PRIME Minister Vo Van Kiet has demanded that economic growth be speeded up ''in order to get the country out of poverty''. Mr Kiet, opening a session of the Vietnamese National Assembly yesterday, said the Government had set a target of ''at least eight per cent'' in annual growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the coming years, after reaching a rate of 7.2 per cent under the 1991-93 three-year plan. He reaffirmed Vietnam's drive to market economics as he reported on the economic performance of the past year and the guidelines for next. He said the people needed to save more and the banking system needed to mobilise more domestic savings for development. Mr Kiet said about 20,000 billion dong (about HK$15.44 billion) domestic capital was available but only 8,000 billion dong had been mobilised, mostly in housing construction. He said the banking system should be modernised and computerised, a capital market established and people encouraged to open savings accounts, use non-cash means of payment, buy government bonds and invest in insurance. Mr Kiet made no new policy announcements, but fine-tuned known policies to build the market economy and double national income over 1990 by the year 2000, which would require annual growth of eight per cent. He said pilot stock exchanges would be set up in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Previously, the plan was to launch one exchange in Ho Chi Minh City, the business hub. It is expected to start next year, at first dealing only in government bonds. Central bank governor Cao Si Kiem predicted that Vietnam would get its first stock market ''in two or three years''. The Government last year introduced a pilot programme of selling shares in state-run firms. Mr Kiet, addressing the assembly in its second annual session, said the priority tasks for next year were reducing inflation, which is expected this year to drop below the 10 per cent mark for the first time, and fighting corruption and smuggling. He said inflation, 17 per cent last year, would be down to single figures this year. He said it was vital for Vietnam, which had a small trade surplus last year but had seen imports outstrip exports this year, to increase exports by 20 per cent next year and 25 per cent in 1995. Crude oil and rice are the country's main export items. ''We must be well-prepared for the possibility of going into the American market,'' he said, adding Vietnam was ready to open relations with the United States without preconditions. He said the Government planned to mobilise 15 per cent of budget revenue next year for investment in economic development and would also issue medium-term and long-term bonds for the same purpose. ''In future, Vietnam will only get long-term loans with preferential interest rates for development investment,'' he said. Vietnam is expected to meet its government creditors in the Paris Club this month to discuss rescheduling of its US$4 billion hard currency debts. The assembly, which will be in session until the end of the month, is due to pass two laws, one on bankruptcies and the other on protecting the environment. The session will be followed early next year by an unprecedented extraordinary Communist Party congress which will look at political policies. Called because of rapid social change in Vietnam, it is also expected to replace several central committee members and establish a policy link between the last full congress in 1991 and the next in 1996.