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Vietnam economic outlook for 2021 looks bright

In 2020, Vietnam surprised the world with its impressive control of COVID-19 and its inspiring economic growth rate of 2.91 per cent, making the country one of the world’s top 10 nations with the highest growth, and also one of the 16 most successful emerging economies on the globe in 2020. Last year, the economy’s GDP is estimated to be about VND6.3 quadrillion ($273.9 billion), up by VND263 trillion ($11.43 billion) against 2019, ranking fourth in Southeast Asia, with total export-import turnover of $543.9 billion, up 5.2 per cent on-year – fetching a record trade surplus of $19.1 billion, notably in the context of strong decline in global trade.

The World Bank is expecting Vietnam’s economy will continue to flourish in 2021.

“By all standards, Vietnam has managed the crisis very well. Looking ahead, Vietnam’s prospects appear positive as the economy is projected to grow by about 6.8 per cent in 2021 and, thereafter, stabilize at around 6.5 per cent. This projection assumes that the COVID-19 crisis will be brought gradually under control,” said the World Bank in its economic update for Vietnam released over two weeks ago. The update continued, “Vietnam’s economic resilience is explained by the behavior of both its domestic economy and its external sector. Not only has the private sector reacted positively to the gradual easing of social distancing and mobility measures, but the government has changed the course of its fiscal policy to support the recovery.”

In a move to boost public investment disbursement in 2021, key transport projects for the country have been kicked off, hoping to create new motivations towards Vietnam’s socioeconomic development.

The My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway project costing VND4.83 trillion ($210 million) began construction on January 4. Once completed in the next two years, the expressway – together with Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong Expressway, Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, and My Thuan II Bridge – will create a completed expressway network between Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, thus shortening travel time by two hours and easing traffic jams.

A day later on January 5, work began on the long-awaited Long Thanh International Airport, which will become Vietnam’s largest. Total investment for the first phase reaches $4.74 billion.

The airport will enhance national air infrastructure, helping meet growing trade flows and travel demands. It is predicted that this airport is likely to contribute about 3-5 per cent of the country’s GDP once in operation.

Along with Long Thanh International Airport and My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway, the transport sector will carry out a number of other key national projects this year, including sections of the North-South Expressway’s eastern cluster, transport projects connecting the Central Highlands, and other initiatives connecting northern mountainous provinces, urban railways, and more.

The transport sector, and Vietnam as a whole, is determined to accelerate public investment disbursement in order to create a driving force for national socioeconomic development for the 2021 – 2025 period amid carrying out the dual tasks of fighting COVID-19 and developing the economy.

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