Supporting industries are the backbone of the country's industry, according to Truong Thanh Hoai, Deputy Director of the Heavy Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Further, supporting industries play a key role in raising the competitiveness of industrial products and are a decisive factor in the development and enhancement of the nation's competitiveness. Without having supporting industries, it would be impossible to operate manufacturing industries, Hoai said during a workshop to discuss solutions to develop support industries in Vietnam, held by HCM City Economics University and the Economic Commission of the Party Central Committee in Ho Chi Minh City on July 31.

Regarding developing solutions for supporting industries in Vietnam, Professor Vo Thanh Thu said developing the industries must focus on key industries in Vietnam, including those attracting large foreign investments, such as garments and textiles, engineering and electronic assembly. These industries have a large demand for support industries, as well as provide a need to modernise technologies and train highly-qualified workers to produce standardised products.

Thu emphasised that investment in technology required large amounts of capital. To assist enterprises, the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam should work out policies to create favourable conditions for enterprises to have access to long-term loans with preferential interest rates. A representative of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade told those at the seminar that support industries in Vietnam were mainly catering to export processing technologies, while manufacturing industries largely relied on imported raw materials and components.

In addition, the country has not yet developed specialised industrial complexes, resulting in underdeveloped support industries.

The municipal department has proposed a series of measures to develop support industries by offering incentives to attract FDI businesses. It is stated that FDI businesses are an important driving force to promote domestic support industries.

It has also suggested that the Government consider a master plan for supporting industries and offer credit loan policies for businesses to develop the industries and human resources in the field.

Hoai said the Ministry of Industry and Trade is now developing a decree on the development of supporting industries, and is expected to submit to the Government in the fourth quarter of this year.

Hoai added that the decree would focus on measures to support technology, production management and customer services to avoid shortcomings in local supporting industry companies.

Furthermore, the decree would supplement incentives on corporate income taxes and construction regulations on the building of supporting industry complexes to attract global multinational corporations to provide parts and materials to invest in Vietnam.-VNA