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Ministry unveils industrial sector plan

Workers produce car accessories at the DENSO Ltd Company, which is located in the North Thang Long Industrial Park in Ha Noi

Viet Nam’s industrial sector will focus on manufacturing hi- tech products, as part of its strategy to counter the influx of foreign goods in the coming years, Industry Minister Hoang Trung Hai said.

He was speaking after unveiling the ministry’s plan for the sector’s development and international integration to the Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan last Monday.

At the meeting, Deputy PM Khoan asked the ministry to plan strategies for every segment of the sector to meet the country’s deadline for joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by the end of this year.

Asking the sector to get ready to meet challenges in the future, Hai said the domestic industrial sector, which now has a competitive edge in agriculture-based products, consumer goods and foodstuffs over imported ones, would lose this advantage once Viet Nam joins the WTO.

This would force the country to open its market for foreign products while withdrawing State protection for domestic industry, Hai warned.

The only way-out for the sector was by developing and manufacturing internationally competitive products, harnessing all available investment sources and technology, he said.

The sector was preparing for the country’s WTO entry by introducing advanced management methods, implementing new technologies, optimising cost and labour, and by enhancing the quality of products, he said.

The Deputy PM asked the ministry to help the Government create a comprehensive legal system, and devise laws and procedures for the smooth functioning of all economic sectors.

According to a report of the General Statistics Office (GSO) the country’s industrial production in the first two months reached a value of VND64.4 trillion (US$4.3 billion), an increase of 16.1 per cent over the same period last year.

But, industry insiders said despite the high growth rate, value addition by domestic producers was only 10.5 per cent, achieved by increasing production cost.

Industrial production makes up about 40 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

VNS - (25/03/2005)

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