HA NOI — Viet Nam must increase the value of exports by 13 per cent this year and cap the trade deficit at 12 per cent, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the Ministry of Industry and Trade at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.
|Goods are loaded at Tien Sa Port in the central city of Da Nang. — VNA/VNS Photo Hong Ky
These goals follow last year's strong economic performance amid a global downturn, where, according to MoIT, exports increased 33 per cent against 2010 figures and the trade deficit was an estimated 9.89 per cent of the value of exports.
Compared to the previous year, five more items - bags, suitcases, hats, umbrellas and iron products - earned more than US$1 billion each, bringing the number of the so-called "$1 billion club" members to 23.
Minister Vu Huy Hoang said better control over unessential imports resulted in a decrease of imports for 2011.
The ministry has planned to boost exports this year by stepping up trade promotion activities to help Vietnamese enterprises find new partners, expand markets and diversify export categories.
More policies are expected to be put in place to encourage domestic production to substitute imports while restricting low-quality imports, particularly those with negative environmental and health impacts.
The Prime Minister asked the ministry to further support Viet Nam's key exports and encourage enterprises to save energy and reduce costs to improve their products' competitiveness.
"The ministry needs to boost international co-operation to create favourable conditions for Viet Nam's exports to sustainably enter traditional and new markets," he said.
The Government leader also asked the ministry to focus on restructuring the whole industry while increasing scrutiny of State enterprises and closing those with prolonged losses this year.
"Better policies will be needed to speed up the development of manufacturing industries, support industries, renewable energies, high-tech and key mechanical industries. In the heart of these policies are new technologies that save fuel, materials and energy," he said.
Figures for the value of industrial production were also up by 12.7 per cent in 2011 despite financial difficulties. — VNS