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Vietnam to grow 6.5 pct annually in next decade: Fitch Solutions

By Dat Nguyen   March 9, 2021 | 02:32 am PT
Vietnam to grow 6.5 pct annually in next decade: Fitch Solutions
A fisherman holds a fish in Binh Thuan Province, central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc.
The Vietnamese economy will grow by 6.5 percent a year over the next decade as the government diversifies export markets and improves infrastructure, Fitch Solutions has forecast.

The forecast by the market research company is at the lower end of the government’s 6.5-7 percent growth target for 2021-25.

Vietnam’s free trade agreements would help it expand external market access and avoid overdependence on a single trade partner, Fitch said in a note.

The country plans to prioritize imports of machinery and high-tech equipment, it said.

"A key difference in the economic strategy going forward is the government’s aim to ascend the value chain and grow its high-tech industry."

However, this would require an increase in skill levels, which could only improve slowly over the coming decade, it said.

"We expect the skills shortage to pose an impediment to the country’s ascension up the value chain."

In terms of infrastructure development, in the next five years, Vietnam plans to complete the eastern cluster of the North-South Expressway, the first phase of the Long Thanh International Airport and over 1,700 kilometers of a coastal road from the northern province of Quang Ninh to the southern province of Ca Mau.

But tardy permit approvals and land acquisition are likely to delay infrastructure projects.

The government targets a budget deficit of 3.7 percent of GDP in the next five years.

"This implies that the government intends to borrow more to fund expenditures over the coming years."

The government also targets keeping public debt at 47.5 percent of GDP, below the 65 percent limit, which Fitch said is an achievable target given the strong economic growth potential.

Vietnam’s GDP growth was just 2.9 percent last year due to Covid-19 though it was one of the few economies in the world to achieve growth.

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