Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged relevant ministries and agencies to continue the focus on stabilising the macro-economy and easing difficulties for business and production.

At a regular Government session held in Hanoi on Mar. 5 and 6, PM Dung issued this instruction after he and other cabinet members discussed the socio-economic situation in February and the first two months of the year, and the PM’s instructions on stabilising prices, boosting production and business after the traditional New Year Festival.

In the first two months of the year, the country’s socio-economy showed positive results.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) increased 3.9 percent over the same period last year. February’s consumer price index was up 1.37 percent over the previous month and much lower than the same period of 2011. The foreign exchange market was stable and the country earned an estimated 8.2 billion USD from exports, despite a downturn in some traditional markets, including the US and the EU.

However, the economy still saw some disadvantages and weaknesses with high interest rates, liquidity difficulties at some commercial banks and a credit growth decrease affecting enterprises’ capacity to secure capital.

PM Dung concluded that it will be crucial to overcome difficulties and weaknesses to reach targets and fulfil tasks set for the first quarter and the whole year.

Issuing instructions, PM Dung urged relevant ministries and agencies to ensure price stability, especially prices of essential products like electricity and petroleum, to maintain the mechanism of market prices and meet the goals of inflation control at the same time.

He asked the State Bank of Vietnam to continue implementing the roadmap on reducing the banking interest rate to ensure suitable credit growth and solve liquidity issues while restructuring banks.

As the securities market showed optimistic signals, it is necessary to speed up the rearrangement of State-owned enterprises through equitisation. He also stressed the need to keep a tight control of the budget balance, maintaining a trade deficit at about 10 percent for the whole year (equal to 2011), reducing public investment, as well as practising thrift and fighting wastefulness.

Together with inflation control, PM Dung also asked ministries, agencies and localities to continue to ease difficulties for enterprises and to develop production, especially industrial and agricultural production, helping to find outlets for products and stockpiles.

At the session Deputy Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Nguyen Thien Nhan asked ministries, sectors and localities to continue taking urgent measures to ease traffic jams and reduce traffic accidents and pay attention to training human resources for labour export./.