The regular Cabinet meeting (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam saw good socio-economic development indexes in the first six months of 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed at the Government’s regular meeting on July 3.

The online meeting, which included top leaders of the 63 provinces and cities and the Steering Committees of the Northwestern, Central Highlands, and Southwestern regions reviewed the socio-economic, defence, security and diplomatic situations of the country in the first half of this year and was expected to put forward measures to fulfil 2017 tasks assigned by the Party Central Committee and National Assembly, Phuc stated.

According to him, from January-June, the economy progressed well compared with the same period last year. Specifically, the macro economy was stable, while inflation was kept low. Economic growth recovered quickly, from 5.15 percent in the first quarter to 6.17 percent in the second quarter.

Vietnam ranked sixth among the 12 leading countries globally in terms of tourism growth. The number of foreign tourists to the country increased by 30 percent in the period.

The country’s trade reached nearly 200 billion USD, with export turnover up 19 percent.

Budget collection rose rapidly, and measures were taken to ensure collection, especially in major cities and in key economic zones.

In addition, foreign direct investment surged in the first half  with total newly-registered and additional capital of 19 billion USD, up 54.8 percent. Of the total, 7.7 billion USD was disbursed.

There were more than 61,000 newly-established businesses with total capital of nearly 600 trillion VND (26.4 billion USD).

The PM went on to say that health insurance has to date covered 83 percent of the population.

Political and social order and safety was ensured, while diplomatic work also produced positive results with several trade and investment deals worth billions of USD signed, he added.

However, the PM underlined the need to point out difficulties hindering growth.

He cited bottlenecks in the consumption of livestock, poultry and agricultural products, along with the low growth of industry and construction and sluggishness in the mining industry, especially the oil and gas sector.  

Besides, there are a number of businesses waiting to be dissolved or suffering prolonged losses, he said, stressing high costs, particularly in transportation and logistics. 

The leader also commented on slow investment disbursement which fulfilled just 30 percent of the target set by the PM and nearly 26 percent set by the National Assembly for the first half of this year. 

A noteworthy problem is the slow equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and capital divestment, he said, explaining that only 20 SOEs were equitised and SOE equitisation plans for 51 others were put forth during the period, with 11.6 trillion VND (510.4 million USD) out of 60 trillion VND (2.64 billion USD) divested. 

The PM listed a range of other issues of public concern relating to food hygiene, social insurance, school violence, child assault and environmental pollution. 

Against this background, he emphasised tasks for the last six months of the year. 

To complete the yearly growth target of 6.7 percent, it is a must to keep the pace at 7.42 percent in the second half, he said, noting that it is not an easy task with the rainy season coming. 

However, he said, the target is within reach in the context of the recovery of sectors and other favourable domestic and international conditions. 

According to international organisations, Vietnam’s economy has turned from a status of stability to activeness, as shown by its innovation index jumping 12 places in June, the leader added.

He urged greater efforts and stronger reforms, particularly in production and business management agencies and localities, focusing on key economic zones and major cities and provinces. 

In that spirit, the PM asked Cabinet members and localities propose solutions to ensure growth in each economic sector. 

Efforts should be made in decentralisation with more authority given to localities, along with administrative reform, environmental protection, traffic safety and fire fighting, he said.-VNA