US Report on Vietnam Economy

12.05.09  The US Department of State did a recent update on information about Vietnam on October 2009 [1]. There are many positive glances at the country indicating that it’s still growing at an amazing despite the recession that is troubling many parts of the world:

GDP (2008): $84.98 billion.
Real growth rate: 6.23% (2008); 3.9% (the first 6 months of 2009 year-on-year).
Per capita income (2008): $1,024.
Inflation rate (January 2009): 17.48% year-on-year.
External debt (2008): 29.8% of GDP, $21.8 billion.
Natural resources: Coal, crude oil, zinc, copper, silver, gold, manganese, iron.
Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (21.99% of GDP, 2008):

  • Principal products–rice, coffee, cashews, maize, pepper (spice), sweet potato, pork, peanut, cotton, plus extensive aquaculture of both fish and shellfish species.
  • Cultivated land–12.2 million hectares.
  • Land use–21% arable; 28% forest and woodland; 51% other.

Industry and construction (39.86% of GDP, 2008):

  • Principal types–mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply, cement, phosphate, and steel.

Services (38.10% of GDP, 2008):

  • Principal types–tourism, wholesale and retail, repair of vehicles and personal goods, hotel and restaurant, transport storage, telecommunications.

Trade (2008): Exports–$62.9 billion (first 8 months 2009: $37.3 billion, down by 14.2% year-on-year).

  • Principal exports–crude oil, garments/textiles, footwear, fishery and seafood products, rice (world’s second-largest exporter), pepper (spice; world’s largest exporter), wood products, coffee, rubber, handicrafts.
  • Major export partners–U.S., EU, Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
  • Imports–$80.4 billion (first 8 months of 2009: $42.4 billion, down by 28.2% year-on-year).
  • Principal imports–machinery, oil and gas, iron and steel, garment materials, plastics.
  • Major import partners–China, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
  • Exports to U.S. (2008)–$12.9 billion. Imports from U.S. (2008)–$2.8 billion.


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3 Responses

  1. Facts Not Propaganda says:

    It’s interesting that the GDP growth is 6% and inflation is almost three times as much at 17.48% . Wouldn’t that negate the growth by reducing power purchasing parity? How can an average Vietnamese family survive ? Is that REAL growth for the economy then ?

  2. Neil Nguyen says:

    The growth rate mentioned is Real Growth Rate, which is adjusted for the inflation by the following manner:

    Real Growth Rate = Nominal Growth Rate / Consumer Price Index.

    Which means that, the nominal GDP growth rate of Vietnam is high, but the expansion of the economy is greater than the expansion of the price index (inflation). Therefore, Vietnam’s economy is still growing at a positive.

  3. Facts Not Propaganda says:

    Thanks for the clarification. The numbers still don’t compute. 6.2% is for year 2008 which is before the financial collapse at the end of 2008. Year to year, even the Economist Intelligence Unit always caution the numbers Vietnam Ministry gives out because that number is always inflated. The fact is Real wages haven’t grown in Vietnam and inflation have grown. The year over year for 2009 Real GDP growth rate is expected to be around 4.2% . (3.9% for the first 6 months … I don’t see what’s amazing in that as commented in the beginning). Vietnam came from such a low base anyway it has nowhere to go but up. I don’t know any economy that gets 9-10% of its GDP in remittances (around 8-9 billion dollars as stated from the Commerce Ministry). The government hasn’t meet its forecast for the last decade. The forecast for 2009 was 6.5% GDP growth. It is not going to meet that number. Just another year of missing forecast again and tricking gullible Viet Kieu and foreign investors to pump into the communist cronyism and corrupt system.

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