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Vietnam successfully balances public health and economics amid Covid-19
According to Manila Times of the Philippines, Vietnam seems to be an only bright spot in Asia, which ably balanced public health and economics right from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an article published on December 3, Manila Times praised Vietnam’s efforts in the fight against the health crisis. The article cited the World Bank’s forecast that Vietnam’s economy would grow by 2.8 percent in 2020, even as its Asian neighbours struggle to recover from the ongoing crisis.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei Asia of Japan stressed that Vietnam has succeeded in keeping the pandemic under control.
The country’s achievement in fighting COVID-19 has helped the country reduce the pandemic’s impact on its economy as manufacturing has resumed faster than it did elsewhere in the region, job losses were limited, and consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of GDP, has remained solid.
|Landmark 81 in HCM City - the tallest building in Southeast Asia. Việt Nam has been described as a rising star amid the pandemic by the World Bank who rank the country fifth fastest growing economy in the world. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn|
Vietnam’s exports grew 9.9 percent on the year in October to 26.7 billion USD, it noted. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Vietnam’s per capita GDP is likely to reach 3,498 USD in 2020.
Vietnam is the only economy in the ASEAN-5 group, which includes Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, that will maintain positive growth in a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic has been raging, exacerbating problems from the trade war between the US and China, Vietnam Star reported.
According to Sonny Africa, Executive Director of Ibon Foundation - a Philippines-based non-profit research, education and information-development institution, said the key to Vietnam's success amid the health crisis is its ways to not only contain the spread of pandemic but also to keep its economy afloat.
|Businesses are finding it hard to expand and also increase exports. Photo: Le Toan|
Vietnam opened up its economy but ensured State ownership and control of strategic enterprises in agriculture, mining, telecommunications, railways, chemicals, water, oil, electricity, cement, steel and other heavy industries, as well as banking and finance, he said.
The scholar also took note that Vietnam considers foreign investment a driver of development, with the FDI flows into the country increasing strongly over the past three years, Vietnam Plus reported.
Vietnam should do more to cope with the new situation
Over the weekend, as more COVID-19 cases were reported and another wave of social distancing could be applied, the bank said tourism and remittances could be further impacted.
As governmental data indicates that as many as 30 million workers, or more than half of the labour force, could have been affected by the crisis, the bank said the country should prepare to retrain its workers.
|Marine economic sectors are expected to contribute about 10% of Viet Nam’s gross domestic product. (Source: VGP)|
The report said the impact of the crisis has also not been uniform, raising inequalities across sectors and among people.
As about 90 per cent of the population has a smartphone and a good foundation of digital infrastructure, the World Bank’s representative said: “Vietnam can take the chance to boost contact-free services and e-commerce.”
According to the report, the ongoing transformation of the global economy provides the opportunity for Vietnam to take important policy actions.
The report also said: “Regardless of the scenario, Vietnam is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in 2020."
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