Economic growth rates of 6.7% in the second quarter.

Government members gathered in Hanoi on October 2 and 3 at a regular meeting to discuss socio-economic development plans for 2001, the State budget for 2000, the State budget balance for 1999, issues relating to the universalisation of education at junior secondary school level, a draft ordinance on plant protection and quarantine, and a draft ordinance on advertising.

They also heard reports on floods in Mekong delta provinces and discussed ways to remedy or mitigate the effects of the floods.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and his deputies Nguyen Tan Dung, Nguyen Manh Cam, Nguyen Cong Tan and Pham Gia Khiem.

On socio-economic development in 2000, the government held that all 12 major targets would be reached, with the economic growth rate chalking 6.7%. The country had obtained economic growth rates of 5.6% in the first quarter of this year, 6.7% in the second quarter, and 7% in the third quarter.

Industrial production saw a rise of 15.5% in the first three quarters. Total investment capital for socio-economic development made up 28.3% of the country's GDP, an increase of 20% against 1999. Total State revenue had exceeded estimations.

The country took positive steps forward in education, health care, science and technology, cultural and social activities.

At the meeting, ministers highlighted outstanding issues and weaknesses in the national economy as well as the sluggishness of administrative reform. They discussed solutions, major targets and concrete tasks for the 2001 socio-economic development plan, focusing on obtaining an even higher economic growth, increasing efficiency and competitiveness, improving the quality of the labour force, effectively resolving urgent social issues, improving people's living conditions, stabilising the political system, expanding external relations, and strengthening national defence and security.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai asked ministries and branches to concentrate on fulfilling socio-economic targets, particularly in industry and export, in the remaining months of the year