New Covid-19 outbreak a setback to Vietnam’s growth plans

By Duc Minh   February 3, 2021 | 01:01 am PT
New Covid-19 outbreak a setback to Vietnam’s growth plans
A vegetable vendor waits for customers in a market in in January 2020 in Cai Rong Town, Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam, which is under lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong.
The latest Covid-19 outbreak could lower Vietnam’s first quarter growth and make the annual GDP target of 6.5 percent more difficult to achieve.

A recent report by the Ministry of Planning and Investment forecasts first quarter growth at 4.46 percent, 0.66 percentage points lower than the target.

The report says if the country achieves its targets in remaining three quarters, growth for the whole year would be 6.37 percent, lower than the 6.5 percent target.

To achieve the annual target, Vietnam needs to post growth of 6.73 percent and 7.04 percent in the second and third quarter, 0.02 percentage points and 0.37 percentage points higher than the initial targets, respectively, the report adds.

The Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Chi Dung, said at a recent meeting that the economic impact of the pandemic still lingers this year, as reflected in the higher number of companies suspending business, declining foreign direct investment and slow recovery in the services sector.

The country could see rising inflation in short and long term, he said.

Other factors such as political uncertainties, trade tensions and global public debt require Vietnam to take drastic actions to achieve its growth target, he added.

Vietnam has recorded 310 new Covid-19 cases since January 28, most of them linked to the northern province of Hai Duong, now a novel coronavirus epicenter. Quang Ninh Province and Hanoi rank second and third in number of new cases.

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