The symposium was jointly held by the National Economics University (NEU), the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission and the National Assembly’s Committee for Economic Affairs.
Rector of NEU Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Chuong said the national economy experienced unprecedented challenges last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the economy is also facing macro and financial uncertainties, which have hindered economic recovery.
Associate Prof. Dr. To Trung Thanh from NEU held that the economic growth of 2.58 percent last year, the lowest over the past two decades, was mainly due to the economic downturn in the third quarter with the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
Another reason was ineffective and inconsistent response policies rolled out by localities, along with the prolonged lockdowns in many key economic regions due to the pandemic.
Although investment and credit, the main drivers of the national economy, were maintained, their efficiency showed a decrease, Thanh said.
However, positive signs were seen in innovation and digital economy, which have been considered new impulses for the economy, he stressed, adding that Vietnam ranked 44th out of 132 countries and economies in the Global Innovation Index 2021 (GII 2021) announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Experts forecast that the growth target of 6-6.5 percent set for this year is reachable given the present pandemic situation and the stimulus package for economic recovery.
They also cautioned over risks and uncertainties due to complex developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, escalating political tensions in the world, soaring oil prices, and bubbles in the real estate and stock markets.
The experts, therefore, suggested that the Government’s policies should seek ways to recover and develop the economy sustainably amid the pandemic, with fiscal policies playing the most important role.
The Government should increase its fiscal support to about 5-6 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) in at least 2-3 years.
Meanwhile, credit policies should also target businesses that are less affected by the pandemic but play a role in boosting production, they said.
They also proposed maintaining social welfare packages for those affected by Covid-19, expanding beneficiaries and paying more attention to laborers in the informal sector.
On this occasion, NEU announced its annual publication on Vietnam’s economy in 2021.