GDP grows sharply as economy relies on foreign-invested enterprises
VietNamNet Bridge - While government officials and some economists are optimistic about economic performance this year, other analysts say growth is unsustainable because it relies too much on the foreign-invested economic sector.


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The General Statistics Office (GSO) has reported that GDP grew by 6.41 percent in the first nine months of the year in comparison with the same period last year.

The GDP grew by 5.15 percent in the first quarter, and by 6.28 percent in the second, but soared by 7.46 percent in the third quarter. The high 7.46 percent growth rate was described ‘as miraculous as Saint Giong’, a mythical folk hero of Vietnam who grew in size from a boy to a giant hero.

GSO commented that the achievements in Q3 give strong impetus for Vietnam to obtain the targeted 6.7 percent growth rate this year.

ADB (Asian Development Bank) has lowered the predicted growth rate to 6.3 percent from the initially predicted 6.5 percent.

Truong Thanh Duc from the Vietnam International Arbitration Center (VIAC) said he was concerned about the report that the processing and manufacturing sector grew by 12.8 percent, in which Samsung had a growth rate of 45 percent. 

Meanwhile, Formosa steel complex plans to churn out 1.5 million tons of steel a year.
While government officials and some economists are optimistic about economic performance this year, other analysts say growth is unsustainable because it relies too much on the foreign-invested economic sector.

According to Duc, the figures released by GSO show the heavy reliance of the Vietnam economy on FIE exports, which ‘must not be good news’ for Vietnam.

Agreeing with Duc that the GDP made great strides in Q3 thanks to FIEs’ exports, Le Cao Doan, an economist, said the domestic economic sector did not have any impressive achievement. 

Citing statistics, Doan said FIEs exported more than they imported, and by contrast, Vietnamese enterprises imported more than they exported.

Vietnam’s export turnover has exceeded the $100 billion threshold since 2012 ($114.5 billion). In 2016, export turnover of Vietnamese enterprises was $50 billion only. 

GSO’s general director Nguyen Bich Lam, after announcing the impressive growth rate in Q3, was asked if he had to report the statistics to the government for approval before making it public. 

He affirmed that the government did not ‘approve’ the statistics before they were released and that he was not under pressure when implementing his statistical works.

The GSO’s general director takes responsibility about the statistics he announces.

Lam said that the GDP grew well in Q3 thanks to growth in all three sectors – agriculture, industry and construction, and services. 

Luu Bich Ho, an economist, said that Samsung and Formosa were not the ‘brightest spots’ of the economy. He believes that agricultural production was the most brilliant achievement.


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Mai Thanh

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