2014 is projected to be a good year for military-run businesses, said the People’s Army newspaper online, adding that although over 60,700 companies went bankrupt last year due to economic recession, military-run firms are still seen as a silver lining of the national economy.

By the end of last year, Construction Corporation 36 under the Ministry of National Defence entered a list of military investors to start the project to upgrade two sections of National Highway 19 in Binh Dinh and Gia Lai provinces under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) investment scheme.

Previously, the Ministry’s Group 319 became the main investor for the BOT upgrade project of the National Highway 1A road surface between Binh Thuan and Dong Nai provinces, and formed a joint venture with the Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No.4 (Cienco 4) of the Ministry of Transport to carry out the project to expand National Highway 1A from Thanh Hoa to Nghe An provinces.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Viet Anh from the Department of Economics under the Ministry of National Defence said that the above examples showed the great development of defence businesses.

He held that last year, military-run companies achieved a turnover of 260 trillion VND (12.264 billion USD) and profit of 39.9 trillion VND, and contributed nearly 18.1 trillion VND to the State budget, increasing 11.6, 28.7 and 9.5 percent against 2012, respectively.

The military-run telecom group Viettel still takes the lead with a turnover of 162.4 trillion VND and profit of 34.6 trillion VND, about 39.54 and 27.3 percent higher than the same period last year, and contributed 13.3 trillion VND to the State budget. These figures are considerably beyond the figures obtained by the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNP)s. Besides, Viettel heads the list of the top 1,000 taxpayers in Vietnam.

In addition, the Saigon Newport Group is one of Vietnam’s leading ports, making up 65.54 percent of Ho Chi Minh City’s market and 42.87 percent of the nation’s. Of that, the Cat Lai Port ranks 34th on cargo entrepôt worldwide. Meanwhile, the Dong Bac Coal Corporation effectively fulfilled all production targets set by the Ministry of National Defence, added Anh.

As a result, with the remarkable growth rate, military-run businesses are striving to win more success in 2014.

Despite facing many difficulties in 2013, the ACC Aviation Construction Company, Lung Lo Construction Corporation and Corporations 319 and 789 gained turnovers of 2 trillion VND, 1.6 trillion VND, 3.7 trillion VND and 1.2 trillion VND, respectively, to become prestigious brand names in the construction sector.

The recognition of official contractors for projects in the region, such as the Lung Lo Corporation which has been constructing hydropower plants in Laos, affirmed the potential and development of military-run businesses.

However, in order to boost sustainable development in the coming time, they should improve competitive and financial ability, bring into play the self-control in operating business, and team up with others, while developing their dynamism and effectively using money sources from budgets of the State and Ministry of National Defence.

Anh stressed that the military companies should also work out suitable development strategies, apply advanced technologies in production, mobilise more capital from financial organisations, and well manage and monitor debts.

The above measures will help them develop their business and speed up restructuring plans according to Decision 929/QD-TTg signed by Prime Minister on July 17th 2012 on restructuring State-owned enterprises, focusing on economic corporations and groups for the 2011-2015 period, he concluded.-VNA