
- Isaiah Berlin

Assignment: Today, spend a little time just being here. Let the thinking mind go and be a barbarian!

Sir Isaiah Berlin (6 June 1909 – 5 November 1997) was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, thought by many to be the dominant scholar of his generation. He translated works by Ivan Turgenev from Russian into English and, during the war, worked for the British Diplomatic Service.

In 1932, at the age of 23, he was elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. From 1957 to 1967, he was Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at the University of Oxford. He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1963 to 1964. In 1966, he played a crucial role in founding Wolfson College, Oxford, and became its first President. He was appointed a CBE in 1946, knighted in 1957, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1971. He was President of the British Academy from 1974 to 1978. He also received the 1979 Jerusalem Prize for his writings on individual freedom.