Government has noted the rising fuel, food and electricity prices and will step up and improve economic progress, Minister of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa said on Tuesday.

Briefing the media in Pretoria on the economic, investment and employment clusters programme, Mpahlwa said objectives and programmes in industry investment and skills development needed to be more vigorously pursued.

These included the amended competition bill which had been submitted to parliament.

Elements of the new legislation included company conduct, concepts of complex monopolies, and personal liabilities for directors involved in anti-competitive behaviour.

Referring to the electricity situation in the country, Mpahlwa said the energy summit in May had been a success and had demonstrated the commitment of all stakeholders involved to address areas of action.

"Some electricity savings targets have been achieved. However it's important to register that residential areas are still lagging behind industry."

He said the economy had grown and fixed investments had grown dramatically.

Total investment had risen from 15 percent in 2004 to 21 percent in 2007.

The real or average income per person had also risen annually by four percent since 2004.

"It must suggest that we will probably achieve that target way before 2014," Mpahlwa said. - Sapa