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Hanoi follows Beijing in supporting shipbuilding industry

Hanoi: Priority would be given to the ship building industry - a key sector in the country's modernisation and industrialisation programme, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The PM was speaking at a meeting with Vietnam Ship Building Industry Group (Vinashin) on Wednesday, in the same week that Vietnam's neighbour, China, announced a big stimulus plan for its gigantic shipbuilding industry.
Binh said that although Vinashin faced many difficulties because of the global financial crisis, it would try its best to maintain development.
To reach its ambitious targets, Binh asked the Ministry of Finance for a loan and support for vocational training and a technology upgrade.
Dung called on Vinashin to focus on its core operations, instead of dispersing its resources in a variety of sectors.
Vinashin was criticized for its utilization of investment capital which had not been efficient, especially in non-core operations. Vinashin's high ratio of debt and lack of financial transparency are also the other weaknesses which were identified at the meeting.
Dung urged Vinashin to review its plans, both for short-term and long-term, check its investment in major activities. The government said on its website that ministries asked Vinashin to thoroughly check its projects, delay those seen as ineffective, and properly manage investment capital.
Vinashin chairman Pham Thanh Binh told the meeting that the value of Vinashin's output amounted to over VND36 trillion last year, up 38.5% from 2007, with the value of its industrial production accounting for 72%, and transport for 15%.
The group's 2008 total revenue expanded 47% year-on-year to VND32.5 trillion, and profit VND781 billion, up from VND453 billion in the previous year.
This year, Vinashin is looking to obtain a total export value of about US$1 billion and build three million tons of ship for the sea transport, maritime, petroleum and cement industries, Binh said. The figures, he added, could be raised to over US$2 billion and five million tons of ship by 2015. [13/02/09]


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