Cabinet eyes 6.7 pct GDP growth

Vietnam’s economy will be stronger in the last months of this year and the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is likely to reach 6.7 percent, higher the target of 6.5 percent thanks to the rapid recovery of domestic production, said the Government.

The Cabinet in its monthly meeting

The optimistic forecast was made at the cabinet’s monthly meeting for August held on August 30 and 31 in Hanoi under the chair of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, to review performance of the national economy in the last eight months and discuss development plans.

At a press conference about the regular meeting on August 31, Chairman of the Government Office Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the economy continued to develop in August and the first eight months.

He said the export turnover in the last eight month reached over US$44.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.7 percent.

The trade gap reduced to US$0.9 billion in August, accounting for 15 percent of the month’s export turnover, and the industrial production value was VND504 trillion, up 15.2 percent against the same month of last year.

Meanwhile, the month's consumer price index rose slightly, by 0.23 per cent over the previous month.

Good co-ordination among sectors and localities had helped agriculture improve and kept pandemics under control despite the negative impact of floods and storms, the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported.

Social security had been ensured and people's living standards had been lifted, the ministry reported.

Nevertheless, the Government pointed out shortcomings of the economy, which needed to be made good.

The domestic economy was facing the negative impact of the global market's increasing prices, especially in the last quarter of the year, Government officials said.

Firms and enterprises were still ineffective in mobilizing capital sources as bank loan interest rates remained high.

The PM called on ministries and relevant agencies to continue to resolve difficulties and create favorable conditions for enterprises to access loans for production.

He said loan interest rates need to be adjusted in line with enterprises’ financial capability.

PM Dung urged authorities to adopt measures to control prices, penalize strictly violations relating to price management regulations, and curb price hikes in the last months of the year.

Plans

The cabinet members also discussed ways to effectively implement the socio-economic development plan next year and in the coming five years.

One of the most discussed issues was how to develop the electricity industry.

The government’s plan for the issue is to encourage all economic sectors to join hands with the State in investing and boosting the growth of this important industry.

Together with implementing hydro-power projects, the Government would boost the development of natural-energy generated power programs.

The PM asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to focus investments on raising power output to prevent shortages in the future.

Discussing the socio-economic development plan for 2011, which is the first year in the next five-year development plan, and the 2011-2020 development strategy, PM Dung said the general goal of 2011 is to strengthen macro-economic stability to achieve a growth rate higher than that of 2010 and step up the economic restructuring.

The other goals are to ensure social security and social welfare to further improve people’s living conditions while assuring political security, social order and safety, he said.

The PM proposed the Government target a GDP growth rate of 7.5 percent, CPI year-on-year rise of 7 percent, and trade deficit below 18 percent for 2011.

He underscored the need to pay special attention to vocational training and considered it an important index to serve the country’s economic shift in 2011.

PM Dung also requested formulation of mechanisms and policies to support national target programs, and listed the rural development program as Government target for the 2011-2015 period.

Also at this meeting, the officials heard reports on inspections, the settlement of petitions and denunciations, the fight against corruption, and administrative reform.

Regarding Vinashin issue, Transport Minister Ho Nghi Dung told the press conference that the company’s debt in salaries and social insurance to workers has been settled.
 
Vinashin now has capacity to execute ship-building contracts, he added.
 
Nguyen Cong Nghiep, deputy minister of Finance, said the ministry has formulated a plan on restructuring Vinashin’s debts.
 
Also at the press meeting, minister Dung said the National Assembly has yet to approve the north-south express railway express, but the Government will continue to conduct studies on the project to give further information to the NA.
 
The Government will propose some plans on the project to the NA for decision, he added.

Sources: SGGP, VNA – Translated by Yen Chuong

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