Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc outlined the Government’s priorities to improve the national business climate and maintain stable macro-economy at the opening of the National Assembly’s seventh session in Hanoi on May 20.

The measures, which are being discussed at the session, are aimed at realising the 2014 national socio-economic development scheme.

The government will also continue removing difficulties for production and business, accelerate economic restructuring along with shifting to a new growth model, while pushing forward socio-cultural development schemes, enhancing environmental protection efforts in a changing climate, the deputy PM said, adding that administrative reforms, anti-corruption, national defence-security and external relations in the context of global integration will receive due attention at the same time.

Reviewing the 2013 socio-economic performance, Phuc said 10 goals were met or surpassed, three others on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, employment and vocational training almost reaching the set target and two were not fulfilled, which were budget overspending rate and poverty reduction.

The Deputy PM noted that the economy is recovering but at a slow pace, with obstacles still ahead both domestically and globally.

While the country looks to invest more for development, offer better services in social welfare and improve its preparedness for epidemics and natural disasters, it still runs short of resources, he revealed. The joining of international free trade agreements opens up a wide space for development along with fierce competition, he said, adding that there are also challenges in ensuring political security, social order and protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Chairman of the NA Economic Committee Nguyen Van Giau, in his speech, gave nod to Phuc’s progress report. Delivering the committee’s assessment of the Government’s report, he expressed satisfaction about the first-quarter GDP growth, which stood higher than the same period two years ago, partly thanks to good export growth, trade surplus and declining interest rates.

A majority of lawmakers showed their approval of the Government’s report. They called on the Government to further facilitate banking credit access for private enterprises while keeping a closer watch over public investment as a deterrent to violations or wastefulness.

In the face of ongoing tension in the East Sea after China illegally installed its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, they suggested joint efforts between the legislature and government agencies so as not to hurt the pace of economic growth.

At the event, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan briefed legislators on suggestions made by voters across the country.

He said voters are concerned about the unsustainable economic development, citing that many firms are working under disadvantageous conditions and are saddled with debts. On top of this there is concern about traffic accidents, social evils and limited outcomes in the fight against corruption and wastefulness.

About the East Sea row with China, members of the public expressed their strong desire that the Party and State stand firm on this issue to steadfastly safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They called for exposing China’s violations of international law and its agreements with ASEAN to the world community.

Voters also raised objection to lawbreakers who recently undermined the rights and interests of foreign investors in some localities by rioting and causing damage, and hailed the government’s timely interference, Nhan said.

They also offered detailed feedback on market and price control, farming-farmers-rural areas, transport, health care, education-training, the fight against corruption and environment protection.

In the afternoon, the NA will hear reports on the final version of the 2012 budget balance, the draft law on amendments and supplements to some articles of the Law on Civil Aviation, and draft plans on building laws and ordinances for 2014-2015.-VNA