Vietnam needs stronger and more effective measures to create a breakthrough in the complex and long-term process of economic restructuring, according to various domestic experts.

A major economic restructuring project approved by the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in combination with a shift in the national growth model, has reaped initially significant outcomes after years of implementation.

At a recent forum themed “Growth Recovery and Economic Restructuring: Opportunities and Challenges” in Hanoi, many experts argued that vital economic reform must focus on three pillars: public investment, State-owned corporations and credit institutions. However, the economic restructuring process has been slower and generated fewer results than expected.

According to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), despite the lack of a significant breakthrough, the restructuring of public investment has obtained some encouraging achievements. Specifically, public investment made up around 30 percent of last year’s GDP growth, a 9 percent drop from the average figure in the 2006-2010 period.

Public investment’s contribution to the total social investment also fell to 37 percent in the first nine months of 2013 compared to the average level of 51.8 percent between 2001 and 2005.

However, investment restructuring has only addressed short-term issues such as unbalanced and asynchronous investment, but has not yet created a legal framework to heighten the effectiveness of managing and using the public investment in the coming time, CIEM Deputy Director Nguyen Dinh Cung said.

Other economic specialists asserted there has been no evidence of shifting investment from the public to private sector, adding that the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) has not yet reached the required outcomes because their equitisation and divestment were slower than planned.

Cung also noted, in the process of divestment innovative, thoughts and market mechanisms should be utilised to redistribute the resources of several SOEs.

Most experts in economics said it is necessary to apply several principles of market and administration in the SOEs restructuring.

Besides, State-owned corporations and groups should improve the transparency of financial information in the manner that joint stock firms do.

Several experts said it is vital to hasten equitisation and divestment from non-core businesses of the State-owned companies as privatisation will put a more market pressure on them to use and manage their capital assets more effectively and create more economic value added.

Moreover, focal points should be placed on restructuring credit institutions and commercial banks, tackling bad debts and dealing with cross ownership in banking. Solutions to bad debts should be taken in a more sufficient and comprehensive manner to ensure a beneficial balance between banks and enterprises.

Many asserted that the restructuring only centres on the aforementioned three pillars while attention to the restructuring of the economic region and business sector has not been paid.

Particularly, solutions on recovering the private and agricultural sectors, the two driving forces of national growth, and adjusting policies to enhance the quality of FDI were asked to be considered. These measures play crucial roles in quickening economic recovery, as they pressurise the restructuring of SOEs, commercial banks and public investment.

In hastening the economic restructuring, CIEM Deputy Director Tran Kim Chung suggested that it is necessary to intensify the role in supervising public investment and auditing investment projects of stakeholders such as the National Assembly, people, and social organisations.

Addressing last December’s Vietnam Development Partnership Forum (VDPF), Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam will continue to reform its banking system by privatising State-owned banks, selling shares of four among five equitised banks between 2014 and 2015.

Regarding SOEs, the country will step up restructuring, equitising and focusing on core businesses, with a view to stopping their investment in non-core businesses in two years. Five hundred SOEs are expected to be privatised by 2015 and the remaining 600 SOEs will be equitised in subsequent years, added PM Dung.-VNA