Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc chairs the regular Government meeting on Monday which focused on measures to ensure economic stability amid the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Monday pointed out positive signs of national economic development amid the COVID-19 pandemic, urging sectors to keep up the good work.
According to reports presented at the regular Government meeting on Monday, Việt Nam’s export turnover in the first seven months reached US$145.79 billion, a slight increase of 0.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Of the total, export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products was estimated at $22.3 billion in the first seven months of 2020, which included $10.4 billion from main agricultural products, $6.5 billion from forestry and $4.4 from fishery, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported.
Meanwhile, import turnover hit $139.33 billion, decreasing by 2.9 per cent year-on-year, resulting in a trade surplus of $6.46 billion.
The total import-export turnover reached VNĐ285.12 billion, down by 1.3 per cent compared to the same period last year due to COVID-19.
A bright spot in the domestic economic sector in the first seven months is the highest trade surplus in four years with increasing export volumes. The US was Việt Nam's largest export market in seven months with turnover of $37.9 billion, up 15 per cent over the same period last year, followed by China with $23.5 billion.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July only increased by 0.4 per cent - the lowest growth rate in the 2016-20 period. However, on average, in the first seven months, the average CPI still increased by 4.07 per cent over the same period last year.
Trade and service activities were on an upwards trend in July thanks to stimulus policies for domestic consumption and tourism.
Total retail sales of goods and services in July increased by 3.3 per cent over the previous month and by 4.3 per cent over the same period last year.
PM Phúc highlighted the stable macro-economic situation and growing agriculture, industry and service sectors, as well as positive signs in foreign direct investment with 14.4 per cent growth in July and disbursement of over US$10.1 billion.
Meanwhile, social welfare was ensured, as was social security, order and safety as well as defence and foreign relations.
Stressing the policy of not allowing interruption in economic activities, the PM said various measures have been rolled out to remove difficulties, while public investment disbursement has been sped up, resulting in a record rise in the disbursed amount in July.
July also witnessed strong recovery in the number of newly-formed businesses, the PM said, asking Government members to seek ways to maintain the operation of the newly-established businesses, especially in the major hubs of HCM City and Hà Nội.
In the first half of 2020, 30.8 million people were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including 2.4 million workers who became unemployed. The ratio of unemployment rose 2.73 per cent in the whole country and 4.46 per cent in urban areas. About 17 million people suffered from income reduction due to the pandemic.
He said that despite the global economic crisis due to COVID-19, as well as the strategic competition among world powers, major international organisations and financial institutions still made optimistic assessments about the Vietnamese economy.
The World Bank forecast on July 30 that Việt Nam will come fifth in the world in 2020 in economic growth with 2.8 per cent, while The Economist magazine called Việt Nam a favourite hub for investors and an important part of the world technology supply chain. These showed the confidence of investors and financial institutions in the Vietnamese economy, according to the PM.
Talking about the new outbreak of COVID-19 which appeared in late July, affecting some localities, especially Đà Nẵng City and Quảng Nam and Đắk Lắk provinces, with several deaths, PM Phúc ordered the mobilisation of all sources to contain hot spots in Đà Nẵng in early August which, he said, is the decisive time to prevent further large-sale infections.
“Due to the complexity of the pandemic’s second phase, we must continue to fight the pandemic like fighting enemies,” he said.
“Each family, each hamlet, village must be a fortress. Each person is a soldier on the battlefield against the pandemic.”
Necessary resources have been mobilised to serve pandemic control efforts in major hotbeds, including the sending of thousands of medical workers from Hà Nội and HCM City to Đà Nẵng, he said.
The Government leader also hailed efforts of medical staff as well as localities in fighting the pandemic.
Amid the effects of the second phase of COVID-19, the PM required Government agencies outline policies for the remaining five months of 2020, especially those in social welfare and labourers. — VNS