The Ministry of Planning and Investment is targeting an economic growth rate of 6.4 percent to 6.8 percent in 2018 (Photo: canhtranhquocgia.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Planning and Investment is targeting an economic growth rate of 6.4 percent to 6.8 percent for Vietnam in 2018, according to a document sent to ministries and local authorities with guidelines to develop the socio-economic plan for 2018.

The ministry said that the economic growth in 2018 would continue to improve, fuelled by increases in manufacturing, construction, trade, banking and tourism sectors.

The global economic and trade growth is also expected to be higher in 2018 than 2017, creating favourable conditions that would boost the economic growth, especially exports, the ministry said.

In addition to this, the improving business environment, rapid international economic integration, increasing foreign direct investment and private investment, coupled with the Government’s determination to remove difficulties for firms will support production and trade, it said.

The ministry said that the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors were anticipated to have good prospects with increasing prices in the global market.

Accordingly, the ministry has planned the gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 6.4 percent to 6.8 percent in 2018, total export revenue to increase by 9 percent to 10 percent, trade deficit ratio to be below 3 percent of the total export revenue and the total investments for social development to be at 33.5 percent to 35 percent of the GDP.

Vietnamese economy grew at 5.73 percent in the first half of this year. To fulfil the growth rate target set at 6.7 percent for the full year, the country must achieve 7.42 percent growth rate in the second half, which is considered to be an ambitious goal.

The HSBC Bank in a report released last week lowered its GDP forecast for Vietnam to 6 percent this year, down from its previous forecast of 6.4 percent.

This was largely due to the disappointing growth in the first quarter of this year, which hit a three-year low of 5.2 percent.

However, the bank said that tourism would be a major driver for growth in the second half of this year. In addition to this, growth would also gain momentum from pick-ups in foreign investment and agricultural production in the second half.

“Overall, we believe Vietnam’s growth prospects remain promising, despite recent hiccups, and can be sustained with a positive external environment and continuing economic reforms,” the bank said.

The Government of Vietnam is taking bold measures to achieve the ambitious growth target for this year.

The central bank earlier this month cut several lending interest rates for the first time in three years to aid growth.

Besides this, the Government has planned to exploit more crude oil to boost growth.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its forecast for Vietnam’s economic growth to 6.3 percent from an estimate of 6.5 percent published in May.

The World Bank has projected the Vietnamese economy to grow at 6.3 percent this year.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained its growth forecast for the Vietnamese economy at 6.5 percent in 2017 and 6.7 percent in 2018.-VNA