Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam should create breakthroughs in 2019 to complete the 2016-2020 socio-economic development plan and create a foundation for the next five years, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung has said.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, the official stressed greater efforts are needed to fulfill the GDP growth target of 6.8 percent set for 2019 by the National Assembly.

To that end, he proposed improving the domestic business environment to facilitate the operation of businesses and reduce production and business costs.    

The private economic sector is expected to drive growth, he said, emphasising the need to remove difficulties and barriers and create an equal playing field for enterprises.

The Government has taken actions to enable businesses to access new technologies as scientific-technological innovation is an urgent need of the national economy, the minister noted.   

Preparations for intensive international integration and the improvement of the capacity of the national economy as well as businesses would help Vietnam optimise opportunities, especially those generated by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which came into force in Vietnam on January 14, he said.  

Dung also said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)  and Vietnam are expected to remain attractive destinations for global investment in 2019.

Reviewing Vietnam’s economic performance in 2018, he said national GDP grew 7.08 percent, the highest level over the past 11 years.

Noteworthy was the agro-forestry-fishery sector, which expanded 3.76 percent in the year, a record rise, he said, highlighting a trade surplus of 7.2 billion USD, foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursement exceeding 19 billion USD, and inflation below 4 percent.

The country’s impressive performance received praise from international organisations and the World Bank, he said.

According to the minister, the highlight of the national economy lies with its resilience, which is consolidated by the export and processing and manufacturing industry.

He, however, pointed out difficulties facing the economy such as uncertainties of the global economic situation and impacts of US-China trade tension.

Internal weaknesses like small economic scale, low competitiveness and productivity, climate change, natural disasters and diseases, among others have also hindered growth, the official said.

Dung expressed his belief that efforts of the entire political system would help the country overcome these obstacles in 2019.-VNA