World Bank (WB) Country Director Victoria Kwakwa has affirmed development partners’ willingness to support Vietnam through providing policy consultancy and capital sources at the Vietnam Development Partnership Forum which opened in Hanoi on December 5.

In his address at the forum themed “Accelerating economic institutional reform, strengthening resilience and enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnam’s economy”, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pointed out major challenges in 2014, especially the complicated developments in the East Sea which have threatened stability and all-round development in Vietnam.

However, the country has made remarkable achievements in such fields as economics, politics, culture, social affairs, national defence, security, external affairs, international integration and improved business climate.

PM Dung underscored that in order to enhance the competitive capacity of the national economy next year, the Vietnamese Government would focus on implementing six major tasks:

First, the country needs to  improve the law-governed state and market economy institutions by ensuring people’s democratic rights under the 2013 Constitution, taking full advantage of all resources, and boosting administrative reforms to improve business environment and facilitate operations of private enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Second, the Vietnamese Government would continue to stabilize the macro-economy to accelerate economic development and ensure the constraint of public debt within limits.

Vietnam’s foreign exchange reserves have increased significantly in 2014 and are predicted to  witness uptrend next year. The country’s GDP growth rate has also been forecast to increase to 6.2% next year and some 6.5%-7% annually in the 2016-2020 period.

Thirdly, Vietnam would actively speed up the international integration process, implement  signed economic and trade agreements, and finalize negotiations on six new trade agreements, notably the free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU, the Custom Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea in 2015.

It is set to conclude the Trans Pacfic Partnership (TPP) agreement soon and has committed to facilitating foreign investors’  operations in and getting involved in the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by late 2015.

Fourth,  the nation would accelerate economic restructuring, transform growth model, enhance competitive capacity of the national economy, reduce bad debts in the banking sector by 3% by the end of next year, develop the local market, diversify the import-export market to avoid dependence on any market, and restructure the agricultural sector.

Fifth,  it would make greater effort to ensure social justice and welfare, reduce the number of poor households by 2% by 2015 and implement the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) effectively and and fulfill all UN goals set for next year.

Sixth, Vietnam would focus on carrying out uniform measures to combat corruption by revamping the market economy to ensure citizen’s rights, strictly control public assets and duly punish corrupt officials.

The PM expressed hope that international partners would continue to support Vietnam in  realizing the set targets for 2015 and the following years.

At the forum, The WB Country Director congratulated the Vietnamese Government on its accomplishments in 2014, suggesting Vietnam should focus on making reforms and improve  the competitiveness of the national economy and ensure social welfare.

The Government and related agencies should work harder on fine-tuning the legal system, strengthening the efficiency of macro-economic management,  making the monetary policy become more transparent, and ensuring the independence of the State Bank of Vietnam.