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Ministry upbeat about 2019 economic outlook
Vietnam News - 9/25/2018 1:32:16 PM
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HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s economy has a bright outlook in 2019 thanks to a stable macro-economy, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Trần Quốc Phương, director of the ministry’s Department for National Economic Issues, said at an online conference on Monday that the economy was on track to fulfill all 12 targets set by the National Assembly for 2019.
“One of the outstanding achievements this year is that the macro-economy has remained stable, creating a basis for faster economic restructuring and boosting development,” Phương said.
The ministry anticipated gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 6.7 per cent in 2018 or even higher reaching US$240.5 billion.
Public debt was on track to be reduced to 61.4 per cent this year from 63.7 per cent at the end of 2016. Budget debt collection was forecast to increase by 5.5 per cent over 2017 to reach VNĐ1.35 quadrillion ($60 billion).
However, challenges remained, which would mainly come from outside sources due to the country’s limited production scale and economic openness.
Phương said that the pressure from the stronger US dollar, tensions from trade wars, increasing protectionism and unanticipated rising commodities prices were weighing on the domestic market, especially exchange rates, interest rates and inflation.
Improving the business climate was critical to boosting economic growth with a focus on price management, monetary and fiscal policies, he said, adding that financial discipline would also be strengthened.
According to Sử Ngọc Anh, director of HCM City’s Department of Planning and Investment, it was important to improve the quality of human resources.
In addition, Anh said that detailed instructions to implement the Law on Planning should be issued as soon as possible.
The problem is that many localities are still confused about how to apply the new law.
Anh said development planning was necessary for each province and city to consistently implement the Law on Planning.
The online conference also discussed the disbursement of public funds, official development assistance, foreign direct capital attraction, growth model transformation and proposed amendments to relevant laws, such as public private partnerships and public investment.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that priority must be given to the implementation of solutions raised in the Government’s Resolution No 1/NQ-CP 2018. “What’s unfinished must be accelerated. What has not been addressed must be addressed.”
Dũng also urged efforts for economic restructuring to be hastened.
“We need to make three breakthroughs: completing the institutions, speeding up the construction of the infrastructure system and building human resources,” Dũng said.  
This was the first time the Ministry of Planning and Investment had held an online conference with localities to review socio-economic development. — VNS
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