Government, provincial authorities meet to keep economy going in 2017

14:10 | 30/12/2016 Events

Government ministers expressed their determination to facilitate enterprise and ensure stable economic growth for 2017 at a meeting between the central government and provincial authorities on December 29.

The meeting between the central government and provincial authorities

State Bank of Vietnam Governor Le Minh Hung said the central bank succeeded in meeting the credit growth target for 2016 at about 18.5% but would face many challenges next year from bad debt, the banking reform and monetary policies of major economies.

He said the central bank would pursue a flexible policy in an effort to reduce medium and long-term interest rates while keeping money supply within reasonable limits and focusing credit on priority sectors.

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said his ministry removed 92 administrative procedures in 2016 and rolled out the electronic tax system to all of its taxation branches.

He added that the time for export and import procedures had been cut by 35 hours and 32 hours respectively, helping to save about US$600 million, according to an estimate by the World Bank.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said in 2017 his ministry would push through internal reforms and simplify administrative procedures in a more radical manner to facilitate import activities.

He added that the ministry was building a strategy to develop the domestic retail network, given its significant contribution to economic growth, and working with relevant ministries to release a system of technical barriers to protect domestic production.

For his part, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the emphasis in 2017 would be on addressing bottlenecks hindering growth of the sector.

Major tasks to be implemented in 2017 include land consolidation, converting between 500,000 and 700,000 hectares of rice paddies to other crops or aquaculture, appealing for investment in agriculture and implementing the VND60 trillion (US$2.64 billion) credit package for high-tech agriculture.

Minister Cuong said 2016 was a hard year for agriculture but 2017 would be even harder as Vietnam would have to face increased protectionism, unpredictable extreme weather and the risk of diseases in animals.

He said the ministry would implement timely measures to adapt agricultural production to climate change, develop key agricultural products and carry out the programme to build new-style rural areas effectively.

Theo NDO