Vietnam does not offer a level playing field for the domestic private sector, economists have said. There are no policies to support small and medium-sized private companies though the sector contributes most to economic growth, Nguyen Duc Thanh, head of the Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), said while speaking at a recent meeting with businesses in Ho Chi Minh City. Despite receiving only 27 percent of total investment between 2006 and 2010, the private sector accounted for half the economic growth during the period. State-owned companies received nearly half but accounted for only a fifth of the growth. The skewed policy would “harm” the economy in the long term, he warned. Tran Dinh Thien, deputy head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), agreed, saying the unfair support provided to state-owned enterprises has to stop. The government’s tight monetary policy in reaction to inflation has hurt local businesses and consumption, he said. Since last year a slew of cuts have been made to deposit rates in the hope of bringing down lending rates, but Thien said the government should enable companies to borrow easily. Duong Ngoc Minh, general director of seafood exporter Hung Vuong, said his…
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