6.7-percent GDP growth: A challenging target

08:54 | 13/02/2017 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Vietnam failed to reach the 6.7-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target set for 2016 by the National Assembly. And although the growth rate improved significantly in the third and fourth quarters, creating a momentum for higher growth in 2017, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) predicts that the 6.7-percent GDP growth target set for 2017 is a challenging one.  

Positive signals of 2016 GDP growth

Talking to the media, GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam noted that the 2016 GDP growth - 6.21 percent - did not only miss its target, it was also lower than the 6.68 percent level achieved in 2015.

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries grew only 1.36 percent - the lowest growth since 2011. While industry and construction grew 7.57 percent in 2016, the growth rate was 2.07 percent lower compared to 2015. The service sector last year grew 6.98 percent compared to 2015.

Although the 2016 GDP growth missed its target, growth of 6.56 and 6.68 percent recorded in the third and fourth quarters sets the stage for momentum and higher growth in 2017 and beyond, said the Director of the GSO’s System of National Accounts Department, Ha Quang Tuyen.

Challenging 2017 target

GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam said that to achieve the 6.7-percent target set by the National Assembly for this year, the government, ministries and localities need to continue institutional reform and build constructive government. At the same time, they must help businesses and individuals expand production and establish new enterprises in order to create a driving force for economic growth.

In addition, he said, credit institutions must be restructured to resolve the bad debt problem and to increase credit for economic development.

To achieve the 6.7-percent growth in 2017, according to the GSO, the government should promote agricultural restructuring and transform plant and animal structures in compliance with market demands towards developing a climate-smart agriculture. For provinces struggling with salinization in the Mekong Delta and provinces suffering from drought in the Central Highlands and southern central region, it is necessary to restructure production industries, especially agriculture, forestry and aquaculture towards formation of large-scale intensive farming areas.

At the same time, it is important to improve the investment environment and develop export markets, including traditional markets and markets with a high purchasing power.

Developing domestic markets and retail systems, improving market management and controlling smuggling, fraud trade and imitation goods to ensure domestic production development are also important.

Lam said that Vietnam needs to boost trade promotion and develop export markets, proactively develop and implement plans and measures to cope with potential challenges posed by the uncertainty over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Brexit, strengthen domestic and foreign market forecasts, provide timely market information, detect and take measures in time to overcome technical barriers, and take the initiative in implementation of signed free trade agreements.

Linh Dan