Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s average GDP in the first three quarters of 2019 was at its highest level in nine years, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc announced on Wednesday.
He revealed the figure during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.
The average gross domestic product (GDP) of the last nine months grew by 6.98 per cent compared to that of the same period last year.
Inflation was kept low and under control, increased by 2.5 per cent on average over a span of nine months. It was the lowest rise in the last three years, stated the PM.
“We have gone through three fourths of 2019. I’d like to deliver good news, that is the socioeconomic status in the first nine months of 2019 has turned out better than expectations,” Phúc told the meeting.
“In general, we have scored better across all fields compared to the same period in 2018.”
According to latest statistics, the Government’s income in the first three quarters increased by 10 per cent over last year’s period.
PM Phúc, quoting finance minister Đinh Tiến Dũng, said it might be feasible to exceed by up to 5 per cent the goal for the Government’s income set by the National Assembly this year.
“This is the first time we have reached such a high number, having collected more than VNĐ1 quadrillion (US$43.4 billion) by September 15 (in 2019),” Phúc added.
The fiscal deficit stood at 3.4 per cent of GDP – lower than the target number of 3.6 per cent this year while public debt fell below 57 per cent to GDP.
The private business sector also saw a record high number of newly established companies after three quarters, with a total of 102,000 businesses. It was a year-on-year growth of 5.9 per cent in terms of quantity and 34 per cent regarding registered charter capital.
Export surplus also reached a new milestone at nearly $6 billion.
The number of households living in hunger – who had no means to afford 9kg of rice a month – fell 33 per cent.
“We are glad to see the living conditions of the people were improved regardless of where they are, in the cities and the countryside, in the mountainous and remote areas of ethnic minorities, along the borders and on the islands,” Phúc said.
International organisations generally forecast Việt Nam would end 2019 with another year of impressive economic growth period.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) projected the country’s GDP to stand at 6.8 per cent this year while Standard Chartered gave a slightly higher forecast of 6.9 per cent and expected Việt Nam to maintain growth momentum until 2021.
The PM, however, warned his cabinet to stay focused in the last three months to guarantee outstanding performance for the whole year.
The Government had to find a way to tackle the slow disbursement of public investment, with by now less than half of the total budget amount approved by the National Assembly being distributed to projects. Disbursement of foreign funding was even lower, reaching only 19 per cent, Phúc said.
Natural disasters and diseases – particularly the Africa swine fever outbreak in which 5 million pigs were culled - caused serious difficulties for the agriculture sector, the PM said.
The newly-registered Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Việt Nam in the first nine months also decreased, which Phúc believed was an indicator that investment transfer from China to Việt Nam due to the China-US trade war was below expectations.
“We have stressed the issue to officials at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Planning and Investment and Ministry of Information and Communications along with other ministries but we couldn’t fully grasp the chance,” Phúc said.
“Officials awakened late to such an opportunity so many big groups have yet to enter Việt Nam like we had expected.” —VNS