In the morning of September 29, 2021, the General Statistics Office (GSO) held a press conference to announce the socio-economic statistics of the third quarter and nine months of 2021 in a direct format at the headquarters of the General Statistics Office and online at 63 Statistical Offices of provinces (PSOs). The conference strictly complied with the regulations on Covid-19 disease prevention and control of the Ministry of Health, Hanoi city and the General Statistics Office. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, General Director chaired the press conference. At the press conference, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, announced the basic issues about the socio-economic situation of Vietnam in the third quarter and nine months of 2021. Accordingly, gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2021 was estimated to decrease by 6.17% over the same period last year, the deepest decrease since Vietnam calculated and announced quarterly GDP up to now. Generally for 9 months of 2021, GDP increased by only 1.42% over the same period last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic seriously affecting all sectors of the economy, many key economic localities had to implement social distancing for a long time to prevent disease.

Some major socio-economic indicators in 9 months of 2021 are as follows:

          – Gross domestic product (GDP): + 1.42%

          – Index of industrial production (IIP): + 4.1%

          – Number of newly established enterprises: 85,481 enterprises

          – Gross retail sales of consumer goods and services: -7.1%

          – Realized investment capital: + 0.4%

          – Total export turnover of goods: + 18.8%

          – Total import turnover of goods: + 30.5%

          – Trade deficit: 2.13 billion USD

          – International visitors to Vietnam: -97.0%

          – Average consumer price index: + 1.82%

          – Core inflation: + 0.88%

In the context of the Covid-19 epidemic still having complicated developments, the socio-economic picture of Vietnam in the nine months of 2021 still maintained a positive growth rate and achieved some positive results in some fields. It is thanks to the participation of the whole political system, the timely, drastic, and close direction and management of the Government, the Prime Minister, and the efforts of all levels, branches, localities, the business community, and the people of the country. Agencies at central and local levels have well and effectively implemented epidemic prevention and control, effectively deployed the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund to receive, manage and use aid sources, support the purchase and self-research, production of vaccines, free vaccinations for people to be determined to achieve the highest possible socio-economic goals in 2021. The economy maintained a positive growth rate of 1.42%, although it was not a high growth rate, social security ensured, and the macroeconomy was stable and inflation controlled.

Entering the fourth quarter, our country’s economy and society may face many difficulties and challenges, especially Vietnam’s economy has a large openness, so it is affected by many aspects of the international economic situation increasingly complex and unpredictable. Although vaccination against Covid-19 has been strongly deployed by many countries around the world, the world economy’s recovery is still fragile. The disruption of the global supply chain still exists that affecting trade, tourism, transportation, unemployment, and underemployment increase will affect social security.

To achieve the socio-economic goals of 2021 at the highest possible level, it is necessary to have the cooperation and unanimity of the Government, businesses, and people. To overcome difficulties and promote economic growth in the remaining months of 2021, it is necessary to focus on the following solutions:

Firstly,  it is necessary to control the Covid-19 epidemic well, continue to vigorously and effectively implement the progress of Covid-19 vaccination in association with the expansion of injection facilities and subjects. Develop and guide the implementation of the Health Framework for Disease Prevention and Control for a safe coexistence with the Covid-19 epidemic, soon stabilizing people’s lives and realizing the dual goals of disease prevention and economic recovery, and economic development.

Take care of people’s health and life, ensuring social security and welfare. Ensure food, essential services, health, and social security services to the people, with appropriate support solutions for specific target groups. Promote and spread the spirit of solidarity, support each other to overcome difficulties, soon stabilize life.

Secondly, continue to effectively implement mechanisms, policies, and solutions to support people, workers, and businesses to endure, overcome difficulties, stabilize and restore production in the last months of the year. In particular, support for workers who have lost their job, incomes, and informal workers should be implemented effectively with the motto: “No one left behind” thereby creating peace of mind, do not relocate from the local workplace, leading to confusion and shortage of labor resources in localities with the complicated and prolonged epidemic situation.

Thirdly, keep macroeconomic stability, control prices, markets. Ensure the supply of goods and balances of the economy. Implement flexible fiscal and monetary policies to both control inflation and promote growth.

Open up the economy gradually, concentrating resources to restore production and business activities. It is an urgent requirement to avoid long-term impacts on the growth engine of the economy, which can weaken and exhaust the resilience of businesses and people in the context of the economy is heavily affected by the pandemic, prolonged social distancing.

Fourthly, strengthen measures to tighten financial discipline – budget. Speed up the implementation and disbursement of public investment capital, reviewing and completing processes and procedures, ensuring simplicity and convenience for public investment project implementation, disbursement, and expansion of public-private cooperation. The Government directs ministries, branches, and localities to focus on completing procedures for public investment. Focus on policy dialogue, on-the-spot investment promotion, grasp the situation, take timely and appropriate measures to remove difficulties for foreign-invested enterprises operating in the Vietnamese territory. Instruct and support enterprises to develop and implement plans to restore production and business under the developments of the Covid-19 epidemic in localities.

Fifthly, closely monitor domestic and international markets, promptly remove difficulties and obstacles for import and export activities. To overcome the trade deficit, need to create policies must encourage and support enterprises producing export goods using domestic input materials. Strengthen the management of export and import; restrict the import of goods with abundant domestic supply to support domestic production, and improve the trade deficit. Remove difficulties, support exemption, and reduction of fees for businesses that incur high costs in the process of transporting and circulating goods.

Sixthly, closely monitor the weather situation, proactively plan for disaster prevention, warn of rain, floods, landslides, impacts of drought, and saltwater intrusion to minimize damage to production and people’s lives. Effectively implement policies on social security, labor, and employment. Implement well the work of unexpected assistance, ensuring that people in danger or disaster receive timely support, overcome difficulties, and stabilize their lives. Strengthen ensuring traffic order and safety, environmental protection, and fire and explosion prevention.