News on 4 July 2016

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1) Second Vietnamese Meet Magento to open this year

Meet Magento 2016 Vietnam, one of the most energetic and rapid-growing markets in Southeast Asia, will be held on October 15, 2016, in HCM City. This will be the event’s second opening in Việt Nam, organised by SmartOSC, a smart open solutions company, and the Meet Magento Association, following the success of the first event in Asia, MM15Vietnam, which attracted more than 500 merchants, service providers, technology partners and Magento enthusiasts, according to SmartOSC. This year, the event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 decision makers, corporate leaders, technical specialists and many of the large retailers within the region to engage in the e-commerce and Magento ecosystem. Many opportunities are arising out of the rapid e-commerce growth in Asia, especially in Southeast Asian markets, which boast a population of over 600 million, twice that of the US, and with 100 million consumers who have made a digital purchase, according to a survey by Bain & Company.

Plenty of insightful sessions will be presented, covering the actual trends of e-commerce in general and the Magento ecosystem in particular, such as B2B commerce, digital marketing, payment and shipping methods and the evolution of Magento 2.0. Meet Magento Vietnam is the very first Asian edition of the Meet Magento worldwide series since 2008, after successful runs in Europe and North and South America, as the leading conference for the e-commerce and Magento community.

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2) Vietnam extends visa waiver for five European countries

Vietnam has decided to extend a visa waiver program benefiting citizens of five European countries, which ended on Thursday (June 30), as the policy has proved to be successful after one year in effect. German, French, British, Italian, and Spanish visitors will continue to be able to enjoy a visa-free travel policy that allows for a 15-day stay for each entry for a year ending July 30, 2017, according to a directive signed Thursday by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The previous visa waiver, valid from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, did increase arrivals from those five countries by 15 percent to 681,000 after 11 months in effect, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT). In the first five months of this year, tourist arrivals from the five countries topped 342,000, a 20.10 percent from the same period last year (2015). The Vietnamese government has agreed an extension for the program, but rejected a proposal to increase the validity and allowed stays for the policy.

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3) Vietnam's credit growth inches up to 6.82 pct in first 6 months

Loans in Vietnam expanded 6.82 percent in the first six months, slightly up from around 5.8 percent a year ago, local media reported on Friday (July 1), citing the central bank. Dong lending grew 8.11 percent from the end of last year and accounted for 90.8 percent of total loans, the Vietnam News Agency said. Lending in foreign currencies declined 4.64 percent, as the government has been tightening dollar lending in an attempt to prevent dollarization, Nguyen Tien Dong, chief of the central bank's credit department, was quoted as saying.

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4) Top candidates to lead Britain differ on Brexit urgency

Two leading contenders to be the next British prime minister disagreed publicly on Sunday (July 3) on how quickly negotiations should be triggered to plan a departure from the European Union. Interior minister Theresa May, the front-runner who campaigned for a "Remain" vote in the June 23 referendum, said Britain needed to have a clear negotiating position and she would not be rushed into starting the formal exit process this year. Junior energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who has emerged as a strong rival to May from the "Leave" camp, struck a more urgent note, saying Britain had to "get a grip and make progress". Britons voted by 52 to 48 percent to leave the bloc it had joined in 1973, defeating a campaign led by Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation the following morning. Adding to the political turbulence, the vast majority of the main center-left opposition Labour Party's lawmakers openly denounced their leader Jeremy Corbyn as unfit for the job but he has refused to resign, citing grassroots support. Five candidates are vying to succeed Cameron as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. The field will be whittled down to two by the party's lawmakers over the summer, before party members pick the winner by Sept. 9.

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5) Asia stocks down, Aussie dollar slips on election uncertainty

Asian share markets took a step back on Monday (July 4), while the Australian dollar dropped after no clear winner emerged from a weekend election. Activity across much of the region was subdued as investors took stock of the potential economic fallout from the Brexit vote after days of volatile trade, and as U.S. financial and commodity markets will be closed on Monday (July 4) for the Independence Day holiday. While Australian politics usually have a muted impact on markets, the current situation suggests that possible policy paralysis ahead which could pose a threat to the country's triple A credit rating. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.2 percent in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei stock index .N225 was down 0.6 percent. Australian shares dropped 0.2 percent. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will hold its July board meeting on Tuesday (July 5), and almost all 37 economists polled by Reuters last week expect it to keep the cash rate unchanged at a record low 1.75 percent. But some analysts say it might hint at future policy easing in the wake of Brexit, which roiled global markets and raised fears about growth.

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(All the above News Items have been sourced from: Reuters, ThanhNien News, Vietnam Net, Tuoitre News)

Cover by Picture of Money

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