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Vietnam party chief, president calls for giving private sector its due

By Hoang Thuy   May 16, 2019 | 08:35 pm PT
Vietnam party chief, president calls for giving private sector its due
Workers assemble phones at a private company in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Hung
Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong wants more opportunities for private businesses but also warns against a complete dependence on this sector.

Speaking at the opening of the 10th plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee on Thursday, he said, "The private economy is developing well."

There should be no discrimination against private companies, and they should be treated equitably, he said.

Trong called for appreciating, rewarding and even honoring private companies if they perform well and contribute significantly to the economy.

But he also called for maintaining a balance between state-owned and private firms.

"It is a fact that state-owned firms have made mistakes and caused losses in the past, but that does not mean we should disregard this sector and totally switch to the private economy."

If either make mistakes, authorities in charge need to take action, getting them to fix their mistake, he said.

Referring to foreign investment, he said it is good that Vietnam is attractive to foreign investors but proper institutions are needed to manage the foreign-invested sector and the economy should not depend largely on foreign firms.

Vietnam has to integrate globally to ensure economic development but retain independence and self-reliance, he added.

The country has more than one million private companies.

Foreign investment in the first four months this year has risen by 80 percent year-on-year to $14.6 billion.

The 10th plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee is scheduled to meet until Saturday, discussing major documents to prepare for the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021.

Trong, 75, hosted a key meeting with top government officials on Tuesday, making his first appearance in the media after several weeks of absence due to illness. He also led a meeting with the Politburo, the party's decision-making body, on Wednesday.

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