|People buy goods to prepare for Tet (Lunar New Year) at Big C Supermarket in Ha Noi. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked for more efforts to build up domestic brands. — VNS Photo Thai Ha
HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed the Ministry of Industry and Trade to boost support for local businesses in 2014 as economic restructuring initiatives continue to be implemented.
The PM was addressing the New Year conference of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), held in Ha Noi yesterday.
Dung said the ministry should focus its full attention on introducing policies that assist the building of domestic brands and fully develop support industries, thus increasing the technological and local content of made-in-Viet Nam products and allowing a step-by-step switch from subcontracting and assembling to designing and manufacturing.
He suggested that the "Vietnamese people using Vietnamese goods" campaign should be further expanded, while the ministry must play a more active role in negotiating free trade agreements, especially the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement, and in popularising existing deals so that domestic enterprises can make full use of the available preferential treatment.
He also demanded that the ministry strengthen market management efforts to curb the proliferation of fake goods, trade fraud and smuggling, while ensuring the supply-demand balance for essential commodities.
The leader noted that the application of a market pricing mechanism on electricity, coal and petrol should continue to be implemented transparently in line with the specified road map, while keeping inflation under control. At the same time, there should be appropriate policies in place to support the poor and the beneficiaries of social welfare.
The government leader commended the ministry for the work it had done in 2013 in the context of the economic downturn. He said the ministry's efforts have resulted in quarterly increases in industrial production and sharp decreases in inventory index. The domestic market has maintained a healthy growth, while exports have surpassed the fixed targets.
According to reports made available at the conference, the industrial production index saw a 5.9 per cent rise in 2013, compared to 5.8 per cent in 2012.
Total retail and services revenue for the year rose by an estimated 12.6 per cent from the previous year. The country earned more than US$132.17 billion from exports, up 15.4 per cent from the 2012 figure and higher than the annual target set by the National Assembly.
The ministry is resolved to continue implementing institutional reforms and completing the legal framework for the industry and trade sector with the goal of creating a fair business environment, in line with a socialist-oriented market economy and international practice.
The sustainable development of exports is also high on the ministry's agenda for 2014, together with restructuring industrial production and developing support industries.
To implement the plan in 2014-15, the trade and industry ministry has proposed several solutions, such as maintaining the supply and demand of essential commodities for the national economy under all circumstances and effectively implementing plans and programmes for market stabilisation. — VNS