Vietnam GDP growth forecast at 3-3.5 pct this year

By Anh Minh   October 2, 2021 | 10:42 pm PT
Vietnam GDP growth forecast at 3-3.5 pct this year
Employees work at a smartphone factory in Hai Phong City, northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Hung
The Ministry of Planning and Investment estimates the country's GDP growth in 2021 at 3-3.5 percent, down 0.5 percentage points from the forecast in September.

"The new forecast is made on the basis of socio-economic performance results in the first nine months and prospects for the last three months of this year," Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said Saturday.

He said GDP growth for the whole year may reach 3 percent or 3.5 percent if the fourth quarter’s economic growth surpasses 7.06 percent or 8.84 percent, respectively.

While a fourth quarter GDP growth of 7 percent or more has been achieved in the past, Phuong said this year’s figure would depend a lot on the effectiveness of pandemic control.

He said to achieve the growth targets, businesses must safely bring back their workforce when resuming operations and sustain production in the "new normal" situation. Smooth circulation of goods as input and output is also necessary to support growth, he added.

"In the next phase of production recovery, if businesses and manufacturing can recover 80 percent of their capacity, it would be a great success," Phuong said.

Vietnam’s GDP shrank by 6.17 percent in the third quarter. In the first nine months, the GDP grew by 1.42 percent as against 2.12 percent in the same period last year.

The GDP growth last year was 2.91 percent, the lowest in a decade, but Vietnam was one of the few countries in the world to achieve positive growth.

At a Saturday cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized that this year's economic growth will largely depend on fourth quarter production and business recovery as well as safe adaptation and pandemic control.

He requested the Ministry of Planning and Investment to quickly complete a strategy and plan to restore and develop the economy in the "new normal."

At the end of September, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered its macroeconomic growth forecast for Vietnam to 3.8 percent, while the World Bank retained it at 4.8 percent, expecting the economy to rebound in the last quarter.

International organizations remain optimistic about Vietnam's economic growth prospects.

ADB believes that Vietnam's economy will recover if the pandemic is well controlled by the end of this year and 70 percent of the country's population are vaccinated by the second quarter in 2022. Then, it predicts the GDP growth in 2022 to reach 6.5 percent.

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