“To date, we are not dependent on any single economy. I have sufficient figures to prove that. However, there's no absolute independence in a flat world,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Phuc made the remarks at the National Assembly’s Q&A session on Thursday afternoon, while answering Assemblyman Nguyen Ba Thuyen's query on how to build an independent economy amid rising concerns about Vietnam's economic reliance on China.
Vietnam will accelerate its economic restructuring plans, shift its growth model, selectively seek to attract investment in high-tech and environmentally-friendly projects, and strengthen equitization of state-owned enterprises, he said.
The deputy prime minister also stressed the importance of expanding both export and import markets, and strengthening its role in the domestic market.
The government has diversified trade since 2010 to ensure that Vietnam doesn't become dependent on a single market, he said.
The country has signed 6 big bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. It is preparing to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and sign free-trade agreements with Russia, the EU and South Korea in the near future.
Vietnam is expected to sign 16 free trade agreements with 55 countries and territories by 2015, opening a huge space for trade development, Phuc said.
Regarding relations with China, the deputy prime minister affirmed: “Our policy is to maintain normal trade and investment relations with China in the spirit of mutual benefits.”
'Justice will triumph'
Assemblyman Nguyen Ba Thuyen also asked about measures the government will take to prevent such further riots and rebuild foreign investor trust.
Demonstrations against China's positioning of a giant oil rig in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone began peacefully in mid-May, but turned violent when workers were incited to vandalize factories in industrial zones in central and southern Vietnam.
Deputy Prime Minister Phuc said the government has reduced administrative procedures, cut taxes for vandalized companies, and supported them in terms of labor recruitment.
“Procedures for granting investment licenses are being implemented in a matter of hours, instead of the 10 days required by law,” he said.
To date, nearly 100 percent of the affected companies have resumed their normal production and business activities.
Ministries and localities will continue to improve the business environment and have offered to support investment activities in Vietnam, he noted.
International organizations and governments have supported Vietnam's efforts to protect its sovereignty, Phuc said.
The deputy prime minister affirmed that Vietnam will take all peaceful measures to protect its sovereignty. “Justice will triumph," he said. "We learnt that with our blood.”