Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasized socio-economic achievements recorded this year, resulting in improved living conditions, increased national power and higher international prestige.
The Government leader made the report at the opening of the National Assembly’s second session on October 22.
He attributed the achievements to the Government’s effective and experienced performance as well as contributions by the public and business sectors.
His report showed that the economic growth so far this year reached 8.5%, representing a 10-year high, and triggering expectations for the nation to reach its 2006-2010 targets in 2008.
With a surge in development investment and a series of new infrastructure projects and production establishments in operation, the nation is on the right track towards development in the years to come, PM Dung said.
Progress has also been made in socio-cultural fields, especially administrative reforms regarding burning issues that won public and business support.
Vietnam’s foreign relations have continued to expand, improving the country’s international position.
After Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation, the Government began a programme of action to speed up the country’s integration into the global economy and extend its relations with many other countries worldwide.
October 16, 2007 saw Vietnam elected with a high vote as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2008-09 term.
The PM, however, also pointed out some weaknesses of the economy and the government’s work.
He said the production sector as well as the whole economy has progressed in output, quality and competitiveness but was still modest with a low efficiency in investment and high production costs.
The State budget over-expenditure, though kept within permitted limitations, is still rather high, the government leader stressed.
He went on to say the country has raised investment intake into the economy but not yet fully tapped the capital.
PM Dung also underlined other social problems to be dealt with, including labour safety, traffic accident and jams, that hinder the national development.
“The living conditions of farmers, particularly those in mountainous, remote, border and island areas, are still precarious,” he said, adding that the poverty rate amongst ethnic minority groups is four times higher than the whole country’s general rate.
Meanwhile, the anti-corruption fight has just made initial results, the PM said.
The government leader put forth socio-economic targets for 2008 and solutions to achieve these goals, noting that a high economic growth rate should be accompanied by the improved quality and competitiveness of the country’s economy.
PM Dung emphasised the need to develop socio-economic infrastructure, human resources, and science and technology as well as speed up administrative reforms and combat corruption, wastefulness and bureaucracy.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the need to improve ways to deal with cultural and social issues and environmental protection.
He singled out maintaining national sovereignty, political security and social order; active international economic integration and co-operation and effective management of the State and administrations at all levels are targets that should be fulfilled next year.
The PM expected that gross domestic product (GDP) would record a year-on-year increase of 8.5-9%, per capita GDP to reach US $960, with the country’s population maintained at 86.3 million.
According to the PM’s report, up to 75% of the rural population and 85% of the urban population will be supplied with safe water.
The government also expected that 60% of establishments causing environmental pollution will be dealt with and forest coverage will reach 40% by the end of 2008.