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Income per capita in 2030 expected to be equal to Malaysia in 2007

Vietnam’s GDP per capita, calculated in accordance with current prices, has increased year after year. However, the figure is lower than other regional countries.

In 2020, Vietnam’s GDP per capita was $3,552, ranking sixth in Southeast Asia. The figure was just a little higher than Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, while it was much lower than Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand.

The Vietnamese GDP per capita is much lower than other countries, and income per capita is also modest.

Since 2010, Vietnamese GDP per capita rose by $1,999, higher than Malaysia’s increase ($1,361), Indonesia ($747), the Philippines ($1,081), and higher than the world’s average growth rate increase ($1,351). However, some countries near Vietnam have had more rapid increases. 

China, for example, had an increase of $5,950, according to the World Bank, while Thailand had an increase of $2,113.

MPI, in its draft for the national overall development plan, pointed out that Vietnam’s economy still has not grown rapidly enough to narrow the development gap and catch up with regional countries. The GDP growth rate has decreased, becoming lower than other countries in the early period of industrialization.

In 1991-2000, the average GDP growth rate was 7.56 percent. The highest growth rate was seen in 1995 (9.5 percent). 

In 2001-2010, the average GDP growth rate was 7.26 percent. The highest growth rate was seen in 2005 (8.7 percent).

In 2011-2020, the average growth rate was 5.95 percent and 2018 saw the highest growth rate (7.08 percent).

Analysts have warned that with the slowdown of labor force growth and without reform, Vietnam’s potential growth may continue to decline.

MPI has warned of Vietnam’s further lagging behind regional countries in productivity, and the possibility of falling into the middle-income trap.

Under Scenario No1 (low scenario), the average income per capita is expected to reach $7,000 by 2030, $13,000 by 2040 and $25,000 by 2050.

Under Scenario No2, which Vietnam is striving for, the GDP growth rate is expected to reach 6.63 percent in 2021-2025, and 7.48 percent in 2026-2030. 

As such, in the longer period of 2021-2030, the expected growth rate would be 7.05 percent per annum. The figure is expected to reach 7.16 percent per annum in 2031-2050.

Regarding income per capita, the figure is expected to reach $7,500 by 2030, $14,500 by 2050 and $32,000 by 2050. The income per capita projected for 2040 would be equal to high income level, under the World Bank’s current standards.

The levels projected for Vietnam in the next 10-20 years are just equal to that of other Southeast Asian countries at present.

Luong Bang

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