More detailed regulations could help Vietnam control anti-competitive practices, claims a report compiled by the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA).

The report, which was released on December 12, assessed the competitiveness of the ten major sectors in Vietnam 's economy and presented an overview of the market, a list of the barriers to joining or promoting the market, and the competitive status of five manufacturing sectors and five service sectors.

These sectors include medicine distribution, life insurance, advertising and vegetable oil production.

According to the report, the four manufacturing sectors (except paper production) have a high concentration ratio, which may lead companies in these sectors to abuse their dominant positions and promote anti-competitive strategies, said Tran Phuong Lan, head of VCA's Competition Supervision and Management Department.

However, Lan said, not many anti-competitive practices have been uncovered in the five surveyed manufacturing sectors.

In fact, these sectors face tougher competition, Lan said, citing high inventories in paper and building glass production and competition between domestic products and imported ones.

"The main anti-competitive practice is falsely advertising," she said.

Tran Hung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Advertising Association, said that more legal documents should be written explaining the Law on Advertising and related decrees, which he said were too general and led to confusion for management bodies and enterprises.

Hung said that his association was in the process of drafting a professional ethics code that would help enterprises compete properly.

VCA Director Bach Van Mung said that the report would hopefully raise awareness about competition-related policies and regulations and build a healthy competitive business environment.

The report is part of a project to improve the VCA's capacity to boost market economy mechanisms in Vietnam, which is supported by AusAID and the UK Department for International Development through the Beyond WTO Programme, which provides technical support for newly-admitted WTO nations.-VNA