Thursday, October 27 2016


Economy set to grow 6.5-7% over five years

Update: March, 22/2016 - 09:00
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at the 13th National Assembly’s session in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sang

HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Việt Nam’s economic growth rate is expected to range from 6.5-7 per cent over the next five years, according to a report presented by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the 13th National Assembly’s session in Hà Nội yesterday.

The report on the national socioeconomic development plan for 2016-20 said that by 2020, average GDP per capita will remain around US$3,200-3,500. State budget overspending is expected to be about 4 per cent.

Other important Vietnamese goals during the period covered by the socioeconomic development plan include: completing the socialist-oriented market economy institution in line with state rules for a market economy; and intensive and extensive international economic integration.

Apart from perfecting the legal system, effort will be focused on human resources development. Special emphasis will be put on creating a high-quality work force, scientific and technological development, and infrastructure construction, the report said.

Major goals in 2016 include overcoming the consequences of natural disasters, coping with climate change, and stabilising agricultural production and people’s incomes.

The Government will employ urgent solutions to the ongoing drought in the central and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) regions, as well as deal with coastal erosion and salt water intrusion in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta to minimise losses.

Government will also keep a close watch on salinisation developments, in order to give prompt guidelines to locals and help them cultivate the 2016 summer-autumn crop.

During yesterday’s working session, Deputy PM Phúc reported on supplementary assessments of the implementation of the 2015 socioeconomic development plan.

The official stressed that 12 out of 14 targets assigned by the legislature have been fulfilled or surpassed, excluding those on forest coverage and export growth rates.

Last year, national GDP grew by about 6.68 per cent, the highest growth rate since 2008. The rate of GDP growth was higher than the 6.5 per cent reported to the NA, well above the target of 6.2 per cent. The average GDP growth rate over the past five years exceeded 5.9 per cent, according to the Deputy PM said.

Measures were implemented to curb inflation, stabilise the macroeconomy, and manage monetary and fiscal policies, he reported.

As a result, the consumer price index (CPI) dropped sharply from 11.75 per cent in 2010 to 0.6 per cent in 2015, the lowest ever recorded during the past decade.

Phúc also pointed to a string of limitations and weaknesses in achieving the five-year socioeconomic development plan. Obstacles include unsustainability in curbing inflation and balancing the economy, high budget overspending, rapidly increasing public debt, and large development gaps compared with other regional countries.

The Deputy PM acknowledged that the annual average GDP growth rate of over 5.9 per cent was lower than the previous five-year period, and a far cry from the target of 6.5-7 per cent.

After hearing the reports, the NA’s Economic Committee suggested that the Government swiftly build specific programmes and projects to accomplish goals set for the next five years, while making the best use of opportunities afforded by international economic integration.

Voters’ ideas

 President of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân reported on voter and citizen recommendations to the NA for this meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

During the morning session, the President of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân reported on voter and citizen recommendations to the NA for this meeting.

According to the report, voters sent 3,794 ideas on various issues to the NA.

Those who wrote said they appreciated the outcomes of the legislative body’s operations during its 13th tenure. Voter and citizen appreciation extended especially to decisions on important issues and lawmaking through enforcing the 2013 Constitution and related regulations.

Citizens and voters who wrote asked the NA to conduct a comprehensive review of the operations of the State apparatus. The intended purpose of such a review would be to evaluate the organisation, personnel and operations of State agencies during the next tenure.

Citizens and voters who wrote also expressed hope that elections of deputies to the 14th NA and all levels of People’s Councils will help choose competent deputies and members who can represent the people’s will and aspirations.

Many voters expressed concern about China’s increasing land reclamations, construction, and deployment of weapons and militants to islands and reefs of Việt Nam’s Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, as well as China’s attacks on Vietnamese fishermen.

These actions spark instability in the region, threaten freedom of navigation, and violate the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed between ASEAN and China.

Citizens and voters urged the Party and State to carry out more drastic measures to safeguard national sovereignty, protect fishermen, and update the public on the East Sea situation.

Smuggling, counterfeit goods, and food safety also worry voters. They stressed the importance of intensifying inspections, strictly punishing violators, reorganising the market, controlling the quality of fertilisers and pesticides, and ensuring food safety.

Citizens are delighted that the Government increased regional minimum wages. They asked the Government, enterprises and investors to develop a long-term strategy to raise minimum wages, while simultaneously improving the quality and efficiency of production. Such measures will ensure competitiveness during  the economic development and integration process  as well as increase the real incomes of labourers.

Many acknowledged the efforts of the health sector to reduce hospital overcrowding, and to put modern medical facilities and equipment into operation. But in light of increased health service prices since March 1, voters proposed that the Ministry of Health raise the quality of health checkups and treatments, so that interests of patients and health insurance participants are taken into account.

The Government should instruct the ministries of Transport and Public Security, as well as local authorities, to improve oversight of vehicles and drivers. Hà Nội and HCM City should also carry out urban planning measures to reduce traffic congestion.

Climate change is an issue concerning most voters. They asked the Government to steer ministries, sectors and localities toward urgent measures to address the consequences of the current long-term drought and saltwater intrusion crises, to help farmers stabilise their incomes and production, and to implement a long-term plan to upgrade transportation and irrigation systems.

In acknowledgement of voters’ opinions, the Presidium of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee suggested that the Government, NA, ministries, sectors and localities prioritise measures to deal with climate change, especially the severe drought and saline intrusion in the Cöûu Long (Mekong) Delta, southern central and Central Highland regions, according to Nhân.

This year, the VFF will coordinate with the Government to create a 2016-2021 programme on food safety

Nhân said that it is important to take full advantage of opportunities and minimise difficulties created by newly signed free trade agreements.

Regarding the upcoming elections to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils, he asked for coordination between the NA Standing Committee, Government, local authorities, and the National Election Council to see that polls comply with laws and regulations.

Busy schedule

During the scheduled 19 days that they are in session, the legislature will consider and make decisions on important issues, review the performance of State, NA and Government agencies over the past five years, and deal with lawmaking issues.

Leading State positions, including the President, Prime Minister and National Assembly (NA) Chairman, are also scheduled to be elected during the current legislative session.

Speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, NA Chairman Nguyễn Sinh Hùng said that in the context of complicated regional and international situations, the 11th meeting offered a chance to look back on the past five years, assess the country’s socioeconomic, defence, security, diplomatic and judicial affairs, and propose goals that need to be accomplished in 2016 and beyond.

The NA Chairman asked the Government, the NA Council for Ethnic Affairs, NA Committees and agencies to submit thorough reports to the legislature. He also asked these entities to intensify coordination and to ensure that the meeting agenda takes place as scheduled. He also requested that NA deputies contribute quality ideas to make the meeting a success.

Earlier, Party and State leaders and deputies paid tribute to the late President Hồ Chí Minh at his mausoleum. — VNS

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