Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Promoting autonomy and self-reliance of the economy is an important development direction of the industry and trade sector in the context of the country’s extensive and intensive integration, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

He made the statement while attending a conference in Hanoi on January 17 to implement the 2019 tasks of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The ministry should seek ways to draw strong investment from both domestic groups and multinational corporations, and try to prevent a trade deficit in 2019, the PM said.

He requested that the ministry build a long-term programme to ensure national electricity supply not only at present but also beyond 2020, 2025, and 2030.

The most important solution to ensure fulfilment of the sector’s 2019 tasks is applying science-technology to increase labour productivity, he said, adding that the ministry should accelerate the restructuring of its State businesses and continue addressing shortcomings in slow and ineffective projects.

The PM instructed the ministry to study, forecast, and make prompt responses to the global market’s fluctuations.

At the conference, the PM hailed the ministry for making significant contributions to the national economic growth. Specifically, the industrial sector contributed 2.85 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.08 percent.

Vietnam’s Getting Electricity indicator leaped 37 places to rank 27th globally and among the top in ASEAN, he noted.

The PM expressed his pleasure at the high trade surplus in 2018, mainly in trade with developed markets. Besides, the role of the domestic market for production was also strengthened.

Another highlight is that the domestic market in 2018 maintained a stable double-digit growth, he evaluated.

The ministry reported that the country’s exports in 2018 reached 245 billion USD, representing a year-on-year rise of 13.8 percent. Trade surplus hit a record 7.2 billion USD.

The index of industrial production (IIP) rose by 10.2 percent, exceeding the yearly target of 9 percent. In particular, the processing and manufacturing sector recorded a high growth of 12.3 percent, affirming itself as the main driving force for the growth of the whole industrial sector and the country’s economy.

After two years of handling 12 delayed or loss making projects within the industry and trade sector, two projects have now resumed operations after suspension due to loss, and two operating projects have gradually turning profits, the ministry reported.–VNA