Vietnam can no longer rely on the increasing investment by the public sector and exploitation of natural resources to drive its economic growth in the future, the Prime Minister’s newly established economic council warned in its very first meeting. (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam can no longer rely on the increasing investment by the public sector and exploitation of natural resources to drive its economic growth in the future, the Prime Minister’s newly established economic council warned in its very first meeting.

The team leader, Dr Vu Viet Ngoan, told PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc during the July 29 meeting that the country should focus on strengthening investment efficiency and labour productivity in order to bring Vietnam back to the path of economic growth of over seven percent.

“The restructuring process of the economy is in a race with time,” Ngoan said. “Unless we have practical measures to realise the Government’s orders and set the whole administrative system in motion, we won’t be able to achieve key economic goals set by the 12th Party Congress.”

Dr Vu Thanh Tu Anh, director of research at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme in Vietnam, agreed that economic restructuring is a must for development, especially when the balance of payments, the State budget and the currency are stretched thin.

According to the council members, short-term and medium-term policies should take into account two fundamental issues: eliminating difficulties and reducing business costs while improving the performance of the State-owned business sector.

Prof Dr Tran Ngoc Anh of Indiana University in the US suggested the PM develop a table tool tracking the work of the ministries and local authorities to monitor how the PM’s and Government’s policy orders are carried out.

Also attending the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said several measures suggested by the consultants were similar to those the Government was implementing, proving that the Government was on the right track so far.

Hue, however, asked the team to work on particular issues, such as the reasonable growth level that can be expected, or the roles of the State and the private sector in a socialist-oriented free market economy like Vietnam’s.

PM Phuc welcomed all the suggestions, agreeing with the experts on the need for administrative reform to create a better investment environment.

He said that he believed the team would become a key channel in developing new economic policies and measures.-VNA