Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Foreign experts are positive about Vietnam’s reforms and open-door policy, suggesting that the country should seize opportunities to become a major Asian export hub.

These comments came amid the ongoing 12 th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi , which has attracted foreign media interest.

Christian Lewis, an expert on Vietnam at the New York-based Eurasia Group think-tank, wrote in a commentary that following the Congress, the new set of leaders will support the current economic reforms and trade policy. Notably, they remain committed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other key trade deals, including the free trade agreement with the EU.

Southeast Asia regional specialist Carl Thayer from the Australian Defence Force Academy, for his part, said the 11 th Party Central Committee’s 14 th meeting’s support for the TPP was a positive step for Vietnam’s economic direction in the coming years.

France’s “Les Echos” on January 21 ran an article saying the Congress will consider adopting a five-year socio-economic development blueprint for the next five years, with a roadmap to raising per capita income to between 3,200 and 3,500 USD by 2020, slowing inflation to 5 percent and keeping the budget deficit within 4 percent of the gross domestic product.

It added that Vietnam ’s financial market will continue to appeal to foreign investors since Vietnam has not only joined the World Trade Organisation, but also signed the TPP.

Commenting on Vietnam ’s business climate, the UK ’s Financial Times said that with gross domestic product growth back above 6 percent, Vietnam is benefiting as manufacturers relocate in a bid to cut costs after wage rises in countries such as Thailand and China .

Meanwhile, the Japan Times hailed Vietnam’s draft five-year socio-economic development plan, which calls for privatisation of State-owned enterprises and the elimination of corruption.

The paper also asked for the creation of a specific plan to meet the requirements of the TPP, as well as free trade agreements with the EU and the Republic of Korea.

If Vietnam achieves 7 percent economic growth and the targeted gross domestic product per capita over the next five years, the country will become one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific, the International Monetary Fund told the paper.

IHS Global Insight Asia Pacific Chief Economist Rajiv Biswas said further economic liberalisation and the improvement of economic competitiveness were very important.-VNA