PM highlights socio-economic outcomes

An economic growth of 4.73 percent recorded in the first nine months of the year, inflation rate under control and more stable macro economy are positive signs of sustainable development in the coming time, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

When delivering the Government’s report on socio-economic development in 2012 and tasks for 2013, on the first day of the fourth session of the 13 th National Assembly on October 22, Dung added that the country’s economic growth is expected to reach 5.2 percent this year.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. (Photo: SGGP)
The
report stated that in the past, the Government has been consistent with its goal of curbing inflation, stabilising the macro economy and implementing tighter fiscal and monetary policies. Thanks to this, the macro economy has recorded progress in several important areas.

Inflation is initially under control, with the consumer price index (CPI) up 5.13 percent in the first nine months. Many measures will be introduced during the rest of the year to keep the annual inflation to roughly eight percent.

Lending interest rates have fallen while loans for agriculture and rural development have increased. The liquidity of the banking system is also better. The stable foreign exchange rate has consolidated public confidence in Vietnamese dong, gradually limiting the use of foreign currency and gold as means of payment in the country.

Vietnam recorded an export turnover of 83.79 billion USD in the first nine months, an annual increase of 18.9 percent, while import value stood at 83.76 billion USD, up 6.6 percent. The country expects to see a 16.6 percent rise in exports and a 6.8 percent increase in imports by the end of this year. Trade deficit is also estimated to reach one billion USD, or 0.9 percent of export turnover. Foreign currency reserves rose to the equivalent of 11 weeks of imports, while balance of payments saw a surplus of more than 8 billion USD.

The State budget collection achieved 67.3 percent while spending stood at 71.2 percent of estimates. With these positive signs, in the remaining months the country should fulfil its yearly target, keeping budget overspending at 4.8 percent of the GDP, in line with the goal set by the NA.

Total social investment is estimated to make up 29.5 percent of GDP compared to 34.6 percent in 2011. With several measures taken to remove problems, production and business operations have gradually improved.

Industrial production has increased quarter after quarter with the index for the first nine months up 4.8 percent and expected to reach 5.3 percent for the whole year.

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries continue to see developments, playing an important role in stabilising the economy and life in rural areas. The sector’s total production value rose by 3.7 percent in the first three quarters and is estimated at 3.9 percent for the whole year.

The country’s rice output is expected to surpass 43 million tonnes in 2012, an increase of one million tonnes over the previous year, of which, around 7 million tonnes will be for export.

This year, seafood export will reach 6.5 billion USD out of the 26.5 billion USD of the sector’s total value.

The service sector has seen a higher growth rate than the economy’s average as revenues from tourism are estimated to have increased by over 15 percent with an eight percent rise in the number of international tourists visiting Vietnam .

The post and telecommunications sector has also seen strong developments.

Regarding economic restructuring and revamping the model of growth, the government has instructed the restructuring of State-owned enterprises, the financial and banking market and investment activities, considering it a crucial part of the overall restructuring plan.

To ensure social security and welfare, the Government has directed the implementation of several social programmes and polices, focusing on generating jobs, increasing incomes and reducing poverty.

The poverty rate is expected to fall by 1.76 percent this year, failing to fulfil the set target of 2 percent, however, this is still a great effort in the current difficult economic situation.

In the first nine months, Vietnam generated 1.13 million new jobs and the yearly figure is expected to reach 1.52 million. The country has also implemented unemployment insurance for more than 280,000 workers.

The Government now provides care for 8.8 million people who rendered service to the nation, of whom nearly 1.5 million receive regular allowances.

Culture and sports continue to reeceive due attention in combination with campaigns to build cultural life at the grassroots level and the new rural areas building programme. Great importance was also attached to the preservation and upholding of national cultural values.

Almost all targets regarding education and training have been fulfilled or surpassed. The quality of education has improved while school facilities continued to be strengthened and fortified.

Scientific research recorded positive outcomes. Some research projects have scientific and practical values, contributing to socio-economic development.

Administrative reforms continued to be implemented in a synchronous manner in terms of institution, personnel organisation, administrative procedures and public finance.

Regarding external affairs, national defence - security, and socio-political stability, the Government has implemented synchronous and appropriate measures, timely dealt with emerging issues, ensuring socio-political stability and national independence and sovereignty.

External relations further developed in both width and depth. The Party’s external relations were closely combined with the State and people’s diplomacy, creating a favourable international environment to safeguard national sovereignty and boost international integration, while mobilising resources for development and raising the country’s position.

