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Vietnam’s public debt increase in 2010-14 highest in history: parliamentarian

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 17:55 GMT+7
Vietnam’s public debt increase in 2010-14 highest in history: parliamentarian

The issue of public debts in Vietnam increasing at the fastest rate in history and difficulties in production and trading stood atop the agenda of the working session at the law-making National Assembly (NA) in Hanoi on Monday. Vietnam saw an average increase of public debts of 20 percent a year from 2010 to 2014, said Nguyen Duc Kien, vice chairman of the NA’s economic committee. This is the highest increase rate in the history of Vietnam, even though the nation scored a low growth rate of 5.8 – 6 percent, Kien said. In the previous period from 2006 to 2010, the growth rate of Vietnam was 7.5 – 8 percent. In 2014, Vietnam achieved a growth rate of nearly six percent but enterprises that disbanded or paused work rose to about 50 percent, Kien said. Half of a total of 500,000 enterprises in the nation had no business activities to levy taxes on. At the session, Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan also warned about the quality of the Vietnamese workforce, as Vietnam is set to integrate into the EU-style ASEAN economic community by the end of this year. ASEAN is short for Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam. “As far as I know, many resorts and tourist areas in Vietnam began recruiting Filipino staff instead of locals thanks to their better English skills and working attitude and cheaper salary,” Vice State President Doan said. Deputy Vo Thi Dung of the Ho Chi Minh City delegation noted that documents from different NA sessions have mentioned different numbers, but the same issues and the same problems have been around for many years. She presented an edition of Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper published in 2000 with a column written by former Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu, who wrote that farming production had reached a stalemate and farmers could not sell their products. Whenever farmers had a good harvest season, they suffered a decrease in prices on the market, the story said. The troubles are exactly the same now, 15 years later. Watermelon grown in Vietnam has had problems being sold to Chinese traders at Vietnamese border gates due to a lack of coordination by local state agencies. This has resulted in internal competition between Vietnamese sellers because they have had no contract with Chinese partners for fair transactions. Besides watermelon, other farming products of Vietnam have faced a similar situation in transactions with Chinese partners at border gates. Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said the Southeast Asian country will consider building a transit zone near border gates with China for Vietnamese farming products.

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