PM urges greater efforts to meet economic targets

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked ministries, businesses and local authorities to continue to concentrate on measures adopted by the Government to reach economic growth targets.

The Cabinet in its two-day monthly meeting opening on August 31

At the two-day regular monthly Cabinet meeting in Hanoi, which wrapped up on September 1, he said economic growth in the past eight months is rather good, but to meet the targeted annual GDP growth rate of five percent, there are still many difficulties ahead, especially when export turnover in the past eight months dropped by 14 percent and exports cannot quickly bounce back, as six out of the ten largest economies have only just recovered.
 
However, he said, fine achievements in the past eight months proved effectiveness of the Government’s measures and management.
 
At the meeting, government officials heard the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) and the Finance Ministry’s reports on national socio-economic and budgetary performance so far this year.
 
Economic sectors continued to recover in August, with growth rates being higher than the previous month, among which, industrial production saw the highest rate in the year, with a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent.
 
In the first eight months, industrial production increased by 5.6 percent and the retail sector by 18.4 percent.
 
Based on what was achieved in the past eight months and the global economic forecast, the MoPI predicts that this year the country’s GDP growth rate will meet or slightly exceed the set target of five percent.
 
Other fixed targets include the Consumer Price Index (CPI), set at below ten percent, will come in at about seven percent; State budget deficit, targeted for less than seven percent, will come in just under the wire at 6.9 percent; and the overall rate of poor households in the nation will meet the goal of below 12 by sinking to 11 percent.
 
Government officials forecast that 15 out of 22 growth targets set for 2009 will be hit or surpassed.
 
Government ministers also discussed the 2010 socio-economic development plan and agreed on the plan’s general goals, including a GDP growth rate at 6.5 percent, six percent growth for export earnings, and development investment that will account for 41.7 percent of GDP.

The other goals will include keeping the CPI target to below seven percent, reducing the birth rate by 0.2 per thousand, creating jobs for 1.6 million people, including sending 85,000 people to work abroad, reducing the number of poor households to below ten percent and malnutrition rates in children to below 18 percent.

The Government is set to make all-out efforts to regain momentum to achieve higher growth rates in the coming years; maintain macro-economic stability; ensure social welfare, and further improve the people’s spiritual and material life; cooperate and integrate into the global economy effectively; maintain political stability and ensure defense, security and social order; and accomplish all targets and tasks laid out in the 2006-2010 socio-economic development plan.

At the closing session of the meeting on September 1, Government members heard and commented on reports on orientations for the national nuclear power development plan through 2030, an investment project on the Ninh Thuan nuclear power plant, the nationwide golf course development plan through 2020 in addition to a number of decrees and bills.
 
The MoPI suggested reducing the number of current golf course projects from 166 to 115. But the PM ordered the ministry to continue to check projects and reduce the number further based on planning and socio-economic development plans in local areas.
 
Regarding the nuclear power plan, PM Dung said the Ninh Thuan plant is part of Vietnam’s energy development strategy. The country will not have enough electricity to meet its development demands if it does not develop nuclear power.
 
Developing nuclear power does not only ensure economic development, it also protects the environment, he said.
 
The PM wanted the plant to be constructed in 2014.

By Phan Thao – Translated by Hoang Yen

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