NA deputies: Applying lessons in anti-epidemic work to economic development ​ hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA ) 

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly (NA) deputies on June 8 discussed reports on socio-economic and State budget performance in groups, with most opinions appreciating the Government’s direction work in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining economic growth in the context of complicated developments of the pandemic and most leading world economies posting minus growth.

Deputies also proposed various solutions to stimulate socio-economic development, and prevent the return of COVID-19.

Lessons from anti-COVID-19 fight

Deputy Hoang Van Cuong from Hanoi highlighted the fact that Vietnam was able to post a positive growth rate while the world economy contracted. He attributed the result to the domestic market’s ability to keep balance. Besides, the agricultural sector has proved its role, which requires further consideration on the sector in the time ahead.

The deputy particularly cited the unprecedented measures taken by Government, such as the direct support for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which demonstrated the goal of inclusive economic growth that leaves no one behind.

The educational sector was also a good example of quickly adapting to the developments of the pandemic. If in the early days after the epidemic broke out, the sector still passively responded to the outbreak by adjusting the schooling schedule week after week, it has adopted online teaching and learning, and the practice has become regular during the period of social distancing.

According to Cuong, those outcomes were possible because Vietnam has put itself in a wartime mode, with quick and drastic actions taken by the Government, all-level administrations and sectors.

New opportunities

Deputy Cuong said Vietnam is facing new and big opportunities, which arise when a COVID-related disruption in supply chains forced global enterprises to redirect their investment flows to avoid over-dependence on a certain market. Southeast Asia is said to be a destination of choice for global investors, with Vietnam having many advantages such as a good national brand and numerous bilateral and multilateral trade relations.

However, he was of the opinion that at this moment, Vietnam should take a new strategy for investment attraction instead of “rolling out the red carpet” for all as in the past. Vietnam should take the initiative in looking for suitable investors instead of passively waiting for them, Cuong said, adding that the country should seek and adopt incentives for quality foreign direct investment. The Government should also build the country’s own strength in order to become a partner of major international investors.

Strong actions to prevent second wave of COVID-19

Affirming that Vietnam has been successful in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic while accepting short-term economic losses to ensure health and safety of the people, deputy Nguyen Quang Tuan of Hanoi said those decisions have proven sound.

At the same time, he pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak has left serious socio-economic consequences. For example, in the health sector, around 30 percent of patients did not go to hospital during the period of social distancing, which meant they did not received good care. This also affected revenues of self-financing hospitals.

Noting that the pandemic is forecast to continue for long with unforeseeable developments, while Vietnam has a long border and there is an urgent need to resume international flights, Tuan said all those factors could bring about the second wave of COVID-19, which could be even stronger and more dangerous than the first. Therefore, the Government must take strong measures to prevent it from happening.

“The top goal at present is to maintain the current good control of the pandemic, without relaxing vigilance,” said deputy Tran Hoang Ngan of Ho Chi Minh City. He added that even a small weak spot in the guard at border gates could make the situation develop beyond control.

At the same time, it is necessary to continue working for stable macro-economy and social security through the swift implementation of support packages, according to Ngan. Businesses should give priority to keeping jobs, he said.

“The next issue is to disburse public investment,” he said, explaining that good disbursement of this source of capital would promote investment from other sources./.