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NEWS UPDATES 23 March 2010

Vietnam central bank forecasts 6% growth in Q1

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Vietnam's first-quarter growth is expected to reach six percent, just a shade below the official full-year target, AFP reported, quoting the central bank governor.

"Vietnam has managed to cope with the crisis relatively successfully," said Nguyen Van Giau, governor of the State Bank of Vietnam.

He released the first-quarter estimate at an international conference of policy-makers, diplomats, analysts and non-governmental groups discussing post-crisis growth and poverty reduction in developing Asia.

The communist government is aiming for 6.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2010. Despite the global economic and financial crisis, Vietnam's economy expanded 5.32 percent last year, although that came with a budget deficit which official data said reached seven percent of GDP.

In early February, with concern over a high trade deficit and inflation, Vietnam devalued the dong for the second time in three months. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) official told the conference that ensuring a foundation of macroeconomic stability is a key challenge for promoting long-term growth in developing Asian economies.

"Despite generally good performance in this regard, some threats remain," said John Lipsky, IMF First Deputy Managing Director. "In some countries, fiscal deficits and public debts are large, credit growth and inflation is high and international reserves are low."


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