On the occasion of the new year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is also a Politburo member, has written an article voicing the nation’s resolve to overcome weaknesses and challenges, curb inflation and promote sustainable growth and development.

The article says 2012 was a year full of difficulties and challenges for Vietnam. However, thanks to the great efforts made by the entire Party, army and people as well as the whole political system, Vietnam has seen positive achievements. The macro economy has seen some improvements while the inflation rate was capped at 6.81 percent (in 2011 it was 18.13 percent), the export turnover increased by over 18 percent and the foreign reserve reached its peak while the foreign exchange rate was stabilised and the people’s confidence in the Vietnam dong was consolidated.

In the context of the downturn of the world economy, Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth remains over 5 percent.

“In the fields of culture and society, we are very glad that some progress has been made and social welfare and security have been assured. National defence and security as well as foreign affairs have also seen much progress and social politics have been stabilised. Generally, our development policies are on the right track,” the Prime Minister says in the article.

Though Vietnam scored many achievements in 2012, the year 2013 remains a tough year for the nation with many difficulties and challenges, according to the Prime Minister.

The world economy has seen some positive signs, yet recovery remains very slow. Vietnam’s main export markets and investment countries have not escaped their economic sluggishness. Furthermore, the adjustment of the world’s major economies has not brought about the expected results. The high risk and instability of these economies remain inevitable. As a result, negative impacts from the world economy will still hang over the country, he predicts.

In 2012, Vietnam was able to overcome some weaknesses of the economic structure and the economic growth model. Yet the process of economic restructuring is just starting and a lot of difficulties and challenges are still ahead. Bad debts are increasing rapidly, inventories remain huge and the interest rate is still higher than the profits that enterprises can make.

The State management remains weak and certain groups of public servants show poor responsibility and performance. Corruption and waste are reported everywhere. All these weaknesses are reflected in the country’s economic and societal picture. The macro economy remains unstable and the threat of a high inflation rate is still hanging over the country. It has not been able to restore its former growth rate. Business production and employment are facing many difficulties; enterprises’ resources and people’s income are declining. Market confidence is still at a low level.

“In addition, we face dark schemes to destabilise our political system and society as well as acts of encroachment on our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the article says.

To achieve the overall objectives of 2013 requires the efforts of the entire Party, army, people and political system in the implementation of the tasks and measures laid out fore the year.

Prime Minister Dung has laid out six main tasks as follows:

To improve the quality and effectiveness of policies in order to cultivate confidence in the market.

To create monetary policy based on market development and the objective of curbing the inflation rate. It is imperative to combine monetary policy with financial policy.

To help enterprises overcome difficulties in production and consumption.

To speed up the process of administrative reform while promoting a high sense of responsibility to public servants.

To accelerate the process of economic restructuring.

And finally, to ensure social security.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urges the entire Party, army and people to try their utmost to carry out the six major tasks, but not to forget the other tasks assigned to them, particularly in ensuring national security and defence, and social order, protecting national sovereignty and improving the nation’s prestige and position in the international arena.

Dung expresses his confidence that with a sense of responsibility and self-reliance and tradition of solidarity and unity, the Vietnamese people and nation will certainly overcome all difficulties and challenges to carry out the 2013 socio-economic tasks successfully.-VNA