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A difficult year ahead but there is room for economic growth
Vietnamnews - 1/16/2023 10:33:22 AM
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Although the economy was forecast to continue facing difficulties and challenges in 2023, there were silver linings to pin hope on, experts said.
According to Nguyễn Đức Hiển, Deputy Head of the Central Economic Commission, there were unpredictable factors that would have a significant impact on the country’s socioeconomic development.
Many international organisations forecast that global economic growth would slow down with regions and countries at risk of falling into recession, Hiển said.
Among 10 countries that accounted for more than 71 per cent of Việt Nam’s export revenue, six countries and territories, the US, South Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Hong Kong, were forecast to face a mild economic recession in the short term. This would affect some industries of Việt Nam such as garment and textile, footwear and furniture, he said.
Among 10 countries and territories which accounted for more than 80 per cent of Việt Nam’s import revenue, Japan, South Korea, the US, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia were forecast to be affected by the economic recession in 2023.
Regarding investment, among the 10 largest foreign investors in Việt Nam which altogether accounted for 93 per cent of the total FDI into the country, except for China and Thailand, the rest, including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the US were forecast to show signs of falling onto recession at different degrees.
Vietnamese Government’s goals of achieving economic growth of 6.5 per cent and inflation at 4.5 per cent would be a challenge if the management was not flexible enough, he stressed.
It was necessary for Việt Nam to develop different scenarios to raise solutions on both short and long terms to maintain macroeconomic stability and ensure major balances of the economy, he said.
Nguyễn Xuân Thành from Fullbright University Vietnam said that difficulties would remain in the second half of this year. However, there was still light at the end of the tunnel for Việt Nam to change policies and solve the internal problems of the Vietnamese economy.
Looking at the monetary policies of counties around the world, Thành said that the US Federal Reserves (Fed) might continue to raise rates. In the worst scenario, Fed could raise rates in February, March and May, and then maintain the rate at 5-5.25 per cent to the end of 2023.
The second factor was the border reopening of China after three years of being shut to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that from April or May, the reopening would give a push to domestic demand, create opportunities for Việt Nam’s exports and attract Chinese tourists.
In strategic competition, Việt Nam relied on public investment and domestic consumption to compensate for the decline in exports. However, in order to have a bright economic picture, it was also necessary to promote the disbursement of FDI and public investment, Thành said, adding that the monetary policy must be flexible and interest rates must be lowered.
Cấn Văn Lực, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council, said that public investment was increased in 2023 as an important growth driver.
Under the socio-economic recovery programme, development investment in 2023 was estimated at nearly VNĐ739 trillion, accounting for 35 per cent of the total State budget expenditure and more than 38 per cent higher than the plan in 2022.
A notable point in 2023 was that Việt Nam was accelerating economic restructuring, improving institutions with a series of laws to be discussed for amendments such as the Law on Land, the Law on Housing, the Law on Real Estate Business, and the Law on Credit Institutions.
“Basically, Việt Nam’s macro foundation is much stronger than before and continues to be relatively stable," Lực said. 
"With experiences in fighting against the pandemic, risk management and crisis handling and medium fiscal risk, there was room for growth in 2023.”
Former Director of the General Statistic Office Nguyễn Bích Lâm said that developing a transparent institution would give a significant impetus to drive economic growth this year.
Standing Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Minh Vũ said in the context of rising global uncertainties, the Vietnamese economy with high openness was strongly affected but it also proved its adaptability and resilience.
He pointed out that there were three notable trends in the world economy.  Firstly, the global economy was losing its growth momentum and facing the risk of a technical recession. The International Monetary Fund forecast that one-third of the world’s economies would be in recession in 2023 with growth drivers such as export, investment and global consumption expected to decline.
Secondly, structural transformations would continue to reshape the global economy with new principles and rules in governance such as green trade and global minimum tax. In that context, the strategic competition of major economies would intensify.
Thirdly, the Asia – Pacific region, including Southeast Asia was considered the driving force for global economic growth.
“The picture is not all grey," he said.
"There are opportunities. If we could tune into the new trends and take advantage of new growth drivers from the green economy and digital transformation, we can optimise resources to overcome challenges. It’s also time for enterprises to create breakthroughs.” — VNS
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