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VN braces for impact of plunging oil prices

Update: January, 23/2015 - 08:52
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung orders relevant agencies to prepare for various scenarios with the objective of diminishing the falling oil price's impacts on the nation's socio-economic development goals in 2015. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday chaired a meeting with ministries and sectors to cope with the impact of plunging oil prices on the nation's economy in 2015.

The cabinet discussed different ways the falling oil price could affect the State budget, national economic growth, CPI and oil production to work out appropriate solutions.

Although positive signs were recorded in all aspects of the macro economy in January, the plummeting global oil price at around $47 a barrel and unpredictable world developments represented challenges for the nation's economy, the PM said.

He ordered relevant agencies to prepare for various scenarios with the objective of diminishing the falling oil price's impacts on the nation's socio-economic development goals in 2015, which include achieving GDP growth of 6.2 per cent and maintaining inflation around the 5 per cent mark.

The State Bank of Viet Nam was ordered to proactively regulate interest rates and credit growth while ensuring no adjustments were made to the State's budget collection and spending.

The PM said the domestic petroleum price must be regulated, taking regional prices into consideration, in order to combat cross-border petrol smuggling and protect the interests of both consumers and businesses.

He told the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport to lower transportation fees across the nation before Tet and ordered Petro Viet Nam to monitor global oil prices closely and maintain optimal production volume to avoid losses.

He agreed that electricity prices should be determined by market economy principles. However, any recommendations regarding this issue should be submitted to him only after Tet.

In the meantime, the Electricy of Viet Nam group should find its own ways to reduce losses and improve capacity, the Prime Minister suggested.

He also requested policymakers to provide the Government with insights and recommendations regarding how Viet Nam's economy would be affected by numerous international trade agreements and integration into the ASEAN economic community. — VNS

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