The Hanoitimes -
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) should devise policies for developing some important industries and encourage all economic sectors, including State-owned enterprises, FDI firms, equitised companies, and cooperatives, to engage in developing industry and trade, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a teleconference on January 6.
Prime Minister (PM) Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a teleconference to set up tasks for the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in 2017 in Ha noi on January 6.
Speaking at the meeting, PM Phuc hailed the industry and trade sector’s contributions to the national development, adding that processing and manufacturing grew 11.2 percent last year, compared to 10.5 percent in 2015. The total retail sales of goods and services also expanded 10.2 percent, compared to 9.72 percent in the previous year.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting.
He also praised the campaign “Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods” as effective and the fight against smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeits and low-quality goods has been improved.
PM Phuc also mentioned certain shortcomings such as many loss-making projects, ineffective development strategies for some industries, problematic management of the domestic market and cross-border trade, sluggish re-organisation of State-owned companies, and controversial appointment of some officials.
Regarding on performance of the ministry, Minister Tran Tuan Anh said last year, the whole industrial sector expanded by 7.5 percent, mining contracted 5.9 percent and processing and manufacturing rose 11.2 percent.
Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of 2.68 billion USD last year, which the minister considered as a result of the industry and trade sector’s efforts amid disadvantages in global markets such as falling prices of many key commodities, including crude oil and agricultural and aquatic products.
Export revenue reached nearly 176 billion USD in 2016, a year-on-year rise of 8.6 percent but lower than the growth target of 10 percent, minister Anh said, noting that about 70 percent of the turnover was contributed by foreign invested firms.
There remain big issues, he noted, elaborating that industrial growth still depended on the increase of the business number, investment capital and labour. Currently, domestic enterprises could do sub-contracting work with low added value and have to import a large volume of raw materials. Oil extraction has hit its limit while investment in exploration activities is facing difficulties.
At the meeting, PM Phuc stressed that science-technology and innovation are an important development direction of Vietnam’s industrial sector.
The Government leader noted in the short term, along with high added-value industries, Vietnam still has to rely on natural resource-based and labour intensive industries.
To develop a country with strong competitiveness, it is neccesary to create a fair business environment for all people and businesses, according to the PM. This is a critical task of a growth-facilitating Government of which the MoIT is a member, he said.
The Government leader noted that the MoIT should reduce industrial development’s dependence on natural resources while fostering innovation-based industries.
Directing tasks for the sector this year, the PM told the MoIT to thoroughly solve the big loss-making projects under its remit, stressing that money from the State budget must not be wasted further on these projects.
The ministry needs to devise policies for developing some important industries such as automobile, electronics and mechanics while stepping up trade promotion. The MoIT should also encourage all economic sectors, including State-owned enterprises, FDI firms, equitised companies, and cooperatives, to engage in developing industry and trade, he added.
PM Phuc also asked developing support industries and industries serving agriculture, especially hi-tech agriculture. The PM suggested a campaign be launched to promote industries that serve hi-tech agriculture so as to turn hi-tech agriculture into a strength of Vietnam.
Translated by Thu Minh