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Covid relief packages total over $10 bln: minister

By Minh Son   October 1, 2021 | 09:30 pm PT
Covid relief packages total over $10 bln: minister
Rice is distributed to a poor resident in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Relief payments this year to businesses and individuals hit by Covid-19 have totaled $10.45 billion, or 2.84 percent of GDP, a minister said.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said at a seminar on economic recovery and development in 2022-23 that the comparable rates are 11.4 percent in Thailand and 5.3 percent in Malaysia,.

Vietnam's relief policies have been designed to mainly mitigate short-term financial difficulties, he said.

"We still lack overall, long-term, synchronous, big-ticket solutions to accelerate economic recovery in association with reforming structure, improving competitiveness and enhancing the economy’s resilience."

He suggested solutions for recovery in the next two years, saying measures to control the pandemic and improve healthcare capacity are urgently required.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quy Phuong said: "Safe, flexible adaptation to and effective control of the epidemic are prerequisites and indispensable for economic recovery."

Other proposed measures by the ministry include reviving tourism, stimulating domestic consumption through market stabilization, trade promotion and automobile tax and fee reduction, developing agricultural value chains, assisting enterprises in digital transformation, attracting more FDI, and speeding up public spending which is estimated at some VND1,200 trillion ($52.17 billion) in the next two years.

The economy is set to grow 2.5 percent this year if last quarter growth is 5.3 percent, according to the General Statistics Office.

Vietnam’s GDP shrank by 6.17 percent in the third quarter, as social distancing and other Covid-19-related restrictions hurt the economy.

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