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Exports to grow by 15.9% this year: HSBC

Vietnam is quietly fixing itself. After years of credit-intensive growth, with most capital channelled into the inefficient state-owned sector, the country is taking a breather and focusing on a more sustainable growth strategy – exports.
According to HSBC report on Asian economics in the fourth quarter of this year, despites the global slowdown Vietnam’s exports are punching above their weight, expanding by 14.1% in September. Thanks to slower growth of imports, the trade balance also turned to a slight surplus of US$2.5 billion. HSBC expects export growth of 15.9% this year, taking the export-to-GDP ratio to 81.4%. The economy will likely expand by 5.7% this year and accelerate slightly to 5.8% in 2015.

HSBC hopes that some good news is likely ahead in end-2015 and 2016. The EU-Vietnam FTA is expected to conclude end-2014 or early 2015. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiative will likely boost Vietnam’s manufacturing sector competitiveness. Firms that want to take advantage of its trade liberalisation policy are setting up shops in the country, boosting FDI inflows. Agricultural exports are also gaining momentum, although more work is needed to raise value-added rather than competing on pure volume.
The government’s fiscal management is improving. In the past decade, the economy suffered from too many wasteful projects that did not improve productivity. Public projects are increasingly more scrutinised and more demand-driven. The government is focusing on key infrastructure projects to alleviate bottlenecks such as highways and distribution.

A high non-performing loan ratio and the still inefficient state-owned sector remain a concern. However, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will likely accelerate the pace of reform towards the end of the year and into next year, although the reforms will probably increase the SBV’s supervisory capability within the regulatory framework. The government plans to equitize key firms in the fourth quarter of this year, although the state will retain majority stakes in these ‘strategic’ firms.



Tags: exports, FDI, FTA, GDP, HSBC, SBV, TPP, đầu tư,