The conference was of great importance as it analyzed and clarified the six-month socio-economic performance with a focus on obtained results, limitations and weaknesses while devising major solutions to the successful implementation of socio-economic development tasks for the second half.
During the reviewed period, the national economy enjoyed encouraging growth. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of 2018 was estimated to expand by 7.08% over the same period last year, the six month highest increase since 2011.
The main contributory factor to overall growth was the manufacturing and processing industry with an increase of more than 13%. In terms of consumption, consumer demand continued to show fairly high growth and the trade surplus displayed continued improvement in growth.
Total social investment hit an estimated over VND747 trillion, equaling 32.9% of GDP and up 10.1% over the same period, of which the non-state sector accounted for the largest proportion of 41.3% and the highest increase of 17.5%, reflecting the Party's clear-sighted policy of developing the private sector.
In his speech, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc underscored 18 issues to be tackled this year, including inflation control, macro-economic stability, development of the support industry and the private economy, administrative procedure reform, improvement of the business and investment environment, and social welfare.
“The World Bank predicts that Vietnam’s economy will grow 6.8% and inflation will be kept at 4%. Fitch Ratings called Vietnam the fastest growing economy in Asia-Pacific. But we must be determined to reform management to continue our success,” said the government leader.
Social order and security are prerequisites for investment and socio-economic development, he noted.
He called for growth of 6.53% in the third quarter and 6.36% in the fourth quarter of this year in order to fulfill the year’s growth target of 6.7%.
Over the first half, inflation remained under control. However, May and June also saw the consumer price index (CPI) increase sharply when compared with the previous months, at 0.55% and 0.61%, respectively. These were high increases. If such high levels continue, it is difficult to control the average CPI target of less than 4%.
Concerning the global economic and trade forecasts in the second half, many experts warned that the world economy will not maintain relatively high growth momentum by 2019 and have a great impact on developing countries, major exporters, including Vietnam.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Planning and Investment stressed the need to take preventive measures to maintain macroeconomic stability and reasonable economic growth focusing on speeding up economic restructuring, and promoting quality improvement in all sectors, thereby increasing the resilience of the national economy to unpredictable changes in the world economy and trade.
To cope with the rainy season, special attention should be given to preventing natural disasters, fire and explosions and traffic accidents in order to minimize possible damage, ensure social stability and protect the achievements in socio-economic development recorded over the first half.