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Companies fail to recognise WTO membership benefits

Update: January, 10/2012 - 10:17


A worker of the Ha Tay Chemical & Weaving Co makes shoes for export. Firms are failing to exploit the benefits of the nation's WTO membership. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI — Viet Nam has been slack about meeting its commitments to the World Trade Organisation, while local firms are failing to make the most of the opportunities membership affords, said Vu Nhu Thang, chief of the Financial Strategies Institute.

Thang was speaking at a conference entitled "Taxation and financial services after five years since Viet Nam joined the WTO", last week in Ha Noi.

The most significant failures relate to taxation and financial services, he added.

Dang Ngoc Minh, chief of the General Department of Taxation's Large-enterprise Tax Management Office, said Viet Nam needed to do more when it came to pricing policies, customs' valuation and customs' costs. Viet Nam is committed to reducing the export tax on steel and iron waste and non-ferrous metals by half. In addition, the import tariffs on 10,600 commodities will have to drop by 23 per cent.

The tax reductions will put pressure on the State budget, but "budget safety is still assured," Minh said.

Meanwhile, Le Thi Thuy Van, from the institute, said, following Viet Nam's admittance to the WTO, more than 1,700 foreign investors and 14,000 individuals had joined the stock market, while indirect investment capital had reached US$7.6 billion.

She also said the number of accounting, auditing firms and taxation consultants in the country had risen sharply.

Financial experts said the country had focused too much on creating the right legal framework for WTO admittance and not enough on creating opportunities for local firms.

They also said financial and monetary policies had not adequately controlled exchange-rate fluctuations. — VNS

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