Sunday, January 14, 2007

Vietnam plans privatisation of oil and gas industries this year

Communist-run Vietnam plans to privatise more than 100 state-owned firms this year and next, including the oil and gas industries, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently.

Speaking on the sidelines of a regional summit in the Philippines on Friday, Dung also told Reuters that Vietnam, which became an official member of the World Trade Organisation on Thursday, would boost transparency to attract more foreign investment.

"That's our plan in 2007 and 2008, to privatise or equitise all these 104 companies, including Vietnam Airlines and the oil and gas industries. Vietnam will also boost its openness and transparency as the other members of WTO and as regulated by the WTO."

Dung is on the central Philippine island of Cebu for a summit of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) as well as a broader meeting with the heads of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to security, trade and energy, the Asian leaders will discuss ways of improving cooperation to prevent and fight the spread of infectious diseases such as avian flu. The Australian government announced on Friday a $5 million contribution to help fight infectious diseases that threaten East Asia.

But Dung said Vietnam would have to rely on itself to contain the latest outbreak of bird flu.

"We have to rely on our own meagre resources but we will control bird flu in just a few days."

Vietnam has had no human cases of the H5N1 bird flu virus since November 2005 but the virus that first struck the Southeast Asian country in late 2003 re-emerged last month in Mekong delta poultry.

Sourse: Roiteur.

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