S-E Asia's roaring economies: Vietnam

Fastest-growing in the region

Vietnamese workers moving baskets of shrimp at the Khanh Sung Seafood Company in the My Xuyen district in southern Vietnam. The fishery sector was among the industries that helped the country's economy expand 7.46 per cent from July to September.
Vietnamese workers moving baskets of shrimp at the Khanh Sung Seafood Company in the My Xuyen district in southern Vietnam. The fishery sector was among the industries that helped the country's economy expand 7.46 per cent from July to September.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Rice wine and dried fruit are staples during the exchange of gifts during Tet, or the Vietnamese New Year. In recent years, some locals have begun giving organic produce as gifts, as rising incomes whet the appetite for these premium products.

Ms Pham Phuong Thao, the chief executive officer of organic product distributor Organica, has seen a steady rise in the number of customers and change in their spending habits over its four-year history.

"Their expenditure has jumped," she told The Straits Times. "They do not only buy organic food for infants, but also for their elderly parents. And now they buy for themselves, for their daily consumption."

Vietnam's economy expanded a sizzling 7.46 per cent from July to September, supported by strong growth in its agriculture, forestry and fishery sector, its industry and construction sector, as well as its service sector.

The growth figure is the strongest among the 10 economies of South-east Asia.

Wholesale and retail trade , which forms part of its service sector, grew by 8.16 per cent from the first nine months of this year over the same period last year.

Business activity has been lively, with over 93,000 new enterprises registered in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 15.4 per cent from last year.

Manufacturing, meanwhile, grew 12.77 per cent from January to September over the same period last year, while construction expanded 7.17 per cent.

Business activity has been lively, with over 93,000 new enterprises registered in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 15.4 per cent from last year.

Dr Tran Dinh Thien, who heads the Vietnam Economics Institute, told The Straits Times: "The government has been removing constraints on businesses, so many sectors are expected to improve."

In July, Vietnam's central bank unexpectedly cut lending rates to boost economic growth, leading to worries of higher inflation in the nation of 93 million people. The State Bank of Vietnam cut its refinancing rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent, for example.

Vietnam's General Statistics Office said in late September that the country was on track to achieving its full-year growth target of 6.7 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2017, with the headline 'Fastest-growing in the region'. Print Edition | Subscribe