Paving the way for nation’s transport development

February 05, 2022 | 13:42
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The transport sector closed 2021 with impressive achievements, particularly in institutional reforms and public investment disbursement. Nguyen Van The, Minister of Transport, shared with VIR’s Bich Thuy radical measures to complement capital sources for the execution of mega projects.

What were notable points in the transport sector’s institutional reforms in the past year?

Paving the way for nation’s transport development
Nguyen Van The, Minister of Transport

One of the most notable achievements of the transport sector in 2021 was the development of legal documents which could create breakthroughs to enhance state management efficiency.

Throughout 2021, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) was proactive in reviewing and registering the development of laws and codes into the Law and Ordinance Development Programme of the National Assembly (NA).

The MoT is now developing, completing, and submitting to the government, seeking comments on the amended Law on Road Traffic, while at the same time reviewing the Law on Inland Waterway Transport and the Law on Civil Aviation to propose amendments and supplementations that fit the practice, creating favourable conditions for people and businesses in transportation activities.

Also in 2021, in order to remove difficulties and promote production and business, the MoT reviewed nearly 400 relevant legal documents and reported to the prime minister on the implementation results.

The MoT advised and submitted to the PM for approval Decision No.1977/QD-TTG in November on the plan to reduce and simplify regulations related to business activities under the management function of the MoT. Accordingly, the ministry reached the rate of 15.8 per cent, meeting requirements set in Resolution 01 on key tasks and solutions for the deployment of the socioeconomic development plan and state budget estimates for 2022.

Through the assessment of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and businesses, the quality of legal documents by the MoT has been constantly improved, meeting the requirements of practice, contributing to improving the local business environment, and bolstering national competitiveness. Sectoral-based planning at a national level has been elaborately prepared, ensuring synchronisation and connection between sectors, successfully tackling the limitations noted in previous schemes. The MoT is set to enact the sector’s legal document development programme in 2022 which features 26 documents to realise the government’s policy on decentralisation over the next few years.

Our top priority is ensuring strict adherence to the Party, the NA, and the government’s policies and orientations, and closely following the practice to build, perfect, and enforce the law in the spirit of gradually removing institutional bottlenecks for the interests of people and businesses.

What were the highlights in the sector’s public investment disbursement picture last year?

The MoT proposed diverse solutions to drastically control the implementation and capital disbursement of projects, especially major national projects like the North-South expressway’s eastern section and My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway, to name but a few.

Given that disbursement is one of the key tasks to realise the goals of pandemic containment and socioeconomic development, the MoT posted upbeat results in the implementation of basic construction works in 2021. The ministry proactively and promptly issued guiding documents requesting relevant agencies and units to accelerate the implementation and disbursement of the 2021 public investment plan.

It also set up a special taskforce to promote public investment capital disbursement, while at the same time, regularly reviewing projects’ implementation and disbursement to be able to promptly make decisions on shifting capital from slowly-disbursed ventures to those with good progress in implementation and capital disbursement.

Stiff measures were taken on leaders of project management units and contractors who failed in capital disbursement planning and construction progress. Every month, each investor and unit sent a report to MoT leadership, evaluating capital disbursement results of their projects and seeking further guidance.

Leveraging these above solutions, the MoT secured a high rate of monthly capital disbursement compared to the national average. Such a rate was expected to surpass 95 per cent by the end of January, reaching the government’s requirements set in Resolution No.63/NQ-CP from June 2021 on key tasks and solutions for boosting economic growth, public investment disbursement, and sustainable exports.

To accelerate public investment disbursement, we expect the government and the PM to deliver close and drastic instructions like last year, joining efforts with the transport industry to remove bottlenecks in capital and construction, creating breakthrough mechanisms to build and complete the country’s transport infrastructure.

This year marks Vietnam’s continued implementation of landmark new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs). How will such deals affect the transport sector’s investment landscape?

Amid deepening international economic integration, Vietnam has become part of many new-generation FTAs with the likes of the EU, UK, and other blocs. With the commitments to open market in the transport sector wider and deeper compared to previously signed FTAs, they would help Vietnam gradually perfect its institutions and business climate, creating favourable conditions for foreign investors to invest in and develop the transport system in Vietnam.

In addition to opportunities for transport development stemming from the need to increase the volume of goods traded between countries, the commitments on investment facilitation along with a growing level of liberalisation of transport services for service suppliers from partner countries participating in the FTAs would promote foreign investment flows from these countries into Vietnam.

As Vietnam’s partners in such deals are all major economies with vigorous development, the implementation of these agreements would pave the way for the transport sector to attract high-quality investment flow and environmentally-friendly technologies, as well as upscale management expertise of big global corporations in the context that domestic development resources are still limited.

Over the past two years, the pandemic left critical impacts on the development of the transport industry, including in foreign investment attraction. Investors, however, began to recognise the importance of supply chain diversification, avoiding focusing on just a single market. From this year, it is hoped Vietnam can grasp bigger advantages compared to regional peers in foreign investment attraction, especially those that have not yet joined some FTAs.

In order to overcome the challenges and best avail of the opportunities those agreements bring to local transport investment and development, it is necessary to have close coordination and companionship of state management agencies, and especially that of transport enterprises.

By Bich Thuy

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