Nguyễn Văn Thanh, director general of the Việt Nam Chemical Agency, speaks to Công Thương (Industry and Trade) newspaper about some of the strengths and weaknesses in the 2007 Law on Chemicals
What is your assessment of the implementation of the Law on Chemicals?
The Law on Chemicals has been in force for 12 years. The chemical industry in our country from 1990-2010 notched an average development rate of 12 per cent, but that fell to 10 per cent from 2010-2020.
The chemical industry and its supply chain has contributed about 11.2 per cent of the value of national industrial output and provided jobs to 10 per cent of the labour force.
Compared with other ASEAN members, Vietnamese laws are comprehensive and progressive, particularly the Law on Chemicals passed by the National Assembly in 2007.
It has been 12 years since the Law on Chemicals came into force. In your opinion, should Việt Nam revise the law and adapt it to the new situation?
Twelve years have passed since the Law on Chemicals came into force and quite a lot has changed in that time in terms of perceptions of chemicals and chemical by-products. This is the first challenge that many enterprises face.
The second challenge is that the law does not fully cover how the Vietnamese chemical industry should develop along the lines of being more friendly to the environment and more sustainable.
The third challenge is cumbersome chemical management - a stumbling block for enterprises involved in importing and exporting chemical agents.
The last one is poor technical infrastructure, particularly legal documents, including Government decrees and circulars covering chemical technical management or usage.
Can you share with us some key changes in the up coming revised Law on Chemicals?
Chemicals are an agent used in almost every industrial sector. As a signatory to many bilateral and multi-lateral free trade deals, Việt Nam has a golden opportunity to attract both foreign and domestic investors to the chemical industry, particularly in the current context of investment movement.
It is time for Việt Nam to take this opportunity and revise the current Law on Chemicals to make it match market demand both at home and abroad. We hope, with good management and in line with international laws and practices, the chemical industry will become a major industry in the course of national economic development. — VNS