Prime Minister sets growth target of 6.7 percent for 2018

09:16 | 03/04/2018 Economy- Society

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Cabinet members to give feedback on the 2018 growth scenario, in the aim of reaching growth of at least 6.7 pct this year, higher than the 6.5 pct assigned by the National Assembly.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting - Credit: ND

During the Government’s regular meeting in Hanoi on April 2, the PM said the socio-economic situation continued to improve throughout the first quarter of the year, with gross domestic product growth of 7.38 pct, the highest in a decade.

The agro-forestry-fisheries sector expanded by 4.05 pct, double that of the same period last year, while agriculture and industry-construction grew 2.08 pct and 9.77 pct, respectively.

Manufacturing and processing saw a rise of nearly 14 pct, with services growing by 6.7 pct and wholesale – retail by 4.5 pct.

At the same time, Vietnam signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 12 states, held a national conference on disaster prevention and control, the sixth Greater Mekong Sub-Region Summit and the 10th Cambodia – Laos – Vietnam Development summit, with the GMS Business Summit, during which participants welcomed Vietnam’s initiatives, helping raise the country’s prestige in the international arena.

During the period, total retail and consumption services increased by 9.9 pct year-on-year. Foreign tourist arrivals in Vietnam were estimated at 4.2 million, up 30.9 pct annually.

Total exports surged by 22 pct to US$54.3 billion, while social investment soared by 10.4 pct.

The PM revealed that Nikkei announced in its new release on the same day, the Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was 51.6 points, making it one of two countries with more than 50 points.

The business climate continued to improve, with the provincial competitiveness index reaching its highest point since 2005. Vietnam’s securities market performed well in both scale and capitalisation with the VN-Index hitting a 10-year high of 1,170 points. There were positive performances seen in labour, job, social welfare, culture-education, and health care while unemployment dropped by 2.2 pct.

The number of newly-established enterprises only rose 1.2 pct annually, while the number of firms that halted production remained high.

The PM encouraged efforts to promote corporate development, especially in creativity and innovation.

Warning that despite the fall in consumer price index for March and overall slight rise in the first quarter, inflation is still a risk, so ministries and agencies should take measures to stabilise macro-economy and control inflation.

He called for attention to be given to the latent risks of complicated weather as Vietnam is one of the five countries hardest hit by climate change.

As of late March, total State budget collection surpassed VND308 trillion (US$13.68 billion), up 5.3 pct annually. State expenses were estimated at VND290 trillion, up 1.7 pct.

Natural disasters caused losses of more than VND178 billion, a 3.1-fold increase annually. As of March 15, there were 1,085 fires nationwide resulting in 33 fatalities and 66 injuries, causing damages of more than VND413 billion.

In the morning, the Government discussed the socio-economic performance for March and the first quarter this year, the implementation of the Government’s Resolution on key measures to realise the socio-economic development plan, and the State budget estimate for 2018.

Theo NDO/VNA