Sunday, 20/8/2017
An overview of Vietnam’s society in 2006
8/3/2007 15:34' Send Print

Despite numerous difficulties and challenges, achievements obtained in 2006 were satisfactory. Vietnam successfully held the APEC 14 Summit, joined the WTO, and the US Congress approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations, which has encouraged new foreign investment flow to the country. To maximise potential, at the beginning of the year, all branches and levels and businesses from all economic sectors must strictly follow the Government operation to take measures, snatch opportunities, and overcome weaknesses and challenges. The 11th National Assembly, at its 10 session issued a resolution with indicators for socio-economic development in 2007. The resolution set the target for a GDP growth rate of 5.2 - 5.5 percent, export turnover of 17.4 percent, and total social investment of 40 percent of GDP. With the new impetus and strength created in 2006, an optimistic socio-economic situation in Vietnam in 2007 is expected. The prediction is based on the increase in resources and investment in development, particularly ODA and FDI. The ratification of PNTR with Vietnam by the US Congress will strongly increase FDI and ODA early in the year. Import-export activities will thrive more than last year. In trade, PNTR is the foundation for the US to re-consider preferential taxes imposed on goods imported from Vietnam. In addition to this, ratification of the PNTR and Vietnam’s joining of the WTO, will lead to the removal of quotas for exporting textiles and garments, footwear and aqua-products to the US as well as issues relating to the dumping of basa catfish, shrimp and leather footwear. Therefore, Vietnam will export more goods to the US, particularly rice, coffee and rubber. It is certain that investment and trade relations between the world’s No. 1 economy and Vietnam will bring about a new turning point with better prospects. It is predicted that bilateral export turnover will reach more than US$ 11 billion in 2007. According to Walter Blocker, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Ho Chi Minh City, after PNTR and WTO, many changes will take place in Vietnam’s economy in which the balance of trade will be tilted towards Vietnam. Meanwhile trade relations between Vietnam and other markets particularly the EU, China and Japan will suddenly and rapidly increase. With new funds and markets, investment, export, industrial and agricultural production, and services will further develop and obtain a higher growth rate against 2006. So, in 2007, it will be possible to obtain a GDP growth rate of 8.5 percent. If big typhoons, floods and pests had not stricken the Mekong river delta, in 2006 GDP would have increased to over 8.5 percent although Vietnam had not joined the WTO and the US Congress had not approved PNTR with the country yet. So, there is no reason why from now on the growth of Vietnam’s economy will be slower than in 2006. Evidence from China showed that five years after joining the WTO and enjoying PNTR, its GDP growth rate has always reached 9 percent a year and in 2006 it was estimated at over 10.5 percent. To therefore reach this potential, i, all branches and levels and businesses from all economic sectors must strictly and immediately follow the Government operation at the beginning of this new year to take measures, snatch opportunities, and overcome weaknesses and challenges in order to surpass the indicators set for 2007.

Nguyen Sinh Cuc