Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s economy slowed in the first half of 2016, threatening to stifle the annual GDP growth of the country which was set to hit 6.7 percent by the government this year, according to head of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) Nguyen Bich Lam.

Vietnam’s GDP dropped to 5.52 percent in the first six months, compared to 6.32 percent in the same period last year as the results of the global economic slowdown and the reduction in domestic agricultural output.

The agro-forestry-fishery sector recorded negative growth of 0.18 percent against 2.16 percent in 2015 due to the impacts of the cold spell in the north and the prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion in the south.

Other industries also posted lower growth rates, including mining, transportation, hospitality, and particularly, manufacturing & processing that was expected to rally faster thanks to business climate improvement and the implementation of new-generation free trade agreements.

GSO head Nguyen Bich Lam recommended a number of measures the government should adopt for the country to achieve its overall GDP growth target this year.

He proposed that the government focus its effort to continuously implement the Master Plan on economic restructuring between 2013 and 2020 to shift the growth model towards improving the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy, and to speed up the equitisation of State-owned enterprises.

Relief and support policies should be provided to disaster-hit areas while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to help farmers switch to more drought- and saline-resistant plants and scale up farming areas of summer-autumn crops in a bid to make up the agricultural losses.

Lam also asked the government to identify the reasons behind the stagnant manufacturing and processing industry so that proper solutions for the problems can be put forward.
The government should hasten the disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA) and reduce its bad debts to stimulate the country’s economic growth, he added.-VNA