Minister looks to ensure nation meets growth targets
Viet Nam has set itself an export growth target of 17.1 per cent and a gross domestic product target of 8.5 per cent this year. Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang spoke to Vietnam News Agency about his ministry’s plans for the next few years.
What needs to be done to ensure the Government’s growth targets are met?
The trade and industry sectors must continue the process of modernisation to boost exports.
Second, we must concentrate on developing those sectors that have a competitive advantage, such as the garment, footwear, shipbuilding and seafood-processing industries.
Third, the business sector and the industrial sector must attract investment for major projects, while investing in technology and equipment.
Fourth, the ministry plans to encourage local entrepreneurs to work together to raise production levels and reduce costs. Co-operation would also help to open up new export markets.
Last but not least, the Ministry of Trade and Industry promises to create the best environment for exporters – particularly foreign-invested ones.
What are your views on the country’s import surplus?
The ministry has suggested to the Government five practical steps for reducing the import surplus in the years to come, as well as the trade balance.
The ministry is looking into those imports that have risen sharply following tax cuts under WTO commitments to see which ones could be manufactured at home.
The import ratio in 2008 is 26.3 per cent for tools and machinery, 66.2 per cent for production materials and energy sources and 7.5 per cent for consumer goods.
Furthermore, the Government plans to raise local technical standards in order to promote domestic production and cut import surpluses.
Rising oil and gas prices, as well as the cost of construction materials will continue to put pressure on businesses. Can you suggest how costs could be reduced to raise the competitiveness of the local market?
We will pay closer attention to developing the local market this year, especially in rural and remote areas. We will also change the way prices are fixed in the markets, supermarkets and shopping centres.
Furthermore, the authorities will tighten quality controls and limit prices in order to prevent gluts.
We will also help provinces and cities implement comprehensive commercial development infrastructure projects.
What are the ministry’s management plans for 2008?
The Trade and Industry Ministry will continue to scrutinise and improve trade strategies. At the same time, the ministry will co-ordinate with other ministries and associations to manage and control production, exports and imports.
We plan to look into e-commerce and encourage suitable enterprises to embrace the internet. In addition, we also plan to look into the subject of consumer credit, as a way if stimulating domestic consumption.
The ministry will also continue to apply its one-door policy to licensing certificates, and will equitise State-owned companies as quickly as possible. — VNS