Viet Nam shone in a difficult year: MoneyWeek

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2021 07:14

Production lines of Young Poong Electronics VINA at Binh Xuyen II industrial park, Vinh Phuc province. — VNA/VNS Photo

The UK’s MoneyWeek news website has run a story highlighting that Viet Nam has become one of the most promising markets of Asia for a long time thanks to the country’s success in COVID-19 control.

The article notes that Viet Nam’s GDP growth rate of 2.9 per cent was low by historical standards – it typically manages 6-7 per cent – but put it ahead of every other major economy in Asia and looks remarkable given the damage the pandemic has inflicted on the world.

Even at the peak of the crisis in the second quarter of the year, Viet Nam just about eked out positive growth and has recovered quickly, it says.

Viet Nam’s immediate strength is that the impact of coronavirus has been fairly small and controlled compared to most of the world, the article reads.

“This is not down to luck. All the specialist investors in Viet Nam that I spoke to for this article – Dominic Scriven of Dragon Capital, Andy Ho and Khanh Vu of VinaCapital and Craig Martin of Dynam Capital – give a great deal of credit to how quickly the government acted once the first signs emerged that Sars-CoV-2 was going to be a threat,” wrote Cris Sholto Heaton, the author of the article.

He said the ability to keep the pandemic in check and keep most of the economy open most of the time is a crucial part of why Viet Nam did well in 2020 – but it’s not the whole story. Longer-term, the more important factor is the way that the Vietnamese export sector is benefiting from companies moving some of their manufacturing and sourcing away from China to other destinations, his article says.

Relatively good education and skill levels in the workforce and Government policies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) are a key part of this – but that’s been true for a long time, adds the article. — VNS

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