The PM’s reported also clearly pointed out shortcomings and weaknesses, including the unstable macro-economy, the recurrence risk of inflation, rising bad debts which are slowly dealt with, high interest rates as compared to the efficiency of business and production. Some State-owned groups and corporations suffered from inefficient business and production, or even violated the law, causing substantial losses of the State assets. The restructuring of Vinashin corporation still meets with difficulties and obstacles.

A part of people, especially those in remote and mountainous regions and ethnic minorities still face many difficulties in their daily life. Due to limited resources, policies on social welfares, poverty reduction, new rural areas building, job creation and salary reforms are yet to meet the demand.

Administrative reforms failed to meet requirements, with many inappropriate administrative procedures slow to be changed. Administrative discipline is lax, inspection and supervision work reveals many shortcomings, which reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of administration and management. A part of officials and civil servants degraded and failed to fulfill their responsibilities, causing negative phenomena, affecting the people’s trust.

Overall speaking, amid difficulties and challenges, the leadership and management of implementing the 2012 socio-economic development tasks have closely followed the goals and missions set out in the Party and State’s resolutions, achieving and surpassing 10 out of 15 set targets. Inflation was reined in, macro-economy shifted towards greater stability and growth saw a quarter-to-quarter increase.

However, five targets have not been fulfilled, the economy continues to face great difficulties while a lot of shortcomings and weaknesses remain. Meanwhile, the tasks for the rest of this year are extremely tough. In order to achieve a yearly gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.2 percent, the fourth quarter’s growth must hit 6.5 percent (the third quarter’s rate was a mere 5.35 percent). Therefore, it requires a great efforts of the whole political system, the State management agencies and the business community, as well as drastic and synchronous measures to ease difficulties, support production and trading, spur growth, stabilise the macro-economy, prevent high inflation, and actively prepare for higher growth in 2013.

2013 is a key year for the five-year plan but the outcomes after two years are much lower than the set targets for the 2011 – 2015 period. Meanwhile, the country must set aside resources to ensure national defence and security, social welfare and cope with natural disasters and climate change.

As for key economic goals for 2013, the Government proposed a GDP growth of about 5.5 percent, a 10 percent rise in export value and import surplus at 8 percent. The State budget overspending is less than 4.8 percent of the GDP. The consumer price index (CPI) growth is about 8 percent. The total social investment should be about 30 percent of the GDP.

Regarding major social targets, the number of poor households will drop by 2 percent and that of poor districts will fall by 4 percent. Nearly 1.6 million workers will be provided with jobs and the rate of trained workers will reach 49 percent.

During the next year, 84 percent of facilities causing severe environmental pollution are expected to be dealt with while 75 percent of operating industrial and processing areas are equipped with environmentally-standard wastewater treatment systems. The rate of forest coverage will reach 40.7 percent.

In order to achieve the set targets, the report outlined several key tasks and measures, stressing on the need to work harder to stabilise macro-economy and curb inflation, remove challenges to stimulate production and trading. The implementation of three strategic breakthroughs will be stepped up in combination with restructuring the economy and renewing the model of growth.

It also highlighted the goals of ensuring social security and welfare, improving the people’s well-being and healthcare, developing education - training, and science – technology.

Additionally, it is necessary to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of State management of land, natural resources, environmental protection, natural disasters prevention and coping with climate change.

Administrative reforms will be further conducted, the people’s right to mastery will be brought into full play, while measures will be taken to prevent and fight corruption and wastefulness, ensure social order and safety, and build a rich and cultural life.

The government’s report also stressed ways to ensure national defence and security, socio-political stability, improve the effectiveness of external relations work, increase information and communication work to create a consensus in society, and mobilise collective power to successfully implement the 2013 tasks and plans.
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In the report, PM Dung also admitted the Government’s weaknesses and shortcomings in leadership and management, in particular in the inspection and supervision of the State-owned groups and corporations’ operations. A number of State-owned groups and corporations, notably Vinashin and Vinalines, witnessed inefficient production and trading, committed many wrong-doings, causing serious losses and consequences in many aspects and greatly affecting the State economic sector’s prestige and role.

The PM also acknowledged his responsibilities and apologised the NA for the above-mentioned weaknesses and shortcomings. At the same time, he pledged to do his utmost to rectify such problems.

Concluding the speech, Dung said: “We are striving to achieve the highest outcomes of the year’s target during the remaining months of 2012. On the threshold of 2013, a key year of the five-year plan for 2011 – 2015, our country is facing a lot of difficulties and challenges, and the set tasks are extremely tough. Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee, the entire Party, armed forces, people and the whole political system must join efforts with the highest determination to successfully implement the tasks and goals of 2013, making positive contributions to carrying out the 2011 – 2015 plan”.-

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