According to the report on the national economy in 2013 and outlook for 2014 – 2015 made by the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), in 2014, the global and Vietnamese economy is expected to achieve stronger growth than in 2013. Vietnamese enterprises should use this forecast to map out strategies for long-term development. Report by the Vietnam Business Forum.

* Regaining growth momentum

According to the report, the world economy in 2013 still faces many difficulties and a slower-than-expected recovery, echoing the sluggish growth of the two powers, China and Japan.
However, the global economy also has seen some positive signs. Japan’s economy has enjoyed a stable growth since the third quarter of 2012 while Europe has finally come out of the longest recession ever in history, experiencing growth for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2011. The U.S. economy has also maintained a growth of around two percent since the first quarter of 2010 while keeping the inflation at two percent in July 2013, paving the way for FED’s plan to cut down the quantitative easing (QE) in the fourth quarter of 2013 and stop it in the second quarter of 2014.

Based on these facts, the NFSC believes that in 2014, the world will see stronger growth, in both developed and developing countries. The EU will emerge from the crisis with growth of 0.9 percent, while forecast for the U.S. and Japan are 2.7 percent 1.2 percent respectively.

Regarding the Vietnam's economy in the time ahead, the NFSC said that inflation would continue to be kept down at a comparatively low level. If there are no changes in the prices of basic commodities (oil, electricity, public services), it’s likely that 2013’s inflation would be about five percent (higher than the 4.3 percent of 2012). Thus, the price adjustment in these last months will be of critical importance.

Also according to the NFSC, the target of 5.5 percent growth for 2013 remains challenging, and the gross domestic product (GDP) growth may stay at 5,3 percent only. However, during the period of 2014 - 2015, the Vietnam's economy is expected to improve with GDP increasing by 5.6 - 5.8 percent, 6 percent in 2014 and 6.2 percent in 2015.

To achieve its objectives, the NFSC emphasized that the short-term policy (from now until the end of 2014) should continue to boost aggregate demand to help businesses expanding production. The medium-term policy should be directed to improve supply and demand in the economy. Therefore, accelerating economic restructuring plays an important role and need to be focus on in the next 2-3 years to provide a turning point.

* Staying ahead of the growth trend

When trouble is over and the recovery plan has yielded result, Vietnam ’s economy will have a strong basis to speed up its development. According to experts, businesses should be more flexible in approaching market so that they could achieve the best results. As a part of this strategy, businesses should re-evaluate their capabilities in key issues such as: the efficiency of human capital expending, the marketable level of products, and then design a good strategy based on these evaluation. It’s also important to remember that with a development strategy, the simpler the better, so that businesses could maximize operation and focus on core business areas.

Currently, Vietnam 's economy is still in the development stage, the enterprises face difficulties in finding raw materials and ancillary materials. Many manufacturing enterprises said that most of them have to import raw materials while ancillary materials is scattered, which made the production costly, time-consuming and presenting a disadvantage compared with foreign companies, especially Chinese businesses who have a specific zone to provide ancillary materials.

These difficulties have discouraged many investors, instead of increasing investment they have gone to build their own business so that they can calculate more carefully the cost and make use of private capital. These new enterprises are also more careful in doing business. However, there still have been many businesses who have foreseen new opportunities and therefore actively expanded investment, believing that the market in 2013 will get stronger supported by the stimulus plan of the government.

However, the survey ‘outlook for macro-economy and enterprise restructuring from the perspective of the best Vietnamese businesses 2013’ conducted by Vietnam Report also shows that besides the businesses who stay positive about the future, 46 percent of enterprises who were asked believed that the economy cannot recover in this year. The enterprises who believed that the macro-economy will strengthen in the second half of 2013 also are less than those who think otherwise.

The prospect of the economy on the way to recovery is reasonable. However, whether the situation can become a springboard for businesses to reach for sustainable development or not is still a question to answer.-VNA