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Vietnam maintains relatively high economic growth

The national economy showed relatively high growth in the first eight months of this year, with high increases recorded in industrial production, services and exports, and progress made in social domains, Government members were told.

At a meeting in Hanoi on Monday and Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, Government members unanimously forecast that in 2004 GDP would grow 7.5% with a 3% rise in agri-forestry and fisheries sector, a 10.3% increase in industry and construction, and a 7.2% growth in services.

Addressing the meeting, PM Khai said progress was made in economic restructuring in spite of outbreaks of bird flu and adverse weather conditions. The country has promoted its internal strength over the past four years, with the private economic sector mobilising average investment for development of about US $2 billion per year. Creation of 1.55 million jobs this year would contribute to poverty reduction and development of education, healthcare and culture, the Government leader noted.

He also analysed weaknesses, including the slow speed of investment and site clearance as well as administrative reform.

"Administrative reform serves as a weak point at present," PM Khai said, adding "solutions thereto should be taken in the remaining months of this year and in 2005 in order to put and end to bureaucracy, corruption and wastefulness."

He agreed with the targets set for 2005, including a GDP growth rate of 8%, an agri-forestry and fisheries production increase of 4.5%, an industrial production rise of 15.5%, and a service growth of 7.7%.

The country should register a 14% increase in export value and generate jobs for 1.6 million people next year, he said.

The PM stressed the need to give investment priorities to grassroots-level medical systems, and focus on developing the finance-banking system, tourism, aviation, post and telecommunications.

VNA - (01/09/2004)

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