Farmers harvest rubber latex in the Central Highland province of Kon Tum (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh urged Vietnam Rubber Group to come up with a strategy to boost the rubber industry's development rather than focusing purely on rubber plantations.

Ninh was speaking at a meeting on August 17 about the group's progress in restructuring in HCM City.

Ninh said the strategy should aim to safeguard the domestic rubber industry from fluctuations in global prices of rubber and latex which have been witnessing a steep decline since 2012.

"Vietnam Rubber Group and relevant ministries need to study a development strategy for the rubber industry," Ninh said, adding that the sector must seek a way to reduce dependence on prices.

Ninh said priorities should be fixed to enhance the competitiveness of products, improve productivity and efficiency. The industry must apply advanced technology in production.

"Those tasks are difficult but are must-dos for sustainable development," he said.

Regarding the group's restructuring, Ninh asked the group to determine its member companies' value within the third quarter and complete the equitisation process this year.

The group said the value of five member companies, namely, Binh Long, Phu Rieng, Loc Ninh, Ba Ria and Tan Bien, would soon be disclosed.

The group also collected 1.188 trillion VND (54.5 million USD) from capital withdrawal out of non-core businesses by the end of the second quarter of this year, 141 billion VND (6.46 million USD) higher than book value.

However, the group has been encountering difficulties in withdrawing capital from investments in irrigation, industrial zones and hydroelectricity, worth totally 700 billion VND (32.11 million USD).

Any difficulties must be reported to the government for solutions, Ninh said, adding that divestment must follow a roadmap to ensure the highest capital efficiency.

Vietnam Rubber Group expected to earn a total revenue of 21.5 trillion VND (986.23 million USD) this year, including revenue from wood processing and leasing industrial zones.-VNA