Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc delivers speech at a meeting held in Hà Nội yesterday. — Photo VGP
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called for reduced dependence on “unsustainable advantages and natural resources” and greater reliance on creativity, science and technology to boost industrial growth.
His comments came at a 2016 review meeting held in Hà Nội yesterday, during which he praised the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for its successes in restructuring via reducing the number of units and staff while improving its effectiveness.
“It has stumbled, but not fallen. It has shown strong improvement,” he said at a conference yesterday.
Phúc said that while the ministry removed several superfluous administrative procedures to resolve difficulties faced by people and businesses, it experienced limitations including decreasing output and crude oil prices, exerting pressure on the State budget.
Many projects had been tardy and suffered prolonged losses. Some planning strategies had not been effective, and failed to create the needed momentum to attract investment from the private sector, including into industries and sectors like automobile, mechanics, steel and electricity.
The PM said the market watch and trade border management agencies had also not been fully effective against smuggling and multi-level marketing activities. In addition, the restructuring of State-owned enterprises had been slow.
Some issues relating to the hiring of staff had dented the Ministry’s image, he noted.
“The Ministry should strive to develop the country’s industrial sector by reducing dependence on unsustainable advantages and natural resources such as crude oil, coal and minerals. The sector should base itself on science and technology and creativity to generate its development momentum,” he said.
He asked the ministry to formulate specific policies for development of key industrial products like automobiles, electronics and mechanics.
It should also develop industry to serve hi-tech agriculture, he added.
He also asked the ministry to build a national brand for key Vietnamese products.
The PM urged the industrial sector to quickly and actively integrate with and exploit ASEAN and China markets. The country should take advantage of trade pacts, improving market management and reducing counterfeit goods.
The mechanisms for e-commerce development and border trade should strive to break new ground, he said.
“The issue is also how to better exploit the local market with a population of around 100 million. The ministry should encourage Vietnamese people to use Vietnamese goods of high quality and reasonable prices,” he said.
Four targets set
Industry and Trade Minister Trần Tuấn Anh said the ministry had set four targets to help the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grow by 6.7 per cent in 2017: increase industrial production index by 8-9 per cent; exports by more than 6-7 per cent; keep trade deficit to under 3.5 per cent of export revenues; and increase retail goods sales and service revenues by 10-11 per cent.
The ministry would step up restructuring of the industrial sector by stepping up development of processing and manufacturing sectors while reducing outwork and assembly of industrial products, he said.
Apart from removing a number of complicated administrative procedures, the ministry would strive to create the best conditions for enterprises to develop, the minister said.
He also said the ministry would take full advantage of free trade agreements (FTA) to actively support domestic enterprises participate in global supply chains.
It would also put forth policies to provide more assistance for support industries, while working with the involved parties to simplify customs procedures and supply businesses with useful information to prevent and handle trade disputes, he affirmed.
Anh proposed that the PM approves a particular mechanism to implement urgent power projects, a plan to restructure businesses under the Electricity of Việt Nam Group (EVN) in the 2016-20 period, and a strategic scheme to develop the power sector through 2025 with a vision towards 2040.
He also recommended that the Government approves a framework for average retail electricity prices between 2017 and 2018, and a decision to increase the EVN’s chartered capital.
The Minister asked the government to direct the Ministry of Finance to support the Việt Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) in implementing the government guaranteed undertaking (GGU) commitments on preferential tariffs for the Nghi Sơn Refinery and Petrochemical Complex for 10 years of commercial operations.
He also suggested the government consider ways to support the oil and gas, coal, and fertilizer sectors and amend Decree No 203/2013/NĐ-CP on calculating and collecting money from minerals mining. — VNS