Vietnam estimates Covid-19 loss at $37 bln

By Anh Minh   December 5, 2021 | 07:02 am PT
Vietnam has suffered an economic loss of VND847 trillion ($37 billion) because of the ongoing pandemic, Nguyen Thanh Phong, Deputy Head of the Central Economic Commission, says.

Without the pandemic, the country's economy would have grown by 7 percent. However, the economic growth rate only increased by 2.91 percent in 2020 and is expected to increase by 2.5 percent this year, Phong said at a Sunday forum on economic recovery plans.

The economic loss is equivalent to VND847 trillion, or $37 billion, at current market prices, he said.

As a mitigating measure, he believes that it is necessary to have an economic recovery package with four key factors: investment, export, domestic consumption and digital transformation.

"The primary driving force for economic growth is investing to raise demand and supplies by encouraging domestic consumption."

Vu Hong Thanh, Chairman of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, agreed that the overall recovery package must focus on "stimulating" both the supply and demand, which have been weakened by Covid-19.

The package must also be implemented quickly and harmoniously coordinated, Thanh said. It must be large enough and focused on industries and fields that can recover quickly and safely. This will give the economy a boost and avoid the risk of waste.

Emphasizing the need for support policies, Hoang Van Cuong, vice president of the National Economics University, said he was concerned about the effectiveness of the recovery package when it is implemented.

He said the economy was experiencing slow capital disbursement. Public investment disbursement was slightly above 70 percent. Credit growth was at around 8 percent, lower than expected.

Dang Hong Anh, Chairman of the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association, said it was necessary to ensure that money "flows" into production, instead of risky areas such as real estate and securities.

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