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Economy rebounding Compiled by Hong Nguyen

Vietnam’s economy is showing signs of recovery with gross domestic product (GDP) growing 4.56 percent in the first nine months of this year, a governmental meeting heard on Thursday. The 12th National Assembly Standing Committee held a six-day session from September 28 to October 3 which focused on a review of the economy in the January-September period and the effects of the economic stimulus package launched earlier this year. Government Office Chairman, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, told the press on last Thursday, Vietnam’s GDP in the third quarter increased by 5.76 percent yearon-year, higher than the 4.46 percent in the second quarter and 3.11 percent in the first quarter. The highest nine-month growth was recorded in the service sector with 5.91 percent, followed by industry and construction, at 4.48 percent, and agricultural-forestry and fisheries at 1.57 percent, according to a report of the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The number of newly-established businesses in Vietnam in the JanuarySeptember period increased 26 percent year-on-year to 62,000 businesses with a combined registered capital of VND313 trillion (US$17.55 billion), down 15.4 percent from the same period last year. The September consumer price index (CPI) inched up 0.62 percent from August and 2.42 percent higher than September last year. Inflation in the first nine months of 2009 rose 7.64 percent from the same period last year. Export value was only $41.7 billion, down $6.5 billion from the same in 2008, Vietnam News Agency reported. The meeting also heard of the shortcomings of the much publicized $8 billion government economic stimulus package. The package included a $1 billion loan subsidy program, tax reductions and social welfare programs. But only about 20 percent of local companies were able to enjoy the four percent interest loan subsidy while businesses and farmers in rural areas were shut out from the program due to the reams of red tape needed to access the loans, according to the officials.

The Economic Committee suggested the government continue conducting more economic stimulus packages which are attached to long-term economic and social goals. Vietnam is targeting to achieve GDP growth of 6.5 percent next year with the average annual income per capita rising to $1,200. Source: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam Economy Rebounding