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NEWS UPDATES 8 July 2010

EU upbeat on Viet Nam

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Prospects for Viet Nam's economic growth were positive, Sean Doyle, head of the European Union Delegation to Viet Nam, told Viet Nam News. Doyle also said he believed there were strong prospects for EU investment in Viet Nam, especially in banking and retailing.

He was launching the 2010 EU Trade and Commercial Counsellors' Report, or Green Book 2010, an annual publication presenting insightful analysis of economic and trade developments in Viet Nam.

The Green Book 2010 describes how Viet Nam successfully weathered the global economic crisis, whose negative impact was partially mitigated by appropriate Government action, continues to be felt.

"GDP growth in Viet Nam has been maintained and export performance, although declining, remains above the regional average, partly as a result of bold policy measures taken by the authorities," said Doyle.

However, the report also points out weaknesses in the economy exposed by the crisis and calls for swift restructuring to achieve sustainable growth and increase competitiveness.

The report names the imbalance of national accounts, re-emerging inflation, and a widening trade deficit as the greatest challenges Viet Nam continues to face. While the report appreciates the government's effort to sustain economic growth, it suggests Viet Nam might have missed an opportunity to restructure its public sector. This sector, it claims, has been significantly less effective than the private and foreign-invested sectors.

"The stimulus measures, while necessary to maintain growth, went a bit too far. They appear to have provided a cushion for uncompetitive State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and stoked inflationary pressures for 2010 and beyond," the report says. According to the Green Book 2010, some of the challenges are directly connected to trade issues, including the high trade deficit, which has resulted from the 10 per cent decline in Viet Nam's export performance since 2009.

It says that the decrease in demand of Viet Nam's import markets is also attributable to this high deficit.

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