Vietnam News Today (Jan. 16): Vietnam Demonstrates Strength of Socialist-oriented Market Economy

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 16): Resilience crucial for domestic economy in new situation; Vietnam demonstrates strength of socialist-oriented market economy; PM calls on Chinese group to invest in transport infrastructure projects; Bonsai rental services more popular this Tet.
January 15, 2023 | 21:40

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 16) notable headlines

Resilience crucial for domestic economy in new situation

Vietnam demonstrates strength of socialist-oriented market economy

PM calls on Chinese group to invest in transport infrastructure projects

Bonsai rental services more popular this Tet

Vietnam's foreign reserves to return to US$100-billion mark by year-end

Labour market marks quick recovery

Party and Front leaders pay Tet visits to policy beneficiary families

International friends enjoy the Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival at an ancient village

2023 homeland spring program kicks off

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo: VNA
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo: VNA

Resilience crucial for domestic economy in new situation: Minister

Improving the resilience of the economy and creating a premise for the building of a self-reliant economy in association with active and extensive international integration are of special significance for Vietnam, especially in the new situation, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, the minister noted that last year, the macro-economic situation was stablised, with inflation reined in and all major balances ensured. The consumer price index (CPI) expanded 3.15%, he said, adding that the country’s GDP growth reached 8.02%.

At the same time, the financial and currency markets remained stable. Interest and exchange rates were regulated in line with market developments, and liquidity and credit growth mediated. These moves helped remove bottlenecks in capital flow, he noted.

However, he said that the economy faced many difficulties last year, especially in the last months, mostly due to complicated fluctuations in the world.

The minister said that in 2023, the global economy will continue to experience complications, and inflation is forecast to create headwinds.

In that context, the ministry will continue to coordinate with other ministries and sectors to give advice to the Government and the PM on management measures and policies in short, middle and long terms. The aim is to ensure macro-economic stability, support businesses and boost economic growth, and complete the institutions, he said.

At the same time, the ministry will complete the development directions for six key economic regions, while speeding up the implementation of the three strategic breakthroughs and the 12 groups of tasks and solutions stated in the socio-economic development plan for the 2021-2030 period. This should improve domestic production capacity, labour productivity and the efficiency, competitiveness, and self-resistance of the economy against new external factors and challenges in the medium and long terms, cited VNA.

The minister highlighted a number of lessons learnt in 2022 that can be applicable for 2023, including keeping a close eye on developments in the domestic and international situation, staying confident and actively preparing plans to respond to all possible circumstances.

For Vietnam, a developing country, the improvement of resilience of the economy which creates a premise for building an independent and self-reliant economy associated with proactive and active international integration holds special significance, especially in the new situation, he stressed.

The minister underlined the need to focus on speeding up the implementation of key tasks and solutions for 2023 on the spirit of solidarity, discipline, flexibility, innovation, and efficiency.

At the same time, it is necessary to stick to the viewpoints, targets and directions by the Party and State. These tenets maintain economic stability, reining in inflation, promoting growth, ensuring major economic balances, and closely coordinating fiscal and monetary policies as well as other macro-economic policies to suit the real situation, he said.

The official also pointed to the need to complete institutions, remove bottlenecks and optimise all resources for development, while making breakthroughs in institutions, human resources and infrastructure. Meanwhile, it is crucial to restructure the economy, promote science-technology, innovation and digital transformation, he said, adding that economic development must be made harmonious with environmental protection and defence-security protection.

Vietnam demonstrates strength of socialist-oriented market economy

Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Tatiana Pugh Moreno has attributed Vietnam’s incredible recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic to its strengths brought about by the socialist-oriented market economy.

In a recent media interview with on the occasion of the New Year, Moreno said Vietnam’s economic recovery was evidenced by the impressive growth of 8% last year.

She expressed her wish to learn from Vietnam’s experience in the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, saying that her nation is seeking economic restructuring solutions and Vietnam should share its experience in the field with Venezuela and globally as well.

Vietnam’s organisation and development of the economy as well as the involvement of all economic sectors are outstanding examples for the world, the Venezuelan diplomat continued.

President Hugo Chávez presents a gift to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap during Vietnam visit. Photo: VNA
President Hugo Chávez presents a gift to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap during Vietnam visit. Photo: VNA

Moreno said Vietnam’s voice in the international arena carries much weight as the country won its seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 tenure in October 2022. This will help a responsible country like Vietnam prove its stature via following principles of solidarity and respecting the right to self-determination of nations.

According to her, the fact that Vietnam has a legitimate voice in the UNHRC as one of the responsible members of international community, especially at present, is significant. The world is experiencing challenging times. Being aware of that, the Vietnamese Party and State raised a voice, which earns international plaudits.

Recalling a year back, the diplomat said 2022 had marked a special time when Vietnam and Venezuela resumed the exchange of high-level visits, including Vietnam visits made by Vice Foreign Minister for Asia, the Middle East and Oceania Capaya Rodriguez and Vice Foreign Minister for North America Carlos Ron.

She said that at a photo exhibition held at the Venezuelan Embassy on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of Vietnam-Venezuela diplomatic ties, there were several photos featuring a meeting between Commander Hugo Chávez and General Vo Nguyen Giap. It was an important meeting between historic figures that motivated the two countries to journey together in the time ahead.

She revealed that the two nations will continue ramping up cooperation in a variety of fields like oil and gas, and energy.

The fourth meeting of the Vietnam-Venezuela Joint Committee, set to be held in Caracas this year, which offers an important opportunity for them to review bilateral coordination and work out measures to further elevate bilateral ties in the near future, according to VOV.

