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City firms sign up for price control programme

Update: April, 01/2015 - 08:37
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh makes a speech at the launching ceremony of an one-month campaign to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26). — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Some 85 companies have registered to participate in HCM City's price stabilisation programmes this year, nine more than last year, and for the first time they will also include exports, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City yesterday, Le Ngoc Dao, the department's deputy director, said there would be programmes to stabilise the prices of essential foods and foodstuff, school supplies, dairy products, and medicines for a year starting on April 1.

With three more banks joining the programmes this year, the total number had gone up to 11, and they would lend VND11.85 trillion (US$550.78 million) to the participating firms.

This represented an increase of VND3.55 trillion ($165 million) over last year, and the lending interest rates would be 0.5-2 percentage points less at 5-6 per cent for short-term loans and 7-10 per cent for medium and long-term loans.

Around a fourth of the amount would be earmarked for businesses supplying materials to the participating firms.

For the first time, VND900 billion ($41.8 million) would be provided to firms to boost exports.

More goods had also been added to the programmes this year.

Her department would strengthen e-commerce training for participating firms to help them sell online.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh reviewed the programmes' past results and called on the city to continue co-operating with relevant ministries and agencies to promote price stabilisation of goods in both domestic and export markets.

More efforts to prevent the production and distribution of counterfeit goods and trade frauds were needed, he said.

The ASEAN Economic Community, to come into existence by the end of this year, would bring both opportunities and challenges to local producers, requiring them to be more proactive in doing business, he said.

Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the city People's Committee, said the programmes had benefited both consumers and enterprises in the last 13 years, and more and more firms had been signing up.

They had contributed greatly to developing distribution channels for Vietnamese products and the "Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods" campaign, and to controlling inflation and ensuring social security, she said.

Dao said because of the programmes companies had invested in production facilities and improving technologies, enabling them to meet export standards, and the city would this year help firms boost exports.

Distributors like Saigon Co.op, Lotte Mart, and Big C participating in the programmes would act as a bridge for the exports, she added.

Hong urged firms to focus on modernising production, improving management and strengthening links with partners in other cities and provinces.

More outlets should be set up in residential areas, industrial parks and export processing zones to enable more people to benefit from the lower prices, she said.

Nguyen Thanh Nhan, deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, which has taken part for more than 10 years, said the company would focus on expanding its distribution network further to enable more people to buy the price-stabilised goods.

It would strengthen links with producers in other provinces and cities to improve supply, he said.

Hong said the programmes' logo helped customers recognise price-stabilised goods more easily, and its use would continue to extend the benefits wider.

This year there were 8,967 outlets, 764 more than last year, she added. — VNS

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