Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)
Cabinet members started to review the national socio-economic situation in May – the first month after the social distancing measures were lifted and the economy entered the “new normal” period – during a Government meeting in Hanoi on June 2.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that Vietnam has gone through 48 days without COVID-19 infections in the community, and most of the patients have been discharged from hospital.
Vietnam’s performance in the fight against the pandemic has been praised by international news agencies, he said.
The leader lauded cities and provinces like Hanoi, Hung Yen, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh and Dong Nai, among others, for their great efforts to complete assigned socio-economic development targets.
The domestic tourism sector has also proven its strong vitality last month, he said, adding that aviation and tourism that were severely hit by the pandemic have begun to resume their normal activities.
Thanks to a range of activities adopted by the Government to support production and business, May indexes are much better than those of April, according to the PM.
This is an opportunity for Vietnam to move ahead in the context of difficulties and challenges faced by the world, he said, calling for efforts to optimise this “golden opportunity” while containing the spread of the pandemic.
The PM said major economic balances have been ensured, inflation reduced and people’s living standards improved.
In this session, he went on, the Government will maintain discussions on issues related to socio-economic development and the building of legal institutions, while carefully assessing risks and challenges that need to be overcome in the time ahead such as drought, hot weather, and negative impact of the COVID-19 on economic relations and tourism activities.
The Government leader called for more drastic measures to gain bigger economic development in the remaining months of 2020, and keeping a close watch on the international situation to have policies on trade, investment and tourism so as to take advantage of the global shift of investment flows.
He stressed the need to discuss stricter measures to address child abuse, together with those to ensure children’s rights. Localities, social organisations, the Women’s Union and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union were asked to uphold their responsibility in caring for and protecting the rights of the children.
The prices of pork must be also put on table, he stated, emphasising the importance of stabilising them by value chains and by encouraging investment in large-scale husbandry and applying modern technology in production.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, more than 5,000 businesses resumed operations in May 2020, a year-on-year rise of 32.7 percent.
Growth was seen in the total retail sales of goods and services (26.9 percent), index of industrial production (11.2 percent), and exports (5.2 percent).
Revenues from trade activities and services in May rose sharply by 26.9 percent compared to the previous month, but declined by 4.8 percent against the same period of 2019.
In January-May, the total retail sales of goods and services saw a year-on-year reduction of 3.9 percent.
Trade of goods was seriously affected by COVID-19. However, Vietnam still maintained a trade surplus after the first five months of the year, which was estimated at 1.9 billion USD.
The index of industrial production (IIP) expanded by only 1 percent, the lowest in the past few years.
Meanwhile, the State budget collection in the five-month period reached 529.6 trillion VND (22.8 billion USD), equaling 35 percent of the annual estimate.VNA