The national economy will see positive developments in the second half of the year although its major industries have experienced sharp decreases in the first half due to the global financial crisis and economic recession, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

In its report released on June 24, the MPI cited the fact that the national GDP grew by just 3.9 percent in the first six months, which is quite low compared to the 6.5 percent rate the same time last year.

Hardest hit by the global crisis was the industrial sector, which posted a production value growth rate of only 4.8 percent, against 16.5 percent in the corresponding period last year.

However, the Government’s implementation of stimulus packages has helped industrial production value increase in the past four months to reach 324 trillion VND in total in the first half of the year.

Also seriously affected were the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors, which registered a growth rate of 2.5 percent and a value of 96.8 trillion VND, of which the lion’s share, 70.8 trillion VND, came from the agricultural sector alone.

The silver lining in the dark clouds besetting the national economy was seen in retail services, transportation of cargo and passengers, and post and telecom services, which have eked out steady growth, even amidst the struggle against difficulties and declining consumption demand.

The global economic crisis also wreaked considerable havoc on Vietnam ’s export and consumption markets as well, said the MPI.

In the aforementioned period, the country earned only 27.6 billion USD from exports--a 10 percent decrease from the same period last year.

However, there were rises in exports of farm products, including rice (up by 56.2 percent), coffee (22.3 percent), and tea (up by 10.9 percent), as well as in seafood and textiles and garments.

According to the MPI, imports are likely to rebound strongly in the remaining six months, which, in the MPI’s view, would shore up the trade balance and stabilise the supply and demand of foreign currency./.