Vietnam’s economy improves in 2015, but worries linger: report

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Vietnam’s economy improves in 2015, but worries linger: report

Vietnam’s economy has made considerable improvement in 2015 but the overall picture is still clouded by concerns, the Economic Committee under the lawmaking National Assembly said in a report. The country is expected to post a 6.5 percent GDP growth rate this year, the quickest pace in the five-year master plan of 2011-15 for economic development, the Economic Committee told a National Assembly Standing Committee meeting on Monday, citing its own report.

Vietnam has also managed to achieve low inflation and a stable macro-economy in 2015, and expects GDP to grow by 6.7 percent in 2016, according to the Economic Committee.

The report, however, also pinpoints multiple concerns for the economy, such as the increasing number of dissolved businesses, low labor productivity, and many unachieved eco-social development targets.

The number of businesses that had to shut down or dissolve rose from 60,000 in 2013 to 67,800 in 2014 and has continued to soar this year, Nguyen Van Giau, chairman of the Economic Committee, told the meeting.

“In the first nine months of this year, the figure was already as high as 55,566 closed and dissolved firms,” he said.

Giau also underlined many negative factors that can adversely impact Vietnam’s economic development, including the lack of sustainable factors in GDP growth, the falling exports of agricultural products and the oil price collapse.

Upon being briefed on the report, deputy chairperson of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who chaired the meeting, requested that the Ministry of Planning and Investment continue completing the report in a way that will address issues lawmakers are most concerned about.

In the meantime, Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of the legislative body, said solutions proposed for 2016 should focus on economic integration with the world, at a time when Vietnam has signed many free trade agreements.

Hung also encouraged an early preparation for the signing and ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, which was concluded by 12 participating countries last week after five years of talks.

“The trade pact is expected to be approved by the National Assembly in mid-2016 so we should start preparation work now,” he said.

Representatives from other committees under the lawmaking body also suggested that Vietnam consider solutions for reducing its trade deficit with China, resolving the bad debt problem and controlling public debts for 2016.