Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is likely to edge up to 6.1 percent in 2015 and 6.2 percent in 2016, according to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2015 released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Although Vietnam’s economic performance has slowly improved, a number of structural factors continue to limit its ability to reach its full growth potential, said Tomoyuki Kimura, ADB Country Director for Vietnam at a press conference announcing the ADO in Hanoi on March 24.

The report highlighted that priority should be placed on strengthening the banking system and outlining a clear strategy to tackle bad debts in short term.

In addition, Vietnam needs to speed up divestment of state-owned enterprises and accelerate their equitisation process, according to the report, which also urged the local enterprises’ greater participation in global value chain to leverage the fullest growth potential.

Dominic Mellor, country economist for ADB Vietnam said that investment potential, the key drive of Vietnamese GDP growth, is spurred by sliding inflation rate, growing credit rating and commodity exports.

He said that Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are lack of capacity to integration into global value chains, adding that only 36 percent of the enterprises take part in production network oriented to exports, and 21 percent of the SMEs join the global supplying chain.

According to the report, GDP growth in the 10 ASEAN member states is expected to stand at 4.9 percent in 2015 from 4.4 percent in 2014. The figure is likely to go up to 5.3 percent in 2016, one year after the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is established.

A DB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia-Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it now has 67 members, with 48 from the region.-VNA