GDP growth grows nearly 6% in 2011
HA NOI — Viet Nam's economy expanded 5.89 per cent in 2011, down from 6.78 per cent the previous year, the General Statistics Office announced yesterday.
The better-than-predicted result came after the gross domestic product soared 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter.
At the press conference on socio-economic development in 2011, Do Thuc, the GSO's general director, told reporters 2012 would also pose challenges.
However, he praised Government efforts to fight inflation in 2011, which saw the consumer price index kept to 18.13 per cent.
"Overall, the two most important targets for GDP and inflation were technically achieved since the Government was previously aiming for a 6 per cent growth rate and for CPI to stay at around 18 per cent," Thuc said.
The GSO suggested that inflation could dip to 10 per cent and GDP could reach 6-6.5 per cent, as targeted for 2012, if measures to contain inflation and spur production were flexibly implemented.
Meanwhile, industry and construction, which accounted for 40 per cent of the economy, grew 5.53 per cent in 2011.
Pham Dinh Thuy, director of the GSO's Industrial and Construction Department, said the growth rate achieved was incredible considering Vietnamese businesses had to constantly struggle with higher costs to maintain production and apply advanced technologies in 2011.
Agro-forestry and fisheries, which accounted for 22 per cent of GDP, gained 4 per cent in 2011.
The GSO also yesterday released preliminary results on living conditions in rural areas.
The report said living standards had on the whole improved markedly in rural areas, with nearly 100 per cent of villages meeting national health care standards. He also said most villages now had concrete roads.
However, rural areas continue to face problems such as inadequate waste water treatment facilities, while some provinces had yet to be fully connected to the national grid. Among the worst areas were northern Ha Giang Province, where 19.2 per cent of villages were without power, and Dien Bien Province (24.9 per cent). — VNS