The Party Politburo on Apr. 26 met in Hanoi and gave opinions on the socio-economic situation in the first four months of the year and targets for the remaining months.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired the event.

Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment delivered a report, saying that the country’s socio-economic situation made progress in line with set targets.

Measures to control inflation and stabilise the macro-economy continued to prove effectiveness, the report said.

The consumer price index increased slightly, production and business, however, retained growth despite difficulties. Export value was estimated to increase 22.1 percent over the same period last year and tourism activities were eventful.

The report also said social security and welfare were ensured and urgent social matters were promptly addressed. National defence and security was boosted and social politics was stable.

However, economic growth in the first quarter was only 4 percent, lower than the same period last year and the fourth quarter of 2011.

Banking interest rates reduced, but were still high, while enterprises faced difficulties in absorbing capital. Industrial growth was much lower than the level in the same period last year. The number of enterprises that stopped operating and bad debts rose.

Participants agreed to continue pursuing on the targets on controlling inflation, stabilising macro-economy and ensuring social welfare in future.

Many opinions said efforts should be focused on easing difficulties for enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones, enterprises with outlet markets and competitive capacity and those involved in production and processing for exports.

Many opinions urged acceleration of restructuring the economy following the conclusion of the third conference of the Party central committee.

They also said that it is necessary to focus resources on agricultural and rural development, as well as farmers, well implement social welfare policies and pay attention to urgent social matters, fighting and preventing crimes and reducing traffic accidents and congestion.

Concluding the meeting, General Secretary Trong acknowledged socio-economic achievements in first months of the year, stressing they were just initial results. In the remaining months, Trong said, many difficulties and challenges could arise.

To reach targets of socio-economic development, culture, social security, national defence and foreign affairs, it is necessary to have high consensus and determination of the entire political system and society, demanding practical, flexible and effective measures in line with the situation, he said.-VNA