Action plan for priority industries on hold

Economist Pham Chi Lan, speaking at a seminar in HCMC on Thursday, said the Japanese government had requested Vietnam to make the Vinashin restructuring process transparent before other things were to be discussed.

But it seems to be impossible to meet Japan’s requirement as no solution to Vinashin’s debacle is in sight, Lan told the seminar on doing business with Japanese companies held by the Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods Producers.

Shipbuilding is one of the six priority industries in the nation’s industrialization strategy as part of the cooperation framework with Japan that was endorsed by the Government on July 1. The other five industries are electronics, agricultural machinery, seafood and farm produce processing, environment and energy saving, and auto components.

At the seminar, Nguyen Thi Tue Anh, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), noted that among the six industries, policy-makers would have to choose a number of specific and concentrated products and sectors instead of making scattered investments for all. As such, the priority products in the target sectors should have high added value, have strong technological pervasion and meet quality for export and domestic sale, Anh noted.

For instance, Anh said, the Government will have to choose a strategic line of products in the automobile industry to focus on building incentives for the products and developing them rather than promoting all kinds of automobile.

Similarly, with the farm produce processing industry, the Government will have to concentrate investments on rice, coffee, vegetables and fruits among others, she said, adding the investments in office equipment, mobile phones and electronic items in the electronics industry would be taken into account.

Anh, now in charge of drafting the action plan for these industries, admitted that no specific items had been selected and that such information would only be unveiled in December.

After that, the Government will need to build up concrete preferential policies for every activity to deploy them in succession starting from next year, Anh said.

The Vietnamese Government in October 2011 signed a joint communiqué with the Japanese Government to seek the cooperation and support from the latter in construction and execution of the industrialization strategy towards 2020. Vietnamese policymakers then drew up a list of 39 industries in need of development strategies, which have been scaled down to 12 and then to six.

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