The 24th session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Assembly (NA) opened in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — The 24th session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Assembly (NA) opened in Hà Nội on Monday. The main topics of discussion were the Government’s updated report on socio-economic development, the State’s budget of 2017, and the implementation of the national socio-economic development plan in first months of 2018.
According to the updated report, Việt Nam achieved gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.81 per cent last year, rather than 6.7 per cent as previously reported at the 4th plenary session of 14th NA in last October.
Việt Nam’s average consumer price index (CPI) last year increased 3.53 per cent instead of about 4 per cent as reported earlier.
Last year, the number of households living in poverty (according to the multidimensional poverty index) reduced by 1.51 per cent nationwide. The number of impoverished households in poor districts reduced by 5 per cent. The rates are an improvement to those previously reported at the NA’s plenary session, which stood at 1-1.5 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
Energy consumption per unit of GDP reduced only 0.5 per cent instead of 1.5 per cent as reported earlier, which means that the Government failed to meet the NA’s expectations.
Poor time management in applying energy saving technologies to manufacturing industries was blamed for the unsatisfactory reduction of energy consumption per unit of GDP.
The NA Standing Committee members yesterday agreed that last year’s most highlighted achievement was economic growth being the biggest since 2011, alongside an inflation rate of under 4 per cent, and overspending of the State’s budget accounting for 3.48 per cent of GDP, 0.2 per cent less than was approved by the NA.
NA Committee for External Affairs chairman Nguyễn Văn Giàu said that over the last year, the Government and Prime Minister have taken strong actions to address bottle necks in Việt Nam’s economy, resulting in stable macro economic growth, especially in import and export activities.
Last year, Việt Nam gained US$214 billion from exports. The revenue is about 21.2 per cent higher than that of previous year and about 6-7 per cent higher than planned.
The increased revenue was contributed to by an increased quantity of exported goods, and price hikes in Việt Nam’s key products for export, including cashew nuts, crude oil and rubber.
In addition, processing industries, which account for 81 per cent of export revenue, saw an increased growth of high economic value products.
Meanwhile, last year, Việt Nam spent $211.1 billion on importing, about 20.6 per cent higher than that of previous year. The imported goods served domestic manufacture and export needs, and was seen as a positive trend.
In the first quarter of 2018, import-export revenue reached $107.3 billion, a 17.7 per cent increase when compared with that of the same period last year. Particularly, the estimated export revenue is $54.3 billion and estimated import revenue is $53 billion.
However, legislators raised concerns once more about Việt Nam’s labor productivity being lower than that of other ASEAN countries.
A key cause for the country’s low productivity is considered to be that economic growth still heavily relies on capital and labour.
The NA Economic Committee which assessed the Government’s updated socio-economic development reports stated that the GDP increase of 2018’s first quarter reached 7.38 per cent, bringing both high expectations as well as pressure to follow up in the coming quarters.
The committee said that key economic zones and major localities are engines for the country’s economy, and have not yet fully brought into play their potential.
The economy will still face the looming threat of increased inflation.
There remain problems in industries and fields, for examples, a lack of connectivity between agriculture production and market demand, modest market prediction, lack of access to global production chains and global value chains, and limited co-operation among industries or among companies of the same industries.
Đồng Nai official relieved from NA deputy position
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee has approved a resolution relieving Phan Thị Mỹ Thanh of her post as NA deputy of Đồng Nai Province from Monday.
The NA Standing Committee announced that it received Thanh’s application to resign from the post on May 4 in which she cited her unstable health and a disciplinary measure imposed by the Party.
Earlier, the Party Central Committee Secretariat decided to dismiss Thanh, who had also been Deputy Secretary of the Đồng Nai provincial Party Committee, from all of her Party positions due to her wrongdoings while serving in different posts in this southern province.
The Secretariat said her violations and shortcomings were very serious, caused discontent among officials, Party members and local people and hurt the prestige of the local Party organisation and herself.
Also on Monday, the NA Standing Committee listened to a report on the cases of Đinh La Thăng, an NA deputy of Thanh Hóa Province and Nguyễn Quốc Khánh, an NA deputy of Quảng Nam Province. — VNS