Due to Covid-19, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have lowered their economic forecasts for many countries, many of which have trade relations with Vietnam. A number of production and trade chains have been affected.
Since early this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has several times reiterated Vietnam’s determination to reach its growth target this year. At a government meeting on February 5, the Prime Minister said Vietnam is very confident of achieving its economic growth target despite numerous challenges and difficulties. He asked ministries and sectors to take stronger measures to restructure production.
Prime Minister Phuc said, “We have set up task forces for nCoV response. We also need to respond promptly in economics, finance, and production to prevent an economic downturn due to the epidemic. We need to turn defeat into victory by overcoming difficulties to move the economy forward to meet the people’s aspirations.”
At a recent meeting of the National Monetary and Financial Policy Advisory Council in Hanoi, the Prime Minister, who is the Council’s chairman, urged Council members to propose measures to curb an economic downturn. He stressed the importance of staying vigilant, and called for resolute measures to contain the epidemic and boost production to fulfill set targets.
“We need to remain consistent with the targets of controlling inflation, stabilizing the macro-economy, and ensuring economic balances to secure sustainable growth. We need to create favorable mechanisms and financial and monetary policies, while focusing on exports, boosting domestic consumption, and mobilizing more social resources”, said PM Phuc.
The government’s measures are in line with the direction Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong set at the year-end government meeting. Mr. Trong asked sectors at all levels to make stronger efforts and promote dynamism and innovation to fulfill this year’s tasks .
Turning risks into opportunities
Vietnamese ministries and localities have implemented several measures to overcome difficulties and boost economic growth. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has constantly updated information on the production and export of key products while boosting the service and logistic sectors and addressing problems as they arise.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has helped localities and enterprises deal with infrastructure problems and public investment disbursement. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has boosted Vietnamese agricultural products in domestic supermarkets and expanded export markets.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said "We will focus on the domestic market and processing of agricultural products and at the same time strengthen trade promotion to reduce reliance on the Chinese market. In the long term, we will restructure agricultural products based on local conditions to meet market demand."
Vietnam targets a GDP growth rate of 6.8% this year.