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Vietnam among fastest-growing economies in Asia in 2017: economists

VietNamNet Bridge - Though skeptical about the 6.7 percent GDP growth rate target, economists still believe Vietnam will be among Asia's fastest growing economies.

VietNamNet Bridge - Though skeptical about the 6.7 percent GDP growth rate target, economists still believe Vietnam will be among Asia's fastest growing economies.

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Answering inquiries before the National Assembly on November 17, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam has no other choice than to make every effort to obtain high growth.

Dang Duc Anh from the Center for Socio-economic Information and Forecasting Center, an arm of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, has drawn three scenarios for Vietnam’s economic performance in 2017.

In scenario 1, Vietnam would see GDP growth rate of 6.2 percent. In scenario 2, the GDP growth rate would be 6.44 percent. And in scenario 3, the figure would be 6.72 percent.

However, he said the high economic growth rate of 6.72 percent can be obtained only if there are 12 important conditions, both subjective and objective.

One of the conditions is that Vietnamese productivity increases to the average level in the region.

Though skeptical about the 6.7 percent GDP growth rate target, economists still believe Vietnam will be among Asia's fastest growing economies.

Meanwhile, this is always a headache for Vietnam. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), in 2015, the productivity was $3,657 (VND79.3 million), which was just equal to 1/15 of Singapore, 1/5 of Malaysia and 2/5 of Thailand.

The economists who attended a recent workshop on the economic performance in 2017 also agreed that the 6.7 percent GDP growth rate target may be unreachable 

Nguyen Tri Hieu, a renowned banking expert, thinks the GDP would grow by 6 percent in 2017 instead of 6.7 percent as wanted.

Other experts, though more optimistic, also don’t think the 6.7 percent target is attainable. 

Nguyen Tu Anh, deputy director of the State Bank’s Monetary Policy Department, predicted a 6.6 percent growth rate.

Meanwhile, deputy head of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) Vo Tri Thanh predicted the growth rate would be between 6-6.5 percent, saying that investments in 2017 may not be as high as in 2016.

However, Thanh, like other economists, believe that Vietnam will be a bright part of the Asian economy in 2017.

Vietnam Report, a credit rating firm, which conducted a survey on 500 Vietnamese largest businesses, found that most businesses were optimistic about their production and business performance in the first three months of 2017.

The businesses, encouraged by the good results in 2016, hope things will be even better in 2017.

When asked about business expansion plans in the next two years, 76 percent said they will expand the business scale, 19 percent have plans to expand business and only 5 percent said they will maintain the current business scale.

Twenty five businesses said they have been seeking M&A opportunities or have been under negotiations for M&A in the last three years.

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