Vietnam’s 2019 economic growth seen higher than 6.8% — president

The Southeast Asian country has one of the region’s fastest-growing economies, with robust exports and foreign investment delivering average economic growth of 6.55 percent over the past five years. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 October 2019

Vietnam’s 2019 economic growth seen higher than 6.8% — president

  • Vietnam’s foreign exchange reserves seen at record $70 billion
  • Vietnam 2019 GDP growth likely to beat current target

HANOI: Vietnam’s economic growth this year is expected to surpass the government’s target range of 6.6 percent-6.8 percent, President Nguyen Phu Trong said, as the country benefits from the trade war between the US and China.

The size of Vietnam’s gross domestic product will be above $266 billion this year, Trong, who is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, said late Saturday at the end of a week-long meeting of the party.

The Southeast Asian country has one of the region’s fastest-growing economies, with robust exports and foreign investment delivering average economic growth of 6.55 percent over the past five years.

“Macroeconomic stability has been maintained, while inflation has been kept below the target set by the National Assembly,” Trong said in a statement posted on the party’s official website.

Trong said Vietnam’s foreign exchange reserves have exceeded $70 billion, a record for the country, adding that exports will likely rise 8% this year.
Vietnam’s economic growth quickened to 7.31 percent in the third quarter year-on-year from an expansion of 6.73 percent in the second quarter, according to government data.

The General Statistics Office said in August it would revise the size of Vietnam’s GDP by 25.4 percent for the 2011-2017 period, saying that recent strong private sector growth had not been fully reflected in its statistical data.

“In 2020, (Vietnam) will continue to consolidate its macroeconomic stability, keep inflation under control and enhance the productivity, quality and competitiveness of the economy,” Trong said.

Trong also said he will continue a widespread corruption crackdown that he has presided over in recent years which has resulted in several high-ranking ministers and politicians, including one Politburo member, being handed prison terms on charges ranging from embezzlement to economic mismanagement.

Though touted as a beneficiary of the trade spat between Washington and Beijing, Vietnam has capacity issues which constrain it, including underdeveloped infrastructure, a lack of skilled labor and an imminent power shortage.


Trump says terminating US relationship with WHO over coronavirus

Updated 29 May 2020

Trump says terminating US relationship with WHO over coronavirus

  • Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organization that the president had demanded earlier this month
  • “China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying,” he said

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday said he is terminating the US relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organization of China.
Appearing in the White House Rose Garden, Trump went ahead with repeated threats to eliminate American funding for the group, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organization that the president had demanded earlier this month. He said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” about the virus to the WHO and pressured the WHO to “mislead the world” when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year. We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly but they have refused to act,” said Trump.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.
Trump has long questioned the value of the United Nations and scorned the importance of multilateralism as he focuses on an “America First” agenda. Since taking office, Trump has quit the UN Human Rights Council, the UN cultural agency UNESCO, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
The World Health Organization is a UN specialized agency — an independent international body that works with the United Nations. The WHO and a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s decision.