Vietnam's party leaders to target 7-8 pct GDP growth

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Vietnam's Communist Party is targeting annual economic growth of 7-8 percent over the coming five years, it said in a statement after a meeting of senior party leaders.

A draft of the political report being prepared for the 11th Party Congress in early 2011 also projected per capita income would reach $2,100 by 2015, according to the statement issued on Sunday at the end of a meeting of the party's Central Committee.

The Communist Party holds a national congress once every five years to select new leaders and chart a socio-economic and political course for the coming five years.

Average gross domestic product growth stood at an estimated 7.2 percent for the 2001-2010 period and per capita income could reach $1,200 this year, party chief Nong Duc Manh said in his closing remarks to the Central Committee meeting.

The Central Committee comprises around 200 of the party's top people, including government ministers and provincial leaders.

The Planning and Investment Ministry has said economic growth for the 2006-2010 period would average 6.9 percent, below the party target of 7.5-8 percent and the average 7.51 percent achieved between 2001-2005.

Last Friday the ministry said the economy was expected to grow 5.83 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, in line with previous government forecasts

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