The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation jointly held a meeting in Hanoi on May 25 to mark the World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and launch the National No Tobacco Week (May 25-31).
Visitors to the eighth Viet Nam Finance fair (previously called Viet Nam ICT in Finance) view high-tech products. The expo, which this year carried the theme "Restructuring national finance: policy challenges, and linking and integrating tendency", wrapped up in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau
Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue made the statement at the eighth Viet Nam Finance, previously named Viet Nam ICT in Finance, themed "Restructuring national finance: policy challenges, and linking and integrating tendency", which wrapped up in Ha Noi yesterday.
Hue said restructuring the country's financial industry was one of the sector's most important tasks in the near future, adding that it should create the financial system as a market mechanism with a socialist orientation. The focus should be on improving mobilisation and utilisation of financial and natural resources, land and goods, he said.
"The sector has developed over the past few years with a relatively complete legal system which is a pre-condition for establishment of a healthy and transparent financial sector," he said.
However, he said that the sector was faced with unstable challenges, such as a State budget deficit and low competitiveness, adding that the restructure was necessary.
In the 2011-20 period, the sector would focus on effective allocation and utilisation of financial resources, developing financial services, improving supervisory capacity in order to reign in the Government's debts within a safe limit, and reducing State overspending to 4.5 per cent by 2015.
Experts agreed that the sector should create linkages not only in the internal system but also expand to other ministries, particularly the Treasury and budget management information system.
The sector should also be more convenient for residents and businesses to access, such as a website that could offer public services for multiple departments, they said.
Therefore, in addition to improving the application of information technology (IT), the sector must strengthen integration of these applications to form a professional, effective and modern financial system to take advantage of domestic and international investment and commerce, experts said.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong said the sector had been asked to meet strict requirements from businesses, organisations and individuals both inside and outside the country in its integration into the world's economy.
"The sector has used IT applications for a long time. Surveys from the ministry and the Viet Nam Association of Informatics show that the sector has taken the lead in applying IT," Hong said, adding that the industry should continue to complete its information technology system, especially regarding issues of information security and e-transactions.
Vu Nhu Thang, director of the ministry's Institute of Financial Strategy and Policy, said current financial policies had some shortcomings including unstable mobilising mechanisms and State budget collection, which relied on irregular collections, crude oil and land for a large proportion of the total State funding, while personal income taxes were low.
World Bank Country Director to Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa said Viet Nam should review its financial policies to avoid shocks from the world economy even though it had not seen the same public debt as found in the EU and the US.
WB economic specialist Deepak Mishra said Viet Nam should balance its short- and long-term debts with domestic currency in order to reduce its dependency on the US dollar.
Solutions to avoid debt included stabilising the macroeconomy to attract investment and control outstanding loans, he said.
The country's financial market has developed strongly with growth in the banking, security and insurance markets. However, experts said the sector's biggest concern was its supervisory mechanism.
Deputy head of the National Committee on Financial Supervision Ha Huy Tuan said the shortcomings were due to the fact that every sector was supervised by a special agency.
The current model was unable to supervise among financial groups, he said.
The country should complete its legal system regarding supervision while renewing its system through the establishment of an integrated agency.
The three-day event, co-organised by the Ministry of Finance and the International Data Group (IDG Viet Nam), included a conference in which leaders, State agencies and experts discussed Viet Nam's vision and policies, as well as the strategic orientation in modernisation of State budget collection management.
Along with the conference, exhibition space was reserved to showcase and introduce an overall IT system development strategy in the finance sector. Local enterprises and IT providers had space to display their products and IT application solutions. — VNS