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November 13, 2008

Vietnam to keep lowering rates to boost growth
Vietnam should keep lowering interest rates next year and manage the exchange rate flexibly in the face of worsening global economic conditions, Reuters quoted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as saying Thursday.

At the same time, the government would keep controlling inflation as a target next year, Dung told parliament.

"Interest rates remain high, lending has slowed making it difficult to do business. Interest rates should continue to be lowered next year," Dung said.

With storm clouds gathering over the global economy, Hanoi this month cut country's the gross domestic product growth target for 2009 to 6.5 percent from 7 percent. This year's target is 6.7 percent.

The Vietnamese government has been taking aggressive action to maintain growth, including cutting rates, widening the currency's trading band against the dollar and lowering banks' compulsory reserve requirement last week.

"Reaching the overall targets, which are to continue to contain inflation, stabilise the macro economy, proactively prevent economic recession, maintain appropriate, sustainable growth ... will require a high determination of the entire Party, people and the whole political system," Dung said.

In October, consumer prices rose 26.7 percent from the same month last year, lower than the annual inflation in September but still the 12th consecutive month of a double-digit increase.

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