HANOI, March 1 The policy response Vietnam
unveiled last week to tackle soaring inflation is appropriate
but the authorities might have to lower their gross domestic
product growth target, the Asian Development Bank said on
"The Vietnam policy measures... are a very appropriate
policy response," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told a news
conference in Hanoi.
"Lowering the inflation rate may require a downward
adjustment in the growth target in the short term, which is
necessary to ensure macroeconomic stability," he said.
Vietnam's official GDP growth target for the year is around
7 percent. The economy grew 6.8 percent last year but inflation
jumped. The annual rate stood at 12.3 percent in February. Last
week the government announced several steps to tighten monetary
and fiscal conditions in a bid to bring down inflation, restore
confidence in the currency and narrow trade and fiscal
The package came after a devaluation of the currency on
Feb. 11, followed by an increase in two key interest rates.
Around the region, Kuroda said, governments must pursue
sustainable growth and rely less on external demand.
Rising oil prices, exacerbated by turmoil in the Middle
East and North Africa, would generally be negative for the
countries in the region but "on balance Vietnam could benefit"
as an oil and food commodity exporter, he said.
(Reporting by John Ruwitch and Ngo Thi Ngoc Chau; Editing by