09:08 | 08/03/2019 Economy- Society
(VEN) - In 2017, a year after the government began its 2016-2021 tenure, initial predictions for Vietnam’s economic growth were somewhat pessimistic. The slow start, however, was not a sign of things to come. The year ended with a GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO), 0.1 percent higher than the initial target of 6.7 percent and higher than the 2016 rate of 6.21 percent.
In fact, the GDP performance set a 10-year record, defying predictions by most global financial institutions that Vietnam’s 6.7 percent target was too ambitious. The economy under-performed initially, but expanded as the year progressed, reaching 7.65 percent in the fourth quarter.
Almost mid-way through its five-year term, the government is expressing satisfaction with these efforts as reflected in Vietnam’s socioeconomic achievements. It attributes the results to an energetic, pro-active direction and to its trickle-down effect on government ministries and economic sectors.
Resolution 100/NQ-CP of 2016, setting out the action program for the 2016-2021 period, called for a leaner more efficient government apparatus with capable and qualified officials, a renewal of the country’s economic growth model and improvement of its growth quality, labor productivity and competitiveness.
To achieve these goals, officials explain, the government shifted from an “instructive model” to a proactive, constructive and service-oriented system. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s stressed at every opportunity that he expected government ministries and local leaders not to lower the set targets, but to reach or exceed them where possible. The prime minister and the government instilled firm determination into leaders of ministries, sectors and localities, getting them to work hard for the development of the country, explained one analyst.
The key word was “solutions”, with the government urging officials on all levels to not only describe the problems they face, but also offer solutions for local authorities and for industries.
Convinced that a strong business sector was key to the economy’s future growth, the prime minister and ministers made it clear from the outset that the government would update its management process, protect property rights and the right to do business, and create conditions for the development of business and foreign investment trust.
A small but telling event in 2017 did much to convince business leaders that the government, indeed, meant business. Prime Minister Phuc and some of his ministers didn’t have a noon break but discussed to make policy decisions early in the afternoon. The decisions were applauded by representatives of hundreds of businesses in the concerned meeting.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of ministries and sectors personally chaired a variety of seminars on
agriculture, exports, logistics, support industries, trade facilitation, foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, and
capital construction in 2018.