PM warns about inflation pressure

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 08:27

Workers at the Samsung Electronics Viet Nam Thai Nguyen (SEVT) factory in Yen Binh industrial zone in the northern province of Thai Nguyen. Tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment will be poured into the country as foreign direct investment this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Thursday warned about fluctuations in global prices and asked ministries and departments to maximise efforts to curb inflation and ensure macro-economic stability.

He issued the charge as he chaired the Government cabinet’s regular meeting, the first of the Lunar New Year, in Ha Noi.

Phuc said inflation pressure this year could be high due to the increase of crude oil and goods prices. Meanwhile, tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment will be poured into the country as foreign direct investment. Furthermore, Viet Nam is one of the 10 biggest recipients of remittances in the world with US$13 billion per year, which will make curbing inflation even harder, he noted.

Focusing on business and production development and creating a healthier business environment remain major requirements for all departments and sectors, the PM stressed.

The Prime Minister said many countries in the world are adjusting their economic policies, including reducing corporate income tax, increasing imported goods tax and setting up trade barriers. Such factors would certainly impact Viet Nam’s economic prospect.

Thus, he urged economic restructuring, increasing labour productivity, attracting more foreign investment, improving domestic production efficiency and better Government policies in socio-economic management in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

The PM called for bottlenecks in production of small-and medium-sized enterprises to be removed to drive growth in 2018.

Impressive beginning

The cabinet also reviewed the Tet holiday, which lasted from February 14-20. The Prime Minister lauded efforts of agencies and sectors to ensure a warm festival for people nationwide.

The leader expressed his delight at seeing business activities promptly resuming after the festival.

Regarding the country’s development in February, the PM said despite the week-long holiday, the macro economy, as well as interest and foreign exchange rates remained stable.

February’s consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.73 per cent, with food and catering services up 1.53 per cent. The index in the first two months of this year rose by 2.9 per cent year-on-year.

The leader also commented on exports in February, which stood at some $13.4 billion, raising the total export value in the two months to $33.6 billion, up nearly 23 per cent year-on-year. The number of foreign visitors to Viet Nam was 1.43 million, increasing by 19.4 per cent compared to last year’s period.

Phuc cited a trade surplus of $1.08 billion as a highlight of the national economy in February.

In the first two months of the year, more than 18,000 new enterprises were established with the registered capital reaching more than VND197 trillion ($8.75 billion), an increase of 29.3 per cent compared to last year’s registered capital figure.

The PM also recognised achievements in various fields from foreign direct investment disbursement, business establishment, social welfare and rural development to defence-security.

He mentioned unpredictable developments in the region and the world, and pointed out shortcomings in the domestic socio-economic situation, including low investment from the State budget.

At the meeting, cabinet members discussed the draft law revising and supplementing some articles of the Law on Special Amnesty and bills on cultivation, animal husbandry, urban development management and population. — VNS

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