As Venezuela is one of the world’s major energy suppliers amid the global energy crisis, the ambassador affirmed her nation’s readiness to help Vietnam in this field as pledged by the late President Hugo Chávez.

PM calls on Chinese group to invest in transport infrastructure projects

Vietnam always welcomes foreign investors, including those from China, in the spirit of “harmonious interests, shared risks,” Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has affirmed.

The PM made the affirmation at a reception for Yan Jiehe, Founder and Chairman of China Pacific Construction Group, one of China's largest private corporations in the field of transport infrastructure, in Hanoi on January 14.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Yan Jiehe, Founder and Chairman of China Pacific Construction Group. Photo: VNA
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Yan Jiehe, Founder and Chairman of China Pacific Construction Group. Photo: VNA

Briefing the guest on Vietnam’s socio-economic development, Chinh said Vietnam has defined infrastructure development, covering transport infrastructure, as one of the three strategic breakthroughs, reported VNA.

The country aims to build 3,000 km of expressways by 2025, and 5,000 km by 2030, he continued.

The PM suggested the Chinese group hold working sessions with Vietnamese ministries, agencies, localities and partners to seek cooperation opportunities, soon open a representative office in the Southeast Asian nation, and join bidding for transport infrastructure projects in an open, transparent and equal manner, and in line with Vietnamese legal regulations.

For his part, Yan spoke highly of Vietnam’s economic prospects, and noted his hope to participate in infrastructure projects in the country.

The group will soon open a representative office in Vietnam, and closely coordinate with Vietnamese agencies and localities, he said.

Bonsai rental services more popular this Tet

Bonsai rental services have become more popular this Tet Lunar New Year in HCM City.

Duong Minh Dung, owner of an apricot garden in Cu Chi District said that he has over 100 apricot trees, including several old ones valued at hundreds of million dong.

"Our customers can buy or rent the trees for Tet decorations," Dung said. "We're having more rental bookings this year as customers said that they couldn't afford to buy the trees. They will only have to pay VND10 million for a tree which costs VND100 million."

The farmer said that he prefers to rent the trees as he wants to keep those beautiful trees that he has spent lots of time and effort taking care of.

On Mai Chi Tho Street in Thu Duc District some gardeners are also busy trimming the bonsai trees before renting them out to customers during Tet, cited Dtinews.

Garden owner Quynh Hoa said that over 80 percent of the trees would be rented this year while only 20 percent left is for sale.

"More customers are renting bonsai trees this year due to limited budgets, "each grapefruit tree in my garden costs between VND30-50 million, but customers will have to pay only between VND3-5 million if they rent one."

An apricot tree for sale.
An apricot tree for sale.

Most gardens are introducing the trees on their Facebook fan page or Zalo app. Customers can tell their requirements and budget and negotiate with sellers online or directly visit the gardens to choose one.

"Renting orders are up some 20 percent compared to last year," Hoa said.

Le Huu Thien, Director of Mai Binh Loi Collective in Binh Chanh District said that there were about 500 households growing apricot trees on an area of 600 hectares.

"Many people are earning good incomes from growing bonsai," he said. "We're seeing more people from neighbouring localities come and grow bonsai in our area thanks to the fertile soil."

Vietnam's foreign reserves to return to US$100-billion mark by year-end

During the first 10 months of 2022, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) was forced to sell an estimated 20% of total foreign exchange reserves to stabilize the exchange rate.

Vietnam's foreign exchange reserves will recover from the current level of US$90 billion to about $102 billion by the end of 2023, equivalent to 3.3 months' worth of imports, according to securities firm VNDIRECT.

The brokerage’s report suggested the country’s foreign reserves are set to improve this year thanks to a stable exchange rate, high trade surplus, and positive current account.

 Vietnam's foreign reserves may reach US$102 billion this year. Photo: Hai Linh
Vietnam's foreign reserves may reach US$102 billion this year. Photo: Hai Linh

In 2023, VNDIRECT forecasts Vietnam’s trade surplus may reach $13.4 billion, or an increase of $1 billion against last year, while the current account may shift from a deficit to a surplus at around 1.4% of the GDP.

During the first 10 months of 2022, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) was forced to sell an estimated 20% of total foreign exchange reserves to stabilize the exchange rate.

This resulted in the reduction of Vietnam’s foreign reserves below the IMF recommended threshold, or over 3-month worth of imports.

However, during the remainder of 2022 and early 2023, a slight depreciation of the US dollar has relieved pressure on the exchange rate. By the end of 2022, the US selling prices quoted by banks rose by 3% against the beginning of the year.

“This has allowed the central bank to shift its priority to stabilizing the policy rates to support businesses and the economy,” said VNDIRECT, noting the SBV may consider buying in foreign currency to boost the liquidity of Vietnamese Dong (VND) in the market and lower the interest rates.

Last December, the SBV announced that it may start purchasing foreign currencies following three months of selling.

Sharing the same view with VNDIRECT, Standard Chartered said building up the foreign reserves may become a top priority for the SBV this year.

In this regard, improving the current account and tourism recovery may support the VND, cited Hanoitimes.

Standard Chartered anticipated the USD/VND exchange rate may reach VND23,400 by late 2023, and VND23,000 by late 2024.

VNDIRECT, however, remains cautious that the USD Index may not fall well below the 100-mark and even on the rise in case Fed continues to hike the policy rates by 50-75 percentage points in the first half of 2023.

“The SBV may keep a cautious view on the management of the exchange rate, especially during the first six months,” noted the securities company.

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