Vietnam Economic Leader Expects Economy to Grow at Least 8% in '94

Article excerpt

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Communist Vietnam must hold down inflation, attract more investment and allow "healthy competition" in some industries if its economic momentum is to continue, a government official said Thursday at the opening of the National Assembly.

Deputy Premier Phan Van Khai, often called the mastermind of Vietnam's economic reforms, said he expects the country's economy to grow by at least 8 percent this year.

It could continue to grow by at least 10 percent in following years if Vietnam adapts to the requirements of the free market, he said.

During the next 30 days, the legislature plans to approve a new labor law giving workers the right to strike for better wages and working conditions.

The assembly also expects to debate measures to encourage domestic investment and regulate the transfer of land-use rights.

Speaking from a stage dominated by a massive white bust of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's pioneer communist, Khai said the pace of foreign investment in the country has accelerated.

The government should help the trend continue by shortening the time required for foreign companies to obtain investment licenses, Khai said. Projects in need of funds include highway improvements, power generation and cement factories, he said. …