Teachers and students of the Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy show their determination before leaving for Phu Yen Province to support the COVID-19 fight. In his address Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh praised the hard work of those on the frontline fighting the pandemic. VNA/VNS Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh addressed the National Assembly yesterday, presenting the results of the socio-economic development plan for the first half of 2021.

He also outlined the state budget for the next six months and discussed plans to facilitate production and business as well as promoting growth.

But as well talking about development plans for the nation, the Deputy PM also praised the hard work of those on the frontline fighting the pandemic, and people nationwide for tirelessly working to keep the pandemic at bay but help achieve Viet Nam’s second goal of reviving the economy.   

“The Government would like to express gratitude to people nationwide and overseas, at all levels and sectors,” Minh said.

“Especially frontline forces such as healthcare, army, police, local authorities, business communities and socio-political organisations, for always being united and for their efforts to overcome difficulties and work together in pandemic prevention and control.

“We also send our sincere thanks for the close cooperation and valuable help of countries, organisations and international friends in this fight."

The Deputy PM said GDP in the first six months of the year reached 5.64 per cent, which was an impressive figure compared to other countries, in these troubled times.

He stressed that even in areas hit hard by the pandemic, economic growth rates were admirable.

State budget revenue also achieved positive results, reaching 58.2 per cent of the annual estimate, up 16.3 per cent compared to the same period last year. Export and import turnover also rose by 32.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

There were also good results seen elsewhere, with foreign direct investment topping US$9.2 billion, 6.8 per cent higher than the first half of 2020.

Other achievements highlighted by the Deputy PM included the management of markets, prevention of smuggling and trade fraud and the success of e-commerce, which he said has thrived and become an important distribution channel during the pandemic.

Operational efficiency of state-owned enterprises has improved thanks to the implementation of a number of solutions actively focussing on dealing with weak companies that were making losses.

And despite the continued complexities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Minh said difficulties have been removed that have helped speed up key infrastructure projects, with private investment playing a major role in the development of many large projects.

Looking to the remainder of the year, Deputy Prime Minister Minh outlined key areas of focus, with strengthening the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic a major priority.

He stressed the importance of protecting the health and lives of people, calling on the nation to ‘fight the pandemic as they would fight the enemy.’

And he reiterated the main tasks that needed to be fulfilled to win the war included mobilising the strengths of the entire political system, implementing the vaccine strategy, controlling borders, strengthening tracing, and managing those both in quarantine facilities and post-quarantine.

Turning attention to the economy, Minh said the Government will drastically and effectively restructure the economy in association with growth model innovation and international economic integration, focus on agricultural economic development while strongly developing processing, manufacturing, supporting industries, and information technology.

Public investment disbursement will continue to be accelerated, stressed Minh, to create a modern infrastructure system and Government will continue to improve the quality of human resources, focusing on high-quality vocational training in association with promoting innovation, application and strong development of science and technology; taking care of the people's material and spiritual life, ensuring social security while realising social progress and justice.

Employees, often the backbone of any nation, should not, Minh insisted, lack food, clothing and basic necessities. He said the Government will find solutions for those employees and employers hit hard by the pandemic.

As HCM City continues to record more infections, and other parts of the country struggling with an increase in cases, the Deputy PM insisted ministries, branches and localities, especially localities with many industrial parks and export processing zones, will continue to deploy and expand creative ways of producing, staying, and isolating at factories and enterprises at the context of the ongoing pandemic.

As the world battles with unpredictable weather conditions, he emphasised the need to strengthen environmental protection and climate change response.

He also pledged to continue fighting corruption and ensuing national defence and security, maintaining national sovereignty, strengthening foreign relations and international integration. 

Maintaining high GDP growth in the next five years 

Vietnam has set a target to maintain annual GDP growth of 6.5-7.0 per cent in the next five years, said minister of planning and investment Nguyen Chi Dung during the working session.

The country's economic development plan for 2021-2025 also aims to provide social and medical insurance benefits for 95 per cent of the population, reduce the poverty rate by 1.0-1.5 per cent annually and keep 42 per cent of forest coverage. 

Immediate objectives include containing the pandemic and securing enough vaccines for the population at the beginning of 2022. By then, the country must be ready to make a strong economic comeback.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment will continue to review current legal frameworks and procedures to identify bottlenecks and waste. The ministry is to introduce a number of measures to address recent issues that the country's laws have not been able to cover. 

The development of the digital economy and how to boost the economy's resilience have been made clear as key priorities during the pandemic and will continue to be the focus for Vietnam in the years to come. 

The ministry has set a deadline by 2025 to restructure the country's public investment, State-owned companies and credit institutes, especially a number of State-owned companies with particularly poor performance.

For the next five years, the country will continue to earmark areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change and underdeveloped as investment priorities to close the wealth gap between its numerous regions. 

Infrastructure investment, especially transport infrastructure such as highways, airports and railways in the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands will receive a boost to help said regions fight the adverse effects of climate change.

The country is to introduce a series of policies to bolster the development of science and technology. Major steps will be taken to reform education and the labour market as well as to build an environment in which businesses will become the driving force behind R&D activities in universities and other research facilities. 

The central government encourages each and every region to find their own development direction, which should be based on their natural advantages and work in harmony with their neighbours. 

The preservation of natural resources, the environment and the ecosystem are identified as key objectives in the country's efforts to strengthen its water security and its ability to fight climate change. 

The central government is to improve transparency and credibility as well as the quality of public servants especially for high-ranking officials who must answer for their offices' performances.

Source: Vietnam News

Expanding action to weed out pandemic

Expanding action to weed out pandemic

The prime minister has ordered a series of sturdy actions to fight against COVID-19 and spur on local production, as people look to the government for protection with the spectre of the pandemic looming yet again.