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International press praises Vietnam’s strong economic growth during pandemic

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le


December 17, 2020 | 10:42

The prestigious Channel News Asia (CNA) and AFP on December 16 run an article touting Vietnam’s strong COVID-19 response goes a long way in helping the country’s economy weather the pandemic.

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CNA dedicates one article to praise Vietnam's achievement (Photo: Captured)
CNA dedicates one article to praise Vietnam's achievement (Photo: Captured)

The article opens by saying “A strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic, surging exports and healthy public spending have helped Vietnam buck a global recession in 2020 and fast-track its recovery, with analysts predicting it will likely enjoy one of the highest growth rates in the world”.

It added that compared to other countries which are battled by high infection and mortality rates, Vietnam recorded a meager numbers thanks to its mass quarantines, expansive contact-tracing and strict controls on movement, allowing factories to largely stay open and people to swiftly get back to work. Citzens are able to flock to scenic beaches as the government tried to stimulate the tourism industry.

Vietnam has recorded fewer than 1,500 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths(Photo: AFP)
Vietnam has recorded fewer than 1,500 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths(Photo: AFP)

Despite the fear for the country’s export-reliant economy, its exports still helped promote growth in 2020, all thanks to its diversified export market - it's not dependent on any single export destination.

Shipments to China grew more than 15 per cent on-year in the first nine months, according to the Vietnam General Customs Administration.

Demand for many of the items made in Vietnam - such as home electronics, office furniture, computers and televisions - soared during the pandemic as people were forced to stay home during lockdowns”, the article said.

That has meant that while it will fall short of its target of 6.8 per cent growth this year, the economy is expected to expand 2.4 per cent, which the International Monetary Fund said would be among the best in the world.

The coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to Vietnam's tourism sector (Photo: AFP)
The coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to Vietnam's tourism sector (Photo: AFP)

In addition, it is reported that Vietnam also benefited from the S-China trade war as companies such as Apple look to shift their supply chains to avoid tariffs. The country's exports to the United States rose by about a quarter to US$54.7 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Yet, the absence of foreign travellers has dealt a severe blow to the tourism sector.

"We are suffering heavily from the pandemic," the deputy head of the provincial tourism department Nguyen Van Phuc told AFP.

Still, Vietnam's economy is less exposed than other tourism-dependent countries in the region such as Thailand, where the IMF predicts the economy to slump by 7.1 per cent this year”, it continues.

The article commented that the Vietnamese government had also helped cushion the economic blow by pouring money into infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges. Public investment in the first eleven months of 2020 rose 34 percent, the highest in nine years, the government said.

Vietnam's relative triumph this year could lead to benefits in years to come, said Adam McCarty, chief economist at Hanoi-based Mekong Economics.

The way the coronavirus has been handled has "almost made Vietnam famous around the world", he was quoted as saying, adding it is signaling to big foreign companies overseas that they should have another look at Vietnam.

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Jasmine Le