On the morning of March 29, 2021, the General Statistics Office (GSO) held a press conference to announce socio-economic statistics for the first quarter of 2021. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Huong, General Director chaired the press conference. At the press conference, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong announced the basics of the socio-economic situation of Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021. Accordingly, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated to increase by 4.48% over the same period last year, higher than the growth rate of 3.68% in the first quarter of 2020. From the end of January to the beginning of March, the Covid-19 epidemic had complicated developments in some localities, negatively affecting the socio-economic situation of the country. The first-quarter growth results showed the direction, drastic and timely administration of the Government, the Prime Minister, and the efforts of all levels, sectors, people, and businesses to continue to effectively implement the dual goal of “both preventing epidemics and developing economic development “.

Some major socio-economic indicators in the first quarter of 2021 are as follows:

– Gross domestic product (GDP): + 4.48%

– Index of industrial production (IIP): + 5.7%

– Number of newly established enterprises: 29.3 thousand enterprises

– Total retail sales of consumer goods and services: + 5.1%

– Realized investment capital: + 6.3%

– Total export turnover of goods: + 22%

– Total import turnover of goods: + 26.3%

– Trade surplus: 2.03 billion USD

– International visitors to Vietnam: -98.7%

– Average consumer price index: + 0.29%

– Core inflation: + 0.67%

In the context of the Covid-19 epidemic still complicated in the world with new variations, the socio-economic picture of Vietnam in the first quarter of 2021 continued to maintain stability and achieved positive results. The growth rate was at 4.48%, which is a fairly good growth rate compared to other countries in the region and around the world, macro economy was stable, inflation was controlled at a low level. Domestic supply and demand of goods were guaranteed. Purchasing, consumption, and export of goods increased. The agriculture, forestry, and fishery sector had a relatively high growth rate, confirming the efficiency of the sector structure transformation, ensuring the supply of essential food, kinds of food and goods. The manufacturing industry continued to play an important role in promoting economic growth in the first quarter of 2021. The disbursement progress of public investment capital was significantly improved, the growth rate of investment capital under the  State budget reached the highest level since 2011, social security was paid attention to implement.

However, in addition to the achieved results, entering the second quarter, our country’s socio-economy still faces many difficulties and challenges, especially the large openness of the Vietnamese economy, so it is affected by the mixed in many aspects because the international economic situation is increasingly complicated and unpredictable. Although the Covid-19 epidemic has been controlled in Vietnam, complicated developments in the world have disrupted global supply chains, affecting trade, tourism, transportation, increasing unemployment rates, and the lack of jobs increases will affect social security. Therefore, the Vietnamese economy in 2021 will continue to face many difficulties, achieving the growth target of 6.5% is a big challenge, it needs the joint strength and consensus of the Government, businesses, and people. In a short time, it is necessary to control the Covid-19 epidemic well, quickly deploy vaccination against Covid-19, continue to implement solutions for enterprises to quickly and effectively access support packages, increase the growth rate of public investment disbursement. At the same time, focus on the following key contents:

Firstly, the Agriculture sector needs to adjust appropriately in terms of rice crop structure, cultivated area, variety structure or change production structure on rice land, strengthen production direction of key crops available with the climate change, especially need flexibility in direction for each region, and type of tree. In the transformation progress, needs to be suitable with soil and market. In the transition process, the concerned agencies should always follow up and make recommendations so that the production does not follow the movement, avoiding the “rescue” of agricultural products again. For localities applying the shrimp-rice farming model, it is necessary to have clear orientations, plans, and regulations on rice cultivation in combination with aquaculture to ensure both the demand of domestic consumption and export, but and rice land is not contaminated with alum and salinity due to rice-shrimp cultivation. For livestock, continuing disease control measures, especially African swine fever, continue to offer policies, support packages, and technical instructions for farmers to re-herd to restore pigs to stabilize the domestic pork market and price; Poultry production needs to control well in terms of herd increase, closely monitor market demand to avoid a mass increase.

Secondly, to support the business community to solve difficulties in product consumption such as finding and expanding export markets, supporting taxes, export fees, stimulating domestic consumption demand … Continue exemption, reduction of taxes, fees, and land rent by 2021. Expansion of subjects eligible for tax deferral according to Decree 41/2020 / ND-CP of the Government dated 8/4/2020. Along with that, it is necessary to effectively prevent smuggled goods, combat transfer pricing, and fraudulent labels of Vietnamese goods for export to take advantage of Vietnam’s advantages when joining trade agreements.

Thirdly, promoting the country’s advantages and position in the socio-economic development process, successfully preventing and handling the Covid-19 epidemic in the past time, creating confidence for foreign investors to attracting investment. Proactively, monitor and evaluate the trend of FDI inflows into Vietnam to make appropriate policy adjustments in attracting quality, environmentally friendly FDI to contribute to economic growth and the economic development of the country.

Fourthly, to exploit and take advantage of opportunities from signed Free Trade Agreements to find solutions to develop markets and remove barriers to enter new markets. Prioritize the implementation of export promotion activities, continue to deploy activities to connect supply and demand, trade promotion to support the consumption of domestically produced products, especially for fresh products.

Fifthly, flexibly and carefully manage monetary policy, interest rates, and exchange rates, in line with domestic and international market developments, harmoniously coordinating with fiscal policies and other macro policies to control inflation, support production, business and promote economic growth, proactively prevent and limit the instability of the world market that has negative impacts on the domestic market. Credit growth meets production and business development requirements.

Sixthly, closely monitor the weather situation, proactively prevent natural disasters, warn floods, landslides, the impact of drought, saltwater intrusion to minimize damage to production and people’s lives. Effectively implement social security, labor, and employment policies. Well implement unexpected assistance work, ensure that people get timely support when facing risks and natural disasters, overcome difficulties and stabilize their lives. Strengthen the work of ensuring traffic order and safety, protecting the environment, and preventing fire and explosion.