Nguyen Bich Lam
The General Statistics Office (GSO) began carrying out a general economic census nationwide on March 1. GSO head Nguyen Bich Lam tells the Vietnam News Agency that apart from its usual functions, this census will collect data on foreign NGOs in the country.
What are the main purposes of this census?
This general economic census aims at evaluating many things including results of production and business; application of information technology; structure and distribution of production facilities and workers according to locality; economic sectors and ownership forms.
The census aims to meet management needs of the Party and the State, which includes ministries and localities.
Additionally, based on the statistics from the census, the GSO will compile main statistical indicators in 2016, which was the first year of implementing the five-year national socio-economic development plan as per the Resolution of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.
The statistics will be used to compile macro-economic indicators, including the economic growth of provinces and major cities.
The census will also add data and update the database on enterprises.
What are some important differences between this census and previous ones?
It is basically similar in content and scope to previous censuses.
One difference is that for the first time, this census will collect data on foreign non-governmental organizations to fully evaluate results of their operations in the domestic economy.
The census will use information from taxation offices, the State Treasury and other state agencies such as healthcare, education, training, culture, sports, information and communication.
It will be organized in combination with surveys on enterprises and individuals to list more economic groups and corporations. We will avoid overlapping of surveys.
Disclosure of information about the census will also be made earlier with a variety of publications, based on the subject, economic sector and forms of ownership.
How will this census be scheduled and implemented?
The Ministry of Planning and Investment issued a plan for the census on December 26, 2016 based on the Prime Minister’s decision, contents of previous censuses and actual changes in socio-economic development.
The general economic census 2017 will be carried out in two phases.
The first phase, implemented from March 1 to May 30, 2017, will survey production and business establishments in the business sector, administrative offices, branches and representative offices of foreign enterprises, and foreign non-governmental organisations.
The second phase will take place from July 1-30, collecting information about religious establishments, and individual establishments not engaged in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
The steering committees of the ministries of Defense and Public Security, as well as district and commune administrations will do their work according to the content and schedules outlined in the census implementation plan.
The statistics offices will work closely with relevant ministries and sectors from the central level to localities in carrying out this important census.
Preliminary data is expected to be released in December 2017, and official results in the third quarter of 2018.
How will the census review and evaluate the enterprises nationwide?
The census will review the list of enterprises and unify data from business registration, taxation and other related agencies to get the number of enterprises.
The results of this review will be given to management and statistics offices to get a real picture of enterprises in Viet Nam.
Therefore, the census needs active and close cooperation between sectors from the central level to localities as also local administrations.
How will the census data contribute to policy-making?
The census will have basic microeconomic information about workers, production and business. It will have data on the operation of State enterprises, private enterprises, foreign invested enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives and business households.
It will also have information about capital plans of enterprises, technological reforms in the processing, manufacturing and assembling industries, etc. This will show efficiencies or the lack thereof in the operation enterprises, their competitiveness and ability to be part of the international economic integration process.
So the census will be a vital database to research and analyse various aspects of the economy. It will provide policymakers with reliable information that they can use to formulate realistic policies. — VNS