The government "is determined not to push too much on the growth target but to focus intensively in containing high inflation," deputy Planning and Investment minister Cao Viet Sinh was quoted by the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper as saying.

The Vietnamese government initially projected the country's gross domestic product to rise between 7.0 percent and 7.5 percent this year, accelerating from 6.78 percent in 2010.

But inflation in Vietnam, by far the highest in the region, has been in the double-digits for four months. Consumer price rise last month hit a two-year high of 12.31 percent.

The government announced several steps in February to tighten monetary and fiscal conditions in a bid to bring down inflation, restore confidence in the currency and narrow trade and fiscal deficits.

Given the tightening measures, Sinh said annual growth would be in a range of 6.5 percent and 7.0 percent.

"This is a reasonable growth level... This growth guarantees no major impact on job and resources for production and business," Sinh was quoted as saying in an interview with the newspaper.

The policy response Vietnam unveiled last month to tackle soaring inflation is appropriate but the authorities might have to lower their gross domestic product growth target, the Asian Development Bank said.

It was not immediately clear if the government would seek National Assembly approval to cut the growth target during the coming spring session of parliament, but Hanoi said last week it had no plans to adjust the annual inflation target of 7 percent.

Reuters - March 9, 2011