Ministry makes New Year's resolution to privatize Vietnam Airlines

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The Ministry of Transport has promised that state carrier Vietnam Airlines will finally become a private firm listed on the local bourse this year

The Ministry of Transport has pledged to finish the process of privatizing state-owned carrier Vietnam Airlines within this year after failing to do so during last year.

Ministry head Dinh La Thang promised eleven corporations under the ministry, including Vietnam Airlines will be complete privatization procedures this year and become listed on the bourse, which he said will ensure those firms operate transparently.

"Leaders of the Ministry have all agreed that if those companies cannot finish privatizing on schedule, their chairman and CEO will have to leave their positions."

The other firms are the Civil Construction Engineering Corporation (Cienco) Nos.1, 4, 5, 6, and 8; the Thang Long Construction Corporation; the Vietnam Waterway Construction Corp (Vinawaco); Vietnam Motor Industry Corp; Vinacomin Waterway Transport JSC; and Vietnamese Transport Engineering and Design Inc (TEDI).

The ministry's pledge followed Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's complaint that the privatization process has been nonexistent.

"The central government has passed all the plans and resolutions to privatize Vietnam Airlines but the ministry until now has not completed any steps in the process, and has made various excuses. Those who feel like they cannot do it should leave their positions," the Prime Minister said.

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The national airline was scheduled to be fully private by the end of last year, but until early this year, the process of listing its shares on the stock market had not gotten underway.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the projects of restructuring Vietnam Airlines Corp, Shipbuilding Industry Corp (SBIC), Vietnam Railway Corp (VNR) and Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) were all slated for privatization by the government last year.

The ministry itself passed and deployed plans to restructure some of the 15 companies last year, but admitted that thus far, process has been proceeding at a snail's pace.

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