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21/11/2020 - 03:26

Vietnam emerges as sole economic winner in Southeast Asia: Nikkei Asia

Vietnam is shaping up as Southeast Asia's single economic success story in the coronavirus era, maintaining steady positive growth as other economies struggle to recover, Nikkei Asia reported on November 19.

Rising exports and effective control of the coronavirus have kept Vietnam's economy growing despite the pandemic (Photo: https://asia.nikkei.com/)

Rising exports and effective control of the coronavirus have kept Vietnam's economy growing despite the pandemic (Photo: https://asia.nikkei.com/)

Vietnam's real gross domestic product expanded 2.6 percent on the year in the third quarter, marking a second straight quarter of growth amid the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees the country rising to fourth in nominal GDP in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, passing Singapore and Malaysia and gaining on the Philippines.

In contrast to other ASEAN economies, Vietnam has succeeded in keeping the virus under control. Rising exports have also helped to drive growth, as companies relocate production from China, the newspaper said.

Vietnam’s exports grew 9.9 percent on the year in October to 26.7 billion USD, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade projects a full-year rise of between 3 - 4 percent.

According to Nikkei Asia, an ultra-large container ship operated by Maersk docked at Cai Mep Port in late October, the first for southern Vietnam's largest port. Vietnam's growing exports have boosted shipping demand enough to make it worthwhile for ships bound for Western countries to stop there. This allows for more direct transportation of Vietnamese goods to buyers, which lowers shipping costs, shortens transit time and makes the country more competitive as an exporter.

Vietnam’s achievement in fighting COVID-19 has helped the country reduce the pandemic’s impact on its economy as manufacturing has resumed faster than it did elsewhere in the region, job losses were limited, and consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of GDP, has remained solid.

The IMF's full-year GDP forecast shows a 1.6 percent rise in Vietnam, but drops of 6 percent in Singapore and Malaysia and a 7.1 percent slump in Thailand, it said.

Vietnam's per capita GDP of about 3,500 USD remains well below Singapore's 58,500 USD and Malaysia's 10,200 USD. But the pandemic is accelerating a shift in the region's economic pecking order.

Though some ASEAN countries predict a sharp rebound next year, Vietnam could remain the sole economy to see actual growth into the first half of 2021, depending on how the outbreak progresses, it said./.

VNA

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