Uncomplacent about achievements

Tuesday, 2018-12-04 17:42:32
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Achievements in 2018 are of significant importance which creates conditions for Vietnam to improve the investment environment, enhance competitiveness and boost innovation. (illustrative image)
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NDO - According to a Government report delivered at the recent National Assembly meeting, 2018 will be the second consecutive year in which Vietnam can complete and exceed all 12 targets set for the whole year. The latest forecasts of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also predicted that Vietnam's economy will grow by 6.6% - 6.8%, while inflation will stand at roughly 4%.

Notably, three prominent highlights of 2018 are the equal development of sectors and localities, the positive improvement to the investment environment, and the prosperity of foreign trade and international integration.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam's 11-month industrial production increased by over 10% over the same period last year, of which, the processing and manufacturing industry expanded by 12.2%. The total domestic demand also rose sharply with total retail sales of goods and services in 11 months increasing by 11.5%.

Vietnam also welcomed more than 14 million foreign visitors during the 11-month period, up 21.3% over the same period last year. The country enjoyed a trade surplus of US$6.8 billion and witnessed the establishment of over 121,000 enterprises, with total registered capital up by 9.1%. The proportion of the industry and service sector accounted for 85.2% of the economic structure, exceeding the target of 85% set for 2020.

Positive improvements continued to be seen in state budget revenue and expenditures, budget overspending, public debt control, foreign exchange reserves, the settlement of banking non-performing loans, FDI disbursement and public investment. Plans on the restructuring of 51 credit institutions were approved in 2018, while the rate of non-performing loans decreased to approximately 2%.

The Committee for Management of State Capital (CMSC) was set up and put into operation, contributing to boosting the efficiency of State enterprises.
In the first 11 months of this year, Vietnam also invested more than US$360 million abroad, including both newly registered and supplemented capital.

The exceptional highlight of 2018 was that Vietnam signed and approved the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a new generation free trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to create positive impetus for improving the investment environment for the whole country.

The country has also reduced and simplified 61% of the conditions on business and 60% of procedures regarding the specialised inspection of import and export goods in 2018. This year, Vietnam ranked 12th out of 157 countries assessed by Oxfam in terms of corporate income tax reduction and named in the top 10 countries in the East Asia - Pacific region showing strong commitments on reforming their tax policies. In addition, Vietnam's rating was 58.1 points, up slightly from 57.9 in 2017 in the Global Competitiveness Report 2018, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The country reported a 40% decrease in the number of people facing hunger compared to the same period in 2017 and a fall in the unemployment rate in urban areas to 3.14%. The health insurance coverage was estimated at 86.9%, exceeding the target of 85.2%. In addition, nearly 40% of communes and 55 districts nationwide have met the standards set for new-style rural areas and the rate of poor households was reduced to 5.2% - 5.7%, down by 1% -1.5% over the same period in 2017.

Vietnam will certainly fulfil and exceed 11 targets set for the 2016-2020 period in 2018, which were defined in the Resolution of the 11th Party Congress and NA Resolutions, contributing to consolidating the confidence of the people and creating an atmosphere of excitement in the whole society.

However, Vietnam still faces lot of pressure, especially in the business sector. In the first 11 months of this year, 97,969 enterprises suspended their operations and went bankrupt, accounting for 64% of the total number of newly registered enterprises and enterprises resuming operations.

In addition, sectors and localities should continue to actively and cautiously control inflation, traffic accidents, smuggling, trade fraud and climate change, while improving labour productivity, competitiveness, the localisation rate and obeying international commitments.

The world economy may slow down globally in 2019 in addition to latent difficulties and challenges in terms of trade, finance, non-traditional security threats, climate change, natural disasters and epidemics. In that context, Vietnam will also approach new opportunities and challenges from a number of new generation FTAs.

Achievements in 2018 are of significant importance which creates conditions for Vietnam to improve the investment environment, promote the start-up spirit, enhance competitiveness and boost innovation. Such impressive accomplishments are also expected to help Vietnam fuel economic growth and renew economic growth models to meet higher requirements for sustainable development.