Vietnam Deputy PM: Economy facing mounting pressure; credit growth remains weak


HANOI (Reuters): Vietnam's economy is facing mounting pressure and the government will maintain policies that support growth, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai said on Monday.

Khai said inflation is on the rise while credit growth remains weak, adding that global geopolitical situations are unfavourable and unpredictable.

"It's a huge challenge to reach this year's socio-economic targets," Khai said at a month-long National Assembly meeting starting on Monday.

Vietnam is targeting economic growth of 6.0%-6.5% this year, faster than an expansion of 5.05% last year.

Khai said Vietnam will continue policies that are supportive for economic growth, including seeking to cut loan interest rates, restructuring loans for firms facing difficulties and boosting public investment.

He said Vietnam will stick to its target of 15% credit growth this year.

Vietnam has also nominated the enforcer of Communist Party’s anti-corruption drive as the next president and proposed a new head of parliament, in appointments that could ease months of political turmoil and allow policymakers to refocus on a struggling economy.

The Party Central Committee proposed Minister of Public Security To Lam to the presidential position, according to a statement on the government’s website. It also sought to elevate National Assembly Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man to the legislature chairman’s post.

The party nominations come amid a years’ long anti-graft campaign pushed by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong that has ensnared two presidents, two deputy prime ministers, a parliament chairman, scores of other government officials and business executives. A death sentence was given to a real estate tycoon in a $12 billion fraud case in April.

The parliament will begin the process of voting on the nominations Monday, after the start of its summer session, the legislature’s Chief Administrator Bui Van Cuong said during a Sunday briefing. To Lam will continue to hold his current position as head of the public security ministry until the parliament approves his replacement, he said. - Reuters

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