Experts have shown optimism despite the slow credit growth over the past six months, which had raised concerns over the banking system's ability to reach the year's target of 12-14 percent growth.

According to statistics from the State Bank of Vietnam, the credit growth rate in the first six months of this year was only 3.52 percent, while the growth rate over the same period last year was 4.7 percent.

However, many experts said this did not pose a problem because growth is usually slow in the first two quarters. In addition, weak absorptive capacity, budget arrears, cumbersome bureaucratic procedures and the still recovering world economy are also to blame.

On the other hand, some key sectors saw a high rate of growth, including exports, supporting industries and the hi-tech sector. Social and agriculture programmes also saw positive signs.

"I think this is a highlight for our economy. For years, we have complained that our economic development was too shaky. Firms couldn't improve operations on their own and depended entirely on bank loans. Low credit growth means our adjustments are on the right path," Nguyen Duc Kien, Deputy Head of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee was quoted as saying.

He went on to say that forcing the economy to sustain high rates of credit growth will result in unintended consequences such as bad debt.

The State Bank will continue to closely monitor credit institutions and foreign exchange rates to issue appropriate adjustments and quickly deal with any problems. They will also ask the government to revise its credit policies in rural areas and the agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, experts suggested that the government needs to improve macro-policies while they are being carried out. NA deputy Tran Du Lich said, "The problem is how to help enterprises. Government needs to give more support while enterprises must reform and improve their competitiveness."

The economic growth in the first six months was 5.18 percent, an improvement compared to the 4.9 percent over the same period last year.-VNA