Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh speaks at the working session (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has emphasised the need to change policies and mechanisms to encourage businesses to participate in national, regional and global supply chains.

The minister gave a presentation at the fifth meeting of the 14th National Assembly on May 26 on a number of issues related to export and export markets, the “rescue” of farm produce oversupply, the support industry and ineffective investment projects.

Anh said export has been on the right track in recent years with a shift to processed and manufactured products. The country has also established trade ties with more than 200 countries and markets, and joined many free trade pacts.

However, he admitted that export growth is unsustainable due to unstable and inconsistent product quality.

“This remains a big obstacle to Vietnam in building its brand name, developing value chains and meeting requirements of free trade agreements as well as international commercial practices in terms of product origin and quality,” he said.

Besides, Vietnam still depends too much on major markets, such as China and the EU, he said, noting that if the country cannot ensure product quality and overcome technical barriers, especially those regarding food safety and quarantine, exports to those markets will not be sustainable.

On the oversupply of some farm produce, the minister said the problem lies in the loose coordination between State management agencies and ministries in studying, monitoring and analysing market signs in order to link the market with production. The next step after market study is to assist farmers in production, according to the official.

Regarding the support, manufacturing and processing industries, Anh said the industrial sector records an average annual growth rate of about 9.7 percent, while the rate for the manufacturing-processing industry is 14.5 percent. Such high growth rates provide a driving force for economic development and national industrialization.  

However, he said, there are only more than 1,800 businesses operating in the support industry, of which 0.32 percent of them are involved in the manufacturing and processing sector.

“As Vietnamese enterprises are mostly of micro, small and medium sizes with limited capacity and technology, it is hard for Vietnam  to get access to the support industry of the region and the world,” he said.

Moreover, the fierce competition in the context of international integration and globalisation has put huge pressure on Vietnamese support firms, he said, suggesting that favourable conditions should continue to be created for domestic enterprises to utilise opportunities generated by international integration so as to access global technologies and markets.

Assistance should also be offered to domestic firms in joining supply chains, he said, adding that the quality of human resources needs to be improved to spur the support industry.

Speaking on ineffective investment projects, Minister Anh said the steering committee for dealing with those projects have built plans to handle the 12 key projects.

The minister said so far among six major projects stopped working due to losses, two have resumed operation with profit, though modest, which are the Hai Phong DAP fertilizer plant and the Vietnam-China steel plant.

The PVTex Dinh Vu also resumed the operation of one production chain and signed a sale contract with a foreign partner.

At the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Plant, about 1 trillion VND worth of State capital has been withdrawn from the project and procedures are underway to divest all State capital, thus allowing new investors to work with contractors.

Minister Anh stressed that besides the economic aspect, another important issue is to handle law violations of individuals and units in those projects. He said functional agencies, including the Ministry of Public Security, the Government Inspectorate, the State Audit and inspection agencies of the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance, have conducted investigations into those cases. -VNA