Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc has called on businesses to join hands with the government to successfully carry out the socio-economic development strategy in the years to come.

Opening the Vietnam Business Forum in Hanoi on Dec. 2, Phuc said although Vietnam is forecast to grow by 6.7-6.8 percent in 2010, it is still facing a range of major challenges such as macro-economic stability, inflation and exchange rates.

In its draft 2011-2020 socio-economic development strategy and 2011-2015 socio-economic development plan, Vietnam has set an annual average economic growth rate ranging from 7-8 percent, said the minister.

To achieve this target, Vietnam needs to competently deal with three key issues, namely infrastructure development, human resources and improvement of market economy institutions. “Businesses should make recommendations and join efforts with the government to build up development models,” he said.

At the forum, representatives from organisations and business associations both at home and abroad praised Vietnam ’s achievements in 2010, especially its successful transition from a low-income to middle-income nation.

Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Alain Cany applauded Vietnam ’s improvements in reforming administrative procedures and legal frameworks regarding Public-Private Partnership projects, saying these are a major factor that will help Vietnam catch up with expanding requirements in terms of infrastructure and energy.

Having expressed their beliefs about Vietnam’s development potential, both Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) Hank Tomlinson and Vice Chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham) suggested the Vietnamese government take stronger measures to stabilise the macro-economy and remove bottlenecks in infrastructure and human resources in order to create a more open investment environment.

The Vietnam Business Forum is an important event that takes place on the threshold of the Consultative Group (CG) meeting of donors for Vietnam . It is seen as a dialogue channel between the government and the business community in the country./.