HANOI, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Vietnam is looking to raise its economic growth target for 2021 by 0.5 percentage point to 6.5%, although the coronavirus pandemic and adverse weather are potential obstacles, its prime minister said on Monday.
Vietnam’s economic growth slowed to 2.91% this year, its lowest level in at least 30 years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and a sluggish global economy. That rate was still among the world’s fastest.
“I can say 2020 is the most successful year of Vietnam in the five-year term. Our country is now better than ever,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, referring to Vietnam’s economic performance in 2020.
“We previously targeted a growth of 6.0% for next year. Although there remain several obstacles, the government aims to expand the economy 0.5 percentage point higher,” Phuc said.
The prime minister spoke at a government meeting in Hanoi ahead of the Communist Party’s five-yearly Congress, the country’s most important event, where a new leadership will be chosen. It is expected to be held in late January.
Phuc said Vietnam had done a good job in containing the coronavirus, paving the way for economic activities to quickly rebound.
With strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam has quickly contained its coronavirus outbreaks, recording just 1,441 infections and 35 deaths.
“The level of success is determined not only by what we have achieved, but also by the obstacles we have overcome,” the prime minister said.
Vietnam is sticking to its target of average annual growth of 6.5%-7.0% for the next five years. (Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Martin Petty)
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