Vietnam News, 28 May 2015. Vietnam’s Cabinet discusses the economy as reported in an article titled, Cabinet looks to ease agriculture woes.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam’s socio-economic situation improved in May and the first five months of this year, but agriculture still faces difficulties, attendees of a regular Cabinet meeting said yesterday.

According to a report by the Minister of Planning and Investment, Bui Quang Vinh, the macro-economy so far this year has been on the right track.

CPI

In May, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.16 percent over the previous month and 0.2 percent over the same period last year.

Trade Balance

During the first five months of this year, total exports were US$63.2 billion (up 7.3 percent year on year) and imports were $66.2 billion.

The number of new start-ups and their combined capital surged by 15.5 and 26.3 per cent, respectively. The number of enterprises resuming operations rose 5.9 percent. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Viet Nam reached US$4.95 billion, an increase of 7.6 per cent. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) disbursement rate hit $749 million, an increase of 11.8 per cent on the year.

Agriculture

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat reported that the prolonged drought in the central and Central Highlands regions, as well as the stagnation in the export of a number of agricultural products, adversely affected production and farmers’ lives.

The ministry would push crop and animal restructuring in drought-hit areas, while continuing to promote the application of advanced technology to raise the production, quality and competitiveness of produce, the minister said.

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said that along with speeding up negotiations for free trade agreements between Viet Nam and partners, the ministry would work with other ministries to seek new markets for farm produce – especially key products like rice, coffee, rubber, seafood and vegetables.

Tourism

At the meeting, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said the number of foreign visitors to Viet Nam so far this year was lower than to other countries in the region. He suggested that the Government ramp up tourism promotion activities, as the country had recorded a decrease of 12.6 per cent in the number of international arrivals.

Other Cabinet members agreed that it was crucial to make tourism leading economic sector. It was necessary to remove administrative barriers to attract visitors while opening more direct air routes from Viet Nam to promising markets, they said…

 

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