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Defense ministry cuts back on business activities

By Viet Tuan   October 10, 2018 | 06:38 pm PT
Defense ministry cuts back on business activities
Soldiers hold rifles while marching during a celebration to mark Reunification Day in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam April 30, 2015. Photo by Reuters/Kham
The Vietnamese military has successfully privatized 32 enterprises and divested all state capital from 10 joint stock companies.

Major General Nguyen Van Duc, director of the Ministry of Defense's department of propaganda and training, said Tuesday that the ministry has successfully completed the equitization of 32 enterprises out of the 38 ones it had scheduled to equitize during 2013-2015. 

It will continue to equitize 29 that are focused on trade, construction and service sectors by 2020, he said.

The ministry has withdrawn capital from 10 joint stock companies and is continuing to implement the same process on another 11.

“By 2020, the number of military-run businesses will be reduced from 88 to 17,” Duc added.

Meanwhile, the military has developed new Coast Guard and cyber command units without having to increase the number of troops.

He stressed that the aim of the structural reorganisation of the military is to meet the requirements of building a refined, compact and potent organization, improving its combat readiness with appropriate steps.

Under the restructuring plan for military-run businesses until 2020, the Ministry of Defense will continue to run 17 wholly state-owned enterprises, of which 12 are currently undertaking military and defense tasks.

At a meeting with Ho Chi Minh City leaders in June last year Deputy Defense Minister Le Chiem said the military "won’t do business anymore.”

The military will focus on defense purposes only, he said.

Giant neighbor China in 1998 prohibited the armed forces and armed police from running businesses. They were still allowed to use surplus resources to provide paid services to the public in certain fields, but the Chinese government issued an order to end that practice in May 2017.

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