Goods are assembled at the Electronics Viet Nam Co in Ha Nam Province's Dong Van 2 Industrial Zone. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) has rounded out the country’s top 10 economic events for 2015 as follows:

1. Highest GDP growth in eight years: The national economy grew 6.68 percent , the highest level in the past eight years and higher than the target of 6.2 percent set by the National Assembly. Inflation remained low at 0.63 percent, while social welfare was ensured. However, there were several shortcomings such as macroeconomic instability, low competitiveness, increased public debts and slow pace of state-owned enterprise equitisation.

2. Vibrant international economic integration: Vietnam concluded negotiations of free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, bringing the number of FTAs it has joined to 14. The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled for December 31, 2015, is expected to create more opportunities for Vietnam to deeply integrate into the regional and global economies.

3. Budget collection exceeds estimates: Despite drop in global oil prices and sharp decline in several tariff lines by integration commitments, budget collection exceeded estimates by 5 percent to approximate 957 trillion VND (about 41.6 billion USD), by December 28.

4. State Bank of Vietnam takes over commercial banks at 0 VND: For the first time in the banking sector’s history, the State Bank of Vietnam bought all shares of the Vietnam Bank of Construction (VNBC), Ocean Bank, and Global Petro Bank (GPBank) at zero VND per share. This was considered a drastic step in restructuring the system of credit organisations.

5. Withdrawal of State capital from 10 big enterprises: The Prime Minister urged the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) to report plans on the withdrawal of State capital from ten enterprises. This was part of a State-owned enterprise restructuring roadmap with the aim of diversifying investment capital sources and helping businesses improve management model.

6. Breakthroughs in transport infrastructure: The completion of expansion and upgrade of numerous major transport projects in 2015, including National Highway Road 1, Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway, Ho Chi Minh Road’s section through the Central Highlands, and Hanoi-Hai Phong and Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highways, created breakthroughs in the country’s infrastructure development. Those facilities have helped improve transport capacity and promoted trade activities, facilitating economic development in regions, and helping the country’s infrastructure keep up with the integration trend.

7. Eight key corruption and economic cases brought to trial: The Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Combat during its 8th meeting decided to put into trial eight serious corruption and economic cases.

They were violations at Phuong Nam Food Processing Company in Soc Trang province, the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank)’s Branch 7 in HCM City, the Railway Projects Management Unit (RPMU), the Dong Phuong Company under the Vietnam National Textiles and Garment Group and the Agribank’s Branch 6 in HCM City, Agribank’s Financial Leasing Company II (ALC II), Hai Phong Maritime Technology Co., Ltd and Dai Phat Maritime Transport Co., Ltd, Lifepro Viet Nam JVC and Agribank’s South Branch in Hanoi, and the Dong Thap Oil and Gas Trading Company.

8. Use of banned substances in livestock: The use of banned substances in livestock has increased this year, affecting the consumers’ confidence. The agricultural sector has launched investigations and inspections of banned substances in the country to deal with the problem.

9. Room for foreign investors expanded: On June 26, the Government issued Decree No. 60/2015/ND-CP allowing foreign investors to have unlimited ownership in public enterprises that not operate in the conditional business lines. Besides, foreign investors are allowed to invest without a limit in the Government and corporate bonds. This was considered a breakthrough in attracting foreign capital into Vietnam’s stock market.

10. Agro-fishery consumption market faces difficulties: Exports of the agro-fishery-forestry sector reached only 30.13 billion USD, down 1.4 percent from a year ago due to dual difficulties of weather and market. Key export products, including rice, coffee, and rubber, posted an decrease of 2.9 to 28.1 percent.-VNA