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Feb 15, 2020 / 15:39

Vietnam gov't to make utmost efforts to realize economic targets in 2020

Vietnam is predicted to be among four economies hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, behind Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (China).

Vietnam would continue to implement drastic measures against the outbreak of Covid-19 and make its utmost efforts to ensure the fulfilment of socio-economic targets set for 2020, said the government in a resolution on February 14.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a monthly government meeting on February 5. Source: VGP. 

To prevent the spread of the outbreak, the government gives top priority to protecting people's health, even at the expense of economic benefits.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and other agencies are tasked with following the instructions of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in removing import tariffs for medical face masks and hand sanitizers as well as input materials for production of medical equipment to support fight against the epidemic.

Prime Minister Phuc requested provinces/cities to monitor and evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 on businesses in each locality, especially in the fields of trade, agriculture, industry, tourism and services.

Among measures to mitigate negative impacts of the epidemic, Phuc said the government would speed up disbursement of public investment and construction of major infrastructure projects, including Trung Luong – My Thuan expressway, North-South expressway, Long Thanh International Airport, and maintenance of Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh railway, among others.

Additionally, related agencies are required to speed up the approval of FDI and ODA projects, as well as the establishment of new enterprises towards the goal of having one million enterprises by the end of 2020.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, is expected to manage monetary policy in a flexible and cautious manner, aiming to control inflation and maintain stable macro-economic conditions.

The government instructed the SBV to promote loans in priority fields of production and business, while commercial banks are ordered to restructure debt servicing period and lower interest rates for firms hurt by the Covid-19.

At a monthly government meeting on February 5, Phuc said Vietnam is determined to reach the GDP growth target of 6.8% for 2020 although the ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus (nCoV) is having adverse impacts on the economy.

However, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in its latest prediction expected Vietnam’s GDP growth to slow to a 7-year low of 5.96% this year, representing a 0.84 percentage points lower than the target and 1.06 percentage points compared to 2019.

Vietnam would be among four economies hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, behind Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (China), said the agency.