Speakers at the event (Source: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) – Experts forecast that the Vietnamese economy will grow by more than 6.8 percent in the last half of this year at the Forbes Vietnam Business Forum 2018 held in Ho Chi Minh City on July 26.

Speaking at the event, General Director of Vietjet Air Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao underscored the need to fully tap the potential of the private sector to make it a driving force of the economy.

It is time for the private sector to effectively use State incentives, train human resources and adopt technological advances to meet diverse demand, she said.

She warned that if the US – China trade war escalates, many sectors will be hurt because Vietnamese firms will incur higher manufacturing costs and competition with low-cost Chinese goods will become fiercer.

Director of the Public Policy Programme at the Fulbright School Nguyen Xuan Thanh mentioned machinery and mechanical products as sectors hit by the trade war. As the US imposes tariffs on 34 billion USD, then 200 billion USD worth of Chinese goods, interior décor and agro-fisheries will also be hurt. If the figure moves to 500 billion USD, almost all sectors will be affected, including footwear and apparel.

Apart from the trade war, exchange rate fluctuations will also impact Vietnamese growth between now and the year’s end. Despite the State Bank of Vietnam’s flexible foreign exchange management policy, controlling risks brought by currency exchange rate fluctuations is also necessary.

Pham Hong Hai, General Director of HSBC Vietnam urged the Government, ministries and agencies to reform to control trade fraud risks via close State management while creating an environment that helps businesses rapidly adapt to changes.

Oil and gas and exports also indirectly impact the Vietnamese economy. As more global firms divest in emerging markets, the Vietnamese economy needs to speed up institutional reform, he said, adding that Vietnamese businesses will easily become technologically backward if they aren’t ready to join the fourth industrial revolution.

President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc said easier access to incentives, State funding and land should be given to business community to fuel domestic growth and ensure fair competition.

Themed “Building Sustainable Growth”, the event gathered top business leaders, experts, thinkers and policy makers to discuss strategies to ensure growth is sustained, through long term investment in core industries that Vietnam has the best capacity to develop-VNA