Friday, 19 June 2009

Vietnam legislature lowers growth target

HANOI (AFP) — Vietnamese legislators agreed on Friday to lower the country's economic growth target to around five percent in the face of an economic slowdown, the government said.

Ninety percent of deputies in the communist-dominated assembly agreed to lower the target from 6.5 percent, as the government requested, it said.

Production, trade, investment, job creation and revenues have been hit by the slump, leaving most targets unattainable, the government said, quoting a resolution passed by the Assembly at the end of its month-long session Friday.

"Difficulties and challenges remain huge," it said.

When the legislature opened its sitting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said that because of the downturn state revenues have fallen while spending demands have risen.

The government said deputies approved a maximum budget overspending of seven percent of gross domestic product to allow for expenditure needs.

They also approved an exemption of all personal income tax for the first six months of the year, the government said.

Vietnam's economy grew by 6.18 percent last year, its lowest level in almost a decade, and Hanoi said first-quarter growth was 3.1 percent, the lowest on record.

But Vietnam was one of the few countries with positive growth in the first quarter of the year while the world's major economies battled recession.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

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