Vietnam has seen improvements in its eco-social development in the first five months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, but the government is “not satisfied,” Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Tuesday.
Although the country’s eco-social development has improved, there is still macroeconomic instability and weaknesses in the way the economy is managed and driven, the premier said at the 2015 Midterm Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) in Hanoi.
“The government is not satisfied and will continue focusing on its major tasks in the future,” he said.
The plans include stabilizing the macro-economy, controlling inflation, keeping public debts under safe limits, boosting enterprise restructuring and increasing the effectiveness of state investment, he elaborated.
Vietnam will try to keep inflation below five percent not only in 2015 but also the ensuing years, according to the prime minister.
“In 2016 there will be no weak banks left in the banking system, and the nonperforming loan rate will be reduced to three percent,” he said.
The VBF, held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was themed “enhancing enterprise competitiveness for global integration.”
In their speeches delivered at the forum, representatives from the World Bank, AmCham Vietnam, EuroCham Vietnam, and the Japan Business Association in Vietnam pinpointed many challenges, such as tax procedures, business transparency and enterprise restructuring which the Southeast Asian country is facing in its global integration.
In his closing speech, Prime Minister Dung ordered relevant ministries to seriously take these suggestions and recommendations into consideration.
The Vietnamese ministries should “create all favorable conditions to have a better business environment and improve the competitiveness of the enterprises and the economy,” the premier requested.
With many international investors showing concern about a possible power shortage in the future, Prime Minister Dung asserted that “Vietnam will not run out of electricity from now to 2030.”
The sluggish construction of some power plants may cause a power shortage in the southern region in 2018, but “the government already has plans to deal with this,” Dung reassured.
“The roadmap for adjusting electricity prices in Vietnam will soon be made public and transparent to dissipate any worries of those investors who want to participate in this sector,” he added.
The premier also revealed that Vietnam is only “a few technical issues away” from signing a free trade agreement with the EU, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other countries, including the U.S.
“Vietnam will then have 14 free trade agreements and relations with 55 partners, 15 of which are G20 members,” he said.
“This is an important ground to create a favorable business environment.”
The VBF was established as a project of the Vietnam Consultative Group at a meeting between the Vietnamese government and its donor partners in Tokyo in 1997, according to the forum’s website.
The forum is known as one of the first public-private dialogue projects implemented by the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation.
The VBF hosts two annual meetings in Hanoi, establishing regular channels of communications between foreign and domestic companies and the Vietnamese government.
The forum is widely recognized for contributing to reforms that have improved the business environment in Vietnam.