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Govt projects GDP growth at 6%-6.5% next year

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Government has targeted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6%-6.5% in 2022 despite the lingering challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The target was included in a socioeconomic development plan for next year, delivered by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at a meeting of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on October 12, the local media reported.

The minister said the Government set out 16 main targets for the economy, the society and the environment, including keeping inflation and the budget deficit at 4% each.

Minister Dung said due to the severe impacts of the global pandemic on health, the economy and society, the country failed to achieve four out of 12 targets.

The economy grew 5.64% in the first half of the year over the year-ago period but fell 6.17% in the third quarter due to the fourth Covid-19 wave, resulting in a growth of only 1.42% in the January-September period.

Dung warned that the economy still faced potential risks such as a surge in prices, a fall in exports, the disruption of some production and supply chains and bottlenecks in goods circulation in some areas.

The country’s GDP growth this year may reach 3%-3.5% depending on the economic reopening, but it would be hard to achieve, Dung said.

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said the agro-forestry-fishery sector had maintained its growth last quarter and contributed 0.35% to the overall growth. Therefore, the Government should determine the role of the sector and work out plans to boost its development in the coming periods.

Meanwhile, the industry and construction sector has been hit heavily by the pandemic. Supply chains have been disrupted and are dependent on the international market. The logistics and transport sectors and the labor market have also faced multiple difficulties.

Industry and construction fell 5.02% in the third quarter, so its growth in the January-September period was only 3.57%.

NA Chairman Hue stressed that specific solutions were needed to help the sector recover.

NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Khac Dinh said 2020-2021 is the country’s most difficult period ever. Therefore, larger support packages and drastic measures should be issued to help the economy recover, revive consumer demand and investment and support residents and enterprises.

He highlighted the need to improve fiscal and monetary policies, administrative reform and digital transformation.

NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai said the country might face many difficulties next year, so breakthrough solutions would be needed, noting the fall of foreign investment in Vietnam.

The NA Standing Committee will submit the socioeconomic development plan for next year to the National Assembly for approval at a sitting due to start on October 20.

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