HCM CITY — The steel industry is likely to enjoy 10-12 per cent growth next year, said the Việt Nam Steel Association (VSA) at a workshop in HCM City last week.
According to Chu Đức Khải, VSA General Secretary, steel consumption depends on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
With expected GDP growth of 6.2 per cent this year, and the operation of 10 steel projects in 2017, the sector’s growth is expected to further expand, Khải said.
However, he warned of challenges ahead as cheap steel from China would continue to flood the domestic market.
Việt Nam also has to meet strict technical standards when it exports steel.
To cope with difficulties, the country will have to apply trade protection measures and technical barriers to restrict steel imports, he noted.
The VSA has filed petitions to the Government demanding anti-dumping measures be imposed on several steel imports.
VSA chief cautions government on steel sector plan
The VSA has sent a document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to propose some changes in the draft zoning plan for Việt Nam’s steel sector until 2025 with a vision towards 2035.
Accordingly, the association suggested the ministry that propose the Government a stop in managing the steel industry by planning. Regarding the current practices, a steel project cannot be approved if it is not named in the master plan for the industry.
VSA Vice Chairman Nguyễn Văn Sưa, said that economic sectors including steel should not be managed by planning.
Instead, the zoning plan for Việt Nam’s steel sector should be used as a reference for businesses before deciding their investment, he said.
According to the Law on Planning which has been discussed in the National Assembly since September, 21 sectors would need planning at national level as they relate maritime resources and large scale infrastructure. But most opinions against the planning for the steel industry, yet the ministry has still drafted planning and gathered opinions.
Besides, the issuance of investment certificates should be done with the agreements of relevant ministries, not just the MoIT.
The association noted that the MoIT’s draft has shortcomings as it did not provide development targets for hot rolled and high quality steel, as Việt Nam has imported 100 per cent of these products.
The ministry still put the expansion of the Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel Corporation phase 2 in the draft zoning plan despite losses.
The VSA proposed that the MoIT resolve issues with the projects which have not started their construction or are unfeasible between 2017 and 2025.
At a recent Q&A session of the National Assembly, Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh said the country would not implement industrial projects that harm the environment and that no groups could influence the project approval process.
The ministry wants sustainable growth for industrial sectors and to use natural resources efficiently.
The minister reiterated that Việt Nam needs more steel projects, because by 2020 the country will have to spend US$15 billion a year on imported steel.
VSA figures revealed that last year Việt Nam imported more than 14 million tonnes of steel. It is estimated that this year the country will import about 17.5 million tonnes.
Source: Vietnam News
Photo: Hoàng Nguyên