The economy of Vietnam should grow faster this year than the 2.7 percent forecast made by the International Monetary Fund, the prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated on Tuesday, with the resumption of economic activities after the lockdown to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19.

The country witnessed a lockdown from April 1 till April 23, the nation started to lift the restrictions on the movement late last month after the infections decreased. The country confirmed 271 coronavirus or COVID-19 cases with no deaths.

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The economy grew at its slowest pace in the first quarter of this year, at 3.8 percent, as the new coronavirus outbreak hit economic output. "We mustn't allow the economy to grow at a slow pace," Phuc said in a statement on the government website. "Only growth can help provide jobs, reduce poverty and ensure social security."

"The IMF has forecast Vietnam's growth at 2.7% this year, the fastest in Southeast Asia, but we must obtain a faster growth," Phuc said. Vietnam has previously set a target for the economic growth of 6.8% for this year, but Phuc told the government cabinet on Tuesday to consider "adjusting the 2020 targets if necessary," according to the statement.

Phuc said the country needs to spend up to 700 trillion dong ($29.89 billion) from the state budget on infrastructure and development projects this year, and help local firms to resume their operations. Inflation must be kept below four percent this year as previously targeted, he added.

(With agency inputs)