The draft amendments to the Competition Law and Law on Higher Education were discussed at the ongoing 22nd sitting of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Assembly yesterday.
Presenting a report reviewing the revised draft of the Competition Law, Chairman of the NA Economic Committee Vu Hong Thanh said the wider scope of the draft law, which will cover activities performed outside the territory of Viet Nam that could reduce competition in the Vietnamese market, was practically necessary and aligned with international norms.
In order to ensure the feasibility of scope expansion, the draft law stipulates that the National Competition Committee is responsible for conducting cooperation activities with foreign counterparts in the proceedings for timely detection and investigation.
In the absence of international treaties between Việt Nam and other countries and territories, the competition authority will cooperate with foreign partners through international competitive forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and bilateral cooperation channels.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh explained that the Competition Law 2004 did not provide a clear legal basis for regulating activities outside the country’s territory.
Meanwhile, in many countries around the world, competition authorities have conducted investigations and handled many cases of restricting cross-border competition. Therefore, the scope of the draft law is to create a legal corridor to investigate and deal with unhealthy competition wherever it occurs, but it has the potential to negatively impact the competition environment in Viet Nam, he said.
In addition, it enabled the Vietnamese competition authorities to cooperate with foreign counterparts in investigating and settling competition cases and facilitating the implementation of commitments on competition in bilateral and multilateral treaties, he said.
Regarding the responsibility of state management on competition which drew different viewpoints, the NA’s Economic committee said the merger of three related agencies, namely the Competition Authority, the Competition Council and the Office of Competition Council, into a competition authority called the National Competitive Committee under the Ministry of Industry and Trade — is necessary. It will help to streamline the state apparatus while ensuring efficiency and independence in dealing with competition cases.
Earlier in the morning session, the NA Standing Committee discussed the draft amendment of the Law on Higher Education.
The draft law, written by the Ministry of Education and Training, was due to amend 39 of 73 articles and supplement two articles to the law, which was passed in 2012.
Accordingly, there are 15 major issues to be addressed, including models and structure of higher education institutions; planning the network of higher education institutions; university rankings; conditions for ensuring the quality of tertiary education; autonomy and accountability for the quality of training in higher education institutions.
Presenting a report on the draft law, Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ said that after five years of implementation, the law has revealed a number of shortcomings which deter the comprehensive reform of tertiary education.
Phan Thanh Bình, chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children said the majority of deputies agreed with the need to amend some articles of the Law on Higher Education to rectify the restrictions of the current regulations and meet the demand for renewing the country’s educational system.
Although the Higher Education Law has been in effect for five years, some guidelines have been issued for just a year. As a result, there has not been enough time to verify the effectiveness of the regulations.
The deputies suggested that the compiling committee should review the law’s inadequacies, analysing the causes so that the content, scope and timetable for the amendments would be set forth appropriately.
They also said the amendment and supplementation of the law must create a legal framework for the development of higher education, achieving the utmost important goal of high quality human resource.
Chairman of NA Law Committee Nguyen Khac Dinh requested that the compiling committee review the content of the Law on Higher Education, Law on Education and other related laws to ensure the synchronisation of the legal system. VNS