PM calls for strengthened efforts to fulfil 2017 targets

Monday, 2017-07-03 09:58:55
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc calls for specific solutions at important cabinet meeting. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO – To reach the growth target of 6.7%, set for this year, growth in the last six month of 2017 must increase at a rate of 7.42%, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has stated, adding that although this is a high target it can be achieved as there is still plenty of room for growth, with the right determination, commitment and innovation.

The government leader was speaking as he chaired a monthly cabinet meeting, on July 3, with the relevant leaders from 63 provinces and cities nationwide to discuss the socio-economic situation over the past six months and the necessary solutions for the second half this year.

Emphasising the importance of the meeting, PM Phuc noted that besides assessing the country's socio-economic situation, national defence, security and foreign affairs in the first six months of 2017, it is crucial to devise guidelines and drastic measures to successfully fulfill the tasks set for 2017.

"We are halfway there, despite common international and regional difficulties, the direction and administration have been innovative and drastic, bringing about positive results," the PM acknowledged, saying that the basic indicators of economic health are quite good.

In particular, macroeconomic stability has been maintained with inflation kept at a low level, with a six month increase of just 0.2%. Growth has recovered strongly, with the Q1 reaching 5.15% and 6.17% in the next quarter. This demonstrates spectacular growth, according to estimates by the statistics sector and economists. As a result, GDP growth in the last six months reached 5.73%, with the agriculture and services sectors recovering strongly.

International visitors increased by over 30%, making Vietnam one of the 12 leading countries in the world regarding tourism growth. Meanwhile, credit increased by 8%, the highest over the same period in the last six years. Securities rose at the highest in nine years, since March 2008, with the VN-Index reaching over 777 points on June 30. The Nikkei PMI, in June, reached 52.6 points, indicating that Vietnam's production continues to grow.

Exports increased by nearly 19%, much higher than the previous period. With the inclusion of exports and imports, six month two-way trade turnover reached approximately US$200 billion. FDI increased sharply, with total newly-registered, supplemented and contributed capital reaching over US$19 billion, up 54.8%, while disburse capital reached US$7.7 billion, up 6.5%. There are over 61,000 newly-registered enterprises, with a total capital of nearly VND 600 trillion.

The nation has also achieved positive results in some aspects of culture, society, environment, defence, security and foreign affairs, as the national high school exam was well organised and relations with partners have been strengthened with the signing of trade investments worth tens of billion dollars, opening a new chapter in foreign investment into Vietnam in the near future.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at a monthly cabinet meeting on July 3, 2017 to discuss the national socio-economic situation over the past six months. (Credit: NDO)

However, the PM also pointed out numerous limitations and challenges, including the consumption of several agricultural products which are facing difficulties with a decrease in selling price negatively affecting producers. Industrial and construction growth was lower than the same period last year, of which mining decreased by 8.2%, with the oil and gas sector alone decreasing by 11.6%.

Business production has developed but enterprises still face difficulties. Production costs are high, while disbursement of public investment remains slow, only reaching 30% of the PM’s plan and just 26% of the National Assembly estimate. Equitisation of SOEs and capital divestment also remain slow, with only VND21.6 trillion divested, compared to the proposed plan of VND60 trillion.

PM Phuc said that the task for the last six months is substantial, urging members of the cabinet and relevant local authorities to focus on proposing specific solutions on what the government and each ministry, branch or locality should do to ensure the growth of each sector and the economy as a whole.

The PM asked for drastic solutions to overcome difficulties, especially in production and consumption of rice, agricultural products, pork, chicken and fruits, as well as solutions to promote the disbursement of public investment, equitisation of SOEs and divestment.

Emphasising the need for a more aggressive reform of administrative procedures, the top government leader said that people and businesses are still complaining about the lack of reform. He said that it is necessary to decentralise and give more power to localities to handle procedures. Besides solving economic problems, more attention should be paid to pressing social issues, he added.