Private sector should provide public services: PM

By Dat Nguyen   December 23, 2019 | 09:30 pm PT
Private sector should provide public services: PM
Employees work at a garment factory in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Private businesses should do more for the society and the state should facilitate their increased contribution, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc says.

Meeting with representatives of major private companies in Hanoi Monday, he said that the state allows them "to do what they do well" including providing public services.

Private firms should be "untied" to enter areas traditionally covered by the state, except for the sensitive areas of national defense and macro administration, he added.

Authorities need to stop using soft power to threaten businesses when there is a disagreement. There should be more tax incentives and policies to encourage businesses to adopt advanced technology and use resources efficiently, Phuc noted.

Business leaders proposed policy modifications to remove obstacles for their expansion plans.

Nguyen Viet Quang, CEO of the country’s biggest private company Vingroup, said they were expecting tax incentives to develop electric cars, which is a challenging path it has chosen.

The company has recently announced a withdrawal from retail and agriculture to shift its focus to industry and technology, especially car manufacturing.

VinFast will introduce electric bus and car models next year, he added. It plans to export the first electric cars to the U.S. in 2021.

Tran Ba Duong, Chairman of Truong Hai Auto (THACO), said that the company has been struggling to acquire credit from banks for agriculture projects even though there is great potential in the sector.

Capital expansion is needed for an agriculture firm to produce in large quantities and export globally, he said.

Dang Van Thanh, Chairman of diversified investment company Thanh Thanh Cong (TTC), proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade soon finalizes a new feed-in tariff for solar power, after the incentive tariff period ran out in June.

Transmission lines should also be upgraded to handle new output from solar power plants, he added.

Vietnamese officials have been voicing support for the expansion of domestic private firms in recent years, encouraging them to be the main engine behind the country’s economic growth.

The country now has over 800,000 businesses, with 17 percent of them established this year, Phuc said.

However, the business per capita of Vietnam, at one business per 120 people, is lower than the 1/90 ratio in ASEAN and 1/10 in developed countries, he said.

The country only has seven entries in the list of top 200 companies in Asia with revenues of $1 billion and under, and none has made into the top 500 globally, he added.

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