PM Nguyen Tan Dung said that the low GDP growth rate of 5.2-5.7% this year is acceptable when the relatively stable economy and maintenance of social security are taken into account.
In the national workshop held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment on July 4, PM Dung highly praised the positive changes in the socio-economic situation during the first half of the year, even though most economists do not expect the National Assembly’s target for growth to be met this year.
The GDP growth rate target was 6-6.5%. However, the Minister of Planning and Investment, Bui Quang Vinh said, “A growth rate of 6% would only be possible if growth reaches 7.2-7.5% in the last two quarters. This is highly unlikely considering the rate of growth in the first half of the year.”
Some international financial institutions have reduced their estimates for Vietnamese growth to rates that also do not meet NA targets. The World Bank reduced their forecast to 5.7%, the IMF downgraded their expectations to 5.6% and HSBC to 5.1%.
A growth rate of 5.2% would be the lowest in the past decade for Vietnam.
Still, the PM pointed out some reasons for optimism, in particular the export rate has risen 22%, while imports reduced. The country’s foreign reserves have also risen from USD9 billion last year to USD19 billion in only six months.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment will issue a report for its socio-economic development plan for 2013 to the Government in September. The plan will then be submitted to the NA.