Vietnam’s legislature, the National Assembly, has started a critical two-month session emphasizing reforms needed to get the economy back on track. High on the agenda: efficient use of investment capital and managing the out-of-control race by provinces to grow.
Of Vietnams’ 267 industrial parks and 650 industrial complexes, just 40% are being used. And the country has 266 sea ports, only nine of which can be expected to to receive conventional cargo ships.
Vietnam also needs to restructure financial institutions (especailly banks) as well as inefficient, losing state-run enterprises such as Electricity of Vietnam (which lost $563 million), Vinashin ($149 million), Petrolimex ($58 million) and Vinalines ($29 million).
The government says its priorities are curbing inflation and growing the economy, but the real problem may be ambivalence about transparency and accountability needed to let the economy to develop freely.