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National Assembly Office Chairman Nguyen Hanh Phuc stated that during the 21-day session the National Assembly (NA) has scrutinised and adopted seven laws (see box) and six resolutions, and reviewed six bills.
“The session was successful, with NA members having made positive and responsible contributions to the session’s debates,” Phuc said.
During the session, the NA reviewed and debated a number of issues, including an additional report on the socioeconomic situation of 20l7 and a report on socioeconomic development and implementation of the national budget in the early months of 2018. Besides, the legislative bodies will also approve the settlement of the 2016 national budget.
The National Assembly has approved many laws which act as a big impetus for Vietnam’s further socio-economic growth
The legislature also passed a hallmark resolution on results about supervision of compliance with the law and policy on managing and using capital and assets of the state in state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) and on SOE equitisation for the 2011-2016 period.
One of the biggest highlights of this NA session was that for the first time, a specific report by the National Assembly Supervisory Delegation on Vietnamese SOEs’ obedience of regulations on managing and using state capital during 2011-2016 has been reported fully to all NA members.
In addition to highlighting some successful SOE equitisation cases, the report also showed a grey picture of SOEs’ operations in the past six years, with many firms suffering losses.
Specifically, in 2015, the return-on-equity (ROE) of SOEs was 2.1 per cent only, far lower than the 5.5 per cent of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs). The investment effectiveness of SOEs was also lower than that of Vietnam’s privately owned enterprises (POEs) and FIEs, with the incremental capital output ratio (ICOR) in 2011-2016 of SOEs being 1.6 and 1.86 times higher than POEs and FDI.
Besides, in the 2011-2016 period, the ROE ratio of all SOEs was reduced by 39 per cent and their Return on Assets decreased by 30 per cent.
According to the report, many SOEs have been found with serious violations about managing and using state capital and investment procedures, leading to great losses of state capital.
NA members have urged the government to intensify SOE equitisation in order to attract more investment capital, improve the economy’s competitiveness, and create a level playing field for all enterprises in the economy.
The legislature has also provided words of wisdom to boost economic growth, based on firm foundations made over the past five months.
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), in this year’s first five months, almost all key indexes in the economy witnessed significant increases. For example, the manufacturing and processing sector, which contributes nearly 80 per cent of the economy’s industrial production growth, climbed 11.8 per cent year-on-year, the highest level in the first five months since 2012. Production and distribution of electricity also rose high, at a rate of 10.6 per cent year-on-year.
“One of the biggest drivers of industrial manufacturing growth is the 18.7 per cent year-on-year increase in the production of electronics products, laptops, and optical products,” said GSO head Nguyen Bich Lam. “This has been largely contributed by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, which focused on producing high-end mobile phones in February and March.”
Many NA members are optimistic about economic prospects, expecting it to continue its uptrend.
“In this year’s first quarter, the economy grew by 7.38 per cent year-on-year, the highest rise in the first quarter over the past 10 years. Vietnam has surpassed Indonesia to become a big exporter, while the scale of its economy is one fifth of Indonesia,” said deputy Le Minh Chuan representing the northern province of Quang Ninh.
“Vietnam is expected to grow by over 7 per cent this year thanks to the local production’s strong recovery, big exports, and big consumption power in the domestic market,” said Chuan, who is also member of the legislature’s Economic Committee.
“I would stress that Vietnam’s economic growth for 2018 will greatly benefit from the positive impacts of free trade agreements, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the country’s business climate improvements, and strong domestic consumption,” said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.
Notably, at the session, the National Assembly delayed the adoption of the draft Law on Special Administrative-Economic Zones of Van Don, North Van Phong, and Phu Quoc due to issues that will need further discussion.
The laws that have been adopted at the session:
- Law on Accusations (amended);
- Law on Special Administrative-Economic Zones;
- Law on Competition (amended);
- Law on Cyber Security;
- Law on National Defence (amended);
- Law on Sports and Physical Excerises (amended);
- Law on Measurement and Map;
- Law on amending laws relevant to the Law on Planning;
Laws that have been discussed:
- Law on Preventing and Combating Corruption (amended);
- Law on People’s Public Security Forces (amended);
- Law on Animal Husbandry;
- Law on Cultivation;
- Law on Amnesty (amended);
- Law on Coast Guard.