Economic growth recovered to pre-COVID-19

Saturday, 06/07/2024 22:00
The better-than-expected growth and a big trade surplus were among the results recorded during the first half of 2024, heard the Government’s regular press meeting held in Hanoi on July 6, reported Vietnam News Agency.
Minister - Chairman of the Government’s Office and Government Spokesman Tran Van Son addressed the press meeting on July 6. (Photo: VNA) 

Minister - Chairman of the Government’s Office Tran Van Son, who is also Spokesman of the Government, said that generally speaking, the economy recovered to the pre-COVID-19 level during the first six months and continued the positive trend, with performance improving month over month and quarter over quarter.

Many important results were obtained, and most areas saw better performance than in the same period of 2023, he said, elaborating that the gross domestic product (GDP) strongly rebounded to grow 6.93% in the second quarter and 6.42% in H1, much higher than the 3.84% recorded during the same period last year and also better than the 5.5 -6% scenario set in the Government’s Resolution 01-CP.

The macro-economy has been kept stable, inflation under control, and major economic balances ensured. The six-month consumer price index (CPI) increased 4.08%, with the core inflation up 2.75%. Energy and food security has also been guaranteed.

Notably, exports continued soaring. Overseas shipments rose 14.5% while imports climbed 17% during H1, resulting in a trade surplus of 11.63 billion USD, helping ensure the balance of payments, Son noted.

The service and tourism sectors have also bounced back strongly. Total retail sales of goods and consumer service revenue increased 8.6%. Meanwhile, the number of international arrivals topped 8.8 million in six months, surging 58.4% year on year and 4.1% from the same period of 2019 before the pandemic broke out.

Photo for illustration. (Source: VNA) 

The official also underlined encouraging results in the financial and state budget situation, development investment, foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, enterprise development, social security, per capita income, cultural and sports aspects, administrative reform, external affairs, and integration into the world.

However, Son added, officials also pointed out certain problems and challenges needing to be addressed such as the pressure on inflation, foreign exchange rates, and macro-economic stability, production and business hindrances in some areas, slow public investment disbursement, and the sluggish settlement of obstacles in the real estate market.

To achieve the growth target for H2 and create momentum for next year, the Government will continue to prioritise promoting growth in tandem with keeping macro-economic stability, controlling inflation, ensuring major balances of the economy, carrying out a reasonably expanded and focus-driven fiscal policy that is coordinated harmoniously with and facilitates the implementation of a proactive, flexible, timely, and efficient monetary policy.

Financial and budgetary discipline will also be tightened, the budget collection management enhanced, and state budget expenditure reduced, the Spokesman noted.

In addition, the Government will push forward with digital transformation; the exemption, reduction, and extension of the payment deadlines of taxes, fees, charges, and land use fees; along with obstacle removal to facilitate the real estate, corporate bond, and stock markets.

Electricity and petrol supply will be ensured for economic activities and consumption, Son went on, adding that key infrastructure projects will be accelerated while the traditional growth drivers (investment, export, consumption) renewed, and new growth drivers strongly promoted.

The Government is also set to step up institutional and legal perfection, administrative procedure reform, and national digital transformation, he told the press meeting.

Enterprises urged to further engage in ESG criteria

Europlast Long An solar power plant in the southern province of Long An. (Photo: VNA) 

Promoting green growth is an urgent trend, a driving force of economic growth and a crucial factor in enhancing national competitiveness admist international integration, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, reported Vietnam News Agency.

She affirmed that major enterprises should integrate environment, society, and governance (ESG) criteria in their development process.

This is mandatory for businesses if they want to make strides.On the journey towards green growth, ESG criteria are the standard for measuring and evaluating an enterprise’s sustainable development. Many of Vietnam's major trade and investment partners have had strict requirements on this issue.

Meanwhile, ESG is drawing widespread attention thanks to the Government's efforts in promoting ESG-related practices and investors' increasing demand for sustainable investment.

Since 2022, 80% of companies surveyed has planned to implement ESG in next two to four years, contributing to disclosing ESG data and reports more common.The application of ESG criteria opens up opportunities for market expansion, and intensification of cooperation of businesses.

However, many firms find it difficult to achieve growth goals while still ensuring environmental protection, social responsibility and good governance because of increasing costs.Vietnamese enterprises are paying more attention to environmental issues but their understanding of environmental regulations is still modest.

A survey by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) showed that only 31.8% of domestic private enterprises said they clearly understand environmental regulations while 68% said they have been negatively affected by climate change. Moreover, investment in ESG implementation is still inadequate.

Deputy Minister Ngoc said that the ministry has submitted the system of green economic sectors to the Government and developed a mechanism to support businesses with good ESG practices.Besides, the ministry is focusing on building a set of national green classification criteria which will be an important legal framework to implement green growth goals.

The criteria will be the basis for ministries, agencies and localities to select investment projects, and allocate domestic and international resources, particularly green credit sources.

Work starts on Quang Tri airport project

Blueprint of Quang Tri airport. (Photo: 

Construction started on the Quang Tri airport project, which has an initial outlay of 5.8 trillion VND (227 million USD), in Gio Linh district on July 6 by the People’s Committee of the central province of Quang Tri and a joint venture between T&T Group and CIENCO 4, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, Deputy Prime Minister Le Thanh Long and representatives from central and local agencies attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

The project, approved by the Prime Minister under the public-private partnership model, is located in the communes of Gio Quang, Gio Hai, and Gio Mai in Gio Linh district, covering an area of 265 ha.

The project is expected to be implemented in 50 years including 24 months for preparation and construction and 47 years and 2 months for operation and toll collection to recoup investment.

Upon completion, the airport will meet the standards of a Class 4C airport defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and a Level II military airport, capable of handling Code E aircraft and serving about 5 million passengers and 25,500 tonnes of cargo annually.

It will address the ever-growing demand for air travel, foster economic growth, and ensure high mobility for military operations and disaster relief efforts in the Central Region.

The construction of the airport is expected to be completed by July 2026.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy PM Le Thanh Long applauded the provincial People’s Committee, the Transport Ministry and relevant agencies for overcoming difficulties and creating favourable conditions for the airport project to be implemented.

He asked the province to support investors, construction and consultancy units during the project's implementation, especially ensuring the progress of site clearance and resettlement

Quang Binh Tourism Week 2024 to feature assorted activities

The central province of Quang Binh is planning to hold Quang Binh Tourism Week 2024 from July 6 to 14, with a wide range of exciting arts and culture activities, reported Nhan Dan Online News.

Tourists enjoy a cool night by the beach in Quang Binh. (NDO) 

During the week, there will be a conference on developing rural and community tourism while various arts and culture programmes are set to take place in Dong Hoi City.

Quang Binh Tourism Week will feature 90 exhibition booths, including 50 food stalls, 20 booths to showcase products under the One Commune One Product programme, and 20 booths to promote tourism.

Other activities include a food festival, an electronic dance music (EDM) festival, a light festival and a fireworks display.

The food festival is intended to honour, preserve and promote the culinary cultural values of Quang Binh and other regions throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the EDM festival is expected to give tourists and young people an electric and immersive experience on the beautiful Nhat Le Beach./.