2018: Yet another bouncing back milestone for Vietnam

By Minh Nga   December 28, 2018 | 02:12 pm GMT+7
From FDI disbursement to export surge and GDP growth, Vietnam continued to prove its resilience and strength in 2018.

Ten years after the disastrous 2008 global financial crisis that seriously affected exports and foreign investment, 2018 has been yet another milestone on the way of bouncing back bolder and better of Vietnam's economy.

Latest data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment paints a bright economic picture of the economy throughout the year.

The country posted the fastest pace of economic growth since 2007 by expanding 7.08 percent in 2018, well above the 6.5-6.7 percent target set by the National Assembly, Vietnam’s parliament.

With exports this year hitting $244.72 billion, up 13.8 percent against 2017, and imports staying at $237.51 billion, Vietnam posted its highest trade surplus ever in history, at $7.21 billion.

Though registered foreign direct invesment (FDI), including fresh, additional and contributed capital (via acquisitions), dropped slightly over last year at $35.5 billion, FDI disbursement was another record-setter.

At more than $19 billion, FDI disbursement for 2018 was the highest in a decade.

2018 also witnessed a boom in the number of new businesses. This year’s 131,275 was well above the 110,100 in 2016.

Amidst all the positives, Vietnamese stocks have presented a mixed bag.

By the end of March, for the first time in a decade, the benchmark VN-Index had met its 2007 peak at 1,171 points. Less than half a month later, on April 9, it set a new historical high at 1,204 points.

Things started to turn bad in the second quarter, when the market plunged 18.19 percent, making it the worst-performing market in the world and also marking the worst period of the market since its crash of Q4 2008.

The market fell below its 1,100 mark, hovered around the 1,000 mark, then plunged to even lower levels at below 900 points.

In the last days of 2018, the market struggled around the 900-point level.

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