Vietnam’s strong economic performance in 2017 has proven that the Southeast Asian country is no longer reliant on oil exports as some commentators seem to think, a deputy premier told lawmakers on Tuesday.
The fourth biannual session of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly is now underway in Hanoi, beginning on October 23, and will run until November 25, during which time legislators will consider several key socio-economic goals.
On the first day of the month-long session, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told lawmakers that given Vietnam’s healthy economic performance during the Jan-Sep period, the country was likely to achieve all 13 of its socio-economic targets for 2017.
On Tuesday, legislators reviewed the country’s implementation of its socio-economic plan for 2017 and set targets for 2018.
Lawmakers hailed the government for its efforts, with Vietnam also on track to meet its full-year GDP growth target of 6.7 percent, but were careful to note that there were still challenges ahead.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue underlined the fact that the country’s economic growth was no longer simply reliant on oil exports, but strong performances in the industrial and service sectors.
“Vietnam’s oil production in the first nine months of 2017 dropped 8 percent on the same period last year, and full-year production is estimated at 12.28 million metric tons, 3 million tons less than in 2016,” Hue explained.
“While the oil industry is suffering in 2017, the manufacturing and production sectors have soared.”
|Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue|
Hue said that the industrial sector in Bac Ninh, home to a Samsung factory, had posted 25.1 percent growth, while growth in other locations including Hai Phong and Thai Nguyen were 20.1 percent and 18.1 percent, respectively.
Vietnam’s service sector, including the retail and tourism industries had also logged strong growth, according to the deputy premier.
“Vietnam receives more than one million foreign tourists every month and we are certain that we’ll meet the target of 13 million international arrivals in 2017,” Hue said.
“Rather than try to increase oil production by one million tons, Vietnam would rather try to attract one million more tourists, as this will result in green, clean and safe growth for the economy.”
Vietnam’s lawmakers have set out specific goals for 2018, including GDP growth of 6.5-6.7 percent, with an average consumer price index of about four percent.
Total export revenue is set to expand by seven to eight percent, while the country’s trade deficit is expected to remain below three percent.