|Workers make products for export at Viet Nam Electronics Ltd Company in northern Ha Nam Province's Dong Van 2 Industrial Zone. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (VNS) — Greater efforts at a national level are needed to create a new wave of investments in Viet Nam, Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission, said.
Speaking during a recent interview with Vietnam News Agency, Hue said the country's advancing legal framework and integration process were facilitating trade and investment.
He said laws on investment and enterprises had been revised as per modern principles with high transparency, and the country had entered into a variety of trade pacts.
Last year alone, Viet Nam concluded negotiations for four free trade agreements with the Euroasian Economic Union, the European Union, South Korea and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The country also became part of the ASEAN Economic Community, which was established on December 31.
These happened in the context that the domestic economy grew by more than 6.5 per cent in 2015, exceeding the 6.2 per cent targeted by the National Assembly. Inflation was controlled at less than one per cent, the lowest level recorded in the last 14 years.
The overall manufacturing and retail sectors rallied and exports accelerated in the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, while the restructuring of state-owned enterprises, public investments and commercial banks achieved positive results.
Hue said he expected the progress would help several hundred enterprises in the country to quadruple to reach two million by 2020.
While start-ups were encouraged, he said the investment and business environment was to be further improved for both domestic and foreign companies, as well as their trade partners.
"Efficiency and quality must be the most important criteria for assessing enterprises' performances, following the rules of a market economy," he said, adding that more policies to connect domestic and foreign firms were needed to prevent the local ones from lagging behind.
The FDI sector is the major force driving the country's economic growth, accounting for up to 70 per cent of the country's total exports.
The domestic sector, including state utility firms, private companies and business households, continues to face significant difficulties. Their exports fell by some 2.6 per cent year-on-year in 2015.
Hue said the country should foster the development of different markets, particularly goods and services, finance, labour and real estate, besides science and technology markets.
"Without adequate focus on addressing these issues, our economy won't be able to escape from difficulties over the next few years," he said.
Hue said the global economy was expected to show slow but better recovery this year, and that this would have a positive effect on Viet Nam's macroeconomic situation.
This is important as the country is targeting higher economic growth at 6.7 per cent in 2016, while more drastic restructuring policies will be carried out for a more sustained domestic economy.
He, however, said the global context revealed certain obstacles for domestic socio-economic development.
China's economic slowdown with increasing trade deficits is likely to force it to maintain a weak yuan, which will be a disadvantage for the Vietnamese economy.
The low prices of crude oil and farm produce, which are showing little signs of rallying any time soon, will continue to hinder domestic oil and gas and agricultural sectors.
The increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve of the United States will especially affect emerging economies such as Viet Nam.
"We are scrutinising these issues, although they won't have too large an impact on Viet Nam," Hue said.
He said the capacity and competitiveness of the domestic economy remained low, while the national budget witnessed significant tensions as public debts increased rapidly last year. — VNS