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Vietnam to borrow US$2 billion for Mekong Delta development
Ngoc Thuy 11:53, 2021/04/01
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement in his last monthly meeting before a new government is formed.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed on seeking international loans worth around US$2 billion from the World Bank, France or Germany to support the development of the Mekong Delta.

“It is an urgent matter to ensure sustainable development of the region, which requires sufficient resources and suitable solutions for both short- and long-term,” Phuc said.

Phuc requested the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to soon finalize the master plan for the Mekong Delta, and work with localities to set up investment projects.

The sustainable development of the Mekong Delta was one of the key contents discussed at the government's monthly meeting, the last one chaired by Phuc on March 31 before a new government is formed.


 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting. Photos: Quang Hieu

He said as Vietnam has been able to put the Covid-19 pandemic under control, socio-economic performance in the first quarter of the year has shown signs of improvement.

Referring to the country’s Q1 GDP growth at 4.8% year-on-year, Phuc highlighted the contribution of three major driving forces of the economy including consumption, investment and trade, adding the growth is a significant improvement over the 3.68% recorded in the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, the number of newly-established enterprises also rose by 28% year-on-year to 30,000, in which a majority is in the manufacturing sector.

The PM also pointed to other key economic indicators, including a trade surplus of US$2 billion in the first quarter, and the newly registered FDI at US$7.2 billion, up 30% year-on-year.

In March, the consumer price index (CPI), a gauge of inflation, declined by 0.27% against last month, making the average growth  for the quarter of 0.29%, the lowest   in the past 20 years.

“The dual target is feasible as Vietnam has effectively fought off the pandemic, while ensuring the realization of major socio-economic development targets,” Phuc said.

 Overview of the meeting.

Stronger efforts needed to realize GDP growth target

Giving a more detail look on the country’s economic prospect, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said while the country’s GDP growth at 4.48% was higher than the government’s forecast in January, it remained 0.64 percentage points lower than expectation.

 Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

To ensure the GDP growth of 6.5% for 2021, Dung noted the economic growth  for the second quarter would be 7.19% (0.08 percentage points higher than the target); 6.78% in third quarter (0.07 percentage points higher); and 7.16% in fourth quarter (0.49 percentage points higher).

“To realize the growth target is a challenging task, which requires efforts to stimulate growth along with support for sectors affected by the pandemic,” Dung added.

Among measures to boost growth, Dung stressed the urgency to speed up the Covid-19 vaccination program, as well as the flexible management of fiscal and monetary policies.

Dung also called for greater attention on risky markets, while advising the State Bank of Vietnam to monitor credit channeled into fields of real estate, securities or road development.

“Vietnam should push for greater improvement of the business environment and reform administrative procedures,” Dung noted, saying these steps along with speedy disbursement of public investment funds would help boost economic growth.

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