HCM CITY— Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has urged agencies at all levels to continue to enhance reforms and resolve any issues to sustain growth in 2017.
Speaking at a teleconference last week, Phúc said the country’s economy would confront a series of challenges this year, including rising Government debt, non-performing loans as well as low competitiveness.
The PM also stressed the international situation is complex and unpredictable.
Phúc urged local authorities at all levels to put great effort toward ensuring a stable macro-economy and assist enterprises to improve competitiveness to soon overcome these obstacles.
He demanded the country achieve the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 6.7 per cent.
The country’s economy faced challenges last year with GDP growth of 6.21 per cent, which failed to meet the year’s target of 6.7 per cent, Phúc said.
The lower-than-expected economic performance has been attributed to the low growth of the agriculture sector (only 1.36 per cent) as the country last year struggled with a number of natural disasters, such as serious flooding, severe drought and saltwater intrusion, according to the General Statistics Office.
Worst still, the Formosa toxic disaster in May, which seriously polluted seawater and caused massive fish deaths in the four central provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế, significantly affected the agriculture sector.
Besides the challenges, the country’s economy also achieved positive results last year, according to the PM.
The industry-construction sector expanded 7.57 per cent and the service sector grew 6.89 per cent, as both sectors have become major growth drivers.
The consumer price index (CPI) was kept at 4.74 per cent, lower than the target of 5 per cent.
As of the end of last year, new approved foreign direct investment (FDI) reached US$24.37 billion and FDI disbursements reached $15.8 billion, an increase of 9 per cent over 2015, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Last year, the country also saw significant improvement in start-ups. The number of businesses start-ups reached 110,100 as of December 20, a rise of more than 16 per cent over the pervious year and a record high for a year.
The start-ups have created 1.3 million new jobs for the economy, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
HCM City and Hà Nội continued to be home to the most start-ups in the country with 36,442 and 22,663 companies, respectively, followed by Bình Dương Province, Đà Nẵng, Đồng Nai Province, Hải Phòng and Khánh Hoà Province.
In addition, the tourism sector attracted more than 10 million foreign visitors, surpassing the year’s target of 8.5 million.
GDP per capita last year is estimated at VNĐ48.6 million ($2,200), a rise of $105 compared to 2015.
The PM has also told ministries and agencies to continue enhancing the business climate to assist enterprises.
He said the Government has issued a resolution which provides solutions to make the business environment more favourable and improve the country’s competitiveness. — VNS