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Vietnam’s economy regains growth momentum

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam’s economy displayed stability and positive signs last month, setting the stage for better performance in the third quarter and the rest of the year, said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

He was speaking during a Government meeting on September 9, which reviewed the nation’s socio-economic performance in August and the first eight months of 2023.

The CPI in August increased by 2.96% against the same period last year, with an average of 3.1% growth in the first eight months. While slightly below the targeted 4.5%, this indicated a continued downward trend in CPI growth.

State budget revenues in the first eight months exceeded VND1.1 quadrillion, representing 69.4% of the 2023 estimate but falling 8.8% year-pn-year. Public debt, government liabilities and expenditures remained under control.

Vietnam’s trade figures were also positive. In August, exports surged 7.7% versus July, while imports grew 5.7%. Its trade surplus reached nearly US$3.82 billion in the month. Cumulative export value in  the first eight months totaled US$227.7 billion, with a trade surplus of around US$20.2 billion.

The services sector experienced significant growth, with total retail sales of goods and services in August expanding by 7.6% against the same period last year. Additionally, over 14,000 new businesses were established in August, a year-on-year increase of 17.9%, bringing the total in the first eight months to 103,700 new businesses—a 2.3% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

The Government has implemented policies to support economic recovery, disbursing nearly VND94.7 trillion to support businesses and allocating around VND33.84 trillion for the socio-economic recovery and development program.

However, challenges remain, including a staggering 8.8% reduction in state budget revenues over the first eight months, a rising trend in bad debts, and sluggish credit growth, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

He emphasized the need to focus on three growth drivers for the remainder of the year: investment, export and consumption.

To achieve these goals, the Government plans to strengthen the agriculture, services, and manufacturing sectors, especially in the processing and manufacturing industries. Efforts will also be made to address market challenges and improve supply chains.

PM Chinh assigned the State Bank of Vietnam to remove credit access hurdles for businesses, take measures to further reduce interest rates, streamline procedures, and make access to loans easier for businesses active in priority areas.

The Ministry of Construction was tasked with tackling real estate market obstacles, while the Ministry of Transport was told to carry out strategic and inter-regional projects, especially the Long Thanh International Airport and expressway projects.

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