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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                           3  September 2011

Inflation is still top Vietnamese priority

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has outlined the country's key task for the remaining months of the year – to continue with a tightened monetary policy while allowing credit for production – in order to reach the goals of containing inflation and maintaining growth of around 6 percent.

At the regular three-day cabinet meeting that concluded in Ha Noi yesterday, Dung demanded constant pursuit of the tightened monetary policy and the adoption of policies to support small- and medium-sized enterprises, and rural and agricultural areas.

He requested a focus on controlling the prices of essential commodities to ensure the balance of supply and demand and prevent price hikes on food, foodstuff and petrol. He also asked for the easing of production difficulties and for investment into urgent projects, especially power generation.

Dung said the Ministry of Planning and Investment should seek opinions from cabinet members before finalising reports on the implementation of the socioeconomic development plan in 2011, orientations for 2012 and main tasks of the 2011-15 socioeconomic development plan in order to be in line with the country's actual situation.

In terms of orientations for 2012, Dung proposed to closely follow the established targets, including GDP growth of around 6.5 percent, inflation below 10 percent, a trade deficit of less than 13 percent, a reduction in the poverty rate by 2 percent and job generation for more than 1.6 million workers.

Ministries and localities should implement solutions together, particularly in monetary and financial regulations, investment in agriculture and economic restructuring, he said.

He also asked to avoid adjusting overall targets in the 2011-15 plan, saying that ministries and branches needed to review and effectively combine national target programmes to avoid overlaps.

Cabinet members said that the country's socio-economic situation had stabilised in August due to drastic and timely implementation of solutions to control inflation, stabilise the macro-economy and ensure social welfare. Satisfactory results were recorded in a number of fields, such as an inflation rate of less than 1 per cent, the lowest figure since the start of the year,

relatively high industrial production growth, a three-fold increase in export revenues over the target, reductions in the trade deficit and State budget spending, and a stable foreign currency market.

In the first eight months of the year, the country posted an export turnover of US$60.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 33.7 per cent, plus an industrial production value rise of 7.3 per cent, said the cabinet members, adding that the country attracted 3.96 million tourists in the period.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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