The processing and manufacturing industry is a highlight of the industry and trade sector in 2014 with a growth rate of 8.7 percent and an 11.1 percent increase in sales index, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) reported on December 31.

At the ministry’s online conference to review the year’s performance, it was also reported that the national industrial production index showed a 7.6 percent rise, while the industrial sector’s export value went up 13.6 percent from last year to 150 billion USD, surpassing the set target by 3.6 percent.

Such outcomes are positive and will create a momentum for the sector’s development in the following years, Minister Vu Huy Hoang said.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Cam Tu noted that besides processing and manufacturing, electricity production and distribution also saw a high growth at 12.1 percent, which showed production activities have made remarkable recovery.

Nevertheless, Minister Hoang pointed to the major weakness of the sector which is the under-developed supporting industry. Domestic makers have to import most of their needed materials, spare parts and components, thus affecting their products’ competitiveness in terms of prices.

General Director of the MOIT’s Heavy Industry Department Truong Thanh Hoai said the growth of some industries particularly textile and garment, footwear, automobile, and electronics is still based on scale, with most enterprises engaging in sub-contracting or assembling. As a result, their products have low added value as well as low local content ratio.

For 2015, the ministry aims for a 7.8-7.9 percent growth in industrial production and 165 billion USD in export revenue. The retail sales of goods and services should increase by 11-12 percent and consumer price index be kept at around 5 percent.-VNA