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ECONOMY

Vietnam’s "super committee" should focus on privatization: Experts

Updated at Sunday, 11 Nov 2018, 22:42
The Hanoitimes - The committee, which began operations in October 2018 with 19 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) having total assets worth VND2,300 trillion (US$100 billion), is expected to make significant breakthroughs in the members’ operations and attract more investment inflows into its members.
Local experts said that the government-run Committee for State Capital Management (CMSC), dubbed as the "super committee", should target to speed up privatization of its member companies as part of efforts to better capital sources. 
 
Handing over ceremony between the Ministry of Trade and CMSC. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The committee, which began operations in October 2018 with 19 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) having total assets worth VND2,300 trillion (US$100 billion), is expected to make significant breakthroughs in the members’ operations and attract more investment inflows into its members. 

The committee is scheduled to receive all of its 19 members by the year-end. 

In the latest move, the Ministry of Industry and Trade on November 10 handed over six corporations and groups to the CMSC. State capital of the six companies is valued at VND555 trillion (US$24.77 billion), accounting for a half of the total corresponding to the 19 SOEs that the CMSC will take over.

Economist Luu Bich Ho said that what he expects most from the CMSC is equitization despite long-lasting difficulties. The committee, accordingly, should consider the valuation to offer state assets at reasonable prices to attract investors, he suggested. 

Sharing the same ideas, Dr. Pham The Anh from the National Economics University - Hanoi, said that the CMSC will work as a focal point agency of privatization and its first and foremost duty is to tackle problems arising in the process for the past years. 

“In the short-term, we should make the equitization effective instead of setting our expectations for improving SOEs’ operations,” Mr. Pham noted. 

Le Dinh An, former director of the National Centre for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast (NCIF) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said that it’s hard for the CMSC to help its members make good performance. “Making state capital profitable mainly depends on competence of the apparatus and officials, but there’s no businessmen but state officials in the leadership.”

The committee’s personnel includes officials from nine departments namely agriculture, industry, energy, technologies and infrastructure, general affairs, legal department, personnel, organization, and information center. 

The CMSC’s main duty covers the building and submitting of master planning of enterprise development to the prime minister. It’s eligible to decide registered capital of newly-established enterprises and adjust their capital, and pump money into businesses. 

Nineteen members include State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem), Vietnam Electricity (EVN), Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), Vietnam Airlines, MobiFone Corporation, Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation (Vinataba), Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), Vietnam Railways Corporation, Vietnam National Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe), Vietnam Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood1), Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood2), and Vietnam Forest Corporation (Vinafor). 

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee earlier has required the government to clarify the role of CMSC to ensure no intervention into enterprises’ operations and make state capital profitable. 
Linh Pham
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