Na­tional eco­nomic growth in 2018 hits 8-year high

Viet Nam News - - BUSINESS -

HAØ NOÄI — Vieät Nam posted eco­nomic growth of 6.98 per cent be­tween Jan­uary and Septem­ber, over the same pe­riod last year, the high­est rate since 2011, ac­cord­ing to the Gen­eral Statis­tics Of­fice (GSO).

Nguyeãn Bích Laâm, GSO’s Gen­eral Di­rec­tor, spoke at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day about so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the first nine months of 2018, say­ing that the Viet­namese econ­omy was on track to ful­fill the Gov­ern­ment’s growth tar­get of 6.7 per cent for the full year.

Laâm said that the econ­omy gained growth mo­men­tum from the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, to­gether with the man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing in­dus­try.

The agro-forestry-fish­ery sec­tor grew by 3.65 per cent, the high­est rate in the 2012-18 pe­riod, demon­strat­ing the suc­cess of the sec­tor’s re­struc­tur­ing cou­pled with the ex­pan­sion of ex­port mar­kets.

The pro­cess­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try grew at 12.65 per cent, con­tribut­ing 2.56 per­cent­age points to the over­all growth rate.

In the third quar­ter alone, GDP growth was es­ti­mated at 6.88 per cent, higher than the rate of 6.73 per cent in the sec­ond quar­ter, re­flect­ing that the econ­omy was main­tain­ing its growth mo­men­tum.

GSO es­ti­mated that the Viet­namese econ­omy would need to grow at just 6.11 per cent in the fi­nal quar­ter of the year to achieve the full year’s tar­get. This is within reach,” Laâm said.

The con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) in­creased 0.59 per cent over the pre­vi­ous month. Ninemonth CPI rose at an av­er­age of 3.75 per cent over the same pe­riod last year, statis­tics showed.

Laâm said that the Gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of keep­ing the CPI un­der 4 per cent this year could be achieved. How­ever, un­pre­dictable de­vel­op­ments in the global mar­ket such as the US-China trade war, and oil prices might af­fect do­mes­tic prices in the re­main­ing months.

“Pro­duc­tion ex­pan­sion, a sta­ble macroe­con­omy cou­pled with in­fla­tion un­der con­trol are cre­at­ing im­pe­tus for the Viet­namese econ­omy in the com­ing years,” Laâm said.

Laâm said that in the re­main­ing months of this year, close watch would be placed on the de­vel­op­ment of the US-China trade war which would cre­ate both op­por­tu­ni­ties and risks for Vieät Nam.

The trade war would not have sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Vieät Nam’s trade with the US and China in the short term. But in the long term, its im­pacts would be worth con­sid­er­ing.

The big­gest risk was that the US might erect trade bar­ri­ers, Laâm said.

Laâm said that there would be a shift in pro­duc­tion out of China to other coun­tries, in­clud­ing Vieät Nam, adding that Vieät Nam should pay at­ten­tion to this to pre­vent the in­flow of out­dated tech­nol­ogy. “It is im­por­tant to be se­lec­tive in FDI at­trac­tion.”

An­other risk was trade fraud in which China might ex­port its prod­ucts un­der Viet­namese ori­gins to avoid tar­iffs levied by the US.

How­ever, the trade war would be an op­por­tu­nity for Vieät Nam to pro­mote mul­ti­lat­eral eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, Laâm said, adding that it was nec­es­sary to seek new mar­kets. — VNS

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