On the morning of December 29, 2021, the General Statistics Office (GSO) held a press conference to announce the socio-economic statistics of the fourth quarter and the year 2021. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, GSO General Director, chaired the press conference. At the press conference, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong announced the socio-economic situation of Vietnam in the fourth quarter and 2021. Accordingly, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2021 estimated an increase of 5.22% over the same period last year, although higher than the growth rate of 4.61% of 2020 but lower than the growth rate of the fourth quarter of 2011-2019. In general, GDP in 2021 increased by 2.58% compared to the previous year(in the first quarter, by 4.72%; in the second quarter by 6.73%; in the third quarter by 6.02%; in the fourth quarter by 5.22%). Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, which seriously affected all areas of the economy, especially in the third quarter of 2021, many focus economic localities had to implement prolonged social distancing to prevent the epidemic.

Some key socio-economic indicators in 2021 are as follows:

– Gross domestic product (GDP): + 2.58%

– Index of Industrial Production (IIP): + 4.8%

– Number of newly established enterprises: 116,837 enterprises

– Realized social investment capital: + 3.2%

– Average consumer price index: + 1.84%

– Core inflation: + 0.81%

– Total retail sales of consumer goods and services: – 3.8%

– Total export turnover of goods: + 19%

– Total import turnover of goods: + 26.5%

– Trade surplus: 4 billion USD

– International visitors to Vietnam: – 95.9%

– Labor force aged 15 and over: 50.5 million people

– Employees aged 15 and over are working: 49 million people

– An unemployment rate of the labor force in the age group: 3.22%

– Underemployment rate of the labor force in the age group: 3.10%

In summary, in 2021, in the context of the complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, our country’s socio-economic situation remained at the growth rate with a positive result in all fields thanks to the participation of the political system, the timely, drastic, and close direction, and management of the Government and the Prime Minister along with the efforts of all levels, branches, localities, the business community, employees, and people nationwide. Agencies at the central and local levels have well and effectively implemented epidemic prevention and control; quickly deploy the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund to receive, manage and use aid sources, support purchasing, and self-research, produce vaccines, and vaccinate people free of charge to achieve the highest possible socio-economic target in 2021. The economy still maintained its growth rate, although it did not reach the set target, social security was ensured, the macro-economy was stable, and inflation was controlled at a low level.

The above-mentioned positive results affirm the confidence of the people, the business community of foreign investors in the correct and timely leadership, direction of the Party, the National Assembly and the drastic management, closely by the Government, the Prime Minister, leaders of ministries, departments, branches, and localities. Step to the year 2022 with many risks and challenges intertwined. The risk of slow economic recovery and growth slowdown will happen if the epidemic is under-controlled and economic activities are re-opened; increased inflation risks; potential risks of natural disasters and climate change. To promptly overcome difficulties, actively take advantage of all opportunities, exploit all potentials, and successfully realize the socio-economic development goals in 2022, it is necessary to focus on implementing some key solutions as follows:

Firstly,continue to effectively implement Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP dated October 11, 2021, promulgated temporary regulations “safe, flexible and effective control of Covid-19 epidemic”; ensure consistently, focused, and cross directly from the central to local levels. Maximize protection of the people’s health and life, focus on removing difficulties for production and business, effectively supporting people and businesses.

Secondly,persistently maintain macroeconomic stability, control prices and markets, ensure the supply of goods and macro balances of the economy; implementation of fiscal policy, monetary policy should be flexible both to ensure inflation control and growth promotion; improve the autonomy, resilience, and adaptability of the economy.

Thirdly,continue to effectively implement mechanisms, policies, and solutions to support people, workers, and businesses to endure, overcome difficulties, stabilize and restore production. In particular, support for workers who have lost their jobs and incomes needs to be implemented effectively with the motto: “No one left behind” thereby creating peace of mind and not moving from the workplace returning home, leading to confusion and shortage of labor resources.

Fourthly, develop well the domestic market, promote sustainable export, ensure the supply of essential goods, raw materials, fuel for production, do not let the supply chain break. Remove barriers, create favorable conditions for domestic consumption, and export of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products. Set up the value chain of each agricultural product associated with the origin, developing agricultural and rural infrastructure logistics; ensuring the supply chain of the domestic market.

Fifthly,restructuring, recovering and developing some key industries and fields and businesses that are directly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic like trade, services, logistics, transportation, aviation, tourism; urgently restore the tourism market, facilitate international and domestic passenger movement and appropriately support tourism businesses associated with disease safety.

Sixthly,supporting digital transformation actively and faster for Vietnamese businesses in all fields, building a practical, effective, focused digital economy and digital society. To step up the application of information technology in directing, operating, and handling work; process restructuring, simplifying administrative procedures, ensuring publicity and transparency, creating maximum favorable conditions for businesses.

In addition, it is necessary to monitor the weather situation closely, proactively plan for disaster prevention, warn of rains, floods, landslides, the impact of drought, saltwater intrusion to minimize damage to production and the lives of the people. Effectively implement policies on social security, labor, and employment. Implement well the work of unexpected assistance, ensure 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 prevention.