A new World Bank report projects GDP growth in Vietnam to rise modestly to 5.5 percent by 2015, with macroeconomic stability largely restored.

“The Taking Stock” , launched in Hanoi on December 2, also says that the medium-term macroeconomic outlook remains favourable on balance.

“Vietnam has done well in ensuring macroeconomic stability over the past year, which has been underpinned by moderating inflation and strengthening external accounts,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam.

The report, a biannual assessment of Vietnam ’s economy, identifies several critical risks to macro-economic stability, including low foreign exchange reserves, fragile private sector demand, possibility of departure from fiscal and monetary discipline, slow progress on structural reforms, and loss of confidence in a fragile banking sector.

It also looks at three special topics, namely trade facilitation, competitiveness and growth in Vietnam; corruption and economic growth in Vietnam ; and poverty and inequality in Vietnam.

Based on preliminary analysis that draws on the latest survey data, the report finds the welfare of most Vietnamese improved substantially over 2010-12, even while growth was more modest than previously. This generated a drop in the poverty rate, and likely a decrease in inequality. Ethnic minority welfare has improved greatly over time.

However, poverty still remains concentrated among these groups. The report suggests that the observed pathways out of poverty for the ethnic minorities are similar to those of the majority group.

The process would involve moving to cash crop production, intensifying agricultural production, moving to agricultural diversification and/or trading and services, and investing in education for children.-VNA