The "ambitions" and proposals of state-owned enterprises

VCN - Despite the difficulties, 2024 also opens up many opportunities, and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have proposed many plans to develop businesses, motivating them to make significant contributions to economic development.
Prime Minister exchanges with delegates, SOEs participating in the conference. Photo: VGP
Prime Minister exchanges with delegates, SOEs participating in the conference. Photo: VGP

Ensuring sufficient electricity, boldly investing in development

At the Government's regular spring meeting with exemplary SOEs nationwide on March 3, Tao Duc Thang, Chairman cum General Director of Viettel Group (Viettel), stated that to achieve growth, there must be investment. Therefore, in 2024, Viettel will boldly invest heavily in infrastructure, such as transportation infrastructure and digital infrastructure.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as of 2023, there were 676 SOEs nationwide, holding assets worth over VND3.8 quadrillion.

Therefore, SOEs are always recognized as key players and an important material force of the state economy, contributing significantly to stabilizing the macro economy and promoting socio-economic development. Therefore, business plans set by SOEs always have great significance for the overall development of the economy.

"This year, Viettel will deploy nationwide 5G coverage. The group will invest nearly VND30,000 trillion to enhance frequency, including connecting to remote areas. Simultaneously, we will enhance international cooperation, focus on building large data centers so that major enterprises like Amazon, Microsoft can establish large data centers," said Thang.

Also regarding the plan for 2024, Dang Hoang An, Chairman of the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), emphasized that EVN was determined to make every effort and implement all necessary measures to fulfill key political tasks. Specifically, it will ensure sufficient electricity for production and people's daily lives, not allowing power shortages in any situation; accelerate and speed up the investment in building electricity sources and grids with an investment volume of VND102,000 trillion.

Lai Xuan Thanh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), stated that the forecast for 2024 presented many difficulties and challenges for the aviation market. However, over the past two months, international passenger traffic has returned, so revenue and profits have increased and exceeded plans.

Thanh informed that ACV has been approved by the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises for three important projects: development strategy, restructuring, and mid-term basic investment. ACV is simultaneously implementing a series of projects with a total investment of VND138,000 trillion out of the total VND165,000 trillion for the 2021-2025 period, ensuring the implementation of mid-term plans.

In particular, ACV is determined to follow the government's directive to complete the Tan Son Nhat Airport project two months ahead of schedule, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the complete liberation of the South, the reunification of the country in 2025, or with the Long Thanh Airport project striving to reach the minimum target two months ahead of schedule.

In the agriculture sector, Bui Thi Thanh Tam, Chairwoman of the Northern Food Corporation (VINAFOOD1), affirmed that 2024 would be a year of continuing high demand for rice, and current importers still have plans to implement. Therefore, farmers will fully profit and continue to increase production. Hence, Tam believed that the agriculture sector continued to affirm its leading role in the economy, with the rice industry being a bright spot.

As an SOE operating on a joint-stock model and listed on the stock exchange, Quang Van Viet Cuong, Deputy General Director of the Becamex Binh Duong Corporation, expressed that the goal from now until 2025, with a vision until 2030, Becamex would strive after 2025 to become a company with a market capitalization of over US$5 billion.

In the port exploitation sector, Nguyen Nang Toan, Chairman of the Saigon Newport Corporation, assessed that the competition in port exploitation and logistics services was becoming increasingly fierce, but the maritime port and logistics service sector would be one of the industries benefiting the most from Vietnam's strong opening up and integration into the global economy, actively participating in new-generation FTAs.

Therefore, in 2024, Saigon Newport sets a target of over 5% growth for basic economic indicators. The Corporation also identifies itself as a pioneering unit representing the whole country in the digitalization of seaports under the direction of government as well as ministries and sectors. In which, the Lach Huyen Ports 7 and 8 project in Hai Phong, newly approved by the Corporation for investment, is expected to be the pioneering port applying semi-automated technology in operation and loading and unloading.

Helping SOEs to proactively and effectively do business

But to achieve these goals, leaders of SOEs also expressed many desires and proposals to the relevant authorities.

For example, regarding Tan Cang Saigon Port, Nguyen Nang Toan proposed early amendment of the Law on management and mse of state capital invested in production and business operations at enterprises (Law 69) to enhance the autonomy, daring to think, dare to do, dare to innovate and create of SOE managers. Simultaneously, the Government needs to pay attention and facilitate the Corporation to receive, invest, and operate strategic deep-water ports to continuoulsy play a leading role for SOEs.

Nguyen Nang Toan, Chairman of the Saigon Newport Corporation. Photo: VGP
Nguyen Nang Toan, Chairman of the Saigon Newport Corporation. Photo: VGP

Chairman of Saigon Newport Corporation also requested the Ministry of Finance to consider providing medium and long-term capital for the Corporation to develop key projects, specifically approving and creating conditions for the Corporation to increase its charter capital from VND6,931 billion VND to VND10,445 billion VND.

For enterprises in the rice industry, Bui Thi Thanh Tam proposed that the State Reserves Department, Ministry of Finance carry out an early procurement program because businesses need contracts to implement and especially to ensure quality in storage. Along with that, the State Bank and the commercial banking system continue to pay attention, reduce interest rates, and relax conditions for loans.

In addition, SOEs also recommended that relevant authorities implement schedules, study plans to increase capital and supplement capital for enterprises to actively invest in development, as well as early resolve some mechanisms, policies still entangled such as green development and digital transformation.

For state-owned banks, Phan Duc Tu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), suggested quickly issuing regulations to implement the Law on Credit Institutions (amended) effective from July 1, 2024; continue to improve technology infrastructure to develop modern products, high-tech services provided to the market and internal governance.

In a further exchange about some proposals from SOEs, at the conference, leaders of ministries and sectors stated that they would listen to, pay attention to, study, and amend suitable mechanisms. For example, regarding the difficulty in exporting rice, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said that relevant ministries and sectors have been and are discussing, advising the Prime Minister to solve this issue shortly. However, according to the Minister, the important thing is that businesses must control prices, as well as control input quality to have partners and do business effectively.

Regarding the proposals to increase capital and retained profits, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc clarified that increasing capital or investing in which enterprise is decided by the Prime Minister, it is impossible to create mechanisms for rampant investment without clear effectiveness. However, the Minister also believed that there needs to be a policy for SOEs to be more autonomous in terms of salary payments or technology innovation because the important thing is the efficiency of capital. Additionally, the Minister of Finance also said that opinions were being collected to amend Law 69, helping SOEs to do business proactively and effectively.

By Huong Diu/ Ha Thanh

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