31/12/2017 10:10 GMT+7 print

PM requests stronger changes in economic competitiveness in 2018

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc requested all sectors, localities and enterprises to work together to make stronger changes in the competitiveness of the economy while concluding an online conference between the Government and localities in Hanoi on December 29.

He suggested promoting individual responsibilities, especially among heads of departments, building measurable socio-economic indicators for 2018, and reforming the political system from central, local to grassroots levels.

The PM highlighted the crucial role of economic groups and companies in boosting the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth and responding to the fourth industrial revolution.

He appreciated views raised at the event and asked ministries and localities to acquire the directions of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong made at the conference on December 28.

PM Phuc entrusted ministries and relevant departments to finalise Resolution 1 on collecting constructive opinions of localities for implementing assigned tasks right in early 2018 to avoid work overload at the year’s end.

He emphasised on refining policy mechanisms, reducing production costs and removing bottlenecks for businesses.

He called on local authorities and business associations to strengthen connectivity to address institutional shortcomings.

The PM demanded comprehensive development from economics to culture and society, not only foreign direct investment (FDI) firms but also domestic ones.

He ordered double efforts to strike the goal of 6.5-6.7 percent in economic growth set by the National Assembly.

It is necessary to increase the quality of growth with higher labour productivity and improved environmental indexes, and develop an autonomous economy.

Localities and ministries need to adopt effective tools to promote sustainable economy, including ensuring macro economic stability, and push ahead with economic restructuring in an effective manner in line with building an incorruptible apparatus.

He reminded localities to continue paying attention to addressing natural disaster consequences, reducing poverty, and practicing thrift practices.

Maximal efforts are needed to mobilise social investment to make up 34 percent of the GDP in 2018. At the same time is thoroughly selecting FDI projects, resolutely rejecting ones that pose high risks of environmental pollution, he stressed.

To increase the country’s export turnover by 10 percent and develop the national brands, the PM requested to expand new markets and tighten imports and apply commercial protection measures, especially regarding cross-border trade.

Pinning a lot of hope in agriculture, the PM asked the sector to double efforts to gross 40 billion USD in export turnover.

Coastal provinces in the central and southern regions must strictly handle fishermen committing illegal fishing, he demanded.

Tourism and services are other fields that the PM believed to develop stronger in 2018. Vietnam strives to welcome 15-17 million international tourists in 2018 and 20 million overseas holidaymakers by 2020.

To realise the goal, the tourism sector should develop infrastructure, ensure safety and security for visitors, he suggested.

He tasked economic groups and State-run companies to accelerate reshuffle and equitisation, citing the successful divestment at the Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company and the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco).

The PM also directed to ensure the supply of essential goods for people during Tet (Lunar New Year), especially in flood prone areas.

At the conference, the PM underlined the country’s remarkable accomplishments in various fields such as external affairs, agriculture, import-export, services, foreign investment, tourism, and public debt restructuring.

Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung said based on the directions and orientations of the Government, the bank adopted synchronous and flexible monetary management tools to stabilise the market and curb inflation at a low level.

The bank has reduced the interest rates by 0.25 percent per annum. On that basis, credit institutions reduced their short-term lending rates by 0.5 percent per annum for priority sectors.

One of the prominent achievements of the SBV in 2017 was it has bought a large amount of foreign currency, raising the State's foreign exchange reserves to nearly 52 billion USD, the highest ever, contributing to strengthening confidence of investors and businesses, and increasing prestige and national potential.