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NEWS UPDATES 11 September 2010

Vietnam has solid growth

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Vietnam is very likely to achieve an annual growth rate target this year of 6.5 per- cent, despite some macroeconomic risks, a Vietnamese economic expert said.

The target was set by the government and approved by the National Assembly earlier this year. The cabinet meeting in August predicted that Viet Nam would grow at 6.7 per cent, backed by strong growth in the last two quarters.

Vo Tri Thanh, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management said the target was very possible to realise because the government had implemented favourable macroeconomic growth policies, and Vietnam could benefit from the global economic recovery in the coming months.

But he expressed concern over current interest rates.

"The current interest rate is too high for enterprises to access bank loans," Nghia said at a seminar on the effects of the global financial crisis on the Vietnamese economy held in HCM City this week.

Several experts and economic institutions shared the same positive perspective. Standard Chartered Bank specialists, in their latest outlook on the Vietnamese economy issued in September, forecast that Viet Nam would achieve a GDP growth rate of 7.5 per cent in the last quarter of the year.

This would mean annual GDP growth for 2010 would reach 6.7 per cent.

While the GDP growth rate forecast is not higher than previous projections, the outlook in terms of inflation is more positive, reducing from 11.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent for 2010. Standard Chartered Bank expects that Viet Nam will grow at 7.2 per cent during 2011.

The IMF's latest assessment of the Vietnamese economy also forecast sustained recovery. "If these favourable conditions [government's macro economic policies] are sustained, the Government's objectives for 2010 appear within reach. We project real GDP growth at 6.5 per cent, supported by a continued recovery in private investment, consumption, and non-oil export growth," said IMF Staff Representative at the Viet Nam - Informal Mid-year Consultative Group Meeting in June.

Other indicators such as the balance of trade and state budget deficit have seen positive changes; but those are short-term results and can prove volatile due to the impact of international factors.

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