CIA delves into Vietnam's economy

By Dam Tuan   May 22, 2016 | 09:03 pm PT
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has evaluated numerous aspects of Vietnam’s economy, including GDP growth, labor force, current account balance, budget, imports, exports and exchange rates.

Vietnam is trying to reform its economy by restructuring public investment and facing challenges from an undercapitalized banking sector and nonperforming loans, according to the official website of the civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. government.

The agency calculated that the agriculture sector's share of economic output shrunk from about 25 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2014, while industry's share increased from 36 percent to 38 percent in the same period. State-owned enterprises now account for about 40 percent of GDP.


The CIA said that Vietnam's agriculture sector is losing its share of economic output. Photo by CNBC

During 2015, the Vietnamese dong depreciated by about 5 percent. Poverty has declined significantly, and Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one million people every year.

Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007, and has since become more competitive with export-driven industries. Vietnam is also one of the 12 nations that concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

The CIA said that: “Vietnam is a densely populated developing country that has been transitioning from the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy since 1986.” The Southeast Asian country has reaffirmed its commitment to economic modernization and a more open economy.

The intelligence agency said that although Vietnam is working to reform its economy by restructuring public investment, state-owned enterprises and the banking sector, the developing country is still encountering challenges from non-performing loans and a high budget deficit.

Details of Vietnam’s economic indices and comparisons with other countries can be found on the official website of the CIA.

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