Grasp opportunities, beat recession, minister tells businesses

Vietnam has the potential to grow despite the global recession if it can grasp its opportunities, Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc told Sai Gon Giai Phong.
 
Financial institutions are certain that Vietnam will overcome the economic crisis. How much longer do you think the economy will face difficulties?

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) talks with Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc at a government conference.

It depends on the global economic recovery. The crisis is forecast to last rather long. The US can recover from the crisis no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year.
 
However, the impact [on Vietnam] will be lower than on other countries since agriculture still plays a major role in Vietnam.
 
Though the crisis is present worldwide, it has mostly affected developed countries. Vietnam is a developing country, so it will not be affected much and will keep growing at a moderate rate.
 
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecast Vietnam’s growth rate will be 6.3 percent this year while the World Bank said 6.5 percent.
 
Based on data and analysis of the country’s potential and strengths, these forecasts match the Government’s target.
 
The Government has said the country still has potential for growth though it has been fighting deflation.
 
The country needs to maintain its current growth rate to achieve growth in future when the global economy recovers.
                                             
Can you say how much the economy will deteriorate so that enterprises and individuals can manage their business?
 
Because of the global recession, the Vietnamese economy will obviously worsen. International economists and financiers have forecast the country will face difficulties until the end of the year.
 
So, the Government has set a growth target of 6.5 percent for this year. It might top 7 percent if conditions are favorable, or else it might be 6 percent.
 
The Government will assess the situation monthly to introduce timely measures.
 
Government officials have been meeting two times a month to review and discuss measures to manage the economy since last November.
 
The global recession has had a negative impact not only on the economy but also society. Do you think the social impact would be a concern in 2009?
 
The Government is concerned about this issue. Therefore, it will focus on social welfare this year, and it is no less important than economic measures.
 
Not only the economic potential but also the human potential needs to be developed and society needs to be stabilized after the recession.
 
What advice do you have for enterprises facing the recession on the occasion of the lunar New Year?

Making shirts for export at Viet Tien Garment factory. Minister Vo Hong Phuc advises enterprises to be optimistic and count the recession as a chance to review, identify,and overcome their shortcomings

Enterprises should be optimistic and count this as a chance to review, identify, and overcome their shortcomings.
 
Vietnamese enterprises are weak at managing their finance and human resources and adopting new technologies to cut costs and reduce prices. They also do not have business strategies.
 
This is also a chance for companies to switch their focus from exports to the local market to stimulate consumption.
 
Vietnamese enterprises have yet to look at 48 African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries because of other easy markets which bring big profits quickly.
 
These countries are very interested in doing business with Vietnam.
 
I have had opportunities to visit these nations and government leaders to heads of ministries, localities, and companies all express the hope of cooperating closely with Vietnam.
 
A state leader asked why Vietnamese firms do not come to his country to lease land at preferential rates to cultivate and export from there.
 
I think if Vietnamese enterprises understand how to make the most of their opportunities, they can overcome all difficulties.

By Bao Minh – Translated by Minh Thu

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