Vietnam’s GDP grows 5.64 percent in H1 hinh anh 1At the press conference held my the General Statistics Office (Photo: VietnamPlus

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.64 percent in the first half of this year stays high against other countries in the region and the world, according to General Director of the General Statistics Office (GSO) Nguyen Thi Huong.

Huong said at a press conference on June 29 that the rate was higher than the figure of 1.82 percent recorded in the same period last year, but lower than the 7.05 percent and 6.77 percent in the corresponding periods of 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The agro-forestry-fishery sector increased 3.82 percent; industry and construction 8.36 percent; and services 3.96 percent, the office said.

In the second quarter, the country’s GDP was up about 6.61 percent, as compared with the 0.39 percent recorded in the corresponding time last year, with the highest rise seen in the industry and construction sectors (10.28 percent).

The manufacturing and processing industry remained the driver of the national economy, with a growth rate of 11.42 percent.

Registering an increase of 5.63 percent, wholesale and retail took the lion’s share in the service sector. Financial, banking and insurance services saw a rise of 9.27 percent, while lodging and catering services decreased 5.02 percent.

In terms of economic structure in the first two quarters, agro-forestry-fishery made up 12.15 percent, industry and construction 37.61 percent; and services 41.13 percent.

The GDP growth reflected the drastic management by the Government and the Prime Minister, as well as the consensus of the entire political system, the business community, people nationwide and those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 combat.

Huong said the fourth wave of the COVID-19 outbreaks that began late April has posed major challenges to economic management and administration, as well as in ensuring social welfare.

She forecasted more difficulties and challenges to national socio-economic development in the time ahead as Vietnam’s open economy will suffer multi-faceted impact from the complex and unpredictable developments of the world economy.

Gaps in vaccination rates would lead to faint economic pulse, disrupt the global supply chain, affect trade and the tourism and transportation sectors, render jobless and impact social welfare, Huong further said.

“Dual goal” – a huge challenge

The official held that the dual goal of pandemic containment and socio-economic development will be a huge challenge in the second half of this year and require joint efforts of the Government, businesses and people.

She suggested rolling out more solutions to help enterprises quickly and effectively access support packages and speed up the disbursement of public investment for the short run.

Businesses affected by the pandemic should receive more assistance to remove difficulties in production, Huong said, adding that greater efforts are needed to reform procedures, making it easier for firms to access incentives.

She also suggested helping enterprises in seeking production materials and encouraging startups as well as investment and production expansion.

The monetary policy and interest rates should be adjusted flexibly and cautiously, matching the latest developments of the domestic and international market, she said.

Combining the monetary policy with the fiscal and other macro policies will be of a great help to the efforts aimed at containing inflation, according to the GSO General Director.

She called on associations to coordinate with businesses in handling difficulties, conducting trade promotion activities, and expanding the market, thus boosting the consumption of agricultural products that are in their main harvest seasons in localities.

Last year, Vietnam’s economy was worth 343 billion USD against Singapore’s 337.5 billion USD and Malaysia’s 336.3 billion USD, ranking 40th globally and fourth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In their latest forecast, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Vietnam will still outpace the two countries this year./.