Strategic plan aims at sustainable development: Vietnam PM

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The government's key priorities this year are to stabilize the macro-economy, curb inflation, restructure the economy, and improve social welfare to maintain sustainable growth, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.

"Rising inflation, increasing bank interest rates, and the fluctuating exchange rates have created pressure in stabilizing macro-economy, and difficulties in production. This threatens sustainable development," Dung said in a statement on the national Strategic Socio-economic Development Plan 2011-2020.

According to government statistics, Vietnam grew by 6.78 percent in 2010 but inflation touched 11.75 percent in the period.

Dung said that the 2001-2010 Strategic Development Plan has created an "impulsive force" for the next ten-year-plan. Apart from the Enterprise Law being passed, the government has facilitated growth of the private sector, attracted foreign investment, enforced administrative reform, and developed better relations with other countries by joining the WTO.

"During 2001-2010, we overcame many challenges and dealt with fluctuations in the world economy to achieve significant growth," he said.

Sustainable growth is the predominant theme in the 2011-2020 development plan, PM Dung said.

Dung said the next ten-year strategy faces new challenges of a world in flux, impact of globalization, pressure to become a green economy, and keeping up with scientific and technological advances. He added that emerging economies around the world are quickly changing the world's socioeconomic landscape.

In his statement, Dung said that Vietnam's development plan for 2011 will focus on restructuring the economy, and supporting industries including tourism, transportation, logistics and seaport services. Agriculture remains an important sector that will attract investment in infrastructure and biotechnology, he said.

The 2011 plan also aims at favoring investors in production and trading with the government simplifying related procedures and regulations, offering better access to loans and promoting trade.

In social terms, the government targets to reduce the number of households living under poverty line by two percent in 2011, improving insurance services, healthcare and education.

On December 31, Deputy PM Nguyen Sinh Hung announced the poverty line will be raised to monthly incomes of VND500,000 in urban areas and VND400,000 in other areas. Earlier, the thresholds were set at VND260,000 and VND200,000, respectively.

"[The plan] requires a careful balance of economic and sociocultural development, to ensure an advanced and equitable society, without sacrificing our environment," he said.

The ten-year plan set a general target of turning Vietnam into a modern, industrialized country by 2020 with a socialist-oriented market economy, environmental and administrative reforms, a skilled labor pool, technological developments, and infrastructure improvement in major cities.

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