Vietnam’s GDP growth rate was 5.03 per cent, an impressive figure compared to the economic decline in many countries.
The Vietnamese people are hoping for further economic growth in 2013. Vietnam is facing a tough challenge in economic development: maintaining GDP growth at a reasonable level, controlling inflation, stabilizing macro-economy and ensuring social welfare. In his New Year address, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung outlined 6 tasks including holding inflation to below 8 per cent and achieving economic growth of 5.5 per cent.
This difficult goal will require flexible policies, particularly a flexible monetary policy. Doctor Nguyen Quang Thai, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Economic Association, said “We reduced inflation to 6.8 per cent in 2012 and are now reducing it more, while coordinating inflation and economic growth to stimulate the economy. The combination between monetary and fiscal issues requires tight supervision and management by the State”.
Vietnam will focus on improving regulations and policy reaction capabilities, and creating trust in the market, a factor that will create a more favorable business environment and a more competitive economy. This factor will make economic restructuring and shifting the growth model successful. The economic restructuring will be carried out more aggressively by restructuring credit organizations and settling bad debts to free capital flow. In addition, removing business obstacles and supporting markets will continue in 2013.
Doctor Vo Tri Thanh, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management said, “We are paying more attention to demands and generating purchasing power for the market. A series of new measures are needed to accelerate to a certain level public investment, which will affect state-owned enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.”
Vietnam will seek to ensure social welfare and reduce poverty by assisting areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups, and near-poverty groups. Vietnam gives priority to socio-economic development projects in poor areas. Doctor Ngo Tri Long, former Director of the Institute for Price and Market Studies, suggests measures to address this issue, “Besides the state budget, all resources need to be fully tapped to improve social welfare. This is clearly stated in the government’s address. I propose that we implement plans strictly and this process should be closely inspected.”
The tumultuous year 2012 has passed and Vietnam managed to improve its macro-economy and social welfare, rein in inflation and earn high export revenues. These results are a foundation for better performance in 2013. As Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung puts it “In difficulty, our achievements mean our potentials, advantages, new models and good measures should be upheld to successfully fulfill tasks for 2013.”
The path to growth continues to be rough. The Vietnamese people must strive to maintain their momentum toward a better future.
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