08:16 | 14/02/2018 Events
(VEN) - The Vietnam Economic News selected 10 industry and trade highlights in 2017.
1. The government issued a decree regulating the function, tasks, rights and organizational structure of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
On August 18, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed Decree 98/2017/ND-CP, regulating the function, tasks, rights and the organizational structure of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The decree is intended to streamline the ministry’s organizational structure. The number of subsidiaries under the ministry has been reduced from 35 to 30, including 26 administrative units and four state-funded public service entities. In addition, the number of state-governing departments at the ministry’s headquarters has also been slashed by 72 or 36.5 percent.
2. The Ministry of Industry and Trade slashed and simplified administrative procedures and investment and business conditions.
Following the Master Plan for Simplification of Administrative Procedures in relation to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s state management (Decision 4846/QD-BCT dated December 9, 2016), the ministry cancelled 123 administrative procedures via 40 legal documents. On September 20, 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade made public Decision 3610a/QD-BCT on its plan to reduce investment and business conditions. Accordingly, the ministry cut 675 investment and business conditions in 2017, accounting for 55.5 percent of the existing conditions.
Meanwhile, the ministry led in modernizing administration. All 298 centrally-controlled public services under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade are currently applied online at Level 2 or more. In particular, 11 online public service groups reached Level 4; 41 meet Level 3; and all the 154 public services were launched at the ministry’s online public service portal (http://online.moit.gov.vn).
3. The Ministry of Industry and Trade achieved initial results in resolving problems for a number of ineffective and sluggish state-owned projects and enterprises.
So far, five of the 12 projects identified as ineffective have progressively reduced losses, while the rest have devised milestones for improvement so as to avoid further losses for the state.
4. Exports and imports exceeded a record high US$420 billion, and exports in particular grew robustly by more than 21 percent.
Vietnamese export and import revenues in 2017 exceeded US$420 billion for the first time. Of these, exports were estimated at US$213.8 billion, an increase of US$37.2 billion or 21.1 percent against a year ago, a record since 2011. Last year, 29 export items exceeded US$1 billion in revenue, an increase of four items against 2016. The export growth was a highlight in the Vietnamese economy and an engine for the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.
The trade surplus hit a record high US$2.67 billion in 2017 compared with US$1.78 billion in 2016, contributing to stabilizing the macro-economy and the exchange rate, controlling inflation and realizing all 13 socioeconomic targets for the year.
5. State-owned shares of the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (SABECO) were sold.
On December 18, the Ministry of Industry and Trade launched a competitive auction of more than 343.66 million shares of SABECO (accounting for 53.59 percent of its total chartered capital) that contributed almost VND110 trillion to the state budget.
6. The Foreign Trade Management Law was adopted.
On June 12 the National Assembly adopted the Foreign Trade Management Law including eight chapters and 113 provisions.
The law institutionalizes and updates many measures for management and promotion of foreign trade. It also provides a basis for the government and ministries to enforce legal documents in a transparent and open manner and to reform administration of foreign trade.
7. The industry and trade sector exceeded all development objectives set by the National Assembly and the government.
The objectives concerned exports, imports, trade balance, retails and goods circulation, and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
8. The 23rd Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT 23) and the ministerial meeting of the members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) were held.
Foreign participants spoke highly of the organization of MRT 23 and related meetings from May 19-21 in Hanoi, which contributed to the overall success of Vietnam’s hosting of the year-long events of the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) forum.
9. Major automobile manufacture and assembly projects were inaugurated in Vietnam on their way to the regional market.
The Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) started construction of a Thaco-Mazda automobile production plant in March with a capacity of 100,000 units per year. Construction also began on a plant to manufacture and assemble 8,000 buses and 12,000 mini-buses per year with total investment capital of more than VND7 trillion.
The Thanh Cong Group inked a cooperative agreement with Hyundai Motor of the Republic of Korea to establish a joint venture for production and assembly of Hyundai cars and buses in Vietnam for domestic use and export to other markets in ASEAN. The joint venture will build an auto plant in Ninh Binh Province with a capacity of 120,000 units per year.
Vingroup also started work on construction of a Vinfast auto production complex in the Cat Hai Economic Zone in the northern port city of Hai Phong.
10. Sufficient preparations were made in readiness for nationwide shift to E5 biofuel as a substitute for RON 92 starting in 2018.
This is an effort to reduce environmental pollution, reduce fuel imports and boost domestic production
The Editorial Board