Vietnam to boost state firm sales, PM says

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Vietnam will accelerate share sales at state-owned enterprises, as the government plans to retain stakes only in those that are really important, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a report sent to lawmakers.

State groups and corporations will have to focus only on their main businesses and complete withdrawing investment from non-core sectors by 2015, according to the report.

Dung also said the government will definitively deal with loss-making state companies via share sales, mergers or bankruptcy proceedings.

"Restructuring state enterprises is not an easy task, [but] the government is determined to do this and will learn from the process in order to fulfill the task and improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy," he said in the report.

Inflation

"Thanks to aggressive measures, inflation continued to ease in the past six months, rising 17.5 percent during the first 11 months. The trend means the goal of keeping 2011 inflation at around 18 percent is achievable," Dung said in the report.

The prime minister also reaffirmed the government's target of bringing inflation down to single-digit levels next year so that interest rates can be lowered to support local businesses.

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The government will consider extending tax reliefs for businesses and facilitate exports, he said.

Dung said measures will be taken to revive the stock and real estate markets.

Vietnam will maintain economic growth at a reasonable pace, around 6 percent to 6.5 percent next year, and try to create 1.6 million new jobs, he said in the report.

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