Vietnam, already growing at one of the fastest rates in the world, is set to continue that momentum for several more years, a senior government official said last week. The nation's economy expanded nearly 8.2% last year -- one of the world's fastest rates after China -- and First Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said that pace of growth would continue for the period 2010-2015.
"We expect that we will retain such an economic growth of 8% to 10% per annum," he said.
Nguyen provided other figures to demonstrate his country's transition from a centrally-controlled to a free market economy. Vietnam abandoned strict Soviet-style central planning and began its "doi moi" market reforms 20 years ago after decades of war. In January, the country joined the World Trade Organization international trading system which it hopes will further accelerate growth. More than $15 billion in foreign investment is expected this year, Nguyen said.
"This year we are going to issue about one billion dollars in government bonds to the international markets," he added.
Nguyen also said his country needed training assistance to help the growth continue. "We need help from all the world community and our friends," he said, appealing for help across a wide spectrum of fields including manual labor, high technology and management.
The aim, he said, was to reduce poverty, improve health and education systems and generally raise living standards. As the population neared 100 million, fewer than 20% now lived below the poverty line, he said.
Nguyen said the country would have to cut corporate and personal tax rates to further encourage an inflow of foreign capital.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007