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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 November 2012 
Expert downgrades Vietnam's economic outlook


Vietnam 's economic growth rate in 2012 is forecast at 5.2 per cent. It is the second adjustment from the previous projections of 5.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent, and is due to the slowing down of the country's socio-economic performance in the first 10 months of 2012.
Nguyen Thi Tue Anh, head of the Competition Capacity and Business Environment Department of the Central Institute of Economy Management, made the judgment at a forum held in Hanoi last week.
Agricultural production is moving in a downward trend while the industrial index has increased by only 4.8 per cent, half the figure of previous years, she said.
In the past 10 months, the country's import and export turnover stood at US$93.7 billion and $93.8 billion, respectively, a year-on-year increase of 6.7 per cent and 18.9 per cent, she added.
At the forum, domestic economists shared reviews of Vietnam's 2012 economy and predicted 2013 economy, which is helpful to policy-makers.
Touching upon fiscal policy, Nguyen Dinh Anh from Price Market Scientific Research Institute said that it is hard to make estimates for this year's State budget revenue because of impacts the slump in the economy has had. This might prompt an increase in budget deficit, resulting in an unstable macro-economy and budget spending restrictions, he added.
Presenting socio-economic projections for 2013, participants spoke of factors likely to increase inflation, but at a modest level.
Tue Anh suggested that the country change its growth model, boost foreign direct investment attraction and improve efficiency of the business restructure.
According to international organisations, Vietnam's economy in 2013 will see more positive signs than in 2012. They suggested that as the year 2013 is seen as a threshold for the following years, Vietnam should focus on maintaining a sustainable macro-economy, growth, removing difficulties for enterprises, improving the employment rate, personal income and living standards of people of all classes.
According to the 2013 socio-economic development plan, Vietnam's economic growth will reach 5.5 per cent with 10 per cent export growth.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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