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Experts seeks to boost Vietnam services sector
Publication Date : 23-01-2013
Vietnam's services sector's close link to industry means that it will prosper only when production is expanded, experts said in a recent conference on how to develop the services industry.
Le Xuan Nghia, former deputy head of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, said the services sector made the largest contribution to the country's GDP growth rate of 5.03 per cent.
But while the sector's contributions to the economy were increasing, the economic crisis had left a deep impact. And while transport, restaurant and hotel services were still growing, the finance and banking sector plunged.
Lending interest rates should be cut to approximately 9 per cent this year in order to help companies, Nghia said.
For a long time, Vietnamese firms had not paid much attention to promoting brand names or investing in marketing and advertising.
Now, he suggested, it was time for them to develop marketing strategies to take back market share from foreign companies.
Nguyen Duc Kien, deputy chairman of the National Assembly's Economics Committee, said the main problem facing enterprises was large stockpiles.
"Therefore, the first solution was not to decrease interest rates; rather, how to help enterprises deal with the stockpiles, which were mainly a problem for seafood, textile and garment, steel and iron production," he stressed.
Truong Dinh Tuyen, former Minister of Trade and member of the National Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said that companies must not hesitate to lower prices.
"Without lowering prices, they would not be able to reduce inventories," he said, meaning that they would also lack the necessary capital to clear debts and continue production.
Nguyen Van My, director of the Lua Viet Tourism Company, recommended the government offer enterprises practical support instead of issuing regulations that created more difficulties for them.
For instance, the director said, the new regulation raising the visa fee for tourism companies arrived at a time when companies are struggling to survive, even turning to desperate measures like reducing prices and launching promotions.
The regulation would deal a death blow to the sector, My said.