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Vietnam trims 2009 growth forecast to 6.5%

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November 6, 2008

Vietnam trims 2009 growth forecast to 6.5%

Vietnam's government has lowered its economic growth target for next year to 6.5 percent from 7 percent in the face of the global slowdown, a state-run newspaper quoted a government minister as saying.

"At present, global economic conditions are very tough and as a result Vietnam has been affected in areas such as exports and direct and indirect investment," Saigon Giai Phong (Liberation Saigon) daily reported on Thursday.

As such, the government was proposing to the National Assembly, Vietnam's parliament, a growth target for 2009 of 6.5 percent, the paper quoted Planning and Investment Minister Vo Hong Phuc as saying.

The parliament is due to approve economic and other targets for 2009 later this month, reported Reuters.

In addition to worsening global conditions, Vietnam has grappled with domestic economic woes this year, including double-digit inflation and a widening trade deficit.

It has forecast growth would slow to 6.7 percent this year from 8.48 percent in 2007.

After adopting a raft of tightening measures earlier in the year, concern about slowing economic growth has taken precedence and the central bank has cut interest rates twice since late October.

In mid-October, the government forecast that gross domestic product next year would grow 7 percent and that inflation would drop to 15 percent from levels above 20 percent this year.

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