World Bank raises 2018 growth forecast for Vietnam

By Minh Nga   June 8, 2018 | 08:37 pm PT
World Bank raises 2018 growth forecast for Vietnam
A farmer visits her rice paddy field outside Hanoi. Agriculture is one of major factors the drive Vietnam's economy in the first quarter. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Revised estimate could see growth match that of last year, the highest in a decade.

Vietnam’s economy might expand by 6.8 percent this year, the World Bank (WB) says in a new report, revising upwards its previous forecast of 6.5 percent in April.

It estimates GDP at 6.6 percent in 2019 and 6.5 percent in 2020.

The bank explained its upward revision on better prospects for the expansion of agriculture and production for exports, continued inflow of foreign direct investment thanks to bright economic prospects.

If the actual growth rate matches projection, it will be the same as last year, which was the highest in a decade.

In the first quarter this year, the economy expanded 7.38 percent, also a 10-year record, thanks to the strong growth in agriculture, industry-construction and service sectors.

In an interview with the Financial Times and Nikkei in April, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had said Vietnam will maintain its current economic growth until 2020 by giving private firms more room to grow and driving positive change in rural areas.

He said Vietnam will facilitate an economic environment conducive for private firms to thrive, noting that they account for 43 percent of the nation’s GDP.

The Vietnamese government will help by developing new policies, distributing resources, encouraging the creation of new enterprises and giving firms more opportunities to use modern technologies, said Phuc.

"We will try to put in place the most favorable policies and create the most favorable environment so that by 2020, we will have in operation over one million businesses, accounting for 50 percent of Vietnam’s GDP, up from 43 percent at present," he’d said.

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