|PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc urges Hanoi to strive to accomplish some of the basic objectives set out at the beginning of the year
This comes after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made a statement during a meeting in Hanoi with key municipal leaders on April 20, during which the cabinet leader called for all of the capital’s efforts to be put into fulfilling the year’s targets for stronger development, while the economy grew at below 4% for the year’s first quarter.
Despite this slowdown, PM Phuc praised the capital for achieving encouraging results in controlling the epidemic amid increasingly complicated developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PM added a request for Hanoi to carry out the tasks set by the Party Congress at all levels in a bid to make a strong impression on the entire nation in the run up to the 13th National Party Congress.
According to figures released by the Hanoi People's Committee, the impact of the COVID-19 has seen the majority of growth targets come in much lower than during the same period from last year. Most notably, the economy surged by only 3.72%, just over half of last year’s corresponding period.
A growth rate of 3.72% can be attributed to the sustained growth seen in the industry-construction sector throughout January and February, a two-month period that was not affected by the fallout from the epidemic.
Moreover, a number of areas have been less affected by the impact of the disease and have enjoyed the opportunity to develop, including industrial products for disease prevention and control, in addition to information technology application services. Elsewhere, agricultural production has plummeted due to the effects of the African swine fever, but have suffered little impact from the COVID-19 epidemic with there being plenty of room for further growth during the remainder of the year, he said.
Despite this, the capital’s whole year targets are forecast to endure numerous difficulties as a result of the COVID-19, with consumer price index tending to rise higher than the same period from last year, especially with regard to the food group. The slow-paced construction progress of some projects has served to negatively affect the disbursement rate and efficiency of investment capital, whilst the number of drug, black credit, and environmental law related violations remains high.
In this context, Hanoi has put forth a number of scenarios featuring specific situations in an attempt to achieve some of the goal set out in this year's plan, with a GDP growth rate of 7.5%. The first scenario sees social distancing measures ending on either April 22 or May 3, with economic hurdles being gradually removed before all activities return to normal by early July.
The second scenario outlines there being basic control of the epidemic by the year’s second quarter, but a risk of the COVID-19 spreading until the end of the year due to the epidemic situation in other countries being varied with some nations yet to bring the virus under control. Consequently, economic recovery and social activities will be unable to return to normal and can only be carried out at a minimum.
In the third scenario, the epidemic continues to spread rapidly throughout the second quarter despite a range of social distancing measures being in place. This would see socio-economic development and the daily lives of people's encounter a range of difficulties.
Based on these scenarios, Hanoi has announced an action plan aimed at implementing urgent tasks and solutions in an attempt to remove difficulties for production and business, and therefore ensure social security to cope with the epidemic whilst simultaneously fulfilling all of the year’s socio-economic development targets. Most notably, there will be a focus on mapping out budget revenue and expenditure plans to ensure the feasibility of implementing tasks for regular and irregular spending amid the COVID-19 epidemic.