Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently emphasized efforts to encourage agricultural production and promote development in remote areas. Photo: VNA

Hanoi.–The local press here has recently highlighted a 6.8% economic growth rate projected for 2018, an impressive figure in these times of deceleration.

The Vietnamese News Agency, for example, reported a recent directive by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, which emphasized that meeting this and other economic goals requires a struggle against inefficiency and a detailed understanding, on the part of all institutions, of the role they must play.

Although the figure may appear ambitious, Vietnam is in a position to meet the objective, since over the last several years the country has achieved significant growth, despite the unfavorable international situation and internal, natural challenges such as floods, drought, and salt water intrusion in important areas.

In 2016, the Gross Domestic Product increased 6.21% and should reach 6.7% this year - enviable statistics for any country in the world.

This can be said in a flash, but reaching this point has not been easy, as can be understood by those who are aware of the harsh reality Vietnam has overcome.

After a war during which the U.S. dropped more than 260 million bombs (half a ton of explosives for every citizen), the nation expelled the aggressor, licked its wounds, and set forth on an unprecedented journey toward development.

Vietnam has been moving toward an open economy since 1986, via a policy of renovation called Doi Moi and has made progress in a number of sectors, and is now identified as a middle income, developing country.

It is within this context that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for the elimination of unnecessary expenses and inflated staffs, the re-organization of administrative personnel, and the allocation of funds to raise workers' wages.

In his recent directive, prioritized were national programs focused on reducing poverty; creating jobs; encouraging agricultural production; promoting development in remote areas; and applying the latest scientific knowledge and technology.

Guided by Doi Moi, the nation has maintained steady growth in its GDP, reducing poverty and improving living conditions for the population.

Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007 and its affiliation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have allowed for its full integration into the global economy, and a gradual reduction of customs tariffs.

Likewise, the opening of certain sectors to foreign investment has proven beneficial and key to industrialization.
Thus Vietnam has the cards in hand to continue growing at a rapid pace, and has shown that it knows how to play. (PL)