Numbers Reveal Nation’s Future

Statistics have a vital part to play in predicting the socio-economic tendencies in the country, officials from the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project II (MUTRAP II) heard at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.

Once MUTRAP II is completed, the GSO will be able to calculate the import-export value of each service sector for each market

"Statistical analysis will have an ever-increasing part to play as Viet Nam integrates into the world community," said GSO director Le Manh Hung, "trade data on international commercial services was currently insufficient or out of date." he added.

"The service sector accounts for more than 38% of the country's GDP," said Antonio Berenguer, the EC's commercial counselor. "Statistics must show investors in Viet Nam information about the country's economic situation."

MUTRAP II, a joint-program being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and the European Commission, was launched in the fourth quarter of 2005.

On completion this year, the GSO will be able to calculate the import-export value of each service sector for each market, which will serve as a foundation for the assessment of the domestic market's openness.

Berenguer added that the EC, would continue to support Viet Nam in this area.

According to MUTRAP's Tran Thi Hang, 25% of employees in the country work in the service sector, which accounts for 14% of Viet Nam's international trade.

Ms. Hang said problems had arisen with data-collection from ministries and the private sector and with their lack of statistical discipline.

Speaking at the workshop, Ms. Hang said the GSO had to enhance skill-levels among its statisticians and set up a business register where enterprise data could be updated.

She suggested the State Bank of Viet Nam work more closely with the GSO and Government, and said staff-levels in the service sector should be boosted, as should training levels.

Source: Viet Nam News

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