HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Industry and Trade will focus on resolving the difficulties of enterprises to promote production and businesses, Deputy Minister Nguyen Cam Tu, said.
"In addition, the ministry would also review reducing administrative procedures and enhancing industrial development, especially processing and manufacturing," Tu said at a press meet held in Ha Noi yesterday.
This year, the ministry was targeting an industrial index of production (IIP) of 7.8 to 7.9 per cent, along with a total export turnover of US$165 billion and trade deficit of less than 5 per cent.
Data from the ministry showed that during the first four months of the year, the country saw a deficit of $3.1 billion. The country's total export and import turnover had reached $88.4 billion by April 15, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 13.9 per cent, the General Department of Viet Nam Customs said.
Its total export turnover was $42.65 billion by April 15, up 9 per cent year-over-year, and total import turnover reached $45.76 billion, up 18.9 per cent.
It was because of this reason that the ministry asked the Import-Export Department to carefully consider the market changes to promote exports while curbing the trade deficit to less than 5 per cent. The department was especially asked to find markets for agricultural products and pay attention to potential exported items to improve its competitive ability.
Tran Minh Nhung, the deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said the new regulation required businesses to export rice through middlemen, thus making them difficult to export.
Nhung also proposed easing the regulations by allowing rice exporters to associate through the Viet Nam Food and Foodstuff Association. Businesses, which have their own markets and partners, should be allowed to export without middlemen.
Hoang Ve Dung, the deputy general director of the Viet Nam Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex), suggested that the ministry should co-operate with the customs sector to facilitate e-customs clearance, and reduce the time taken for exports.
No EVN bias
Responding to a question on whether the ministry was allowing favourable conditions for the operation of Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN), especially after the power tariff hike, which resulted in electricity bills surging last month, Deputy Minister, Tran Tuan Anh, said the decision to raise tariffs was approved by the Government and was not based on any bias towards EVN.
Dinh The Phuc, the deputy head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam, said the new calculation on power tariffs had six levels.
In addition, last month had several hot days in comparison with the previous months, resulting in higher power consumption.
Deputy Minister Anh added that power output last month was estimated at 12.87 billion kilowatt-hour (kWh), showing an increase of 11 per cent over the same period last year.
Out of this, power supply to the building industry rose by 2.2 per cent; it rose 14.6 per cent for commercial activities and hotels; 13.1 per cent for household consumption and 27.4 per cent for agro-forestry and fisheries. — VNS