Vietnam fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia: ADB

By Hung Le   July 18, 2019 | 07:01 pm PT
Vietnam fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia: ADB
A Vietnamese employee in the painting shop at an automotive plant in the northern province of Hai Duong. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam.
The Asian Development Bank maintains its Vietnam GDP growth forecast at 6.8 percent this year, and 6.7 percent in 2020, the highest in Southeast Asia.

According to the ADB's Asian Development Outlook 2019 issued Tuesday, Vietnam’s growth in 2019 is being underpinned by sustained domestic demand, which saw growth of 7.3 percent in 2017 and 7.2 percent in 2018.

The outlook for private consumption remains robust as households enjoy rising incomes and stable inflation, the report added.

Private investment is also likely to rise as Vietnam continues to improve its business environment and forges stronger ties with international partners through various trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) ratified last year, and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) signed on May 30 this year, said the report.

An external risk to the outlook would be a sharper slowdown in the major economies of the European Union, the US, Japan, and China, Vietnam’s key trade partners.

According to ADB, growth in the first half of 2019 is estimated at 6.8 percent year-on-year despite agriculture being hobbled by a prolonged drought and African swine fever.

ADB maintains growth forecast for developing Asia at 5.7 percent in 2019 and 5.6 percent in 2020, unchanged from April.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast Vietnam’s growth to slow down to 6.5 percent this year due to weak external conditions. Growth is expected to be 6.5 percent in 2020 too, said its report released Tuesday.

In the first half of the year, growth was 6.76 percent, the second highest rate for the period since 2011, the General Statistics Office reported.

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