The Vietnamese telecom market will improve vastly after its restructuring is complete, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son has said.

The restructuring of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) would represent a breakthrough for the country's telecom and information technology (IT) industry, especially since other local firms in the industry continue to face challenges on several fronts, the minister told reporters on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

He mentioned the restructuring of the group while speaking about its 2013 financial results and targets for this year.

Son pointed out that the ministry has sped up the pace of restructuring State-owned enterprises in the telecom industry.

He noted that a plan for restructuring the VNPT had been submitted to the Government, under which Mobifone (Vietnam Mobile Telecom Service Company) will be spun off from the group and equitised to renew the momentum for growth in the telecom sector. After the VNPT restructuring process is complete, Vietnam's telecom market is likely to receive a boost to its development.

Son added that since the beginning of this year, the ministry has required media and related agencies to disseminate information about State policies and the results of the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The ministry will also urge the telecom companies to diversify their services, raise their professional standards, enhance the use of advanced technology and improve the scope and extent of their added values.

It has directed the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) to outline a plan to separate its digital television operations from the corporation, following Decision 132/2013/ND-CP issued in October 2013. A plan to restructure the corporation will be decided after the spin-off of the television operations is complete.
Son said that 2013 had been a very tough year for telecom companies, as they faced many challenges. However, the telecom sector made significant contributions to the country's economic growth.

It is estimated that last year, the export turnover of mobile phones and accessories increased to 22.7 billion USD, which was 78.8 percent higher than 2012's figure.

Similarly, the revenue from the exports of electronic components and computers amounted to 11.2 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 41.8 percent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). Thus, the export value of the telecom and IT sector climbed to 33.9 billion USD, accounting for 25.6 percent of the country's total export turnover of 132.2 billion USD in 2013.

The VNPT posted a revenue of 119 trillion VND (5.6 billion USD), up 102.5 percent from 2012, while Viettel's total revenue is estimated at 162 trillion VND (7.7 billion USD), up 15.2 percent over 2012.

Together, the VNPT and Viettel contributed more than 25 trillion VND (1.1 billion USD) out of the 174.2 trillion VND (8.2 billion USD) to the State budget.-VNA