Growth momentum becomes increasingly clear

Comprehensive achievements in 2018 and Government's ongoing efforts are among the key driving force for Viet Nam to achieve high and sustainable growth in the coming years.

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Telling numbers in 2018

The Vietnamese economy expanded 7.08% in 2018, the highest rate over the past decade, mainly fueled by strong growth of manufacturing and processing (13%) while agriculture-forestry-aquaculture posted seven-year high growth of 3.76% with export turnover surpassing US$40 billion.

Despite a stormy year on the global market, total import-export volume reached US$482 billion in an impressive way, sending the trade surplus to US$7.2 billion for the first time.

The exchange rate remained stable and foreign exchange reserves rose to unprecendented high of US$65 billion, equivalent to 15 weeks of imports.

In addition, credit growth began to slow down, increasing 14% in 2018 while real budget revenues outstripped the preset goal by a wide margin of US$3.5 billion.

Impetuses for 2019

One of the key driving forces may come from the Government's determination to maintain credit growth at lower pace compared to previous years, which has sent a strong message to domestic and foreign investors that the Government is keen to ensure a sustainable business environment for long-term growth.

Viet Nam is shifting to quality growth based on higher productivity and technologies and the economy may expand above 7% in 2019, according to Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, Director of the Business Development Institute.

The country has emerged as an attractive destination for foreign investment, partly evidenced by record high of disbursement rate (9.1%) or US$19.1 billion last year. Many Asian business giants are considering pivoting to emerging economies, including Viet Nam, according to Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh from Ho Chi Minh City-based Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management.

Thanh added this is a good opportunity for Viet Nam if the country could maintain macroeconomic stability.

Other driving forces may also come from soaring domestic purchasing power thanks to increasingly high GDP per capita as well as the Government's endeavors to boost innovation, administration reform./.