Vietnam's top legislature meets online amid COVID-19 fears

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HANOI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The ninth session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam opened here on Wednesday in the form of video conference, to discuss important social-economic issues besides regular legislative work.

"First, the NA will review additional social-economic and state budget reports for 2019, and discuss reports on the implementation results of development and budget plans in early 2020," NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at the sitting's opening ceremony held online.

Ngan noted that 2020 is the last year of the five-year socio-economic development plan 2016-2020, calling NA deputies to research, analyze thoroughly, discuss carefully to identify effective directions and solutions to recover the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the achievement of goals and targets of the five-year plan and creating conditions for development in the next period.

"Second, the legislative body will discuss and adopt 10 laws and a number of resolutions, and review six draft laws," she said.

In addition, the NA will also vote to ratify three international agreements, namely the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and another on Vietnam's joining of the International Labor Organization's Convention 105 on the abolition of forced labor.

Third, the NA will conduct thematic oversight on the implementation of policies and laws on child abuse prevention and control, noted Ngan.

Presenting a report to the top legislature, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that as impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the country were severe, the 6.8-percent economic growth target set for 2020 is hard to be achieved. Hence, the government suggested that the NA adjusts the target, besides such indicators as budget collection, budget deficit and public debts.

The NA session will be held online until May 29, and deputies will gather at the NA building in Hanoi for plenary meetings from June 8 to 18, Vietnam News Agency reported. Enditem

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