Ministry stalls shadow economy study

After much debate over the true nature of undocumented market transactions in Viet Nam, otherwise known as the shadow economy, officials have again postponed the release of an accredited study on the matter. Speaking at the Government’s regular press conference in early February on the underground economic sectors, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong said that his ministry was set to complete an assigned report compiling statistics on these unofficial economic activities. Accordingly, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) will submit said scheme to the Government within the first quarter of 2018. This is a delay from the previous deadline of 2017’s fourth quarter, set by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue in a June decree last year. Explaining the delay, Deputy Minister Phuong said that based on the General Statistics Office’s (GSO) initial research, the MPI is currently seeking opinions of relevant ministries on this scheme, in order to clarify what the so-called unobserved economic sector truly entails. Surprisingly, according to Phuong, small-scale economic activities done by households and individuals account for 87.7 per cent of total production, and generate up to 32 per cent of total employment in the country. He said that this particular sector’s contribution to Viet Nam’s gross domestic production is by no means insignificant. Therefore, the lack of accurate statistics on the informal economy has resulted in the Government missing out on a considerable amount of taxable capital flow. Phuong went on to explain that at the moment, the MPI… [Read full story]

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