Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has defended the Government call to prioritise domestic products following the scandal last year involving Khaisilk false claims that it sold made in Vietnam goods
Questioned by National Assembly deputy Duong Trung Quoc regarding the unwanted downside of the campaign “Vietnamese prioritise Vietnamese goods”, Phuc on January 31 admitted that some companies had taken advantage of the favourable policy for domestic companies to “cheat and break the law”.
“In a particular case of Khaisilk, the loss is not only to the company but on a much bigger scale – the credibility of Vietnamese brands and the trust of Vietnamese and foreign customers in Vietnamese products in general has eroded,” Phuc said.
Khaisilk was once regarded as a popular high-end Vietnamese silk brand with stores popping up in touristy areas across big cities. Doubts were raised late last year after a customer found a Made-in-China tag attached to the silk products. A ministerial probe uncovered even more horrifying news: the supposedly silk products were not made from silk.
The Khaisilk scandal prompted NA deputy Quoc of Dong Nai Province to question whether the Government’s promotion campaign was somehow twisted by Vietnamese companies to sell fake and counterfeit products, and if it was time to reconsider such policy.
Phuc said that the campaign did not necessarily mean to promote the implementation of a protectionist policy for domestic products.
“It aims to orient the whole society towards patriotism, to encourage the will of Vietnamese businesses for fair competition, as well as the detection of goods fraudulently claiming to be of Vietnamese brands,” the PM added.
He said that the Government would tighten market management work to prevent further cases like Khaisilk that directly harm the health and trust of Vietnamese customers.
Son Tra inspection
Phuc on January 31 also responded to the question posed by HCM City NA deputy Truong Trong Nghia regarding the final decision on the mass construction of tourism facilities on the protected Son Tra peninsula in the central city of Danang.
The controversial Da Phuoc International Urban project was brought into the limelight last summer as 1,920 villas, 24 bungalows and 1,600 luxury hotel rooms were expected to be built by 2030 on the 4,439ha Son Tra Nature Reserve.
The public heatedly protested the mass tourism project due to concerns over the possible irreversible environmental impacts to the bioperse reserve where the critically endangered red-shanked douc langurs are living.
Phuc said that he had ordered a thorough inspection into the project last September on the management and the use of protected land and forestry. The inspection report is expected no later than March 31, 2018.
Regarding the Government’s role in monitoring and handling violations of credit institutions of which several bankers were brought to trial in 2017, PM Phuc admitted that the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) bore responsibility for those cases.
He asked the SBV to “urgently and seriously” look into the responsibilities of those involved and to hand out “strict punishment”.