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Vietnam PM urges import controls, export growth

Viet Nam News/Asia News Network--Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Tuesday called for concerted efforts to develop both domestic and foreign markets, saying Vietnam should make full use of opportunities created by its international commitments.

Chairing a teleconference between the government and provincial and city administrations, he said the task of boosting exports should be executed in tandem with effective control of imports.

The teleconference focused on the government's draft resolution on guidelines for implementing the 2014 socioeconomic development plan.

He urged ministries, industries and localities to make full use of opportunities created by international commitments, and to stay active and positive in negotiations for free trade agreements, including those with the EU, the Republic of Korea, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty.

Reviewing the nation's socio-economic development in 2013, Dung noted that despite many difficulties and challenges, the country has maintained macro-economic stability, reduced inflation and recorded higher growth than the previous year.

He said the forex and gold market has stabilized, there has been a robust increase in foreign reserves, political stability and social order have been maintained and national sovereignty protected.

The prime minister also identified a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed, saying that GDP growth has fallen short of the annual target, trade and production faced difficulties, settlement of bad debts remains slow and economic restructuring has moved at a snail's pace.

He said “breakthroughs” were needed in restructuring the economy and renovating its growth model. He said this would improve the nation's economic efficiency and competitiveness.

He asked ministries, industries and localities to drastically reform public investment and restructure the banking system.

Agricultural restructuring should be speeded up, new rural areas built, more training provided and more jobs created for rural workers, Nguyen said.

Dung also called for tightened management of licensing and exploitation of minerals and better environmental protection regimes.

He ordered ministries, industries and localities to effectively control market prices, ensure goods supply and maintain social order, security and safety for the upcoming New Year and Lunar New Year holidays.

Leaders of ministries and localities proposed key measures to achieve socio-economic development goals for 2014, which include 5.8-percent GDP growth, a 10-percent rise in exports, and keeping trade deficit at six percent of export revenues.

In 2014, the government will spend about 30 percent of national GDP on social development, reducing the ratio of poor households by up to four percent in poor districts, and generating about 1.6 million jobs.

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