PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Many international organizations have said Vietnam has taken right steps to overcome difficulties and challenges to become one of the fastest-growing economies in the region and the world, PM Phuc wrote in a recent article.

The economy expanded 7.08%, the highest growth rate since 2008 and the GDP per capita rose to USD2,587 while macroeconomic backgrounds have been increasingly consolidated.

Growth was mainly driven by robust expansion of processing and manufacturing (up 12.98%) and agriculture (up 3.76%).

Export values reached nearly USD245 billion, in which export of domestic sectors soared 15.9% compared to 12.9% of the foreign-invested sector. The country has trading ties with more than 200 countries and territories.

For the first time in history, Vietnam’s agricultural exports increased to more than USD40 billion.

The growth quality has also improved with the total factor productivity (TFP) contributing 43.5% to the GDP growth in 2018, and averaged 42.18% between 2016 and 2018 compared to 33.58% from 2011 to 2015.

In addition, the incremental capital output ratio (ICOR) receded from 6.11 in 2017 to around 5.97.

Improvements were also recorded in business environment as the purchasing managers ‘index (PMI) marked the strongest growth among ASEAN markets, which rose to  56.5 in November, up from 53.9 in October and signaling a sharp monthly improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector.

A recent survey showed that 85.1% questioned businesses believe business environment in the first quarter of 2019 will be better and stable.

Vietnam’s innovation index jumped 2 places to 45th out of 126 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2018, ranking second among low-middle income countries.

PM Phuc said the urban unemployment rate dipped to 3.1% and not many countries of the same development level like Vietnam reached the healthcare insurance coverage rate of over 86%.

Regarding key tasks for 2019, PM Phuc urged inferior levels to focus on economic growth, create significant changes in restructuring public investment, strictly supervise and accelerate equitization and capital divestment.

The Government chief called for harmonization of cultural-social and economic development by effective implementation of support policies for vulnerable groups to leave no one behind and mobilization of resources for social and national target programs on sustainable poverty reduction and rural development.

He also asked for strengthening management of natural resources and environmental protection, beef up administration reform and e-Government development./.