State-owned enterprises (SOEs) must strive to reform and become innovation centers in today's modern economy, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a conference discussing measures to improve Vietnam’s SOEs’ management and performance on October 16 in Hanoi.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of Vietnam’s SOEs to the economy, saying the growth of SOEs remains a priority in the country's economic strategy and is crucial in solving numerous socio-economic development issues.
|Workers check on equipment at the Nhon Trach Power Plant 2 under PV Power in southern Dong Nai Province__ Photo: VNA
Against a backdrop of fierce competition and trade liberalization in an increasingly complex global market, Vietnamese SOEs, now more than ever, must carry out reforms to improve management capacity, while investing in human resources and technologies to stay competitive.
“Old tricks can no longer work [in today's economic climate],” the PM told delegations of Vietnam’s SOEs at the conference, saying SOEs must break away from passive mindsets and outdated practices.
“SOEs must be the front runners in the industrial revolution race,” he urged the country's SOEs to invest more in research and development, technological innovation, adding they must also start building an ecosystem of supporting small-and-medium sized businesses.
On the Government’s side, the PM said Government agencies will grant more autonomy to SOEs to minimize unnecessary bureaucracy, building towards a performance-based remuneration system.
Greater autonomy, however, will come with greater responsibility and accountability. Mechanisms will also be put in place to supervise and monitor SOEs' activities, said the PM.
Speaking on SOEs’ performance, the PM said it still left much to be desired, especially on the issue of equitization, a term for the conversion of SoEs to joint-stock companies or corporations. During the entire 2016-19 period, only 36 SOEs were equitized or 28 per cent of the targeted figure.
Real estate, intellectual properties and other asset valuations have been identified as some of the major roadblocks for SOEs’ equitization.
Some SOEs whose equitization processes were finalized are still yet to meet the country's listing regulations and were slow to restructure as economic experts voiced concerns over their particularly poor management capacity and failure to attract talent.
Hesitancy to change, conflicts of interest, unwillingness to part with privileges, corruption and the involvement of interest groups have all hindered the equitization process, a key task for the Government in building Vietnam’s modern market economy.
“Vietnamese SOEs and the country’s entire political apparatus are to continue the fight against corruption led by the Party and the State,” the PM said.
After the conference the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Vietnam and other Government agencies will immediately start working on new regulations and guidelines, which aim to help SoEs improve economic performance and management.- (VNS/VLLF)