|14th-tenure National Assembly opens its second session of the 10th sitting yesterday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s economy and coronavirus response are “beacons of light” in a world ravaged by the pandemic, a Vietnamese lawmaker said during the parliament's plenary session on Monday.
Despite enormous challenges – both internal and external – “we have step by step overcome the hardship” thanks to strong Government leadership and buy-in from the public and the entire political system, Trần Hoàng Ngân, National Assembly (NA) deputy from HCM City delegation, said as the NA discussed socio-economic reports from the Government.
Việt Nam recorded 2.12 per cent growth in GDP in the first ninth months, with inflation under 4 per cent and other macroeconomic indications under control, while global trade dropped by a massive 20-30 per cent, Hoàng Ngân said.
The country has managed to make use of the opportunities offered by the 13 free trade agreements it has signed, especially the two new-generation deals – the Europe-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Deputy Trần Anh Tuấn said Việt Nam’s economic capacity has improved a great deal, as the ratio made up by the foreign-invested sector in the country’s trade surplus has started to show signs of decreasing.
For the 2021 targets, given the volatility and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoàng Ngân said the Government should have two scenarios of growth for the NA to consider – one where Việt Nam’s economy could expand by 6.8 per cent if conditions are favourable, and 4.5 per cent if the situation is not conducive – instead of just the single 6 per cent target the Government has laid out.
Lawmakers insisted that while the Government’s aim to balance fighting COVID-19 and keeping the economy going is reasonable, the priority should be on controlling the disease as the basis for economic growth.
Expediting public investment projects, facilitating the distribution of stimulus packages, running trade promotion activities online, and a worthwhile mechanism to draw foreign high-tech investors were measures discussed to aid the economy.
The NA convened today after a week-long break following its first session held mostly online with delegations from provinces and cities nationwide.
NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said the 10th sitting of the 14th-tenure completed a third of its schedule with no hiccups despite the online format.
Seven draft laws, two draft resolutions, reports on justice and anti-corruption efforts along with socio-economic performance were deliberated upon.
Regarding the agenda of the second session, NA Chairwoman Ngân said the National Assembly will adopt resolutions on socio-economic development plans, State budget estimates and budget allocation plan, including policies to promote production and business and help the economy overcome difficulties.
The parliament would also consider and decide on personnel issues – including the dismissal of deputy Phạm Phú Quốc for holding a Czech passport in violation of the country’s law.
The election day for deputies to the next 15th-tenure NA, the election of People's Council deputies at all levels for the term 2021-26 will also be decided.
Prior to the meeting, the NA dedicated a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of the floods and storms that have devastated the central region since early October.
“Up to now, more than 100 people have died or gone missing, children have become orphaned, while many families are buried under landslides,” NA Chairwoman Ngân said, adding that these are great losses not only to the relatives and families of the victims but the entire nation. — VNS