Vietnam growth strong despite ease
VIETNAM’S economy dipped slightly in the third quarter year-on-year but analysts say the communist country will remain one of Southeast Asia’s star performers.
GDP growth in the three months to September hit 6.4 percent, down from 6.81pc in the same period in 2015, the Government Statistics Office said in a statement.
Vietnam has become a magnet for private investment in the region, especially in the manufacturing and consumer sectors, driven in part by a rapidly growing middle class. But cumbersome state enterprises, banking scandals and growing public debt have pegged back the economy.
Third quarter growth rose from 5.78pc in the previous quarter and 5.48pc in the first, official data said, as foreign investment and exports rose and agriculture recovered after a devastating drought.
“We expect Vietnam to remain a growth outperformer, bucking regional weakness in trade,” Eugenia Victorino, an economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore told Bloomberg News.
Vietnam has promised to privatise its bloated state-owned sector, and has announced it would divest its majority stakes from leading government-owned brewers Sabeco and Habeco.
Lower-than-expected growth rates clocked in the first half of this year were blamed on a crippling drought that hammered Vietnam’s rice and coffee farmers.
The country has set a GDP growth target of between 6.5 and 7pc by the end of 2016. –