Challenging road to travel

22:52 | 27/11/2011
The 13th National Assembly Legislature’s second session has ended with the successful mapping out of crucial waymarkers for Vietnam’s socio-economic development until 2015.

The 29-day session culminated with the adoption of a resolution on socio-economic development for 2011-2015 and another related resolution for 2012. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the resolutions were vital to help the government harness the resources needed to realise ambitious targets.

The top law-making body agreed the primary goal of Vietnam’s 2011-2015 Socio-Economic Development Plan was rapid and sustainable economic development closely linked with economic restructuring and renewal of the growth model, with a view to improve the economy’s quality, effectiveness and competitiveness.

The National Assembly also gave the nod to an annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate target of 6.5-7 per cent for 2011-2015. Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI) would be kept in a range of 5-7 per cent by 2015. The state budget overspending would be controlled below 4.5 and the public debt would be capped at 65 per cent of GDP.

The National Assembly’s resolutions have set total national development investment capital will be equivalent to 33.5-35 per cent of GDP in the 2011-2015 term, while trade deficit would be gradually reduced from 2012 and was expected to be 10 per cent of total export turnover by 2015.
National Assembly vice chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said specific targets would be flexibly set annually in line with the changing economic situations in Vietnam and worldwide.

The top goal for 2012 would be to rein in inflation, stabilise the macro economy and maintain reasonable economic growth in line with growth model renewal and economic restructuring.
The GDP and CPI growth rates for next year are 6–6.5 and below 10 per cent, respectively, while state budget overspending and public debts would be kept below 4.8 and 58.4 per cent of GDP, respectively.

Total national development investment capital would be 33.5 per cent of GDP and a trade deficit of 11-12 per cent of total export turnover would be targeted. National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said concerted actions were necessary from the grassroots to central levels if these targets were to be met.

The National Assembly also stressed it would push ahead with economic restructuring in Vietnam, with three major tasks being restructuring state-owned enterprises, commercial banks and state investment.

“The government is reviewing investment planning and decentralisation to ensure that each investment project is strictly controlled in terms of its purpose, size and capital. All violators will be penalised,” Dung said.

His comments came in the wake of government reports that localities and sectors had approved too many projects without taking their financial health into account, resulting in sluggish implementation and capital shortfalls in key projects.

Dung also highlighted the pressing need to restructure state-run groups and corporations, many of which held large state assets but failed to operate effectively. “State-run groups and corporations will have to operate within their core business sectors. They must withdraw capital from their non-core businesses,” Dung said.

Deputy Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue followed this up by saying Electricity of Vietnam would have to complete divestment from non-core business including insurance and banking before 2015.

Restructuring Vietnam’s commercial banks will also be a focal task for the government until 2015.
“The State Bank has completed preparations for a project to restructure Vietnam’s commercial banks, which will be adopted by the government at the end of this month,” said the State Bank’s governor Nguyen Van Binh.

The second session of the 13th National Assembly also adopted five laws on information security, archives, measurements, complaints and denunciation. A raft of resolutions were passed on government bond usage, national target programmes for 2011-2015, state budget allocation for 2012, the 13th National Assembly’s law and ordinance building programme, and land use for 2011-2015  and 2012.

By Khoi Nguyen

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