Discussions focus on oil and electricity prices.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with a Working Group that includes the Ministers of Planning and Investment, Finance, and Industry and Trade, together with the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, on January 22 to discuss two major issues facing the country: oil and electricity prices. Representative from the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) were therefore also in attendance.
While the macroeconomic situation remains steady the oil price is creating a degree of unpredictability, so the PM requested the Working Group work closely to ensure the issue does not affect the goals set for 2015 of 6.2 per cent GDP growth and inflation to be managed at around 5 per cent. Budget revenues may fall even further if the oil price continues to decline.
Regarding gasoline prices, the PM asked the Working Group to the closely manage and compare prices with other countries in the region to prevent any smuggling across borders.
In crude oil, the PM asked PetroVietnam to carefully observe the international crude oil price to mitigate losses.
Increases to the electricity price and their influence on CPI were also on the agenda, with discussions on whether price rises should be introduced before or after the Lunar New Year.
The PM agreed in-principle to adjustments to the electricity price based on the market mechanism, but directed ministries to continue to research and evaluate plans for submission after the Lunar New Year.
He also asked EVN to conduct a review to cut its costs, with special attention being paid to electricity losses and waste and workplace productivity in 2015.
During the meeting the PM asked the Working Group to study market impacts in the context of free trade agreement being signed and implemented and deeper ASEAN integration, as well as retail networks and public debt.